September 27, 2010

My Marathon

In the beginning of this pregnancy, Jason and I started to take Bradley classes and during the classes, the teacher frequently referred to giving birth as a "marathon".  Well, here's the course of My Marathon.

Before I begin, I'm going to give you some basic guidelines to help you understand what I went through.

Medical Interventions:
Breaking someone's water = harder contractions because there's no cushion between mom's pelvis and baby's head.
Pitocin = a synthetic hormone that causes contractions to be more intense and more frequent.
Epidural = last time I had an epidural it didn't work correctly.  When you think epidural, you assume there's no pain, this is not true, it takes away about 60% of the pain you're experiencing.

The race began at exactly 43 weeks pregnant, 5:30 in the morning when I woke up with contractions that I could not sleep through.  I rolled over and told Jason I didn't think he'd be going to work that morning.  I don't know for sure what he was thinking but part of me thought, 'he doesn't believe me' since I was so far overdue.  Not only was I exactly 43 weeks but it was poor Abby's last day of daycare.

So, I labored at home from 5:30 a.m. to about 4:00 p.m. (10.5 hours).  I was curious as to how far along I was but since the hospital was all the way in Hudson Wisconsin, our midwife said she'd be willing to check my progress at the birthing center before we headed to Wisconsin.  She checked me and I was dilated to 4 cm's.  My first thought was "seriously?  I'm only 4 cm's??"  But, my next thought was that I was glad we didn't make the treck all the way to WI.  We then went home and at around 6:30, I just couldn't take it anymore and we decided to go to WI.  We called the midwife and the midwife had actually gotten violently sick within the 2 hours we'd seen her so she sent a doula to help with the birth.  So, painfully at 7:00 pm I contracted every 3-4 minutes through rush-hour traffic all the way to Hudson Wisconsin, (yes, I was was literally yelling at some points during this drive.)

We finally arrived at the hospital were a nurse checked us into a room.  Unfortunately, the birthing rooms were all full so we had to be in a room with no birthing tub.  Luckily, we were only in the room for about 1/2 an hour before someone left the birthing room and I could get into the tub. They then checked me and I was STILL at 4 cm's  (I've now been in labor for 14.5 hours.) 

After seeing the Doctor and contracting for a few more hours, the doctor offered to break my water.  He said I could make the decision and he was alright with either decision but breaking my water would speed things up a bit.  I was hesitant because I knew the above statistics about breaking my water so I denied his offer.  Later on during the evening, I had progressed to about 5 cm's after a few more hours and I decided things needed to be sped up a bit so I requested that the doctor break my water.  The only reason I agreed to this was because Jason was being an amazing coach and the doula was really helpful so I knew, with their help, I could get through the stronger and more painful contractions.

My labor from 5 to 9 cm's felt really long but Jason informs me it was about 1 cm, every couple of hours.  During this time, I was in and out of the tub about 3 times and it was into the early hours of the morning.  Personally, I had no concept of the time and all three of us (Jason, Me and the doula) had had no sleep.  I started falling asleep in between contractions and the doula actually told Jason to go to the bathroom and get a snooze in to regenerate.  I didn't even notice he was gone for very long but he said it was 45 minutes. BUT, because they were both so helpful, I finally got to 9 cm's. 

For several hours I stayed at 9 cm's.  The nursing staff had switched out the overnight nurses to the day nurses.  The new nurse was another enormous help.  Her name was Theresa and before she was a nurse, she was a home delivery midwife and had helped birth over 400 babies.  She was AMAZING!  She was so caring and so helpful and never left our side.  I had frustratingly been at 9 cm's for several hours during the night and when she came into the room, I asked her if she would help me get from 9-10 cm's.  She said she'd do everything she could to help.  And boy she had a lot of tricks up her sleeve and we tried everything.  Unfortunately, none of them really worked.  I was so exhausted from not sleeping and now laboring for 30 hours that the doctor and the nurse were concerned about "Maternal Exhaustion" which would cause me to not be able to push once my body got to 10 cm's.  So, they urged me to have pitocin.  I still had not had any pain medication and I was very hesitant but Jason and the Doula assured me they'd be there for me to take it one contraction at a time.  I agreed to do the pitocin, the doctor thought it would just help my body to get pushed to the 10 cm's that I needed.  It was awful.  Several times I told Jason I couldn't handle it anymore but he was always there to reassure me that he knew I could. 

With the pitocin, my body eventually decided to start pushing for itself even though I was not at 10 cm's.  Because this was happening, my cervix started to swell and it could have been torn if the baby were to come out through a hole that was too small.  NOW not only was I having, strong, frequent, intense contractions but I was being told to tell my body NOT to do what it wanted to do and STOP the pushing.  That's damn near impossible.  For about 4 hours I dealt with the pitocin pain and I still hadn't gotten to 10 cm's.  I hadn't slept for 34 hours and the doctor said he recommended that I sleep and to do that I could do 1 of 2 things, get an epidural or have a narcotic sleeping pill.  The thought was that the pitocin would continue to work while I slept and when I woke up I would be at 10 cm's and ready to push.  So, I was either going to be knocked out with the narcotic and expected to push before it wore off or I could have an epidural which could be turned off when I was expected to push.  So, I opted for the epidural. 

I really didn't want to do either of these options but I had been in labor for 34 hours and sleeping for a few minutes between contractions and eventually on pitocin with no relief between for the past several hours.  There had to be an end in sight.  I slept for 2 hours and the doctor came back to check me.  He didn't say anything to me and had the nurse double check me.  The nurse had a confused look on her face and said to the doctor, "I think she's only 5 cm's now." The doctor agreed.  I was at a loss ... how could I have gone from 9 cm's (SOOOO CLOSE) to regressing almost 50%.  ALL that hard work, ALL what I had endured had digressed in 2 short hours.  How is that possible?  The doctor explained that this happens to less than 2% of people who have epidurals.  Go figure, I fall into that category of people.  At this point, I gave up.  I was bound for a C-section.  The doctor allowed me to chose the elective C-section or I could keep going but he warned me I could just end up at 9 again and still not pushing and eventually so exhausted that I would have had a C-section anyways.  It was an extremely difficult decision to accept but I knew I had to have a C-section.

Fortunately, I was able to be more involved in the decision making of the C-section, I didn't have my arms strapped down to the table, I was able to converse with the doctor and have someone tell me what was going on, someone was always by my side to talk to me and hold my hand and Jason was there as long as possible.  There was also someone with me in recovery to make sure I was okay. 

And finally I could see the finish line.  I made it back to the postpartum room before Jason and Andrew but when he brought him in, I was so happy to be done and see my boys.  He was born at 7:31 pm on Saturday September 18th.  10 lbs 7 oz.  Average baby head is 13 inches, his head was 15 inches.  The nurse said if I had delivered him normally, I would have needed 11 cm's dilation.

It was quite the marathon.  But I am so happy to have been able to do it.  All three of us survived a long and torturous delivery.  I am so proud of Jason and I couldn't have asked for a better coach and dad.  Several of the nurses commented that they had never seen a dad be so involved and supportive.

I am also proud of myself.  Not only was I in labor for a long time, but I did about 34 of my 36 hours of labor pain medication free.  I stood my ground when everyone said I was crazy, I believed in myself when people tried to tear my down and when I was tempted by intervention.  With this birth I feel I justified my last birth in knowing that I did everything in my power even though the end result was similar.  This was not a failure in my eyes but an opportunity for my to grow.  I learned a lot about my limits mentally, physically and emotionally and now all is good.  All is good. 

~Mama Beal

September 15, 2010

Baby Boy Beal Bump (BBBB) :)

There are no words to describe how pregnant I feel.  That being said, a pictures worth 1,000 words.

September 13, 2010

Have a little faith

I trust the doctors, I trust the midwife, I trust myself and most of all, I have faith in God.  Some things must be left up to him.

~Mama Beal

September 8, 2010

Today is the Beginning of the End

So yesterday I had an appointment with the midwife and she said that I HAVE to be in labor by Friday and no later.  She said if I haven't gone into labor by Friday, I will have to go back to Hudson and they will give me pitocin to try to get me into labor.  Once I'm in labor at the hospital, it then becomes a hospital birth with the midwives present.  So, even though this sounds like bad news, it's also good news because we know he will be born by the weekend. 

After the midwife checked me, she found out I was dilated 1 cm and she could stretch me to 3 cm which meant she could strip my membranes.  Not comfortable but another opportunity to get the labor process started.  After she did the procedure, I started having contractions at 2:10 every 10 minutes for several hours.  They were REALLY weak contractions but they lasted through the night but didn't change in intensity.  If that didn't put me into labor, the next step is to take Castor oil.  What the heck does this mean?!  Well, here's what I do.  I was told to eat a "hearty meal" 1 hour before I take the crazy concoction.  Here is the "recipe" for a castor oil induction, the midwife said in her entire practice, she's only had 2 people who this did NOT work at all for. 

1 cup crushed ice
6 oz citrus juice
1 pinch of baking soda
1 banana
4 oz of castor oil
1 shot of vodka (optional)

Drink with a straw so it doesn't coat your teeth and inside of mouth with the oil.  Also eat with saltines or crackers. 

Well, this was supposed to start at 9:20 and that's what time it is so hopefully this is the last post until baby Beal is born.  Wish me luck that I don't get the shit's without any contractions or baby at the end.  (that would be the ultimate frustration.)


September 6, 2010

It's Labor Day ...

And so far, I'm NOT laboring.  I am REALLY trying though.  I'm putting in the effort. 

Several long walks and sitting on the Yoga ball etc, and still no baby.  We went to Hudson WI the other day to see a physician for a BioPhysical exam and a Non-Stress Test for the baby.  Everything seemed to be fine and in order.  The physicians recommendations were to "just wait".  So that's exactly what we're doing.  If we haven't had the baby by next week on Monday, we will go back to Hudson for another BioPhysical and Non-Stress Test. 

As we wait, I've taken a few pictures of proof that we are ready for Baby Beal 2's arrival. 

Here's our bags, all packed and ready to go to the birthing center.  They've been packed for weeks, probably a month.  The Baby's bag is already in the car along with the baby car seat which makes our small Subaru look like a clown car.  No more of us driving our friends around, they're going to have to drive us if we go anywhere.

Here's the Yoga Ball I've been sitting/bouncing on recently.  Sometimes I have contractions and this helps to relieve some of the pain.

Presents have been bought by Abby for the new baby and even the baby bought Abby a present (but she doesn't know that yet.)

And here's the very eager big sister WAITING ... PATIENTLY for her little brother to show up.  She can't wait to meet him.  Every morning she wakes me up and gives me a hug and kiss and the next thing she does is shakes my belly and says "baby come out!"  If anything, this has given us the opportunity to show Abby what it means to be "patient".

September 1, 2010

"Waiting is the Hardest Part"

Like the Tom Petty song says, "Waiting is the Hardest Part."  That's for sure.

I'm sick of being pregnant.  Sick of having to go to the bathroom every 3 hours at night.  Sick of not having any clothes to wear.  Sick of the hip pain.  Sick of working hard to try and make something happen.  Sick of the comments from strangers.  Sick of thinking about it.  Sick of people asking "so, when do you think the baby will come?"  Sick of waiting!!!

I don't know why I have to wait so long but ... if I have to wait, I have no choice.  I keep telling myself, "at least I'm not having a C-section."  Because if I were still at Waconia, they would be pushing me to have the C-section at this point.  Being at Morning Star Women's Health Center it just isn't an option.

So, because I'm sick of being pregnant, Thursday we're having a Bar-B-Que just to get my mind off "being pregnant".  Every weekend Jason and I have been kind of  ... putting things off and not doing much because we're never sure if something is going to happen and when nothing happens ... we've just wasted another weekend of missing out on fun stuff with our friends/family.  So ... if I go into labor during an event, so be it.  :)

So tomorrow I will officially be 1 week overdue.  They say, on average, women will go over due 1 week and 1 day.  So Friday I'm scheduled to go see a doctor in Hudson WI that the Midwives at MorningStar trust to make sure baby and I are able to continue to be "overdue".  The midwives are very reassuring that they've never had anyone go overdue more than 2 weeks.

Wish me luck, I would have posted a picture but ... seriously, nothing has changed besides I've gotten bigger and crankier. :p

~Mama Beal

August 27, 2010

Here comes my due date ... And ... there it goes.

Well, August 26th has come ... and gone.  It is now the 27th and I am officially "over-due".  The lady at the coffee shop looked at me and asked me when the baby was supposed to come.  It's interesting to tell them "yesterday."  I also went into Creative Kids Stuff to buy Abby a present from the new coming Baby Beal and the sales lady saw me from behind and asked how I was doing, when I turned around, her eyes got real big and I'm pretty sure she lost her train of thought and then walked away.  Yeah, it's FUN to be looked at like a freak of nature.

Anyways.  I have officially never been this pregnant before so this is all new.  With Abby, they induced me at 38.5 weeks.  So, feeling "ready" to have the baby is an understatement.  Jason and I have been trying everything to move things along.  I've been adjusted, had acupuncture, done Moxibustion (this is a weird thing but supposedly it works well), I walk 2 times a day for 15 minutes at least, one day I went for a 3 mile walk (that was exhausting).  The little booger is just nice and cosy inside. My only worry is that I will go 2 weeks overdue and the next step will be to have a C-section.  I am so ready to do this, I KNOW I can do this, God just needs to grant me the opportunity. 

I really appreciate all the support I've been receiving.  Everyone has been so encouraging these last few weeks as my due date has come and gone.  It is truly what has kept me going.  I've been exhausted recently so the encouragement is MUCH needed at this point.  Thank you so much, keep sending me positive thoughts and prayers.  I just want everyone to know that I'm not only doing this for myself, the baby, Abby and Jason but I'm doing it for all my readers, and all the women in my family that have had C-sections before me.  I'm doing this for all of you as well as myself. 

If I can do it, you can do it. 
Thanks again everyone, hopefully next time I post I will have become a mom for the second time.
~Mama Beal

August 21, 2010


My "due date" is slowly but quickly approaching.  I haven't really been feeling any different from last week but when I looked at the pictures from the last post, I obviously have increased in belly size.  I must be growing though because I literally have no shirts that cover my belly anymore.  On my off work days I find myself rummaging through Jason's drawers to find his few extra large T-shirts.

As the days go by, I find myself feeling more and more prepared to have this baby.  People keep asking me "do you just feel like you want to be done?"  Well yes ... but I feel like I had an epiphany the other day and the best place for an epiphany is, of course, the bathtub.  I was laying in there thinking about my decision to have this baby and do it naturally and attempt this VBAC and I suddenly knew I was ready.  I'm not just physically tired and ready to be done but I know that I am mentally prepared.  I CAN do this.

To put things into perspective as to how my pregnancy is progressing, I'm feeling round, I'm measuring about a week ahead of schedule and I'm occasionally having braxton hicks contractions.  PLUS, when I walk into a room of people who don't know me, they almost look startled as to how big I am.  (yeah, that makes a pregnant woman feel REALLY good.)  I haven't been nesting, infact, I've had to force myself to clean the house for a showing that we had.  I've even started doing dishes (against my own will) just to see if it would maybe put me into labor, kind of a "which came first, the chicken or the egg" mentality.  I don't think it's working.

Anyways, to spice it up a bit, I have taken the regular picture of my growing belly but we also have received some rather large Zucchini's from our organic farm share.  I've never seen zucchini this large before.  They've got to be about the length of a full grown baby! :)

Have you ever seen a Zucchini this huge before???  It's GOT to be about the length of a baby.

Aw, Zucchini Baby.  (Weird, I know.)

August 2, 2010

 What I am about to tell you may sound far fetched BUT, bare with me.

As I approach my due date, I've been thinking about my family history of obstetrics.  While going to school, we were taught that 50% of a patient's diagnosis can be found through taking a good family health history.  Basically, when the doctor looks at you, 50% of you is diagnosed through your genetics.  The other 50% is diagnosed through your symptoms and vital signs such as blood pressure, heart rate etc.

So, thinking of myself as the patient, my family obstetrical health history would show what my future may entail for having babies.  Logically, I started to dig into my family's past to figure out what kind of history there is in having babies because C-sections are a medical intervention that has not been around forever.  In order for me to exist, a long time ago, someone with my same genetics MUST have had a baby naturally.  Here's what I found ... My mom had both me and my brother through C-section with exactly the same diagnosis I had with Abby (failure to progress).  My mom is an identical twin with identical genetics who ALSO had a baby through C-section with exactly the same progression as my mom and myself.  Because my mom and aunt are twins, it can be assumed that they were both born via C-section (although we don't know this for certain).  My Grandmother was probably the first of 3 generations to have a C-section.  My Great Grandmother was probably the last person with my genetics to have a natural birth probably on a farm somewhere. 

With this logic, some may ask, "can you even have a normal birth? maybe you're just destined to have a C-section."  Believe me, I've been asking myself the same question for this whole pregnancy.  BUT, here comes the "far fetched" part of this blog.  Somewhere in my genes, is hidden the truth and the mechanism for me to have a normal, natural birth.  I am my own living proof.  I am alive today because SOMEBODY had to birth my genetics WITHOUT pain medication, WITHOUT medical intervention and WITHOUT a C-section.  Thus, my genes hold the secret to me having a normal birth, I just need to believe in them and trust in God to innately guide my body to do what it genetically knows how to do.  Birth is such a process that is ingrained in us to the core that if we didn't trust ourselves or listen to the needs of our body or believe that God will guide us through such a difficult process, that we would no longer exist as a human race.

Therefore, I will be trusting in my genetics, calling upon the strength of my Great Grandmother and her mothers and grandmothers of their past, as well as praying a LOT and most of all believing in myself to accomplish my goal.  I can do this.  I know I can.  I am my own living proof.  I can do this ...

~Mama Beal

July 26, 2010

About a Month from Today

About a month from today is my "due date" give or take a week. 

I've been thinking a lot about this birth and what it means to me and also what it means to everyone else.  I think it's important for me to write some of the things I've been thinking about so that when I go into labor and get to the hard parts where I think I won't be able to handle it anymore that I can recall the importance of the decisions I've made to have a VBAC and a natural birth.  Over the next four weeks I'll be making more frequent blog posts to publicize the importance of what I'm about to attempt.  So, here goes nothing ...

What does it mean to be a VBAC?  Well, the term literally stands for Vaginal Birth After Cesarean.  From the medical community, you're labeled as a trouble maker, a rebel, a difficult patient and a complication waiting to happen.  But, there's also a book written about VBAC with the acronym meaning Very Beautiful And Courageous.  I like this acronym much better.  I haven't read the book but the title pretty much sums up the book, I can imagine. 

From the perspective of other women who have had successful VBAC's, the connection you have with other VBAC's is instantaneous.  Only a VBAC can fully understand what another has been through.  I realized this over the weekend while at a family reunion for Jason's side of the family.  We had barely gotten in the door and, of course, I'm the only one in the room who is pregnant so I stuck out like a sore thumb.  A woman (whom I've never met before) comes running over to me before I could even sit down and grabs my hand.  She looks me in the eye and introduces herself quickly and starts talking to me about how brave I am and how she is CERTAIN I can have a successful VBAC because SHE was a successful VBAC and her sisters had successful VBAC's.  Before I know it, we're swapping stories about our C-sections and she's telling me how greatful she was to have been able to have a VBAC and how much it changed her life.  Her eyes started to well up with tears and I could empathize with her emotional moment and could have hugged her on the spot (although I refrained because I couldn't remember her name.) 

Even thoughI couldn't remember her name, the connection I felt was so strong and I am so grateful she felt the need to encourage me and talk to me because these last few weeks will probably be the most difficult for me emotionally.  I'm constantly double guessing myself as to if I've made the right decision or not and this moment/connection just re-affirms and justifies how RIGHT this will be.  

So, back to the meaning of this VBAC, having a successful VBAC is not only important to me, but it is important to all others who have had a successful VBAC.   I am attempting a VBAC for my own purposes as well as those who have had VBAC's before me and for those who may have to VBAC after me and to educate those around me how to avoid becoming a VBAC themselves. Because of this, I hope all of you can learn something from my experience.

Thanks for all your support and prayers.
~Mama Beal

July 20, 2010

Abby's 3 years old and now it's time for the baby to come out.

So, when we told Abby about the baby, we told her that around the time Abby has another birthday and turns 3 years old that the baby would come soon.  Well, Abby turned 3 years old on Sunday 7/18 and her next question after the birthday party and cake etc was, "now is it time for the baby to come out?"

Well, it's ALMOST time.  37 days (give or take a week.)  And I'm starting to get that "exhausted" feeling that you get in the last month of pregnancy.  Here's a few things that are going on with me for the past few weeks during the pregnancy.

1.  Heartburn ALL the time, especially when I'm laying down in bed at night.  For some reason I only get it when I lay on my right side.  "so lay on your left side" you say, well, when I lay on my left side the baby kicks like crazy and then I get no sleep.

2.  Insomnia just about every other day this week I've woken up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and cannot get back to sleep.  It always happens between the hours of 2 and 4. Yuck.

3.  Bathroom breaks have increased from 0 times per night to 2-3 times per night.  I kid you not, I am not just pee-ing a little bit, I'm pee-ing A LOT.  It frankly surprises me how much comes out every time.

4.  Rolling over in bed, I feel like a beached whale.

5.  I have been having a lot of braxton hicks contractions.

6.  I can only eat small meals again.  I can't even eat a whole sandwich without feeling like I'm giving myself heartburn.

7.  This one is a good one.  So far, NO additional stretch marks.  The first time around, they were TERRIBLE and Really Really itchy.  Not this time.  

Well, if anything, this pregnancy is completely different from the last one which hopefully means the birth will be completely different.  THERE'S HOPE!  Well, at least our Bradley instructor certainly seems to think so.  (My pregnant brain can't remember everything I've written about the Bradley classes so if I've already written this, my apologies in advance.)  We're the only couple in the class that has already had a child.  So whenever we're talking about specific parts of birth, the Bradley instructor will talk about for "first time births ... blah blah blah ..." and then she'll point to Jason and I and say, "but not for you guys, you won't have to do that since it's your second" or "your birth will be much shorter" or "this will be much easier for you because it's your second."  I REALLY hope she's right.  If you are interested in finding out about the Bradley Method, Sarah Beth is our instructor and you can find her bio here. Or you can go to to find someone near you that teaches the Bradley method.  I highly recommend it, I wish I would have done this for our first birth. 

On a different note, Jason wisked me away to Duluth for a 2 day weekend.  It was very nice to just relax, watch some cable TV and see the lake.  Living up there for 4 years at school, you forget how much you really appreciated the lake and all it's beauty.  Here's a few pictures from our trip. 

A few pictures at the rose garden.  I would have taken more pictures but it was really hot out.

July 5, 2010

Almost 33 weeks!

Well, I am 33 weeks now and I'm starting to feel like it physically.  My hips hurt, just about every morning when I wake up, I find myself huffing and puffing while adjusting patients during the day and naps are my best friend these days.  I don't mean to complain because besides all this, I'm healthy as a horse and so is everyone else in the Beal household.

So far, no one has looked at our house.  How annoying to clean it every night and morning before we leave and have no one to admire it.  Oh well, the news keeps saying the housing market has tanked once again because there are no longer any tax credits for purchasing houses.  Thank goodness we don't necessarily NEED to move right away.  We'll just keep cleaning and keep it on the market, maybe the right fish will come by and take a nip at it. :)

Below is a picture of my belly again.  I'm trying to get together a slide show that will show the progress of my belly.  People keep telling me how big I look these days but when I look back at my belly pictures I've taken, I don't see that drastic of a change.  I think by people telling me I look "big" what they're really saying is I look "good" for being so pregnant.

I am also trying to stay healthy and keep my uterus in good shape. Below is a picture of a type of tea that I'm using, it's a loose leaf tea called red-raspberry leaf tea.  It's helpful for all sorts of different feminine problems/conditions but it's mostly known for toning and conditioning the uterus.  Although it looks like drugs, I think it's doing it's work correctly.  I've been having lots of braxton hick's contractions so I know my uterus is strengthening itself to have this baby.  We get it at the Co-op and bag it up in a plastic baggy.  I feel a little weird leaving it out on the counter or visible in the cupboard so I hide my "stash" in a cereal box in the cabinet. :p  I don't want any potential home buyers to get the wrong impression.

One more thing that's been happening gradually is that my hair has been changing colors.  I didn't really notice it until I saw my hair in some pictures from our family trip to Hackensack MN.  It's progressively getting redder/oranger.  By the time I'd had Abby people had a hard time distinguishing my hair color from red or blond.  It seems this time around my body remembers what happened last time.  So, here's a picture for those of you who haven't seen me in a while.

Well, that's all for now.  Hope ya'll had a fantastic 4th.

~Mama Beal

June 17, 2010

Big Changes

Well, I'm officially 30 weeks and just the other day, we officially decided WHERE we were going to have this baby.  Yes, I know, I know, I'm one of "those" patients.  The patient's I can't stand ... always changing their mind, always questioning the decisions others are making.  BUT, I finally feel comfortable with where we're going to be birthing the baby.  The place is called Morning Star Birthing Center, located in St. Louis Park off Excelsior Blvd.  Here is their website.

It's not the cheapest place to birth but it's the first place that I've been that the physicians actually looked me in the face when I told them I wanted to do a VBAC (vaginal birth after cecarean).  They were the first group that didn't look at me like I've been doomed or I was a needy patient.  Their success rate with VBAC's are 92%.  That's WAY higher than any of the hospitals I looked at.  Now I just have to work on getting to know everyone there.  I haven't felt so good about this birth until we made this decision finally last Saturday. Although the price tag is hard to get over at first, I really feel like it's in my best interest to birth here.  Any other place I was looking at had already labeled me as a failure in their eyes.  That's NOT the case at Morning Star. 

Considering this post is called "Big Changes" the other things going on in our lives right now are that we have decided to put our house on the market.  We could make our house work for about the first year with the new baby but after that we'd have to move to a house with more than 2 bedrooms and with this market, it's hard to say how long you're house will be on the market for.  Thus, we put it up just to see what kind of bites we get.  We've also seen some houses on the market that are 4 bed, 2 bath, fenced in back yard that are the same price that we're selling our townhouse for.  So, if we got a mortgage that was the same or less than our town house, we'd be saving money in the long run. You can see our house listing right here! It's kind of weird because our Realtor suggested we get rid of the cats so they're staying for a while at Jason's parents house.  It's also weird that the house is constantly clean.  We clean every night and put the "fancy" bed spread on the bed in the morning and make sure all the toilet seats are down.  :)

Not only have we made these two big decisions but I am also getting bigger.  So big that I had a bout of what some people call a gall bladder attack.  The baby is putting pressure on my gall bladder and therefore my gall bladder had created a stone and I had fun morning of trying to get it to pass through the canal into my small intestine.  (that was fun). With that being said, here's a picture of my ever growing belly/baby.

June 2, 2010

Star Tribune Article

On memorial day, my mother-in-law gave me a portion of the Sunday Star Tribune and said I just HAD to read this article. So on the way home from our memorial day festivities, I read the article and couldn't believe what I was reading. I was reading about my situation, almost verbatim of what I've been going through with my VBAC. Not only did my mother-in-law hand me this paper and tell me that I had to read it but several other people commented to me saying "Julie, you could have written this article."

If you have a moment, to read the article PLEASE do. It's proof that my situation is not abnormal and it is a significant problem. Don't let this happen to you. Be educated, ask questions. I wish I would have been more knowledgeable and more hard headed with my doctor. Now I have to be much stronger and a much more difficult patient for the safety of myself and my baby.

Ladies, don't let this happen to you, husbands don't let this happen to your wives.

~Mama Beal

May 29, 2010

I'm training for a marathon ... (not really but kind of)

On Wednesday night of this week, Jason and I attended our first Bradley Birthing class. It was really informative and I know this is really going to help us get through our next birth. So far, we've been given instructions on nutrition and exercise to help us become physically prepared for the birth. I believe I've already told you about the nutrition aspect, eating the eggs, yada yada yada, I hate eggs but I'm doing it anyways, yada yada. But, the exercise part is somewhat new and really interesting as to why we have to "train" to have this baby.

Here's the list of exericses I have to do and that COACH JASON is supposed to get me to do.

1. Pelvic tilting-(75 per day)on hands and knees, tilting my pelvis forward and backward to help baby assume the correct position for birth.

2. kegals-(75 per day) husbands, if you don't know what kegals are, ask your wives; dudes, if you don't have a wife, don't worry about it; ladies, if you don't know, ask your girl friends, you should be doing them even before you are planning on having a baby.

3. Inversions-(30 seconds) this one looks rediculous. I put my forearms on the floor with my head down, stick my butt in the air on a couch or chair. This also helps the baby to go head down. Kind of like a modified "tri-pod/head stand." If the baby doesn't go head down by the time you're due, the Bradley instructor said she'd tie me to an ironing board and tip me upside down ... I'd rather not do that so I've been good at doing my inversions. :)

4. Butterfly legs-(20/day) this is kind of like the "birthing machines" (as I call them) at the gym where you're sitting in a chair and pressing your legs outwards from the hips. The difference is, you're siting on the floor of the living room and Jason becomes my resistance. This one is kind of fun because I know my legs are stronger than his arms so sometimes he'll grimace because he's working so hard. ;p

5. interval hills-(3+ /day)-You've probably heard that normal walking is good for pregnancy but walking up hills is even better. By walking up hills, the exercise becomes Anaerobic (no oxygen used) which is supposed to train the baby to recover after a contractions. Essentially when you're having a contraction, the baby is being squeezed and momentarily deprived of oxygen. If you can train the baby to recover before he's born, he'll be healthier and safer when the day comes he will have to endure several contractions for long periods of time.

So, today I did all my exercises, even the interval hills. It was hot, and I didn't want to go, but all I could think about was, " how much do I NOT want to have a C-section" rain or shine, heat or humidity, I have to train for this MARATHON of a birth. Feel free to keep me in check. :)

Here's a picture of my belly, moving right along into the 3rd trimester.

Oh, and here's a picture of my walking partner. We were both panting by the end of our 3rd hill.

May 25, 2010

Dirty Laundry

A few days ago, I was sorting through my laundry and noticed a trend. Being pregnant dictates the way you do your laundry, how much laundry you have to do and what type of laundry/clothes you wear. Maybe you're saying "DUH" in your head but please, continue reading and let me explain.

First of all, pregnant laundry requires something called "the sniff test." I have become an expert at the sniff test. When you're pregnant, certain places ... and certain things ... smell different (use your imagination). Especially pants. Pants can usually be worn only once and then they have to pass the sniff test, which they most likely don't pass the sniff test after one wear. No more wearing my jeans 5 times before I wash them.

Second, because you can't wear certain items of clothing more than once, we're doing a LOT more laundry. Because we end up doing more laundry, I ended up pulling out more maternity clothes to compensate so we don't have to do laundry so often. So I got rid of wearing my jeans (due to the number of times I have to wash them) and added black stretch pants. Black stretch pants are ESSENTIAL because they're comfortable and they can also double as black dress pants (shhhhh, don't tell my patient's I'm wearing stretch pants to work.)

Another essential would be bra's that FIT!!! Good grief ... my normal C's and even the last pregnancy D's don't fit anymore so ... if you do your math right ... I had to go and buy new bra's. Bummer. It's really hard to find something cute that's that enormous.

Because I couldn't find anything particularly cute, my next decision was to go the comfort route. So, I broke out the old NURSING bra's. Now those things are HIDEOUS, but most definitely the most comfortable.

A few more tid bits; hair binders are attached to all my old buttons of my clothes. they're instant waist lengthen-ers. Another way to lengthen the life of wearing "regular" clothes is to not button the pants and just cover it with a belt or even better, use one of Jason's old ties. :)

Speaking of laundry, I put a bunch of clothes in the baby dresser and I just had to take a picture, everything is blue! Completely different from Abby's wardrobe. Here's some pictures.

These little shoes are my favorite item in the dresser.
Look at ALL the BLUE!
Here's a belly shot

I just had to add this. Abby looked so adorable in this little outfit. She wore it to Joy School (church) she is getting so BIG!

May 10, 2010

The size of a cauliflower!

On THIS meter, it says the baby is the size of a head of cauliflower ... I'm pretty sure he's bigger than a cauliflower. At least, he feels bigger. He's been kicking and scratching at just about the same times everyday. At least he has a schedule.

There's been a lot going on since we got the ultrasound. After we got the ultrasound, I decided I've been having a hard time dealing with the whole LOOMING possibility of a secondary C-section. So, I've been talking with several people about it, learning about different people's birth stories etc. The whole fear of this second birth has been hindering me from really bonding with this baby so talking to people helps me get my mind off the inevitable. To bond with the baby, we went garage sale-ing for baby boy clothes. We've gone to several garage sales over the past few weekends, we also got a new dresser for Abby's clothes to make room for the boy clothes. Just the process of going through the baby clothes and imagining the baby wearing them was helpful in bonding with him. Now, the dresser is filled with baby blue clothes instead of pink clothes. :)

Here's a picture of my belly at about 24 weeks.
We've also been trying to come up with names for him and it seems to be even MORE difficult than it was for Abby. We have a list started but it's a long list, there's nothing that Jason and I agree on and nothing REALLY jumps out at us. Bummer. At least we have 108 days left. :)

April 21, 2010

AND the verdict is ...

The baby's head is the right size, the ventricles are developing at the right rate, the kidney's are functioning, the heart has 4 chambers, ten fingers, and all other parts are functioning just fine. The baby also cooperated and opened it's legs and in between there was ... A PENIS!

Abby's going to be a big sister to a healthy baby BOY!

She's a little disappointed but I think if we would have waited, she would have been even more disappointed when the baby came out. At least she has time to adjust to the idea of having a brother.

UF-Dah. :p

Today's The Day!!!

I've been so excited about today that I didn't sleep as soundly as usual last night. Today we get to see the baby via ultrasound!!! We will be posting if it's a boy or girl later today. Hmmmm, but which blog to post on? Technically this is my blog and the other blog is the "baby" blog. You'll all just have to keep checking. I'm sure the suspense is killing you. :p I know it's killing me.

Any guesses as to if it's a boy or girl?

As for now, I'll leave you with this picture my brother received at 2 am from my wild and crazy father in Las Vegas. (He's at a conference for work as you can see, he's still wearing his badge work badge.)

I Love my Dad. :) (My Mom's name is Janis.)

April 6, 2010

Baby Beal Number 2

April 21st is the day we find out if the baby is a boy or a girl. I'm so excited. I already told you my prediction. Jason doesn't have a specific feeling on if it's a boy or a girl. But, either way, we're super excited to finally find out if Abby will have a little brother or a little sister.

Having to do my job is very different from a desk job. Don't get me wrong, I sit down during the day and do desk work too but my job is pretty physical. The last few weeks of March Accel and Be Well was really busy and since I have to do all the adjusting, I was coming home from work REALLY sore. Specifically my inner left leg and left glut muscles. I would come home and have Jason stick his elbow in my butt. I have Dr. Desiree' adjust me but when you're pregnant, you produce a huge amount of hormone called relaxin which allows your muscles to stretch out and joints to become loose. Thus, the adjustments hold for a few days at the most. Bummer.

Another thing I've noticed is that my mind is having a REALLY difficult time focusing. When I'm at work, it's fine, I can write a list and check stuff off as I go but, for instance, I had to take Abby to get her haircut today and I wasn't 100% sure where I was going, it was raining, AND I had to take a detour to get where I was going, I kept having to tell Abby to be quite so I could concentrate (how do you explain concentrate to a 2.5 year old) and I got REALLY lost going home. Ugh. It's really frustrating because there's nothing I can do about it but blame it on the pregnancy.

On an up-note, I haven't puked in a few weeks but I definitely feel nauseous several nights a week.

Some weird things that I've noticed would be ... my eye sight has been terrible. I was reading in our book that pregnancy can make your eye sight worse while you're pregnant. ALSO, my tongue is all patchy. Yes, PATCHY. I'm pretty sure it's a vitamin B deficiency. Obviously I'm sending all my B vitamins (the vitamins that come from protein) to the baby.

I have a huge crush on fruit pies these days. When I'm not pregnant, I don't usually crave fruit pies or any pies for that matter. But, if I was going to have a pie, I'd have a chocolate-y french silk pie but these days that doesn't even sound appetizing.

Speaking of appetizing, these days I have a really hard time finding foods that both I and the baby want to eat. For instance, I LOVE LOVE LOVE sweets and Easter candy. But, this candy doesn't sound appetizing to my stomach. My head says "eat the candy" my stomach says "don't do it!"Same with Milk. I know I'm supposed to drink milk while I'm pregnant but every time I drink it, my stomach hurts afterward. Ugh, I just can't win. (well, maybe I win with the fruit pies.)

Before I forget, I am doing a new pregnancy diet which calls for me to eat a lot of eggs. Unfortunately I have never liked eggs and am having a hard time figuring out how to eat them. If anyone has any recipes or ideas as to how I could eat them, I'd love suggestions. I'm supposed to eat 2 a day. Here's my stipulations. I can't stand hard boiled eggs. I even tried them in an egg salad sandwich (I tried really hard) but I just couldn't do it. I don't mind eggs scrambled or in an omelet but I'd prefer some type of Egg bake. Any suggestions would be helpful. I can' only stand scrambled eggs for so long.

So, that's enough for now. I'll leave you with an updated picture of my tummy. Looks bigger than last time. (Boy, I still haven't washed that mirror. I better get on that. Just ignore the dirt.)

~Mama Beal

March 18, 2010


In the process of Jason and I taking control of the reigns in the birth of our next child, YOU guys are going to be an educated bunch by the end of our pregnancy. (Lucky You!)

This blog is going to be about the Bradley book that Jason and I are reading called "Husband Coached Child Birth". The basis of the book is about how humans are Mammals, physiologically stemming from the Animal Kingdom. BUT, what this Doctor Bradley has insightfully pointed out, is the way humans give birth and the way all other mammals give birth are completely different. Doctor Bradley decided to ask, why are we so different if we are so similar physically?

GREAT question. Not many people my age have grown up on a farm these days but Dr. Bradley talks about how his experience growing up on the farm was that the animals giving birth on the farm did NOT have complications, they did NOT need medication to give birth, they do NOT have a doctor or ANYone attending their birth, giving birth was peaceful, quiet and unhindered. Our "Human" idea of giving birth is ... hospital, medication, doctors, screaming, painful, recovery, complications, C-SECTIONS!!!

Dr. Bradley goes on to explain that the difference between Animals and Humans is that Animals have a huge instinct as to how to live and give birth. Humans are not instinctual but God differentiated humans from the mammal world by giving them their ability to learn. A perfect example of this, besides child birth, is swimming. When you put an animal in water, it instinctually knows what to do in order to swim. If you put a human in water that has never learned how to swim, they WILL drown. But, the good news and key point to this blog and book is that hunmans can be taught how to swim and give birth.

I like this theory. It makes a lot of sense. With my first birth, I had no idea what to expect, we saw maybe 3 birthing videos but besides that, we never were taught how to have a baby. We were even taught how to raise the baby and care for it AFTER you give birth but we learned nothing about birthing the baby. With this birth, I am going into it more informed and educated than I ever was with the first. If this theory is correct, I KNOW I can do this better the second time around.

With that, I'll leave you with a little intresting fact I learned.

A 9 month pregnant uterus (without including the baby's weight) weighs 15 lbs!!! No wonder women get low back pain with pregnancy. :)

~Mama Beal

March 11, 2010

Alright, Alright!!! I'm gettin' a lot of Guff from certain people from certain states (Montana, you know who you are) to update my blog. Nobody else seems to care too much so this one's for you Ash. :)

So, I'm still pregnant. Yep, still puking on occasion. Still feeling nauseous every morning but at least not puking every morning (have I mentioned that I HATE puking??) I've been getting a lot of headaches, my hips hurt, and my hands fall asleep at night ... I am more uncomfortable with this pregnancy than I was with Abby. Maybe that will make the birth easier. (Fingers Crossed)

Speaking of birth. Not only do I have a great mid-wife that I like but I've taken it upon myself to be more proactive with this birth. I DO NOT want what happened last time to be what happens this time around. Here's what I've been doing to prepare myself for a different experience.

A few weeks ago, Jason and I watched a documentary on Natural Childbirth called it "The Business of Being Born" produced by Ricki Lake (yep, the same lady that had the famous 90's talk show.) Jason was a trooper and watched it with me. If you ever have kids, I think it's a MUST WATCH before you give birth. (A warning: you see a lot of "bush" and they are very blunt leaving nothing to the imagination. Mom, if you don't know what "bush" is, don't look it up.) Although it seems kind of crude, it was actually very touching and done very well.

The other thing I've been doing is research on the Bradley Birthing Technique. It's a natural birthing technique that really incorporates the help of the husband through the whole process. With Abby's birth, I felt like Jason was helpless and he didn't really have any tools to help me through the process. This time around we're going to work as a team. There's also Bradley classes that start in April which several of my friends who have had natural child birth have strongly recommended and I am pretty sure we're going to sign up for them as well.

Lastly, Jason and I are both reading a book written by the "Dr. Bradley" of the Bradley Birthing technique called "Husband Coached Childbirth." I think doing a lot of these activities together as a team will really make a difference when it comes to actually having the baby. I'm so grateful that Jason is willing to go through all of this to show his support and help me achieve the type of birth that I truly want.

I know this birth is going to be different than the last. At this point, we have done so much extra research and we intend to do so much more that it would be impossible for us to have the exact same birth. I'm glad we're on a different track than we were with my first birth.

Well, that's all for now. I'll try to be more vigilant with my blog-up-keep. :p Enjoy this picture of my belly. (just ignore the fact that I haven't washed the mirror for a long time.)

PS, we find out the gender of the baby in about 6 weeks. My prediction is that it's a boy. Here's why I think that; I've been more sick with this one, my acne is terrible (got better with Abby), the hair on my legs is growing like weeds, I'm easily irritated recently. (Maybe the later is not pregnancy related, for Jason's sake, I hope it is.) I'll keep you posted as to the gender when we find out. :)

February 2, 2010

A List of Pregnancy Updates

Since I've been pregnant, I can't remember a dang thing so I've taken to making lists. So here's a list of things that have happened, things I've experienced and just other items I may have forgotten to tell you earlier.

1. With the mid-wife I've been seeing, I've also been looking into my options of having a VBAC (vaginal birth after cecearean). It's a scary thought but these days, anythings possible. I haven't decided officially on what I'm going to do but it's an options still. All this thinking has made me realize how terrifying, horrifying, scary and unnatural my first birth was. I'm dealing with a lot of anger and frustration with having a c-section the first time that I DON'T want to deal with again. On a lighter note, I got to hear the heartbeat while I met with her for the first time ... there's definitely a baby in there, 150 bpm. :)

2. If you remember, when I started writing this blog, one of the things I was going to update you was on my weight. Recently I haven't done that because I've been at a stand still with my weight at about 155. But, since I've been pregnant I've lost about 10 more pounds. Ugh! I'm kind of embarassed to say it because of the way I've lost it. I haven't been working out because I'm sick. I'm not eating and I throw up almost daily. I'm not recommending this type of weight loss but, I haven't weighed 145 since I graduated from UMD. Hopefully once I stop puking and can start having an appetite again I'll be able to maintain a health pregnancy weight.

3. Speaking of puking ... I'm not a pukey type of person. Some people barf at the thought of giving a public speech, I have never had that problem and I will suppress the feeling as LONG as possible. So, this puking thing is really annoying. The first time I puked I was taking Abby to daycare and we pulled up to Susie's house and I couldn't hold it in any longer. I didn't even throw the car in park, I just had my foot on the breaks, I opened the car door with my seatbelt still fastened and puked on the road. Luckily it was a side road with barely any traffic. I've started carrying a glass jar in the car with me just incase this happens again.

4. Speaking of nausea ... the only thing I've found to keep the nausea at bay is Apple Juice. It's like the miracle juice. I will literally take a swig, and it gets rid of my nausea immediately. Unfortunately it only lasts 3-5 minutes before I have to take another swig.

5. When you're pregnant, you do weird things. Here's a wierd thing I've done ... Maybe you've done this too ... but I am constantly COLD. I just can't get warm enough especially in the shower. Recently when I take a shower I've cranked the hot water up, sat in the bottom of the tup and let the water fill up in the tub. I know, I know, it's wierd but it feels incredibly comforting to be so warm. It's the next best thing to a hot tub. :)

6. Abby is really excited to be a big sister these days. She's convinced it's going to be a girl ... I hope I don't disappoint her. :) I know she's going to be a great big sister, there's a few babies at daycare and she just adores them. She's always giving them toys and explaining things to them and helping them work the toys. It's going to be amazing to see her interact with her own brother or sister.

7. Lastly, my husband has been such a trooper through this whole pregnancy. He's always doing little things to make me feel better. He'll do the dishes, take out the garbage, make me and Abby dinner (attempt to make something that might please my tummy, these days that's a REALLY difficult task). He's so great, every day he does things for me that remind me why he's the perfecxt husband. I love you My Jay

January 22, 2010

OMGosh, it's been a LONG time since I've updated the blog. There's been tons happening and I just haven't been quite able to keep up with it all AND blog at the same time.


So, if you haven't heard through FaceBook or from a friend or relative yet, Jason and I are expecting another baby sometime at the end of August. YEAH!!! Baby's are fun! The second time around things have been different though. For instance, Jason and I don't feel the need for him to come to EVERY appointment like he did last time, we don't really need to purchase anything big since we have it all from when Abby was little (although a 2 kid stroller would be nice), which brings me to the next difference that Jason was SUPER bummed to find out that on the second kid you don't have a baby shower, there will be no upgrade in the houseing situation due to the economy etc, and THIS time around the experiences are remembering what it was like to be pregnant last time. Recently I've done a lot of ... "oh yeah, I forgot that's what happens when you're pregnant."

BUT there are a few new things that go along with baby number 2. First of all, I feel more prepared in the fact that I know exactly what I DON'T want to do as far as having the baby goes. We're actually planning on going to Waconia for the birth because the birthing center out there is just like a medical hotel. I know, Waconia ... seems far away, right. Yes, you are correct, it's in the middle of no where but, if you come and visit me at the hospital out there, you'll know exactly why we're willing to drive that far for comfort, espeically if I have another C-section and I have to be hospitalized for a long period of time. Second of all, we have a different dynamic of having a child already that needs to be preped about the upcoming new arrival. Abby knows she's going to be a big sister but, it really took some convincing. For a few weeks, we tried to tell her but she didn't believe Jason or me. She's also convinced it's going to be a girl so if it comes out a boy, I hope she's not to disoppointed. :)


To make matters more intense, recently my business partner has had to go into the hospital for pregnancy related issues as well. She's actually several months ahead of me in her pregnancy and went to the hospital with some issues Thursday night through Sunday. She now has to be on bedrest for a week and that means that I am now taking on all her patients as well as managing my own patients. At this point, I only work 3 days a week MWF and Desiree works T,Th,F and it works out really well for us because we don't have to both be at the clinic all the time, plus I get 2 days a week with Abby which makes me feel not as guilty as a mom for sending her to daycare. But, with all the recent events, Abby is going to go back to daycare full time and I'll be running the show for a while.

It's kind of a bummer, but ... at the same time, this is exactly why we decided to partner. We knew we wanted to be partners with someone who'd be able to step in for us when these situations happen so we can have a family life as well as be working professionals.


With the baby scenario and the business scenario, it's kind of an understatement of the kind of stress I've been under and THUS ... we haven't blogged recently. But, as I go through these challenges, I hope to take things in stride and I'll keep you updated about the new challenges I encounter.

Thanks for reading.
~Mama Beal