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.

From BabyCenter.com:
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 BlueRibbonBaby.org. 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)

Grrr...

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.

From BabyCenter.com:
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.

From BabyCenter.com:
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:

BabyCenter.com's Baby Name Finder lets you search for names with "starts with" "ends with" and "number of sylables" fields.

Yahoo!Health.

Parenthood.com.

BabyNames.com.

BabyZone.com

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.

From BabyCenter.com:
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.

From BabyCenter.com:
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.