Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Research: It Does The Body Good

I'm feeling amazing - I mean really amazing. The whole thing about the 2nd trimester making you feel like you're "SuperWoman", totally true. The glowing skin??? Not so much. I have gotten more pimples in the last few weeks than I did as a teen. Especially on my back and on my neck - which WTF?? My Neck?!

I'm on my 8 millionth pregnancy book and my nightstand is beginning to look like a libraries drop box after a holiday weekend.

Here's the books I've read so far and my brief reviews:
  • The Girlfriend's Guide To Pregnancy: Loved this book! LOVED it. I laughed my everylovin ass off and that was during the first trimester when nothing could make me feel like laughing. More importantly it gave me something important. It gave me the right to have whatever kind of pregnancy I wanted to have. It talks a bit about doing what makes you feel good - not following every single rule and guideline. You'll drive yourself crazy if you do that.
  • What To Expect When You're Expecting: Of course this book is an ongoing read since its broken out by month. I'm not so much a fan of all the rules and regulations, I don't really like the uber-medical nature of the book and the question answer series at the end of each chapter is not always helpful. I guess it was a good book to get my hands on right away before I saw my OB to get my immediate questions answered - but too much guilt and shame for my tastes.
  • The Pregnancy Journal: This is a very sweet little book that my friend loaned me. The nicest thing about it is that she wrote in it all through her pregnancy so I get to read her little notes and her thoughts all the way through. I recommend if you have a circle of close girlfriends and everybody is popping out babies to share a journal like this. It helps to read those things and think "Hey - I'm feeling that too!" It makes me feel very close to her and our bond is growing stronger through the experience. The actual book is not just a journal though - its day by day descriptions of what is happening to you and your baby growth wise. I liked this part - except that I'm an impatient child and skip ahead all the time.
  • From First Kicks To First Steps: I really liked this book because it didn't assume too much about the reader. It's voice is scientific and uses language that spoke to me being a college educated working woman. The reason for this I believe is that most books are afraid to get too technical because they're trying to appeal to the masses. I want to know things like how the baby breaths amniotic fluid and if they respond to light - why? I also liked the sections that talked about research done regarding child development. What can I say - I'm a researcher by trade it's part of who I am.
  • Creating Your Own Birth Plan: I just got this book last night but was already to Chapter 4 when I finally decided to buy the dang thing and leave the book store after an hour! The trouble with me is I'm incredibly subjective - when I read a book that promotes OBGYN's and hospitals - I'm all about going to the hospital for delivery. When I read a book like this one that promotes midwives and birthing centers - I turn into a crunchy granola empowered Earth Momma. Either way I like the realistic picture it paints for all scenarios. If you go to the hospital they may not honor your wishes for: no episiotomies, minimal vaginal exams, no fetal heart moniters, and no IV's. However, if you go with a midwife they too may not honor other things. I'm working on finding what makes me feel most comfortable but something about being able to move around, be on hands and knees, squat, stand, lean, etc makes a lot of sense to me.
  • Breast Feeding After Breast Reduction Surgery - Defining Your Own Success: I'm in the final chapters of this book and it has totally and completely blown me away. I feel empowered, I feel in control of my body, and I feel like breastfeeding can be what I make of it. If I can only get colostrum out - then so be it. If I can't keep my daughter completly nourished with breastmilk alone - I'm ok with that. Regardless I'm going to pursue this goal like nothing I have ever put my mind to before. I'm not much on effort - I've always relied on my smarts - not this time. This time I'm all about diggin in and putting as much effort in as I can muster. I'm confident in my body's ability to figure this out.
  • Baby Proofing Your Marriage: I have to say I couldn't get past the first few chapters of this one. It depressed the hell out of me. Maybe its better for when you've already got a problem with your marriage with the recent addition of children so you read it and feel like people must understand you and you're not the only one. I on the other hand - am a newlywed. At this juncture I can not imagine hating my husband and I can not imagine him hating me. We love each other - we respect each other and I fully reserve the right to eat my hat next October if I need to. For right now though - I just couldn't read the hateful words of what they say I may feel towards him after my daughter comes into this world. I'm not saying this book has nothing to offer - because clearly it must since it's received such acclaim. For me - it's just not what I need right now, its been put into my drawer for later if I need it.
  • The Expectant Father: Mr. M is reading this book and he says it goes chronologically along with my pregnancy month by month. He seems to like that its logical and gives the science behind whats happening to me during this gestational time. I have to laugh because when I was 14 weeks pregnant and feeling bummed that I couldn't feel her he quipped, "The book says you shouldn't feel her till 16 - 18 weeks!" Many times he's quoted the book and I think he likes having that knowledge. I can't imagine what it is like not carrying your own child, being the partner who doesn't know who the hell replaced his lovely wife with this oversized complaining whiner.

Like I said - I'm a researcher and I love to read everything I can get my hands on when it comes to pregnancy and birth. I read birth stories addictively and watch Youtube births on the weekends. I'm not totally proud of all of this - I realize its a bit neurotic but I can't stop! I don't have the fear I did when I first got pregnant about birth. I attribute that to all the reading I've done. I feel like I can do it - like I'm capable and powerful and I AM WOMAN RAAAWWWWRRR. hehehe. Hormones.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

I'll Take It In 4 Colors

I have finally completed my baby registry. It has taken me weeks of research to figure out what I wanted and what is a total gimmick. I also went one step further and brought my mom and best friend with me (mother of 2) to steer me away from the "oooooh isn't that cute" moments that happen to everyone I'm sure.

I decided to register at one of the big baby stores since they had the largest selection and people could find it all over the country - since our family and friends are very spread out.

Overwhelmed anyone??

Holy crap people - there are 30 different kinds of baby monitors!! Radio frequency, multi-channel, video capable, multi-receiver units, digital, etc etc. Each section had this same level of selection. I felt like converting to Buddhism once I left.

I managed to get the essentials:
  • pack n' play
  • bouncer seat
  • high chair
  • co-sleeper
  • carseat w/ extra base
  • breast pump
  • sheets
  • lotions/creams/soaps
  • baby bathtub
  • 1 set of bottles
You'll notice that I have no crib or nursery furniture. I'm aware of this. I also don't have a diaper bag. Is it wrong that I want real wood?? Made by real people?? I liked the look of some of the nursery sets but mostly I felt that it would fall apart on me after some wear and tear. The display models had wobbly drawers and seams that were pulling apart, chips, nicks, and digs all over the stuff. Maybe this will happen in my home from my own kids being hard on it. I just want a real wood crib - and real wood furniture.

The diaper bag hunt continues. I need something that will double as my purse without looking like I'm carrying a diaper bag. I need it to look okay when I trudge it to the office or on business trips.

I'm also continuing my search for daycare options. I think I want a part time nanny for 3 days a week. I don't know what the pay range would be or if they even do part time. I also wouldn't be opposed to an in home daycare as long as there were under 10 kids there and it was close to our house. There again - I don't know how they feel about part time kids.

For those of you who have asked - yes I feel good. I feel really good. I haven't thrown up since 14 weeks and I'm 19 weeks today so I'm almost feeling back to normal. I'm back on prenatal vitamins - which I feel good about.

My belly feels tight and big especially at night, we found out that I have an anterior placenta which means I won't feel her move till probably after 20 weeks. I have a disconcerting amount of discharge and have taken to wearing a lightdays pad everyday which is always attractive I'm sure. I managed to express a bit of colostrum the other day which is an excellent sign for me since I am going to be a BFAR mommy (Breast Feeding After Reduction). At least I know the ducts are there and already doing what they should be.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Adventures in Ultrasound!

I was wriggling my legs in the waiting room for the radiology department hoping that I could keep the 24 ounces of water IN my bladder for the entire procedure. I don't even think it would have been that bad if I wasn't so nervous. I got incredibly nervous at the last minute and I'm not really sure why exactly. Maybe excited is the better word - but I did have some anxiety.

We walked back into a darkened room and I got slathered with warm goop (thank you sonogram lady for warming the goop). Mr. M took pictures of me on the table and pictures of us in the waiting room and more and more pictures. He's a proud daddy, what can I say.

The first thing she asked us is do we want to know the gender??

She was answered with a resounding YES! from us.

She asked if we had picked out names. We have - and we told her what they were: Jonathan and Sarah (fake names - I'm not givin it up that easily).

She started moving around and said, "looks like you've got yourself a little Jonathan here."

I looked at Mr. M and he was shocked and I was shocked. Immediately I tried to absorb the information. Jonathan.... hello Jonathan... we love you Jonathan. A few seconds passed and she said, "ummmmm Jonathan lost his penis."

WHAT!!!! I was already going to T-ball games in my brain, she can't do this to me!!

Sure enough - Jonathan's "pen*s" turned out to be Sarah's girl-parts sans the umbilical cord that fooled her.

So - there you have it. We are having a beautiful girl. A girl with a very round head, chubby cheekies, and the acrobatic skills of a cirque du solei artist. She moved all over the place, doing tumbles and stretches. We have several nice shots of her. My favorite of which is when she stretched out her legs so far we could see every little bone.

I cried when I saw her heart. Beating so strong and so solid. She is at a 155 BPM and very active. We love her - we love her already and I was worried that I wouldn't know how to feel that.

I look at her little profile shot at my desk - black and white squiggles to most people. To me - my lovely girl. I shall love her with every inch of my being.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

All Aboard

Of the three kids in my family I'm the first to get married and the first to have a child. We're all in our twenties. Younger sis is 24 and has a live in boyfriend and older bro is 29 with a long distance girlfriend that he hopes will move to his city in June.

When I announced our engagement I expected a different reaction from my brother and sister. I'd say we're closer than most adult siblings - we talk weekly via email or phone. I thought they'd be as excited as I was and jump and squeal. Not the case, it was more like - "oh thats great - good for you." They were both in my wedding and they both didn't help much with preparations.

My sister didn't even know she was supposed to throw the shower and bachelorette party until my two best girls took her aside and discretely mentioned that she might want to get to it. She was my maid of honor - but couldn't be bothered with most tasks associated with that and my girlfriends took over the reins so that it would all go seamlessly.

I don't know why I thought it would be different with the pregnancy news. I guess I thought that me having a child might effect them more than me getting married. I thought that they would think it was exciting and special that they were going to be an uncle and an aunt. I want them to be present in my childs life - I want them to be strong role models and take an interest in my childs wellbeing.

For me - this pregnancy is an all consuming element to my life. For them - its a minor thing as if I cut my hair or got a new job. They are un-effected with my news and my pregnancy.

I'm having a hard time dealing with their non-interest. I asked my sister if she'd come over and help me move some things around in my house so I could get the nursery ready for new furniture and painting. Her first response is, "Is this BABY stuff??" - and no it didn't sound excited. Her next response was, "You want me to come over and clean your house!?!?"

I'm having little to no help from them - even my dad has been a bit distant. Mom (believe it or not) has been the only constant support I've gotten. She's coming up next weekend to help me clear things out and get this nursery ready for painting.

I just wish they'd get on board already. Maybe its just the curse of going first.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

17 Weeks

Not bad eh?? Ultrasound is this Monday and we're so excited we can barely stand it. I'll be updating this weekend again.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Our Father's Daughters

My dear friend had her scheduled C-section on Monday morning by noon I got the call that she and baby were happy, healthy and considerably calm. She said it was the best day ever - but lets remember she was drugged. hehe.

Throughout my life I have had a hard time explaining the relationship that I have with my dad with other people. Emy is the only one who has ever understood it because she herself has the exact same situation. Her father is her rock, her constant cheering section, her ever present source of love and support. She is the only one I've ever known to share the same bond with her father that I do with mine.

Last night I was visiting her at the hospital for the second time this week. I made sure that this time it would be low key and I wouldn't be fighting for baby time or for her time. Her mom and dad were going to be coming a bit after me, which was cool with me because I hadn't really seen them in a long time. We were always close - they always treated me as one of their own and loved me as such.

I brought dinner for Em and her husband as I knew they were dying with all the hospital food. I snuggled that baby and kissed his smooth baby cheeks, and I sang songs with her older boy (1 1/2). Her parents came in about an hour after me and entered with a burst of happiness. Their older son was beaming when grandma and grandpa came in - squealing with joy. Her mom snatched up the baby and just cooed and ogled over her lovely new grandson. As did her dad.

Then - Emy's dad came over to her - this grown woman who has now given birth to 2! boys - and gave her the most giant hug. I saw her face turn into the one I knew at 10 years old and further back. She regressed right in front of me to a near 5 year old sagging into his hug.

He whispered to her, "I'm so proud of you!" She looked back like she got an A+ on her report card and was watching him put it on the refrigerator for all to see.

She said, "Thanks Daddy - I tried hard."

I saw myself in her - and I wondered, how did our fathers create this bond with us? How did they make us feel like their praise and pride in what we do mattered more than any other thing on earth? How did they manage to NEVER let us down? and more importantly - how did we get so damn lucky?

I want that for my child more than anyone will ever know. I want them to know that we are their constant cheering section, their never ending source of love and support. I want to watch my husband be proud of my daughter and I want her to beam with self pride, knowing that her Daddy loves her more than he could love any other thing in the world.

I have no experience of watching this from Mother to son - but I only hope that I can give that as well. I especially don't know what this relationship looks like from mother to daughter but I hope and I pray that I will know how to give that to my girl (if I have one).

Most of all - I can't wait to get that same hug from my Daddy in July, "I'm so proud of you."

I'm trying Daddy - I'm trying hard.