Thursday, January 28, 2010


No, this post is not about Hemorrhoids... the H stands for the Housecleaning of a pregnant women which is also commonly referred to as "nesting". That is my new full time gig these days. I am at home preparing to have a baby. Yet this extends far behind the setting up of a nursery. To prepare to have a natural childbirth (no medication or medical intervention) a housecleaning of the mind is also required. The Hypnobirthing class that I longed to take is just not going to work out... but it's ok, I figure women have been having babies for thousands of years without pain medication and the human race has still managed to thrive. Somewhere within me is the power and ability to have a baby I just have to find it. I have been trying to prepare my entire pregnancy but we have entered the home stretch... the third trimester and serious focus and training are critical. So here is a little about my training regiment which I have delightfully named preparation-H

The journey to becoming a parent is fun and exciting but it also leaves me asking a lot of questions. I truly believe what other mothers have told me, that I will look into those big baby eyes... fall madly in love and experience greater joys than I have ever known. Somewhere in the midst of it all the mother inside of me will emerge and instinct will kick in. It's the journey there that at times seems a little challenging and confusing. I mean this human growing inside of me needs to come out at some point, a thought I have at least once a day.

I also, like millions of women who have gone before me wonder about labor and delivery. I have opted to prepare for "Natural" childbirth (I put it in quotations because I am not trying to imply that receiving necessary medical intervention is somehow unnatural... because a lot of times it saves lives). My hope is no drugs, and no medical procedures. Just me and my body and my baby.

It can kind of be a lot to take in. I have been reflecting often on my experience of running a marathon as I prepare. Running a marathon is hard work and it takes a lot of preparation. I had to run six days a week, watch my diet to make sure I was getting enough calories and lots of water, and think positively because often it is a strong mind and not necessarily strong legs that get you across the finish line. You see during training 20 miles is usually the farthest you ever go... yet the race is 26.2 miles. I asked a fellow runner once why you don't train the full 26.2. He said, "Because the last 6.2 miles you are running on sheer guts and determination." He was right.

After about 18 miles I wondered if my body could make it... yet my mind was strong. I had spent hours upon hours in practice runs visualizing myself finishing, thinking about the thrill of crossing the line and seeing my family there who had supported me all along. At the start of the race I asked others who had run marathons before what their advice for me was... and a common answer was in essence to "Enjoy the journey."

So when it hurt I would reflect on what an amazing experience it was... I would think about the beautiful surrounding of Duluth Minnesota and Lake Superior, I would feel overwhelmingly joyful at the water crews filled with happy volunteers dancing and playing music. I would savor each sip of water, run under every sprinkler and water hose, talk to and smile at each person I saw because I knew this was the experience of a lifetime (because you only get one first time).

I am trying to apply my marathon training to my baby preparation. I know it will be hard work... stretching my body to the limit (literally and figuratively). I know I have not experienced anything like it before and especially not the last "6.2 miles". But I am trying to enjoy the journey and keep a positive attitude.


I have finished reading the Hypnobirthing manual... despite my not taking the actual class I am able to apply the things I learned in it on my own. Plus I have an excellent resource to use, my sister in Law Julia used this method and had a great experience...
The author Marie Mongan encourages women to set aside all fear as they approach birth. Fear increases the feelings of pain by tensing important muscles that need to relax. The main focus consequently is relaxation and breathing techniques.
I practice these each day along with positive birth affirmations... which in essence are saying very positive things about how I want my experience to be and thinking about my baby.
I love it, I relax on the couch and listen to the soothing music and voice prompts that put me into deep relaxation.
The CD is called "Rainbow Relaxation"
And guides you through a visualization of walking through a rainbow and absorbing all of the colors. It encourages you to pick one color from the rainbow...
Now this is the point of my explanation where people might brand me a hippie for my love of holistic medicine and the acknowledgement that other things provide calming and healing besides pills and pain meds.
But I am not ashamed for I am not alone.

I have chosen Purple as my pregnancy color. It is the color of confidence, spiritual fulfillment, peace of mind, strength, wisdom and relaxation. It is a combination of red and blue... red being a color of focus and blue is calm and cooling. I figure a good combination of the two will be a needed balance to keep in the midst of birth.
I chose a theme color, if you will, when I ran the marathon too... only I choose the color pink and adorned my self in pink clothes, pink socks, and of course I painted my toe nails pink.

So part of the birth preparation occurred yesterday when I began sporting my new purple toe nails (sorry to people who hate feet for my posting a picture of me feet on my blog... Sarah Ware just close your eyes and scroll down). And trust me... this was quite an event. Painting your toe nails as a very pregnancy women is definitely not the easiest thing I have ever done. Trying to touch my toes at times seems impossible...

because I have to reach around or over THIS. (Note that I went from having the deepest cavern of a belly button to an outie!)
As small of a thing as painting my toenails may seem I know that during birth in my exposed state I will be able to see my toe nails and remember what they stand for.

I have also started reading this book written by Pam England who runs a birthing center in New Mexico (Yea for New Mexico!). It is incredible and I will be telling you more about it as I get deeper into it.
I have started a Birthing From Within journal where I answer questions she poses... write down my fears and worries, draw pictures and share stories and experiences.
It has been really helpful in allowing me to dig deep into my concerns and addressing them.
Plus there are fun activities which help me to anticipate and get excited for the birthing experience.

And what training program would be complete without some actual exercise. This is my daily yoga station. I have created my own preparation-H exercise routine with the help of YOUTUBE I found a few different pregnancy workout videos I like and do them each day. The diced tomato cans are my weights I use during squats and to work my biceps (I am going to need strong arms to carry around my little bundle of joy).

Other than that I am just trying to eat a balanced diet, and not give in to my every craving (although Chuck and I make sure to indulge in a few of my pregnant desires from time to time). I drink lots of water, try to stay active but also get lots of rest.

To all you moms out there...
What helped you most as you prepared for birth?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Color, Space, Warmth, Peace

How LONG has it been!!!! Oh how I have missed you all... and the Internet for that matter. It has taken us a little while to get everything set up in our new home and even longer to post because I spent so much time catching up on everyone Else's blogs first. Sorry to keep you all waiting so long, here is a little bit about what Chuck and I have been up to these last few weeks.
We packed it up. The whole Kit and Caboodle. I wondered how I would do moving being pregnant and all... but Chuck and worked out a nice system, I put most of it in the boxes and using his brute strength he hauled and shipped load after load. Go team Call!
Somewhere in the shuffle of it all, I got a little emotional. And I thought to myself, "WHY am I crying, I don't like this cold, stinky, cramped, moldy apartment!" Yet it had nothing to do with my surroundings, I was just thinking about all of the wonderful memories we had there. It will forever be our little honeymoon home... and for that I love it.
As my mom pointed out, living here first will help us to appreciate other places we will live that much more.
Strangely enough I like moving, because it allows me to re asses my stuff/junk, get rid of things and reorganize. It also helps me find all of my bobby pins... which I will discover in the randomest of corners and crevices.

And clean off the fridge. Which was one of Chuck's only moving requests... "Tacy, in our new place can we only have like one thing on the fridge door?"

(I am still working on scaling back... What can I say I like magnets and pictures. )

So I said good-bye to the kitchen with absolutely no counter space.
The weird ethnic smells in the hallways (Indian + Chinese + American Cooking in a closed hallway with no ventilation = Stanky Stankness).
The Mold that grows in the floorboards.
The little tiny ants that would seem to appear out of thin air.
The cement floor.
The cold air which never got much above 69 degrees F.
The water on the window sills.
The bathroom fan that sounded like a rocket ship was launching.
And the complete and utter lack of closet space, or any space for that matter.
And just like that we were gone, and into our New Home!
We first decided that it needed a little bit of COLOR.
So we decided to paint the dining room Turquoise. And I LOVE it! I have been living in apartments for so long, and have never gotten up the nerve to paint, I always just think it will be such a hassle to paint it back before moving. Yet Chuck and I know we will be here for a couple of years while we start our family, so we felt it was well worth it to make the space our own.

I still have some sweet pictures to hang up. My friend Kristy B gave me a great idea to buy a cookbook and frame the pictures in it.
If you will notice the view into the kitchen you will see my new knight in shinning armor... the dishwasher.
I feel so much more excited to cook, especially knowing that clean up will be a breeze.
This is a stuffed pepper dinner I made the other night with enchilada sauce... Mmmmmm.

I have also been making bread with my new Kitchen Aid that we got at Christmas... what an incredible piece of machinery.

Oh just look at all this SPACE! All the counter top I could ever need, and more cupboards than I have food to fill.

Our new palace is also filled with WARMTH... we can adjust the heat ourselves, and we are never cold.
The bathroom is huge and so is the mirror in it... along with my belly, which I gave you a little 31 week belly side shot bonus in this photo.

We have an extra bedroom, which will one day soon become our baby girl's nook... yet for now it has been designated the massage room. Have I ever told you how thankful I am that my husband went to massage therapy school.

Lots of closet space.

We are still looking for some furniture for our large living room space.
This week we are getting a piano to put in here next to Chuck's guitars... we decided there will be lots of beautiful music in our home.

We are in heaven here. We feel at PEACE in our new place and look forward to spending the next few years here as our family grows.
Thanks for letting me show and tell. Come over and visit us sometime soon!