Showing posts with label motherhood. Show all posts
Showing posts with label motherhood. Show all posts

Greta's birth story

So, truth be told, I started writing this blog post on our way to the hospital to have Greta. Truthfully, I was extremely upset that this was the way her birth story would be told. There would be no dramatic lead ups, no involved labor stories, no hours and hours of waiting for her to arrive. Instead, we would just drive to the hospital one Monday in July and have a baby a couple of hours later.

But let's back up. Greta's due date was estimated (key word there) to be on July 15th. Well, July 15th came and went and this pregnant lady was getting extremely anxious and sick of being pregnant. With my two previous kids I had delivered before my due date, so naturally I expected to follow the same trend with this little lady. I had been slightly dilated (3 cm) for about 2 weeks and had my membrane swept three times. In the past, this usually put me into labor about 24 hours after my doctor visit. Greta, however, had some other plans.

My doctor suggested I have a scheduled c-section on Friday, July 20th. I had been trying to have a VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section) and asked if I could have the weekend to see if I would go into labor naturally on my own. The doctor agreed as long as I come in to have a non-stress test performed. Basically I just had to sit for an hour while they monitored the baby's heart rate to make sure she was doing okay in there. On Thursday, 7/21, we both passed the non-stress test with flying colors and we were sent home to wait out the weekend.

On Friday, I was getting extremely stir-crazy and decided to go for a drive. I actually drove by one of my job sites to check it out since I wasn't fully on maternity leave yet. On my way back home I noticed that I needed gas and decided the worst thing we could have is an empty gas tank if we had to rush to the hospital. I stopped at a gas station to fill up and while I was getting gas, I decided that I could step over the gas line (like an Olympic hurdler or something). It was not a great idea. I tripped and fell pretty hard on my knees, stomach, and front teeth. It was embarrassing, painful, and scary.

I called my husband in tears and after we talked for a while, he recommended I call my doctor just to see if I needed to come in. And of course, in an abundance of caution, she recommended I go straight to the hospital to get the baby monitored. Luckily, 6 hours later, we were released because everyone was still healthy and doing just fine.

The rest of the weekend I tried to walk carefully and not attempt anything too risky (like filling up the car with gas). I did end up having some fairly regular contractions, but nothing actually came of them.

So here we were, driving to the hospital to have a scheduled c-section at 9:30 am on Monday morning. I was upset that this is what had to happen. I wished I had a few more days to go into labor naturally. I was 41 weeks and 1 day and no matter how much I wanted to wait, the prudent thing to do was to get the baby out before she became stressed.

So our Greta Jo Ostrum was born at 1:16pm on July 23, 2018. She was a healthy 7lbs 14oz (same as her big sister, Chloe) and 20" long. Her APGAR was great and she passed all the tests in the hospital with flying colors.

Being fully awake and rested during a c-section is a very different experience than having an emergency c-section after 8 or 10 hours of labor. Since I was fully aware of everything I was definitely freaking out. I am really thankful for nice nurses and my husband for talking me through the whole procedure. Once Greta came out, I calmed down immediately and was just listening to her crying and everyone fussing around her. I got to see her for a moment before they took her to clean her up, but once she arrived my focus shifted immediately to her.

The hospital stay was a quick two days and we were able to come home. Both Chris and I felt like everything went so much smoother with our third child. We knew what to do and I knew what I needed to do for my recovery. I remember what it was like being a first time parent and I am so glad we aren't in the place anymore.

Welcome to our family Greta! We waited and waited for you to arrive and we are so glad you are here! 

my kid's favorite bedtime lullaby

On top of spaghetti, 
all covered with cheese
I lost my poor meatball, 
when somebody sneezed.

It rolled off the table,
And onto the floor,
And then my poor meatball,
Rolled out the door.

It rolled into the garden,
And under a bush,
And then my poor meatball,
Was nothing but mush.

The mush was as tasty,
As tasty could be,
And then the next summer,
It grew into a tree.

The tree was all covered,
All covered with moss,
And on it grew meatballs,
And tomato sauce.

So if you eat spaghetti,
All covered with cheese,
Hold onto your meatball,
In case you sneeze.

And yes, I'm 100% serious. They love it and ask for the song every night.

how to travel with kids without the stress

So later this week we are headed out of town for a little late birthday, mid-winter, vacation. Usually at this point in the travel prep, I'm searching the internet trying to find great ways to entertain my young children on the plane. I'm heading to the store to buy toys and candy and other patented parenting bribery. Just last spring we went on a long flight to NYC from Montana. I was mildly terrified of flying for +6 hours with two kids under the age of 4. Thankfully, even despite the fact that our flight was majorly delayed, we were able to have a pretty stress free travel day.

So how did we do that? Even when we sat on the tarmac for hours with a plane full of cranky adults and seats in coach? Let me tell you that first of all, there wasn't any magic gadgets or treats involved. The key was my husband and I both spent time playing and focusing on our kids. I do think my children are relatively easy going, so that is definitely a BIG help. But most kids can be easily entertained with playing with the SkyMall magazine for at least an hour or more if you go through it with them and play with them. As long we kept calm and interested in what they wanted to do, everyone was happy. If the parents are cool and calm and not stressed, the kids will be follow that. Having toys and books with you is always a good idea, but don't be surprised if you don't need half of them if you do it right.

Take my advice for what it's worth (unsolicited and free) but you don't need to spend time individually wrapping toys for each hour of your flight. You don't need to pay money for iPad games that they'll only play once. Just be prepared to spend 95% of your time (if they are awake) playing with your kids. They love you, they want to play with you, and they might really enjoy the flight more that way.

Also, I usually get air sickness, to some degree or another. I noticed once I was fully engaged on what my kids were doing, I didn't have enough time to stress or worry about the plane falling out of the sky. I was too busy figuring out to make paper airplanes out of SkyMall pages. Win-win.

how does she do it

Alright, I'm beyond excited to share this post. I'm delighted to have the opportunity to share a little wisdom and advice from a smart and impressively talented gal. Her name is Susie Meister and since I probably won't get her bio 100% correct, I'll let her do the talking:

Left-brained Susie Meister was born and raised in Pittsburgh, but after high school joined MTV’s Road Rules Down Under for the ride of her life. She has since participated in eight shows on MTV (but don’t judge her). All Susie’s reality winnings went towards her education, and in 2014 she completed her PhD in Religious Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. In addition to her academic work, Susie has begun diversity training with the legendary activist Jane Elliott who created the famed Blue Eyes Brown Eyes Exercise. Susie now works for organizations and businesses as a diversity trainer where she uses Jane Elliott’s techniques to teach people about racism, sexism, ageism, and other prejudices in American culture and how to combat them effectively. Susie is working on a book for RothCo Press called Being Jesus on the experiences of actors who have played the iconic character. Her work has also been featured in the Huffington Post, The Good Men Project, Salon, and Maniac Magazine. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Adam, and their son Lincoln.  Even though things are pretty great, the best day of her life is and will always be when she sang on stage with the Beach Boys. (via Brain Candy Podcast)
And now after that introduction here is a little bit about how Susie balances it all.

There are lots of little sayings about women that speak to our never-ending workload, and the way our attitudes set the tone for the whole house. While these idioms seem trite and overused, they tell an important story about the important role of women and often come to mind when I’m trying to pull the old “balancing plate” routine.

I am an independent scholar of religion, freelance television personality, podcaster, and a mom to a 4-year-old. Compared to some folks I have a very easy workload—I get to work from home most days, my son has a nanny, and my husband has a job that allows him to be off for several months of the year if he chooses. Yet even with that forgiving situation, just getting me to write this post took several gentle reminders from poor Johanna.

I’ve found that the blessing of an active mind is that I’m always coming up with new ideas for my research or ways to grow my podcast, but the curse of your wheels always turning is that it can get awfully noisy in my head. Sound familiar?

You know what I’m talking about. Those middle-of-the-night torture sessions when your brain suddenly remembers that time in the seventh grade when you pants split or that fear that you’re going to end up homeless. Just me? Nevermind, but you get the idea.

In the age of social media, it can feel like everyone has everything under control. They’re getting ahead. They’re having all the fun. The truth is actually that we’re all in the same boat. We get it right some days and other days we feed our kid a box of Ho-Hos just so he doesn’t starve to death. Whatevs. He’ll live.

So, the truth is that the question of “how does she do it,” is the same for everyone. We’re all just getting through this life and trying our damnedest to have a giggle along the way. I consider any day a success in which I use the bathroom without someone barging in.

I love being a scholar of religion. I love hosting a podcast. I love being on television. And I love my crazy kid. But that doesn’t mean doing all that stuff is always easy. I’m comforted, however, knowing that time is the great equalizer. Nobody gets more than 24-hours a day.

So, for me, the big question every single morning, and one that I ask myself as a ritual is, “What are you going to do with your 24 hours today?” You can do everything or nothing, but as long as you’re making a conscious decision to use your time doing the things that bring you joy, peace, and/or satisfaction, well then that’s a pretty damn good life.

Maybe your work is never done, but at least choose to do the things that improve your life because if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.


Many thanks to Susie Meister for stopping by and telling her story. I've linked to a few (okay maybe a lot) of her written work, her podcast, and some TV clips.

> her Facebook page

> her article for Huffington Post

> her TED talk

> her Salon article

> a Vox article by Susie

> and finally, her blog