Sunday, July 25, 2010

Preparing to conceive again

Last weekend, I went to a training to learn the more clinical aspects of midwifery and I came away from it with some upheaval. Not about birth but about my future children.

First there were lots of Moms with Many or Quiverful Moms there with 6-10 kids each. This is a big deal for me because I've never gotten to know personally mothers of large families so I've never been able to envision me being the mother of more than 5-6. That is further complicated by my husband not wanting more than 6. Then I learned that my fears of pelvic floor dsyfunction was real and my concerns about my hip pain are getting stronger. And I realized that if I want 5-6 (or more) kids that I'm not going to have enough time before I get to 40. And then the physical issues might make it hard to have that many more kids.

So one at a time:
On our first date, I told my husband I am aiming for 6 or more children and he didn't feel confident that he could be a father to that many so he said he'd be comfortable 4 (which is one more than his parents had). For the sake of an easy compromise, I said 5 and that's what still remains the agreement now because I haven't felt like pushing for more. As of now, he doesn't know that I'm now thinking of more than 6.

Then is the fear of not being able to physically withstand more than 6 pregnancies. After two pregnancies so far, I have chronic hip pain that I fear might be arthritis. Through yoga, working on correcting my posture, chiropractic adjustments and regular massages, I can keep the pain from being all the time but it often nags most of the time. There was a point just after Belle was born that I couldn't walk it was so bad and I had to find a chiropractor in a state I didn't live in so I could get the joint put back in place. It was really uncomfortable at the end of Belle's pregnancy and I'm scared if I don't get it healed before I get pregnant again my next pregnancy will be really difficult and it could be worse after. And the older I get, the worse it will be.

The other effect of two pregnancies I'm worried about is the prolapse (cytocele and rectocele to more precise). Basically, it means that my vaginal walls have been weakened so when my bladder or colon is full, both can be felt weighing on the vaginal walls. Its really common in women who have had children and it really only negatively affects me when I'm on my menstrual cycle. It makes wearing regular or super sized tampons difficult because they get pushed out by the collapsing tissue. Its also the reason why the Diva Cup doesn't work for me. I am concerned however that if I don't work to rectify it now that it will get worse in more pregnancies and become a problem.

Between those two things, I'm scared that I will be so effected that having a third baby will make life after that baby so difficult that I wouldn't be able to care for the children I have, let alone have more children.

On the other side of that, is if those things can be resolved so I'm no longer in pain and don't need to worry about more severe prolapse, then how long will it take? 3 years? That was my original plan, I knew that having both children so close together meant I needed to have more time before the next one. Now I'm concerned if I wait that long, I won't have enough time before I decide I'm too old to have another baby. If I turn 40 in 2024 and I have my next baby in 2013, that's 11 years of time to have more babies. Every two years, I could have 5 more. So I feel my upper limit is 7 then which means that only 7 of the 9 names we have chosen would be used for our children. And I'm scared that having babies every two years will be too much for my body because having two babies in two years already has been too much for my body and I'll just be older which will means pregnancies are automatically going to be harder than if I was younger.

Meeting the Quiverful moms was really an inspiring experience for me. Many of them had their first babies younger than I did. So I'm already feeling "behind" like I was getting a late start. Though I know that even having a baby at 21 is still plenty young aside from the fact that it was perfectly right for me. I also am realizing that my body, because of breastfeeding, is going to space children a little more than 2 years apart, which I feel is great and good because its a sign of how Heavenly Father created us to bare and care for our babies.

I don't want to be in competition with other mothers to have as many babies as they do, but I do like seeing the fruits of their families. The older children learn how to be parents by caring for their younger brothers and sisters. Mothers get help in managing and caring for so many people, and from what I've seen the older siblings caring for the younger allow mothers to be involved in activities that take them outside the home (in this case, to become midwives). I also like the idea of not worrying about fertility and accepting pregnancies as they come, having faith and reliance on God.

I know that's the answer. To trust in God, pray to know what to do about my hip because, really, that is what concerns me most.

I think what I wish is that my hip pain could be gone and not a worry because if it were, I would be excited to conceive again as soon as possible. I'm already feeling stirrings for another baby but I'm so scared of how painful that pregnancy would be if I were to get pregnant now with my hip the way it is.

And even if my hip was fine and I could conceive again so early (I'm thinking that my luteal phases are still too short), I'm almost positive my husband would be opposed because according to his plan, we are not going to have another baby until he graduates and we move. I have to throw this in too: he frustrates because to me it appears that he does not consider God's plan for our family at all when it comes to trying to conceive. I think he might think that he's going to decide whatever he wants and just trust thats what God wants for him. I'm not feeling like I can agree with that.

To further complicate things is the circumcision issue. As far as I know, he still is obstinately supportive of circumcising our next son and he refuses to even talk about it until we know we are having a boy. I want to be surprised with the gender our next babies so that is the recipe for an all out fight after the baby is born. I don't want to put off finding consensus until after or even while pregnant. I'm pretty sure a large portion of the reason why he doesn't want to discuss circumcision is because he would rather not face the idea his parents did something to him when he could not stop them and it may now have negative affects on him.

Oh my goodness, this thought just occurred to me: what if my hip problems and his not wanting to discuss circumcision is linked? Karma could make it possible...

So there you go, those are all my issues. I'd love advice on any of the above.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Dreaming Again: Dream House Features

The other morning my husband and I came to the conclusion that its really not a good idea to bathe and then feed young children in the mornings. It makes much more sense to feed the child (especially messy things like oatmeal, fresh berries, etc) and then bathe said child. That doesn't happen in our house because the only bathroom is upstairs while the kitchen is downstairs. So of course, we asked the question: wouldn't it be nice to have a small kitchenette area upstairs so the family can eat breakfast before going downstairs and then shower after eating?

Which then, of course, led to a conversation about what else we would want in our dream house. Below is that list. I'm probably missing a sunroom or screened patio or office or something downstairs. A few years ago we bought a design software program where we could design everything down to the landscaping. When we got started with putting it together, we didn't know what rooms would be in it and its kind of hard to design a house not knowing the features of the interior.

There's a good chance we'll never design our own house, but its fun to dream.

Top Floor:
2 child/guest bedrooms
1 bathroom
Master suite with bathroom (stall shower, jetted deep tub, double vanity)
great room

Bottom Floor:
2 bedrooms
open concept kitchen to living room
dining room
2 bathrooms

full finished basement with bathroom

Separate building:
upstairs office for me
downstairs office for husband

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Mothering Styles: INTP

A quiz based on the Meyers-Briggs Personality test specially designed to asses mothering styles showed in my Facebook newsfeed the other day. The results are very accurate for me and give me some insights into what comes naturally for me and helps to assuage some of the guilt I feel in certain circumstances.

Now if only there was accompanying findings on which styles are most effective and if certain styles are effective at gaining the results they are seeking to get from their kids.

One interesting thing though is that I make a concerted effort to maintain interdependence and community as values for my children and I often find it in conflict with my natural tendency to encourage independence and autonomy. I hope that my children display both sides of it and get a good balance passed on to them.

The 'Love of Learning' Mother
INTP (Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Perceiving)

Intellectually curious and patient, the INTP mother relishes those times with a child when they are learning something interesting together. Whether they're at the zoo or computer terminal, she sparks to answering his or her "whys" with in-depth responses or new knowledge.

The INTP mother is also objective and introspective. She listens to and discusses children's ideas and questions as she would those of a peer, fostering self-esteem and confidence. Open and non-directive, she allows children the freedom to do for themselves and quietly encourages them to believe they can do it.

Independence, autonomy, intellectual development, and self-reliance are probably the INTP's highest priorities for her children. An avid reader, she naturally imparts an appreciation and love of reading as well.

Drawn to all types of learning, the INTP may also value her mothering experience for all the new insights about life it provides her.


Fostering her child's intellectual development. The INTP mother has respect for her child's mind, thinking, and reasoning, regardless of his or her age. Her goal is to shape her children's intellectual development, taking seriously their thoughts, ideas, and questions. She enjoys watching how they absorb and use new information.

Teaching. Desiring to meet her children's need to learn and know, the INTP mother is born to teach. She instills a love of learning by finding ways to build on a child's natural curiosity. Beyond tirelessly answering a multitude of questions, she enjoys leading him or her to new books, real-life experiences, or hands-on activities.

Encouraging independence. The INTP mother gives her children the space they need to develop independence. Although it might be easier for her to carry out a particular task herself, she can back off and let them try to do things for themselves so they will begin to master the task. She lets her children test themselves and has high aspirations for their competency, but she seldom pushes.

Calmness. The INTP mother is usually tolerant and calm, not highly critical of children's mistakes—she may see them as learning experiences! She seldom gets upset if they do something that displeases her. Her children may find her a model of patience, kindness, and fairness.


Noise and confusion of family life. The INTP can become easily exhausted by children's non-stop chatter, constant activity, lack of self-control, and their never-ending demands for her to look, listen, and respond. She may retreat, physically and emotionally.

Routines. The INTP mother is likely to struggle when a family member needs to meet a schedule. Getting young children dressed, fed, and out the door for school on time or keeping them on task for bathing, teeth brushing, and bed times can seem like overwhelming tasks.

Singular focus. When she is focused on reading, thinking, or work, the INTP's children may feel as though they can't break through her concentration. She may worry that she seems distant and detached.


The INTP mother can benefit from setting aside regular times when she can turn inward and lose herself in reading, thought, or work. Energized by time alone to think, her "mind time" is a necessity, not a luxury. To do her best mothering, the INTP may need to get up early, stay up late, or use children's nap time to read, daydream, or gaze out the window in thought.

Believing she is different from other mothers, the INTP may feel uncomfortable if she compares herself to more traditional mothers. If she can learn to trust in her own unique strengths and enjoy her relationship with her children (rather than compare hers to other mothers'), she can boost her mothering confidence and take greater pleasure in day-to-day living.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Beware the Nurse Shark!

Welcome to the July 2010 Carnival of Nursing in Public

This post was written for inclusion in the Carnival of Nursing in Public hosted by Dionna and Paige at All week, July 5-9, we will be featuring articles and posts about nursing in public ("NIP"). See the bottom of this post for more information.

As a breastfeeding mother, I have been, some would say, assertive about breastfeeding my children wherever I am. I love seeing other mothers comfortably nursing their children in public. I even had the honor of working at a preschool where mothers would breastfeed their toddlers as I was giving circle time.

But this picture, I think, takes the cake for breastfeeding in public:

This is a picture I took of a woman breastfeeding her infant dressed in a shark bunting costume while trick-or-treating at a shopping center in Seattle.

Get it?

Nurse Shark?

I couldn't help but think it was awesome. The woman (I wish she was my friend) gave me permission to take her picture and probably was thinking, "Who is this crazy woman who thinks this is so cool?"

That would be me and probably a few thousand mamas who are passionate about a mother's and baby's right to continue their breastfeeding relationship in public. Its for this reason that I'm participating in Code Name: Mama's and Baby Dust Diaries Nursing in Public Blog Carnival.

Art by Erika Hastings at

Welcome to the Carnival of Nursing in Public

Please join us all week, July 5-9, as we celebrate and support breastfeeding mothers. And visit any time to connect with other breastfeeding supporters, learn more about your legal right to nurse in public, and read (and contribute!) articles about breastfeeding and N.I.P.

Do you support breastfeeding in public? Grab this badge for your blog or website to show your support and encourage others to educate themselves about the benefits of breastfeeding and the rights of breastfeeding mothers and children.

Art by Erika Hastings at

This post is just one of many being featured as part of the Carnival of Nursing in Public. Please visit our other writers each day of the Carnival. Click on the links below to see each day’s posts - new articles will be posted on the following days:

July 5 - Making Breastfeeding the Norm: Creating a Culture of Breastfeeding in a Hyper-Sexualized World

July 6 – Supporting Breastfeeding Mothers: the New, the Experienced, and the Mothers of More Than One Nursing Child

July 7 – Creating a Supportive Network: Your Stories and Celebrations of N.I.P.

July 8 – Breastfeeding: International and Religious Perspectives

July 9 – Your Legal Right to Nurse in Public, and How to Respond to Anyone Who Questions It