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.