Tuesday, December 29, 2009

December 29 - The Feast of St. Thomas Becket

Intercessory Prayer to St. Thomas Beckett
O God, for the sake of whose Church
the glorious Bishop Thomas fell by the sword of ungodly men:
grant, we beseech Thee, that all who implore his aid,
may obtain the good fruit of his petition.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ,

Who livest and reignest with Thee
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, forever and ever.

Friday, December 25, 2009

I got a baby for Christmas!

Despite my fears of going into labor over Christmas Eve...

Richard and I were wrapping Christmas presents, when the mild contractions I'd been having off and on all day suddenly became more intense. It was about 1 a.m.

At 2 a.m., I decided to go to bed, but couldn't sleep through the contractions, so I started timing them. I called my midwife at 3:30 and told her THIS TIME I was 100% I was in labor (I'd called her with 3 bouts of false labor in the two weeks prior).

Richard and I woke the kids at 4:00 so they could see Santa had paid them a visit and play with their toys before being shuttled off to Nonnie's house. My midwives showed up around 4:30.

I had the birth experience I had hoped for, but not exactly according to plan. I didn't have a water birth - I utilized my tub for pain management (getting in and out a few times), but at one point I fell asleep during contractions. Because I felt the tub was slowing my progress, I got out.

After roughly 11 hours of labor and 45 minutes of pushing, I gave birth in my bed to our son, Thomas Becket. He weighs 8 lbs. 2 oz. (a big baby for me considering my others only weighed around 6 1/2 lbs) and 20 1/2 inches long. He has brown-black hair and looks a lot like my youngest daughter when she was born.

Speaking of the kids - we waited until they came home to tell them that they had a new baby brother! I wanted them to see him for themselves!!

By the way, I feel absolutely FABULOUS! Sore and tired, but fabulous!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


This was posted on one of my pregnancy message boards I frequent. It's cute, funny - and hitting close to home at this point! :)

Dear Baby Boy/Girl:

I love you dearly, but it's time to go. I no longer want to be your mobile home. I understand that the lease agreement covered 40 weeks, but there have been some issues that have not been resolved.

First, there has been structural damage done to the exterior siding of your home, and I'm sure there will be some inside as well once you vacate and we are able to inspect the property.

Second, since you moved in, there have been constant plumbing problems, to include frequent leaks and sewage back ups.

The neighbors tell me that your midnight parties keep them up, and sometimes they notice strange sounds and foul odors around your home. I also understand that you have been kicking and hitting some of the furniture that was provided to you at no extra cost.

There is a hearing scheduled with the judge on Tuesday to determine when the enforcement of this eviction will occur. I strongly urge you to vacate the property voluntarily BEFORE the official eviction date, otherwise the authorities WILL come in and remove you by force.

Thank you for understanding!



Tuesday, December 8, 2009

iPhone, Baby

Well, I'm 37 weeks today... that means FULL TERM!!! Woo-hoo!

With the thought in mind that I might go into labor sometime in the near future, I decided to check out iPhone apps I might be able to use now, during labor, and once the baby comes.

Counting Baby Kicks
Not that this has really been an issue for me (since this baby is the most active one I've experienced during pregnancy), I did find a baby kick counter app. The Pregnancy Kick Counter by Ethan Productions is a FREE app and very easy to use. Essentially, once loaded to your phone, you touch the screen (on the touch button provided) and for one hour, timer provided, you count the number of kicks. Each time you feel a kick, you touch the screen and a number appears in the silhouette pregnant belly of the pink woman on your phone's screen. If you reach 11 kicks in an hour, a message stating "Your baby has reached the amount of movements required within an hour."

What to Expect
Another FREE app, What to Expect (based on the widely known pregnancy book by the same name) provides countdown, gestational age, and baby size (compared to various fruits - my baby is the size of a watermelon this week) based on your estimated due date. By clicking on the Week by Week option, you can get information about your body and your baby for the week of your pregnancy. The Photo Booth option allows for storage of your pregnant body progression in pictures.

Contraction Timers
I downloaded three contraction timing apps. The first two, Labor and Contraction Timer by Michael Kale and Stage 1 by Arboretum Software, are both FREE. Both help time the duration of and period between labor contractions and both are easy to use. However, for $0.99 I purchased Contraction Master. Not only can you easily start the timer (by simply pressing the "Start" on your screen) and stop the timer (again, a simple touch of your phone screen), but the program will tell you the duration and the frequency of your contractions. The program also keeps a History of your contractions which you can then email from your phone. I'm DEFINITELY looking forward to utilizing this app (sooner rather than later, I hope).

is another FREE app I put on my phone. This app provides breastfeeding information including Early Breastfeeding Management from birth to 48 hours and 48 hours to 2 weeks. There is also a menu for Breastfeeding Information including Medications and Frequently Asked Questions (topics include pumping, latch difficulty, supplements, weight loss, and more). Many of the topics provide internet links instead of information within the program, but it's a handy iPhone reference tool, nonetheless.

Total Baby by Andesigns
is the best app I've found for baby management - and I haven't even had the chance to use all of the fabulous features... yet. Total Baby will keep up with information for up to 6 (I believe) children. I've already added info for Casey, Will, and Tricky - as much information as I could remember/find. For each child entered, you will get their age (including years, months, and days) and time until their next birthday. You can also enter milestones - milestones you select and once selected, along with the date the milestone occurred, it will give you a list and how old the child was when the milestone was reached. Doctor visits, growth, vaccines, and allergy information can also be input for each child. And from the main screen of the program, you can easily scroll through to select a child. Oh! Adding a picture of each child is also a feature!

The features I haven't yet explored are the Diapers, Feedings, Baths, and Sleeping timers. In the first few weeks, I am very meticulous to track diapers and feedings. I want to make sure my baby is eating often enough and is creating enough output to let me know that the feedings are going well. [One minor drawback to breastfeeding is that you don't know exactly how many ounces baby is getting each feeding, but tracking wet and dirty diapers helps to know if baby is getting enough to eat.]

The Diapers feature allows you to track wet and "BM" diapers. For wet diapers, it will record the date and time; you can also input a description and note whether the diaper leaked. For dirty or (as the program calls them) BM diapers, not only can you note the same information as wet diapers, but you can also tell what kind of dirty was made - whether it be firm, meconium, seedy, soft, etc. and you can also choose a color (gross, but sometimes necessary). The main screen of the Diapers feature will hold a history of diapers changed.

The Feedings feature allows you to time the length of the feeding, detail whether you used the left or right breast, choose the type of hold used (clutch, cradle, cross, lying down, or saddle holds), and type notes for the particular feeding. From the main screen of the Feedings feature, a history will be kept of the feedings.

Sleeping and Bathing can also be tracked in similar fashion.

For $4.99, I purchased Total Baby - A LOT cheaper than the Itzbeen timer I've been eyeing (retail $20-$25) and Total Baby provides so many more features, with information I can store for much longer!

I hope this list and review has been helpful! And, one day, I hope to review Sympto, a FREE iPhone app to track sympto-thermal or Natural Family Planning methods of birth control.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Most Exclusive School

I was just commenting on another blog about a home school being exclusive. Really, just think about it... there are private schools out there that are in such demand that the second the parents get a positive pregnancy test result, they're signing up on the waiting list!

Well, I guess Gratia Plena Academia is pretty exclusive, too - as are most home schools. Although, mine isn't as exclusive as it was a few years ago. As of right now, I have 3 students and one on the waiting list!

[Guess I'd better go ahead and make a onesie sporting our homeschool's logo.]