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December 27th, 2014


09:21 pm - Jad's birth story
I believe this birth story begins the Thursday before the actual birth. On October 30th, my last day of work, I went to get a prenatal massage and then I went to my midwife appointment. I was exactly 38 weeks pregnant. Diana (my midwife) determined that (as I thought) the baby’s head was on the right side of my pelvis, meaning he was pretty high up and not ready to be born.

The following Monday, I went for a 40 minute walk in the morning and had a prenatal massage in the afternoon. I asked the masseuse to focus on attempting to align my hips. Perhaps things became slightly more aligned, but I could still feel the baby’s head/shoulder rubbing against the right side of my pelvis when I walked.

Tuesday I went to prenatal yoga in the morning. I asked my instructor Michelle for some stretches to help open my pelvis. After class things definitely felt a little more aligned, but I still did not feel like labor was imminent. That evening while the girls were in gymnastics I went for a walk (as I had been doing weekly, but now with the time change it was dark). I started getting contractions while I was walking. They became slightly stronger as I drove Kaia home from gymnastics.

At home I had a slightly hard time focusing on making dinner because of the discomfort during contractions. I retreated to my bedroom to sit on my birth ball while I tried to gather up the will and desire to make dinner. Kaia hung out with me and I explained to her that I was having contractions. Once I had made dinner I had an even harder time forcing myself to eat some of it.

When Joe got home with Inara I was in the kitchen leaning over the counter and breathing through a contraction. He looked at me and asked if this was really it. I told him I wasn’t sure and he said he hoped not since he was scheduled to have his pilot license test on Thursday.

During dinner, Joe suggested I call Diana and let her know that I was having contractions. Though I initially thought this was foolish because the contractions were totally bearable, I agreed to let her know what was going on. At 8:30pm when I called her, the contractions were happening ever 7-8 minutes.

An hour later after lying in bed the contractions had become less intense but remaining about the same distance apart. I continued to lie in bed for the next hour and watch some of a movie on Netflix. At 10:30pm I decided to try sleeping. I was able to sleep between contractions but was woken up by them.

At 1am I checked in again with Diana as my contractions had become stronger and were lasting for a minute and a half, though still were 8-9 minutes apart. She told me she would come when I was ready and I told her I didn’t think it was imminent yet.
I got up and walked around the house. I told Joe (who had been sleeping in the other room) that the contractions seemed to be intensifying. I went to the living room and squatted, holding onto the side of the couch during a contraction and when I stood up I felt something trickle down my leg. I called to Joe that I thought maybe my water broke. Then I went to the bathroom and sure enough there was a small gush of fluid after I finished peeing.

At 1:35am I called Diana and let her know. She said she’d be on her way. I called in my birth crew thinking I would soon have a baby. I called my parents, Josha (my sister), Alice (Joe’s sister), Karen Swinehart and Carissa Markle and let them know that labor had started. At 2:30am when Diana arrived, Alice and Karen were also there and Joe and the girls were awake but not up. Once everyone showed up, around 3am, the house was abuzz. It was such a social time and filled with such excitement that it seemed like Christmas Eve.
At 3:45am Diana did her first cervical exam on me. I was 1cm dilated. I spent my time walking around, lying down in my bed and doing a little visiting. Diana just observed me and listened to the baby to make sure labor was going okay. At 4am Inara and Kaia heard the people hanging out and talking and came to join the party.

At 5am Diana suggested I shut myself in my room and focus on labor or sleep since the intensity of contractions seemed to have died down a little. I went to my room and slept for an hour. Then I got up and went to the bathroom, went back to bed and slept for another hour.

Joe had made everyone pancakes and got the girls ready for school. Carissa and Karen both left for work since my labor seemed to be progressing slowly. Then Joe and I went for a little stroll around a couple blocks.

Most people tried to sleep and I lay down for a while as well. At around 11am I went for another walk. This time it felt like I needed to go alone and went for about a mile and a half, shutting my eyes during contractions, walking slowly and breathing through them. Everything seemed more intense; sounds, smells, the brightness and heat of the day. I also found it amusing that the people who I passed, and said hi to, had no idea I was in labor.
I got home and spent some more time in bed. I pushed on some pressure points to stimulate labor – both on my hands and legs. I also willed the contractions to get stronger and did a little nipple stimulation on myself.

I spent some time on the birth ball sitting and leaning against the dining room table. Diana convinced me to eat a bowl of butternut squash soup. She rubbed my back and my dad sat next to me eating a burrito. I did not feel hungry and I could no longer focus on the world outside my body during contractions.

I alternated between walking around the house, lying in my bed, sitting on the ball and going to the bathroom and having Diana listen to the baby and check my vitals. I asked Diana why my labor was going so slowly and she said maybe I was having a bigger baby. Later she told me she regretted having said that and making me worry.

At 3:20pm Diana asked if she could do a 2nd cervical check to see where I was. While I wanted to limit internal checks since my water was broken, it had been 12 hours so I thought it was reasonable. I told my mom that I didn’t want to be disappointed by what the exam said and felt that I was 4 cm dilated. Sure enough I was!

In the early evening as the concept of time started to fade, I got into the birth pool. It was hot and made me sweat but it felt like a good change. The burning, pulling feeling of my hips being forced apart was increasing during contractions and with it I was feeling nauseous and having a hard time grounding myself. I searched my brain to find some image I could focus on during contractions. During my previous 2 births I had imagined playing the game Zuma during contractions. I thought of shooting colored balls at the areas of my abdomen that hurt the most. This image did nothing for me during this labor and felt forced. I ended up thinking of my pelvis having a brilliant blue band/crown around it with ornate gold designs and jewels. I focused on the baby diving his head under the crown and sliding right out. I also visualized him being lifted up into the air dramatically like you might see in a TV show.

After about an hour and a half in the water I got out and went to lie down on the couch bed in the family room. During this time I was vomiting and dry heaving frequently. Diana asked me if I wanted her to check me and I told her no, I felt like I was at about 8 cm. I have no way of knowing if this was true or not, but it was my feeling.

After awhile more lying on the couch bed my contractions started become back to back contractions, not letting up at all in between. My back was hurting like crazy and I needed someone to push on my hips and back at all times. I continued to feel nauseous and started to shake. I also felt like I was unable to remain calm and focused. I started feeling like I actually wasn’t sure if I would be able to do it and told my mom how I felt. At this point the thought of being at a hospital and getting an epidural sounded like a brilliant idea.

I don’t know how long I had that endless contraction sensation but it seemed around a half hour. Diana asked me again if I wanted her to check my cervix and I told her no (maybe I didn’t want to be told I was at the pushing stage because it sounded like more work). I felt exhausted. Diana gave me Pulsatilla, a remedy to calm me and relieve tension and then left me with my parents while she went to her car to get a birth stool. Joe and Diana had a chat (I found out later) about how Joe wanted to know if I was almost there because I seemed really near my limit and he wasn’t used to seeing me like that.

Then Diana told me that we really should check to see if there was anything we could do to help progress labor, like changing positions or starting to push. I then accepted the idea of having her check my cervix. It was 9:06pm and I was fully dilated, though I did not feel a distinct urge to push. Also she told me that the baby’s head was just 1 knuckle distance inside, nearly on the perineum. Diana later told me that this meant the baby had been moving through the birth canal for some time while I was preparing for the next stage emotionally. She told me that it was beautiful to see how the baby was being birthed without much effort.

Once I got Joe seated behind me on the couch in a semi-reclined position, I began pushing. It was exhausting and my legs kept cramping horribly which forced me to stop pushing and required a leg massage after each contraction. But I kept going. Carissa walk in right as I was crowning and took some great birth (graphic) pictures.

At 9:23pm Jad Joseph Baker-Malone emerged. He weighed 7 pounds exactly and was 20.5 inches long. He cried right away and breastfed easily. Kaia cut his cord after being woken from sleep to witness the birth. Inara had decided to spend the night at Joe’s parents house instead of being home for the birth. The first night was filled with several nursing’s and diaper changes but in the early morning Kaia crawled into bed with us and we dozed together.

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November 4th, 2008


10:56 pm - In the words of Inara - Obaba
So at 20.5 months I think Inara vaguely understands. This morning we took the girls with us when we went to vote. When we were leaving they gave Inara a sticker too. I asked her who she voted for and she said Obaba (her version of Obama).
Later in the day I asked her who are new president would be and she again said Obaba.
After going out in the street to celebrate the victory with a neighbor, Inara started pumping her fists, clapping and yelling Obaba over and over. I'm so glad that my children get to be part of this historic change.

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October 22nd, 2008


10:35 pm - Contant changes
Life with 2 little ones means that excitement is always present. Not always the kind of excitement I enjoy - spilled milk, screaming, crying, minor injuries.
But recently it has been mostly good excitement. Last week Thursday Kaia learned to roll over, at just shy of 15 weeks, so that is very cool. She has rolled from her back to stomach and stomach to back, though mostly the former.
Also, Inara has recently learned to go to sleep in her OWN room, ALONE! The last two nights and at naptime today I read to Inara and then left, telling her I'd be in to check on her in a bit and she fell asleep. It's such a wonderful blessing when we're talking about a baby who would not sleep if not attached to my nipple until around 1 year.
The biggest bummer right now is that Kaia hates car rides. Inara always fell asleep in the car and Kaia just screams.
At least I know it's just a phase.
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August 27th, 2008


08:59 pm - Time to myself
I kind of forgot what that was. But a few minutes ago Joe told me to go into our bedroom and shut the door, that he'd deal with the girls for a little bit. I needed the break. I'm exhausted and wearing a little thin in my interactions with Inara especially. She's cute and lovable but also needing everything now and her way or else she whines.
I've been dealing with both girls 24-7 (with Joe's help when he's not at work or doing exercise - by the way he's looking great) but never taking a break until last weekend when I escaped to a continuing education course on Pilates. It was great. I got 14 hours to myself with adult interaction.
Anyway, I can't stand Kaia crying any longer so I'm going to go back out and rescue her. At least I've gotten to take some deep breaths and type something with 2 hands.

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July 4th, 2008


08:35 am

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July 5th, 2007


12:46 pm - EC
Before Inara was born I thought people were crazy to think that EC (Elimination Communication) could actually work. Elimination communication is a form of nurturing in which a caregiver uses timing, signals, cues, and intuition to help an infant address his or her elimination needs, partially or completely avoiding the use of diapers.
I thought that it would be an impossibly hard task. However, I've been doing it with Inara for about the past 3 weeks and now I've only had one poopy diaper since Sunday. THAT'S ONE POOPY DIAPER IN 4 DAYS FOR A 4.5 MONTH OLD BABY. This may not sound so amazing until you understand that Inara poops once or twice a day.
She understands when I take her to the toilet and I pay attention to her cues that she has to use the toilet (we're just doing this for pooping right now). It's not hard or time consuming and it seems so much nicer than ever sitting in your poop. I love it and she seems to think it's fun too!
Current Mood: accomplished

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June 16th, 2007


09:12 am - Fruit bowling
Every morning if I go outside at the right time I'll see the fruit bowler. He's a short, older Asian man who wears a baseball cap. As he walks down the street he looks around, sizing up the perfect orange to snatch from someone's yard. Usually he picks up an orange that is already on the ground. He feels it, sometimes tosses it into the air a couple times and then swings his arm, fruit in hand before eventually releasing the orange on a measured trajectory. It's amazing to see how the fruit rolls, often skimming the edge of the sidewalk and then returning to the street. Occasionally it does land on a lawn and need to be retrieved. His pace never quickens. He simply follows the orange with his eyes first and eventually his weary body.
His skill leads me imagine that he was a professional bowler in his youth, the pains of age preventing him from hefting a bowling ball any longer. Now, on his morning promenade he relives the joys of his youth with a fruit weighing merely ounces.
Current Location: sitting in bed
Current Mood: artistic
Current Music: Inara squealing

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February 18th, 2007


12:37 pm - life with a newborn
I think we've been adjusting pretty well. She's a cute, sweet baby so far. She likes to nurse...about every 1-1.5 hours. She only seems to cry when she needs something - diaper change, food or cuddles.
I'm feeling much more back to my normal self today, though I'm still sore all over. I was using all sorts of muscles during contractions that I didn't even know I had. But I'm so glad I got to have the birth my way. I was only going to be given 6 more days before being induced at a hospital so it was wonderful that she finally decided to come on her own.
I got to have her at the birth center in San Francisco in water and my labor was only 8-9 total. While it was very intense I was able to cope and have the natural birth that I wanted.
Right now I'm typing this as she sleeps in my arms in bed. But I think I'm going to get up and get dressed since the midwife is on her way over to check on Inara.

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February 16th, 2007


12:31 pm
This is Joe, posting for Sahana.

Our baby girl Inara May Baker-Malone was born today at 6:20 am. She weighed 6 pounds 15 ounces, and is 19 inches tall. (I know you're supposed to say "Long" but that always bugs me for some reason.) Here's a picture. We got to the birth center at 2am last night and left to come home at around 10 this morning. After some initial...excitement, everything seems to be going well with both of them.

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February 7th, 2007


04:49 pm - Overdue
I understand that people never know what to say to a very pregnant woman, but "You're huge" which I got the other day and "You look like you're about to hatch" are just not the right things. I have to admit that I found the hatching comment strangely amusing...but I don't quite get it. Am I just a shell? Perhaps I'll feel that way when the baby comes and gets all the attention after being the center of attention for 9 months...but still, Weird.
I'll be happy to have my body back. Being able to pee less often than every hour and being able to move about easily will seem divine. I am getting less and less patient. I'm now past my due date and have tried most things I can imagine or have read in order to start labor. I know it sounds strange but every time I get a little contraction I think, "I hope the next one hurts more." I've never felt so masochistic in my life.

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