Saturday, September 12, 2009

37 weeks

We are 37 weeks today. I can't believe how the time has flown by! Where has this pregnancy gone? Today Nathan is considered full term. He can be born any time now and should be able to function perfectly in our great big world. Now, the waiting begins. Ryan and I are so excited to meet him. I can't wait to see his little face, to hear his little voice, to count his little fingers and toes. I can't wait to introduce him to his big brother, his grandparents, and all our friends. This little guy is going to make us a real family of four.

He is going to be lucky as the second child. This time we know more of what we are doing, we won't be quite so clueless, he won't be as much of an experiment in parenting. Hopefully we'll remember the tricks that worked with Lucas and we'll be a little more confident this time around.

I have noticed lately, with my giant protruding belly, that I have a bit more respect in the mom community. Other moms I barely know or don't even know at all are asking me for advice, like I know what I'm doing or something. They see me leading Lucas by the hand as I waddle into his gym class or the grocery store and for some reason they think I have the answer to parenthood. It is the strangest thing, because I still feel like I have to clue what I'm doing. I wonder every day if I am making the right choices for Lucas. I am doing the best I can, and I hope that is good enough. I do remember though, when I was pregnant with Lucas, seeing other moms out in public, wondering how they do it. I'd see moms of two or three and admire them, thinking about what it would be like to be in their situation. Now I am, and it's so surreal!

A lot of moms of one child lately have been asking me how I knew I was ready to have another baby. They wonder how I am going to do it with two boys. I can see in their faces that they are thinking about it, but they are hesitant and a bit scared. Well, the truth is I didn't feel ready yet, but I felt this twinge in my heart, this little hormonal tug that told me it was time. It wasn't common sense or planning, it was my heart, and Ryan's too. We both wanted this, whether we were ready or not and so this surprise pregnancy was in fact a surprise, and not planned at all, but it wasn't an accident. It was what we wanted. And the truth is that I have no clue how I'm going to do it. I am entering into a very challenging time of my life, especially staying home full time. I won't have an outlet or an escape into the adult world except for at playdates, conversations with Ryan or my mom, and maybe a weekly trip to the grocery store if I'm lucky. But I know it's coming this time. I remember the challenges and I know they can only be greater when there are two little ones tugging on my arms and crying when they need something. But at the same time, that is the most wonderful part of this whole situation. There will be TWO little ones. Two sets of little eyes and two little voices calling me Mama, two hugs at bedtime, two hands to hold, and two perfect little people that Ryan and I made and are raising in our family. It just doesn't get much better than that.

Miracle Please, not Medical

I have considered a C Section throughout my pregnancy. Just the thought of going through the trauma I did last time is enough to make most women never want to deliver another baby. But, at the same time, I want a second chance. I want a chance to enjoy the experience, the miracle of the birth process that my body is meant to carry out.

When the doctor and nurses delivered Lucas I thought he was gone. His heart rate was so low and they had to get him out so fast, there was panic on the face of the nurses in the room and I watched as they pounded on his chest and back, harder than I thought was safe for a couple second old baby. I remember saying, "Why isn't he crying?! Is he okay? Why isn't he crying!?". I was crying myself, and I can remember the fear and weakness in my heart, thinking I had lost my baby. I remember my moms face, she was telling me he was okay, over and over. I don't know if she really believed it at the time, but those words made me strong, and when the moment finally came that I heard my son crying for the first time, it was the most beautiful sound in the world.

The experience I had during Lucas' birth was very difficult for me, and the first nine months of physical recover following was a challenge. Dealing with pain for months and months in a part of your body that it isn't so socially acceptable to talk about with others, going though a surgery a couple months after delivery, and feeling like my body wasn't anywhere near normal for almost a year afterwards has been hard, but it has also made me stronger. I got through it. And I can do it again.

I have had people comment on the bond I have with Lucas, they can see how much I love him and how attached he is to me. I think this bond is partly because of the process we went through at birth. Feeling like I almost lost the most precious thing in the world has made me hold on tighter to what I have, and it helps me to appreciate every moment I do have. It gives me patience when I am wavering. It sends me back to reality when I am wrapped up in my own tiredness and frustration. I love Lucas with every ounce of my heart and soul and being his mom has changed my life in the most amazing ways. I am not the same person I was a couple years ago. I am stronger and more confident, I am more me than I have ever been.

So yesterday my doctor brought up a C Section at our weekly appointment. I trust this doctor very much, and I really believe he thinks it is the best thing for me. And I understand the reasoning. He can't guarantee me that I won't have another 4th degree tear unless I opt for surgery. I thought about it more after the appointment. I went home and did a little reading on the cesarean process. I talked with my family. Not everyone will agree with my decision, but I am going to follow my gut instincts, and that is to try for a normal birth again. I want the experience I never had with Lucas. I want the miracle of birth, not the medical option. So that is what we are going to do, unless an emergency comes up and a C Section is necessary for mine or Nathan's safety. I know my doctors will support my decision, and I know my family will too. I believe in my heart that it is the right decision for me, no matter what the outcome may be.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Gluten Free Info for Lucas and I

I have had a lot of requests for info on my gluten free diet lately so I wanted to put something together for friends and family who are interested in helping out when Nathan arrives. Lucas also finally had his celiac testing done and he does have the gene for the disease, so we have to keep him on a gluten free diet as well. Poor Ryan is the minority in our house now!

Here is some basic information:

First of all, here is what we CAN eat:
  • Fresh meats, fish and poultry (not breaded, batter-coated or marinated)
  • Most dairy products (check yogurts and dairy drinks for other ingredients)
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Rice (except for rice pilaf or most boxed rice mixes)
  • Potatoes
  • Gluten free flours (rice, soy, corn, potato)
  • Gluten free pasta such as rice pasta sold at Lassens, trader joes, and other health food stores
  • Corn - corn tortillas, corn chips, polenta
  • Beans and Legumes

We cannot eat wheat, rye, oats or barley. There are many forms of these grains and they are listed below.
  • Wheat
  • Barley
  • Rye
  • Farina
  • Graham flour
  • Semolina
  • Durham
  • Bulgur
  • Kamut
  • Kasha
  • Matzo meal
  • Oats
  • Spelt (a form of wheat)
  • Triticale
Wheat is the tricky ingredient here, it can be found in many foods that you would not suspect it. Here are the common foods to avoid:
  • Breads
  • Cereals
  • Crackers
  • Croutons
  • Pasta
  • Cookies
  • Cakes and pies
  • Soups
  • Gravies
  • Sauces (including soy sauce)
  • Salad dressings
  • Beer
  • Candy
  • Imitation meat or seafood
  • Processed luncheon meats
  • Self-basting poultry
Gluten can also be hidden in many food additives and other items, here are a few more things to avoid:
  • Food additives, such as malt or malt flavoring, modified food starch, hydrolyzed vegetable protein
  • Medications and vitamins that use gluten as a binding agent
  • Lipstick and lip balms
  • Toothpaste
  • Postage stamps
  • Play dough

For more info.....

On what local restaurants have gluten free food:

On the gluten free diet:
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