In a homeschooling house full of 7 kids & 3 guniea pigs....there is never a dull moment! A lot of people show genuine concern for us and want to know how we are doing, as the road we've left behind was not a pleasant one. So, here I am, to tell some of our stories...share some of our days...and open up a part of our world to you! Come join us on our journey so you won't miss the moments that take our breath away!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Pregnancy update

I haven't been one to update on my pregnancy on here...our little one has his own blog and I blog about him there and with as busy as things are here, I just haven't had much time to blog at all.  Things have been VERY hectic just trying to get things settled and ready for the baby and getting things organized for school...oh, it's been quite overwhelming to say the least!

So, here we are nearing 39 weeks in my pregnancy.  I have truly felt amazing (pregnancy wise) with this pregnancy.  I have been "not so blessed" with not having my usual groin pain associated with SPD.  I had a feeling I'd be doomed at the end, since everything was going so well, something "had" to go wrong, cause that is just how my cookies always crumble! 

I went in for my 39 week OB checkup.  The midwife I saw was amazing...and honest! Long story short...they did an ultrasound to confirm suspicion that our little guy was breech and sure enough he was.  He has been quite content hanging out in his normal transverse position, but as he decided to go vertical, he went the wrong way!  Unfortunately, this group will NOT deliver a breech baby vaginally! 

I was given two choices. Choice one an ECV & induction.  Choice two going into labor on my own, but if he is not head down when I go in, i will automatically be given a c-section.

An external version (ECV) to attempt to turn him.  This procedure would result in either an emergency c-section or a successful turn at which point I would then be induced.  I had high hopes of a completely natural birth this time, as I have been induced every time and anyone who has ever been given pitocin, knows it sucks!  What I didn't know is all the reasons why pitocin labors are so much worse than natural labors...but Pitocin does not cross the blood-brain barrier; therefore, endorphins are not released in response to the increasingly strong and painful uterine contractions. Laboring women do not experience the benefits of endorphins as they try to manage their contractions. Additionally, without the help of endorphins, they are likely to require an epidural.  This article explains inductions and the use of pitocin quite well. 

Now, I have labored three times with pitocin with no pain medication and let me tell you, there is NO worse pain.  I have always had proper support of a doula and the pain was managable through her pain management techniques.  I didn't have any options for my last birth and I was able to manage with the skills I had learned...but I am terrified of going into yet another labor with no support (with or without an induction).  My body does not respond well to epidurals, so I don't see an epidural as an option. 

I also have a third option, as I happen to have a friend who is a homebirth midwife who has been so wonderful to answer my million questions and she is willing to help us with our birth.  I'm no stranger to the safety of hombirthing, as Duckling was a planned homebirth, but due to the circumstances (my husband was arrested near that time and his indictment was scheduled for raping one of my children) that surrounded the time of her birth, it was deemed safer for us to deliver in a hospital where there was proper security for us. It angers me, the number of people who feel that I "HAVE" to have my baby in a hospital because it is safer because that is so far from the truth!!!

I am very much struggling with the decision I am facing...and I am pressured by the time restraints I have to make my decision.  There are two doctors in the group that are able to do an ECV.  In order to get the one who has the best success rate, I have to do it next week.  If I forgo that opportunity, my risk of a c section goes way up because if the baby doesn't turn on his own, then unless I do a homebirth, i am facing a certain c-section.  Also, with my OB group, I will reach a cutoff at 42 weeks, at which time if I have not gone into labor on my own, I will only have the option of an induction or a homebirth.  Considering two of my kids have been induced just shy of 42 weeks, I feel my chances of meeting that cutoff are highly unlikely.  There is a "chance" that the baby will turn, though it is unlikely. While an old OB would confidently and comfortably deliver a breech baby for me (as, i have had two fairly large babies and he once told me he would have no concerns about my ability to deliver a breech baby)...I must admit, I would be nervous about delivering a breech baby past 42 weeks as then i am looking at the possibility of delivering a baby over 9lbs.

I have decided to visit a chiropractor who can perform the Webster Technique in hopes to encourage the baby to turn on his own.  This technique is successful 66-68% of the time, when done 2-3 times a week for a few weeks.  I felt confident before making the appointment, but I must say after speaking directly with the chiropractor who will be doing the procedure and with more thought, I'm just not feeling as reassured by this method this late in the game.  To add to this problem...the baby isn't just staying in his breech position, he moves several times a day.  I'm not convinced that getting him head down is going to keep him head down and I just don't know if this is something I want to gamble.

I have never been more torn about a decision!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Breast is best...Saving $$ on Baby - Tip #2

There is nothing better than doing what's best for your baby...but the deal is a little sweeter when it also saves you $$
I have proudly provided natures best for my children for more than a decade, yep...I have been a breastfeeding mother non-stop for the past 14 years!  Ever since the day I first became a mother!  I never had any intention of nursing my children as long as I have, but my first child easily roped me into child led weaning and well..the rest is history!

I have a wide range of experience with breastfeeding.  I have nursed through 7 pregnancies...I have had single nurslings, I have tandem nursed and I have triandem nursed.  I have had a minimal amount of problems and we have successfully worked through them all.  All of my children have been blessed with the gift of natural child led weaning.  My youngest to wean did so just after his first oldest to wean was around 4 1/2.  I am currently weeks away from delivering baby number 7 and I wonder everyday if his 4 1/2 year old sister will be fully weaned before he is born!  We've put up with a lot of disapproval with our philosophy of natural weaning and we catch the most grief from Falcon.  Most people are not even aware that Duckling is still quite fond of her "Tatas" and most people who catch word of it imagine a half grown child oddly attached to my breast all day.  I've given up on trying to explain myself and my child to others as our society just doesn't understand the concept.  Truth is, Duckling doesn't nurse every day, but yet maybe a few times a week or even less and when she does nurse, she only nurses for a minute or so...most often she comes in my bed for her morning snuggles and drifts back to sleep at the breast and later isn't even aware she already had her morning tata.  She very rarely asks for it outside of the start to her day.  

I didn't even know anything about child led weaning.  I had hoped that my first child, Cardinal, would nurse for a year, that was our goal.  When she was 5 months old, I got pregnant with Hawk.  My OB assured me that it was fine to continue nursing her during my pregnancy and he assumed she would wean on her own before I delivered my second baby.  Nope...she kept right on going and was still nursing when I delivered Hawk.  I tandem nursed both of them until Hawk, age 3 weaned right after I delivered Eagle.  So, I then tandem nursed Cardinal and Eagle until Cardinal weaned at around age 4 1/2.  Eagle continued to nurse through my next pregnancy and after Macaw was born they tandem nursed until Eagle weaned at age 3.  I very quickly got pregnant and Macaw nursed through that pregnancy and then tandem nursed with Emu.  They both were still nursing when I delivered Duckling...and so the world of triandem nursing begun for us.  It was very short lived, as Emu weaned within a few months of Duckling being born and then Macaw and Duckling tandem nursed until Macaw weaned at aroung age 4-4 1/2.  Duckling is so very close to being completely weaned and her new baby brother is due to arrive anytime now. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

How DO we DO IT????!!!

I can't tell you how many people say to me "I don't know how you do it"!
My answer is always..."I just do".
Truth is, I try to be frugal and make anything and everything I can.  If we need something, I search high and low to find it used before I ever think about walking into a retail store and I will search online for a deal before I even do that. 

I went shopping the other day and ran into a really great sale, everything was at least 50% off so I headed to the baby department.  I found some fleece sleeper bags...for $10.  WOW!!!  I don't mean the "wow, what a deal kinda wow"!  I mean the "holy cow I could get this at a resale shop for $3 wow".  As a matter of fact, I came home and found one with a $0.50 price tag from a garage sale.  Not that I have never seen the day when I did pay $20 for those things because not only have I paid that much but at the time I'm sure I picked up more than a few at at a time at that outrageous price but now anything more than $5 is just unfathomable to me!

We are comfortably raising a soon to be family of 9 on an income that is well below poverty level.  We still have nice things and our children don't go without.  I'm always happy to share different ways we are frugal and how we save money...or as others say "how we do it"!

With the upcoming birth of a new baby in our house...right now, I am concentrating on frugal tips and ways to save $ when it comes to baby.  Babies CAN be very expensive...but they don't HAVE to be!!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Saving $$ on Baby...Tip #1

4 1/2 years ago, I became a cloth diaper lover!  At the time, I had a newborn, 1 and 2 year old in diapers.  I had just become a single mom and I was spending about $50-75 a week on diapers and wipes.  It was a huge expense (about $400) but it was the best investment I ever made but it was the last time I spent money on diapers until all of them were potty trained.  I must admit, I didn't make the switch to cloth because I was concerned about the environment, I really needed to do it to cut costs but I became addicted to cloth diapering.

Friends call me crazy, but I have been so excited about building a new cloth diaper stash for our new little man.  At first I was very bummed about giving away my old stash, but I quickly got over that as I became even more addicted to those adorable cloth!  I even got Falcon addicted :)  Our stash is kept in a dresser.  So, what's all the hype and how much did all this cost this time around.

We ordered 10 nb Alva Pocket diapers (fits up to 12lbs), 10 one size Alva Pocket diapers (fits 12lbs to potty trained), 10 extra bamboo/microfiber inserts and a small wet bag for our diaper bag and we spent about $140.

We either got as a gift or used a gift certificate for 16 prefold diapers (like grandma used to use) and 6 Trend Lab pocket diapers. So our cost...

We purchased used...2 xs Bum Genius all in ones, 5 nb Lil' Joey's all in ones, 2 fleece covers and 1 knitted cover and 2 kissaluv fitteds.  We spent about

We also purchased 6 Gerber diaper covers, diaper pins, fleece fabric (which I was going to use as wipes originally and for $6.00 it made 42 wipes) and 10 receiving blankets (pd $3.10 and they made 114 wipes) and misc. spray bottles and containers for our wipe solution.  We spent approx.

So, our out of pocket expense for a lifetime of diapers and wipes...
$230 (about $100 more to = $330 if you count the gifted ones).  The resale of the diapers is very high, so we expect to recoup most of our cost for the diapers, if we are ever willing to let them go.

Here's what our stash looks like...

114 flannel wipes (these were distributed where needed throughout the house)

17 NB diapers

16 prefolds, 2 fitteds, 9 diaper covers and diaper pins/fastners

Flannel wipes and fleece diaper liners

Disposable diaper liners and sposies from our shower

10 Alva one size, 6 Trend Lab pockets and 10 Bamboo/Microfiber inserts

Spare Fleece Liners, burp cloths and onesies

Flannel wipes and spray bottle for diaper solution

We have purchased a few more diapers thru a co-op, but we only spent $20 more.  We have more than enough diapers for our little guy and we can't wait to use them! So...
$330 from birth till he is potty trained...that's one of the ways we "do it"!