Saturday, March 28, 2009

17 weeks, 2 days: Experiencing Sticker Shock

I guess I need to get out more.

In fact, I know I do! I had no idea things cost so much!!

We don't usually pay for services - we usually do without, do it ourselves, or barter for services. Except for occasional car repair, we just don't pay for services (though that will probably change with home ownership, I'm sure). So I guess I just wasn't prepared for how much things out there cost!

This week I decided to do a little harmless browsing and emailing to start estimating costs for the birth things I'd like to do - nothing serious, just some reconnaissance work. Yikes! I am now wondering how we'll afford any of it, let alone all of it (that went out the window with my first estimate). Of course, I still have tons more people to talk to to get their estimates, but here's how my first estimates look:

Childbirth classes: $200
Babysitting for childbirth classes: $150
Pregnancy Photography: $300
Birth Photography: $600
Professional Doula: $500 each

Considering that we really have a budget of ZILCH to start with, a lot of these things are going out the door!

We can get a student doula for free, which we may end up doing... But I do know two wonderful doulas who I would love to hire - but that would come to $1000 for just doula work alone!

So... We've got a lot of thinking to do. And planning. Too bad I can't just discover $2,000 lying on the street, labeled "Take me!" In lieu of that, we'll just have to discover our priorities.

Moving on....

I managed to cook my first-ever thing since Christmas - oatmeal - this past week, so I'm pumped! I know it'll take a couple more months before I can do something as revolting as onions or meat, but we're on the way. And we have DH's family visiting next weekend, so that has been a great impetus to move my housekeeping up from "non-existent" to "minimal," so that's another improvement! Give it another 10 weeks and who knows what heights I'll reach!

I hope that you all are having a terrific weekend! Love to all!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

16 weeks, 6 days: Reporting on Results

Well, we did end up getting the call at 6 pm last night that our midwife had indeed been called to a birth - just in time for us to miss our visit! Bummer!! But at least we have it to look forward to again! I'll have to save my ultrasound questions for next week.

Anyhow, since we are kinda-sorta 'out of the woods' HG-wise (though I don't want to say that too loudly), I wanted to report in really quickly on the results of my HG protocol.

I do this with some trepidation, and I want any HG mums out there to remember the following: What did not work for me may just be the thing for you. So just because I say "this didn't work for me" is absolutely no reason not to try it. Please take everything with a grain (or a cup) of salt.

Finding remedies for NVP (nausea/vomiting of pregnancy) is rather difficult, for the following reasons:

(1) What works for mild/moderate NVP is usually useless for HG. For example, "eat dry crackers" may work fine for mild NVP. For an HG mum who can't eat anything without triggering a violent vomiting spell, it doesn't do a bit of good.

(2) NVP/HG is not predictable from pregnancy to pregnancy. It may stay the same, get better, or get worse - it's impossible to tell. Thus, when someone on the internet says, "I tried such and such, and I had no trouble at all the second time around!" it's just possible that she wouldn't have had any NVP anyhow, and that the remedy had nothing to do with it. Then again, she may have found her own miracle cure. But.....

(3) .... Remedies for NVP are usually highly individual, as stated above. What works for one mum may not work for another - or may make things worse! I found countless accounts on the web of "I tried {insert remedy here} and it cured me completely!" - but that is no guarantee of that remedy working for another mother.

(4) Since I don't have a "control" (i.e. an identical twin carrying a baby identical to mine under identical circumstances), I have no way to know whether or not some of the things that I did take and which seemed to be ineffectual might just have prevented the condition from being worse.

So, with all those caveats stated, here goes:

I never got around to trying these things, or trying them seriously:

* Acupuncture/Acupressure - too tired/sick to look around for a good practitioner, and didn't want to face the sticker price (most insurances, mine included, do not pay for any alternative medicine)

* Chiropractic Care

* MorningWell CD - kind of forgot about it

* Homeopathy - I did buy some Sepia 30C, and tried it a couple of times. I didn't notice any great difference, and gave up on it without going into it more seriously. The problem with homeopathy is that it is an incredibly complicated art, whose correct remedies depend both on the exact symptoms of the condition and the personal idiosyncrasies of the patient. There are at least 15 different homeopathic remedies for NVP/HG. My conclusion is that if one wants to try homeopathy for HG (and it can be wildly successful when it works - see the website Blooming Awful for homeopathy success stories for HG), one really needs to be under the guidance of a trained homeopath, preferably one with experience treating NVP.

* Herbs other than those listed below - there's a HUGE list of herbs for NVP, and I only got to about four of them.

These Things Were Counterproductive

* Breastfeeding - It works for some women. Not for me. Nursing while nauseated was... nauseating.

These Things Didn't Do Anything Noticeable

Another caveat, though... It's possible that without these things it could have been much worse. After all, my NVP this time was manageable with Zofran. It didn't go crashing out of control like it could have. So some of these things might be responsible for that fact.

* Omega-3's
* Milk Thistle
* Water with lemon
* Multivitamin
* Probiotics
* Legumes - Despite that article I posted, eating beans does NOT magically make NVP disappear (though it seemed to be an NVP-friendly food)

* Herbs - I tried the following herbs, with no noticeable improvement:

* Ginger: I tried dried ginger in pills (no improvement but caused heartburn and a dreadful aftertaste) and also as a syrup (tastes good, but no help)
* Wild Yam: Tried it as a tincture (put it in apple juice) and as a homemade decoction. No noticeable improvement, and I had to give up on it after a while because the smell and the taste were hideous. And with my pg-nose, I could smell that horrible stuff ANYWHERE in the house, even through the plastic bags. I had to get rid of it.
* Peach Leaf: Tried it as a tea. This is probably one of the worst-tasting herbs anywhere. Had to get rid of it for the same reasons as listed under wild yam. Blech. (But someone I know credits peach leaf tea with curing her severe NVP, so don't write it off.)
* Morning Sickness Balm by Mountain Meadow Herbs: They have some great testimonials on their site, but I didn't notice any improvement. This includes ginger, fennel, and peppermint tinctures.

One of the problems is that I don't like the taste or smell of herbal products even while non-pregnant. Herbal tea I always find repugnant. So adding nausea and a super-sensitive nose into the situation meant that herbal products were somewhat torturous to endure.

Also, a lot of the pills listed above were left off after a couple of weeks because I simply couldn't endure taking handfuls of pills every day (as Shonda Parker told me would probably be the case). So, as always, it's hard to tell what was helpful and what would have been helpful had I continued it.

I would probably try the same stuff above if I had it to do over again. You never know!

These Were Mildly Helpful

* Whole Foods Diet - This is a hard one, because if you have full-blown HG, you usually can't eat. So this is for mild/moderate NVP only. But since I could eat this time around, I did notice that processed foods made me sicker than whole foods. For example, though carb-only meals always made me sick, those that included high fructose corn syrup always made me much sicker than those with plain sugar (learned that switching between homemade and storebought pancake syrup). When I talked to Shonda Parker, she credited a pre-NVP whole-foods diet as the most important factor in NVP-prevention.

These Were Really Helpful

That's right, folks.... Cold, hard pharmaceuticals

* Zofran (Ondansetron)

* Bendectin replica (Unisom {doxylamine succinate} plus B-complex/B6)

Notes on Books

* Ashli McCall's Book "Beyond Morning Sickness: Battling Hyperemesis Gravidarum" was extremely helpful. I used it constantly as a reference for all topics HG-related, especially drug facts. If you want to go through another HG pregnancy, please get this book and keep it on hand.

* Miriam Erick's book "Managing Morning Sickness" was not as helpful. Her main advice, "Eat what sounds good" is kind of an intuitive thing anyway. You can definitely try it, though, if you want to keep up on what's out there.

And there you have it!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

16 weeks, 5 days: The Journey Continues

A note to my readership: The nausea gods do not smile kindly on the arrogance of an NVP mother who blithely writes "I'm doing just fine" in her HG blog. After I wrote that last week, I spent most of the rest of the afternoon throwing up, LOL!!! So I will be more modest and unassuming in my writing from now on.

I have realized with a start that time is really passing on! There is a lot to do from here on out. I'm giving myself until week 20 before I need to get active, but after that the to-do list is somewhat endless.

First of all, I need to start assembling my birth team. That would be...

- Midwife or midwives (already done)
- Student midwife (already done)
- Doula(s) (need to do)
- Adult supervisor for DS (need to do)

When you add myself, DH and DS (plus baby!), that's a pretty big team! I was going to add in a birth photographer, but after finding out the rates for birth photography (yeeouchh!!!!), I have given up on that idea. I guess I'll delegate the job to DH. I have given him the assignment of finding out how to do good indoor low-light pictures, as last time's were pretty awful (grainy, blurry, dark, etc.).

Also on my to-do list....

- Buy a birth ball (freecycle has been unavailing)
- Sign up for childbirth classes and arrange for babysitting for DS
- Start exercising
- Start doing birth exercises
- Arrange for pregnancy photography

And a ton of other things! So hopefully I'll have the energy to get on that list in a few weeks.

We see our midwives tonight, hurray!!! That is, assuming they're not called out to a birth (and they'd better not be!!). We're really looking forward to that.

Hope you all are having a GREAT week!! Love to all!!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

16 weeks, 2 days: My blog has a birthday!

Yes, my blog has turned 1!

Actually, a long time ago.... I forgot to check when I actually started this thing, and it was February 15 of 2008. So happy belated birthday!

I've had a lot of fun with this blog - it's been really good for me. I started it in order to be able to (1) collect and share my HG research (done), (2) provide information to other HG mothers (somewhat done), (3) process my own HG experience (somewhat done), (4) prepare for another pregnancy (not completed, but done anyway!), and (5) record my journey through another pregnancy (in process). So I'm happy with what has been accomplished!

My other blog, my birth blog, won't have its first birthday till this summer. That blog has been a great experience as well, and I've absolutely loved it.

I find it really interesting how different people react to trauma in their lives. I had what would be known in the HG world as the mildest-upon-mild case of HG - and yet I've needed the past three years (and more - I'm not done) to work through it and process the experience. And yet, a year or so ago, I accidentally met another HG mother at a party who had the worst-of-the-worst HG in a pregnancy which nearly took her life, and she had had no such instincts. She had done no research, no reading, had never heard of Ashli McCall (author of "Beyond Morning Sickness: Battling Hyperemesis Gravidarum"), hadn't spent any time on, and was content to let bygones be bygones. (Part of that may have been due to the fact that the severity of her experience forbade her from ever trying to have another child, so preparing for another pregnancy wasn't a necessity or an interest for her.) But anyway, it's interesting! Some people can move on, and some people need to work through things for a long time. I guess I'm one of the latter - and this blog has been very helpful in that.

I'm doing just fine right now. I have even avoided throwing up for the past 48 hours or so, hurray!!! Zofran is a wonderful thing. I don't feel terrific, but that's fine - that will come. I only have a few miserable hours a day (right now, that is, it still fluctuates) and feel mildly nauseated all day - but it could be a lot worse! Last time at this point I wasn't even eating solid food, LOL!!! So I am very grateful. Baby is still fluttering, and I'm hoping that he/she will make himself more firmly known one of these days - I love baby kicks!

Still undecided on the ultrasound issue....

Well, DS is awake, so I'd better go! Love to all, and have a terrific weekend!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

15 weeks, 6 days: Moving Right Along

Hi, everyone!

It's been a long week! I should have checked in sooner, but it's just been super-busy. My parents left for home on Sunday morning, so we are officially on our own. I'm not completely up to it, but am a whole lot more so than a month ago! So we're doing okay.

I have cut my Zofran intake by half, meaning that I now have 4 months of medication left rather than 2 months - and if I can successfully cut it further in month or two, may be able to stretch it all the way. Cutting back on Zofran has meant that I have gone backwards a bit in NVP management - I'm back to throwing up every day (it had stretched out to every couple of days), but the good news is that I don't really feel any (or much) worse, and I think it's worth it as long as it doesn't get out of control. I'm going to keep an eye on it for a while and see if I can hold the line here.

I still haven't made up my mind completely on whether or not to get an ultrasound.... I've got two weeks left to vacillate, and I'll probably do so till the last second. We see our midwife again next week (hurray!!!!!), and I'm going to give her a good grilling on the subject to see what insights I can imbibe.

In more personal news, our toddler has weaned.... sort of. This wasn't voluntary on either of our parts, but the simple consequence of the fact that my supply has inexplicably vanished! I hadn't thought it would do so so early, but there you have it. He's still nursing occasionally (once a day, sometimes less), but it hurts like heck! (That's how I found out about everything... I went on the internet and discovered that nursing sans milk supply is supposed to be quite painful - which it is!). So, although we've nursed longer than 99.99% of Americans, I'm sorry it's (mostly) over so soon - I hadn't intended to wean for quite a while.

We were able to participate this past weekend in the Infant Memorial Service put on by my friend J., and it was a lovely experience which I hope will be repeated. I think that we Christians have a lot of hypocrisy within our numbers to expose in that while we espouse the personhood of human beings from conception, we don't tend to give funerals for infants lost before birth until they are recognizably "babylike" - say around 24 weeks or so. That is a serious issue that needs to be addressed by the church. Thoughts, anyone?

Well, I have the feeling that I had more to say, but I have no idea what it was! So I'll check back in later. I hope that you all are having a wonderful week!!


HG Story in the Media

Anna of My Hyperemesis posted this HG-story, and I wanted to continue the tradition! :) It's always great to see HG stories in the media:

"Hyperemesis: A Personal Story"

Thanks, Anna!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

15 weeks, 0 days: Checking In

Another milestone, hurray!!!

Things are moving along just fine. I can occasionally feel baby flutter, and my nausea is usually workable, though not pleasant (especially post-noon). Yesterday was a rotten day, nausea-wise, but most days are at least semi-okay, at least until afternoon!! I picked up my second-to-last prescription of Zofran today, and realized that unless I want to fight my insurance again, I need to immediately start cutting down on my dosage so that I can make it last. I'll probably start on that tonight or tomorrow. Wish me luck!

My mom heads for home on Sunday, so I will be on my own. Am I ready? No, but more ready than I was a month ago. We'll just have to see how it goes.

Right now I'm facing two questions. Question #1: Do I really want to get an ultrasound? I chose not to have one with DS, and loved doing it that way. I really don't want an ultrasound. However, having taken so many drugs with this baby (legal drugs, folks, legal!), I am a little nervous - and I don't like surprises. If anything was wrong, I would rather have time to prepare my heart rather than having a birth-day surprise. So I'll have to think it over and make a decision - within a couple of weeks, as I think they're usually done around 18 weeks.

Question #2 - Do we want to take childbirth classes? I'm kind of torn. On the one hand, the classes we took last time (hypnobirthing) just did not cut it for me. Worse than useless, actually. I could really use some good labor-coping techniques (trying to imagine running through a field of flowers SO did not work!!). And I love hanging out with pregnant mums and CBE teachers and talking birth! Every week, too!! Hurray!! On the other hand.... I've spent the last 2 years of my life doing massive research into birth, and I don't know if I want to spend all that time and energy into sitting through classes (and paying money to do so!) that talk about the basics that I already know. And, a much bigger impediment, we have to pay for childcare for DS now if we want to attend classes - which would be about three hours per week, which would really add up. Quickly. Let's see.... $6/hour x 3 hours/class x 12 classes.... That comes to $216, plus the $300-400 for the class. Yikes!! I'll have to think on that one.

Also.... I'm hoping to get either (or possibly both) pregnancy photography and/or birth photography done. I wish I had with my first - I really regret having only some dark, bad-quality home pics of our pregnancy/birth with DS. I'd love to have better pics, especially since we're (right now) planning on this being our last. So that's another expense. Thankfully our region has a surfeit of free/low-cost doulas right now due to last month's training (the one I had to miss, *sob*!), so I don't think our doula(s) will be a big expense.

My mom asked yesterday if she was invited to my birth, and I had to tell her no. I know she was disappointed, and I felt badly about that.... But for some reason, there is nothing more repulsive to me than the thought of one's mother at one's birth. I know tons of people do it, but.... I'd rather invite our entire church and bystanders on the street! LOL So hopefully she won't stay too upset about that.

Well, enough rambling! I'd better get back to work. Thank you all for your sweet comments on my article! I really appreciate the support!

Love to all,

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers

Here it is, guys! Cross-posted from my birth blog. This has nothing to do with HG but is a subject close to my heart, so I wanted to post it on both blogs.

In honor of the National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers, I thought I would like to write a quick note about why I do not appreciate abortion providers! It's only fitting.

Anyone who has read this blog for more than a couple of entries has probably gotten the idea that I am pro-life. Well, here it is officially: I am. I have not done a lot of abortion-specific articles simply because this is a natural birth blog rather than a right-to-life blog, but I want every part of this blog to be life-affirming. It is a bit intimidating to even write on the subject, just because I know that most natural birth blogs (being, as the movement is, wrapped up in feminism and patient/women's rights) are pro-abortion, and I know that I risk both negative backlash and lost readership. However, one must stand for what one believes is right, and it's time for some pro-life birth blogs. However, if you are pro-choice, know that I love you! If you would like to have a calm, respectful discussion, feel free to leave a comment and I'll get back with you. If you would like to be incendiary and hateful, please don't bother leaving a comment. I've seen the abortion debate degenerate too often into a screaming match, and this does not do anyone any good.

It is also difficult to write on the subject simply because with abortion, one risks descending into what can only be described as a diatribe - a derisive denunciation of the other side (think Ann Coulter) which generally gets people on one's side saying, "Yeah! That's right!" and people on the other side even more deeply divided and set against what you had to say. That is not the purpose of this article. My one purpose is to have pro-choice readers examine their views and question the goodness of what they are defending.

My history, for the record: I was raised pro-abortion and stayed that way, strongly, until sometime around early college, when I took a good look at what it was I was defending - and thereafter began the gradual journey into my current pro-life position. On the way I slid through most of the "in between" positions - "wrong except in rape/incest/fetal abnormalities," "wrong except in rape/incest," etc. Only when I finally came to the resting place of acknowledging all human life as sacred did I know true peace on this issue.

There are only two possible justifications for abortion: (1) Abortion is okay if the unborn child is not a human being, and (2) Abortion is okay if there are certain groups of human beings who do not have the same rights as other human beings.

As to the humanity of the unborn, let's get realistic. Either the unborn child is fully human and thus sacred from the moment of conception, or no human life is sacred (as one abortionist so aptly put it, "What exactly is it about passage down the birth canal that suddenly makes a baby sacred?"). All of the "non-human to human" transition points that have been thought up (such as "not human until the heart starts beating," "not human until the age of viability," "not human until breathing on its own") are purely artificial human constructions that have no basis in objective fact. From the moment of conception, the baby's hair color, eye color, personality traits, and an innumerable host of other characteristics are already determined. The baby is growing and developing from day one. All attempts to dehumanize the unborn infant (calling a baby a "fetus" or "products of conception") are just that - human attempts to reason away the humanity of an infant so that its killing does not seem so heinous.

And if an unborn infant is human, then the idea that some human beings just don't have rights is absolutely despicable. All human beings deserve the right to a natural, God-ordained (rather than humanly-ordained) lifespan which cannot be pushed aside for the convenience of other human beings who don't want to deal with the bother of an "unwanted" or inconveniently handicapped child.

The abortion movement has been wrapped up in some absolutely lovely, mouth-watering terms: Freedom. Choice. Every child a wanted child. Women's rights. Patients' rights. Privacy. But at the end of the day, what do we find? Do we find freedom and empowered women? No. We find the horribly mutilated bodies of countless babies (over 50 million since 1973) being thrown out with the trash in biowaste bags. And that is the literal truth. Go look at some abortion pics on the internet and tell me what you see - you will see dead babies. Nothing more, nothing less. There is no freedom - only death, in the most brutal way and visited upon the most innocent, vulnerable and fragile of all human beings, those who most deserve our tenderest and move loving care and protection.

I could write all day about this subject, going into the various reasons for abortion and defending my position. But I don't need to get long-winded. Maybe I'll cover some of those subjects later. For now, I just want the thoughtful reader to truly think.

Thus, if you are pro-life, get active! Participate in 40 Days for Life. Participate in the Red Envelope Campaign. Go find an abortion clinic and spend some time in prayer there.

And if you are pro-choice? Please spend some time in deep thought. Think past the rhetoric, the campaign slogans, the propaganda. Realize what "choice" means. And decide whether or not that "choice" is where you want to put your heart.

Closing with the words of Mother Teresa:

"Yours is the one great nation in all history which was founded on the precept of equal rights and respect for all humankind, for the poorest and weakest of us as well as the richest and strongest. Human rights are not a privilege conferred by government. They are every human being's entitlement by virtue of his humanity. I have no new teaching for America. I seek only to recall you to faithfulness to what you once taught the world. Your nation was founded on the proposition very old as a moral precept, but startling and innovative as a political insight that human life is a gift of immeasurable worth, and that it deserves, always and everywhere, to be treated with the utmost dignity and respect."

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Pausing Again.... For a Book Giveaway!

This is a cross-post from my birth blog... Just thought some of you might be interested!

Kathy Peterson, of the blog Woman to Woman Childbirth Education, my all-time favorite childbirth-ed blog/website (check it out!), is celebrating her 100,000-blog-hit anniversary (congratulations, Kathy!) with a book give-away! The book is (drumroll, please).....

a copy of the book Breastfeeding with Comfort and Joy: A Photographic Guide for Mom and Those Who Help Her, by Laura Keegan!

Check out the book at its website here!

I unfortunately have not yet had the chance to read this book, but I hope to do so soon! I definitely could have used it. As a lot of you know, breastfeeding is NOT easy. My early days of breastfeeding were fairly disastrous. I had an unhappy baby who was losing weight, continuous blocked ducts (couldn't clear one up before the next one started) and multiple milk blisters. (If you don't know what a milk blister is, count your blessings. Nursing with a milk blister feels like baby is biting hard - with teeth - all the time you're nursing! Aah!!) Thankfully our pediatrician was able to set me right on technique, but many women understandably give it up as a bad job. I am so thankful we were able to work things out, because long-term nursing has been great for us. Any book that promotes successful breastfeeding has all of my support!

So visit Kathy's website here and learn about what you need to do to enter!

Pregnant mamas, please do not visit Kathy's blog on this coming Tuesday. Any other day, but not Tuesday. I can explain privately if you have questions.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

13 weeks, 6 days: Pausing for a Shameless Website Promotion

While doing research for my birth blog, where I have just started a new sidebar for positive and affirming support for parents of babies with poor prenatal diagnoses, I ran across one of my very favorite blogs, "Bring the Rain," which I have been following for the past year or so. This blog is so good, and has had such a profound effect on my life, that I just had to put in a little plug for it. If you haven't seen it yet, I encourage you to check it out!

"Bring the Rain" is a blog started last year by a mother who learned, halfway through her pregnancy, that her baby had severe birth defects and would not live past birth. Though encouraged to choose abortion, she carried her baby to term and was able to spend several precious hours with her little one before she died.

This is not an easy read, but it is extremely powerful. Start at the beginning and prepare to grow!

Bring the Rain

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

13 weeks, 5 days: Continuing Down the Path

Hi, everyone! I'm checking in for the sake of checking in, but I don't have an overwhelming amount to say. Life continues on! My NVP continues ever on in its unpredictable path. On Sunday it was so bad that I was afraid it was relapsing (I actually threw up in the morning, something that has not happened to me since I started taking Zofran - right now I'm usually a post-midday sickie), but it has calmed back down a bit since then. My nose is not quite as hypersensitive as it was (thank goodness!), but it was put to the test last night with a pan of brownies my mother made (they tasted good, but oh, the smell!). But I am thankful for every day of non-HG pregnancy and for every inch of improvement.

Over the weekend I wrote a blog entry which really could have gone on this blog, but which ended up on my birth blog because it had so much to do with the medical world. Since it's mostly about HG, if you're interested, check it out here.

One very exciting thing I have to report is....... baby flutters! Yes, they're so slight as to be in the maybe-yes-maybe-no category, but I think I am starting to feel the first baby movements. I looked it up to see if it was possible this early, and the literature said that with second babies it was definitely possible (the stuff I read said that first babies are usually 16-22 weeks, sometimes later, with 2nd babies being as early as 13 weeks - and some mums reported even earlier!). Of course this doesn't have anything to do with what baby is actually doing - it's just a matter of when the mum can finally feel it! So that is awesome, and I can't wait for those definite kicks. There's nothing better in the world!

When I compare this pregnancy to my last, I have to laugh at the difference in my knowledge. I don't think many women go into pregnancy more ignorantly than I did with our first and second babies (our first miscarried). I thought that the placenta was the same thing as the amniotic sac. I thought that "dilation" referred to the vulva rather than the cervix. I had no idea what a contraction was - I had Braxton Hicks contractions for a good two months before I discovered what they were (I thought that I just had a really weird, roving uterus that could move around of its own volition). I thought that labor was all pushing. Anyhow, I had so much fun learning all the ins and outs. Now I'm doing the same thing - it's just that I have the basics down now, but I can't wait to learn more! It's such an adventure.

Well, enough off-topic blabbing! I hope that you all are having a terrific week. I appreciate your support and am glad to keep up with everyone.

Oh, one last note.... An on-line friend made me aware today that March 10th is "National Abortion Providers' Appreciation Day." At least right now, I am hoping to write a short and very pro-life piece for that day that I will post on both my blogs. Please pray that it would come across in a spirit of love and wouldn't turn into a screaming match. I dearly love my pro-choice friends and wish to cause them to examine their beliefs thoughtfully without being hateful.