Sunday, November 30, 2008

Look what we got!

It is very comfortable! We got an extra cushion set with it (blue denim), so we're covered for boy and girl. LOL. Although the pink gingham that T.J. is sitting on goes surprisingly well in our living room w/ the couch and dining room walls being that burgundy color.

We got it for about 85% off the retail price by buying on - and it's ecofriendly, since we're reusing! (remember the old 3 R's - reduce, reuse, recycle?).

In other cuteness news, Grandma and Grandpa Monn got the baby a cute Moses basket and stand that we can use as a bassinet and travel bed when DomerBaby is new - or longer if we have a peanut like T.J. was! I'm so excited to use it! (our bedding is brown and green - not pink!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Look at baby grow!

Grow baby, grow!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Double digits!

I missed my planned post yesterday, but we only have 98 days until the due date! How exciting is that! I think I've officially crossed over from "happy to be pregnant" to "anxious to have a baby in arms". I've got a looooong way to go for that, though!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

It's here.

Please read this post from just about my favorite blog on eco living and natural parenting. I was going to post something very similar today, but she says everything about it that I would, and probably in a more eloquent way.

"News from the formula companies... and it's not good. i've been lucky enough to be able to feed lucy without any formula supplementation. though challenging at times, i'm so glad not to have to worry about stories like this. melamine has turned up in brand-name infant formula here in the united states. the same stuff that, you know, killed a bunch of dogs awhile back, and later put thousands upon thousands of chinese babies into the hospital (many of whom are still there). reports state that only trace amounts have been found in u.s. infant formulas, in levels that are for now being considered harmless. my take? melamine has been found in infant formula. enough said.

the findings make me sad for formula-feeding mommies, many of whom want to breastfeed exclusively but aren't able to, for whatever reason. the simple act of feeding a hungry baby (be it by bottle or by breast) shouldn't come with doubt, worry or guilt. if it's not melamine in formula or bpa in bottles, then it's the presence of dioxin and other nasties in breast milk, appearing in concentrated doses due to the ever-rising prevalence of chemicals in our society.

did generations past have to deal with these types of worries? overhanging guilt of things that simply could not be avoided? where did society fall off, letting our tiniest members come in contact with questionable chemicals and known carcinogens? this all goes far past formula--to baby shampoos and lotions, baby diapers, baby clothing, baby food, baby toys. something is just not right with this picture, and the very worst part is that despite all that i know about all of this, i can't shove my daughter into a bubble. she's exposed. i may have reduced her exposure, and i will try my hardest to continue to do so to a reasonable extent. but lucy, like every other baby in america, is exposed. and there's nothing i can do to change this."

I don't know what else to say about this. It's truly a travesty, and concrete evidence that our own coporations care more about profit than the health of our children, and frankly that the government doesn't care, either. A sad, sad day.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Cord blood

The other day Grandma Curran mentioned cord blood banking, and it reminded me to get back on my high horse about birthing. Hehe. So if you are sick of hearing about my opinion on birth, blame my Mother-In-Law. (just kidding!)

The answer to the original question is that we will not be doing cord blood banking, for a couple of reasons. One is that it is not an option for us, as we'll be birthing at home. This is only available to people who birth at hospitals.

Second, and more importantly to me (and I'm sure T.J., if I made him read up on it), is the benefits of delayed cord clamping until the umbilical cord stops pulsing. In hospitals (unless you direct otherwise and they actually listen to you), the cord is clamped immediately, but this effectively reduces the amount of blood that the baby gets, and can cause low iron in babies (see this article, for example) and oxygen deficiency, especially if the baby is slow to breathe on its own.

Iron deficiency is something that "they" are often worried about anyway, and can even lead to pressure for a woman to supplement with formula - some proclaim that breastmilk is "deficient" because it is low in iron. It is true that there is less iron in breast milk, but it is better absorbed than from formula, so beware of people who tell you this!

Here are some reasons to delay cord cutting, from a Midwife in California:

  • Leaving the cord to pulse does "no harm" and therefore should be encouraged. If you can think about what Nature intended, our ancestors way back before scissors and clamps were invented must have had to wait to deal with the cord/placenta until the placenta was birthed.
  • Leaving the cord to pulse slows down the "fire drill" energy that many birth attendants get into after the baby is born. Leaving off the busyness of midwifery for a half hour allows the mother and baby undisturbed bonding time without a "project " going on i.e. the cord cutting instructions, explanations, jokes, etc. The father, too , is undisturbed and able to enjoy this "high" time without focusing on a job at hand.
  • Educator Joseph Chilton Pierce in his book "Magical Child" makes ref to studies that were done on primates who gave birth in captivity and had early cord clamping. Autopsies of the primates showed that early cord clamping produced unusual lesions in the brains of the animals. These same lesions were also found in the brains of human infants when autopsied.
I swear I've seen some reasons *for* early cord cutting, but I can't find any on google today from a pro-cutting source! I did find a list of reasons, but it's probably a bit biased (it's from someone against early clamping). Here it is though:
  • Belief that the oxygen deficit is what causes the baby to start breathing. In truth, nature designed a system for insuring a smooth transition from womb life to breathing. The blood passing between the baby and the placenta carries oxygen to the newborn (possibly even after the placenta has detached and delivered!) This system is especially useful to the distressed newborn.
  • Belief that delayed clamping will cause placental over-transfusion.
  • Delayed clamping results in higher incidence of jaundice. Many midwives who delay clamping have found this is simply not true, and in fact see a dramatically lower incidence of jaundice when cord clamping is delayed. Medical people think that this goes against the physiology of jaundice.... but other experts believe that delayed clamping is precisely why the incidence is lower.
  • Convenience. Whisking a baby away to be cleaned, weighed and 'checked' following most hospital practices is easier done when the baby is no longer attached to the mother. A baby can be put on the mother's belly immediately following the birth or wrapped in a blanket and held by the mother providing the cord is long enough, until the placenta is delivered and the cord stops pulsating. The reality of this happening in a hospital birth is questionable.
  • If a baby is having complications, a doctor can work on the baby easier by cutting the cord and resuscitating the child. It is precisely in the most dire emergencies that cutting the cord is the worst of all possible things you can do.
If for some reason you cannot delay cord cutting, I would urge you to see if your hospital has a cord blood donation bank. Banking it privately is very $$$, but donating it is a pretty cool idea, and could lead to medical advancement. But if you can delay, I would do that - if the cord blood is valuable in the future, just think how valuable it is to your baby at birth!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Tim the Toolman

Totally not baby related, but I wanted to give T.J. a shout-out for all his handiness yesterday.

First, he fixed the sticky gas pedal on our car! All it took was a $5 can of some sort of fuel injector cleaner. The focus drives like a dream, now!

Then, he repaired the wall in our bedroom where our curtain rod randomly ripped out of the wall - anchors and all. He even repainted and rehung the curtains.

Today, he may even clean up his mess. Hehe.

My hero.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Fried Turkey

In honor of Thanksgiving week, here is a picture of our friend turkey (remember my ironing incident?)

Poor DomerBaby gets so abused.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

First sewing project!

Today we learned that Mama needs to go back to kindergarten - to learn to use scissors! Did you know that you should use a straight edged ruler when cutting squares? Hello, Captain Obvious! Luckily I am just making cloth wipes for DomerBaby, so it doesn't really matter what they look like. Next time I will try to take more care.

But here is the first wipe (the rest need to be trimmed, basted, and stitched!) The owl side is flannel, and the other side is terry. Hopefully it'll take care of anything DomerBaby can throw at us!:

Friday, November 21, 2008

We're sick today

Poor DomerBaby, even though I know it's ok in there, I still feel bad that I'm sick. I have some sort of stomach bug, but I think it's pretty much run its course. It started last night, and I have to say that I'm getting pretty wimpy being home by myself "with the baby". I had just read lots of stuff about pre-term labor, and since it was my tummy hurting so much - it even seemed to hurt more in waves - I have to admit I was a tiny bit scared that I was going into labor [insert eye-roll here]. It wasn't until the light of day that I realized 2 of my coworkers had already had a stomach bug. Duh. Didn't help last night when I was crying alone in bed wondering what I should do. I'm so silly.

T.J. and I get to enjoy a relaxing weekend at home. I'm planning to do some knitting or sewing, and I have to plan our Thanksgiving meal! We're having some people over for dinner on Thanksgiving, so It's time to get ready. The holidays tend to sneak up on me here because the weather doesn't change very fast... it doesn't feel like it's time yet! Of course, we're speeding towards when we get to meet DomerBaby, so I'm not complaining about time passing quickly.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


We've reached the point where DomerBaby would have an 80-90% chance of survival if (heaven forbid) I went into preterm labor! I guess that's kind of a morbid milestone, but it's still good to know.

That said, I don't think this baby is coming out before St. Paddy's day!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

24/25 week prenatal appointment!

Today was our 24 week appointment (we were in Key West last week, so now we're a week behind on appointments).

First was the appointment with the hospital midwife, Margaret. I really like her - I was seeing Kay, but Margaret is way better in my opinion. Today I had to do the blood sugar test, but I was ornery and refused to drink the orange yuck stuff, so Margaret told me just to eat 2 hours before the test and we did it that way. Honestly, I think this test is the biggest BS ever, but since it didn't hurt DomerBaby for me to get stuck with a needle, I didn't complain too much.

After that we did the weigh-in (yikes) and blood pressure. All is well there - my blood pressure seemed pretty low - 106/70 today! Good sign I think. Margaret gently suggested that I lay off the sweets so that I don't gain too much with the holidays coming. Sigh. I'll try, I promise.

She listened for the baby and I got to hear the heartbeat for the first time! It is really cool. And then she felt around for the baby, it's all nestled in my pelvis right now, still sort of transverse. She said usually they start engaging around 28 weeks, so we'll see what's going on at the next appointment.

Then I went over to Charlotte's house, and we chatted more about health stuff - whether I had headaches, swelling, etc... It continually amazes me how much more *medically* thorough Charlotte is than my hospital midwives. Of course, it's important that she knows if I'm low risk, but still - you'd think that the others would want to know that, too. She also measured the baby - I'm about 1-2 weeks ahead in fundal height, but the baby is laying pretty funny and she said that may be why. Or maybe I'm not going to get my little 6lb peanut like T.J. was! Haha. For what it's worth, this variation is within the realm of normal. DomerBaby is now about 2 pounds! So that just leaves 20 unaccounted for. Tee hee! Charlotte measured and the heartbeat is 150 beats per minute! So I guess everything is going well in there. Yey!

One "bad" thing is that apparently my abdominal wall is starting to separate. Charlotte warned me about this at the beginning - to not use my abs to sit up from a lying position. I do try to roll and use my arms, but apparently I was not diligent enough. I need to do some research on this, but I think it's more figure/fitness related than baby related. Goodbye abs! DomerBaby is worth it... it's not like I wear midriffs anyway.

We go back in 4 weeks at 29 weeks (28w appt), then the next time I'll go 3 weeks later to get back on schedule (32w), then every other week! Time sure is flying.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Random advice from strangers

On the airplane to Key West, the flight attendant walked by and started the following conversation with me:

FA (seeing my baby books): Are you planning to breastfeed?
Me: Yes, I hope to.
FA: That's nice. I BF all three of mine.
Me: That's wonderful, I hope we are as successful
FA: Just make sure you are prepared
Me (smiling): Well, I'm trying to read a lot to prepare
FA (bending in close): No, I mean you need to rough up your nipples - like with a washcloth. Otherwise they will be sore and it won't work.
Me: Oh... yes, that. I will have to do that.

It really is true - people will say anything to a pregnant lady.

PS. You do not need to "rough up" your nipples. Ouch! Someone told me that they were told to scrub them with a toothbrush! Good grief.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Quick Pics from Key West

Courtesy of Steve and Jane's wedding photographer:

Here we are - too bad you can't see DomerBaby. I'll upload more pics soon.

Here's Steve and Jane - so pretty!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Uterus the size of a soccer ball!

Well, I thought that was pretty cool.

I'm definitely feeling more "pregnant" over the last few days. Tired on my feet, sore back, etc... Still sleeping through the night, which is great. DomerBaby is getting pretty wild, too. S/he is getting more and more active every day, it seems! T.J. is more tired, too. The pregnancy must be wearing on him. LOL

Key West has been a relaxing vacation for us. No more mishaps after the taxi incident, so far! The wedding was gorgeous, but I think we're ready to go home tomorrow. We're out of non-drinking activities that pique our interests here.

Can't wait to post photos!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Should we name the baby Murphy?

T.J., baby and I are safely in Key West, but not without some mishap! We arrived safely by plane, only a half hour late, and got a cab to our hotel. Like good little riders, we buckled up. Except when we got to the hotel, my seat belt did not come off!

First, the driver tried to blame me, saying I put it on "backwards". Uh huh. Then he refused to let anyone cut it off until his manager arrived 20 minutes later. (eye roll). The manager and the owner of the cab company - who I talked to on the phone - were both very nice. The Westin Resort sent their manager out, as well as their head engineer. It was quite a spectacle. I think they were terrified I'd pitch a fit and/or go into preterm labor! I don't think they realized that the most pressing problem would most likely be my bladder. Hehe.

Luckily the manager arrived after a while and agreed that I must be cut out of it, and I was free! DomerBaby did not like being stuck any more than me. The seat belt got really tight from everyone pulling on it, so it was not the most comfortable 20 minutes of my life, but luckily we are all safe and sound here. I think we'll walk to dinner!

More later of our mis-adventures in Key West!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Pitfalls of Pregnancy

I'm sure that even if you've never experienced a burgeoning belly, you can sympathize with the idea that your body can tend to grow faster than your sense of space realizes it.

This morning I found out the hard way, when I ran my hot iron into my belly while ironing! OUCH! To add insult to injury, it was right by my *very* sensitive popped out belly button, which makes it even more painful!

T.J. said maybe he should take over ironing until after the baby. He might be on to something there!

Poor Belly.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Alaska Made!

One of my great friends, Emily, sent us a baby care package that we received today!

Emily lives in Alaska, and she sent us some awesome Alaska-wear, including some adorable onesies with brown bear and moose, tiny socks to keep baby warm, a froggie outfit, and of course a pair of carharts! DomerBaby will be all set for playing outside!
We love all the cute things she sent for DomerBaby, but especially the hand-knit sweater!

Emily is the person who taught me to knit. She's much more talented than me, though - I never graduated from hats and scarves. Haha. I'm glad I know so many talented artistans

Hopefully we'll be able to bring DomerBaby up to visit Alaska sooner than later, but luckily we'll get to see Emily and her husband Kyle next August at another dear friend, Taylor's wedding!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A chance to support home birth in GA

There is lots of good work is going on right now in Georgia to make home birthing legal for certified professional midwives. There is a midwifery task force convening in Georgia on November 19. Please take the time to send an email to Trish Keller and tell her why you think home birth should be supported in Georgia - as it is in 22 other states! Great reasons:

1. A woman should have a choice to birth with an experience professional in the place of her choosing.
2. Home birth outcomes are at LEAST as good as hospital birth outcomes with low-risk pregnancies.
3. Home birth reduces the amount of medical intervention - some of which can injure baby and mom.
4. Home birth is less expensive for everyone (if we could get insurance to cover it!).

Thanks for your support!

Going Green During the Holidays

With the holidays coming up, I thought it'd be good to remind people that the holidays can be a time of great excess, but let's try and focus on being with people we love, caring for the less fortunate, and of course, celebrating it in a manner that is helpful in providing a better world for DomerBaby and all the other children who will be inheriting the earth from us!

Part of "going green" is to buy things that are sustainable in nature (re: less plastic) and last a long time. The other part - the not as fun part - is to consume less all together. Now that Christmas is looming take a moment to be conscious of *all* of your shopping. Consider the source of your purchases. Is the item safe? What is it made of? Who made it? How far did it have to be shipped? The best items are made of sustainable materials (like wood, natural fibers, etc), grown and harvested responsibly (organic cotton, managed forests, fast-growing plants), and designed in a safe, sturdy, and high quality manner. Ideally it wouldn't travel around the world, either. You might consider buying one more expensive item than 12 inexpensive but questionable ones for the people on your lists.

Edit: check this article out - "the stick" has made it into the toy hall of fame! See what I mean?

On a personal level, please consider that we live in a small apartment with no storage before you go on your baby buying sprees this year [we've come to terms that we can't stop some of you]. An article of clothing, a small well-made (safe and natural) toy, or a book is *much* appreciated. Part of "raising baby green" is to raise them without an excess amount of things surrounding them. We're very committed to that. Please don't go overboard if you choose to buy a gift! Another great option is to buy something for toys-for-tots or adopt a child or family this Christmas instead. We are very blessed to be able to afford everything we need, but that's certainly not always the case.

Speaking of DomerBaby, s/he is getting stronger in there! Somehow it manages to whack me on the left and right side at once in synchronized fashion! I think it must still be lying transverse (sideways) and one is an arm and the other a leg. Or I have an octopus baby that they didn't discover during the u/s.

Friday, November 7, 2008

22w5d belly shots!

Wednesday is Yoga Night, which is why you always see me in my sweats now.

From the front
(horizontal stripes are probably not the best choice)

From the Side:

T.J.'s not-so-wise words of the week: "Well, you don't look that bad from the front!"

(I'm just giving him a hard time... he digs my belly. That really is what he said though!)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

We're coming to your town!

Well, we are if you live in St. Paul or Pittsburgh.

We just can't stay away - so mark your calendars, we'll be making appearances in MN January 9-11, and in PA December 12-15!

I'm totally excited!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Orgasmic Birth

That's right, you heard it here first - some women (they say 20%) have orgasms while going through labor. Interesting, no?

T.J. and I went to see a movie called "Orgasmic Birth" yesterday. It was different, to say the least. Some of it was a bit uncomfortable to watch - namely the woman who was smiling and giggling and obviously having an orgasm. She was sort of like watching bad porn. But the other 10 ladies who allowed their births to be filmed were much more "normal" in that they seemed to just have what the movie called "ecstatic births". There was obviously lots of pain involved, but there was a definite focus on the man's part in birth as a support person, lots of touching (non-sexual) and just plain joy.

The main premise (in my opinion) was that birth is not only normal and natural, but that it should be viewed as a joyous (even sensual) occasion, and not something to be feared. I think that's an important message, now that it seems all media depictions of birth are frightening emergencies in need of fixing.

I still liked the technical aspects of the movie best - for instance, they talked about the hormone oxytocin being released during birth and lactation. This is the same hormone released when you have sex and orgasm! But I could also relate to the other side, too... I've been feeling this deep urge to be around women who are pregnant or who have birthed lately. I don't really know what it is, but I think it makes evolutionary sense... historically women took care of each other, and knowledge was passed down that way.

After the showing, they did a Q&A which was fun (I got to plug home birth some more) and then we went on our merry way. Our midwife was there, too, so we got to see her.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Jumpin Jelly Beans!

I saw my belly jump yesterday! It was pretty cool. T.J. was not patient enough to watch and wait, so he missed the 2nd one. Of course, it's easier for me since I can feel and see it at the same time!

DomerBaby is getting more fun every day.

NBR (not baby related), but I made this awesome soup today. I doubled the potatoes, use 1/2 and 1/2 instead of heavy cream, minced garlic vs puree, and organic chicken broth vs. bouillon. It turned out really great! I highly recommend as a good hearty fall soup!

PS. Papa, I saw a recipe for stew last night, and now I have a hankering for venison stew. Maybe you can send me the recipe!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Cry Baby

A "funny" thing happened to me the other day. I'd been talking to enough pregnant and previously pregnant women that I knew that it is completely normal. Still, it was ridiculously weird.

On Wednesday night T.J. picked me up from work and we were heading home, and I started to feel down. I envisioned just crawling directly into bed and pulling up the covers as we were pulling into our parking spot, and practically flew into the house rather than waiting for T.J. to get the mail like I usually do.

I made it to the bedroom, then sat on the floor and started crying - HARD. I don't know why I was crying, there was no reason. I wasn't even hungry! So after a few minutes I get a grip, but I'm still just sitting there staring off into space on the floor when T.J. finds me. Poor guy - he didn't know what was wrong, and I don't think he "gets" the hormonal thing. So he just gave me a big hug and we went and curled up on the couch. Then he made me mac'n'cheese for dinner. What a good hubby.

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