Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I'm really hoping some of my 49 followers will speak up so that I don't have to make this decision for myself. I am really dying to write some very birth-y political posts but I'm not really sure here is the right place for them. It does go along with everything I hope for, but this really has turned into more of an infertility blog over the years and I would hate to alienate anyone. I feel like infertility caused me to take a much closer look at how delicately our bodies work and how our current maternity care system doesn't seem to take that into account anymore. It's definitely helped me to be much more knowledgeable about the kind of care I'd like to have during pregnancy, the kind of birth I would like to have, and what I can do to make things better for other women.

I know a lot of my doula work and love has spilled over here anyway, but I'm just wondering how much you'll put up with?

I originally planned on posting a bunch to my doula site, but then I'm possibly running off clients and that's just no bueno either.

Please help me decide where to go with my opinions! Should I just make a new blog, add to that facet of my life on this blog, or stick it in the doula biz blog?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I am such a nerd. Right now, I am just so ready to be done with summer. It's so hot and I'm super pumped for my next semester of school. I got a course outline from a previous student and even though I don't have all the books yet, I'm already reading up on the stuff in the individual units. I am ready for births and being pushed to my limits again. I finally got a site up and running just for my doula business and it's just so exciting to feel like I'm really moving in the right direction.

I am also ready for how much easier life is financially during the school year. It's no secret that we use loans to help cushion us since I have such little time to work. I'm so ready for that cushion right now.  My ninja.toddler leaves Thursday to go out of town for a month which will leave us even more tightly budgeted than usual. I will be working a lot more shifts waiting tables, but I'm not sure that's as much for the money as it will be to just get out of the house.

It's been miserable hot outside and I am really missing hiking. I need a nice long hike, a nap in the hammock, and some mindful clearing of the bushes in my mind.

Made an appointment for next Tuesday with a new OBGYN office. It's not that I had a problem with the last place, I just feel like this office is more equipped to handle more invasive, aggressive therapies. Right now I just have to get this pain checked out so I'm glad they could get me in so quickly.


I'm feeling so scatter brained today so I apologize for the scrambled post; expect something more coherent next week (I hope.)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Welcome those coming from ICLW! I took last month off but totally missed all the new blogs and new visitors. It seems all the more important to find new women to connect with as every one I feel the most bonded with moves on too mommyblogdom. With any luck, once my vacation starts next week, my blog will be getting a nice re-vamp with added pages so that I can just link to our story without giving an introduction every single month. But for now, I'm Rochelle. I'm a 24 year old nursing student, professionally trained doula, aspiring midwife, maternity-care system changer, and most importantly mother. My husband, Matt, and I have been married for a little over 4 years and have been trying to expand our family that entire time. Since we got married so young, we never thought we would have a problem conceiving and it really added a lot of stress to that first year of marriage and has continued to be the main source of sadness in our lives. 3 years ago I finally got pregnant but miscarried and my womb has been void of life ever since despite an onslaught of herbs, uncomfortable ultrasounds, and a few months of Clomid. I have another $90 to pay off from those Clomid cycles before we decide where we go next, which looks like it will be a laproscopy. We are in a not preventing sort of place right now, where it's always there in the back of my mind but I'm not temping or using opks or anything like that. And since that's been the case, my blogging has slowed and turned more towards other aspects of my life. I hope you'll stick around and ride the roller coaster with us. I feel like I'm a safe bet as one of those blogs you can add without any worry they'll get pregnant before you.

Infertility and miscarriage has very obviously impacted every facet of my life but it's so much more obvious when it comes to my dreams (and I don't mean the crazy ones I have while I sleep.) Ever since I witnessed how amazing women are, especially while giving birth, I've felt drawn to pregnant women. I feel drawn to serve them, in every single way that I can, be it prenatally through some education, emotional and physical support, or just helping mop the floors for a mom on bedrest, but my favorite part is when I get to be that support during labor. After doing it purely as a volunteer for so long, I finally took a workshop this past weekend that I needed to get started on certification. It took me a long time to finally get back to a place after my miscarriage and following infertility where I was emotionally strong enough to provide that support and it's definitely an ongoing battle on some days, but I couldn't be more thrilled to feel like I'm finally back in the game. The workshop was absolutely incredible and I am so glad that everything came together so smoothly for me to go. I learned so much, especially about breastfeeding support which is definitely what I felt least prepared for. There was a woman there who reinforced the therapeutic communication skills I was supposed to learn in that first semester of nursing school and seemed to have a way of seeing right to the core of a person. The last day of the workshop was so bittersweet because although we had all just met, we felt so bonded. That bond was reinforced during our last exercise together where we all sketched and described our "ideal birth" which led to a very therapeutic purge. I think most of us cried, if not during our own stories, listening to others. It had been so long since I sat down and went through all the details again. I had forgotten how unprepared I was to experience labor when everything I read said it would be like a heavy period, like menstrual cramps. I forgot that mess of emotion, that terror, being too prideful to call my midwife back and ask her to come, pushing every one away, the horrible treatment from the hospital staff, and the large amounts of drugs that followed. I cried so hard at one point, while still trying to hold back, that I lost my voice for a moment. I definitely felt so much lighter afterwards (well, after the random crying during the first hour of my drive home.) I eventually did get to explain what my ideal birth looks like but it was the first time I'd really allowed myself to say aloud that I may never get the chance to give birth. It sounds so hopeless but I really needed to acknowledge publicly that even if I never experience another pregnancy, I will still be doing everything I can to help others with their experience.

I feel a lot more prepared for my OB/Peds class next semester too after the review I got through the workshop. It made me realize just how much I already know. I only have one of the three births I need to complete my certification lined up and it's not until the beginning of October but I'm hoping that a lot more are going to fall into my lap after that. It brings my soul an almost forgotten kind of happiness to be so close to fulfilling this dream. It doesn't hurt that this certification and experience will help me jump straight into the master's bridge program after nursing school. Keep an eye out in the coming weeks as I build a place just for my doula clients to go and learn about me and my services. It will also be a place where I can share the birth stories too. Wow, I have a lot to do during the month the ninja.toddler is gone to Chicago! By the time he gets back, I'll be in my last year of nursing school!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I had a wonderful birthday weekend! We ended up spending a big chunk of Saturday dealing with car issues (that are still not resolved) and then we split ways so he could spend more time with his friend and I could go see one of my besties (and her super cute 7 month old). I had a lovely evening with good food, that sweet baby, and time to catch up with one of my closest friends. On my birthday itself, we allowed ourselves to sleep in and then headed to my mom's house. We made an appearance, which took longer than it was supposed to, as always, but it was good to see her. Then we went and picked up my Nana and headed to my dad's house. Two of my three brothers and their girlfriends came too. My dad grilled hamburgers, hotdogs, and bratwurst and my step-mom, Dawn, made an amazing two level, super crazy moist, chocolate cake with chocolate icing, all from scratch. We spent about 4 hours there (Matt fell asleep after all the yummy food) and it was so great to catch up with my family and not feel like we were being rushed at all. From there we went on and saw an old friend we hadn't seen in a while (she was the only one with us when we eloped). And then I had a drink and some more yummy food with my favorite bestie (who stalks me here compulsively). Matt had to tag along but that ended up being a good thing since it seemed to change whatever his other impressions of her had been. He's just got a thing against people who are too pretty haha.

My hubby got me an awesome gift to top off my great birthday. I absolutely love Kurt Halsey. I've been spending way too much on his art for about 8 years now, even have some of his work tattooed on my wrist. Matt has been exposed to him, through me, for some time now and while he's not a fan, he didn't seem to mind that I have decorated our guest room with his art. Anyway, right now he has a coffee table book of sorts that has a small collection of his work from over the years and Matt saw me drooling over it online a few weeks ago. It didn't arrive in time for him to give it to me on my actual birthday (and because it was late, the wonderful Mr. Halsey gave me a few extras too including a bookmark, two postcards, and to adorable little tags) but he gave it to me last night and I am in love with it. I've kept in on the table since getting it and keep just picking it up and looking through it. He knows me so well and takes such good care of me.

And last, but most definitely not least, my super amazing family all pitched in and helped me pay for the rest of my workshop. It's this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and I am almost bursting at the seems with excitement. I get to talk about pregnancy and birth all weekend long! And I have no doubt that I'll be able to attend far more than 3 births this fall and with any luck, I'll be able to put CD (DONA) at the end of my name in the beginning of 2012. That means I'll have a nice big start of alphabet soup at the end of my name by this time next year when I can add RN to it too!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I am so very ready for our mini-trip home this weekend since Sunday is my 24th birthday! We'll leave tomorrow night when I get off work and get into the bald knob just before midnight. I'm sure we'll end up staying up and visiting with Matt's friends for a little while before calling it a night. Saturday, I plan on spending a lot of time visiting at my in-laws house before heading to a wedding that evening. I'm hoping to fit in some friend time that evening too (and we really haven't figured out where we're staying this night.) On my birthday itself, we're planning on seeing my mom for a little bit that morning and then my dad is having a cook-out for me around lunch. Sunday night we're going to go enjoy some more friend time, this time with different friends, and then reconnect and head home.

It will be a very quick trip and we always end up spending way too much time driving around and trying to fit in every single person we know so I know we'll be exhausted come Monday, but I'm still really looking forward to it. The only part of this little trip I don't look forward to is dealing with our crazy dogs. We usually leave them with one of our parents but haven't made any arrangements at all this time. I really wish we could just afford a pet-sitter to come check on them here at our house so I didn't have to worry about it, but not right now as we continue to scrape together the funds to send me to this workshop NEXT WEEKEND!

I am very super excited about that workshop, in case you couldn't tell. A chance to get to talk birth for 3 days in a row!

And now for much less exciting housework.

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