Friday, May 27, 2011

Nursery and 30 Weeks

The nursery is complete! Sean and I are so happy to have it done :) I can' t wait for Noah to be home and in his beautiful room.
The clothing is organized by 0-3 months and 3-6 months. They are even organized by tops, bottoms, and sleepers. 

This chair is my favorite! Sean's mom gave us the chair and my mom made the seat cushions.

The crib! The mobile sings the lullaby song.

Bookshelf


I'm 30 weeks today! I'm showing more and more everyday. Our little guy is growing so much now.  We have a doctors appointment next week. They are now every 2 weeks now instead of once a month. Baby time is coming up soon! The baby shower is next month as well! This is all very exciting in case you couldn't tell my all the !!!!!  Life is just so wonderful :) We are so grateful for all our many blessings.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bradley Class #3

First of all as promised before I have a picture of the building the class is being held every week.
 Its such a pretty building


This is the room where class is held. Well its one side of the room. Its a lot bigger than that. This class was about pregnancy.  A warning to the reader: This is going to be a long post. No apologies just informing you in case you are looking for a light read, this post is not that. This week was our presentations where we got to teach each other about our topics. There was a lot of information shared. But first we did some other activities. We started class with a back pack full of items, each which represented the changes in a women's body during pregnancy. Here is what was in the backpack:

Sugar- Baby and Uterus, baby average of 8lbs and uterus 2lbs 
Flour- Fluid in maternal tissue, 4lbs
Rice- Placenta is 1-2 lbs
Water Bottle- Amniotic Fluid 2lbs
Can of Spaghetti Sauce- Maternal blood, 4lbs
Oil-  Nutrient storage and maternal fat, 7lbs
Soy Milk- Maternal tissue of the breast, 5lbs

Rachel then invited each dad to put the backpack on at any time during the class and do any of the activities they normally would to see how each mother might be feeling. It was a nice sympathy exercise. Sean had some trouble sitting down and getting up. Even for a big strong man like my Sean having a prego belly put off his balance. Here is Sean all prego-like

Isn't he just so darn cute :) I know I'm not that big but I sure do feel it!

 We then each got to give baby updates and news. Sean and I discussed our hospital tour and about how Mr. Noah is moving so very much lately. I love hearing all the stories about the other parents and their cute little babies growing and how they are each preparing for the arrival.

Then we went over our weekly relaxation technique. The couple for this week explained how massage can be great for relaxing the mother during labor. We were asked to talk as a couple about what feels good for the mother and what type of massage would be effective in encouraging deep relaxation. I loved this week’s technique. Each mother is different so the types of techniques used in order to help her relax are going to be different. Sean and I decided the progressive relaxation one we learned last week is definitely not for us but massage is an absolute yes!

Next we did our presentations. One couple couldn’t make it to this class so there were 5 topics covered besides our own. After the presentation we all discussed the topic and gave our own knowledge, insight and opinion on them. I feel so educated after that class and I’m excited to do some of my own research on the topics as well. I’ll just do an outline of the presentation topics. We tried to stay unbiased for each topic so we were asked to give the definition, benefits, risks and controversies surrounding the practice.

Epidural
First of all did you know that the epidural isn’t just a needle poked into your spine? Its actually a catheter. I wasn’t even aware of that. Turns out most women, even expecting mothers planning on getting the epidural don’t know that.  They put the needle in first and then insert a tube that stays in your back in case they need to give you more drugs. Epidural is actually just the name of the procedure, there is no drug named epidural. Many different drugs go into the catheter after the epidural is performed. Most doctors can’t even tell you exactly what is used.The epidural is named for where it is place in the back.

Definition- Epidural anesthesia is regional anesthesia that blocks pain in a particular region of the body. The goal of an epidural is to provide analgesia, or pain relief, rather than complete anesthesia, which is total lack of feeling. Epidurals block the nerve impulses from the lower spinal segments resulting in decreased sensation in the lower half of the body. Epidural medications are often delivered in combination with opioids or narcotics
Benefits-
·         When other types of coping mechanisms are not helping any longer, an epidural may be what you need to move through exhaustion, irritability, and fatigue. An epidural may allow you to rest, relax, get focused and give you the strength to move forward as an active participant in your birth experience.
·         If you deliver by cesarean, an epidural anesthesia will allow you to stay awake and also provide effective pain relief during recovery
·         Relieving the discomfort of childbirth can help some woman have a more positive birth experience
So basically the benefits of an epidural are for the mother to be comfortable and make birth easier on them. As said above if other coping mechanisms are not working it is a good option for mothers that can’t relax. To each her own. Please don't get me wrong. No chastisement or judgement to those who did, or are planning on getting one. I'm just really happy with my decision not to. 
               
Risks-
·         Epidurals may cause your blood pressure to suddenly drop. For this reason your blood pressure will be routinely checked to make sure there is adequate blood flow to your baby. If this happens you may need to be treated with IV fluids, medications, and oxygen
·         You may experience a severe headache caused by leakage of spinal fluid. Less than 1% of women experience this side effect from epidural use. If symptoms persist, a special procedure called a “blood patch”, an injection of your blood into the epidural space, can be done to relieve the headache
·         After your epidural is placed, you will need to alternate from lying on one side to the other in bed and have continuous monitoring for changes in fetal heart rate. Lying in one position can sometimes cause labor to slow down or stop
·         You may experience the following side effects: shivering, ringing of the ears, backache, soreness where the needle is inserted, nausea, or difficulty urinating
·         You may find that your epidural makes pushing more difficult and additional interventions such as Pitocin, forceps, vacuum extraction or cesarean may become necessary
·         For a few hours after birth the lower half of your body may feel numb which will require you to walk with assistance
·         In rare instances, permanent nerve damage may result in the area where the catheter was inserted.
·         Though research is somewhat ambiguous, most studies suggest some babies will have trouble "latching on" which can lead to breastfeeding difficulties.
·         Other studies suggest that the baby may experience respiratory depression, fetal malpositioning; and an increase in fetal heart rate variability, which may increase the need for forceps, vacuum, cesarean deliveries and episiotomies.
IV’s, No food or Drink by Mouth
I didn’t really take many notes on this topic because it is kind of self explanatory. Many women receive iv’s during labor because food and drink are forbidden during labor. The reason behind this practice is that some women throw up during pregnancy and its easier to monitor what she is receiving by iv. Basically its easier for the nurses and hospital staff. I don’t want to have an iv if I don’t have to.

Benefits-
·         If mom has a medical condition that requires her to be on an iv then it can be helpful
·         The American Society of Anesthesiologists thinks it’s best to stick to clear liquids and eat no food to avoid maternal complications.

Risks-
·         Imbalance of electrolytes, drop-off in blood sugar levels producing ketones which can cross into fetal circulation causing fetal blood to become more acidic (acidosis) which is a symptom of fetal distress. Increased perception of pain when hungry and/or thirsty.
·         Hunger, thirst, discomfort, dehydration sometimes resulting in fever, exhaustion leading to fewer or less effective contractions
·         Prolonged labor due to exhaustion, less contractions.

Forceps & Vacuums
When forceps were invented in the 1500’s they were a break through in how babies were being born. Its kind of a crazy story how forceps were invented. Back in the day having a living baby produced after labor was rare. The OB forceps was invented by the eldest son of the Chamberlen family of surgeons. The Camberlen’s were French Huguenots working in Paris before they immigrated to England. The instrument was kept secret for 150 years by the Chamberlen family. The forceps were used most notably in hard and difficult childbirths. The forceps avoided infant death more successfully than previous approaches involving hooks and other instruments. In the interest of secrecy, the forceps were carried into the birthing room in a lined box and would only be used once everyone was out of the room and the mother blindfolded.

Definition- An instrument that resembles a pair of tongs and can be used in surgery for grabbing, maneuvering, or removing various things within or from the body. They can be used to assist the delivery of a baby.
           
            Benefits-
·         Avoidance of C-sections
·         Reduction of delivery time
·         If the baby is facing the wrong way, use of forceps can maneuver the baby the correct way

            Risks-
·         Possibility of bruising, deformation, nerve damage, skull fractures, and cervical cord injury
·         High risk of having to get an episiotomy
Fetal Monitoring
This one is one I wasn’t that interested in. They kind of made it seem like it was bad. I disagree with this. I see nothing wrong with fetal monitoring. The only thing I want to make sure of is that I have the wireless monitor so that I can be free to walk around and not be restricted by wires. The risks that were presented was that it can slow birth because sometimes nurses or even the father can be preoccupied with watching the monitor instead of giving the mother the attention she needs.

Circumcision
This is another one I didn’t take many notes on. But here are the ones I got.

            Definition-  Surgical removal of the foreskin on the penis

            Benefits-
·  Decreased incidence of urinary tract infections.
·  Lower incidence of sexually-transmitted diseases and may reduce HIV transmission.
·  Lower the risk for cancer of the cervix in sexual partners.
decrease the risk for cancer of the penis
·         Easier to clean and take care of


            Risks-
·         Its said that circumcision can affect breastfeeding, sleep, and even maternal bonding.
·         Studies have also indicated that men who are circumcised have a lower pain threshold and suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms.

I don’t really think that it affects the bonding or makes men have lower pain thresholds but everyone gets to make their own decisions. Sean and I have both decided that we are for circumcision. It is a health issue.

Then Sean and I got to do our presentation.

Induction with Cervadil or Cytotec

Definition-  Artificial start of labor. When labor does not naturally start on its own and vaginal delivery needs to happen soon, labor may be started artificially.

Cytotec is a pill taken by mouth or placed in the vagina (using a smaller dose). It is a medicine currently approved for treating ulcers. Using it for cervical ripening is a widely accepted but unlabeled use.  (also an abortion drug, can cause uterine rupture)
Cervidil Gel can be inserted as a suppository into your vagina. It can also be given as a gel that is gently squirted into the opening of the cervix  

Benefits-
·         Your water has broken, but you're not having contractions.
·         There's an infection in your uterus.
·         Your baby has stopped growing at the expected pace.
·         There's not enough amniotic fluid surrounding the baby.
·         Your placenta has begun to deteriorate.
·         You have a medical condition that may put you or your baby at risk 

Risks-

·         Inducing labor too early may result in a premature birth, which poses risks for the baby including difficulty breathing, yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice), and other problems. Even inductions close to term may cause these problems
·         The medication used to induce labor may provoke too many contractions, which can diminish your baby's oxygen supply and lower your baby's heart rate
·         Increases the risk of infection for both mother and baby
·         By definition, induction promotes delivery before your body is ready for labor which may lead to poor labor progress and the need for a C-section
·         An increased risk of uterine rupture if you've had a prior C-section. Uterine rupture is a rare but serious complication in which the uterus tears open along the scar line from a prior C-section. An emergency C-section is needed to prevent life-threatening complications 

Some women request labor induction for convenience or to avoid causing a sudden disruption at home or work Induction of labor is a medical procedure and like all medical procedures, it should be restricted to medical indications. Convenience based inductions should not be allowed. The benefit is trivial and the risk is large.

See I told you this post was super super long
But for those of you who made it though that whole thing: I hope you found it as informative as Sean and I did. We just soaked all that material up. We learned a lot we had no idea about. In class 8 we will go over more of the unexpected situations like emergency birth or cesarean sections and how we can be prepared for them. We all want a natural birth but we do realize that things happen out of our control sometimes and we need to be prepared to accept medical intervention if it is absolutely needed for the baby or mom’s safety.
So after the presentations we had a yummy snack and mingled. Then we watched a 20 minute video of the stages of pregnancy then class was dismissed. 

With each class I feel more empowered to have the natural birth experience I want. Sean says he feels more confident about his responsibility to coach me through the labor and delivery. We were talking on the way home about our birth plan and the things we expect to happen and how we felt about each topic that was discussed in class. I feel so confident in Sean’s ability to keep me calm, relaxed, and strong through my labor. He is so kind and gentle and knows me perfectly. I know he is going to be there right by my side the whole time kissing my forehead telling me I can do it. That thought is so comforting.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Hospital Tour

Sean and I just got back from a tour of Banner Gateway, where we are going to for Noah's birth. The class is a free one hour class that includes a tour of Triage, Labor & Delivery, Nurseries, and Postpartum. 
Us in front of our hospital

 This is the labor and delivery lobby. Its where all the friends and family will wait until little Noah comes. Looks comfortable right! I love the water fountain outside.

 This is the labor and delivery room. The couch turns into a twin bed so Sean will have a place to sleep. Its a pretty spacious room. We decided we are having my mom, my two sisters Amanda and Andrea and maybe my sister in law Ondalynn in the room during the delivery and then the rest of the family from both sides will come in right after he is born. Then other friends and family can come see him after the immediate family has time with us and Noah.
 This is my favorite part of the hospital! Its a Japanese soaking tub. The water comes from the ceiling so its a water fall affect. Its big enough for me and Sean to fit in. We can use it for an hour up to 4 times during a 24 hour period. I hope I'm not in labor for that long, but I am excited to use it during labor. 
 This is the area for maternity patients to walk around. Its good to walk during labor to speed up the process. 

We feel really prepared seeing the hospital and how everything works there. We also already did our admittance paper work so we don't have to worry about it when I go into labor. It needs to be August already!!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Anxiously Engaged

I'm pretty sure pregnancy has messed with my mind! I am always thinking of what can be cleaned next or what needs to be put away. Thank goodness Sean is an understanding soul and takes pity on me. He just laughs when I have to pause the movie we are watching so I can get up and put the dishes we just used to eat on in the dish washer because the idea of them sitting in the sink was driving me nuts! Or when I'm laying in bed ready to go to sleep but then have to wake up and put my clothes away because just knowing they aren't where they are supposed to be makes it impossible to fall to sleep completely. Or even worse: We just bought some closet organizers for Noah's room and I just have to put them up and put the clothes we just got for him away right a way because they will finally be out of the boxes. Insane? Maybe, but either way my house is clean and it makes me happy. Sean just gets joy out of watching my craziness and even helps out with it. He will make the bed in the morning just because he knows it makes me smile. Was I always like this? I just don't know for sure. Sean says that I have always been super picky about things being clean but that it has been enhanced since the pregnancy. This must be what nesting is when its put into def-con 10. Is that the right number? I'm not sure. Oh well it sounds serious so I'm going with that.


 I am officially 29 weeks yesterday. 11 Weeks, that's 2.75 months to go. The nursery will be done very shortly. Almost everything we need to have it complete is done. Here is a list of things to do still: Get the curtain made and hung up in the window, have tint installed, finish putting away the mountain of clothing we have (we got more free clothes 0-3 years this time from Sean's co-worker), shampoo the carpet. After all that it will be done! So that means by next week :) So when the nursery is done that means he can come out right? No? Yeah I didn't think so but it was a nice thought. Well, kind of. I know he still has a lot of growing to do in the next 11 weeks but I'm just so darn anxious for him to be here in my arms already! Sigh*** I know be patient Deana. Fine I will, a little. Probably not but I will try.

You may be asking yourself , after the nursery is done what will she obsess about then? Don't worry I asked myself that same thing and already have the answer. There are still plenty of things for me be anxiously engaged in. There is a list of things we still need to take care of our little man. We are really hoping we get them from the shower. The thing I am mostly wishing for is the swing and the cam recorder. We also need more diapers, wipes, baby towels, bath soaps, lotion, hygiene kit, all those small things still. What we don't get from the shower I'm sure Sean and I will go out and buy the next day (actually the next two days because the next day will be Sunday) so that I will feel prepared. Then after project Get Ready for Noah is done we have many more projects. Like the Food Storage one, 72 hour kits and the Backyard Beautification Project (Basically I want a slide for when Noah is bigger, garden, patio table and chairs for BBQ's and other prettiness). I just love having things to look forward to :) I know we will be super busy raising Noah as well so there will be no dull moments in the Howell house. Also Sean goes back to school after Noah is born so that just adds to the adventure. I love being busy. This post seems like we are always working and cleaning or something productive. I just noticed it might send the wrong message. Trust me, we have our lazy days and we both appreciate them very much! I think its very well balanced between hang out time and productiveness. Just last night we went to a party with some friends for a couple hours and it was blissful to just relax and have fun. When the nursery is done I will be posting pictures.

Sean gets off work for the day soon. Brittany will be home soon as well and give me a hair cut! Then Sean and I are going to go register at babies r us, add some items to the Target registry, finish putting Noah's clothes away, pick up the carpet cleaner from my sisters house, pick up our new dining room table from walmart, and clean the carpet at home. Then for the rest of the evening we will just relax and enjoy each others company. I went to the library today and got us some good books to read as well so that might be part of our night.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Dancing in the Rain

Last night was very eventful! Sean went to the gym when he got off work and I went home to clean. Ondalynn came over a little while after I got home and gave me some jam she bought for us from the cannery. I came out to the living room and was surprised to see that some packages had come. Sean must have grabbed them before he left and put them there. We got the cloth diaper I ordered and a package from Jason and Melissa (Sean's brother and his wife). The package and a couple clothes from their son Alden and a new church outfit. They even put in a pair of skater shoes because they reminded them of Sean. The cloth diaper was very exciting to recieve as well!! I ordered one so I could try it out (using Cortney, as a test baby) and make sure those are the ones Sean and I want to use. I already know I love them but I will wait until after we try it out and then order all the ones we will need. I'll write more about the diaper after I test it. The other package we got was the bluetooth headphones for my ipod. Ondalynn and I hung out and chatted until Sean came home from the gym, then she left to go do some errands.

Then my old boss from Clearco Window Cleaning came and gave us an estimate to get a couple of our windows tinted. Our bedroom, the nursery, and Brittany's room all get very hot during the day and the tint will reduce the heat by 85%. This will be great for our energy bill! So after getting the estimate we ventured on to Target to registar for the baby shower. It was so fun seeing all the cute little boy things. Everyone always talks about how cute the dresses and tutu's are for little girls but I just gush over the little suits and vests for little boys. Sean went crazy scanning all the awesome clothing he just had to have for his little man. While we were at Target we went by the electronic section to registar for a camcorder ( I really really hope someone buys this for us so we can record all the adorable things Noah does). We picked one out and then Sean gazed upon the TV's and couldn't take his eyes off. We have a tv right now at the house but it belongs to our friend Kirby and he is going to be taking it back very soon. So needless to say Sean is adorable and I couldn't say no to him. We had money budgeted to get a tv anyway but I just wasn't planning on getting it for a couple more weeks. So now I have a very very happy husband! haha The simple things that make him smile.

Then we went home and just hung out. At about 8pm we decided we would going to go to DI and get some dresses for me to wear now that it's getting pretty hot out and pants just aren't ideal for a prego woman in the summer. Sean for some reason handed me the keys and I set them down to pick up my purse. As we walked out the door I locked the handle and then Sean asked me to give him the keys.... Oops! They were in the house and we were out. Andrea had taken my car to work that day so I didn't have my keys. Now we were locked out of the house and didn't have the truck key so no way of going any where. To add to the situation it was also raining! So what did we decide to do? Sean led me under the carport and we slow danced to the sound of rain. Then Sean started singing to me the song we danced to at our wedding. (well the first song since we danced to a mix of a bunch of songs.) For the next 15 minutes we sang to each other and danced. It was quite romantical :) Finally Brittany came home and we were let back in the house! It was a lovely night filled with surprises.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bradley Class #2 and Baby Update

Bradley Class
I love this class! I feel so informed and prepared already and we still have 10 classes left! To start the class out we each got to tell our "Finding out Story". It was fun telling how Sean and I found out we are pregnant and the class really got a kick out of it. If you don't know how we found out the story is in a very earlier post in November of last year. Then after story time we did our weekly relaxation review. Each coach/husband picked a relaxation technique in the class last week and then each week one of the coaches walks us couples through the technique. One technique may work for some while it would not be helpful to others, so it is important that we learn a couple different ones to chose from.This weeks technique was Progressive Relaxation. This technique is to be used during contractions or between contractions in hard labor to achieve deep relaxation. Pretty much the technique is to imagine a relaxing scenario and you integrate in the story systematically tensing and releasing of your muscles, in order to create whole body relaxation.

We then played the "newly prego game". Which is the same as "They Newlywed Game" only about pregnancy. Each coach got a white board and we prego women were asked questions about our favorite food in each category of a well balanced diet. Sean and I tied in the win. He knows me so well :) We also went over Nutrition in class today as well as Breastfeeding. Nutrition in pregnancy is very important. Its not just all about how much weight you do or do not gain. What you take into your body can help or harm you and the baby. I think all women should have a class on nutrition while they are pregnant. The breastfeeding section we just went over a little bit as there will be a whole class devoted to just breastfeeding in the next couple weeks. I'll post more about breastfeeding after class #7 (we will go over more in that class) Also Sean and I are going to take a breastfeeding class next month. He is going because we want him to be a part of everything to do with Noah. Other dads will be in the class as well, they will learn how to be a part of the bonding experience of breastfeeding. In class on Tuesday we went over some of the benefits of breastfeeding. Here are a couple:
  • The bonding
  • Perfect nutrition for the baby
  • The cost savings
  • breast milk has disease-fighting antibodies that can help protect infants from several types of illnesses
  • mothers who breastfeed have a lower risk of some health problems, including breast cancer and type 2 diabetes
  • Enhances Intelligence and Development
  • Promotes Postpartum Weight Loss for the Mom

There are a ton more benefits as well (I'm sure more than I know) so I'll post more later. Why would anyone not choose breastfeeding over formula? (I do realize some women can't breastfeed due to medical problems, in which case formula is perfect for those women) We are doing our presentation next week about being induced. I did a bunch of research on the topic and Sean and I will be putting together the presentation this weekend. I'll let you all know how it goes.

Baby Update
We had our 28th week appointment on Tuesday as well. I had to get my glucose test to see if I have gestational diabetes. I had to drink this nasty bottle full of sugary drink. They lie and tell you it tastes like fruit punch but really it is just grossness disgusted as fruit punch. They also tell you it is like kookaid but really its like a love child of koolaid and soda. It fizzes and I don't like fizz. So I had to drink this stuff in less than five minutes and then wait an hour and have my blood tested. I also had my regular prenatal appointment while I waited for the blood test. Dr Hazzelrigg said that I am doing wonderfully. I felt so accomplished after that appointment! He said that I am doing great with the weight gain, vitamins and everything and that whatever I'm doing keep it up. Noah has a strong heartbeat still and he is doing great. He was kicking pretty hard when Dr Hazzelrigg did the doppler thing to hear his heart. He is such a stinker :) I can't wait for him to come. 11 1/2 weeks until we get our baby boy!!! Now that I'm in the 3rd trimester the appointments are every two weeks. We are going to call the hospital this week and schedule a time to have a tour. It says in my book that he can see light that filters into the womb. Sean and I are going to experiment with this and put a flashlight to my belly and see if he moves to it.  

Monday, May 16, 2011

Missionary Experience

I already posted this but then Blogger messed up and deleted it when it was having difficulties and was down for that whole day. Lame! But any way here it is again for the second time.

Back in April the missionaries in our Ward called and asked Sean and I if we could take a couple that is investigating the church to the Easter Pageant. We of course were happy to oblige. It was  great to go to the pageant and get to sit up at the very front. They have the first rows roped off for investigators and the missionaries. Also we both enjoyed meeting Russell & Angela. We hit it off with them right away. Then three weeks ago we were called again by the missionaries and asked if we would be interested in sitting in for one of their discussions.

For those of you who don't know what a "discussion" or "investigator"  are
When someone is interested in learning more about the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we call them an investigator. The discussions are lessons taught by the missionaries to teach investigators about the Gospel. I was telling my roommate Brittany about going with the missionaries and some investigators to the Easter Pageant and she thought I was talking about private investigators. Like the police kind. It was a funny misunderstanding.

Any way, back to the story at hand, Sean and I have really enjoyed the time we have been able to spend with Russell and Angela. We went to their apartment earlier this week and got to sit in on the discussion the Elders were teaching. We both even got to bare our testimony's about how the Gospel has affected our lives and our marriage. My testimony has been strengthened by knowing this couple and seeing them as they learn of our Savior and His love for us. On Wednesday last week, we had the privilege of taking them to the visitors center at the Mesa Temple to meet with the missionaries and watch the Joseph Smith video. I've seen it many many times, yes its that good. The movie depicts the life and works of the Prophet Joseph Smith as he brought forth the restoration of the Gospel through the guidance of our Heavenly Father. If you haven't had the opportunity to see this movie you must take the time and go. Even if you have seen it before you should go again. They changed the it up a lot. It has a lot of the same scenes but also they added a new ending. Instead of ending with the death of Joesph Smith it goes on to explain that Brigham Young became the next Prophet and that The Mormons pioneered west to the Rocky Mountains. It is amazing!  I love seeing how a young boy less educated than I am could be chosen by God to help him bring the true Gospel back to the earth. It just shows that no man is more favored in the sight of God. He makes great things out of the ordinary if we just give ourselves unto Him we can be made great!

After the video Angela said she really enjoyed it and it answered a lot of the questions she had had. I'm so happy that Sean and I have the privledge to be a part of this with them. I don't know if they will be getting baptized or not but I know that learning about the Gospel has blessed their lives.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bradley Class #1

The class started at 7pm so naturally we got there at 6:28pm. I blame it on my mom. She always made us show up places really early so that we would get a good seat. It was okay though because some other couples got there around 7:40pm so until other people started showing up Sean and I just sat in the car and talked.

The class is held in an elegant building. I forgot to take a picture so I'll remember to take one next week. Its styled like a old home with a beautiful porch and two floors. The inside has high ceilings and there are a bunch of different rooms. Its also used as a midwife birthing home so there is a room for labor and delivery. We walked into the room where the class is going to take place every week and we were immediately impressed. Its all wood floors and there were stacks and stacks of pillows, pads, yoga mats and blankets for us to use for our comfort. The class is going to be held every Tuesday 7pm to 9:30pm for 12 weeks.

Introductions Please!
Our instructor's name is Rachel Davis. She is a lovely lady in her 30's I'm guessing. Her husband will be joining in the future classes when he can make it. The class consisted of 6 other couples beside Sean and I, all married. Most of them this is their first child, two couples were on their 4th and 2nd child. Of course, as usual, I was the youngest in the class. It seems to always be that way with me. All are normal birth with the exception of one lady who is on her 4th pregnancy (hers is high risk due to a disease she has).

Her story: 
To begin the class Rachel went over how she came to be a Bradley Instructor. She told us of her birth story with her first child. She said that she thought it was just normal to have a birth with no drugs and minimal medical intervention. She said she very soon discovered that, that isn't the case. She had to switch OB's 3 times because they had pushed other birth options on her. She finally found one that was compatible with hers and her husbands personalities and with their birth plan. Its a long story and I'll spare relaying the whole thing to you but here is the readers digest. The day comes, her water breaks (which isn't common, most births the water is not the first sign of going into labor, Only in movies) She planned to stay home and labor as long as she could but something happened where the baby had already had a bowel movement inside of her so she went to the hospital. (The baby having a BM isn't really a real danger but as a first time mother she was concerned and wanted some reassurance that everything was ok, which it turned out was the case) She was in labor for 32 hours, which she describes as hard work but she was not feeling much pain. The doctor on call (her Dr couldn't be there right away) and some nurses were quite rude and kept pressuring her to have drugs. It came to a point where she wasn't dilated yet and the nurse comes in and says if she doesn't dilated within 15 minutes she will have to have a C-section. Rachel then asks if there is any danger to her or the baby. The nurse says no but its protocol to have the mother have a C-section if there is no progress within 24 hours of the water breaking. Rachel was not ok with just following protocol if there was no danger to her or the baby. She declined the C-section. This angered the nurse and she stormed off saying "I thought you cared about your baby"       That is just plain rude!

So after the nurse left she continued with her natural ways of inducing labor (walking, squats, lunges) And she finally was able to start pushing. She gave birth to a handsome baby boy, natural and with no unneeded medical interference. I really hope that I get nurses that understand that I'm the one in charge of my birth. Yes if there is medical need for me to have drugs or get a C-section then of course I will do whats best for my baby. I will not, however, do what is best for the nurses or doctor so I can have speedy delivery to better accommodate them. I also will not just follow protocol. Each birth is different and should not have to fit in this little box that the hospital decides is ideal. If I have to be in labor for 32 hours until my baby decides to come then fine, that's what I will do. That's just that! The OB that Sean and I chose is all for the natural birth. He was also the one who delivered my sister's baby 2 years ago. He is perfectly compatible with our birth plan and for that I am grateful.

Rachel said that other than the times where there was pressure from outsiders to do what they felt was best (not having in mind what she wanted) She had a pleasant birth. She used what she learned from her Bradley course and was in minimal pain. She said "it wasn't painless but it was by no means painful". She was comforted and couched by her husband who sat with her the whole time whispering in her ear. She got to do the positions she learned to reduce pain and manage the contractions. She then decided after that experience that she wanted to help others have a birth like hers (only hopefully without the interruptions from rude nurses and doctors). She is now pregnant with her second child and due in late July. We will take 2 weeks off from classes and then resume after she has some time off.

After hearing that inspiring story we had a break for snacks they provided us with and got to mingle with each other. They couples in the class are all so different and I'm excited to get to know each of them more and learn with them. After the break we went over the syllabus and had some assignments for the next class and the following one to come as well. We were given workbooks that had reading and instructions for each class and all sorts of other important information to have. Then we learned a 5 techniques to relax during contractions and labor. I love the positions! I used one to sleep last night and it was great! I loved having Sean with me the whole time learning right beside me and guiding me through the relaxation. Hearing his loving voice whisper to me was so soothing. He is going to be so great come Noah's birth-day! Only 90 days left til his due date.

P.S. Have any of you heard of a twilight birth? Yeah its a creepy as it sounds. It was a common birth method back in the day. Pretty much the men would drop off their wives at the hospital and go play a couple rounds of golf or play cards. Then the wife would call when she was ready to be picked up again. The fathers had  nothing to do with the births! This is just crazy! I love that it's not like that anymore. Also the creepy part is how the mother gave birth. She barely had anything to do with it either. She was given this drug that made her pass out and lose all control of her body. She would have shakes and things so the doctors would strap them to the bed and use forceps to pull the baby out! This is just gut wrenching to think about. And that my friends is why forceps were invented. Needless to say I shall not be having any sort of foreign object pull my child out of me. The only thing going near me is the doctors hands.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Bradley Method Birthing Classes

              What is the Bradley Method?
“The Bradley Method® teaches natural childbirth and views birth as a natural process. It is our belief that most women with proper education, preparation, and the help of a loving and supportive coach can be taught to give birth naturally. The Bradley Method® is a system of natural labor techniques in which a woman and her coach play an active part. It is a simple method of increasing self-awareness, teaching a woman how to deal with the stress of labor by tuning in to her own body. The Bradley Method® encourages mothers to trust their bodies using natural breathing, relaxation, nutrition, exercise, and education.”

Doesn't that just sound magnificent!?
I don’t like the idea of making something so natural un-natural by adding un-needed drugs into the mix. Yes this means NO EPIDURAL! Go ahead get your negative comments out if you must. I have had people tell me I can’t do it and that I’m going to be screaming for the drugs when it gets hard, and that the drugs are there to help so I might as well use them. Well, quite frankly I completely disagree with all those statements. I know my ability, I know I can do it, my body was made for this. If I have a headache do I go take a Tylenol every time right when it hurts? No, because I don’t always need medical intervention. That’s how I look at birth. Yes I do realize it will hurt more than a headache, haha. But same concept applies regardless of the pain level. They say the worst comes right before it’s over anyway. I am so excited for my natural birth. I will be there completely mentally and physically and I will be able to be in control of my body instead of just having someone else tell me when to push and when not to. Plus I know it will be healthier for me and my baby.
See, Women have been giving birth for 1000's of years Naturally!
 Another thing I loved about the Bradley Method was that it was not just about educating me as the mother, its about making the Husband prepared and ready to couch me through the labor. The Bradley Method is also often called the Husband Couched Childbirth. I love that. We got into this together and we are going to work in the end together to bring our little baby into this world as well. The husbands need special training too! In the classes they teach the coach, husband, how to help the mother during pregnancy and to be aware of things that helps her be as healthy and low risk as possible. He will learn what to expect in the course of natural birth, how to avoid unnecessary pain in labor, how to support the mother. This way Sean will be a valuable part of the birth experience.

                               What does The Bradley Method Teach?
  1. Natural childbirth - Nearly 90% of Bradley Method moms having vaginal births do so without pain medication.
  2. Active participation by the husband as coach.
  3. Excellent nutrition (the foundation of a healthy pregnancy and baby).
  4. Avoidance of drugs during pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding, unless absolutely necessary. No drug has been proven safe for an unborn baby.
  5. Training: "Early Bird" classes followed by weekly classes starting in the 5th month and continuing until the birth.
  6. Relaxation and NATURAL breathing - can be effective pain management techniques with training according to the National Institutes of Health.
  7. "Tuning-in" to your own body and trusting the natural process.
  8. Immediate and continuous contact with your new baby.
  9. Breastfeeding, beginning at birth provides immunities and nutrition.
  10. Consumerism and positive communications.
  11. Parents taking responsibility for the safety of the birth place, procedures, attendants, and emergency back-up.
  12. Parents being prepared for unexpected situations such as emergency childbirth and cesarean section.
Sean and I are so excited to start our first of 12 classes tomorrow!! It will be great to meet other couples and learn together. I know we will be prepared and ready for when the big day comes. Yay! I just hope the work day goes by fast because I know I will be anxious for it all day. Of course I will let you all know how the first day goes.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Sean's Mothers Day Date for Me :)

Sean is the best husband ever. No arguments we already voted and it has been decided. If you don't like it you can bring it up with the council. You will lose though because I'm the council. The evening began with going to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, Red Robin! It was delicious.

Next we went to the movies and saw "Something Borrowed". We decided it was an ok movie. It had a good story line in the sense that we weren't sure what was going to happen next. It also had that actor guy from "The Office" I can't remember his name but he played Jim. He pretty much made the movie, because he brought the comic relief. The problem with the movie Sean said is from his words "They took something that was true but then tagged on a bunch of false things to it make them seem ok" The main couple both cheat on each other and they make it seem like its not a bad thing because they were in love with the people they cheated with. So after the questionable movie we went to home depot to get some home magazines for the next part of our date. We also stopped by walmart and got some delicious ben & jerry's ice cream. We got home and started our craft part of the date. Sean pays attention when I talk because he planned this date all by himself and he picked this as our activity. We cut out pictures from the magazines and pieced together our dream home. I had never done this before but if you read my previous post about dating it was on the list. I wanted to do it since I wrote that list 3 years ago. Let me tell you, it was just as fun as I had imagined it would be. Sean is a great date :) He made me laugh the whole night. Here is our project:
The materials

The outcome
Also as a gift Sean gave me a pretty plant. He knows I don't like flowers because they just die in a week or two maybe if you're lucky.

Mothers Day Eve

On this day, the eve of mothers day, my lovely parents came over and surprised me with a gift. They had to bring Andrea some paper work for her to sell her broken car and since they were here they dropped off my present.
Beautiful Pink Rose and a Card
Inside the card they wrote a touching note. I may have teared up a bit... Ok I cried. It was just so sweet and unexpected that they gave me a mothers day card.

3rd Trimester

Guess who is in the 3rd Trimester?! Yep Me! Only 3 more months until Mr. Noah makes his grand entrance into this world! We are so thrilled. The house is almost baby proof and we have most of the stuff ready for him. We just need some of the simple things that we will hopefully get from the baby shower. Also I have gone on a clean freak streak. I was on my hands and knees scrubbing the kitchen floor just this morning. Sean is great at keeping the house clean and not letting dishes be in the sink. I am very grateful for a hard working husband that helps out in everything. He still talks to Noah every night which we can tell Noah loves. He moves around so much now. This is what I have read about Noah's development for this week. "This week, your baby weighs almost 2 pounds (like a head of cauliflower) and is about 14 1/2 inches long with his legs extended. (My uterus is about 10 1/2 inches, tight squeeze in there) With more brain tissue developing, your baby's brain is very active now. He's sleeping and waking at regular intervals, opening and closing his eyes." This is the fun part. Before this week his eyelids were fused and they remain that way until about 27 to 28 weeks of pregnancy. His retina are now developed fully and he can see. Next week we start our birth class. Sean and I are both really looking forward to that!
27 Weeks!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Impromptu Date Night

The plans we had originally had for tonight were cancelled last minute so we just decided on the whim what to do with our evening. We were supposed to go to the Temple to see the Joseph Smith video with the missionaries and some investigators but their baby got sick today so we rescheduled for next week. We had already driven over to their apartment so we decided to just go walk around the Temple anyway. We were driving on Main Street and came to a road block. Turns out part of the street was closed off for the "Motorcycles on Main- Bike Night". Bikers came and parked their bikes along both sides of the street to show them off. There was live bands and vendors too. Sean and I walked up and down looking at the bikes eating the yummy shaved ice we bought. Here are some pictures.
Bikes Galore!!!



Us with our shaved ice

This one was my favorite. Yellow, Small & Cute

This was Sean's Favorite. His reason: It looks cool.

A family bike. Room for Dad, Mom and baby in a car seat on the side, haha
 After we saw all there was to see at bike night we made our way to the Temple. We walked around a bit and then went into the visitors center because I really had to pee. haha. That's the life of a preggie woman. That's what Sean calls me. There was an exhibit of canvas painting depicting Book of Mormon stories. We really enjoyed reading the captions on the side and the art was well done. We got some great pictures of the Temple tonight as well. We sat on the bench outside the entrance to the Temple and read some scripture. Then we talked about our wedding day and the things we remembered from the Sealing. It was lovely sitting there looking back at our past as well as looking forward to the future. Both are bound together through the Temple :) I love date night.
Props to me for taking this picture. I love how the Temple glows and the reflection pool is amazing. 



Now we are just hanging out at home with the roomies, Andrea and Brittany. They are awesome girls.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Money is like a carpenter's saw

"Money is like a carpenter’s saw. It can build you the most beautiful financial castle or it can cut you up in a thousand financial pieces. You must learn to use it wisely in order to benefit from it." -Steve Albrecht



This is a great analogy for money. I have a love/hate relationship with money. Or rather instead of love I'd say its more of an appreciation for.  I appreciate it because I see the good it can bring ie. food, clothing, a house, church buildings, entertainment. Also I have seen the bad it can bring, ie, selfishness, wickedness, pride, fear. So how do we keep on the good side of money? The answer is right above, use it wisely.  If a man or woman doesn't know how to manage money properly they can destroy their family. Sounds pretty serious, I know. But it's true. Many divorces can be attributed to fights over money. Poor money management can cause fear, anxiety, hurt feelings and low self esteem in any individual. So how do we avoid the pitfalls of bad money management? Simply follow the counsel given to us by church leaders, business practices, and many personal experiences of others. I have done some research and complied a list of advice given by others. You can take this advice to heart because its not mine. Trust me I wouldn't listen to a 23 year old who has never had more than $2000 saved up at a time either. haha. But someday I hope to be more financially savvy and stable and I have hope that will happen because I am going to follow the advice I am now relaying to you.

1. Pay an honest tithe- This is a commandment that if we obey, we are promised that we will “prosper in the land.” This prosperity might not always or ever be in the money department but we will receive blessings from it. I personally know this to be true. I have never by any means been rich but I have always been able to provide for my needs. Also learning to diligently pay our tithing will teach us to sacrifice, be better planners and make us accountable for our money. 

2. Live on less than you earn- This speaks for itself. If you spend more than you make you end up with negative money. 

3. Learn to distinguish between needs and wants- This is a hard one because it has to do with… dun dun dun.. Self-discipline. Ok maybe you all might not have a hard time with this one but I admit it is one of my weaknesses. Sean is great with this. He could be a hermit if he needed to. This is mostly due to the fact that he doesn’t have very many wants. He is pretty content with his needs being met, mainly food, clothing (that he doesn’t even care too much about), shelter and itunes. Ok itunes isn’t a need but it is the one want that he consistently asks for haha. I however have a gray area when it comes between need and want. Realistically I know the difference but I do a lot of justification so that my wants seem more like needs so I feel ok about buying it. This is something I am currently working on. It becomes easy to think that you must have every convenience available. 

4. Develop and live with in a budget- There are three types of budgets everyone should have in place: Monthly, Yearly, Long- Term. The long term is for major purchases like buying a home, car, education etc. The short term monthly and yearly budgets are for everyday spending. Make sure that within your budget you are setting aside money for emergency funds (in case you are ever out of work), and regular savings.

5. Stay away from dept- Self-explanatory. Un needed dept only cause headaches and trouble. It has been said by many wise men that for things like education, modest home and a modest car dept is ok.

6. Teach Family Members the Importance of Work and Managing Money- Children are rarely educated on money management. Children need to understand the financial pressures on a family. They need to know why they can’t have everything they want. They should also be taught the importance of saving money and where it comes from. I remember as a young child believe money just came from the bank and you could go get it whenever you wanted. My dad squashed that belief early on though and I am happy about that knowledge he gave me. I saw that he was a hard worker and that is where the money came from. Also I saw the work my mom did to ensure that we saved for the things we needed. 

 So there you have it. Lessons on money management complied together by Deana Howell. I don't take credit for thinking of these tips only looking them up and putting them together. Sean and I both came from modest upbringings. That's the polite, politically correct way of saying, poor. We both saw the work it took for our parents to provide us with what we had. I think for me I am just now realizing how much work it really was. Being the second youngest I thought for many years that I just got what I wanted because my wants weren't asking much. Looking back now I do realize that the reason I got what I wanted was because my parents sacrificed greatly so that I could have those things. I never had a cell phone or went on expensive trips or had expensive clothing but I did have many things most people in other parts of the world only dream of. Sean and I were both blessed with good parents that couldn't give us everything in the world materially but they did give us greater things. They taught us through their words and actions that though money is desirable there are things more important.