Entries from January 2014

40 Weeks | Hey Baby

January 16, 2014

40WEEKS

40WEEKSB

Hey Baby, 
As of right now you are 4 days past due and have seemingly decided to hang tight right where you are. As excited (read: impatient) as I am to see your little face and hold you in my arms, keeping you safe in my belly while you finish cooking is fine by me. A friend of mine told me that you were taking your time because you’re getting your final instructions from your spirit guides and finalizing your life map with the elders. That once you’ve confirmed everything you’ll be on your way. But if you’re anything like my nephews you’re probably getting distracted by thinking about Legos and Minecraft. Either way, you’re teaching me an important lesson in patience – one I need to learn. 

It’s hard to imagine what life will be like once you arrive but I’ve started day dreaming about all the fun we’re going to have together. Walks, books, museums, camping, hikes, world travel and backyard adventures. It’s going to be amazing. But I also dream about cleaning your poopy butt and holding you when you’re sad. Putting a cold washcloth on your head when you get sick and patting you on the back and saying “there, there” when life gets a little too hard. And trust, it will get hard. But even so, I can’t wait to show you how cool it is to live in this world. 

Love, 
Your Mom

P.S. I can’t wait to see the look on your dad’s face when you’re born. 

Field Notes & Other Observations: 
• I’m so impatient partially because my mom and sister both had their first babies a couple weeks early. So I just assumed I would too. I’m by no means late and am still within a safe window of being in term until 42 weeks. (I’ve even had a friend deliver a healthy baby boy at 43 weeks!)
• My midwife knew that I thought I would be early but admitted today that she had a feeling I’d go over. It was actually reassuring to hear.
• Everyone on Instagram is sharing induction techniques – I think at this point I’ve heard them all. Beyond eating spicy food and having awesome sex (things I normally do anyway) I’m not super comfortable with actively trying to get this baby out ASAP. My midwife and I have a plan of attack once I hit 42 weeks but until then I’ll hang tight. I’m curious to see what it is that I’ll be doing when I finally go into labor. I’m hoping it’s watching videos of red pandas playing in the snow.
• I’ve been going to the chiropractor for a while now and because I hit 40 weeks she gave me a more extensive adjustment where she loosened up a ligament under my tailbone. She said my tailbone was significantly in the way and did some other adjustments to get my pelvis and hips in the great alignment for birthing babies. She was also super encouraging about just letting the baby cook – that so much development happens in these last few weeks and inside my body is a good place for those things to happen.
• Sleeping is becoming more and more uncomfortable. From having to switch sides every hour (and rolling over is no easy task) to getting up to pee every two hours… I suppose it’s good practice for when baby arrives.
• I ordered the Dr. Sears baby book. I like what I’m reading in it which is mostly to go with your gut and not worry too much about rules and routines. I gave it to Jeremy to check out and he was disappointed that the “just for dads” section was all about sex and not pressuring your wife to get it on too soon. He thought that was a little ridiculous and sexist. I agree. I mean, what dude is all “Hey… I know you just pushed a baby out (or had major surgery) and are really tired and hormonal but wanna get it on?”
• I’ve become obsessed with Parks & Rec streaming on Netflix. It’s not really relevant to my pregnancy, but I bet I will probably always associate it with these final days down the road.
• Oh! The other day I had to food process some whole almonds. It was rather loud and when I started the food processor the baby jumped! It was really cute and definitely made him feel very much like a real person.
• He’s also developed sleep patterns that I can pick up on. For example, he stays pretty quiet through the night and I know he’s sleepy until about 9:00AM. His favorite time for a dance party is around 11AM and 7PM. I’m curious to see if some of these patterns hold over once he’s born.
• The baby moved from my right side, where he’s been hanging out for a couple weeks, to my left. Which is apparently a great position for him to be in for birthing.

Pooping and Birthing: 
Okay. This deserves it’s own section. Because everyone loves talking about the possibility of pooping while giving birth. Myself included. If you are unaware, when pushing a baby out, it’s very probable that you could poop too. Not only because all of those pushing muscles are next to each other but because the baby itself can act like a squeegee on your colon. So one of the “just you waits” I get is “just you wait until you poop while pushing that baby out!”. Here’s the deal. I don’t give a shit. (heh). If I’m pooping myself it probably means that that I’m also about to meet my baby. I simply refuse to be embarrassed about a poop and I really just don’t think it’s that big of a deal if it happens. That said… every time I go to the bathroom I think “This is a poop that I won’t be having during the delivery.”

And on that note. See you all at 41 weeks.

No Weekend Plans

January 15, 2014

NoWeekendPlans

If you’ve ever tried to make weekend plans with me you’ve probably been denied. That’s because every weekend around here is reserved for family. I spend every Saturday at my parent’s house which is located on a tiny “lake” in the suburbs of Oklahoma City. My dad watches football and grumbles about not being able to get his newest tech purchase to work properly (he’s 68 years old and has a thing for buying the newest TVs, game consoles, and iPhones on the market). Jeremy is typically immediately whisked away by my sister’s kids to play said game consoles. Meanwhile, my mom is usually wiping down the kitchen counters and baking rice crispy treats, chocolate chip cookies, and brownies – all at the same time. Me and my sister usually talk shop for about 5 minutes, then go pick up a Starbucks mint tea with cream and our conversation moves to non-work related topics like our next family vacation, our dream wardrobe, or whether or not we should get cosmetic dentistry work done.

Then we put together a puzzle. This last weekend the 1,000 piece puzzle featuring candy bars was a nice distraction from the fact that I had not yet given birth. That said, I was still feeling like a watched pot as my belly contracted while searching for all the “Sugar Babies” pieces. How appropriate. But as impatient as I was feeling for my little guy’s arrival I was also grateful for just one more reliably familiar weekend with my family as I know it.

Coaching for Creatives | Own It

January 13, 2014

OwnIt_CreativeCoaching

What would it look like if you owned every action you took, every decision you made, and every feeling you had? What if you owned your failures and victories alike? What if nothing ever “happened” to you but instead you were entirely responsible for every interaction you had?

After every one-on-one coaching session I have with my clients I have them pick a mantra / intention / focus for the week. I’m not sure if it’s collective consciousness or just that all of my rad-ass clients have a lot in common but a few of them have at one time or another picked the mantra “OWN IT.”

So what does owning it look like?
• Making the first move
• Confidently talking money with your clients from the get-go
• Hitting “publish” on a blog post without concern for what “everybody” will think
• Or on the flip side hitting “publish” on a post even if “nobody” reads it
• Replacing the words “I have to” with “I choose to”
Being vulnerable / showing up & being seen
• Wearing what you like – even if it’s not “professional”
• Saying exactly what you mean
• Asking for what you want
• Admitting when you don’t know what something means
• Being honest about your experience
• Refusing the role of the victim
• Recognizing your power
• Celebrating your success
• Looking at your bank account & overhauling your relationship with money
• Not having room in your life for complaints or gossip
• Being proactive vs. reactive
• Making your attitude a choice
• Putting a priority on your own needs and desires
• Letting go of toxic relationships
• Giving it your best – every single time
• Not taking it personal
• Doing the work
• Being unapologetically authentic
• Living and loving out loud
• Replacing the words “having” with “making”
• Taking time to really acknowledge and feel what you’re feeling – good or bad

What does “owning it” look like for you? How could you better own it in business & life moving into the new year? Let me know in the comments. 

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P.S. If you like this post you might like my DIY Coaching for Creatives Email Sessions. It’s 4 emails x 4 weeks (16 emails total) for just $40. Complete with worksheets, exercises, mantras, meditations, and to-dos for time management, decision-making, and strategies for living more of what you love – in work and life. You can learn more about what you’ll get and purchase anytime here.

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Weekend Reading

January 11, 2014

WeekendReading

I cleared my schedule this last week to make room for the baby’s arrival – but a no-show baby meant lots of time to read and write. So I’ve got lots to share this week.

First off! Podcasts! I know it’s not reading but I’m finally getting into podcasts. I can’t work / write and listen to a podcast at the same time (I just tune it out) so I’ve been listening to them while on my daily walk. Here are a few I’ve been enjoying:
• The School of Greatness / Lewis Howes – This podcast is a former pro athlete who interviews people like Tim Ferris, Danielle LaPorte, Jamie Eason, Marc Ecko and more. I love hearing the interviews and stories of how people got to where they are and the roadblocks, struggles, and insecurities they had to tackle along the way.
• TED Radio Hour – If you like TED and you like NPR you’ll like this podcast. Top notch quality and gives you lots to think about. Jeremy and I listened to this on our last road trip to Austin and the time flew by.
• With Purpose – my new friend Erin Haslag invited me to be interviewed on her brand new podcast, With Purpose. After checking out what it was all about I couldn’t say no. And chatting with Erin felt less like an interview and a lot more like catching up with an old friend over coffee. They’ve got some quality guests lined up to talk about how they live with purpose and I can’t wait to follow along.

What other podcasts should I check out?

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The Virtue of Insecurity – Chris Guillebeau talks about giving it your all and not accepting failure … even when you’ve failed.
“Sure, you can challenge or change the rules to suit your own purposes. You can define success however you see fit. But you shouldn’t accept less than your best. If your best doesn’t allow for failure, it’s not over.”

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Blog Log: The Key to Building an Engaged Audience – Shauna (aka Nubby Twiglet) nails it here with this how to “how to” post. “If you want an audience that’s engaged and keeps coming back for more, create genuinely helpful content.” Plus, she gives you lots of post ideas if you don’t know where to start.

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555 Words on Hate Blogging + Bullying – I’m finding more and more bloggers taking a vocal stance against the toxic bullshit that is hate blogging. It’s tough because you don’t want to “feed the trolls” or even give the smallest amount of energy or acknowledgment to haters, but at the same time… is this something bloggers should really stay quiet about? This post by Alex Franzen is not only firm and concise but also compassionate. (Plus, she references Mr. Rogers. You can’t go wrong there.)

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The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz – I’ve had this sitting on my Kindle for over a year and finally picked it up the other day. It probably deserves an entire post on its own but my favorite chapter was the one one not taking anything personal. It’s become a mantra and daily discipline for me to not take it personal. I highly recommend checking out this book (the end gets a little “out there” but it’s still great) – and in the meantime check out the Q&A on the Four Agreements.

Have you read anything interesting lately? Leave me some links in the comments! 

39 Weeks | A Waiting Game

January 9, 2014

39WEEKS

39WEEKSB

You guys. I really didn’t think I would be writing a 39 week update. I legit thought the baby would be here by now. Mostly because my mom and sister both delivered two weeks early with their firsts. So while I’m feeling a bit impatient (I can’t wait to see his little face! And butt! And feet! And knees! And! And! And!) I’m also trying to remind myself that it hasn’t even been 40 weeks yet. And if this guy needs a little more time to cook, develop his lungs, practice blinking – whatever it is he needs – that’s cool too. Pregnant Kathleen is all “Let’s get this show on the road!” but Momma Kathleen is all “You take the time you need, little baby. I’m here for you.”

So for now it’s just a waiting game. The day before yesterday I was having back cramps, period like cramps, lots of “practice contractions”. It was enough that Jeremy had me text our doula to let her know things were maybe progressing a little. Then in the middle of the night I had a legit contraction. It felt like a wave starting from the lower part of my uterus and growing up into my entire abdomen. My whole stomach became rock hard and misshapen with the contraction. And you guys, it was kind of awesome. I stayed awake waiting for the next one but it never happened. But then yesterday… I hardly felt pregnant. I felt like I was wearing a fake belly on top of my old body and found myself in denial that I will have a baby in the matter of days. And while everyone promised that things would get progressively uncomfortable I’m finding my ability to eat, breathe, sleep, and stand up are about the same as they have been for a few weeks now. In fact, the most discomfort I’m experiencing is mental. It’s a waiting game that opens up space for excitement and anxiety alike. It can be easy to partner with fear, but I’m trying to remain disciplined in visualizing exactly how I want everything to go down (orgasmic birth, please). And I lean on my dream team – my midwife, my doula, and my husband to keep me grounded, positive, and brave.

In these last couple of weeks I’ve learned to really trust my baby in this process. The last 9 months have been all about me, me, me. But this birth… it’s not really about me. It’s about my baby. So I imagine him in my belly trying to gather his courage too. He’s waiting for the moment when he’s feeling like a warrior who is ready to take on his birth day. We’re in it, and waiting it out, together – and that gives me a lot of comfort and courage.

Field Notes & Other Observations
• Vital stats: I haven’t gained any weight in the last two weeks but the baby (and my belly) is growing at a steady rate. Also my blood pressure is good.
• Speaking of weight… so far I’ve gained a total of maybe 25-30 lbs. I didn’t weigh myself for years pre-pregnancy so I’m not too sure. But I will say – I gained immediately and rapidly in that first trimester (before I was even showing). Then in this last half of my pregnancy the weight gain has slowed down significantly. I’m not sure if this is common but just thought I’d share in case anyone else has experienced this.
• Navigating pregnancy hasn’t been the most comfortable thing in the whole world but really I am beyond grateful that it has been so uncomplicated and healthy.
• I was asked yesterday at my midwife checkup if I’d like to be checked to see how dilated / effaced I am. For those of you who aren’t all up in the baby / pregnancy world dilated is how open your cervix is. As in the hole for the baby to come out of. 10cm dilated is where you want to be when you push the baby out, but you can start to dilate before going into labor. Effaced is how thin your cervix is … so not only does the cervix open but the cervix thins out to facilitate in that opening and allow the baby to come out. Anyway, I declined. I have friends who were at 0cm with no uterus thinning only to give birth later that day. And I’ve had friends who were 4cm dilated and 100% effaced only to give birth weeks later. So I figure knowing the status of my uterus right this second isn’t terribly relevant. But perhaps when I’m in labor I’ll want more regular checks to see how I’m progressing. The cool thing about going with midwives is that their pretty hands-off and only care to check upon request.
• As I get closer to the due date I am mindful of how each meal may be fuel for labor.
• You may have seen on my Instagram the birthing tub we got. So obviously lots of people are asking if I’ll be having a water birth – and the truth is I don’t know! I’ve never given birth before and I’m sure there are lots of variables involved. I’m open to having a water birth but am not attached to the idea. Just like I’m not attached to any sort of birth plan because I know anything can happen.
• We still don’t have a name for the baby! In fact, the short list is now growing the closer we get to the due date.
• I had a dream last night that I was holding the baby. He had just been born and was so little! I can’t wait.
• I’ve been asked who will be present for the birth. Pretty much just the dream team – my midwife, doula, and Jeremy. And probably my very talented photographer friend, Greer, who has generously offered to document the event.
• On a more emotional note… I’ve learned through sharing this pregnancy week-by-week that the whole ordeal is so personal. And it’s easy to take someone else’s birth plan, preferences, and stories personal. But there is no right or wrong way to move through pregnancy and birth a baby. Whether it’s at home, in a field, at a hospital, medicated, natural, emergency c-section, elected c-section … it’s all personal and none of it is right or wrong. At the same time – I’ve found myself taking other people’s opinions, questions, and stories personal too. I’ve never done this before so I feel challenged and defensive when questioned why I’m making the choices I am (or why my midwife is making the choices she is) – even when the questioning is coming from a place of genuine curiosity! Everything from flu shots, to vaccines, to pain medication, to internal checks and monitoring. I had no idea how personal it was prior to getting pregnant… So that’s my one big disclaimer for everything I’ve shared in these posts. I will most likely be re-evaluating my sharing boundaries once the baby is born.

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