Monday, September 28, 2009

Birth Education : "Bringing Forth the Beauty of Birth"

Rakiem and I completed a weekend intense birth education session this weekend and must I say it was nothing like I would have ever expected.

I had the most fulfilled weekend of my life! it was amazing. It wasn't just about birth and what to expect, but more about going deeper within and finding out who you are, and why you chose the paths that you chose, why you chose your spouse, what he/she means to you, how you view him etc. At least this is what I received from it, and so glad that I did.

The first day was sorta like couples counseling in a sense, and a few good things came out that made us view each other in better light, with better understanding. Things that we just never spoke about in the past, just ignored and hoped that we would get through it. It was great I loved it, and because of it, our bond will be forever stronger. This weekend I learned a few thing about my husband, that I never took the time out to question or understand, and for the most part, I think he can say the same. I think we broke down a few barriers that we didn't even know were there.

The second day was all about preparing for the birth, the exercises, the breathing techniques, the birth positions, what to do, what not to do, how to do deep breathing and meditation, swaying the hips and dancing. Techniques that have helped many women manage the contractions, search for the strength within, and bring forth their child. We loved every part of it.

It was worth every penny.
I would do it again and again and again

I think EVERY woman who is planning to have a baby should do a Birth Preparation Course with Karma Cloud. I feel like a whole new person, with much more meaning in my life. I'm more connected within.

Karma Cloud is a certified Expressive Arts Creativity Mentor/Facilitator, Birthing Coach and Art teacher.

Her work focuses on teaching clients to learn from their life experiences through creative self discovery.

Her services include: Birth Support Services, Expressive Arts workshops for children and adults, Personal & Professional Coaching & Consulting, & Creative Rites of Passage Event Planning

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Birthday Cake Anyone ? Groaning Cake

The tradition of the groaning cake, or kimbly at (or following) a birth is an ancient one. Wives' tales say that the scent of a groaning cake being baked in the birth house helps to ease the mother's pain. Some say if a mother breaks the eggs while she's aching, her labour won't last as long. Others say that if a family wants prosperity and fertility, the father must pass pieces of the cake to friends and family the first time the mother and baby are "churched" (or the first time they go to a public gathering) after a birth. Many cultures share similar traditions…a special dish, bread, or drink, spiced with cinnamon, all spice, and/or ginger. At one time there was even a "groaning ale" made to go with it…

I made groaning cake the day of my son's home birth and my neighbour brought me "health bread" the day after the birth. This recipe is a combination of the two. It has apple, molasses, orange juice and spices and can really help to see a woman through a long labour, or give her strength after the birth!

2 ½ Cups Flour
3 eggs
2 tsp. Baking powder
½ Cup oil
1 tsp. Baking soda
½ Cup orange juice
2 tsp. Cinnamon
¼ Cup molasses
½ tsp. Ground cloves
1 1/3 Cups sugar
1 ½ cups apple (grated, no skin)
1 tsp. Almond extract

Sift dry ingredients together. Add apple. Beat eggs. Add oil, orange juice, molasses and sugar. Add to dry ingredients. Mix well. Add almond extract. Bake at 350 F. for 35-40 minutes. Makes two 9 X 5 loaves or about 18 muffins.
Additions: raisins, dates, dried fruits, or nuts.
from The Birth House of Ami McKay

Additions: raisins, dates, dried fruits, or nuts.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Week 37

So my body feels as if I was in a serious fight last night and I lost. My arms are soar, my hips are soar, my eyes are dark and puffy, I'm telling you, this isnt getting pretty.

Getting up in the morning for work becomes a huge task, and most mornings I just really want to pull the sheets over my head when the sun breaks through and pretend that it's a weekday.

I never thought I'd start to feel this way, because my belly bump came on very slowly. I thought that I'd be popping up outta bed and hitting the road like the energizer bunny, but this isn’t the case. After week 35, you can find me in the couch most evening after work, just sleeping off into another world. It's not the most comfy place to rest, but at this point it's too hard to be comfortable anywhere, so the couch is just as good as the bed.

Although I feel this way now, still, I can’t complain. Every part of this pregnancy has been normal up to date, and I must be thankful. So far it’s been a pleasant journey and the best has yet to come. All the discomfort, and the changes that my body has been through, doesn’t even add up to the amount of happiness and joy that we’ll cherish and receive when we welcome our first child into this world.

On to the Questions:

How far along?: 37 weeks on Friday.

Total weight gain: 15lbs

How big is baby?: I don’t know, and when I asked my midwife, she said she doesn’t know either. She doesn’t do sonograms (like my previous MW did) She feels around on my tummy to get an idea of the babies weight and to find the position.

Maternity clothes?: You mean the clothes that I am starting to grow out of now ? Yeah I got tons of those , some of which are so stylish, I plan to alter them into normal wear.

Stretch marks?: That’s a FUNNY question, because up until last week Friday in the women’s bathroom at work, I had no clue about these stretch marks that lived on the underside of my belly. Infect I revealed my tummy to a few co-workers in the bathroom, just to show them the few little ones that popped up along the side, but there was a surprise waiting under there for me. There’s a whole gang of em down under.

Sleep?: I love to sleep, be I cant never seem to achieve a good nights sleep. Its very hard to get comfortable.

Best moment this week?:
Friday, got a very nice surprise from my co-workers. They threw a wonderful baby shower for me, and showered me with a great amount of gifts, good foos, and a srcumptious cake..Yummy!

Saturday, slept the entire day and then went to watch the boxing at a friends house. Its always nice to meet up with every and hang out.

Food cravings?: Passed that stage. Now focusing on my herbal teas, prenatal vitamins, and evening primrose oil..

Labor signs?:
Just that one time, never happened again.

Belly button in or out?: The left half is out the right side is in.

What I'm looking forward to: This week, being my last week at work. I can now rest and await her arrival.


Do we have time for a Babymoon ?

A babymoon is a period of time that parents spend bonding with a recently-born baby.

More recently the term has come to be used to describe a vacation taken by a couple that is expecting a baby in order to allow the couple to enjoy a final trip together before the many sleepless nights that usually accompany a newborn baby. Babymoons usually take place at a resort that offers appropriate services like prenatal massage.

The term babymoon comes from the more traditional term honeymoon, which is a vacation taken by a newlywed couple after their wedding ceremony.
With just approximately 25 days to go, I badly have the urge to GET OUTTA TOWN. Even if it's for a weekend, a friday after work, and returning on sunday. I can really use that right now. I have a never ending To Do List that seems to grow instead of shrink, and at times I feel like getting away just for a bit so that I can regroup, and return with a clear head.

I imagine it to be just like our honeymoon, just to 2 of us, on the island of bermuda, waking up at 12 noon and having breakfast at 2pm. Although the weather wasn't so kind to us, we were well rested and enjoyed every moment together.

From Our honeymoon - Bermuda

From Our honeymoon - Bermuda

From Our honeymoon - Bermuda

From Our honeymoon - Bermuda

From Our honeymoon - Bermuda

From Our honeymoon - Bermuda

From Our honeymoon - Bermuda

From Our honeymoon - Bermuda

From Our honeymoon - Bermuda

A Mini Maternity Shoot

Both Rakiem and I are professional photographers. We spend many of our weekends shooting weddings together as a team. We have a great time together shooting other people, but when its time for either one of us to come before the camera, we can never seem to make the time. Either I'm too lazy or he's too busy.

One weekend, hours before a wedding shoot. I was laying out on the couch, as I usually do, and Rakiem decided to grab the camera and capture a few shots. He took about 3 or 4 shots, adjusting his settings each time, and then simply put the camera back down. That's it, and we're done, photo shoot complete. A few days later, I started to upload images off my flash cards and came across the 4 images Rakiem took of me. And this is the best shot. I love it!
We promise, one weekend, we'll take some time out to shoot our maternity pics.
We have a bit of time, I hope.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Adorn the Belly

With the plans for our maternity photoshoot coming up, I wanted to do something very special besides showing off the belly bump. I've always been a fan of the Eastern Mediterranean culture, and part of that includes temporary body art such as henna tattoos.

Henna is used to adorn a young women's body in celebration of marriage and fertility. Since we are celebration fertility and life, I think it only makes it appropriate to seek out an artist and adorn the skin that protects the life within.

Some mixtures of henna, although natural, can create allergic reactions. So be safe and let your artist know before hand that you are expecting.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Planning Her First Photo Shoot

Ummm...seriously, did you think she wouldn't have a full session photoshoot a few days after her birth ?

Oh yes she will!! Photog-Mom is on it!! I am gearing up for her very first photoshoot, I've got tons of items to buy for my little princess.

I used to browse through Etsy some time ago, in search of unique items to buy for our wedding, which was just a year and 5 months ago. Never really found anything that caught my eye, but tonight......ha...tonight I have found an entire slue of adorable baby items that has me sitting here with credit card in hand, forgetting about my budget plan. Oh Lord!!

Even if you don't have a baby, can you resist ? Can you ?

Bassinet vs. Bassinet/Play yard combo

So we scratched the crib for now. Why ? For a few reasons: mobility & compact ! We really thought about the bassinet idea, I never second guessed myself on that, "Of course we need a bassinet". Before every purchase we make, I tend to ask a few mom friends of mine a some questions before making that final decision. So the questions I asked about the bassinet were:

Was is helpful?
Was it inexpensive?
How long did you use it?
Would you buy it again ?

Thats it, thats all I need to know, and with the results of that questionnaire, most moms would scratch the bassinet and skip directly to a bassinet/playpin combo and then the crib.

Why? Because survey says that most babies grow out of the bassinet stage in a matter of 3 months!! Why would I spend $150 (the average price for a bassinet) for 3 months of convenience ? Just doesn't add up to me.

So the next best thing, which is fairly new on the market: the bassinet/play yard combo.
Which means after she grows out of the bassinet stage, we still have a play yard with a few years of usage for the same price!! YAY!!

$139.99 well spent ? I think so. What do you think ?

Monday, September 14, 2009

36 Weeks! Yay, we're almost there!!

How far along?: 36 weeks baby, where did the time go.

Total weight gain: 14lbs, I guess I will gain the majority of my weight within the next 4 weeks. I like it that way ;)

How big is baby?: You know, I have no clue, my midwife says that she thinks that she'll be a healthy 7lbs at birth. Hmm.. When I went in for my check up on friday, she did say that baby jones is a good size, so I am happy to hear that.

Maternity clothes?: Of course, but so tempted to go out and buy fall clothes. It is getting cold and I feel like all my pre-pregnancy clothes have disappeared.

Stretch marks?:
Yeah, I got still got them, they're not going anywhere.

I get it when I can, thats the rule! On the couch after work, In the car on my lunch breaks, etc

Best moment this week?: i dont have a specific moment. My visits with the midwife are always exciting moments for me and Rakiem.

Food cravings?: Not anymore.

Labor signs?:
Yes !! I experienced a Braxton Hicks contraction. I only had one, but it was amazing to feel that one contraction. I sat there and smiled the entire 10 seconds it lasted.

Belly button in or out?:
Been out for a while now, not completely out, just half of it.

What I'm looking forward to:
my maternity leave. Oh yes, some rest and relaxation.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Summer Showers!

On 8/8/2009 we had our baby shower.Hosted by Lynne, one of my BFF's, the shower was painted with lilic and soft gold all over. It was an outdoor event at Kim's house, a old friend for over 16 years now. Kim was so kind to open up her home to all of my family and friends so that we celebrate & welcome our baby girl into the world.

I was so happy to have my mom, my 2 sister's and Mrs.Jones fly to NY to see us and celebrate with us. We had great food, tons of fun shower games hosted by Dionne (who's now expecting twins) and plenty of wonderful gifts. We are so thankful.

Thank You cards will go out soon, I promise. I'm bad when it comes to sending thank you cards on time.

Dionne reading directions to the name game

another game to see how fast Rakiem can change a diaper

35 Weeks

i will post a pic real soon.
How Far Along? 35 weeks Today !

Weight Gain: 12 lbs

Stretch Marks: Yup...I got them, they're light but I got them!

Movement: She has her crazy moments. At times I wanna look right in there.

Food Cravings: Not really..I have them once in a blue moon, but not often

Belly Button: its out there, way out there.

Linea Nigra: Yup, its there. Someone told me recently that they "hate that line". But I personally think its beautiful. One of many beauty marks of pregnancy.

What I Miss: a drink, like a margarita or something!

What I'm Looking Forward To: the next 5 weeks +/-
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