Saturday, February 28, 2009

T.J. is nesting - does that mean I will have a baby?

T.J. baked a cake tonight! I was pretty impressed at his skillz (or beginner's luck) - it came out very moist and fluffy.

Of course, I had to teach him how to dust the pan with flour, and turn on the Kitchen Aid mixer, but besides that he's an old pro!

DomerBaby loved the cake, too. As well as the sundae I got at Costco today (shh, don't tell T.J.). And it also liked the bowl of ice cream I ate tonight. Hmm. Poor DomerBaby is going to go through serious sugar withdrawal when it's born!

More baby pool losers

Well, all the people I was so pleased with for saying DomerBaby would arrive in February were wrong. Sorry to all 17 of you who voted! I wish you would have been right!

I'm still feeling pretty great, but last night I got (unreasonably) upset because it's so hard to roll over in bed, get comfortable, and breathe, in general. Pathetic, but true. A friend mentioned that "you know you are 9 months pregnant when you feel like you need a drum roll when you roll over in bed" and it's so true. It's really quite ridiculous. So anyway, I'm slowly but surely nudging towards being "done" with pregnancy. Hopefully DomerBaby and I get there about the same time.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Success with PUPPS

The winning combination seems to be:

  • a very hot shower (thanks, Teresa, for the suggestion!)
  • with Grandpa's Pine Tar Soap
  • followed up with Burt's Bees Mama Bee Nourishing Body Oil while still wet
  • slather on some Sarna lotion
  • additionally, I'm taking dandelion and nettle tinctures twice daily, which may be doing some good as well.
And voila! I'm good for about 8-10 hours! Generally I do have a period of itchiness in the evening, but Sarna or Tea Tree Oil + the exercise ball pump blowing air on my belly seem to do the trick.

Yes, T.J. pumps air onto my belly to help me be less itchy. It's like the pregnancy equivalent to feeding me frozen grapes, I think!

Irish Baby

Look what I found at the Dollar Spot at Target:

Haha, note the empty ice cream bowl and the knitting supplies. My two loves. By the way, this ice cream is the best ice cream ever. OMG. Dying.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

38w5d belly picture

Are you completely impressed that I posted this so fast? I am!

It's official - I've "dropped"

Last night at yoga class we used dowels for our exercises. They are basically just long skinny sticks. Laura had us hold them at each end over our heads with our legs spread apart (so we looked like X's), then bring them down to our hips with our elbows locked. Well, everyone else's dowels went down to their hips, but mine got stuck at my belly button! Even the girl that was due today made it over her belly.

At first I thought that I just had freakishly short arms, but then Laura looked around and said that you could tell who had dropped by where their dowels were - and I was the only one like that. So, I was the freak, but kind of in a good way! Baby's on it's way down and out I guess.

I've also been getting some "twinges" the last few days. TMI, but it feels like the baby is scratching at my cervix. Not very pleasant. Charlotte and Laura says this is what it feels like when your cervix starts to thin out - called effacement. Don't get excited though, it doesn't mean anything in terms of labor! I just like to know that my body is doing all the right things.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Saw the cutest thing yesterday

While I was waiting to see the midwife at the doctor's office, there was a woman there with two small children. I'd guess that one was 3.5 years old and the other was around 2 years old. I'm terrible with that sort of thing, but they both could speak (sort of - I don't know if #2 was easily understood as it was a different language) and had haircuts. Yes, I judge age based on whether hair needs cutting. I suck. So that's my best guess.

They were adorable and having a grand old time, but then the little one started getting tired and a bit cranky. So mom picked him up for some comfort and nursing! I think it's the first time I've ever seen extended breastfeeding in action, and it was great. I hope I didn't make her uncomfortable because I think I got caught looking at her once or twice. I'm sure it sounds weird, but I always want to look when women are nursing, like I'll be able to glean skills or something from them! Maybe the women give me a pass since I'm visibly pregnant. I hope so!

Anyway, it made me want to go look up all the benefits of extended breastfeeding and share them with you! First, I want to note that the World Health Organization recommends breastfeeing at least until the age of two. So though most Americans would consider nursing past a year "extended" it really isn't. But for our purposes, most information on extended breastfeeding is after 12 months. Second, I'm in no way implying that breastfeeding is the only way to feed your child (duh). However, it's pretty clear from the research that it's the best way if you are able to swing it, so we'll be putting forth a lot of effort in our household to make it work for as long as it works for our family!

Here are the benefits of breastfeeding past one year from, a great breastfeeding resource:

Nursing toddlers benefit NUTRITIONALLY

  • Although there has been little research done on children who breastfeed beyond the age of two, the available information indicates that breastfeeding continues to be a valuable source of nutrition and disease protection for as long as breastfeeding continues.
  • "Human milk expressed by mothers who have been lactating for >1 year has significantly increased fat and energy contents, compared with milk expressed by women who have been lactating for shorter periods. During prolonged lactation, the fat energy contribution of breast milk to the infant diet might be significant."
    -- Mandel 2005
  • "Breast milk continues to provide substantial amounts of key nutrients well beyond the first year of life, especially protein, fat, and most vitamins."
    -- Dewey 2001
  • In the second year (12-23 months), 448 mL of breastmilk provides:
    • 29% of energy requirements
    • 43% of protein requirements
    • 36% of calcium requirements
    • 75% of vitamin A requirements
    • 76% of folate requirements
    • 94% of vitamin B12 requirements
    • 60% of vitamin C requirements
    -- Dewey 2001
  • Studies done in rural Bangladesh have shown that breastmilk continues to be an important source of vitamin A in the second and third year of life.
    -- Persson 1998
  • It's not uncommon for weaning to be recommended for toddlers who are eating few solids. However, this recommendation is not supported by research. According to Sally Kneidel in "Nursing Beyond One Year" (New Beginnings, Vol. 6 No. 4, July-August 1990, pp. 99-103.):

    Some doctors may feel that nursing will interfere with a child's appetite for other foods. Yet there has been no documentation that nursing children are more likely than weaned children to refuse supplementary foods. In fact, most researchers in Third World countries, where a malnourished toddler's appetite may be of critical importance, recommend continued nursing for even the severely malnourished (Briend et al, 1988; Rhode, 1988; Shattock and Stephens, 1975; Whitehead, 1985). Most suggest helping the malnourished older nursing child not by weaning but by supplementing the mother's diet to improve the nutritional quality of her milk (Ahn and MacLean. 1980; Jelliffe and Jelliffe, 1978) and by offering the child more varied and more palatable foods to improve his or her appetite (Rohde, 1988; Tangermann, 1988; Underwood, 1985).

Nursing toddlers are SICK LESS OFTEN
  • The American Academy of Family Physicians notes that children weaned before two years of age are at increased risk of illness (AAFP 2001).
  • Nursing toddlers between the ages of 16 and 30 months have been found to have fewer illnesses and illnesses of shorter duration than their non-nursing peers (Gulick 1986).
  • "Antibodies are abundant in human milk throughout lactation" (Nutrition During Lactation 1991; p. 134). In fact, some of the immune factors in breastmilk increase in concentration during the second year and also during the weaning process. (Goldman 1983, Goldman & Goldblum 1983, Institute of Medicine 1991).
  • Per the World Health Organization, "a modest increase in breastfeeding rates could prevent up to 10% of all deaths of children under five: Breastfeeding plays an essential and sometimes underestimated role in the treatment and prevention of childhood illness." [emphasis added]
Nursing toddlers have FEWER ALLERGIES
  • Many studies have shown that one of the best ways to prevent allergies and asthma is to breastfeed exclusively for at least 6 months and continue breastfeeding long-term after that point.

    Breastfeeding can be helpful for preventing allergy by:
    1. reducing exposure to potential allergens (the later baby is exposed, the less likely that there will be an allergic reaction),
    2. speeding maturation of the protective intestinal barrier in baby's gut,
    3. coating the gut and providing a barrier to potentially allergenic molecules,
    4. providing anti-inflammatory properties that reduce the risk of infections (which can act as allergy triggers).
Nursing toddlers are SMART
  • Extensive research on the relationship between cognitive achievement (IQ scores, grades in school) and breastfeeding has shown the greatest gains for those children breastfed the longest.
Nursing toddlers are WELL ADJUSTED SOCIALLY
  • According to Sally Kneidel in "Nursing Beyond One Year" (New Beginnings, Vol. 6 No. 4, July-August 1990, pp. 99-103.):

    "Research reports on the psychological aspects of nursing are scarce. One study that dealt specifically with babies nursed longer than a year showed a significant link between the duration of nursing and mothers' and teachers' ratings of social adjustment in six- to eight-year-old children (Ferguson et al, 1987). In the words of the researchers, 'There are statistically significant tendencies for conduct disorder scores to decline with increasing duration of breastfeeding.'"
  • According to Elizabeth N. Baldwin, Esq. in "Extended Breastfeeding and the Law":
    "Breastfeeding is a warm and loving way to meet the needs of toddlers and young children. It not only perks them up and energizes them; it also soothes the frustrations, bumps and bruises, and daily stresses of early childhood. In addition, nursing past infancy helps little ones make a gradual transition to childhood."
  • Baldwin continues: "Meeting a child's dependency needs is the key to helping that child achieve independence. And children outgrow these needs according to their own unique timetable." Children who achieve independence at their own pace are more secure in that independence then children forced into independence prematurely.
Nursing a toddler is NORMAL
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that "Breastfeeding should be continued for at least the first year of life and beyond for as long as mutually desired by mother and child... Increased duration of breastfeeding confers significant health and developmental benefits for the child and the mother... There is no upper limit to the duration of breastfeeding and no evidence of psychologic or developmental harm from breastfeeding into the third year of life or longer." (AAP 2005)
  • The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends that breastfeeding continue throughout the first year of life and that "Breastfeeding beyond the first year offers considerable benefits to both mother and child, and should continue as long as mutually desired." They also note that "If the child is younger than two years of age, the child is at increased risk of illness if weaned." (AAFP 2001)
  • A US Surgeon General has stated that it is a lucky baby who continues to nurse until age two. (Novello 1990)
  • The World Health Organization emphasizes the importance of nursing up to two years of age or beyond (WHO 1992, WHO 2002).
  • Scientific research by Katherine A. Dettwyler, PhD shows that 2.5 to 7.0 years of nursing is what our children have been designed to expect (Dettwyler 1995).
MOTHERS also benefit from nursing past infancy
  • Extended nursing delays the return of fertility in some women by suppressing ovulation.
  • Breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer. Studies have found a significant inverse association between duration of lactation and breast cancer risk.
  • Breastfeeding reduces the risk of ovarian cancer.
  • Breastfeeding reduces the risk of uterine cancer.
  • Breastfeeding reduces the risk of endometrial cancer.
  • Breastfeeding protects against osteoporosis. During lactation a mother may experience decreases of bone mineral. A nursing mom's bone mineral density may be reduced in the whole body by 1 to 2 percent while she is still nursing. This is gained back, and bone mineral density may actually increase, when the baby is weaned from the breast. This is not dependent on additional calcium supplementation in the mother's diet.
  • Breastfeeding reduces the risk of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Breastfeeding has been shown to decrease insulin requirements in diabetic women.
  • Breastfeeding moms tend to lose weight easier.

Baby's first Terrible Towel, and other goodies

Grandma and Grandpa Curran sent DomerBaby his/her first Steeler's Gear after the Super Bowl (T.J.'s family is from Pittsburgh, and like all good Pittsburghers, they are very supportive of their professional ball teams!):

Steeler's Bib

Terrible Towel (the Pittsburgh version of the Homer Hanky)

My friend Alysa stopped by last week and spoiled DomerBaby with some presents:

An organic lovey:

And what I am sure are the fanciest onesies DomerBaby owns.
And appropriately decorated, too, given the amount of sugar this Mama consumes!
The best part was what she brought for ME - the most delicious chocolate bar ever made:
Milka With Hazelnuts and Raisins!!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

As promised... 37w5d pic

Yes, I'm wearing a black top with blue pants. And yes, I know my belly is sticking out the bottom. it's about how 90% of the wardrobe wears lately! I promise I don't leave the house like that!

Sorry it took so long... maybe I'll be better with tomorrow's pictures! (click photo to enlarge)

38.5 week prenatal appointments

This morning I went up to see the hospital midwives first. It was mostly uneventful, though the new midwife Anjili gave me a scare when she was unsure about the baby's position - she thought she felt a head high up! Luckily it was a misinterpretation. Margaret, who has 30 years of experience, popped in and assured us that everything was just as it should be - head down, well engaged, and nicely positioned.

Margaret also told me that we should start *really* enjoying our time now - going out to eat, seeing movies, etc... They don't think baby is coming anytime within the next week, but I think that was my heads up to get my ducks in a row! They were also pleased with our choice of pediatricians, which makes me happy. It's nice to have our feelings about our pediatrician validated.

I'm feeling really guilty that they can't know about our home birth. I really like all the midwives there, and they are just so kind and wonderful to me. I saw Diane on my way out and she was so excited at how close we're getting, and was like "next time I see you it'll be at the hospital!" Stupid Georgia laws. However, I don't doubt my decision. Even though I love the midwives, I really don't want to deal with the hospital rules. Too bad they can't come to my home birth!

Anyway, after my appointment there, I headed home and Charlotte met me at our house for our appointment. Things were much more calm this time than last time! The most exciting part was that she delivered our birth tub!!! So T.J. has something else to do for the baby. We'll set it up and then be all ready for the little one to come. Everything is looking great, my blood pressure is still low (100/60 at the doctor's office, 110/76 at home), all my vitals are good, and the baby's heartbeat sounded strong and wonderful. Charlotte thinks my swelling has gone down a bit, and I have to admit that my ankles don't seem quite as "cankle-ish" as normal. Maybe all that nettle and salad is working! Charlotte confirmed that baby is head down, though she thought it was strange that she could feel a foot on either side of my belly... apparently we have a little frog baby. We talked a little bit about the baby's position, and I'm currently reading up on it. I will report back with my hypotheses on what baby's been up to. Maybe I'll even draw you a new picture of DomerBaby!

Oh, and a little mystery solved regarding Charlotte always calling DomerBaby a girl - apparently she thought we knew we were having a girl! I'm not sure where she got this idea, but that explains why she always called it a she. So no insight from her, after all. Sorry!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Knitting Progress

Just a quick update so you don't think I went into labor! We had a good weekend, and I started a new sweater for DomerBaby! It *should* turn out something like this:

So far I have only made 3 mistakes. I'm not too picky when it comes to my knitting. Most of my knitting buddies are the type to pull out rows and rows of work to get it perfect, but I'm a slacker!

T.J. spent Sunday remaking his golf club iron set, so we were equally "crafty" I suppose! They are very shiny, and he is pleased with them. It's supposed to be 67 on Thursday here (!) so he hopes to go try them out at the driving range then.

He had his consultation with the oral surgeon today, and we've decided to wait to do the surgery until April so that I'll be home to take care of him, and there will be no chance of me going into labor while he's on hard core pain killers! All four teeth are impacted, and 2 of them are bone impacted. Poor thing. I feel terrible that he's going to have to go through that.

Both prenatal appointments are tomorrow, so I'll update on that and hopefully get my pictures up that I promised last week!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Look! 2 weeks to go!

Oooh, exciting!

I've been feeling so great lately... besides the dang rash, but even that today hasn't been bothering me so much. I definitely feel like I could have another 3+ weeks with just me and DomerBaby.

Sorry to the 4 people who thought DomerBaby would have arrived by now (see poll at side bar)! Maybe the 13 who voted for this next week will be correct!

T.J. and I have a mellow but fun weekend planned. We need a few more baby things (diaper pail, nursing tanks, mattress covers) so we'll do some shopping, and we might go look at some new apartment complexes. Never ones to do things the easy way, we're planning to move by May 1! Still in Atlanta, just hopefully to a place more conducive to keeping one car. We're all about living simply when we can. I'm going to start a new knitting project this weekend with my friend Sian, and T.J. is going to hit the driving range.

I took a couple new belly pictures, and I'll post them once I've uploaded them. I forgot my camera and cord at home today.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Follow up to Smelly Belly

I just put some more Sarna on, and the scent seemed SO familiar. My family should get a kick out of this - Camphor is the same ingredient that is in Sting-Eze.

Ah, the days of Itasca State park, millions of mosquitos, making X's on mosquito bites to get them to stop, and using Sting-Eze when X's didn't work.

And for flashback:

Dad at Itasca (that's a big fish!)

Deb and I at Bear Head (cool tee pee):

Smelly Belly

I've acquired a new nickname at work - Smelly Belly. Can't say I don't deserve it though! Yesterday I put some tea tree oil on right before lunch, and the boys had to deal with me in the car. Oh well, I'd rather smell tea tree oil than wear it on my PUPPS rash!

Today I bought a new lotion to try, because the oil and tar soap seems to be losing effectiveness. I got a lotion called Sarna, which has camphor and menthol in it. It smells less strong than the tea tree oil, which is nice. It stung a bit when I put it on, but in a good way - way better than itch! Walgreens had some ointment that had like 20 times the amount of camphor in it (10% vs. .5%) but it said not to put it on large areas of the body, so I nixed it for now. I might reconsider later. Other options down the pipe are antihistimines, but I'd rather stick to topical solutions for now.

If the PUPPS is spreading, it's doing so slowly, and the main itchiness remains in the lower left part of my belly. My poor poor belly, it will never be the same again, I don't think.

I bet DomerBaby is cuter than my belly ever was, anyway, so I don't really mind.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Look how close we are!

16 days till the due date! Amazing, really. It's weird to think that on Friday I'll be "full term". Of course, I still don't expect DomerBaby till Mid-March, but it's pretty neat.

I think I grew a lot yesterday. I'm not kidding, yesterday morning I felt one way, and yesterday afternoon I was like "Whoa"... I'll take a picture tonight to see.

I've been getting Braxton-Hicks contractions quite regularly the last few days, and some of them are uncomfortable. Mostly they just make me have to go to the bathroom though! So although this is *no* indication of labor, it feels like things are moving along.

The baby has been really active the last few days, too, which seems strange as I thought they kind of slowed down as they ran out of room. Maybe DomerBaby is just reminding me that I have a long way to go!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Prenatal appointment and blood work update

I had my weekly appointment with the hospital midwife today. I was supposed to see Charlotte, too, but she had a woman go into labor this morning. That's just how it goes, so no big deal. I'll be reporting to her this afternoon on what we did at the doctor's office.

Blood pressure is great (120/70), my liver enzymes look normal (yey!) and my red blood is improving. Even my platelets went up a teeny bit. So it looks like DomerBaby and I are doing very well. They won't do any more blood work unless I start feeling poorly, which is fine by me. I guess all the yucky stuff I'm taking is working!

I spoke too soon on the PUPPS rash getting better the other day - it's starting to spread. But I'm going to up my efforts with the stinky soap and disgusting tea to see if I can nip it in the bud. I am trying! It hasn't been so bad, as the remedies I'm using really do take the sting out of it most the time.

On the home front, T.J. needs to have his wisdom teeth out. I've been bugging him about it since November (when he got the 2nd warning from the dentist), and now his teeth are starting to hurt so it's become a necessity. So hopefully his extraction (date TBD) and the babies birthday do not coincide! I told him that he can't get it done the same weekend that Laura will be out of town in case I go into labor early. I need one of them around and in working order!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Labor and Delivery Class

T.J. and I attended a labor/delivery class at my yoga studio on Friday night. Laura (our doula) taught the class, and it was pretty good. A lot of it was repeat for me, as we discuss lots of birth things at the end of my yoga classes, but it was great for T.J. to get to hear it all, since he's the one that needs to remember it!

We learned different coping techniques, such as using sound, breath, water, and different positions to relieve the pain of labor. Best of all was that T.J. got to practice some of the techniques on me. Yey for massages!

There was a really smooth transition between yoga-type things that we could incorporate and talking about how things might go and practicing. It made the night go very fast. T.J. especially enjoyed the meditation (i.e. nap) time at the end!

After we left, he declared himself ready for the baby, and he's even more excited to have Laura with us at the birth.

So now we just wait!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

This is yucky.

I feel like I've been quite a whiner lately, but it's not going to stop me tonight! Thanks for all the well wishes on the PUPPS, it seems to be doing much better. Hopefully the rest of this stuff is doing it's job, too, because it's yucky!

First, pine tar soap is gross. it reeks. My bathroom smells gross, and I am supposed to *shower* with this stuff! It does not make you feel so fresh and so clean clean. I am less itchy today though...

Nettle is disgusting. Nettles is some sort of plant that is supposed to help with edema (swelling) by working on your kidneys. It's bad enough in a tincture, and my tea infusion I just make had totally stunk up my house. I can't wait to try it.

Liquid chlorophyll
is terrible. We're hoping it'll help increase my platelets. It tastes like wet, salty hay, because that's what it is. I take 3 tablespoons of this a day.

It doesn't help to put disgusting stuff in O.J. - It just makes the O.J. gross!

Isn't there any natural stuff that isn't gross? Well, dandelion tincture (liver) is tolerable, and the oral vitamin k (platelets) looks gross, but it appears to be tasteless. So I guess there is some minor relief with those.

DomerBaby, you are welcome to come out anytime, if just to save me from this awful crap I'm taking for you!

Saturday, February 14, 2009


See any change?

Friday, February 13, 2009

37 weeks! Only 3 to go!

Can you believe it? We're in the home stretch.

I discovered yesterday that dresses are infinitely more comfortable than pants with my poor belly rash. I'm not a big fan of the tent look, but on the bright side my big belly disguises my cankles relatively well.

Thanks to my friend Laura for injecting my wardrobe with some comfort and style for the last month! Short girls with big bellies UNITE!

And yes, I can still rock it in 3" heels!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


I've gotten a lot of help with this rash thing, and I thought I'd document what I'm using so that I can remember whether or not it helps:

1. nettle tincture - 30 drops, 3x day
2. dandelion tincture - 30 drops ,3x day
3. tea tree oil - 3x day or as needed

And I bought Grandpa's Pine Tar Soap today. It's supposed to really stop the rash in it's tracks!

If you are not of the faint of heart, I took a picture of the rash - you can click HERE to see it. It's just belly, don't worry. The orange/red is the rash, and the purple/red are my newly acquired stretch marks.

Hey, I said it wasn't for the faint of heart!

Why nesting is awesome

Because you make things like this super duper delicious pie:

You can see that I had already cut into it before I remembered to take a picture!

DomerBaby likes apple pie. A lot. Especially with ice cream.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Definitely PUPPS

I woke myself up at 2:30am scratching, and the rash is visible to me (in the mirror) today. I can't see it on my own since it's on the lower part of my belly!

Time to hit up the drug store for some potential itch relief!

Oh, and I'm heading in to the doctor's office tomorrow for another blood draw. I'll keep you updated!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

36w4d prenatal update

I had my appointment with Charlotte this morning. Yesterday I got my platelet number back from the doctor's office, and it fell a tiny bit - to 83 from 87. The hospital midwife actually said that they put my chart on the list of patients to confer about at their weekly meeting. So even though she assures me that they are not worried, I have to wonder, you know? I suppose I'll hear what they have to say next Tuesday at that appointment.

Anyway, regardless of how they feel, Charlotte was not pleased that it dropped again. Unless it starts to level off I won't be able to birth at home. She didn't want to give me a hard cutoff, but it sounds like <80 is going to be a problem, especially now that we are starting a regimin. So our order of business today was brainstorming ways to get my levels to even off and start going up. We're going to try oral vitamin K, dandelion leaf tincture, and nettle tincture to go along with the liquid chlorophyll I've been taking. I'm hopeful that the vitamin K will really get things going.

On another negative note, I think I am developing PUPPS. Charlotte thinks that it could be related to my platelets. There does seem to be a connection with the liver for both PUPPS and low platelets, though I'm not exhibiting any symptoms of liver problems at this point. Since I've had the easiest pregnancy ever, this is probably just nature's way of evening the score!

I'm hoping that by treating the platelets we might also cure the PUPPS. So far it's just on the lower part of my belly, and for the most part it doesn't itch too bad. The one person I know who had it still has scars from itching... I already have some scabs. Oops.

On the bright side, my blood pressure remains really good (110/70 today) and all of my other tests are perfect, as always. The baby is kicking and moving like crazy! The heartrate today was 140 again, and it got the hiccups while Charlotte was listening (normal and adorable).

I'm getting a bit swollen (ok, maybe more than a bit), and I'm +39 lbs now! It seems to vary from day to day, which makes me think it's more to do with water weight than my weight gain had been previously. It certainly has *nothing* to do with that apple pie I made on Sunday night!

So, in case I've scared some of you, let me remind you that as of now we are in a good range for the birth, and we're actively trying to make things even better. The reason we chose Charlotte is because she has a sound medical background and will not hesitate to send us to the hospital if that's where we need to be. Obviously the goal is to get us in shape for a healthy homebirth, but if that's not best for me and the baby, we will be going to the hospital, where we can deal with any complications we feel may arise. This is and always has been about a healthy, safe birth - for me and the baby. I firmly believe that if I'm we're healthy enough, the best place for us is at home. If we're not, obviously that plan is out the door.

So - no freaking out! We're perfectly safe and in GREAT hands.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Another busy weekend!

It's a good think I've gotten some energy! Of course some of it seems to be propelled by irritation, but whatever works, right? Incidentally, T.J. appears to be able to read my mind if I get angry enough. Yesterday I was ranting in my mind about his golf clubs being out in the middle of the living room and he put them away! I need to try more Jedi mind tricks.

So what did we do this weekend?

On Saturday I went to the grocery before T.J. left for golf. Then I made two pans of lasagna and a big pot of chicken pot pie filling. I also did 4 loads of laundry! And after all that can you believe I lamented over what I *didn't* get done? Silly.

On Sunday I woke up at 7am (bad baby - mama needs sleep!) so I made coq au vin before heading out to lunch with some girlfriends, then last night I made a big batch of chili and baked an apple pie! Delicious. T.J. started some laundry and we finished that up, then cleaned the kitchen and picked up the house before bed.

T.J. also did a carseat installation trial. We need to make some adjustments, but it appears to fit in our little 2 door Focus. Yippee!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Hey Facebook, Breastfeeding is not Obscene!

So, you may or may not have heard of this facebook group. Essentially, the social networking site Facebook started removing pictures of mothers breastfeeding their babies because they don't allow "obscene, pornographic, or sexually explicit" material on their website. Hmm.

Anyway, it's gotten a LOT of press, even a mention on SNL a few weeks ago. I find it ironic given how Angelina Jolie's picture on the front of of W magazine got nothing but positive press. Whatever. I guess you have to be a sex icon for it to be ok?

Today a friend of mine found this great website that showed video clips of PBS shows Mr. Rogers and Sesame Street teaching about breastfeeding. I wonder what's happened to our society that in 25 years breastfeeding has gone from normal to "obscene". Very sad.

Here is a link to the videos. Remember, they are appropriate for children, but not adults with facebook accounts!

You are not in control of your birth

I've definitely heard this before, and yes, I do believe it. I also believe that preparing for the birth you want, and working towards that is important. But, sometimes things don't happen the way that you want them, and you have to be willing to roll with that.

Luckily, so far our birth plans are proceeding as planned. I don't know what will happen during labor, but I'm confident in myself, my midwife, T.J. and our doula. I know we'll all do our best to create the best chances that the labor and delivery will go the way we planned.

Yesterday I spoke with the hospital midwife about my platelet count some more. Luckily, it really does not seem like it will impact our birth plans. I think I mentioned before that the main issue in pregnancy (barring that it's an indication of HELLP) is that it is a contraindication for an epidural. The midwife explained that epidurals increase the risk of bleeding, so if I were to need a c-section, it's most likely I'd end up with a general anesthetic , which means that I would not be conscious.

I know this does not impact our current plans, but imagine if our plans included a "typical" birth, complete with epidural. I'm 36 weeks today. If I were planning a medicated birth, it'd be really late to start researching natural birth, alternative pain relief, etc... How devastating and scary that would be. The fact is that something like 90% of women receive pain medication for births, so this is a definite reality for some women.

So, I guess I just wanted to put that out there as a warning. Just like some people think we're getting in over our heads with our natural home birth, it can be equally "dangerous" to assume that you can get an epidural, or that it will "take", and that you'll have a pain-free labor and birth.

Sometimes things happen, and it's a *great* idea to prepare for the "worst", even while you expect the best. Whether the "worst" means a natural or medicated birth, we all need to be aware of the possibilities of either one happening. I know I'll now be doing a little research on c-sections and a LOT more reading on natural pain relief, because a transfer for pain medication is not really an option at this point. There are narcotics they can give you at the hospital, but none of them seem very "good" compared to the epi.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Holy cow! 4 weeks to go!

Can you believe it??? 36 weeks is another "milestone" in my head. We are now one month from our due date!!! Insanity, I tell you.

I had a prenatal appointment at the hospital midwives office today. I saw a brand new midwife - she just graduated. She seemed very nice and knowledgeable. She took quite a bit of time with me answering questions and chatting about my pregnancy. The fundal heigh measure is still right on track, so that's good. I think I surprised her because she was able to hear the baby's heart rate right away just with her stethoscope. They are so used to the doppler, that she wasn't sure she'd be able to get it. Luckily I can point out right where Charlotte gets a good tone, so she had no problems at all!

My blood pressure was nice and low today, 110/70, so I feel that my risk of HELLP remains low. Yey! We redid the bloodwork to see if my platelets were still falling, so I'll find that out on Monday.

Cute baby item of the day: Baby legs! I bought a couple pairs on clearance at Target the other day, and I plan to make a couple of pairs this weekend with some cheap knee-highs I picked up.

Here's a pair I bought:

And here is one reason why they are great - no need to remove for diaper changes!

And no, this doesn't make legwarmers OK for adults. Sorry Deb.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

More cool baby gear!

This is pretty late in coming, sorry! Here are some things we received from our shower in MN:

Baskets from Mama... they will match our crib bedding if I ever pull the trigger on purchasing it. Eventually we'll put up shelving for the baskets, but for now they reside on baby's dresser and hold all the random stuff I don't know what to do with! They matched our moses basket that Mama bought and that we had to send back to RH Baby (sob!). She also got us several organic baby items, a super cute sling, etc...:

Post-Baby wine glass from Debbie (the only gift *I* received, despite T.J.'s insistence that all baby items are "for me"):

Wool longies and soakers from Teresa. Every cloth diaper Mama I know is UBER jealous! If law doesn't float her boat she could make $$$ in the hand made baby gear sector.

Various blankets and supplies. This baby will be spoiled with all the cuddly fabrics around it!

Not pictured: HUNDREDS (it seems) of cute items from friends and family. I can't possibly post everything, but THANK YOU all so much for your generosity. I'm sure there will be a LOT of cute DomerBaby pictures in his/her outfits and playing with toys and books in the coming months!


I don't know if everyone is aware of this term - It's basically a period of time at the end of a woman's pregnancy where she gets the overwhelming urge to clean and organize in order to prepare for the baby. Some people get it so bad they wake up at 3am and start scrubbing bathroom walls. I kid you not. I'm not there yet, but I'm either nesting, or I just didn't want Charlotte and Laura to see how we really live!

On Friday we had our prenatal and i played hookie at work and went shopping after dropping T.J. off at work. I picked up an Arm's Reach Co-Sleeper (see pic - it'll go up against the bed when DomerBaby arrives), then went to Babies'R'Us and got the rest of the stuff off the registry, then to Joann's for fabric for wipes (done sewing them! Yey! See pic!), then to Target and Goodwill for labor day supplies. Then I went and got the oil changed in the car before picking T.J. up. Did lots of baby laundry on Friday night while T.J. napped (ha!) and put together a box of all my labor stuff so it's ready for the big day!

Saturday I woke up early (early for me... like 8:30am), boiled diapers to prep them, did more diaper prepping laundry, cleaned the kitchen, dining room, bedroom, T.J. cleaned up the living room and office, then I organized all the papers in there. That took all day!

Sunday I dropped T.J. off at his friend's house so they could go to golf, I went to Trader Joe's, Publix, then to my friend Laura's to borrow "giant" maternity clothes (she is short like me, so she had the same belly-too-large issues). Then up to dollar store and pet store (more labor supplies), Michael's, and TJ Maxx for baby stuff. Then to Whole Foods to drop recycling and get some more groceries. Got home, made dinner in time for super bowl, and baked some homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookies!

Whew! That was some weekend!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Livin on the Edge

The edge of insanity. The pregnancy hormones are making me cranky today... very cranky.

First I was cranky at T.J., because he is naughty and didn't clean the tub like he was supposed to this weekend. So I did it this morning at 6:45am (I was afraid the midwife would need to look in for water-birth related things) while he slept in. Not cool, Bucko! He did start to make up for it by agreeing very quickly that I should, indeed, have a strawberry milkshake for lunch. And this was before he knew I was even angry at him. Sometimes he is smarter than he looks.

Next, my midwife. She had to push back our visit by a half hour because of some car issues, but was still a half hour late after that. She called an hour and a half before our visit was originally scheduled to alert me, so I was not able to give the doula advance warning (I tried, but she was teaching yoga class). The midwife's new assistant, who I had yet to meet, came to the visit as well - with her two children. Seriously, this was not OK. They were very well behaved, but it was chaotic, our house is not babyproof, and T.J. ended up babysitting the older one instead of participating in important discussions while the assistant took care of the baby. So yeah, not sure what the point of her coming was. I guess now she knows where we live. She assured me the babies would not be at the birth. I gave her a wan smile. It was the best I could do (and better than responding "No Shit, Sherlock" - right?).

One good thing is that I know my doula is going to be the calm in the storm. She is so soothing. Meeting her at this time in my life almost makes me believe in fate. I was so glad she made it today.

Anyway, aside from my grumpiness, here's the latest about DomerBaby:

I got my bloodwork back yesterday from last week. My platelets are still dropping. This is not good. We are working on them. Luckily I'm not exhibiting other symptoms of HELLP, the syndrome with which it can be realated (low platelets is the LP of HELLP).

My blood pressure remains excellent - it was 122/70, which I thought was fabulous considering how worked up I've been today.

The baby's heartrate was 140bpm. A quick review of folklore tells me... nothing. It says that if the rate is >140 it's more likely a girl, <140 it's more likely a boy. So there ya go.

I am still measuring right on target (36cm)! I was a bit surprised that I wasn't ahead given the look of my belly! So that's great. I got a raised eyebrow for my 7 pound weight gain this month (you read that right!) but such is the life of the pudgy pregnant lady. I'm debating whether to blame it on swelling/water or the trail mix (no M&Ms even!) we make for lunch.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Pregnancy warmth - Finally!

I just realized that I'm finally a WARM pregnant person! I was wondering when it'd kick in. I am not HOT, or uncomfortable. On the contrary, I can wear a sweatshirt, pants, no socks, and not be freezing! This is really exciting, as I get cramps in my feet if they get too chilly.

Yey for pregnancy!

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