Sunday, April 29, 2012

My Baby Boy

It is no secret that I had been anxious, very anxious to have this baby. I was uncomfortable and eager and ready.

Sunday was no different- I was waiting and expectant. I stayed home from church with Amelija- sitting was just too hard. I noticed my stomach was irritable- and wondered- since this is sometimes a sign of early labor. Later in the afternoon I noticed some other tell tale signs that could mean that labor will begin soon.

It was a beautiful day. We grilled shish kebabs and marshmallows and all just enjoyed sitting around and watching the meat cook. Funny, but rewarding when something smells and promises to taste so good. On occasion I had a contraction- but rarely.We had a lovely family evening- I wondered - if this was our last supper as 4.

About midnight when we were heading to bead I started having a few more contractions. When they started being about 10-15 minutes apart I knew I was not going to be able to sleep. So I let Janis sleep and went downstairs. I packed our bag of food to take along. I paced, I laid down, I got up, I was in constant motion it seemed. When I got too tired I would lay down, but I cannot endure contractions laying down and there seemed to only ever be enough time to just fall asleep and then I would be awakened by yet another contraction.

About 2:00 a.m I sent my midwife a sms. She called me and said if the contractions were so seldom to wait until morning- better to rest at home.

From 3:00-4:00 a.m I was baking cookies. I had read that was a good thing to do while in labor and that when you started burning them then you would know it was time to go to the hospital (because you couldn't focus on removing them from the oven in time). During this hour my contractions were 3-4 minutes apart and I was doing squats and talking to myself and baby- reminding us to open together.

I had determined to awaken Janis at 4:00 a.m. because I wanted some encouragement and advice. But I was so tired I laid down. I fell asleep and had fewer contractions- but was up again by 4:30.

At about 5:00 I woke Janis up and told him I couldn't sleep and had been awake all night and I needed some encouragement- I needed to see the midwife and have her check my progress and I wanted to go before the kids woke up.

He got up and ready, phoned the baby sitter and arranged to get her at 6:00 a.m. He ate breakfast and I lived through contractions- wanting to vomit at the smells of his breakfast. We left our house about 6:30 a.m or a bit before. Janis got gas. I was sort of reclining in the car in the front seat.

We were thoroughly amused when the seemingly only in films scene happened to us. There was a police man who had stopped cars coming from both directions and wanted us to stop too. He probably just wanted to check our documents- but when he came to the window Janis said. "My wife is in labor, can't you let us pass?" He looked at me and was like, "Really, yeah!" We laughed so hard after that! 

In the one hour drive to the birthing house I had only about 5 contractions- of course in a bumpy  car they were not pleasant to endure. But I was a bit worried that maybe this was in vain and I wouldn't really have my baby that day at all.

We arrived at the birthing house "Harmony" about 7:30 a.m. I was happy we were the only couple there with our midwife. We chose our room (one of the two) and then my midwife checked me. I was already 7-8cm along! We were all pleased and I was surprised.

She started filling the tub and I walked up and down the steps, enduring the contractions in any pose that felt best- squatting, sitting on the ball, etc.

About 8:30 I got in the tub- even though it was only half full- it was filling so very slowly. I liked the feel of the water. I was in the tub for a while- but got out after a bit. The tub was so big it was hard to find a comfortable pose to endure the contractions. She told me the baby was already at the gate- ready to be born and to push him out. She said it could be done in 3, 13 or 33 contractions. In other words- it was up to me.

She kept trying to show me how to push and not to close to the pain. I wasn't ready. I was afraid of what was coming- knowing the end would be even more painful when I had to push him out. I was afraid to listen to her and push him out. I was resisting.

Finally when my throat hurt from screaming or groaning (though Janis said I didn't scream as much this time) And I was in the water again- with a full tub- I concluded I had to do something different. Janis had run out to the car to get me some water to refill my water bottle and I started pushing as I was supposed to do. Everything happened so fast and Janis almost missed the baby being born.

Just born
In 3-5 minutes of pushing our baby was out. The cord was very tight around his neck. But he soon was looking  pink and normal. I was even able to smile for a picture- surprised that he was already out. Surprised that the part I had been dreading for so long ended up being so easy. That wasn't so bad after all! Wow!

So April 16, 2012, at 11:32 a.m Kārlis Benjamins was born. He weighed 4120 grams and was 56 cm. long.

The midwife with our baby boy
I was so very surprised that the expected ring of fire and the pressure never came. I never had the part I was so dreading. Could it have been that if I had listened to the midwife he would have been born 3 hours sooner?

But all in all my jingle worked and came to pass, which was this.

I will only be in labor as long as it takes to pack, drive, fill and get in the tub.

Once the tub was finally full he was born shortly thereafter!

Yay God, this was by far the easiest delivery we have had. And even though it was painful I am so amazed. What was different? Was it the preparation? The birth art? My attitude of believing more? I don't know. . . I only know I am so very happy!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Pregnant Mother Scarf

My last piece of pregnancy art. Ready just in time for Mother's Day.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Our baby has arrived.
Funny how quickly one forgets the demands of a person so newly arrived in this world.
I wonder what it feels like to be adjusting from darkness into light. .
From water onto land. . .
From silence into light.

My heart is full of thankfulness.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Our Easter

We had a quiet Easter. 

My husband had 5 days off- NICE. 

Friday we baked a ton of crackers- I will share that recipe sometime. This was the unleavened bread for the Bible Study. I also made banana cream pie and coconut cream pie to share at our family gathering. We had lunch with a bunch of relatives. In the evening the kids and I attended the Bible study my husband led for the youth.

Saturday we colored eggs naturally- the popular way to do it here.We used curry powder to make yellow ones. You need to let the boiled eggs soak in the solution for several hours. We used beet juice with vinegar for the red ones and natural tea leaves (not sure which ones my husband used) for the green ones. Sorry- but I don't have a picture of the finished eggs. After we boiled them we drew designs on them with a candle- worked wonderfully since the eggs were hot.

I baked Latvian ham/bacon rolls-piragi. I will have to include that recipe on another day. But they were delicious and we ate far too many. With my "leftover" dough I made a delicious sweet bread braid- with lots of yummy toppings and fillings. 

Sunday the kids searched for their eggs so they could eat them for breakfast. They enjoyed egg wars with Teti (Daddy in Latvian). And then were so into peeling their eggs- my kids LOVE hard boiled eggs. 

Then the kids went with Teti to church. It is too hard for me to sit for those hours- so I stayed home. 

The afternoon was spent walking a bit and spending time with a friend visiting Latvia for the holidays. 

How did you spend your Easter?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Kids and Sushi

My kids love, love, LOVE sushi. 

This is how we make it. ( I am no specialist- for that you can search on the Internet- but I made it the way we like it). 

You need: 
  • seaweed sheets ( I usually roll one per person). 
  • rice ( I use the cheapest rice- classic) Freshly cooked and slightly cooled and splashed with rice vinegar
  • crab sticks
  • green onions 
  • bell peppers
  • a rolling mat

 Spread with rice. Place desired fillings on one side and roll tightly, yet gently. Can use the mat for assistance- see Internet for more detailed directions.
 Set aside so they can cool a bit more ( I usually use rather hot rice) and they set more.
 Cut with a very sharp knife.

Enjoy! Usually A-girl eats only half of one- last time she ate almost a whole roll herself. WOW! 

Janis is always served something else (if he is home) as he does NOT like sushi.

How do you make sushi?

My Birthing Music

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Belly Casts

In the book I have been reading to prepare for birth one of the art suggestions was to make a belly cast. There are a ton of ideas on how to do this on the Internet- and if you are in the US it looks like it is way easier because of the available materials. See here for a video on how to make one.

Since we don't have those kind of strips here we had to do it differently and it was VERY messy. But I am happy to have this special time saved by having made one. Our first attempt is rather lumpy and messy and we hope to do it once more before our baby comes- if we have time. I hope to paint it after that and make a it a lovely piece of art. There are also TONS of ideas on how to do that on the Internet.

I also found this blog when searching this topic and loved reading her stories and reading about her belly casts.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Things to Do While Waiting for BABY

So I must admit I am more than a little impatient to have this baby. So much so that I keep finding myself surfing the Internet for natural ways to induce labor, etc. However, I AM very much TRYING to be PATIENT!

So I changed my search and looking up "waiting for labor to begin." I found a ton of ideas, and similar feelings and somehow that made me feel really good to know that I am not the only one out there feeling this very way.

One of the things I found was a list of 101 things do do while you are waiting for labor to begin. This inspired me and I have decided to make my own list- with your help. So add your suggestions in the comments and I will add them to the list :) (The problem is that my energy level is so low and I don't "feel" like doing a lot of these things :)

Thanks for helping me keep my sanity as I wait very IMPATIENTLY :)

  1. Clean house
  2. Cook (freeze meals for later)
  3. Get the green house ready for the gardening season.
  4. Read
  5. Sew- Finish A's quilt. The top is done.
  6. Paint
  7. Sleep
  8. Go on lots of walks
  9. Spend time with my kids
  10. Have alone time with my husband. 
  11. Write letters to people- Josie's idea.
  12. Decorate Easter Eggs- Did it today.

    Have Patience-Music Machine

    Growing up in the 80s we listened to The Music Machine- a childhood favorite I must say.

    Lately the lyrics to one of those songs has been stuck in my head- the chorus especially.

    Have patience, have patience.
    Don't be in such a hurry.
    When you get impatient you only start to worry.
    Remember, remember that God is patient too.
    And think of all the times when others have to wait for you.

    Have Patience

    I so need patience right now- I can't wait to get this baby out and hold him. My back is hurting more and life is just harder when you are so BIG.

    Wednesday, April 4, 2012

    One More thing Done

    A while back I had made a list of things I wanted to do before this baby came. I am pleased to say most of them have now been accomplished. The only one still remaining is to finish A's quilt. Tonight I finished this little baby's. Sorry these are not very good pictures- but I hope you get the idea.

    Perhaps that is what he was waiting for- now his quilt is done so he can make his grand appearance. Right?  This quilt is extra special because it had several contributors- I love all the kind wishes and creativity everyone put into this at the baby shower. Thanks! 

    Tuesday, April 3, 2012

    Khloe Kardashian

    So the person I am gifting is Khloe Kardashian.