Thursday, July 31, 2008


We have back-to-back weddings to attend this weekend and next. Silly me assumed I'd fit in my dresses. WRONG! I couldn't zip them up last night, so I'm off to the store this afternoon to find an empire waist dress. HA! T.J. thinks I just want to shop, which goes to show that men know nothing about women. Who wants to shop for bigger sizes??? Pretty depressing... it seems a little early in the game for that.

In other news, T.J. has sweet seats at the Braves game last night - Front row behind the batter! Unfortunately, he was on the same side that the camera shoots from, so we didn't get to see him on T.V. The perks of work, I guess - they had valet parking in the stadium and free fancy food and drinks!

Feelings: I bit nauseous today... I'd been slacking a bit on all the vitamins I've been taking so I think my body was a bit put off by swallowing so many pills this morning again. Definitely nothing big though.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

First prenatal appointment!

Well, I met w/ the hospital midwife today, and it went pretty well. It cemented my feelings about a home birth, though.

I got there about 5min early for my appointment, waited 20 min for the nurse, another 15 min for the MW to see me. She didn't ask me if I had any questions, concerns, etc... Didn't go over any "rules", diet, etc... It was pretty disappointing, since I had a ton of questions about the practice, the hospital, their "rules", etc...

BUT, she did give me a quick "unofficial" ultrasound (she's not a trained technician). We saw ONE baby-blob, and she said she saw the heartbeat, but I don't think I did (maybe at one point?), and she said the baby looks to be the right size for gestation! My miscarriage chances have decreased to about 5% now that we've seen the heartbeat, which is very exciting.

So, all in all a good appointment. I go back in a little over 3 weeks for my 12 week appointment, which I imagine will be much more boring!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

T-12 hours!

My first appointment is tomorrow (yeah, I know I told you guys like 10 times)! It'll probably be boring, with no real excitement or news, but I'll update you with anything I learn ASAP. T.J. isn't coming, so if we do get an U/S he's really going to miss out!

PS. Still feeling great! I am a tiny bit queasy in the morning, but that's about all.

Monday, July 28, 2008


Last night I was finishing up a book that unexpectedly turned very, very sad. My hormones go the best of me and I was crying for like a half an hour! Poor T.J. - he didn't know what to do with me.

At least I'm not screaming and throwing things at him, right?

T-2 days until my first prenatal appointment!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I'm so confused!

The most confusing thing I have run up against in all of my pregnancy and birth research so far: The car seat.

You wouldn't think it'd be that hard, right? But there are so many issues. Do you want an infant seat or a convertible? Will the convertible fit the baby right away? Will we even be able to remove an infant bucket from the back of a 2-door car? What happens when DomerBaby grows out of an infant seat and needs the convertible? Will it fit in our car? Why is one brand $300, and others $40. What makes it special? Does my baby need the Mercedes of car seats? Is there a safety difference, or are they just preying on us poor, unsuspecting new parents?

Why do they make these damned things so enormous, anyway?!?!

I long for the days when we didn't know any better and my parent's let me and Deb share the front seat so long as we were buckled. The new recommendation is that children under 12 (and I've seen 15) do not sit in the front seat. I'm doomed to be a chauffeur forever. Of course that'll end the fighting over who gets the front seat, at least!

Saturday, July 26, 2008


Today I went shopping with a friend. I managed not to buy lots of baby stuff!

We went to Pottery Barn Kids, where I did not buy organic towels, blankets, or cute (overpriced) onesies.

We went to Baby Gap, where I did not buy adorable miniature clothing that should make new mothers weep.

We even walked by Lindt and Godiva, where I told DomerBaby "No chocolate" for the first time. Haha!

Later I went to Target, where I did not buy cute kimono style baby t-shirts (better to show off the cute diapers with!)

I'd prefer to do second-hand shopping instead of buying new for the majority of our purchases. It's better for the pocketbook and the earth! Plus now that I have my embroidery machine, I can still make cool Pottery Barn-inspired monogrammed baby clothes!

I did find some beautiful cribs today, though. Hmm. More on that later.

Friday, July 25, 2008

8 weeks today!

The baby now weighs 1 gram! It has weight! Here's what it looks like today:

I don't know why, but 8 weeks seems so much farther along than 7. Only 5 more weeks till we're out of the first trimester! I can't wait.

My first prenatal appointment is a mere 5 days away. FINALLY!

Feelings: Awesome. No nausea today! I think T.J. and I might go for a jog tonight - we've really been slacking on the exercise.

Total weight gain so far: 2.5 lbs.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Baby Crafts

T.J. and I went to a local sewing shop last weekend and bought this sewing machine! I'm so excited to use it for baby and non-baby projects.

I've already got several plans for it, but my number one reason: DIAPERS!

We're planning to cloth diaper DomerBaby. Cloth diapers (cd's) are really evolved now - many work as easily as disposables! It's better for the environment, and better for the hiney. No chemicals, weird gel, etc... And they are cute!I'm sure I'll end up buying a bunch, but I thought it might be kind of cool to make cd's, too. I've found some patterns online, and it doesn't look too difficult. I'm sure I'll be bragging when I finish one.

Classes first, though! I don't really know how to make the machine work!


Someone pointed out to me that I haven't been answering the #1 question: How am I feeling?

Mostly, I've been feeling excellent. Today, I'm a tiny bit nauseous, but not too bad. I've been trying to get more rest, and drink more water.

Some days I really worry because I don't have very many symptoms, and the ones I did have seem to have lessened over time. But I'm trying to stay positive, since you can be sick as a dog and still have a miscarriage. If something is wrong, I guess it's better not to have morning sickness. And if nothing is wrong, it's definitely better!

My first appointment with the hospital midwife is next Wednesday. I'm doing prenatal care with her while we are deciding on a homebirth midwife. I'll probably continue care until at least 20 weeks, when they do the anatomy ultrasound.

I'm not expecting an ultrasound next week, though it would be nice to see a heartbeat and get some positive reinforcement about the pregnancy.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Eco-Friendly Family

Since I'll probably be talking a lot about environmentally friendly (and healthful) baby items, I thought I'd address some of what I've been learning in this blog, and how it relates to DomerBaby.

Organic foods:

Here are just a few tidbits I've learned from reading these amazing books that have literally changed the way we live our lives. Check them out!

"The Omnivore's Dilemma"
by Michael Poulin
"In Defense of Food" by Michael Poulin
"Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver

Not all organic foods are eco-friendly. Even if pesticides aren't being used, the cost of transportation can be enormous. Produce travels an average of 1,500 miles to get to your plate. Organic farming practices themselves aren't necessarily great for the environment, either. Buying locally can also help - especially when you are buying from small family farms that plant different foods together.

Organic foods are generally a lot better for you, however. Here is a list of "The dirty dozen" foods that you should buy organic because of the pesticide load. It's a good place to start. We've added grass-fed beef, cage-free eggs, organic chicken, organic milk, and wild fish to our grocery list as well. Besides being bad to ingest, pesticides really take a toll on the environment. Pesticide use is much, much heavier than it was when we grew up. They flow into our rivers and lakes and kill plant and animals.

The best thing to do environmentally is to buy local produce. The best thing for your health is to buy organic. If you can combine the two - you are amazing. We're doing our best at making these choices... sometimes it's confusing and depressing. I hope that by putting our money where our mouth is, more and more organic farming will be done, and more stores will offer local and local/organic produce.

So, how does this relate to DomerBaby? First, I firmly believe that industrial food, and the processed foods that come from them, have adversely affected the health of our nation. Sure, our children will have mac'n'cheese and McDonald's, but not often. I'm usually a big fan of moderation, but I think "rarely to never" is the best idea for some of these foods. Second, our legacy to our children is the earth (ours certainly won't be coming into a large sum of cash!). What are we leaving them with? We can - and need - to do better. Working on our food supply would be a great start.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

What's in a name?

Just in case anyone was wondering, we call our little embryo DomerBaby because of our Notre Dame connection. All students and alumni are fondly known as "Domers" after the famed golden dome.

Since we aren't planning to find out whether we're having a boy or a girl, I guess we'll call him/her DomerBaby until we've come up with something more clever!

Here is a link to some "real" names we've been thinking of, but we aren't set on anything yet. Feel free to vote - don't worry, It's anonymous!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Birthing choices - Part II

Sorry, I just had to add to my HB resources this paper that was printed in the British Medical Journal. I'm just printing the abstract, but the whole article can be found here:

BMJ 2005;330:1416 (18 June), doi:10.1136/bmj.330.7505.1416

Outcomes of planned home births with certified professional midwives: large prospective study in North America

Kenneth C Johnson, senior epidemiologist1, Betty-Anne Daviss, project manager2

1 Surveillance and Risk Assessment Division, Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Control, Public Health Agency of Canada, PL 6702A, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1A OK9, 2 Safe Motherhood/Newborn Initiative, International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Ottawa, Canada

Correspondence to: K C Johnson


Objective To evaluate the safety of home births in North America involving direct entry midwives, in jurisdictions where the practice is not well integrated into the healthcare system.

Design Prospective cohort study.

Setting All home births involving certified professional midwives across the United States (98% of cohort) and Canada, 2000.

Participants All 5418 women expecting to deliver in 2000 supported by midwives with a common certification and who planned to deliver at home when labour began.

Main outcome measures Intrapartum and neonatal mortality, perinatal transfer to hospital care, medical intervention during labour, breast feeding, and maternal satisfaction.

Results 655 (12.1%) women who intended to deliver at home when labour began were transferred to hospital. Medical intervention rates included epidural (4.7%), episiotomy (2.1%), forceps (1.0%), vacuum extraction (0.6%), and caesarean section (3.7%); these rates were substantially lower than for low risk US women having hospital births. The intrapartum and neonatal mortality among women considered at low risk at start of labour, excluding deaths concerning life threatening congenital anomalies, was 1.7 deaths per 1000 planned home births, similar to risks in other studies of low risk home and hospital births in North America. No mothers died. No discrepancies were found for perinatal outcomes independently validated.

Conclusions Planned home birth for low risk women in North America using certified professional midwives was associated with lower rates of medical intervention but similar intrapartum and neonatal mortality to that of low risk hospital births in the United States.

Birthing choices

Yes, we're planning a homebirth. Don't be frightened. It's as safe for DomerBaby as being in a hospital, and MORE safe for me. I'll put some reference books at the bottom of this post in case you are interested in learning more.

T.J. and I are comfortable and excited about the prospect of having the baby at home. Our main reasons for choosing a homebirth are:

1) To avoid unnecessary medical interventions for me and DomerBaby,
2) To be able to labor and birth in any position that works best for me, and
3) To feel comfortable with the people who are in the room while I'm birthing.

Today I met with the 2nd of 3 homebirth midwives that we are interviewing (T.J. missed this one because of work). She works with another midwife, and they have 40 years combined experience in birthing! Amazing. They were a bit more conservative than the last woman we met - they won't take twin or breach births. But they've also only lost 2 out of 1400 babies! Can you imagine seeing a hospital with that statistic? They transfer about 10% of mothers to the hospital, and about 3/10 of those will have a c-section. That's an amazing statistic. It is in part because of their careful screening of who they accept as a patient, and the self-selection of women who want to homebirth - who usually are in very good health and take great care of themselves. But still. Most hospital c-section rates are around 30%. Thirty Percent!!!

Half of all pregnancies are now medically induced, which seems to be one of the causes of the big jump in c-section rates. It's really quite insane. The average gestation for a first-born baby is 41w3d (assuming you aren't one of the unlucky 50% who are induced). Most doctors won't even go PAST 41w. When the baby is ready to be born, it releases a hormone from it's brain that begins labor. When inductions are done before the baby is ready, the process is often:

Induction -> overwhelming pain from the meds for mom -> epidural -> low heart rate of the baby (from epi and/or from prolonged unnatural contractions compressing the baby) -> emergency c-section.

I think we're safer at home.

Great books about Homebirth:
Obstetric Myths vs. Research Realities - Henci Goer
The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth - Henci Goer
Gentle Birth Choices - Barbara Harper
Ina May's Guide to Childbirth - Ina May Gaskin
Spiritual Midwifery - Ina May Gaskin

Sunday, July 20, 2008

"Actual Size"

Today I'm 37 day past ovulation. DomerBaby looks something like this:

(it's ok if you think he/she looks like an alien... we do, too.)

I think it's a pretty cool website - I especially like the "actual size" picture and the descriptions of what's going on in there.

I'm still feeling really good. T.J. has taken to calling me any time he drives by a grocery store to make sure I don't "need" anything. He's doing great so far!

Friday, July 18, 2008

7 Weeks Today!

Well, I'm 7 weeks today, but still not feeling very pregnant. I get a little nauseous in the morning, but usually if I eat it gets better - so I'm eating 2 breakfasts. I've also taken to napping a couple times per week. T.J. came home at 7:45 last night and found me passed out on the couch! Other than that... I've gained a bit of weight, but not too much. My pants are much tighter than they should be at this point. Everyone loves to remind me that I can't blame DomerBaby yet. Thanks!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

We're having a baby!

We discovered on June 25 that we're expecting DomerBaby on March 6, 2009! We can't wait to be parents!

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