Banana Peel

It’s what’s inside that matters…

My Pregnancy Week 36 April 8, 2008

Filed under: Pregnancy and Birth — Jess @ 2:50 pm

Wow, I haven’t written in a loooong time! We had a virus on our computer for a week or two there so we couldn’t use it. Other than that I’ve just had nothing to say!

Well, I’m 36 weeks pregnant now. I can’t believe it has gone by so fast. But I will admit that the time is draaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaging by now. I just want to hold this little one and know who it is and you know, be able to see my feet again! *wink*

The baby clothes are washed and put away.
(oh my goodness are they small! A LOT smaller than 4T!)
The new diapers and covers are washed and ready.

Now we are just waiting and waiting…..

I try to keep myself busy, but there’s not a lot to do around here. Our new house is pretty much all organized and in order except for the dining room. So that’s my goal for this week.

We are also down to one car again. Christopher’s car broke in our driveway a few weeks ago. So, now Timmy and I are stuck here all day with no way to get anywhere. This wasn’t so much a big deal when we were living in Grandville, because we mostly walked everywhere anyways…but here in North Muskegon….there is no walking anywhere. We live in the middle of nowhere. HAHA! It mostly stinks when I’m making dinner and realize I don’t have enough eggs for the cornbread and I can’t just hop in the car and go get some. *sigh* but we’re making it work. It is nice on Sunday mornings to all drive home from church together. Timmy and I get up early and drop Christopher off (he has to be there at 6:30am) and then we come back for the 9:45 service and Sunday School. Then we head over to Mom and Dad’s–in one car! We’re also saving on gas money! WAHOO!!

In other words the days are slow and long. But not too bad. I try to take Timmy outside to play in our yard (yay! I still get a thrill saying that!) but it’s kind of cumbersome for me to get around these days and I trip over everything! (especially since there are like 50 gazillion sticks all over our yard……we don’t think they did any maintenance to the yard AT ALL last year!) So, we don’t go out too much. Which makes me feel like a bad mama because Timmy loves to be outside and dig in the dirt and collect leaves and watch airplanes. Thankfully Christopher’s work schedule has changed so that he works from 6am until sometime in the afternoon, the latest is today–4pm. So, when he gets home he usually takes T out to play which is a good daddy-son time!

I’m still having a hard time grasping the whole…I’M GOING TO HAVE TWO KIDS….concept. As anxious as I am to have this baby out, I just can’t imagine it not being just Christopher, Timmy and I. I guess it’s one of those things that you don’t really grasp until it actually happens.

So here I remain waiting and waiting some more!


My Pregnancy Week 33 March 21, 2008

Filed under: Pregnancy and Birth — Jess @ 3:33 pm

Not too much new to report.

Physically: I’m big. I’m tired. I’m sick.

Emotionally: I’m anxious. I’m happy. I’m excited.

That’s about it.

I have realized that I need to enjoy and take full advantage of my last weeks of just Timmy and me. All too soon I won’t be able to devote my full attention and energies to my precious little boy. It makes me sad in a way. But I think that always comes when one season of your life ends and another is beginning. Even when the change is a good and wonderful one.


All I have to say is AMEN! March 18, 2008

Filed under: Pregnancy and Birth — Jess @ 8:26 pm

(This essay was written by Marcela Valle and was posted to the ICAN Yahoo group 5/19/07.)

Don’t you want a doctor?…

It is a question I have been asked, “Don’t you want someone who can handle *anything*?” When I heard this question, so many feelings boiled inside me so fast that my answer constituted: “No, because I don’t want someone waiting for the slightest opportunity to cut me open again.” And, while that holds true, there’s so much more than that and it deserves to be put into words…

I don’t want a doctor because I believe in my ability to birth. I believe that Mother Nature/Creation/ God(s)-or whomever you revere- have given us the ability and the opportunity to birth, and to go through that passage for a reason. Over the years in North American culture, we have lost sight of such experience and its purpose. It has been said before, that “A child is born, and so is a mother.”

I don’t want a doctor because they are experts in many things, but not normal birth.

I don’t want a doctor because I want a birth attendant who believes in me. An attendant who will empower me, and support me, and tell me to get it together and birth this baby. I choose someone who will encourage me to be educated and make decisions with me, not for me.

I don’t want a doctor because I am not making decisions based on fear. I make decisions based on research, and logic and, all the while, I also follow my heart.

I don’t want a doctor because, despite widely held beliefs, birth in a hospital is not as safe as birth outside a hospital. Birth with a midwife, at home, is a rational choice.

I do not want a doctor because I am more than a paycheck, a liability, or a ‘difficult’ patient.

I do not want a doctor because I do not need to wait an hour in a waiting room to be seen for 5 minutes and by someone who needs to look at my chart to know my name. Instead, I want to be welcomed with a hug, offered water, a snack, and have an hour talking about my pregnancy, my feelings, and my birth plans.

I do not want a doctor because I do not need to feel scared about being an inconvenience, or have questions, take too much time, be too “needy” or have too many expectations.

I don’t want a doctor because I want to be regarded as a healthy birthing mother. I am not sick, I am not a patient. I am full with life.

I don’t want a doctor because birth is NOT an emergency waiting to happen, it is NOT dangerous. A doctor makes you believe birth is unsafe and you need them. After all, they would not have a job otherwise. A midwife trusts the process and allows it to take its course without fitting it into a box or random standards.

I don’t want a doctor because I want someone who can handle things without a knife and someone who knows how to help me get the baby into a better position and under a pubic bone, and whatever else, without slicing me open or using torture devices.

I don’t want a doctor because my body works. And it works best if not surrounded by strangers poking, probing and interrupting my concentration.

I don’t want a doctor because I know I WILL go into labor, my hips are NOT small, they’re the perfect size. My baby is NOT too big, my body CAN dilate, I am NOT a failure to progress…I DO NOT need to be saved. By not having a doctor, I AM saving myself.

I don’t want a doctor because I don’t want him, or a calendar, or a clock to tell me when I HAVE to birth and how fast I need to dilate. My body knows it, my baby knows it. We’ll do it when it’s time for the baby to be born, and time for me to birth my child.

I don’t want a doctor because I don’t want to be offered an induction (or be cut open) because it’s close to Christmas, Mother’s Day, or Labor Day. I won’t be hurried because there’s a golf game, a cruise, or a date to be made, or it’s just inconvenient for me to wake them up at night or to take too long.

I don’t want a doctor because I don’t want to be imprisoned in a bed “just in case” and I don’t want to have to stay still so a machine can work properly and the nurse doesn’t have time to come into my room.

I don’t want a doctor because I do not need to ask for permission to use the rest room, move around, eat, or have an opinion. Nor, do I need scare tactics and a “dead baby” card when I opt out of a procedure done only to cover the doctor’s legal butt.

I do not want a doctor because I appreciate being talked to respectfully, and acknowledged, and being taken into account. I DO WANT TO KNOW, AND I WILL worry my little head about it, after all, it is my birth, my child, and my responsibility to do so.

I don’t want a doctor because I don’t want an electronic monitor to tell someone how I’m doing or whether I am in pain or not, or if my baby hugs are adequate enough.

I don’t want a doctor because I don’t want someone to “manage” my birth, and “solve” things by using interventions, which may lead to more interventions, which would be solved with even more interventions

I don’t want a doctor because I don’t want to be silent. I will groan, and moan, and sing if I want to, and my midwife may sing with me.

I don’t want a doctor because* I *will birth my baby. My midwife will be present at my birth but nothing (besides food) will be *delivered*.

I do not want a doctor because I am not birthing on my back, or holding my breath or counting to 10.

I don’t want a doctor because I don’t want my child to be poked and prodded before we have a chance to hold each other. I want my baby to hear my voice first.

I don’t want a doctor because I cannot bear another cut into my uterus and my heart, nor can I bear to watch another baby of mine born into blinding bright lights, deep suctioning, IV’s and antibiotics.

I don’t want a doctor because I have all it takes: wisdom, strength, courage, faith and a vagina.


I think I’m moving to Iceland… March 12, 2008

Filed under: Pregnancy and Birth — Jess @ 3:29 pm

I just read this on another blog I frequent and it’s quite interesting to me that the USA is not on this list.

Actually, it’s not all that surprising to me.

Especially in light of my own recent struggles to be respected and have my rights upheld as a birthing woman in America.

But that is a topic for another time and another day. I don’t think I’m ready to broadcast my own human rights violation story on the World Wide Web just yet. But I would be happy to have a private conversation with anyone anytime about it, so shoot me an email.

I will, however, give you few little statistics here to help you understand why I am not surprised by this list.

1. The cesarean rate in America was 30.1% (and rising) in 2006. According to the World Health Organization: “there is no justification for any region to have a cesarean rate more than 10-15%”. (Cesarean section: What you need to know. Henci Goer). The higher the rate goes, the more women will not only die, but be faced with physical and psychological complications resulting from this surgery.

2. In 1999, the US ranked 21st in the world for maternal death. But the CDC estimates that maternal deaths are underreported by one half to two thirds, and that half of maternal deaths are preventable. The rate of death due to childbirth has not decreased since 1982, and it has actually been increasing since 1999. (Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. Ina May Gaskin. Bantam, 2003. pp 274-277). Is it scary to anyone else that our country spends more on health care than any other country in the world and yet the maternal death rate has not decreased in 25 years?

3. The US ranks 29th in the world for infant mortality. Some other countries that are above the US are: Czech Republic, Israel, Cuba, and Japan. (National Center for Health Statistics, website). I tell ya, it sure makes me feel so good to know that I could fly down to Cuba and have a better chance of my baby being born alive and living through it’s first year than I do here in America.

Women’s rights to birth are in deep trouble here in America, folks. It has been predicted that in the near future (I’ve heard as early as 2015, but don’t quote me on that!) vaginal birth will be an exception and every baby will be born by cesarean. Do a little research on cesareans (here’s a good place to start) and you will see how very wrong this is. America needs help, and fast.

For those of you who live in Muskegon. If you would like to learn more about birth in this country there is going to be a showing of a wonderful documentary on April 17th, 2008 at 6pm. It is being hosted by Full Circle Midwifery (the wonderful midwives whom I see!!). It is being held at the MAREC center. A $5 donation is appreciated but no one will be turned away! The documentary is called “The Business of Being Born”, go here for more info.

I hope some of you will come, and that you will pass this info along to other women here in Muskegon. Because let me tell you…it’s pretty bad here for birthing women.

It’s really bad in America for birthing women.

It’s time we stood up for ourselves and demanded better health care for ourselves and our babies.

I include myself in this, and have already begun trying to make a difference. If I can help one woman avoid the unnecessary surgery I went through to “birth” my son then it will all have been worth it.


UGH! Almost 32 weeks pregnant and…. March 9, 2008

Filed under: Pregnancy and Birth — Jess @ 3:07 am

today was rough.

It was one of those hi-we’re-your-pregnancy-hormones-and-we’re-going-to-take-over-your
-body-and-turn-you-into-a-horrible-grump days. Let me tell you–it. wasn’t. fun. For anyone involved.


Luckily I have the most amazing two guys in the world living with me! Handsome Hunk was very loving and patient (and super happy to leave for work this morning, I’m sure!). And Blue-Eyed Boy was very snuggly and loving today. It was good. They were great. I wouldn’t have made it through the day without some sort of mental breakdown if it wasn’t for them.

I tell ya, pregnancy is not for the weak!


My Pregnancy Week 30 February 28, 2008

Filed under: Pregnancy and Birth — Jess @ 4:38 pm

I must say I cannot believe I’m already 30 weeks, but at the same time I can’t believe I still have so far to go!!

I am feeling good. Mostly just completely exhausted, but I believe the move has made the normal tiredness of the 3rd trimester worse. I keep getting leg cramps in the early morning. Boy do those stink. Folks, it’s awful to be woken from a dead sleep with a horrible pain in the calf muscle. Christopher is good about rubbing my leg for me though….such a sweet hubby I have!

I am super clumsy as well. In case you weren’t aware ice and a clumsy pregnant lady, who can’t see her feet, don’t go well. I fell in our driveway the other day. I was more embarrassed than hurt. I’m glad it was dark out and the neighbors couldn’t see me crawling to the snow bank so I could stand up! I’m sure it was a sight. But no harm was done to me (or baby) except my pride. haha!

And the wonderful swelling has begun. Especially if I stand a lot (you know like unpacking boxes and moving requires!). So, I have been having swollen ankles and hands at the end of the day. I decided today to take it easy and not unpack anything….we’ll see if I can hold out for an entire day. Not likely.

I’ve been asked a couple times if I think it’s easier being pregnant the second time so I would like to share my thoughts on this.

I think that it’s really a toss up. In some respects the first was harder and in some respects this time is harder. But if I had to choose I’d say the second time is easier. Mostly because I’m not completely consumed with the pregnancy like I was the first time. I have to take care of Timmy and everything isn’t new. I’ve been there. done that. So, I don’t need to freak out about every discomfort and run to my pregnancy book to make sure nothing is wrong. I think that is the biggest difference. I think this pregnancy is harder in regards to the first trimester because I had so much morning sickness like I didn’t have with Timmy. But other than that it’s been a breeze. My body already knows what to do, the stretching isn’t as painful because I’m already stretched. I think every pregnancy is different just like every baby is different so it’s very hard to compare them.

Anyways…10 more weeks to go! (I’m figuring 12 though since I was almost two weeks overdue with Timmy–then I won’t get TOO anxious near the end!! *crossing fingers*).

Oh I also wanted to say that we have our names picked out-finally!

*drum roll please*

If Oat Bran is a girl her name will be…….

Ellie Kay

If Oat Bran is a boy his name will be…….

Elijah Christopher

I guess we have an “e” thing going on this time.

So, those are our names we picked…if you don’t like ’em TOO BAD it’s our kid! HA! *wink*

Timmy was supposed to be Elijah Christopher, and Timothy Scott was our “back-up” name. But I took one look at him and said..”He’s a Timothy”. Christopher said “are you sure?” I said yes. And that was that. I can’t imagine him being a little Eli. I’m sure none of the rest of you can either- he’s a Timmy through and through!

I would say Stay tuned next week for another weekly pregnancy report unfortunately I haven’t been keeping up with that too well.

So I guess instead I’ll say…

Stay tuned for in case I find something interesting to say about my pregnancy in the coming weeks!


How Could I Forget? February 15, 2008

Filed under: Holton House Quest,Pregnancy and Birth — Jess @ 4:47 pm

Today we went to our NEW HOUSE (It still gives me a thrill to say it!) and took a couple boxes of books over (Sorry I pack them too heavy honey!), and I wanted to clean the kitchen and bathroom, etc.

So, while I was cleaning Handsome Hunk and Blue-Eyed Boy went on a quest for a snow shovel and a dish drying rack (I would like to introduce you to our new dishwasher–ME!). They were unsuccessful. Apparently Meijer stopped carrying snow shovels months ago (Did they miss the blizzard? or did I just imagine it? Hello this is MICHIGAN). Needless to say Handsome Hunk was quite surprised. So, Blue-Eyed Boy and I will later be heading out on a quest for a snow shovel—oh the joys of home “renter-ship”!

Anyways…in my zeal to clean the kitchen I seemed to have forgotten something very important.


And climbing on top of counters (shh don’t tell the Hunk I did that!) and kneeling on the floor would be regretted later.

Well it’s later folks and let me tell you……..

I need a nap

and maybe some Tylenol

and maybe some ice cream *wink*

But at least the kitchen is spotless.