Saturday, December 31, 2005

Milk Men

I know that headlines like Tom Cruise wants to nurse his newborn seem shocking, but he's probably been reading this site (or maybe he's a Wiki sort of guy).

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

37 Week Update

Never before have I felt this anxious to have a baby. With numbers 1 and 2, I would get to 40 weeks (or what we thought at the time was 40 weeks) and I would feel patient and calm (unlike my OB, who was a basket case at 41 weeks. Between that and my 48+ hour labor, I think we probably gave her an ulcer.). This time, however, I am ready. Well, not ready in any practical sense. The sheets and towels are being washed as we speak, my birth plan is not written, and DH has not even looked at baby names. The birth tub we ordered is out-of-stock. But all that's just fluff, and I would be perfectly happy if the baby came today. At least we have the birth kit and baby clothes ready to go. You don't really need much, actually. Hot water and some clean towels.

I am a bit paranoid. Last week while Christmas shopping I felt like people were staring at me and my huge belly. Perhaps they were - you know that saying, "just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you"? They are thinking "wow, look at that woman, could she be any more pregnant?". Or perhaps they are just pointing their spouse in the direction of the organic bananas.

Another interesting thing I noticed this week. Perhaps as a result of my internal organs being squished up and down, I have a lack of normal sensation of bodily functions. For instance, I don't really feel hungry or full. I eat when I feel "snacky", and at a certain point I decide to stop. I do have cravings for certain foods - spinach salad, fruit, protein, etc. (we won't mention the Christmas candy) - so when I feel like eating something, I eat it. And I don't feel a normal urge to pee. If I wake up in the middle of the night, I assume I need to potty so I go. If I feel some pressure in my lower abdomen, I go. Every once in a while, I go just for the heck of it. Kind of like my DS2 who is still potty training.

My hands and feet started to swell this week. Christmas eve, I took my wedding ring off - took some doing - and transfered it to my pinky finger. I'm chugging down the water now and trying to put my feet up from time to time. My shoes are uncomfortable, so I'm glad for the unseasonably warm weather (highs range from 65 - 80 degrees) as I can wear my birks. Without socks.

This week's details: GBS test was negative. Gained 3 pounds since last week. Fundal height 38 cm. Baby is about 6 1/2 pounds.

Congratulations! Your pregnancy is now considered full term — meaning your baby is developmentally ready to handle life outside the womb. (Babies born before 37 weeks are pre-term and those born after 42 weeks are post-term.) Your baby probably weighs a little over 6 pounds at this point and measures between 19 and 20 inches, head to heel.

Many babies have a full head of hair at birth, with locks from 1/2 inch to 1 1/2 inches long. But don't be surprised if your baby's hair isn't the same color as yours. Dark-haired couples are sometimes thrown for a loop when their children are born blonds or redheads, and fair-haired couples have been surprised by Elvis look-alikes. And then, of course, some babies sport only peach fuzz.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

36 Week Update

Remember in my first post where I promised not to discuss bodily functions for as long as possible? Well, be warned, I'm going to start discussing my cervix now.

This weekend, my right hip stopped functioning. Made it a little difficult to walk. Saw the Chiropractor on Wedesday, who worked me over pretty good. For about 12 hours after that, my muscles were all tensed up and I still couldn't walk, but I could tell that my hips were back in balance. So after some stretching and a good night sleep, things were as right as rain again. It's something of a constant effort, keeping the baby in a good position and my hips functioning. But at least I am not in the pain I was with the first two pregnancies. Still have trouble turning my whale-like self over at night, though. I discussed pubic symphysis separation back in Week 15.

Had the Group B Strep test this week. So I say to my midwife, while you are at it, let's see if anything's going on down there. Turns out I am 50% effaced and "real soft". That's encouraging. I feel like I need to be ready for a labor that is either fast or early. Fundal height is 37 cm. and the big shocker was that in the last month, I gained 13 pounds. My weight gain is still constistent with the other two pregnancies; the little champion is just putting on some fat. Still, there's something about crossing into the 140's that seems like a milestone to me.

Your baby is still putting on the pounds — about an ounce a day. She now weighs almost 6 pounds and is a little less than 19 inches long. She's shedding most of the downy covering of hair that covered her body as well as the vernix caseosa, the creamy substance that covered and protected her skin during its submersion in amniotic fluid. Your baby swallows both of these substances, along with other secretions, which will stay in her bowels until birth. This blackish mixture, called meconium, will become her first bowel movement.

At the end of this week, your baby will be considered full-term. (Babies between 37 and 42 weeks are considered full-term; a baby born before 37 weeks is pre-term and after 42 is post-term.) Most likely she's in a head-down position by now, which is optimal for a smooth delivery, but if she isn't in the next week, your provider may suggest scheduling an "external cephalic version," which is a fancy way of saying she'll try to coax your baby into a head-down position manually, by manipulating her from the outside of your belly.

John Deere for Babies

Daddy Types' Greg complains that there are no yellow-on-green logo John Deere onesies.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Wish List II - Fantasy Edition

This is the other wish list. The things I would buy for myself if I were a rock star. The things you would buy for me if you had more disposable income than sense. Things people buy to give at baby showers so their friends will think they are cool, not because the gifts are useful in any way. Things I would probably wear once. I'm not saying you can't buy these things for me. I'm just saying that you shouldn't. But it's fun to window shop.

First up is the "Birth Control is for Sissies" maternity T from MollyAnna. Yep, that's pretty much how I feel, but I'm not quite brave enough to wear this out in public. Maybe someday when I am pregnant with #7 and my kids are all clean and perfectly well-behaved. Now that would be a statement.

Next, we have the "I make milk - what's your super power?" t-shirt from GranolaThreads. I actually saw someone wearing this once. It comes in several styles and colors; I think maybe blue on gray v-neck would be best. Yes, making milk makes me feel powerful. When my oldest son was about four months old, I looked down at him and realized that everything I saw, every eyelash, every fingernail, every bone in his 12-or-so-pound body, was the product of something I ate which my body turned into food for him. Makes you rethink that junk food you are eating, doesn't it?

On to baby wear. My absolute favorite is the "Attorney Work Product" line from ForCounsel. They sell a bib and a toddler t-shirt, but I really wish they carried this in a onesie. You know (or maybe you don't) that my husband and I are both lawyers, so the "attorney work product" moniker is even more applicable.

For the times I am guilty of child neglect by blogging, here's Bloggerwear's Blogging Baby Bib. "Quit Blogging and Feed Me". Actually, though, I've become quite proficient at blogging and nursing at the same time, so I don't know that the slogan would ever be quite accurate. But it's cute, especially for mommy bloggers.

And that concludes the fantasy wish-list wrap-up.

The Baby Name Game

Holly of Choosing Home writes about hearing God for the names of her children.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

35 Week Update

Pregnancy brain has finally caught up to me. I wasn't able to finish a "medium" sudoku puzzle four days in a row this week. I can usually whip through one of those in no time.

We're just plugging away at our "to-do" list. Got photos for Christmas cards. Moving furniture around. Christmas presents? Uh... working on it.

Although I look huge, I'm measuring 36 cm. at 35+5 weeks. My midwife thinks the baby is about 5 1/2 - 6 lbs. Everything else is boringly normal. Next week: Group B Strep culture.

This week's appointment was the home visit - where the midwife comes to your house, makes sure she knows how to get there so she doesn't get lost when you're in labor, sees where you've stashed the birth supplies and the coffee maker, and generally checks out the birthing environment. My mom was able to come, which was nice. I'll be seeing the midwife and the chiropractor once a week from here on out.

Your baby's getting big. He weighs a tad over 5 pounds and is just over 18 inches long. Because it's so snug in your womb, he isn't likely to be doing somersaults anymore, but the number of times he kicks should remain about the same. His kidneys are fully developed now, and his liver can process some waste products. Most of his basic physical development is now complete — he'll spend the next few weeks putting on weight.

Your uterus — now up under your ribs — has expanded to about 15 times its original volume, and you may feel like you've run out of room! If you could peek inside your uterus, you'd see that there's much less amniotic fluid and much more baby in there now. Your ballooning uterus is crowding your internal organs too, which is why you probably have to urinate more often and have heartburn and other digestive problems. If you don't have these problems, you're one of the lucky few.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Bedding tied to asthma development in infants

A new study reports that Bedding tied to asthma development in infants (Reuters via Yahoo!News). Apparently, babies who slept on natural bedding were less likely to develop asthma than those who slept on bedding made of synthetic materials.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Wish List

Ok, since this is our third baby, I'm not really expecting to get much in the way of presents. But there are lovely people out there who will buy stuff, and they might as well get us things the baby can use, rather than things we have to waste time taking back later.

First two times, I registered at Babies 'R Us via, (where we have, for years, had a wish list for the entire family). This time, however, their site aggravated me so much I gave up. For example, you can buy/register for diapers at B'RU, and you can buy diapers on Amazon. But the diapers sold on Amazon are not sold through B'RU, so you can't put them on your baby registry. Of course, you don't know this until after you have searched for and located the item. I couldn't register for diapers on, either, but we are a lot closer to a Target store than an 'R Us, so it wasn't too difficult to go down to the store and scan them.

So there you have it: We are registered at Target. You will have to know my real name to access the registry; but I assume that people who don't know my real name (my blog is semi-anonymous) aren't likely to be sending us presents, anyway. Although stranger things have been known to happen.

Oh yeah, you don't have to actually *buy* the stuff at Target. You can peruse the list and then head on down to Costco if you like.

Things we definitely don't need:
  1. Clothes in size 3-6 months. We have a ton. Larger than that, we can always use.

  2. Stuffed animals.

  3. Baby Oil.

  4. Baby Powder.

  5. Baby Formula.
    Despite the use of the word "baby" in the above 3 items, none are particularly good for infants. :)

I'd like a Baby Bjorn and another sling, perhaps a Maya Wrap. But I think I will shop for them "gently used" on eBay.

To be continued...

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Quote of the Day

In its entirety, a World Cup draw is much like childbirth... an experience which no one who endures it can remember with precision, for the simple reason that you'd never be able to face it again if you could. One has the vaguest recollection of previous fiascos, but the detail remains safely shrouded in a self-protective mist.

From Telegraph Sport

Friday, December 09, 2005

Birth Technology

Just came across this excellent article written by Dr. Marsden Wagner, former director of Women's and Children's Health for the World Health Organization, titled "Technology in Birth: First Do No Harm". The article is available from Midwifery Today and at Dr. Mercola's website. It is a long read, but worth the time, and is the kind of thing that makes you want to print it out and give it to all the pregnant women you know.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

34 Week Update

It's cold here in Texas. It sleeted a bit today, and we might get snow tonight. I don't like winter much, because I dislike being cold. It is actually painful to me. However, the upside of being very pregnant in the winter 3 times now is that the increased metabolism and blood volume tend to keep me just a few degrees warmer.

This drives my husband crazy. When I get into bed at night, the sheets are cool and I am a little chilly, but I hunker down. Dressed in a short-sleeve t-shirt, shorts, and no socks, by the middle of the night I am toasty warm, throwing the covers off my feet and flipping my pillow over to get a cool spot (normally, I hate having my feet uncovered). He, on the other hand, wears a long-sleeved shirt, sweat pants, and wool socks, and pulls the covers up over his head so that pretty much only his nose is sticking out. It's quite comical.

Ah, my hips! My only current pregnancy complaint. My chiropractic appointment today was canceled due to the inclement weather. I was just as glad not to get the kids on the road, but still. I was looking forward to walking normally again.

I did get a lot done this week. Ordered the birth kit, for one. The birth kit contains all the single-use supplies my midwife will need at the birth, such as sterile gloves and pads and cord clamps and such. There are a bunch of things I need to assemble and prepare; towels and sheets and extra film for the camera and so forth. It's always exciting to get the supplies in the mail; makes the impending birth seem more real.

I think I'm decided on the pool I want, and buying instead of renting. More on that later. Also need to work on who is coming to the birth and when. Got hold of two birth videos; one from the library and another borrowed. And checked out again from the library my favorite children's book, really the best and only one for homebirths, Welcome With Love. Highly recommended.

Your baby now weighs about 4 3/4 pounds and is probably almost 18 inches long. Her fat layers — which she'll need to regulate her body temperature once she's born — are filling her out, making her rounder. Her central nervous system is still maturing and her lungs are well developed by now. If you've been nervous about going into preterm labor, you'll be happy to know that 99 percent of babies this age can survive outside the womb — and most have no major long-term problems related to prematurity.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

33 Week Update

I am now a person of advanced maternal age. Obstetrically senescent. An elderly multigravida, if you will. Thank goodness I have a care provider who doesn't consider me high-risk today when I started out the week as low-risk.

(Translation: I turned 35 this week.)

Other numbers: I gained 6 pounds in two weeks, but only 1 cm. in fundal height, which keeps me really consistent with the previous 2 pregnancies. Baby's growing!

7 weeks left. I have appointments with my midwife scheduled up through my due date. Gulp.

My hips are still a little testy. A little heartburn. Good energy, though.

Since our babies bunk with us for the first year or so, I've never had the experience of decorating a nursery. However, I'm doing the next best thing. We got a huge (for us) project done this weekend by painting the boys' room. It's a lovely shade of blue. I'm just embarrased that my 4 1/2 year old has been sleeping in a peach-colored room for most of his life. I would like to paint some of the furniture bright colors, but if I get that done in the next 7 weeks, fine; if not, fine too. It's so nice and uncluttered in there - almost hate to move the rest of the furniture and toys back in.

I'm still researching birth tubs, and I'll post all my links when I get through. The big decision is rent vs. buy. It's not so much the tub itself, but all the other stuff you want to go with it; a hose, an adapter for your sink faucet, a pump to get the air in, a pump to get the water out, a heater, a thermometer, etc.

This week your baby weighs a little over 4 pounds and measures 17.2 inches from the top of his head to his heels. His skin is becoming less red and wrinkled, and while most of his bones are hardening, his skull is quite pliable and not completely joined. This will help him ease out of your relatively narrow birth canal.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Dr. Tom Brewer

Dr. Tom Brewer died on Tuesday, November 22, 2005. For those of you not familiar with his work, visit His diet, based on the theory that poor diet and lack of sufficient protein are to blame for many complications of pregnancy, including toxemia, preelampsia, prematurity, and IUGR, have positively affected the lives of countless women and babies.

He will surely be missed.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Baby Coach Teaches Newborns to Sleep All Night

Baby Coach Teaches Newborns to Sleep All Night (ABC News)


Yes, you can train your baby to sleep through the night (12 hours by 12 weeks???). The question is, should you? In my opinion, no. Research has shown that babies are meant to be light sleepers - for one thing, this reduces the rate of SIDS. One of the reasons that breastfed babies are less likely to die of SIDS than formula-fed babies may be that babies on formula sleep more deeply and are less likely to wake up if they have breathing problems. For little babies, getting enough to eat in their tiny tummies is more important than your getting a full night's sleep. Although, yes, babies and mommies will be happier when they sleep in 3-, 4-, or 5-hour stretches rather than waking every hour, and I don't object to baby sleep training (not cry-it-out, though) for that purpose, babies are just not meant to sleep through the night until they are much, much older. Besides which, the "technical" definition of "sleeping through the night" is 6 hours (not 8 or 12), and breastfeeding less often than every 4 hours during the day and 6 hours at night will not bring your hormone levels up sufficiently to supress ovulation and the return of fertility.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Potty Training - Day 22

Well, we got a little off track, but we are back on the wagon now. Waiting for DS to self-initiate the pottying was resulting in several pairs of wet training pants a day, and only one or two successes. So, I put him on a timer. Every hour, he sits on the potty and usually something happens right away. If not, set the timer for 15 min. and repeat until something happens. Then we have these "miracle moments", like when we are about to go bed so he is wearing a pull-up, and he says he needs to go potty. And we're like, yeah right, classic stalling technique. But we let him get up and he goes! That's happened like three nights in a row. I think most of the day he is distracted and not paying attention to what his body is doing.

I must brag on my husband, he is certainly helpful with the potty training this time around. Yesterday we took the little potty to our relative's house, and though DS was wearing a pull-up, DH made sure he made trips from time to time.

And we bought Wiggles underwear today. I tell him he can wear them when he stays dry all day. We'll see if it helps.

32 Week Update

Ok, so I am actually 33 weeks today, but let's just pretend I got this update done last week.

8 Weeks left! I feel pretty good. Now that the baby is head down, I have more room under my ribs, which make me much more comfortable. I remember with my other two babies being really uncomfortable at this time of year. Other than eating a little too much at Thanksgiving and spending part of the afternoon lying on the couch, really not bad.

I need to get serious about practicing reaxation and exercise. I checked out Yoga for Pregnancy from the library this week and I think I will try to get into it some. I have a lot on my "to do" list, but I feel organized and have pretty good energy. Wish I had something entertaining to tell you this week.

How your baby's growing: By now, your baby probably weighs almost 4 pounds and is almost 17 inches long, taking up a lot of space in your uterus. She has tiny toenails now, and her fingernails have grown in, too. Some babies have a head of hair already; others have only peach fuzz.

How your life's changing: Your blood volume (the plasma plus red blood cells) is now about 40 to 50 percent greater than before you became pregnant to accommodate the needs of you and your baby. (This extra amount also helps make up for any blood you'll lose when giving birth.) You're also gaining a pound a week now, and roughly half of that goes right to your baby.

Hospital Circumcises Wrong Baby

Due to a mix-up, St. Boniface Hospital in Canada has suspended circumcisions of male newborns after staff circumcised the wrong baby:
"We're concerned about any event of this nature because obviously a child was circumcised before his parents had a chance to make a decision and to give their consent and we will look into that," said Helene Vrignon, a hospital representative.

Vrignon said the identities of two baby boys on the same ward got mixed up. The family of the boy who was incorrectly circumcised had not yet made a decision about whether to have the procedure done, she added.
Link: CBC Manitoba

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Childbirth Reading Room

Here's a new site - the Childbirth Reading Room. Each month, they read a different childbirth book and discuss it online. Looks great.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

All About Breech Babies

Found a neat website today called Heads Up! All About Breech Babies. Lots of good information and links.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

31 Week Update

My belly button has always been an "innie". Even with my two previous pregnanices, the closest I got was "flat". Not anymore. There is a slight bulge on the topside of my belly button. Every day it bulges a little more. Doesn't hurt but it looks and feels strange. Ugh.

Keeping the hip pain under control is a bit of a struggle. I have to watch my posture, and am back to weekly visits to the chiropractor.

The great news is... baby is now vertex (head down). I went to a talk last night on Optimal Fetal Positioning, more on that later, but just to say that I have lots of information on how to keep him that way. Fundal height is 32 cm., more like what it should be (apparently with baby having been breech two weeks ago, he was taking up a bit more room than he is now). Gained 3 pounds in the last 2 weeks. Blood sugar and blood pressure o.k.

This week, your baby measures about 16 inches long. He weighs a little over 3 pounds and is headed for a growth spurt. He can turn his head from side to side, and he's beginning to accumulate a layer of fat underneath his skin in preparation for life as a newborn. As a result, his arms, legs, and body are filling out.

That's all for now.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Thief Steals Frozen Placenta

Ok, so this isn't exactly a news item, but scroll down to the second to the last paragraph and you'll see it:
A Dunedin mother was "devastated" by the theft of her child's placenta last Monday night, and begged thieves to return it. "Even if it was left in the letterbox," she said, "I don't really care how it's returned, or what condition it's in."

Hm... wonder if he figures out what it is when he takes a look at all the food he stole...

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Baby Names

It's time to start thinking about baby names. Here are a couple useful links:

The Baby Name Wizard's NameVoyager is very cool:
The Baby Name Wizard's NameVoyager is an interactive portrait of America's name choices. Start with a "sea" of nearly 5000 names. Type a letter, and you'll zoom in to focus on how that initial has been used over the past century. Then type a few more letters, or a name. Each stripe is a timeline of one name, its width reflecting the name's changing popularity. If a name intrigues you, click on its stripe for a closer look.
Another useful site is Behind the Name, which gives "the Etymology and history of first names".

Then there are the standards:'s Baby Name Finder lets you search for names with "starts with" "ends with" and "number of sylables" fields.


Just a note: we don't tell anyone what name we've picked until after the baby is born. In fact, we are lucky if we've decided on a name by the time the baby is born. So don't ask us.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Gives new meaning to the phrase "Out-of-Hospital Birth"

Blogging Baby reports that a British mom gave birth to baby girl on the sidewalk outside of a hospital while her husband had gone on ahead to fetch help and a wheelchair. This reminds me of an interesting statistic I learned this week - that babies born in cars have the lowest mortality rates of any birth location. Actually, it makes sense when you think about it. When babies come quickly there is usually no problem; it's when they come slowly or not at all that there may be trouble.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

30 Week Update

Sems like I hit 30 weeks and my hips just fell apart. Well, in a sense, that is what they are doing - all the hormones are loosening things up. Things got a lot better after a rather lengthy and thourough Chiropractic adjustment and a really awsome massage. Speaking of hips, don't miss the classic essay by Gloria Lemay, Pelvises I Have Known and Loved . Although I don't agree with her entirely ("Today's women are the end result of evolution.", etc.), she makes some really good points. There are true cases of cephalopelvic disproportion, but not nearly as many as are diagnosed.

And speaking of hormones, something's going on, as I'm really weepy and emotional this week. I mean, weepy and emotional for me, which is probably everyone else's stoic and reserved. I have a little pain - as I have with my prior pregnancies - at the top of my uterus, where things are stretching on the inside. Little one likes to hang out on my right side and stick some body part (head? butt? knees?) out just under my ribs, so it's usually a bit sore there.

Your baby's a bit more than 15 1/2 inches long now, and she weighs almost 3 pounds. A pint and a half of amniotic fluid surrounds her, but that volume will decrease as she gets bigger and fills out your uterus. Her eyes open and close, she's able to distinguish between light and dark, and she can even follow a light source back and forth. Once she's born, she'll keep her eyes closed for a good part of the day. When she does open them, she'll respond to changes in light but will have a visual acuity of only 20/400 — which means she can only make out objects a few inches from her face. ("Normal" vision in adults is 20/20.)
And as for me:
You may be feeling a little tired these days, especially if you're having any trouble sleeping. You might also feel clumsy, which is perfectly understandable. Not only are you heavier, your balance is off and your joints are loosened, thanks to pregnancy hormones. Those loose joints can actually cause your feet to grow a shoe size --permanently.

Remember those mood swings you had earlier in pregnancy? The combination of uncomfortable symptoms and your hormones may result in a revisit of those ups and downs you felt in the first few months.
Like I said.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Potty Training - Day 5

Today's big news - poop in the potty! Completely self-initiated!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Potty Training - Day 3

You don't actually think I'm going to blog every single day of potty training, do you? Today was about like yesterday. I'll update when significant progress is made.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Potty Training - Day 2

Today's Score: Potty - 3; Floor - 1; Training Pants - I stopped counting around 5

Today's big achievement was that almost all pottying was self-initiated. Usually DS2 would pee in his pants and then run to the potty; or else run and sit on the potty and nothing would happen. This is still great progress, though; he is learning his body's signals. At the end of the day, a real success! All the pee pee in the potty and completely dry pants.

Caesareans for Convenience

Laura at Natural Family News comments on the rise in "patient-choice" c-sections with this great quote:
Babies are not convenient creatures. They want to eat at all sorts of inconvenient times, have messy accidents, and sleep at irregular intervals. If you can’t be bothered by waiting for your body to go into labor, that’s not a good sign that you’re ready to raise a child.
Owch. How true.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Potty Training - Day 1

Today's Score: Potty - 1; Training Pants - 5

We started training in the afternoon. He did a great job learning all the potty steps; run to the potty, pull down pants, sit down, etc. However, most of the day went like this: I would have DS2 sit on the potty about 5 minutes out of every 15. He would get up, and 5 minutes later, would wet his pants. I was a bit frustrated, not at him, but at myself, because a couple times I noticed him squirming but did not pick up on his cues until it was too late. Then at the very end of the day - success! He self-initiated sitting on the potty, with some pee pee in the potty and some in the pants.

I am using the method described in the book Toilet Training in Less Than A Day. Why did I pick this method? Because it is the only adult book on potty training that our library has. Seriously. "Less than a day" is somewhat misleading. The initial "training" takes only a few hours, but it will take several weeks to really get it down, depending on your child.

I like this method because it focuses primarily on teaching your child to do all the steps needed to toilet independently, with less emphasis on the potty "act". That comes later. The book tells you exactly what to do and what to say while potty training, instead of just giving you some helpful hints and letting you figure it out yourself. The only thing that bothers me about the method, however, is its dependence on rewards (candy or other treats) to motivate your child, and verbal disaproval when he has an accident. The book was written by behavioral psychologists, what do you expect? We don't use a reward system for anything else. It does work, though.

Don't Push Your Baby Out!

Someone on one of my e-groups today pointed me to this article about the advantages of uncoached spontaneous vs. coached pushing. Very good.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

29 Week Update

Well, this past week I have been a bit more tired than usual. Haven't been sleeping as well, but some of that can be attributed to the time change; and it seems like each night, one of my boys (but not both on the same night) will wake in the middle of the night. My belly looks like a pumpkin and sounds like one, too, if you tap on it. My hips are complaining more. But overall things are fine.

Lots of numbers from our appointment with the midwife today. With blood sugar of 107, I passed my glucose challenge test with flying colors. Hemoglobin 12.1. Gained 4 pounds since last month. Fundal height is 32 cm. - still measuring a bit large but consistent with last month.

The bad news is I learned some new abbreviations today. RSA = Right Sacrum Anterior and RST = Right Sacrum Transverse. The good news is we have plenty of time to get you-know-who headed out in the right direction.

Now we start appointments every two weeks. I'm 30 weeks along tomorrow which means 10 weeks left! More or less. I'm going to start counting down instead of up.

Your baby now weighs about 2 1/2 pounds and is a tad over 15 inches long from head to heel. His muscles and lungs are continuing to mature, and his head is growing bigger to accommodate his brain - which is busy developing billions of neurons. With this rapid growth, it's no surprise that your baby's nutritional needs reach their peak during this trimester. To keep yourself and him well nourished, you'll need plenty of protein, vitamin C, folic acid, iron, and calcium. (About 200 milligrams of calcium is deposited in your baby's skeleton - which is now hardening - every day.)
Here is what BabyCenter says about me this week:
Some old friends - heartburn and constipation - may take center stage again. The pregnancy hormone progesterone relaxes smooth muscle tissue throughout your body, including your gastrointestinal tract. This relaxation, coupled with the crowding in your abdomen, slows your digestive process, which can cause gas, especially after a big meal. Another problem you can credit to your growing uterus (and constipation) is hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids - which are simply swollen blood vessels in your rectal area - are very common during pregnancy and usually clear up soon after delivery.
Yup, that pretty much sums it up.

Mommy Bloggers

Two pregnant bloggers are in the home stretch. Angela of Oh Baby Baby is in her last month and "enjoying" weekly doctor visits and stress tests. And I found a wonderful new blog yesterday, Very Mom, who is having pre-labor signs. Don't miss reading the birth stories of her other two children, one hospital, one home.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Postpartum Candy Gifts

From Obstetrics and Gynecology, via Neonatology on the Web, comes this July, 1993 study: A Prospective Study of Postpartum Candy Gift Net Weight: Correlation with Birth Weight. I'm still deciding if it's a joke or not.

**Update 10/31/05** Well, almost certainly a joke. Check out more funnies here.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

28 Week Update

For some reason, I don't feel quite as "big" as I did last week. I guess I had a little growth spurt and needed to "catch up" to myself. I have a ton of energy right now, and am trying to get as many things done (cleaning, organizing, holiday planning) as I can before I hit that late-pregnancy big 'n tired stage.

I have this recurring dream where the whole family is at my house for Christmas. I am cooking a turkey. I realize that I am in labor, and I need to call my midwife and perhaps go lay down on the bed for a while, but first I have to take the turkey out of the oven. I don't want anyone but my husband to know I am in labor, because then folks might feel they ought to leave or something, and I want them to continue to enjoy the festivities. Only hitch; how to sneak the midwife in the front door without anyone catching on. Usually the dream ends with me successfully getting both the turkey and the "bun" out of the oven. If I remember correctly, I had a similar dream three years ago - that's what I get for having January babies.

Little Champion's transition to sleeping in the same room with his brother has gone remarkably smoothly. Actually, LC has slept in his own bed all night two nights in a row, and it is his big brother who has been crawling into bed with us in the wee hours. We are all set to go on the potty training; just need to pick a day or two to dedicate to the task.

By this week, your baby weighs a little over 2 pounds and measures about 14.8 inches from the top of her head to her heels. She can open her eyes - which now sport lashes - and she'll turn her head toward a continuous, bright light from the outside. Her fat layers are beginning to form, too, as she gets ready for life outside the womb.
Next up: Midwife appointment next week, when I will have the glucose challenge test. And I am working on getting my Baby Registry/wish list in good shape and will post details soon.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Incontinence Tied to Lifestyle, Not Mode of Delivery

The Ob.Gyn news reports on a study that shows that the mode of delivery has no bearing on incontinence in older women:
"Body mass index, smoking, and hormone replacement therapy remain bad news for the pelvic floor," said Kaven Baessler, M.D., who conducted the study at Royal Women's Hospital in Brisbane, Australia.

Speaking at the annual meeting of the International Continence Society, Dr. Baessler, who has since moved to Charité University Hospital in Berlin, said neither age nor mode of delivery was associated with incontinence in her study population of 443 women aged 40–80 years.

The data were analyzed based on three delivery modes: women who'd had no births, women with a cesarean delivery, and women who'd had either a spontaneous or instrumental delivery. This analysis showed no association between any of these three categories and incontinence.
Other studies which have shown a link between vaginal deliveries and incontinence have not differentiated between spontaneous and instrumental (forceps, episiotomy) deliveries.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

27 Week Update

"In every day, in every way, I'm getting bigger and bigger."

People no longer ask me if I am pregnant. They are safe to assume that I am. I have stopped "growing into" my maternity clothes and started "growing out of" them. At least it feels that way. I have a lot of growing left to do, though.

We just got back from visiting DH's parents in Iowa - on the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary. More about our trip is posted here. Airplane flights with the boys went fine. They are pretty easy to travel with at their age. It was not fun to return to temperatures in the 90s, but we are scheduled for some cooler weather this week, but still no rain.

Baby is active and strong. At this point, I can feel body parts sticking out occasionally - can't tell which ones, but they are knees or feet or elbows or something.

Your baby is really starting to fill up your uterus. This week he weighs almost 2 pounds and is about 14.4 inches long with his legs extended. He can now open and close his eyes, and he sleeps and wakes at regular intervals. He may suck his fingers, and although his lungs are still immature, they would be capable of functioning - with assistance - if he were to be born prematurely. Chalk up any rhythmic movement you may be feeling to a case of baby hiccups, which may be common from now on. Each episode usually lasts only a few moments, and isn't bothersome to him, so enjoy the tickle. With more brain tissue developing, your baby's brain is very active now. Wonder what he's thinking?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Bed Rest for Pregnancy Hypertension Ineffective

Via BloggingBaby, a new study shows that "routine recommendation of bed rest for pregnant women with hypertension is not strongly supported by the limited available research." Bed rest may additionally cause physical, emotional, and financial problems for pregnant women and their families.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

VBACs After 40 Weeks

A new study shows that attempted VBACs after 40 weeks gestation are no more risky, and only slightly less successful, than VBACs which occur at or before 40 weeks:
The researchers found that 69% of women who attempted VBAC at or after their estimated date of delivery were less likely to be successful compared with 78% of women who delivered before their estimated date of delivery. ... Researchers said there was a small increase in "absolute risk" of operative complications and adverse effects among women who attempted VBAC at or beyond 40 weeks' gestation compared with those who chose repeat c-section delivery. However, the differences disappeared once other factors were taken into account. Therefore, the "risks of a VBAC attempt are not increased simply because the due date has passed," the researchers said.
Source: Reuters via Kaiser Network

26 Week Update

Not much new to report. Pretty much the same as the 25 Week Update, only a little bit more so. My DC says that my rib cage is starting to spread.

BabyCenter's Week 26:
Your baby now weighs a little under 2 pounds and measures about 14 inches, from head to heel. The nerve pathways in her ears are developing, which means her response to sounds is growing more consistent. Her lungs are developing now, too, as she continues to take small breaths of amniotic fluid — good practice for when she's born and takes that first breath of air. If you're having a boy, his testicles are beginning to descend into his scrotum — a trip that will take about two to three days.
We'll be out of town this week, so blogging will be light.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

The Mommy Blawg - reminder

If you are interested in the legal aspects of birthing, make sure you are reading The Mommy Blawg - for instance, my recent piece on Cerebral Palsy litigation and Electronic Fetal Monitoring.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Quit yellin', it's only childbirth

The New York Daily News reports on the Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes pregnancy, from the standpoint that Scientology, which Cruise practices, encourages silent childbirth:
Practitioners of Scientology are against drugs but insist on "silent birth" because they believe it's traumatic for babies to hear their mothers groan or cry.
Scientologists also favor seven days of silence for newborns so their first week on Earth is trauma-free.
Um... has anyone ever told them that the womb is a very noisy place? I mean, I'm all for a calm, gentle birth, but a newborn is more likely to be shocked by the silence than disturbed by the noise.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

25 Week Update

The baby's growth now is such that the top of the uterus is pressing against my diaphragm - which means occasional shortness of breath and very mild, transient heartburn. I'm not exactly feeling nausea, but I will say that my stomach is not as joyfully happy and welcoming as it has been for the last month or so. More like a premonition of things to come. Have you seen those diagrams of how a woman's internal organs get squished and rearanged during pregnancy?

The baby is quite a bit stronger now. Occasionally, I can see my tummy move when he kicks. Enjoy it now before it becomes painful.

Midwife report: Just when I was marveling at how closely my fundal height measurements track my calendar, this week I am measuring a whopping 27 1/2 cm! And while only gaining 2 lbs. this month. Some sugar in my urine but my blood sugar is 84. Hemoglobin at 11.3.

Head to heels, your baby now measures about 13 1/2 inches. His weight — a pound and a half — doesn't sound like much, but he's beginning to exchange his long, lean look for some baby fat. As he does, his wrinkled skin will begin to smooth out and he'll start to look more and more like a newborn. His hair is probably recognizable now (in color and texture), although both may change after he's born.
Little Champion has done great with transition to sleeping in big brother's room. Now ... what to do with the toddler bed in our bedroom until we need it again? Next project: paint. The 95- 99 degree days are getting me down; can't wait for the cold front that moves though tomorrow. We may barely get to 70 degrees on Thursday. I might even get to break into my fall/winter maternity clothes! Cooler weather means more baking, too.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Breastfeeding Down Under

Two interesting stories from Australian papers this week. The Mercury reports that babies who are breastfed grow into more beautiful adults, according to Dr. Brian Palmer, a US dentist who spoke at a conference in Tanzania:
"I believe the best chance for an individual to have a beautiful natural smile -- no need for orthodontics -- with a nice occlusion is if that individual was breastfed as an infant," he says.
The Australian discusses extended breastfeeding in Price of Premature Weaning. In particular, the article discusses the social stigma faced by those who are breastfeeding a toddler:
A number of women taking part in an online chat at the parenting website to mark World Breastfeeding Week last month told of their negative experiences feeding babies of all ages in public and unwelcome reactions from family and friends.

"My sister-in-law has a beautiful, healthy breastfed one-year-old and she has been bombarded with (comments such as) 'Gross', 'When are you going to stop that', 'What a disgusting thing to be doing at her age'," one said.

This despite the World Health Organizations' reccomendation that babies be breastfed until the age of two.

Breastfeeding rates in Australia are higher than those in the US and the UK, but still fall far short of the goal. For instance:
A 1997 study estimated that $11.5 million could be saved each year in Australia if the prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding at three months was increased from 60 per cent to 80 per cent (Breastfeeding Review 1997;5(1)).
Norway has the highest breastfeeding rates among the Western nations, with 80 per cent of babies still breastfed at six months.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Pregnancy Blogging

Amalah is still pregnant, but from the looks of things, not for much longer.

Sarah at 40 Weeks is now 38 weeks.

Leery Polyp has gotten around to posting her birth story, and wow is it something. It was very, very difficult but she did it. Not for the faint of heart. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 Part 4. Here is an excerpt:
"What I want to do is have the c-section," I whine. "But I feel like I have to keep going. I know it's better, but I don't want to do it. But I'm going to." It's important to get the tone right: whiny toddler, maybe. I am not accepting my duty stoically; I am complaining all the way, proceeding with much resistance. But proceeding, nonetheless. I am not what you would call gracious.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

24 Week Update

I feel great. Hip pain bearable. Appetite good. Energy good. I'm thinking about all the things I need to get done in the next 3 months. At this point, the thoughts are still motivating and not overwhelming.

I bought some training pants for DS2 this week, but we will be out of town in October so I think I will wait until after that to start potty training. He also spent the last two nights sleeping in his brother's room - the first night after a bout of the stomach flu. I did not want him throwing up in our room, but I slept in the other room with him. So, that transition was accomplished easily, though the next step is to get both boys sleeping in the same room and rearanging their bedtime schedules to accomodate that. And getting the room fixed up.

DS4 said to me the other night, "I love you, and I love your baby too." Isn't that cute!

What's going on this week, according to BabyCenter:
Your baby's growing steadily, gaining about a quarter of a pound since last week, when she was just over a pound. Since she's almost a foot long, that makes a pretty lean figure, but her body is filling out proportionally and she'll soon put on more baby fat. Your baby's skin is thin, translucent, and wrinkled, her brain is growing rapidly, and her taste buds are developing. Her lungs are developing "branches" of the respiratory "tree" and cells that produce surfactant, a substance that helps the air sacs inflate easily.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

'Mothering the Mother' During Childbirth, and After

The New York Times has a good article on the role of doulas - focusing on post-partum doulas.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

23 Week Update

A lot of women breathe a sigh of relief when they hit the second trimester, as the risk of miscarriage drops dramatically after that point. Not me. Maybe with the first, but my nausea is so bad, I figure these kids aren't going anywhere (in fact, they like to cook an extra week or so).

Anyhow, this week is a different milestone of sorts. Babies born prematurely after about 22 or 23 weeks do survive. Granted, we are talking months in the hospital, feeding tubes, possible life-long birth defects. But at 23 weeks and over 500 grams, the hospital would treat Sweet Pea should he and I become prematurely separated, and he would have a fighting chance at survival. But please, little one, we're not in any hurry.

Baby is kicking and moving all over the place now. I think the kicks can probably be felt from the outside but I haven't confirmed that with anyone else. I'm eating well. I'm up to 120 pounds, three more pounds this month, and fundal height is 22 1/2 cm. (at 22 1/2 weeks). Blood pressure good.

At BabyCenter this week:
Your baby is more than 11 inches long and weighs just over a pound. His skin is red and wrinkled. Blood vessels in his lungs are developing to prepare him for breathing. He can swallow, but he normally won't pass his first stool (called meconium) until after birth. Loud noises heard often in utero — such as your dog barking or the roar of a vacuum cleaner — probably won't faze your baby when he hears them outside the womb.
And oh! I love shopping for maternity clothes on Ebay. But I'm done. Really. I bought a lot of 6 t-shirts this week for $20 (that includes shipping). In great condition, too. Just in time for the weather to get cooler... :)

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Birth Photo

SouleMama has posted a photo of her seconds-old daughter - a home waterbirth. What a gorgeous photo - and a gorgeous baby!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Risk of cow milk allergy increased after c-section

A new study published this month in Allergy shows that children born via c-section have twice the risk of developing an allergy or intolerance to cow's milk than children born vaginally.
The thinking is that compared to infants born normally, children delivered by c-section are exposed less to maternal bacteria and their digestive tracts are consequently not colonized in the normal way. Their immune system in turn overreacts to allergenic substances.
The study also shows that children born via c-section were less likely to become tolerant to cow's milk after having been previously diagnosed with an intolerance (i.e. they were not as likely to overcome their allergy with time).

Link: Risk of cow milk allergy Increased after c-section

Monday, September 12, 2005

22 Week Update

Had a burst of energy yesterday. Cleaned out the refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. Raked some leaves in the back yard. Started eyeing those dust bunnies in the corner.

We've been talking about potty training. Just talking about it, though. I showed DS2 the Thomas the Tank Engine and Nemo underwear I had saved for him, and he got really excited. He put on a pair, and did a little dance. He and DS4 (who was changing at the time) compared underwear, and DS4 gave him a little talk about how he would get to wear big boy underwear when he used the potty. Precious.

I feel big. I look at my belly and try to imagine how much bigger it is going to get. I can still see my feet, but I tried to shave my bikini area today and gave up due to lack of visibility. says:
Your baby now looks like a miniature newborn, checking in at 10.9 inches and almost 1 pound. Her skin will continue to appear wrinkled until she gains enough weight to fill it out, and the fine hair (lanugo) that covers her head and body is now visible. Her lips are becoming more distinct, and the first signs of teeth are appearing as buds beneath her gum line. Her eyes are developed, though the iris (the colored part of the eye) still lacks pigment. Eyelids and eyebrows are in place, and her pancreas, essential for hormone production, is developing steadily.
Hip pain still present but bearable. No other major complaints. Appointment with the midwife later this week; will update then.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


Baby's first photos. The first one is the baby's foot; the second is the baby's face (on it's right side, looking at you).

Fat Content of Breast Milk Increases with Time

Researchers have analyzed the fat content of breastmilk from mothers who had been breastfeeding for over a year, and found it to have significantly more fat compared with that of mothers who had been breastfeeding for only two to six months:
"This is a nicely done study which looked at a question that really needed to be answered," added Dr. Ruth Lawrence, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and a member of the executive committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics' section on breast-feeding. "I think many people's general impression is if you continue to breast-feed beyond a year, probably the nutrient value drops, and this is quite different information and very important."
"We showed that the milk of mothers who breast-fed more than a year had a very high fat content," [study co-author Dr. Ronit] Lubetzky said. "That contradicts the claim that breast-feeding at this stage has no nutritional contribution. On the other hand, the long-term effect of such a high-fat intake has not been studied."

"The constituents of fat and human milk are very different than what we provide in formula today. One of the most important constituents of human milk is cholesterol. Formula does not," Lawrence said. "There are many people who think that probably one of the problems with cholesterol today occurs because infants have not had any cholesterol in the first few months of life; perhaps the body doesn't learn to deal with it. There are studies that show that young adults have much lower cholesterol levels if they were breast-fed than if they were bottle-fed."
Link: Fat Content of Breast Milk Increases with Time

It's a ...

For the record, DH wants to make it "my three sons", DS4 wants a sister baby, though he understands, quite solemnly, that "God decides"; and when asked, DS2 apparently doesn't understand the question, as he answers "red lego guy". As for me, I have mixed feelings. From a practical standpoint, it would be easier to have another boy. And I am generally a practical person. But something deep in me wants a girl. Maybe not this time, but eventually...

Check the comments for the answer.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

21 Week Update

A busy week here in babyland. Today I had an adjustment AND a massage from my wonderful DC/RMT. Hot rocks and everything. Just back and shoulders, though. And tomorrow is our sonogram, which means we should know what flavor of baby we are having. As well as a confirmation (but more likely a separate, third opinion) of my due date.

This week I checked out at the library Journey Into Life: The Triumph of Creation which I hoped would have a good birth scene (to help prepare the kids, mostly). However, it was a little dissapointing. The scenes of the birth were very short (no labor, no placenta, just "head, shoulders, here's the baby"), and most of the 30-minute video was a discussion on cell mitosis and meiosis and chromosomes and such. Interesting, but not what I wanted. However, if you want to see something really funny, get a birth video and watch the part where the baby is born backwards. Hilarious.

What does Baby Center say about 21 weeks? "Your baby now weighs about three-quarters of a pound and is approximately 10 1/2 inches long. His eyebrows and eyelids are fully developed. And you can certainly feel him move. He's oblivious to your schedule, though, so don't be surprised if he starts working out just when you're settling down for the night."

Will post the big news tomorrow.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Some More Great Blogs

While working on my Blogger profile yesterday, I found some great blogs. First up is the Human Lactation Information blog. It is written by Ali Crehan Feeney, who is a breastfeeding counselor, and is filled with all kinds of wonderful and useful information about breastfeeding. She links to La Leche League's Emergency Breastfeeding Resources and recent press release When an Emergency Strikes Breastfeeding Can Save Lives. It seems all too obvious to say that some of those babies stranded in New Orleans last week without formula would still be alive had their mothers been breastfeeding.

Next are three blogs by doulas: Aspiring Midwife, Andi Stracner's Doula Blog, and Milliner's Dream. Check them out when you get a chance.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

July babies don't get hospital's "A" game

Via Blogging Baby, a Canadian study indicates that babies born in July tend to have lower Apgar scores, and their mothers, while 20% less likely to have an emergency c-section, had three times the risk of undergoing a caesarean hysterectomy. The news article explains:
Certain times of year, such as the beginning of the academic year and the summer months, might have less experienced staff on duty. Infants born in the first quarter of the academic year had lower one-minute Apgar scores than those born in other quarters.

Link: July babies don't get hospital's 'A' game

Saturday, August 27, 2005

News Briefs - C-sections

A couple birth-related items I spotted on this week, regarding the increased risk of c-sections:

From HealthScout, C-Sections Linked to Higher Cavity Risk in Babies.
Li [the lead author] suspects that vaginally delivered infants, because of exposure to a greater variety and intensity of bacteria from their mothers and the surrounding environment at birth, develop more resistance to the cavity-causing germ than do C-section babies, who have less bacterial exposure at birth.

From, C-section linked with increased clot risk.
For vaginal deliveries, the odds of developing a blood clot were less than one in 30,000. But for caesarean births -- in which the baby is delivered through a surgical incision in the abdomen -- the risk increased to just under one in 1,800. Emergency C-sections came with a higher risk for blood clots than did elective C-sections.

20 Week Update

Wednesday was my appointment with the chiropractor. I had never ever seen a chiropractor before, not even with all the hip and back pain of my first two pregnancies. Let me say, it was just incredible. I felt a difference immediately. Though the doctor warned me that I might be sore for the first day, and I was, it was still in less pain than before the adjustment. The second day a little less, and today, hardly anything, though my hips do occasionally remind me that I am still pregnant. I no longer waddle when I walk - or, at least, I waddle like a 20-week pregnant woman, not a 40-week pregnant woman. I no longer feel like my hips are out of whack. It's amazing, you don't even realize that there is something wrong with the way that you walk until you can walk normally again. And bonus: our chiropractor employs massage therapists, so we can get massages for the same co-pay as an adjustment. Yipee!

The big news is... little champion has not nursed for nearly a week. So I guess we can consider him "weaned". Although he asked once or twice, he didn't seem upset when I said no or distracted him. It was all about changing his bedtime routine, since he had dropped all nursings except the before-bed and before-nap ones. He's a big boy now. I think next week I will move his toddler bed out of our room and into his brother's room. He will like that. Next on the agenda: thinking about potty training.

From (no fruit analogies this weel):
Your baby weighs about 10 1/2 ounces now. She's also around 6 1/2 inches long from head to bottom, and about 10 inches from head to heel... A greasy white substance called vernix caseosa coats her entire body to protect her skin during its long submersion in amniotic fluid... Your baby is swallowing more, which is good practice for her digestive system. She's also producing meconium, a black, sticky substance that's the result of cell loss, digestive secretion, and swallowed amniotic fluid.
That's all for now. I think I had more to say but I can't remember it (pregnant brain). May do 2 updates this week since I skipped last week.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Monday, August 22, 2005

Blawg Review #20

I'm hosting Blawg Review #20 this week over at The Mommy Blawg. It's a round-up of what happened this week in the legal blogging world. Come take a look!

For information on past and future Blawg Reviews, check out Blawg Review.

If you are visiting from The Mommy Blawg via Blawg Review, welcome! This is my online pregnancy journal, which includes weekly updates as well as helpful information and links. You can read more in my introductory post.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Monday, August 15, 2005

18 Week Update

"Officially", I am 19+5 weeks along, but according to my calendar, I am 18+3. So no surprise that at today's appointment with our midwife, I am measuring 18-19 cms.

Other statistics: I've gained 3 pounds. Baby's heartbeat is 144 bpm. I got to look at my lab report from the ob's office. Let's see... negative for HepB, negative for HIV (big surprise there) and I'm definitely immune to Rubella. Hemoglobin a little on the high side, and Ketones were +1 (pretty good considering that was the week I couldn't keep food down without meds).

We'll have a sonogram in the next couple weeks to confirm dates and to learn the baby's gender. Don't worry! I won't ruin the surprise. I'll post it in the comments.

Hip pain report:

Also I've been thinking about renting a tub. Anyone used one of these?

From Baby is 5 1/2 inches long, about the length of a large sweet potato (don't you just love those fruit & vegetable analogies! My favorite was the avocado) and weighs almost 7 ounces.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Mommy Blogs

I don't spend a whole lot of time reading mommy blogs, but The Leery Polyp is due to give birth any day now. I hope to be blogging up to the very end, too, so this is what I have to look forward to (er, with considerably less discussion of my sex life).

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction

Many women have pain in their hips while pregnant, and are told there is nothing that can be done about it. This is not true.

We're talking more than a simple backache. This is a deep hip pain. Other symptoms include: pain when standing on one leg; difficulty walking after sitting or lying down; pain when rolling over in bed; tenderness in the pubic area; sciatica.

Here are some links to articles about pubic symphysis pain: (a great resource on lots of pregnancy-related topics)
The International Chiropractic Pediatric Assocation
Gentle Birth archives

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

If Only for Seeds of Barley

Dr. Charles writes about the interesting case of a patient who came in to Labor and Delivery - and turned out not even to be pregnant. He then goes on to discuss the history of pregnancy testing.

Queasy does it

Blogging Baby points to a SanDiego Union-Tribune article on "morning sickness" and hyperemesis gravidarum. The article mentions that author Charlotte Bronte is believed to have died from HG. Didn't know that.

As for me, I still feel a little nauseated in the evenings and occasionally in the mornings. It is a little anoying, as I remember it being all gone by this point in my previous pregnancies. However, it is nothing like the debilitating nausea of the last 3 months, so I'm not complaining. I am actually enjoying food now, even craving foods sometimes.

Monday, August 08, 2005

So the Fish Said

What a great baby photo! Will have to remember to take one like this.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

4 women arrested in breast-feeding protest

This is rich: "Four women were arrested while protesting a hospital's policies on breast-feeding, which the demonstrators said undermines efforts of mothers who want to nurse their babies." They were charged with trespassing. The hosptial has a policy of removing newborns to the hospital nursery for 4 hours soon after birth. And also giving new moms sample packs of formula, but almost all hospitals do that.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

17 Week Update

I may be a little off on my weeks. I'll get my calendar straightened out soon.

Last week I realized, with a bit of panic, that in 4 more weeks I will be at the half-way point in my pregnancy. Yikes!

It is almost impossible to find normal maternity t-shirts in basic colors like navy and olive. Right now all the colors are watermelon and aqua and a strange shade of pink. Very summery, but I stick to the basics.

Appoitment with the Midwife is next week, so I'll have stats then.

Birth Briefs

In California, Woman Delivers Baby Boy in Toilet less than an hour after returning home from the hospital, where she was told she was not ready to deliver. "The couple said they are slightly irked at hospital staff, but grateful to have a healthy baby."

In Nebraska, Cow Gives Birth to Four Calves. "Sherrill Echternkamp, a physiologist at the Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal Research Center near Clay Center, said quadruplet calf live births are extremely rare. 'It's so rare that I'm not sure you could even calculate a probability,' "

A giant panda at the San Diego zoo has given birth. This is the second panda birth in the US in less than a month.

C-sections are the most common US hospital procedure, costing $14.6 billion annually.

Answering your questions from a Male perspective

FlyLady has launched a new website, Hey Tom, especially for FlyGuys and the women who love them. Some of us have been waiting for this for...years.


The most difficult thing, so far, about having two blogs is accidently posting to the wrong blog.

Strange signals from breastfeeding

Ok, this is really strange.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Stonyfield Farm

Stonyfield Farm, the makers of organic milk and yoghurt products such as YoBaby, has blogs. Four, in fact, including one called Baby Babble.

Brain-dead Woman Gives Birth

Susan Torres, the brain-dead pregnant woman I wrote about here has given birth to a baby girl.

AP via Yahoo! News
The Susan M. Torres Fund

Monday, August 01, 2005

Birth Story

I just finished reading Twice Adopted by Michael Reagan. In it, the author is discussing how his life changed when his dad became President; and one of the biggest changes was "the constant presence of the Secret Service.":
In 1983, Colleen was about to give birth to our second child, Ashley. Cameron was by natural childbirth; Ashley was by appointment. They gave Colleen an epidural anesthetic, so she was awake for the birth. After Ashley was born, the first thing Colleen heard was the crisp, professional voice of a Secret Service agent speaking into his walkie-talking, "We have an arrival. Raindrop has arrived. Repeat - Raindrop has arrived."

Before she even heard our daughter cry or heard her name spoken, Colleen heard Ashley's Secret Service code name. Colleen couldn't see anything but the ceiling, so she looked at me and said, "Who's in the room?"

I looked around the crowded birthing room and said, "A better question would be, 'Who's not in the room?'"

Colleen groaned. "The Secret Service! Isn't anything private anymore?"

Cute story. Good book.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

16 Week Update

Last week I wrote that I wasn't showing yet, but some time during the last week I just popped out. I'm in maternity clothes full-time now. I shopped this week for a whole hour (!) ,while my parents watched the kids at the mall playground, and bought a swimsuit. Yes, I live in Texas where it's hot, hot, hot until October and through 2 pregnancies I never bought a maternity swimsuit. Oh well. I love it. I told my husband that the gingham checks and the full skirt makes me feel like I am in Oklahoma. Not the state, the musical. Last month I bought a (winter) gently used maternity top on ebay for 11 cents (plus $5 shipping). Next on the quest: a couple more short sleeved t-shirts. Then I should be set.

Baby is now 4 1/2 inches long and weighs 3 1/2 ounces, "about the size of an avocado".

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Circumcision Tips

(o.k., I know, that was a really bad pun).

Via Yahoo! News, Study shows circumcision may reduce AIDS risk.

Here's the link to the mohel we have used twice now:

No, we're not Jewish. Rabbi Rovinsky is the only one I know of in the Dallas area who does non-ritual circs. He is well-known among local homebirthers and midwives. It's a great alternative to a hospital procedure if you want to wait 8 days, plan on waiving the vitamin K shot, or just want a more baby-friendly procedure. I could also go into detail about technique, but I won't. Trust me. If you oppose circumcision, please don't email me or leave comments. Just pray for a girl.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Friday, July 22, 2005

Mother mourns forced end to breastfeeding

Dallas Morning News carried a great essay in this week's Texas Living section about a mom's struggles with breastfeeding and her feelings when she had to give it up.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Milk and Madness

TulipGirl has just wrapped up Ezzo Week 2005. I'm not going to get into the debate, except to give you the link and also a couple great links on the more technical aspects of milk production. Definitely a must-read for those thinking of schedule-feeding.

How does milk production work?
Examining the Evidence for Cue feeding of Breastfed Infants

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

15 Week Update

Well, if I didn't feel pregnant before, I sure feel pregnant now. My hips have loosened considerably, and I walk with a waddle, even though I'm not even really showing yet and haven't gained enough weight to change my center of gravity. With #1 and #2, I had problems with hip pain - matching the description of pubic symphysis separation. I've never sought treatment before, but this time I am looking for a good chiropracter trained in Webster's technique (and also on my insurance plan). By the way, Webster's is 80%-90% effective at turning breach babies, not that I have had or am planning on having one.

The upside of having a loose pelvis is that I "have plenty of room in there" as my care providers like to tell me.

I got out my maternity clothes from storage and put them in the laundry. They are like old friends that you haven't seen in a long time. I like the winter ones better than the summer ones; and the winters when I am pregnant are the only ones I enjoy because I am not painfully cold. Good thing, because I do not have a maternity coat.

Baby is 4 inches long and weighs about 2 1/2 ounces.

Brain-dead woman could deliver baby soon

Susan Torres, a cancer victim, was 15 weeks pregnant when she was declared brain-dead. Her husband decided to keep her on life support, in the slim hope that their baby would survive - and it looks like she will. She has just passed the 25-week mark, which gives baby an excellent chance of survival if born now. Doctors plan a c-section as soon as any of her organs start to fail.

Link: Brain-dead woman could deliver baby soon
7/21/05 ETA: The Susan M. Torres Fund

Friday, July 15, 2005

Doula Liability

I have a post up over on The Mommy Blawg about Doula liability - namely, should doulas carry emergency childbirth kits when providing home labor support?

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

14 Week Update

Had our first visit with the midwife yesterday. We head the baby's heartbeat for the first time, which is always an incredible moment, even for baby #3. When she pushed the doppler down on my abdomen, I could swear I felt the baby move on the other side. It's a little early to be feeling movement, but again today I thought I felt something. Always hard to tell at first (even for baby #3).

As for the technical details, fundal height is 14 cm. (should be about the same as the #of weeks, so we're right on target). Urine and blood pressure look good. I weigh 114 pounds, which means I've lost a little weight, but not too much.

Friday, July 08, 2005

13 Week Update

Baby is now nearly 3 inches long, "about the size of a jumbo shrimp", and weighs nearly an ounce. He/she also has fingerprints. Amazing.

I hit a milestone last night. I cooked dinner for my family. Not just sandwiches (I've been able to do that for about 2 weeks now), but I actually cooked meat. I was only going to prep it so my husband could cook, but he got busy and I just went ahead and did it. Maybe I will start planning meals next week.

My nausea is a lot better but I am more tired and lack energy. I think it will pick up soon, though.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

More Epidural Risks?

Calif. man faints, dies after seeing epidural

I'll have to add this to my list of epidural risks. Really, it would be funny if it weren't for the fact that someone is dead. Ok, I'll admit it. I laughed. Just a little bit.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

I Am A Marketing Genius

Perpetually Pregnant has this breastfeeding t-shirt which "is sure to please mothers on both sides of the breastfeeding debate". Warning: mild profanity. Cute, though!

Friday, July 01, 2005

12 Week Update

Well, I'm 12 weeks along (at least according to my calculations). Baby is no longer an embryo and officially a fetus now. According to BabyCenter's Pregnancy Calendar:
Your baby's hit the 2-inch mark (about the size of a lime) and weighs half an ounce. Her face is beginning to look more human. Her eyes, which started out on the sides of her head, have moved closer together on her face, and her ears are near their final positions on the sides of her head. Your baby's intestines, which have grown so rapidly that they protrude into the umbilical cord, will start to move into her abdominal cavity about now. Her kidneys are secreting urine into her bladder. Her nerve cells have been multiplying rapidly, and synapses (neurological pathways in the brain) are forming. Your baby may have acquired more reflexes by now, including sucking, and she'll even squirm if you prod your abdomen, though you still won't be able to feel her movement for several weeks.

I'm feeling better, though not out of the woods yet. While I still don't have an appetite, I can actually *imagine* what it would be like to enjoy food again.

Where is the Dora clothing for boys?

Where is the Dora clothing for boys? Blogging Baby asks, something I have long wondered. Forget clothes, why not a Dora backpack in some color other than pink? You'd think the marketing experts would figure this out.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Oh, Yes I Can!

Molly at My Three Pennies Worth has a great piece on self-confidence and mothering. Basically, if we belive we were designed to be a mother, to give birth, etc., we will believe that we can do these things, even when they seem hard. She writes:
When I approach childbirth, I have to recondition my mind and make it accept the fact that I was MADE to bring forth life. My body is DESIGNED to do this--it is not something to hard for me to accomplish at all, but something I was destined for from the beginning. If I view birthing as something I doubt I can manage, than that's exactly what happens to me. Pain that is bearable becomes absolutely unendurable, all because I treat it as if it's more than I can handle, rather than a sensation that women have successfully born since time began. More is in the head than anywhere else, and the way my head decides to view things makes a big difference in the outcome (disclaimer: this doesn't apply to difficult childbirth experiences, obviously, etc!).

Monday, June 20, 2005

Men Breastfeeding

My husband says he's tried this in desparation, but couldn't get the little champs to latch on.

And on men actually lactating:

Milkmen: Fathers who Breastfeed

The Nursing Father

I'm not saying I believe it, nor do I necessarily support these websites. But it's quite interesting, don't you think?

Friday, June 17, 2005

Home Birth Study

Norwegian Princess Martha Louise had her second baby at home, and talks about it here.

But the big news is a study just published in the British Medical Journal: "Outcomes of planned home births with certified professional midwives: large prospective study in North America" The study of over 5000 births concludes that:
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.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

What We Think of Home-Birthing

Here's a nice post about homebirth from The House of Degenhart (actually a wife's guest post on her husband's blog). It's quite comprehensive, going into both medical issues and what might be termed the "soft" reasons for homebirthing. They have five children, the first a hospital birth and the next four at home, so they do have a bit of experience.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Sling for the Chic Papa

Well, my husband never had any problem with the blue plaid NoJo sling, but here's one that's a little more fashionable.
A recent British study found that "lack of privacy and uncomfortable surroundings are making birth more difficult for thousands of women." I have also read that some hospitals over there are so dirty, women take there own cleaning supplies with them when they go into labor. Ugh.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Hyperemesis Gravidarum

How am I feeling? Let's not go there. Instead, let me just give you a few links and you can infer what you will.

Handling Nausea In Pregnancy from, Kmom's great website full of information for moms of all sizes.

Help HER - Hyperemesis Education Research. Probably *the* organization for HG issues. Check out the community forums section of the website.

Baby Center has an active HG bulletin board. Actually, Baby Center has active forums on just about everything. It's a good place to go if you need instant community.