Monday, January 30

Horsing Around

DS and I have our old tried and true playgroup about two hours from where we now live (we moved to the “country” about 1 1/2 years ago). We still go there once a month or more to see our old friends and play (okay, we go at least as much for me as for him). We also have a group of homeschoolers we meet with every couple of weeks about 45 minutes from here.

We are also slowly getting to know people right here in our own little town. Today, we went to playgroup only 10 minutes away. The moms are really wonderful, and the kids range in age from 15 months to 5 years old. It turned out to be a really nice day for January (in the 60s at least from the feel of it). My friend lives out on a horse farm. We walked through the horse pasture past the horses and ponies (all gorgeous and winter fuzzy). DS was a bit leery about all the horse poop. “Just walk around,” I said :)

We crossed a little creek on a board and meandered on to a bigger creek. Who knew you could spend 45 minutes to an hour throwing rocks into water or walking through a mega-puddle (or for one of the babies, eating dirt ;)). DS was picking dried hay and using it as play money by breaking it into small pieces. I can’t believe I lost (dropped) $100,000! It’s okay; he gave me $1,000,000 instead! :)

One of the moms almost ran over a little brown bunny in the middle of the field on the way back. It just froze, I suppose. We told the kids not to touch it, but you know how hard that is! The bunny decided that was enough and took off. It was so cute though! Then, again, isn’t that what bunnies are inherently--cute? Although my friend’s two Jack Russell terriers met that definition, too. My ten-month-old puppies definitely knew I’d been “cheating” on them when I got home!

We had a great time: moms talking as moms will, sharing stories; kids playing; moms playing with kids; everyone eating snacks and drinking tea.

Hopefully, it’s the start of a more regular thing. In any case, it was a really nice surprise for this winter day!

Sunday, January 22

The Weight Thing

Just a short note this morning as I have work to catch up on. DS was sick Friday, and now DH is. Nothing like a stomach bug! *blech* I am lucky so far not to have caught it.

Anyway, I was just reading about weight loss/not overeating on my family’s web site. It’s funny, I lost 80 pounds once upon a time. I’ve gained 30 back, but I still feel as if, whenever I want to, I can lose it again. I found a healthy method that works, and I know it’s only a matter of me deciding to really stick to it. I’ve been back on the program for a little while now, and I’m holding steady because I am pushing it to its limits, but I am aware of this, and its better than the gaining I was doing before then. I had only gained about 15, but with the pregnancy and the miscarriage, it’s made it harder for me to care or to want to bother with it.

And yes, for me it is a bother because eating a lot is a part of who I am. Not being overweight/obese is fighting part of my personality in order to be healthier and to let other parts of my personality shine through. When I am thinner (and not even close to model thin), I feel powerful and in control. I feel pretty and sexy. I also am able to do more of those yoga moves I love so much, and they, in turn, give me more power and control. It’s a real rush, one I’m looking forward to feeling again as soon as I am ready. In the meantime, even maintaining keeps me from feeling like I am losing control, which makes a world of difference.

Friday, January 13

Sportsmanship and Weaning

Today, I took DS to a homeschool group game day. It went pretty well, although I think I might have had more fun that he did. He is at that stage where he wants to make all the rules. He hates the fact that he can’t always win and wants to change the rules if it doesn’t look like he’s going to win. It’s frustrating for me, just because you so don’t want to think that your child is going to grow up to be a spoiled little boy that doesn’t realize that what’s important is spending time together and not winning. It’s hard to explain to him that yeah, we all like to win, but it’s okay not to.

I try to comfort myself that it’s just a stage and try to keep reinforcing how I feel about it, but I never know if I’m doing the right thing or giving the right feedback. I guess that’s how parenthood is. You never know until they’re older how they are going to turn out. You just do the best you can.

Like breastfeeding. DS reached a major milestone this month. He weaned on January 1. He set the date after we talked about it in late November. He was not at all traumatized, which told me that he was really finally ready. He also hasn’t been needy or clingy, another good sign.

I still enjoyed nursing him, but I really could take it or leave it, and some other factors made me test out the waters with him to judge if he was ready, and it seemed he was. Immediately after we discussed it, he started going days between nursings. He stopped on the agreed-on date, and we even got some cute pictures of his last nursie. I’m glad I’ll have that to remember.

Now he’s holding me up to the weaning party I promised him (with ice cream cake)! We’re planning a small thing with a few friends. Should be fun!

Tuesday, January 10

Career Change?

I decided yesterday to “go public” with my blog. I don’t know if it will attract anyone to my site, but we’ll see. I’d love to connect with others that share my same interests.

Speaking of interests, I am seriously considering becoming a midwife someday. I get so angered reading and hearing about all of the things that mothers go through that I’d like to do something to help correct the situation. I also care very much about mothers and about babies getting off to the right start in life. I guess you could say I’m pretty passionate about it, just as I am about breastfeeding. I guess that’s why I became a La Leche League (LLL) Leader (

It’s funny how I believe that this wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t gone through each consecutive phase of my life so far.

Eleven years ago, I was a sort-of coach to a friend who gave birth as a single, Medicaid-assisted mom in a local hospital. I was outraged that they had let her go nearly 24 hours without “assisting” her (with Pitocin—bad, J, bad!). I believed that they were treating her unfairly because she was a Medicaid patient. When I look back on it, I feel differently that they let her go on so long and no longer believe in inductions and interventions, but I still feel that she should have been encouraged to move more instead of lying flat on her back throughout the labor (she was told to walk to get her contractions going, but after that, she was basically laying down the whole time!). I have learned so much since then. I have learned a great deal just since DS was born via c-section five years ago.

So, first I have that experience. Second was my own birth experience. I was initially happy with the birth just because my son was born healthy and happy, although I by no means thought that this was how birth “should be.”

When my son was 10 months old, I started attending LLL meetings and met other women who believed that it was good to keep your baby close, to breastfeed, and to pick your baby up when he cried. It changed my life. I took the great step of breastfeeding in public for the first time. Between my birth (shaving, catheter, etc.) and breastfeeding (although I always tried to be as discreet as possible), I lost quite a bit of modesty (my little group of LLL friends has seen quite a lot of nursing breast!). How else could I be considering this career? You can’t really be modest or ashamed of the human body in all its glorious forms if you want to be a midwife.

Next, my training to become a LLL Leader taught me a lot about birth and about what could be done to make birth safer and what could be done to avoid c-sections. Between that and seeing friends go for the homebirth option, I became a homebirth proponent myself, realizing that my chances of a c-section would go up so much just by stepping foot in a hospital at the end of pregnancy.

I still don’t think I would have been ready except for my two final “experiences.” One was reading Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. I bought it for my LLL Group earlier this year and absorbed the whole thing. It made me want to run off to The Farm in Tennessee.

The last step (so far) was my second pregnancy and subsequent miscarriage at 9 weeks. The miscarriage (in which I actually delivered the baby in what could have been considered labor) taught me that, despite the sorrow of the situation, my body was competent and was capable of giving birth. Before that point, I felt somehow inferior to all those women who had birthed babies. I never even really went into labor with DS! My miscarriage gave me confidence in my body, in every woman’s body, and my ability to do what I had been designed to do.

We are capable of so much!

I know this is sooo long, so I’ll wrap it up. I am going to finish my book before making any big decisions or committing to anything, but in the meantime, I may try to get some books, etc., to look into seeing if this is something I really want. We all think of career changes now and then (I’ve thought of scrapbooking consultant, lactation consultant, yoga instructor, etc.), but we’ll see if this idea sticks. That’s usually the best way to find out!

Saturday, January 7

Funny DH!

I showed my husband my blog for the first time tonight. He just sort of scrolled through it to get a look, not a full read, but he did read my profile. Not being proficient in webspeak, he asked me what "DS" meant. I responded, "dear son or darling son, whatever." Then, he read further. "Dumb husband?!!!" he said, translating "DH" with mock affront :) It's no wonder I love this guy!

Miscarriage Poem

My second pregnancy ended in miscarriage back in November (the week of Thanksgiving). I've definitely had lots of emotional ups and downs since that time. In general, I think I'm doing all right and coping well enough.

One helpful thing has been reading about others' experiences, both on the web and in a book I purchased, Micarriage: Women Sharing from the Heart (Allen & Marks, 1993, John Wiley & Sons). I read a poem in there today (p. 105) that really says a lot about how I feel about the whole thing. It was actually written by a dad.

Here it is:

A Poem by Gary Winters to "Little One"

We had wanted you for so very long,
Or so it must have seemed at times.
Now we know we'll have forever,
To keep you in our minds.

On that joyful day when we learned
That you were on your way,
We opened our home and hearts,
And planned for a permanent stay.

We never saw your smile.
We never held your hand.
You never had your birthday.
How can we understand?

To hear you laugh, to dry your tear
To share your life each day
To see the wonder in your eyes
As you find your rightful way.

We're told we should forget you,
"You'll have another some day."
Don't they see the pain we feel,
Is bruised by what they say?

We never saw your smile.
We never held your hand.
You never had your birthday.
Someday we'll understand.

Friday, January 6

Holiday Gatherings

We had a busy holiday season this year. DS saw all three sets of grandparents (hey, divorce can actually extend families!), which was really nice.

I must admit having everyone here made me realize that hosting so many can be just as much work as taking a trip. It was a lot of fun, though. I especially enjoyed sitting down to play games with everyone.

At times, I felt a little sad, as I guess I am still recovering from the miscarriage and probably will be for a while. I can be surrounded by people and suddenly feel very empty and alone. Some people seem to avoid talking about the miscarriage as if it never happened, but I am a talker, and talking almost always helps.

It was really nice to be able to talk with my mom about it. She was really understanding and was able to tell me about some of her experiences and some related things she found out or suspicions she had out about her mom. It was really great just to share and even to listen. That was therapeutic for me by itself. I was sad to see everyone go, as who wants to get back to work and normal life (getting back into the grind is always slow...still working on that now).

The trip up north to visit DH's family was nice, too, although we got thrown off by the engine light coming on in the car (we found out yesterday that it was just—ha ha!—a $200 valve and not the whole engine) and an unrepairable flat while I was out at the store. DS got spoiled rotten by DH's mom and family as usual (lots of clothes and some trains), but he enjoyed it. He's got enought presents and things to keep him going for a while, although I think the thing he's been enjoying the most is an old deck of cards that DH's mom let him have! ;)

Thursday, January 5

Current Writing Projects

Well, I have a few projects at various stages right now.

I have an article to be published in Leaven (the La Leche League Leader publication) within the next couple of months on starting a new LLL Group.

I also wrote an article about my recent miscarriage experience and am currently searching for a venue. I have gotten only positive feedback on the article, but so far, either the magazine has enough many miscarriage articles already or does not feel it’s really the right audience. I submitted to Compleat Mother tonight, so we will see what their response is. If all else fails, I will post it here. :)

My biggest project is my book on nursing to age 3 and beyond. I am outlining and fiddling with titles and still need to read through and finish organizing all of my surveys. Midwifery Today is interested in seeing an article about my experience with extended breastfeeding and the writing of the book.

It seems like I’ve gone from no writing at all to more than my schedule permits. Maybe I’ll even get into fiction again sometime (I’ve got a few ideas rolling around in my head, but my “soapbox issues” always seem more important—a stage of life thing, I suppose.)



Welcome to the first edition of Prolific Motherhood. I’ve been itching to start a blog for a while now, ever since I found out a close friend had a blog. For now, I want to keep it mostly to family and friends, but that may change. It will give me a place to post family updates, homeschooling progress, my writings and rantings, and just general ideas.