Category Archives: prenatal

This week’s fruit: mini-watermelon

Alternate title: #stillpregnant

In some serious shock about how pregnant I am…

How far along: 39 weeks. 39 WEEKS. I have never been this pregnant before. I don’t know what to expect anymore! I’m officially full term by ACOG’s recently revised standards!

Total weight gain: Probably about 8-10 pounds.

Maternity clothes: They barely fit. I usually wear yoga pants and a t-shirt that barely covers my belly.

Sleep: It is so interrupted at night! Heartburn, prodromal labor, and getting up to pee every few hours makes it very hard.

Miss anything: Sleep, being able to wear sandals without assistance, shaving my legs without getting winded.

Movement: Yes, but it’s a different type than before – still pretty powerful, but not so many jabs. More like moving around trying to get comfortable with what little room is left.

Food cravings: Those soft pretzel appetizer things from Chili’s, milk & Oreos, watermelon, apples, avocado, mangoes.

Anything making you queasy or sick: certain smells. I’m not sure of which ones until I smell them.

Have you started to show yet: There’s no hiding it, that’s for sure!

Baby’s Sex: Still unknown. We will find out when Baby makes his/her debut!

Labor signs: Consistently inconsistent contractions, I’ve spotted a little of my mucous plug in the toilet, was told of some cervical changes as of 3 weeks ago when I got my stitches out.

Belly button in or out: Still in, but maybe it will pop! Now I know why they’re referred to as a navel orange.

Wedding rings on or off: On.

Happy or moody most of the time: Happy, but I can go from happy to weepy in seconds.

Looking forward to: Maternity leave starting on Monday, whether Baby is here or not. My water birth (fingers crossed), learning whether this little one is a boy or girl, a baby in my arms! Breastfeeding, being a mom of two, Ethan meeting his little brother or sister. Newborn noises and gulps and smiles and smells.

Lets see if I make it to pumpkin, shall we?


Big Belly Bliss

As I come into the home stretch of pregnancy, I think I can finally say I’m starting to enjoy it. At almost 30 weeks, I’ve grown accustomed to the kicks, rolls, hiccups, and jabs that this little one has been throwing out for several months. The heartburn isn’t that bad (yet) and having to pee every 10 minutes gives me the chance to stretch my legs and walk a little. It makes me a little sad that it took me so long to finally come to terms with the sudden transition from low risk pregnancy to a high risk pregnancy.

One of my favorite parts of pregnancy is the change my body goes through. The hips widening, the curve at the small of my back becoming more defined, the basketball I seem to be smuggling under my shirt, even the new stretch marks appearing because Baby enjoys hanging out on my left side. Yes, I am that weirdo lady that doesn’t mind stretch marks. Pregnancy is a time when I feel womanly and truly beautiful, especially when I’m in full bloom during the third trimester.

My most recent IG belly shot

My stomach has always been where I carried my extra weight. The spare tire, the muffin top, the pooch… I have them all when not pregnant. I don’t like drawing attention to it when my uterus is unoccupied. When pregnant, the opposite is true: I no longer feel the need to suck it in, I own many striped pregnancy shirts, and prefer a belly hugging top to an empire cut. I want to get my bump painted, henna’d, and photographed. I take the pregnant woman pose: hands on the back of my hips, stomach out in all its glory.

My iPhone camera and Instagram feed is filled with bathroom selfies. When I was pregnant with E, I went into labor the night before my maternity pics were to be taken. I don’t have any professionally shot maternity pics, but my husband took weekly bump pics for me (every Monday, after prenatal yoga). He hasn’t been taking weekly bump pics this time around and I’m not sure if the restrictions will be lifted long enough for me to have professional photos taken, so the phone bathroom selfies may just be it. Unless I can talk Dave into helping me with a belly cast in a few weeks…

It’s Not All Cutesy Pregnancy Updates

This pregnancy has been hard. Having to go from being really really busy to laying down for 99.97% of the day has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. I definitely have my less than optimistic days, and today was one of them. I had a pity party of 1 which included lots of tears. Pregnancy hormones suck.

I am missing out on several fun pregnancy things that I was looking forward to, silly things like dressing the bump, getting my belly painted and/or henna’d, maternity pics, and even a baby shower/sprinkle/blessingway. I hate that I can’t do these things because gravity is not my friend. I just want a cervix that works. I hate that I feel really let down by certain friends because they’ve about fallen off the face of the earth for the past 6 weeks. Bed rest really makes a girl realize who is there for her and who isn’t (and cue the text messages asking how I’m doing from people I haven’t heard from in ages). I hate that I am missing out on events I’ve been looking forward to since before this baby was conceived. I hate that I feel like I have let people down. At least in reality everyone understands and has been supportive, so I’m really not letting anyone down.

Sorry Mrs. Gaskin, I respectfully disagree. Pretty sure mine is a lemon.

My body feels broken and I am not sure I trust it anymore. It’s making me apprehensive about labor. It’s making me even more apprehensive about breastfeeding. I don’t feel very connected to this baby or pregnancy. While I care very much about the growing life inside of me, I certainly don’t feel about it the way I felt with E. I’m almost a little grateful that this is the last pregnancy I will have. Almost. Then I get sad again about all of the things I won’t get to enjoy.

While this post is some sort of verbal (written?) diarrhea about feeling all the feels, I am trying very hard to keep a positive attitude. I’m so thankful for the friends who’ve come through in this tough time and have helped me take care of my family when I can’t. I’m thankful that I’ve made it this far. I’m thankful that there seems to be an end in sight. I’m thankful for every kick, punch, roll, and hiccup that grows stronger every day. I’m thankful for having fantastic health insurance. I’m thankful that E is old enough to understand that Mommy has a big ouch and needs to lay down a lot.

I’m looking forward to getting this damn stitch out and going into labor on my own. I’m looking forward to having my baby in water, even though it will be in a hospital setting and not at home. I’m looking forward to breastfeeding again, and all the newborn things (the desperation, the gulps, the sighs, the sleepiness, the warmth, the smell, the love) that come with it. I’m looking forward to getting to know a tiny person and watching him or her develop and learn. A tiny part of me is even looking forward to the newborn stage filled with no sleep, no showers, and no schedule.

There you have it. The roller coaster of emotion that has been my pregnancy. This post has been brought to you by pregnancy hormones and underwritten by 17P progesterone shots.

This Update Almost Didn’t Happen

How far along: 22 weeks!

Total weight gain: -5 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight

Maternity clothes: Still using some of my pre-pregnancy long sweaters, but definitely in maternity pants. My wardrobe these days is sweatpants and t-shirts…

Sleep: I can’t get enough.

Miss anything: My “carefree” pregnancy 😦

Movement: Yes, this baby’s a kicker. E & D got to feel the baby kick for the first time recently.

Food cravings: apples and oranges

Anything making you queasy or sick: chicken breast. I have no idea why.

Have you started to show yet: Yep

Gender: Surprise baby

Labor signs: Too many. Long story short, I started showing signs of preterm labor last week (at 21w3d). A night in the hospital later, I left with a diagnosis of incompetent cervix and a cerclage. I’m currently on bed rest at home.

Belly button in or out: Still in.

Wedding rings on or off: On, but I don’t wear them around the house.

Happy or moody most of the time: Moody. So very sad.

Looking forward to: Potentially getting off bed rest! My sister coming back to visit next month!

We’re Halfway There

I can’t believe I’m at the halfway point of this pregnancy. That means there are only 20ish weeks until Bebe arrives, of which I’ve got maybe another 10-12 good weeks until third trimester fatigue and discomfort hit. Yikes.

I’m feeling more connected with the baby and I’m feeling more pregnant, too. The movement, yoga, and the big 20 week ultrasound have helped me focus. D & I have been figuring out sleeping arrangements, baby clothing storage, and what we want to pull out from storage. All of these things are making it seem more real. I haven’t been posting as many updates as I would like this pregnancy, but you can follow me on Instagram for more snippets of my pregnant life.

How far along: 20 weeks!

Total weight gain: -11 pounds. First trimester nausea and food aversions caused me to lose weight.

Maternity clothes: Pants for sure, some non-maternity tops and sweaters still fit if they’re long enough.

Sleep: I will pass out by 10pm if no one wakes me up. Sleeping pretty well, but the crazy pregnancy dreams have started.

Miss anything: Champagne on New Years Eve

Movement: Oh yes. Lots of it. Bebe didn’t like all the coughing and sneezing when I was sick, he/she let me know!

Food cravings: fresh baked chocolate chip cookies, apples, oranges, Cobb salad (no meat other than eggs & bacon), french fries

Anything making you queasy or sick: Still not a big fan of beef or chicken, but it’s getting better.

Have you started to show yet: Yep

Gender: Surprise baby

Labor signs: None. Not even Braxton Hicks yet.

Belly button in or out: In. It never popped out with E, so I don’t expect it to pop out with this one.

Wedding rings on or off: On, I don’t have swelling. Yet.

Happy or moody most of the time: Moody. Commercials make me cry all the time.

Looking forward to: My sister coming to visit in a few weeks!

The Birth of Mr. E

After reading The Laotian Commotion’s birth story over on her blog, I realized I never put up mine. My fantastic doula, Jamie, wrote up a great account of E’s arrival.

After taking Bradley birthing classes, we made the decision to switch providers (at 26 weeks pregnant), from an OB at a hospital known for it’s high c-section rate to a group of certified nurse midwives at a baby friendly hospital. This was one of the best decisions we made in pregnancy. I was able to labor as needed (I even had the option to labor and birth in water!), eat or drink during labor, wear what I wanted, no IV or heplock, intermittent monitoring, delayed cord clamping… the works! It as a perfect situation for someone like me, who wanted a natural intervention-free birth but wanted to be in a hospital. While labor and delivery were nearly perfect, our breastfeeding story started out less than ideal.

Here it is, the birth of my sweet boy E…

Well, normally birth stories are long and sometimes complicated. Yours, however, is not! It’s not long and it’s not complicated, because you’re mommy was in labor but didn’t know it, and by the time she did know it, there wasn’t that much longer to go! It’s amazing, and this, Ethan, is your story:

Your mommy was 36 weeks 4 days pregnant on Friday, December 10th, 2010 and she and your daddy headed to downtown Fort Worth for mommy’s 36 week appointment with the midwives, which was set for 11:45 a.m. On the way there mommy said that she’d been having a little bit of fluid leaking and wondered if she should mention it at the appointment. Daddy thought that she should at least mention it, just in case.

So, the appointment went fine, everything was normal, and your mommy declined having an exam because she figured that she was still a ways off from your estimated due date, so why bother? Towards the end of the appointment the midwife, Tania, asked mommy if she had any additional questions. Mommy mentioned the fluid that she’d been feeling, and Tania agreed that it was probably normal just from being in the later stages of pregnancy but wanted to check with an amnio-test just to be sure; she did the swab and said, “Hmm, this isn’t looking good!” and said that it was definitely amniotic fluid that was leaking. Your mommy and daddy were shocked, because obviously this was not expected to be happening at 36 weeks and 4 days! Tania wanted to check to see if there was any cervical change happening and your mommy agreed – and both were shocked when Tania said “you’re 5 centimeters dilated and 80% effaced!” It looked like the errands and shopping that your parents were planning on getting accomplished after the appointment were going to be postponed, because they were going to meet you soon!

Tania said that they should head over to the hospital and be admitted to Labor and Delivery, so that’s what they did. Your daddy called me and let me know what was going on; his exact words after I answered the phone were, “Hi, ummmm, we kinda have a situation!” I was actually at another hospital with a couple from the childbirth class that your parents took with me, because she had delivered her baby boy a few hours earlier, also born early! Neither of you were due until January, but both of you decided to be December babies instead!

I gathered my things and quickly headed to the hospital to join your parents. When I arrived at 2:15 p.m., your daddy was gone because he’d went to your house to gather the things they needed for the hospital stay. They had planned and prepared for a natural childbirth for you, and wanted to get all of the support they could, so their birth plan was attached to a basket of goodies for the nurses.

Their friend Alanna and her sweet little baby girl, Tara, were there, along with Alanna’s mother. We sat around talking and trying to wrap our minds around the fact that you were going to be arriving soon! Your mommy was walking around the room and relaxing on the bed and would have contractions, but they didn’t feel very strong to her – more like a crampy achy feeling. She didn’t have to use any relaxation techniques or comfort measures during them at this point, and didn’t want to do anything that might cause the labor to move any faster until your daddy was back.

Once he was back and had brought their bags, the gifts for the nurses, drinks and snacks for themselves, and your car seat up to the room, we got ready to labor. We started walking the halls around 3:45 p.m. and by 4 p.m. your mommy was feeling the contractions a little bit stronger than before. When she would have one she’d stop and breathe through it and then continue on down the hall. We had an interesting conversation about some French fries that were in a trashcan at the end of the hall because the smell was bothering mommy when we’d get close to it!

We walked for about 45 minutes and then headed back into the room so that mommy could use the restroom. Mommy continued to drink lots of fluids to keep herself hydrated and everyone was snacking to keep their energy level up. At 5:30 p.m. Candis, who was the midwife on call for the night, came in to check and see how things were going. Mommy told her that she was feeling the contractions more strongly and they were coming around 5 minutes apart. Candis checked and found that mommy was now 6 to 7 centimeters dilated; she explained that the cervix felt like a funnel with the outside part dilated to 7 and the inside being more like 6. Suddenly, during the exam, mommy’s water broke! Candis promised that she hadn’t intended to break it.

Husband’s caption: “7cm. fully effaced. -1 station. Laughing like a fool.”

As normally happens after the water is broken, the contractions picked up in both speed and intensity. Mommy was still handling them wonderfully, barely appearing like she was even in labor. She tried to use the birth ball but found that it wasn’t inflated quite enough and wasn’t very comfortable to sit on. She walked around the room and ended up back in the restroom, where she labored on the toilet.

By this point, everyone had left except for me and Daddy. Our nurse, Hope, was about to go home and Beverly, our new nurse, came in. Beverly was pretty focused on getting blood pressure readings and vital signs recorded. The first time she needed to do it was fine; mommy went to the bed and had her temperature taken and your heart rate was quickly monitored. The next time, though, was not as easy. Mommy was comfortable in the restroom and Beverly really wanted her to come to the bed. As a contraction would end Mommy would head for the bed very quickly, but as soon as another contraction would start she’d turn around and go back to the restroom. It just wasn’t comfortable to be on the bed!

The contractions were coming 2 to 2 ½ minutes apart now and were strong. Mommy used yoga breathing to manage the labor and it was working wonderfully. She started to show signs of transition and I knew that you were close to being born: she got really hot, she didn’t like to be touched, and she said a few times that she didn’t know if she could keep doing this or not. Daddy and I reassured her that yes, she could do this, and that she was close to being done. We put cool washcloths on her neck and forehead and reminded her to relax her shoulders and let the contractions work so that you could move down. She did awesome! I’ve really never seen anyone else handle labor as well as she did; from the outside it looked like she was calm and confident, although on the inside she was feeling doubtful that she could do this without medication like she had originally intended.

A few contractions later I heard mommy pausing in the middle of the contraction and thought that she was probably feeling an urge to push. She confirmed that yes, she was feeling like pushing, so I asked Beverly to get Candis. I’m not sure where Beverly went, but she didn’t get Candis, so I left to go to the nurses’ station to find her. She came in a minute or two later and Mommy agreed to move to the bed so that Candis could make sure that it was time to push. It was about 8pm.

Candis checked and yep, you were right there! You were at +2 station and with each push we could see your head. Your mommy was doing amazing and made low, deep sounds as she pushed you down. In between pushes we talked about whether we thought you were going to be a boy or a girl; everyone guessed you’d be a boy except for me, and I thought I’d be different and say girl, since everyone else said boy! The midwife listened to your heartbeat for a few seconds and said it definitely sounded like a boy’s heart rate. Your mommy’s family wanted to be there for your birth, and your grandma was actually supposed to be flying in a week before your due date so that she could be there for your birth, but since you were coming early that wasn’t possible.

Daddy used FaceTime on his phone so that they could hear your first cry. As you were about to be born Candis asked your mommy to slow down and not push very hard so that her skin could stretch; your daddy repeated it to her loudly and Candis told him he didn’t have to shout at her, however, it was his voice that your mommy heard, so it was good that he did! At 8:26 p.m. you were born and placed right on your mommy and they discovered that you were a BOY!!

Our first glimpse

In the first hours after your birth you stayed skin to skin with mommy until she was ready for you to be weighed and measured; Beverly apparently had some trouble working the scale and said that you were 5 pounds and 7 ounces, but later that night, after they’d moved all of you up to the postpartum room, you were re-weighed and found to be 6 pounds 3 ounces. As Beverly went to lay you in the bassinette to diaper you and complete the newborn assessment, I noticed that she was holding you upside down! I squeezed your Mommy’s leg really hard and she and your daddy noticed what was going on; Daddy hurried over and carried you back to Mommy’s arms.

Hours old

The oxytocin was a-flowin’!

Your temperature was a little low so another nurse brought the warmer over to the bedside and put it over top of you and mommy. It heated all of us up very quickly! Soon after all of the postpartum recovery things were taken care of, we worked on getting you to nurse for the first time. It took a little while, but you eventually latched on.

Our first time nursing, less than an hour old

Your birth was amazingly calm and short, and it was an honor to be a part of the process. You were born into a wonderful family with loving parents who worked together to prepare for your birth and bring you into the world in the healthiest possible way.

10 Summer Must Haves – Maternity

In the past few weeks, I have had 4 friends announce their pregnancies. Something must be in the water! Coincidentally, I came across stylist Rachel Zoe’s pregnancy must haves. I took a peek, curious about what she’d recommend for a mom-to-be.

They included: a $225 cardigan, 5 inch platform wedges, and a $450 military style jacket from her own line (which is very impractical because it has a narrow waist. How will it fit after month 5??). Stylish? Absolutely. Practical? Not unless you have a hefty budget to go along with buying clothes you’ll wear for a few months of your life.

I thought I’d do my own top 10 pregnancy must haves, all under $100. No shirts with cutesy sayings in the whole bunch.

    Click on the picture above for links to buy the products.

  1. A baby shower dress. Why not feel pretty while being celebrated? If you’re not having a baby shower, this makes a great fancy dinner out dress.
  2. Stripes. I loved wearing stripes while pregnant. Normally I’d be self conscious about my belly looking round, but I wanted to show off that roundness when I was carrying E! Embrace the bump!
  3. Skinny jeans. These are a must have regardless of pregnancy. Easy to dress up or down and always comfortable.
  4. A supportive bra. Again, this is a must have even if you’re not pregnant. A woman’s body starts to make colostrum at 10-14 weeks gestation. Your breasts will grow with pregnancy, support them properly. Fun fact: it’s actually pregnancy hormones and age that cause breasts to sag, not breastfeeding.
  5. Maxi dress. Here’s your outfit for the days you feel especially big: maxi dress, sandals, hoop earrings, and big sunglasses. Put your hair up in a messy bun. Perfection. You don’t even have to shave your legs.
  6. Sandals. My feet got very swollen towards the end of pregnancy and all I wanted to wear were sandals and flip flops. Unfortunately, it was December and too cold for any of those.
  7. Leggings. They stretch and they are pants. Pair with a tunic (number 9) and you’re comfortable yet chic.
  8. Bathing suit. If you are fortunate enough to take a babymoon with your honey, bring this along for sitting beach or pool side.
  9. Tunic. Pair with leggings or skinny jeans and a statement necklace or earrings (but not both) for a great daytime or casual night time look.
  10. Shorts. I wasn’t a shorts person. Then I moved to Texas and realized I had to wear them or I’d get heat stroke in the summer. I imagine it would be even worse while pregnant because I was hot all the time. I found a pair of great denim cutoff maternity shorts and lived in them while pregnant in the summer. They’re actually my favorite pair of shorts.

What are your maternity must haves for the summer?