Thursday, July 22, 2010

Hormones and "Losing it"

So last night I woke up thinking that maybe, just MAYBE, my hormones are getting back to normal. I went through my life and this was about the train of my thoughts: I'm not on antidepressants anymore, that's good.
I'm not on birth control (and don't ever want to go back on the pill!).
I'm not lactating any more (though we're still nursing)...
Yup, I think my hormones are finally getting a chance to get straightened out!
CRAP! I'm pregnant! So much for that theory!!!

It's kind of silly that I was up at 3:30am to go pee (because I'm pregnant and all midnight trips to the bathroom have become routine) and I'm laying there nearly halfway through my pregnancy thinking that I'm finally able to get my hormones back into shape. Isn't being a woman lovely? Especially a woman of childbearing age! I had to have a giggle to myself about my lack of mental capabilities.

So speaking of hormones, mine are still totally out of wack. Not as bad as they were in the first trimester (i.e. I'm not nauseous all morning anymore) but they are still playing a wonderfully annoying role in my life. For example, Caleb is (I don't want to say it for fear of jinxing it!) mostly potty trained. For a long time we just did a bare bum around the house (I have mostly lino so accidents were easy to clean up) so he got used to a certain way of sitting on the potty. Now that he's graduated to underwear and pants/shorts potty time requires a few very distinct steps. The first being my requirement: tuck and hold your knees together. The second is Caleb's: pants and underwear compeltely off. Now this isn't normally a big deal because they usually just fall off when his little legs are dangling off the potty. A few weeks ago though he was wearing sweatpants with the elastic around the ankles. This means his pants did NOT fall off. Apparently this was te biggest deal in the world (at least to him). I, on the other hand, thought he should just suck it up. He kicked and screamed and I finally tore his pants off, threw them at the wall and said (not so kindly and quite loudly), "There, are you happy now?" and walked out of the room....
So apparently my hormones are still playing a role in my parenting! The worst part was that this blow out could have totally been prevented! It was Caleb's naptime (the plan was to pee and nap) so that moved him into the red zone. Since it was Caleb's naptime, that means it was also probably time for me to have a nap as well (red zone for me). Then add in the fact that I knew he wouldn't like having his pants on and I left them on anyway (strike against me) and the fact that sometimes my hormones just get the better of me (another strike against me). So if you count it up, that's one strike agains Caleb, three against me. As mad as I was at him, it wasn't really his fault. He's two for pete's sake. I'm the adult and should have stayed calm. But I didn't. So he peeed (is that how you spell it?) and then I had to apologize to him and show him I loved him. We sat on the couch and he had some milkies and we both had a nice nap. Although I would like to point out that he did mention to me that I shouldn't throw things.

Would you like another example? He was playing with a piece of our windowsill and I told him not too. He pulled his arm back, I told him throwing is not allowed. He threw it anyway. It wacked me right in the nose. I thought for a bit that he broke my nose because all of the sudden I couldn't see straight. Partially due to the blinding pain and partially due to the anger. I yelled at him not to throw things (I try to control my voice level but it's hard sometimes) and picked him up and gently set him in the corner of the couch.... okay, maybe not so gently. And I'm really grateful that he missed getting wacked into the bookshelf as I had him in my arms and turned toward the couch (I didn't see it, I was partially blind remember?). So he's sitting in the couch and I wanted to walk away. I figured though if he could see my emotions (the one of pain) that he might understand that he hurt mommy. So I chose to sit on the (far) opposite end of the couch. I REALLY didn't want to be near him at that point.
I discovered my nose wasn't broken, just bleeding and VERY bruised. Through his own tears he saw mommy crying and saw me bleeding and, after about 5-10 minutes, came over to apologize and give me a hug. I wasn't ready for his hug (still angry) but what could I do when my little toddler comes over saying "tyorry mommy, owie mommy, no throw, tyorry" with his arms open wide? So him and I had a good chat about throwing things. I also had to tell him he couldn't kiss mommy better because it was owie to touch. And the mark on my nose was handy because he would look at it for the next several days and remember what throwing does.
While this was going on, my potatoes boiled over and my meat burned. But Caleb and I were able to have a good heart to heart. Food is replacable, life lessons are not. As much as I wanted to walk away from him because I was so angry, I'm glad that I didn't. Sometimes it's good to show your children emotions (though like I said I'm still working on the raising my voice thing) so that they can learn mommy and daddy have feelings too.
The first incident was totally my hormones. I was thinking the whole time that this is ridiculous and why am I flipping out? The second incident came to be because I was cooking supper and Caleb was hungry and needed my attention. Who knew you could get so angry at and exasperated with such an adorable little being? It's amazing what will happen when both you and your child are both in the "red zone." So why am I telling you all this? First of all, this blog entry made a lot more sense when I wrote it in my head at 3:30am (it had a much better conclusion, but I can't remember it). Second, because sometimes it's good for parents to know that we're not the only ones that get angry and "lose it." There's a line by Julie Andrews in Princess Diaries 2. She plays Queen Clarice and is talking to her granddaughter (Anne Hatheway - Princess Mia) who has a tedancy to get into questionable situations. The line goes like this "As royalty we are held to higher standards. People look up to us. We can't afford to 'lose it.' Other people 'lose it,' we're supposed to find it."
I love that line! (And yes, I have nearly all that movie memorized.) It can apply to parenting too. Our little people look up to us. We need to show them how to deal properly with our emotions so that they can learn to deal with theres. Does this mean we're always going to get it right? Apsolutely not. Does that make you a bad parent? Absolutely not. Good parents fly off the handle sometimes. But a good parent understands that sometimes circumstances led up to a point and we can't blame the children for that (usually involves being tired, hungry, bored/lonely). Other times we can realize that we messed up and in that case, we MUST apologize to our children. It's only fair to treat them with the respect they deserve. Especially if you want them to treat you with the respect you deserve.
So take the time to sit and read a book with them. Or drive the train around the train track 100 times. And make sure that they get the (healthy) food and sleep they need. It will save you a lot of problems. And if you're in the wrong, own up to it. It makes it a lot easier for them to do so as they get older.

Friday, July 2, 2010

A New Topic of Study

Ever since I had Caleb I've been interested in reading books, article, forums any anything else I can find of parenting and breastfeeding. Lately my interest has expanded. I am still reading on all of the above but I've also added reading and research on childbirth and pregnancy to the list. Mostly childbirth since pregnancy seems (to me) pretty straightforward.

I have read on VBACs (vaginal birth after cesarean), effects of medication during labour, comparisons of hospital vs home vs unassisted childbirth and much more. And I currently have about 4 thick books sitting on my shelf just waiting for me to dive in! I have no idea how I manage to find time to read about this and can't manage to find time to vacuum or wash dishes lol! I suppose much of my study is done over the breakfast table and while Caleb plays outside (as he's doing right now actually, laptops are wonderful).

The book I'm currently reading is one that I would recommend to any mom giving birth, as well as her support person (often a husband but occasionally a mom friend or sister or mother etc). The only problem that I have found with this book is that my husband doesn't read. Unless it's a car magazine or a manual to some piece of farm machinery of course. So I suppose I have about 6 months to educate him on the whole process of labour and delivery. Yikes!

I'll give you a bit of a cliff notes version of some interesting things that I've learned so far from this book:
1. Amount of dilation is the least reliable indicator of where you are in labour! The reason for this is because you can be at 3 cm for 12 hours and then all of the sudden shoot to 10 cm within a couple hours. Or go to 8 cm within 2 hours and then spend the next 10 hours going from 8 to 10cm. Better indicators include emotional signposts and how far apart and how long the contraction are.

2. There are four different ways to enter the pushing stage (I won't go into detail, if you're interested feel free to look it up yourself, very interesting): a) all the way dilated and an urge to push (this is pretty much the only stage the Drs believe exists, or at least the only "right" stage); b) Hoquet Reflex; All the way dilated with or without and urge to push; c) All the way dilated with no urge to push (this was me! and though Drs think this isn't okay, it totally is); d) Not all the way dilated with a strong urge to push.

3. Protein is really good during pregnancy: it is the key to steady energy and it helps you keep your mood stable (anything to help avoid mood swings is a good thing right?)

4. The use of aspirin has been shown to prolong pregnancy.

Those are just a few of the great tidbits I've been reading about. I can't wait to finish this book and start reading all the other books that I've borrowed. I could probably spend a whole bunch of money on books on childbirth. I am resigned to spending this money instead on buying newborn diapers.... which can also be a very addicting habit!
Anyway, here's a link if you're interested in more information in the book. I just realized I haven't even mentioned the title yet! So here it is: Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way, by Susan McCutcheon. Dr. Bradley has also written a book himself called Husband Coached Childbirth but to be honest, I probably won't read it. Because that would mean I'd have to read it out loud to my husband. Not really at the top of my list of things to do :)

So that's some of what's been on my mind lately and I just thought I would share. To those readers who didn't know yet that I was pregnant, well I am. We haven't been "shouting it from the rooftops" because we have been a little gun shy due to a couple of miscarriages. But I'm currently 15 weeks and due around Christmas. It's still a little surreal to us, but then it was the same with Caleb. We are very excited as we've been waiting for and wanting another baby for a long time. And Caleb is excited too. Even though he doesn't really understand there is a baby growing in mommy's tummy yet. He thinks it's growing in his knees..... don't ask, long story!