Fetal Attraction

How to hold down a full-time career, get a graduate degree, participate in a social/charity group, and grow a fetus in your uterus all at the same time. The working woman's guide to pregnancy.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Biggest Surprise

Last week a friend asked what the biggest surprise was...the weirdest thing...now that we are parents and have a baby. I responded that the weirdest part was how un-weird it is. How natural it feels to be Delia's parents.

And that is strange. I don't get up on weekdays to go to the same job I've gone to for over seven years. My schedule is now largely determined by my boobs. I'm somebody's MOTHER! These are big friggin changes...and yet, it feels so completely normal.

I like to think that BD and I are "go with the flow" kind of people and that this type of easy adjustment to parenthood is part of that, but maybe, it's just because we're still in the honeymoon phase of this whole thing. Reality has yet to hit us.

Fine with me. This feels nice.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Birth Announcements?

Do I need to do them?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Final Countdown

Only five more days until Cletus' due date! Gotta love that countdown clock...

Anywho, I plan on wrapping up this blog on April 16. Thanks for the feedback. I'll make sure to keep family and friends' posted on Delia's progress via e-mails and stuff..and maybe even (gasp) personal phone calls and visits.

Today is our first day alone together (BD is, quite unhappily, back at work). I'm not really getting much done on a school project, but I can't blame this on Delia... only on good old fashioned procrastination.

She's a really cool kid, and I'm very proud that she's gaining weight like a champ (now up to 7 lbs, 6.5 oz). We've pretty muched gotten the whole breastfeeding thing figured out, even though I still curse like a drunken sailor with tourette's syndrome every time she first clamps down. This is the main reason I have yet to breastfeed in front of others... not out of boob modesty, but because my foul mouth betrays the serenity of the moment.

Tonight, I'm going to class without her. Which means BD, Unkie Matt, and Dr. Rachel get her "to themselves." This will also be the longest time-wise and distance-wise I've been separated from her. The anxiety! My ta-tas are already twitching in protest.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Direction of Blog?

I'd love some input on we're you'd like to see this blog go. I'm a little reluctant to become a "mommy blogger."

Thoughts?

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Delia as Scholar

Delia slept through an entire graduate school class on evaluating health communications campaigns. She's way ahead of her time.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Nicknames

I tend to call her:

Kitten
Kitty Cat
D
Critter

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Fetal Attraction Contest: Winner!

And the winner is.....

Alex!!!!!

Although he guessed a bald-headed boy, Alex's near perfect date and weight guesses put him at the front of the pack. Yes, we all rolled our eyes when we saw his guess for a March 29 delivery date (doesn't this guy know that 87% of first born babes come after due date??), but he showed us all. And he was a mere 3 oz off on the birth-weight.

Alex attributes his win to "the letters Delia has been writing [him] from the womb for the last several months."

He will be awarded a gift certificate to local cutie-patooty gift store, Now & Then, at our Easter Brunch on Sunday. Media welcome.

And now for the bad news: blog regular, Aunt Shanley, came in dead last despite repeated declarations that she knew (just knew!) the gender based on some fool-proof measure (genders of the other babies being born around the same time). Oops.

Thanks to all participants, and thanks to contest sponsors: GS & GS.

The Day

Here how a "typical" day goes for us now...

Wake up around 9 a.m.

Feed Delia-- this takes up to an hour (repeat every two to three hours)

Grandma, grandpa, or dad holds Delia while I shower, eat, get online, whatever.

Feed Delia (last time I'm going to put this in...trust me, it takes up most of the day)

Play with Delia. Take pictures of Delia.

Eat, putz around.

Visit with visitors. Maybe nap.

Evening: give to Delia to Matt for "Unkie Time"; eat dinner

Settle in around somewhere between 9 and 10:30

Feed Delia

Sleep

12:30: feed and change Delia

Sleep

3:00: feed and change Delia

Sleep

5:30/6ish: feed and change Delia

Sleep

9 a.m. Wake up and begin again

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

The New Balance

My plan had been to finish up all of my work for the semester (which ends April 25) by the baby's due date (April 16). But she came three weeks early, so.... new plan!

Fortunately, I feel good and have lots of help. So I'm going to attempt to go to class tonight (but maybe just for an hour), write a paper by Saturday, and go to class on Saturday. I know I don't have to, but I kind of want to. Mostly, I want to bring her and show her off!

As for work, well, I'm officially unemployed right now. I guess April 1 began my maternity leave/ leave of absence/ termination (whatever you feel like calling it). If you'll recall I had a super-productive day at work the day my water broke, so I actually (mostly) left things in a good place. I still have my office to clean out, but I probably take care of that in a couple of weeks.

I'm giving myself some time to figure out this new balance...but so far, I think I really like it.

PS: Our in-house pediatrician moved in yesterday. Lucky, eh?

Monday, April 2, 2007

Sunday, April 1, 2007

A Mother's Thanks

It feels more like Thanksgiving than April Fool's Day (though Delia did fool me big time with her early arrival).

I have so, so much to be thankful for.

Thank you to Delia for coming early and fairly easily...for being healthy...for being ours.

Thank you to our families for being so supportive, helpful, loving, and excited. Delia's dad and I haven't had to lift a finger (other than to play with the ten cute ones on our daughter) around the house. And we're fully aware that those loads of laundry don't clean themselves and those pastries don't bake themselves. Thank you.

Thank you to our friends...we are feeding off your love, energy, and excitement.

Thank you to our coworkers, classmates, and professors for being happy for us, and flexible as we adapt to our new rhythm.

Thank you to you, blog reader. It's been fun seeing all of the comments...and it's really saved us from having to make a million phone calls.

Thank you to our cats for not freaking out and peeing on random things.

Thank you to the seasons for bringing spring, cherry blossoms, daffodils...and my lovely daughter.

Thank you to my body, which has performed well above average. Thank you to my hormones for staying in check. I do not take this for granted.

Thank you to Delia's dad. Thank you the most.

I'm Pregnant!

Somehow my annual April Fool's Day joke seems less believable this year...

Friday, March 30, 2007

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Visitors Welcome

Visitation hours are 1pm to 8:30 pm, call or text our cell phone for details.

Mother and child are resting right now after lactation class. Delia successfully fed about three times last night. BM was even able to get a 3 hour chunk of sleep (but I had to pry Delia out of her arms to get to that point).

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

IT'S A GIRL!!!!

Delia Jean was born at 4:41pm EDT. She is a beautiful little thing with a full head of hair. Due to the 2 1/2 week early arrival she weighed in at 6 lbs 13 oz. But she was 19 and 1/4 inches long. Darcy is glowing and sharing a moment with the healthy little one that she carried around for 9 months and pushed out like a champ.

Cheers to all. And thank you all for your kind wishes, support, advice, and generousity that have helped get us to this point.

--BD

These are the days of miracle and wonder

Labor is going along smoothly and much less painful for bm. She is off the pitocin and is progressing quickly.

Just wanted to take a minute to marvel at the times we live in. From the crazy equipment in the hospital, to the fact that bm's parents were called at 4am and able to join us in the hospital before 10am (and they live 1000 miles away), to the ability to post web updates from my phone in the hospital and get feedback from friends, loved ones, and well wishers all over the country.
-BD

In keeping with the birthplan of "get it out"...

Due to the water breaking before the contractions started, BM was given Pitosin to speed along labor (after a water break it needs to come out within 24 hours). Pitosin causes long and very painful contractions. She was in too much pain too early in the process to wait and see what the rest would be like. So she got an epidural. She is doing much better right now and is even getting a little rest.

BD

Full Term

Well BM made it to full term, but just barely. Sunday she was 37 weeks and today at 3:50am her water broke. We're in the hospital right now getting some early labor rest. The nurse says things are going fine. So, with any luck, we will be holding our new baby within 21 hours according to the doctor.

BD

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Feeling Good About Life

I'm just feeling really good, and I thought that I'd share. I really thought I'd be more sore and more tired...more "over it"...than I do at this point. So I thought it'd be nice for y'all to read a "life's just dandy" post on a pregnancy blog since they seem to be so rare.

Today, I wrote a 15-page new business proposal and presented some client work to our firm's board of directors. Yep, that was in one day. Oh yeah, and I stepped out for an hour at noon to have a delicious, expensive, outdoor lunch with my amazing husband. Beautiful weather. And I'm leaving by 6. And I get to go to a PEO meeting (my women's group) which always means a good dinner.

Cletus is happily kicking at my ribs. BD said it would be helpful (not naggy) for me to give him a to-do list. Seriously, life is good.

Is it Procrastination If...?

Last night, I intended to finish paper #3 (already in progress) or start paper #4. Instead, we assembled the pack-n-play, put batteries in all of the baby geegaws, set up the baby monitor, attempted to arrange the downstairs baby room, switched the positions of the crib and the changing table in the nursery, and rubbed lotion on my giant ankles.

Then we got news of Unkie J and Auntie S's friend who gave vaginal, drug-free birth to an 11 lb, 7 oz baby (nope, not a typo). So then there was the time needed to get out the smelling salts and resuscitate me.

So if I'm tackling other things on the to-do list, does it count as procrastination?

Monday, March 26, 2007

Fetal Attraction Contest: Our Guesses

My entry (I think it's a winner!):

Gender: Boy
Arrival Date: April 17
Arrival Time: PM
Weight: 8 lb, 9 oz
Height: 21.5 inches
Hair/No Hair: Hair

BD's entry:

Gender: Girl
Arrival Date: April 15
Arrival Time: PM
Weight: 8 lb, 12 oz
Height: 21 inches
Hair/No Hair: Hair

Registering Today

Today, I'm registering for three graduate school courses for the summer semester. I will happily drop one or two classes if I later determine that I can't handle it.

Thanks for all of the advice and feedback...all of which I've interpreted the following way: do whatever you want to do. And this is what BD and I want to do. :)

Friday, March 23, 2007

Superwoman Complex?

I've had pretty much the same plan in my head since I found out I was pregnant: that I'd stay home with the kidlet during the day while taking graduate school classes at night until I finish my degree.

As you saw on the blog earlier this week, I have been able to arrange this plan with my work.

I got a lot of support for this plan. BD is behind it 100%.

But now that I actually have to enroll in the courses for next semester, people are coming out of the woodwork advising me to reconsider taking classes. These people are all moms, all smart, all accomplished, and they come from my family, school, and work life.

People, I'm already leaving my career. The kid will be about 6 weeks old when I start classes again... over 4 months old during finals. Do I really need to be at home 168 hours every week? Am I really going to be so tired and so frazzled, that I can't handle 6 hours of class-time plus an additional 6 hours of study time a week?

And if your answer to both of these questions are "yes," then I'd love to hear your advice on how I should sell that to my bosses. "Oh by the way, when I said I was coming back in January 2008, it'll probably be more like January 2009... is that okay?"

I know it won't be the easiest route...but I have never taken the easiest route. So, I'd love to get some more feedback: Am I really not the superwoman I seem to think I am?

Three Weeks to Go

This is an update to an earlier post, "Six Weeks to Go"...

Six Weeks to Go
This baby has to stay in until I've (we've) finished:
*five papers (two done; three to go)
*one exam (done!)
*one group project and presentation (started, but still lots to do)
*talking to my colleagues about my maternity leave plans (done!)
*talking to my clients about my maternity leave plans (done!)
*training my replacements (mostly done!)
*organizing and cleaning out my office (uhhh....this one's going to take a while)
*doing our taxes (done! thank you BD!)
*writing our will (next on the list)
*getting edumacated about birthing (done!)
*attending two more baby showers (done!)
*fixing up the house (almost done!)

So when people ask if I'm "just ready to have it out"...the answer is almost ready...just a bit more to get done!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Guest Blogger: Dreamgirl 3

From Melissa...

"I had a dream last night that your bag got caught in the metro doors, and in pulling it from between the doors, you went into labor. Your water broke all over the metro, and the jerks who hadn't moved in to give you space in the car were quite disappointed in their decision. I wouldn't put too much stock into it though, I also had a dream that I got a $90,000 raise."

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Work Situation

I billed this blog as a "working woman's guide to pregnancy"...and yet I've been nearly silent on my maternity leave discussions and plans. This is because I've heard too many stories about people getting fired or in trouble for saying things about their office or employers on their personal blogs. So, I wanted to make sure everything was on the up and up before I took it online.

A bit of background...

I have been working at the same, wonderful public relations firm since 1999. Very few people in PR stay at the same place for a long time (two to three years seems like the average term). I have been incredibly loyal to the firm, because they have been incredibly loyal and supportive of me. I could definitely see myself here for the long-haul.

I also started graduate school (part-time, night class) last June. This decision was supported by my boss.

Then I got pregnant.

Okay, so I have the potential of making a beautiful life collage, using three main elements: motherhood, career, and academia. But am I a talented enough artist to do all three at once? My answer is probably not...and that if I tried I'd probably also be short-changing my roles as a wife and friend.

So I approached my bosses in January about this dilemma, and asked for their reaction to the following plan: that I take a leave of absence when the baby arrives that spans from delivery through the completion of my master's degree. That way I'd be home with the baby during the day and continue taking classes at night. With five courses left (one of which is a thesis), I projected I could return by January or May 2008, depending on my ability to juggle school and new motherhood.

Over the last two months, we have had dozens more conversations about the "plan." In short, they understand what I want (or think I want) to do... but it is inconvenient and undesirable for them. They say.... How about part-time starting in September? What if a big proposal opportunity comes through the door? Can we bid you in? Would you be able to work on an hourly basis on proposals? My answer to all of these questions had to be a "maybe," since I just don't really know what lies ahead.

Our firm's maternity leave policy is four weeks of paid leave with up to two additional weeks where you can use vacation or sick leave. We do not have a policy for leave of absence. So this is why I now have a letter of termination in my file.

So on April 14, I will technically no longer be employed. Anywhere. Weird. Do I worry that I won't be able to get a job back at the firm? No. Not really. But it is weird to think about.

I feel fortunate that I work in PR...in an agency...which has a revolving base of clients and projects anyway. My job changes on a regular basis anyway, so it won't be the biggest deal that it will undoubtedly be different when I get back. New project, new client...probably new team. C'est la vie.

But as great of a firm as it as--and as progressive and friendly my bosses are--this hasn't exactly been the easiest of negotiations. I really feel for the moms who've had to make impossible situations work out, simply because the options aren't there. It goes to show, we still really haven't figured out this "women in the workplace" thing.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Spoiled Rotten- Part Deux

Phew! Today was the fourth of four total baby showers. My office hosted a luncheon for BD and me and showed us some major love. Just in case we were tempted to think we had every baby thing in the world, I got dozens more things I didn't even know about. A couple of highlights: a gift certificate to a home cooked meal delivery company and a onesie that says "Don't wake me; I'll wake you."



On Sunday, my women's group (PEO) hosted a baby shower too. Not only did Cletus get some great loot (including a "Born to Read" shirt and diaper covers--finally!), I got a lot of great advice from moms who've "been there, done that."



Oh, and here's my belly now. Behold!


Help Your Child Accept a New Baby

From Unkie Matt:

"I was waiting for someone to make a pseudo-hilarious joke by sending me this: http://www.wikihow.com/Help-Your-Child-Accept-a-New-Baby , but none yet.

But one thing that struck me...the first picture on the page is weird. Something tells me that these kids are not related at all. One looks like Conan O'Brian and the other looks like Barack Obama. You decide."

Monday, March 19, 2007

Dr. Beautiful

I just got back from my doctor's appointment. They are every week now, which seems excessive, but whatever.

Dr. Beautiful is one of my faves (I've met with her twice now). She's a young, smart, gorgeous African-American doctor who has a really good bedside manner. She counseled me that flexibility is the hallmark of a good birth plan. So, just to wrap up that discussion: my birth plan is indeed to "get the kid out."

Everything looks good with Cletus. Nice size, heart beat, position, etc. Normal and healthy...music to my ears.

Guest Blogger: Dreamgirl 2

From Shanley....

SO! I had a dream last night. You and BD showed up to a baby shower for you with the baby already born. You had gone to NYC to visit everyone and the baby was born there, early (so much for meeting all of your doctors and touring the hospital). It was a girl and she had dark hair. I couldn't make out her name, and you kept giving me fake names that weren't true. So no insights there.

And then, I had another dream later last night that you had the baby and it was a dog. You loved the dog, but I was skeptical because you love cats more. It was a cute dog, black.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Sick Kitty

Our beloved cat, Krusty, is sick. He seemed fine on Friday morning...by Friday night, he seemed like he was going to die. We got a vet appointment first thing on Saturday morning and, while she didn't have an exact diagnosis, the vet agreed that he is a very sick cat. He's currently on two kinds of drugs and they are still awaiting the results of some of the lab tests.

The reason this is relevant to this blog is that it was a wake-up call for us as to what it means to be responsible for someone else's health. And it's a fine reminder of how things don't always go as planned (I can tell you neither of us were planning on spending our Saturday morning at the vets...and we certainly hadn't planned on dropping $500). Parenting 101...sick kitty style.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

BD Blackberry Test

Following up on Shanley's comment, this is a test from my blackberry to see if we can update the site from anywhere. If you're reading this, it means we will be able to provide periodic (perhaps very sparse) updates from the hospital whenever the time comes.

BD

Drumroll Please..... Auntie Sara's Guest Blog!!!!

First off...I'd like to apologize for the delay on this blog. This term took me by surprise and it was over before I even realized it had really started. And no, I didn't spend it in a drug or alcohol induced stupor, contrary to popular assumption. So, without further ado, here is my blog (though probably not nearly as cool as Bob Loblaw's Law Blog):

I honestly can't believe how fast time has flown. I swear it was just like two months ago that BD and BM called to tell me the news. Time's definitely a-flying. So, it is now just one month to the due date.

It's weird for me to imagine my brother as a dad—or myself as an aunt. Wasn't it just a few years ago that we were sitting together in the living room fighting over the remote control? Okay, so that still happens at Christmas, but you know what I mean.

I'm not going to lie to you people, I'm ridiculously excited about being an aunt! Since I found out about this new little kidlet, I've spent a lot of my free time looking for cool baby things to get it when it's born. I can't tell you how many cool, funky baby clothes I've bookmarked. And I intend to squander most of my remaining financial aid check on such things. That's what aunts are for right? Buying cool stuff and hanging out. I'll have to work on that second one. That's going to be hard for me being in school for the first 2 months or so...but thanks to modern technology I'm sure there will be a picture for every second of that time.

I'm also excited about not being the youngest (insert baby's last name here) anymore! I've always been the baby of the family so...WOO HOO for not being that anymore! :-)
When I think about being an aunt, I think about having fun! So I am really looking forward to being the cool aunt from the other side of the country!

A lot of people have been speculating about the gender of the baby. Most of BD side of the family think it's going to be a boy because of family history. However, I feel that it is going to be a girl. Mainly because BM is such an awesome feminist and if anyone is going to break the genetic cycle it'd be her! Yay for women in the family! Haha, but a boy would be awesome too!

But regardless of gender, It's going to be interesting to see what the next generation of (insert baby's last name here) is going to be like. Granted there are certain things that will inevitably exist because of an apparent genetic predisposition to certain things. So, I thought I would list these (insert baby's last name) certainties here so that no one is surprised about it.
1.) There is no doubt that this kid is going to be politically active
2.) There is no doubt that this kid will become obsessed with the work of Bob Dylan
3.) There is no doubt that one day this kids favorite movies will be The Big Lebowski and Dr. Strangelove.

So in the last month before the kidlet comes into this world, as I finish up papers, projects and capstones, it's nice to just sit back, relax and think about how awesome this kid is going to be and how lucky he/she will be to have such awesome parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and family friends. I have no doubt in my mind that BD and BM are going to do an awesome job raising the kid.

So, Let the final countdown begin!! (insert Europe song here)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Baby Safety

In my job (health and safety public relations), I read all sorts of depressing stories about teens killed in car crashes, women suffering from breast cancer, and (today) kids dying in home fires.

The stories today about kids dying in the Bronx fire really struck a chord. As such, we are now registered for an extra smoke alarm, carbon monoxide detector, and emergency escape ladder. Since they don't offer these items at BabiesRUs or GreatBeginnings, I've started a new one at Target.com.

Got to keep the kids safe!

Thinking About Birth Plans

First of all, congrats to blog-reader i and his wife (Mama L) for becoming an uncle and an aunt this past weekend...and welcome baby Justin Christopher!

But in talking to Mama L, I was once again reminded about the potential futility of a birth plan. Mama L's sister wanted a vaginal delivery, but after 15 hours or labor, ended up with a C-section. This is the #1 delivery scenario I have heard from the real, actual people I know who've given birth in recent years. And it seems like the one that absolutely sucks the most.

I will ask my OB about ways to avoid this scenario. Does anyone else have thoughts on the subject?

March Madness

Just a reminder to fill out the "Baby Bracket" if you haven't already done so:

http://fetalattraction.blogspot.com/2007/02/its-game-time-go.html

Monday, March 12, 2007

Boy or Girl? 38 Fun Ways to Guess Your Baby's Sex

From iVillage:

http://parenting.ivillage.com/pregnancy/pbabyprep/0,,j012,00.html

Going through each of the points...I gotta say I think I'm going to have a boy-girl. What do y'all think, using these old wives tale short cuts?

Dr. Pregnant

Just got back from my 35-week appointment. All continues to be well. And while I think I've gained too much weight, I still opted to stop and get a chocolate milkshake from Potbelly's on the way to the appointment. But the doctor's not complaining.

So I've almost done rotating through all of the doctors at the practice (only one more to go). Today, I met with Dr. Pregnant. She is due the week after me. As much as I liked her, she will probably not be the one delivering our baby. For obvious reasons. BD did point out the sitcom possibilities of a doctor who goes into labor while delivering a baby. I can already hear the laugh track.

I asked Dr. Pregnant if she can tell how Cletus is positioned. I was thrilled when she basically described the picture I had in my mind: head down, butt up halfway between my belly button and the top of the bump, and limbs pushing out on my right side. This also makes me happy because head down now + big baby = not likely to move and become breech.

And how come I've had so much practice peeing in cups over the last eight months, and I still have yet to master the skill?

Love this Article

Thinking about maternity leave....

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/10/AR2007031000081.html

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Getting Edumacated

BD and I just got back from our marathon childbirth education class. It had it all--breathing exercises on the floor, play by plays of the various stages of labor, the pros and cons of the various drugs and pain management techniques, and, of course, the movie.

The teacher was a former Lamaze trainer and lactation consultant, so she definitely focused on the natural techniques. But she also did a nice job of outlining all of the options and discussed some scenarios when you'd want to go the epidural or narcotic routes. I appreciated her "get all the info you can, but then just see how it goes" approach.

The hospital seems really nice. All of the labor, delivery, and recover rooms are private, as are most of the post-partum rooms. The cafeteria was pretty decent, and there's a kitchen on the same floor as the labor, delivery, and recover rooms (hubbies are encouraged to fetch their own ice chips and snacks and stuff).

I wish I had more to say, but after nine hours of class, I'm pretty zonked.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Motivation

My sister-in-law has been promising me a guest blog entry for months now, but I guess she keeps getting distracted

Maybe she needs some encouragement, some motivation! Please post a comment about how eager you are to see her guest blog entry.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

You're Getting Sleepy...

Among the blessing that I count on a regular basis, my ability to get a good night sleep is at the top of the list. I've been reading my fellow bloggers' accounts of their aching hips, twitching feet, and painful heartburn that keep them from a good night of shut-eye. Oh my!

Thank you, sleeping gods, for allowing me 10+ hours of sleep each night for the past few nights. Keep up the good work!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Scooter if it's a Boy, Libby if it's a Girl

Ha! http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/06/AR2007030600400.html

Now if he'd only flip on Cheney....

Six Weeks to Go

This baby has to stay in until I've (we've) finished:

*five papers
*one exam
*one group project and presentation
*talking to my colleagues about my maternity leave plans
*talking to my clients about my maternity leave plans
*training my replacements
*organizing and cleaning out my office
*doing our taxes
*writing our will
*getting edumacated about birthing (class on Sunday)
*attending two more baby showers
*fixing up the house

So when people ask if I'm "just ready to have it out"...the answer is No! Stay in, baby!

Monday, March 5, 2007

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Spoiled Rotten

BD, Cletus the Fetus, and I are all spoiled rotten by our friends and family. My DC girlfriends--the aunties--threw us a banging baby shower/cocktail party last night. There was yummy food, cocktails and mocktails, a fun mix of music, and good times all around. We left after midnight. It ruled. Pictures of the party are soon to follow.



Unkie Matt's girflfriend, Joy, had her own nesting instinct today, so she helped us put away all of the gifties and folded and organized all of the adorable baby clothes into our new changing table/dresser. So friggin cute! Thank you, everybody.


Friday, March 2, 2007

Quick Updates

-The "maternity leave plan" letter has been submitted to my bosses. More details to come.

-I'm so ridiculously excited about the baby shower/ cocktail party on Saturday night.

-I'm loving the contest entries, though I'm paranoid about how many of you think I'm going to deliver earlier than my due date! Don't you know I'm banking on a late baby (so I can finish my semester at school)?!

-I'm starting the really tired phase again...very reminiscent of the first trimester. Good thing I have a couch in my office!

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

It's Game Time: Go!

The "Fetal Attraction Baby Contest"...sponsored by guest bloggers GS & GS...has begun:

"This is a contest to see who can guess themost correct answers about the baby at birth. Here are the categories:

1. Gender
2. Arrival date
3. Arrival time (AM or PM)
4. Weight
5. Length/height
6. hair/no hair(or little hair)

Here's how it works:
1. This contest is open to family and friends only (random internet perverts can play...but they are ineligible for the prize)
2. Each answer to each category is assigned a number according to the answer. The object (in order to be the winner) is to get the lowest score.

Scoring is as follows:
1. gender: if it's a boy and you guess boy...your score is "0" if you correctly guess the gender ("8" if you are wrong)
2. arrival date: if you guess the exact date your score is "0". If you guess a date that is one day before or after...your score is "1"...if you guess 2 days before or after...your score is "2", etc.
3. arrival time (AM or PM): if you guess correctly your score is "0" otherwise it's "8"
4. weight: if you guess correctly, your score is "0" and otherwise your score is according to how many ounces you are off from the actual birthweight. In otherwords, if the baby weighs 7 pounds and you guess 7 1/2 pounds...your score is "8" for being off 8 ounces. If you guessed 8 pounds...your score would be 16.
5. length: if the baby is 18" and you guess 18 your score is "0". If youguessed 18 1/2" your score is "0". If you guessed 19" your score is 1...ifyou guessed 20 1/2 your score is "2", etc.
6. hair/no hair: either "0" for correct and "8" for incorrect

The Prize:The winner receives a $50 gift certificate to Babies R Us which they agree to use to select presents for the new baby! This certificate is donated by GS & GS."

Please respond to this blogpost with your entry by March 31. Only one entry per person. If you know my personal e-mail or GS' e-mail, feel free to send ballots directly.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Common Courtesies

I am a modern woman who opens her own doors and often carries her own loads. I ride public transportation to and from work, and I wear sensible shoes because you never know when you'll have to stand up for a long time.

But now I am carrying 30+ extra pounds of human life, and have had to rely a bit more on the graciousness of others.

Too bad not very many people in the Washington, DC metropolitan market are looking to be gracious.

It is not uncommon to hear complaints about people who sit in the "reserved for seniors and the disabled" seats on the Metro, and then refuse to budge when some truly deserving boards the train. In fact, I had heard so many of these type of stories that if, in my unpregnant state, I sat there, I considered myself on "special alert." I'd pay attention to see if a more deserving person boarded the train, and I got up.

A couple of stories to warm your heart (all examples are from the past four or five days):
a) On the metro.... I pushed my belly out and walked to the special seating section. Six men, all under the age of 40, sat in the seats and ignored me. I cleared my throat and said "can I please have someone's seat?" Six men continued to ignore me. I raised my voice and said "Anyone? Anyone?" Two men stopped their conversation, looked up quickly, and sheepishly stood up (giving me two seats). The other four men continued to ignore me.
b) On the bus... well, pretty much the same story.
c) On the metro today... I started walking towards the special section, but an older woman saw me first, and got up to offer her seat. I was about to protest, considering she looked like a frail chemo patient (BD's description), and her seatmate was a much more sturdy man in his 40s. But she was up and out before I could protest, so I gratefully took the seat. The three men nearby did not offer their seats to her.

Life in the big city, I guess.

Monday, February 26, 2007

The Grandmothers


The grandmothers "meet" the baby. Awwwwww....

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Big Baby

My doctor on Friday confirmed an earlier report by Dr. Goofball. Cletus is big (not "scary" big, not "monster" big, but a pretty husky kid nonetheless). I noted to the doctor that both BD and I were 9 pound-plus babies, and she immediately noted it in my file (when I had told that to Dr. Goofball, he said "Did you know that when you married him?").

So as to help me think passed the watermelon that I may have to squeeze through, she noted that big babies sleep better and longer--because they can fill up their big, fat bellies!

I also feel like kidlet got bigger in just the past couple of days. The constant squirmy seems to be turning into slower mashing and lodging. I had to do the first push-back on a body part that got cozy with my right lower rib yesterday.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

4 More Years! 4 More Years!

DH and I are celebrating the conclusion of our first four-year term of marriage today, as well as our re-election to a second term.

I'm proud to say that the state of the union is strong!

I encourage Americans not to be concerned if they see my bare hands (no wedding ring in sight). My fingers have swelled, and I've decided to remove the rings while I still could.

4 More Years! 4 More Years! (Then we'll have to look into abolishing term limits.)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Fetal Attraction Baby Contest

Announcing the "Fetal Attraction Baby Contest"...sponsored by guest bloggers GS & GS:

"This is a contest to see who can guess themost correct answers about the baby at birth.

Here are the categories:
1. Gender
2. Arrival date
3. Arrival time (AM or PM)
4. Weight
5. Length/height
6. hair/no hair(or little hair)

Here's how it works:
1. This contest is open to family and friends only (no random internet perverts, sorry)
2. Each answer to each category is assigned a number according to the answer. The object (in order to be the winner) is to get the lowest score.

Scoring is as follows:
1. gender: if it's a boy and you guess boy...your score is "0" if you correctly guess the gender ("1" if you are wrong)
2. arrival date: if you guess the exact date your score is "0". If you guess a date that is one day before or after...your score is "1"...if you guess 2 days before or after...your score is "2", etc.
3. arrival time: if you guess correctly your score is "0" otherwise it's "1"
4. weight: if you guess correctly, your score is "0" and otherwise your score is according to how many ounces you are off from the actual birthweight. In otherwords, if the baby weighs 7 pounds and you guess 7 1/2 pounds...your score is "8" for being off 8 ounces. If you guessed 8 pounds...your score would be 16.
5. length: if the baby is 18" and you guess 18 your score is "0". If youguessed 18 1/2" your score is "0". If you guessed 19" your score is 1...ifyou guessed 20 1/2 your score is "2", etc.
6. hair/no hair: either "0" for correct and "1" for incorrect

The Prize:
The winner receives a $50 gift certificate to Babies R Us which they agree to use to select presents for the new baby! This certificate is donated by GS & GS."

Please respond to this blogpost with questions only. Once we clarify all of the confusing points, I'll repost the contest and begin accepting entries (which will be tracked and scored by independent auditor, GS).

Gentlemen, start your engines....

Heartburn-Hair Link Drawing



Credit: Leif Parsons, New York Times

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Pig Power!

http://www.bloggingbaby.com/2007/02/20/year-of-pig-babies-can-expect-fortune/

How Hairy is Cletus?

The plot (and hairline) thickens...

My mother sent me some of my baby pictures to show that I had a respectable thatch of light brown hair (not a Trump style coif, but certainly no baldie either).

And then I see this in today's New York Times (for the record, heartburn is actually one of the pregnancy symptoms that I have had, and with some regularity):

Really?
The Claim: Mother’s Heartburn Means a Hairy Newborn
By ANAHAD O’CONNOR

Published: February 20, 2007

THE FACTS It is an odd adage that has stuck around for ages: women who suffer heartburn during pregnancy will have babies with full heads of hair. But doctors have long shrugged it off.
Until now, that is. In December, researchers at Johns Hopkins University conducted a study intending to put the claim to rest. To their surprise, they ended up confirming it. The study, published in the current issue of the journal Birth, followed 64 pregnant women, about 78 percent of whom reported having some heartburn. After the women gave birth, two outside observers looked at pictures of their infants and rated their levels of hair.
Of the 28 women who reported moderate to severe heartburn, 23 had babies with average or above-average amounts of hair. Conversely, 10 of the 12 women who reported no heartburn had babies with little or no hair.
Other studies have shown that in pregnant women, high levels of estrogen and other hormones can relax the sphincter at the bottom of the esophagus, causing heartburn. The same hormones, other studies show, can influence fetal hair growth.
The lead author of the study, Kathleen Costigan, who runs the fetal assessment center at Johns Hopkins, said the findings came as a shock.
“We’ve heard this claim hundreds of times, and I’ve always told people it’s nonsense,” she said. “Since the study came out, I’ve had to eat a lot of crow.”

THE BOTTOM LINE Heartburn during pregnancy may mean a greater likelihood a baby will have a lot of hair.

So maybe BD's dream isn't so far off-base (though he concedes that the newborn looked more like a 5-month-old baby).

Monday, February 19, 2007

Dreamgirl

It's a girl! Or at least, according to the dream BD had last night. So while I'm still basking in the pride of having my first pregnancy dream and finally getting some nesting instincts, he does a lap around me, and has the fist actual baby dream.

According to the dream, he's in the hospital, holding the new born little girl. She's perfectly healthy and, reportedly, 100% cute. He shows her off to the grandparents, who marvel at her full head of brown hair. At one point, she even looks up at him and smiles (though BD, when awake, knows that babies don't really do this for a couple of months).

I like this dream.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Nesting?



Oh yeah, it's for real!

Top Design


So the room formerly known as Unkie Matt's room is starting to look like a baby's room.
An awesome baby's room.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Major Turning Point

I'm going to blame it on the baby shower. I am now officially more interested in thinking and doing baby stuff than working or studying.

I mean, why would I want to work on a post-launch partnership plan when I could look at crib mattresses online? Why would I want to print out journal articles for my upcoming research paper when I could be practicing "breath for birth"?

Uh oh. It begins...the balance is shifting.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Tribute Names

The recent comment on this blog about naming the baby after the new president of Turkmenistan (sp?) has gotten me thinking: what are the best tribute names ever?

My bro's middle name is "Gandhi"...and I've already tossed out "Molly Ivins" and "Oscar" (for the Academy Awards) on this blog...but what are the really inspirational, hilarious, and best tribute names?

What could I do with the following...
Mother Teresa
Martin Luther King Jr.
Nelson Mandela
Aretha Franklin
Coretta Scott King
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Lisa Simpson
Margie Lundegaard
Quentin Tarrentino
??

Or come up with your own worthy tribute names!

Thank You!

I have always loved baby showers, and mine was no exception. Despite my best attempts not to start the traditional chorus of "ahhhhs" for every item I opened, I couldn't help it: baby stuff is just too dang cute. I double-dog dare you not to marvel at a three tier "cake" made out of cloth diapers, onesies, and bibs (topped with a rubber ducky).

Since we did all of our registering online, it was also fun seeing some of the stuff we had picked up close and in person.

So thank you to all: those who attended, those who couldn't make, those who gave great suggestions about what to include on the registry, and to those who won't make fun of me for being a sucker for cute baby socks and homemade blankeys!

We're Back!

So what's been going on?

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Dr. Goofball

I just had my 30-week appointment, and all went well. I'm rotating through all of the OBs at the practice, so I'll have met whoever is on duty when the time comes. Today, my appointment was with a guy who seems to be their silliest and most entertaining doctor.

First things first, though, everything looks really good. My weight and blood pressure are on point, and the baby's size and heartbeat are quite healthy.

Dr. Goofball asked me if I knew the gender and I told him that I did not. He then announced that he has an amazing streak of being right 50% of the time, when he guesses the gender using the heart beat trick (slower=boy, faster=girl). So he took one listen and announced that I was most certainly going to have a boy. He took another listen, noted that the heart beat was speeding up, and said it might be a girl. He said his instinct plus this scientific approach (which he called "total poop") was noted by about half the office as being nothing short of amazing. His final call: boy. And I 50% believe him!

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Maternity Leave

Wow, who knew figuring out maternity leave was going to be this complicated? Oh wait. I did. Sheesh!

More details when I actually work them out...

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Cat in the Hat

BD thinks we should start making our cats wear hats.

We're going to be good parents!

Baby Needs a Vacation

Having a baby is a wonderful time for companies to make money. So it's no surprise that the travel and leisure industry is getting into the swing of things. Have you heard about "babymoons"? This is the new effort to brand pre-birth vacations where couples can get away from it all and pamper themselves before the big arrival.

I think the term is dumb, and the actual "babymoon" packages are ridiculously expensive, but the concept is great! Of course, I've never been one to think anything but positive thoughts about travel and vacationing.

So Cletus, BD, and I are off on Thursday to Florida, partly for a baby shower, partly for our "babymoon." This will include a spa day (yes!), partying (yes!), and then lying on the beach at Sanibel Island without e-mail and cell phone access (yes!). Okay, so we'll probably have cell phone access, but that's not what I'll tell work folks.

But this also means that I won't be updating this blog. Are there any topics or things you want me to post before-hand? I'm happy to do like three or four posts a day. You can then pace yourself and read only one at a time, carrying you through the week.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Speaking of Shopping and Registries

Check out this timely article: http://www.theolympian.com/105/story/63914.html

Fun with Baby Registries

I'm looking forward to two upcoming baby showers, but I have failed miserably when it comes to putting together a reasonable, balanced baby registry of needs and wants. I had tried to keep it narrow, since I've gotten so much free stuff and hand-me-downs already and because I assumed that folks would rather pick out the onesies and blankets they found cute rather than follow my directions.

The result? Two sparse lists (at www.babiesrus.com and www.greatbeginningsonline.com) with many "on back-order" or "unavailable at this time" items. I had justified this by believing that the items would clue people into the direction we were going (cloth diapers, for example), without dictating the exact products that were needed.

My mother, probably rightly, was not buying my justifications and excuses. After trying to persuade me to visit a store in person and adding more, we came up with a much more acceptable solution. I just gave her my name and password for the registries, and she added twenty more products she believed we needed.

She got her shopping fix and I didn't have to mess with it. Perfect.

Thanks ma!

Friday, February 2, 2007

Who's Baby? Poll

I believe "boy" won the earlier gender poll. Time for a new poll!

My receptionist declared yesterday that the baby was going to be a girl, and that she was going to look just like me.

So what do you think?

Are you predicting a baby who looks:

a) more like me
b) more like Baby Daddy (BD)
c) a mix of both of us
d) someone entirely different

?

Vote now! Have your voice heard!

Thursday, February 1, 2007

If it's a Girl...

...I might have to name her Molly Ivins S.

I loved this woman: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/31/AR2007013101767.html

May she rest in peace.

Dream Baby

After seven months of pregnancy, I finally reached an important milestone: I had my first dream about being pregnant/the baby.

I had heard from many other new moms who said they dreamed about their babies early in their pregnancies and that's how they "just knew" they were having a girl (or whatever).

My dream gave me no clues about the gender. And I know exactly why I had it.

Yesterday, Cletus the Fetus had a dance party in my belly all day long. It was the most motion I had felt, ever. And this kid moves a lot in general. BD couldn't believe it when he put his hand on my belly. It really, really felt like kidlet was trying frantically trying to find an escape route through my belly button. It was a scene for Alien.

Anywho, that was reality.

In the dream, Cletus was moving around a bunch and I looked down and saw the first visible imprint of a body part. It was a little tiny hand, just above my belly button. I got excited so I start tickling around the hand. It then pushed back a little harder until a little belly skin-covered hand lifted up and grabbed my tickling finger (just like a little baby does, because of the palmar reflex). It was cool, and didn't freak me out at all.

Then, for the rest of my dream, I was really excited and started telling everyone about how I finally had a dream about the baby.

Weird.

Analyses? Other pregnancy or baby dreams people want to share?

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

In Da House!

Check this.

Guess who's coming to live with me and BD in the month of April? My good friend from high school... who just so happens to be a pediatrician! She's coming to DC for a month-long stint at the American Academy of Pediatrics. Hmmm.... I wonder if she likes babies?

Did I need more evidence that I'm luckiest person alive?

Pregnancy Brain

Duhhhhhhhh.......

I've gotten much dumber recently. It's a wonder that I can even successfully write a blog post anymore.

As I explained to BD, I'm have trouble "closing the deal." If I remember to do something, I remember to do 95% of it, but then forget the final and most important 5%. Example: I remembered to ask BD for my new insurance info before I left for the doctor's appointment last week. I remembered to print it out. And then I left it on the printer. This instance alone is not cause for alarm...it's just when you realize that nearly every single activity I engage in ends similarly.

Apparently I'm not alone: http://pregnancy.about.com/cs/symptoms/a/placentabrains.htm
Brain shrinkage seems to be common in pregnancy, and lasts through the first six months after birth.

So bear with me, my friends. If I'm acting flaky, or forgetting your names, just pat my belly and realize that I have "a condition."

Monday, January 29, 2007

Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner

I had been ignoring Cletus the Fetus for a while (see previous posts), and so, by popular demand, this post is all about baby.

Kidlet, by all counts, is doing just fine. It's flipping and kicking a bunch. The doctor (who we visited on Friday) seems to be happy with the progress--size, heart rate, movement, etc. Since we're at 29 weeks now, we'll start doing doctor visits every two weeks instead of four. The baby demands a steady stream of baked goods and chocolate, but the scale and iron test suggest I replace some of the cookies and brownies with spinach and high-fiber muffins or something. We'll see who wins.

Other than the new-to-us car, I haven't personally bought anything yet for the baby. But, as I've mentioned, the supplies are flooding in! And we're all really looking forward to two upcoming baby showers (in Florida on February 10 and in DC on March 3). After the showers, I'll have a much better idea of what, if anything, kidlet still needs.

We have our childbirth education class lined up for March 11. I'll keep practicing "breath for birth" from yoga classes until then.

Unkey Matt spotted some interesting articles on breast-feeding: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16773635/ and http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16773617/. Enjoy!

Oh, and one more thing...you know how I know that I'll be having a baby sooner rather than later? Because people are starting to show up at my doctor's office and yoga class talking about their July and August due dates. Weird.

Friday, January 26, 2007

It's a New Day!

Hallelujah, I've gotten through the week (mostly). A quick update...

*WORK: the campaign launch yesterday was a huge success and the client is very happy. We started the day with a story in the New York Times and on Good Morning America. There's a lot more work to do now to sustain the campaign, but anyone who's worked on a launch before knows how intense they are. Phew!

*SCHOOL: I enrolled in two courses this semester and had my first taste of both this week. One, I love...the other was just not going to work out for me in this final trimester of pregnancy. It's not just that it was going to be a lot of work; it was going to be a lot of work that I was not going to enjoy. So, for the first time ever in my academic career, I dropped a class. I'm really excited about the course I've replaced it with, which is much more in line with my day-to-day job and interests. This semester is still going to be a complicated jungle between school, work, and the final three months of pregnancy...but I think it's doable.

*LIFE: BD and I now have in our driveway our new baby-friendly Subaru. It rules. It has butt-warmers. Need I say more?

*CLETUS THE FETUS: The kidlet has still been moving all around. Last night, it staged a Cirque du Soleil two-hour act in my belly. Freaky. In other news, I pitched a reporter named Rad (short for "Radford") this week and promptly decided it was the coolest name I had ever heard. So you may start hearing me refer to the kidlet as "Rad" or "Baby Rad." Yeah, that's sweet.

*FUN: The program at my women's group meeting this week was "A Champagne and Food Pairing Extravaganza." Even though I didn't imbibe, I did have a yummy assortment of poached pears, almond cookies, mushroom quiche, salad, and pear and brie bruschetta. MMmmmm....philanthropy!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Just Need to Get Through This Week

You may have noticed that my blog posts are a bit thin this week. Well, it's a doozie of a week. I've started my new semester in graduate school (two courses), I had a meeting for my women's group, and--this is the big one--I'm prepping for a Thursday campaign launch at work. When people ask me how the baby is doing, this is the project I think about.

And I'm working really hard not to get stressed out about it all. And yet, my right eyebrow started to uncontrollably (and quite visibly) twitch the other day. It clearly did not get the memo on avoiding stress.

Maybe We Should Name It 'Oscar'

Oh yeah, it's about that time....

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/23/AR2007012300433.html

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Going Out Part 2

It's 2 a.m., and I'm still awake. This is so exciting! Going out was really fun. The very best part was when the DJ played a mix expecially for me: My Humps mixed with Push It ("My hump, my hump, my hump, check it out!" followed by "Ooh baby, baby, baby...b-b-b-baby"). Loved every second of it!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Going Out

DC is now smokefree, Kate is in town, and I'm going out to boogie tonight! After much discussion with BD and new moms, I've decided that an hour on the dance floor is just what the doctor ordered.

PARTAY!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Too Many Christmas Cookies?



Yep, this is me now. I guess it's official: I'm pregnant.

The Hillary Follow-up

I posted earlier that I had become obsessed with the media plan for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign that I had to create for one of my graduate courses. Well pretty much as soon I turned it in, I then became obsessed with finding out my grade on it.

Well I found out. I got an A! And I got some really great comments from the instructor. In fact, it's taking everything in me not to copy and paste the e-mail he sent me into this blog post. It just wouldn't be right.

So apparently I do a lot better with political communications than with blogging (otherwise, how do you explain the A- in my digital age course?).

I apologize if this seems like the blog has become a brag-blog (what with the recent poker win and all). But, um, well, sorry. I just get really excited about these kinds of things. Yes, I know. I am Tracy Flick.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Imperfection

I often think about how lucky I've been with this pregnancy. It has really been drama-free.

Until now!

Turns out I'm the one who's not quite so perfect. I just got a call from my doctor, and even though I passed the diabetes and syphillis tests with flying colors, I appear to be *gasp* slightly anemic.

So bring on the spinach, bring on the mustard greens, and bring on the iron pills! BD seems to actually be excited that we now have a required medical intervention...he loves buying pills.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Work Conversation

One of my goals for the New Year was to start the maternity leave conversation with my bosses. Maintaining a healthy balance between caring for an infant, finishing a masters degree, and moving my career forward is a major priority.

I will discuss all of this in more detail when it is resolved, but I did want to note that I have began these discussions with my employer. Oh what fun.

Monday, January 15, 2007

A Day On, Not A Day Off

And one really non-frivolous thing you could do today.... watch the Golden Globe awards tonight! But, like, think socially conscious things while you're watching.

Because I love movies and movie award season--and because they say you don't get to go to the movie theater all that often once you have a baby--I've been really packing my weekends with trips to the theater. I've seen many of the major award contenders: Babel, Volver, Notes on a Scandal, Dreamgirls, Borat, Little Miss Sunshine, Devil Wears Prada, Thank You for Smoking, and The Queen. I still have many more on my list: the Departed, Letters from Iwo Jima, Little Children, Bobby, Blood Diamond, the Pursuit of Happyness, Sherrybaby, and Venus.

For what it's worth, Cletus the Fetus loves going to the movies and usually happily kicks and flips all throughout the film.

Happy Martin Luther King Day

Let's be inspired by his words and actions and do something today that makes the world a better place for the next generation (including the one who's internally kicking me right now).

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Bragging Rights

This post is not about pregnancy, balancing work and graduate school, or any topic that I once claimed this blog would be about.

It is simply about how awesome I am!

On Thursday night, I won a poker tournament. I took down 12 other players, including some who are serious poker junkies. I wiped them all out in just two and a half hours. Booyah!

I am the champion...no time for losing...cuz I am the champion of the world!!!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Joy of Motion

By popular demand, this is a blog posting on what it's like to feel the baby moving. I was reminded to write this by Cletus the Fetus, who is currently staging an intense gymnastic routine in my gut right now.

I have long heard about how expecting moms can feel their babies kick and I've even seen it before. And yet, I was totally unprepared for how often and how intense the feeling is. It's not the occasional kick. It's a nonstop spin cycle once it gets going.

I mostly love this feeling, because it something that reminds me what's going on and it's something I can share with other people who have a stake in this child (BD, for example). I can't share the acid reflux, but he can certainly feel it when the little kidlet kicks him in the head.

I haven't yet noticed a pattern in the movement, except that I generally feel it more when I rest or relax (which is common). But I'm busy today, running around the office, writing documents and fielding phone calls--and I'm very aware of how much the baby is moving. Maybe it's happy about the chocolate toffee cheesecake I fed it for lunch. I know I am.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Art of Avoiding Stress

Back in November, BD saw a Discovery channel program on fetal development and then reported to me that I should try to limit stress, because it can be harmful to the baby.

Since I routinely operate on a high level (or as I call it-- "a healthy level") of stress, it is a real effort for me not to do too much, go too fast, or think too much.

I love my job a lot, but it is probably the #1 source of stress in my day-to-day life. I just don't care enough about house stuff or things like that to devote my stress to those channels. So, work it is! I tend to juggle about four clients and all of their varying needs, and I'm constantly dealing with "peak time" for at least one of them. Right now, for example, I'm consumed by one particular campaign launch that requires me to chant on an hourly basis "don't get stressed, don't get stressed." I find myself doing lots of deep breathing and defensive laughing.

This is also the reason I didn't watch the President's speech last night. Definitely wouldn't have been able to handle that.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

New Artwork

The new picture to the left is a work commissioned by my mother for the Florida baby shower invitations. The artist is extremely talented, and I'm honored to be related to her.

If others wish to commission pieces from my 4-year-old niece, please send requests directly to me.

Support of Sisters

I'm active in my PEO chapter. PEO is a women's philanthropic organizations that raises money for loans and scholarship for other women (check out www.peointernational.org). It's also a sisterhood, and I'm lucky to have many new moms, experienced moms, and wise grandmothers in the group.

Last night, we had our first meeting of 2007. It was the first time they all got to see my new round belly. In addition to tummy pats, I also got some great advice and even more hand-me-downs (clothe diapers, a baby bathtub, a stroller, water-proof mattress pad, and a soft afghan). My favorite piece of advice... not one but three sisters mentioned that a glass of wine every now and then wasn't taboo--it was the way to go!

I look forward to bringing the new kidlet to meetings. I don't look at this as one more thing "going on in my life" to get all stressed out about. I look at it as a support group. Thank God for sisters!

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Mama Drama

So there've been requests for more drama on the blog...catty remarks about other mothers or mothers-to-be, declarations about the right and wrong way to do stuff, juicy details of "getting it on" while pregnant, and so on.

Sorry, ain't going to happen.

For one thing, I'm in PR. That means I live and breathe "message control." I know that anyone could eventually read anything on this board. That includes my employer, my friends, my enemies, family members, and future voters (as if). I've heard too many stories about people who got fired because of the content of their blogs...and I'm not going down that road.

The second reason is that, well, my pregnancy has been fairly vanilla, quite drama-free. And I feel lucky about that. And I don't feel the need to create drama at this point. I'm sure some will naturally occur, so I'm saving my energy for those times.

And finally, as opinionated as I am, I really don't have a strong opinion on a lot of the pregnancy and parenting choices. As I've mentioned before, the "mommy wars" are stupid. Women should not be battling each other over the choices they make...they should save their energy for battling everything else (the system that makes work, insurance, and childcare options bleak and unflexible, and so on). So you won't find too many declaratives here. I'm still just learning and absorbing. Plus I have the superstition that if I go on record on anything, I may look like a hypocrite if I'm not able to achieve the declaration (i.e. my desire to breastfeed exclusively for six months). Karma tends to have a sense of humor about these things.

I'll leave the drama and intrigue to my guest bloggers. Got something to say? Wanna pick a fight? Just let me know and I'll post it.

Monday, January 8, 2007

This Blog is Great Minus

I started this blog as part of an assignment for one of my graduate school courses (Introduction to the Digital Age). I just got my grade back for the semester. It is a....drumroll please...A-.

I far prefer the "A++" Shanna gave me in the comments section.

Regardless, this is definitely the one and only class assignment I've ever kept up with after the course was over.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Jackpot!

BD and I are currently in Pennsylvania visiting friends who happen to be parents of two. We came with a single duffle bag of overnight clothes and promises to make pie (which we did), but we are leaving with the motherload! Breast pump, bottles, nursing pads, nursing stool, pacifiers galore...not to mention the giant crate of maternity clothes (at least 100 articles of clothing easily).

As I've mentioned before, I LOVE hand-me-downs. Not only do they save me and others from having to shop or think about it too much, they also often come with personal, friendly instructions. My friend, for example, actually taught me how to use a breast pump yesterday.

But the best lessons of all have come from the hands-on experience with their two little ones (newborn and nearly 3-year-old). They are great kids, making the trial run very enjoyable. We've changed diapers and mini-potties, we've provided food via bottles and on Thomas the Tank Engine plates, and we've learned how to diffuse whining and infant cries with different (and brilliant) tactics.

Jackpot!

Friday, January 5, 2007

Let the Spending Begin!

Looks like we'll be making a deposit tonight on our first major baby-related purchase: a new-to-us car. We opted for a 2000 Subaru Outback, given its safety ratings and the fact that its the official car of Takoma Park, MD.

So for all of you haters out there who were dissing our current cars' bald tires, questionnable brakes, lack of air bags, and threadbare seatbelts... you won this round!!!

100 Days

I noticed--thanks to the countdown clock doohicky on the left--that we have 100 days to go before the due date. My first thought: Wow! It's cool that the rest of the pregnancy corresponds with the 100-day agenda to be executed by a Democratic congress led by the first female Speaker of the House!

Does that make me a nerd?

No need to respond. I already know the answer.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Grade Me! Grade Me!

Even though 2007 is the "year of the baby," don't think I'm not still obsessing about work and school. My latest hang-up: my professors from the fall semester still haven't posted our grades! I actually got a report card mailed to me that featured the code for "professors haven't submitted grades." There's something to stick up on the fridge and be proud of!

First Guest Blogger: Mama J

Do you have a birth plan? Probably won't really know what you'll want to do until after your class in March. Anyway, I'd recommend it. That way everyone knows what you want (particularly if you're not in the mood to articulate on d-day). It is also beneficial because it makes you aware of some of the things they might do "routinely" that are really optional. I know I learned a lot about labor and delivery just by filling out an online birth plan (even though we didn't use ours -- no time to get it, and no need to give it).

http://birthplan.com/

I was also rather taken aback by the post delivery stuff the body goes through. I won't gore you with details unless you want them. It just really surprised me how much women don't share about that part. Maybe because it's too gross. I don't know. Anyway . ..

Ooh! One thing that you'll want to put in your suitcase -- a little jar of Vaseline. The first couple of dirty diapers are meconium filled. It's black, tarry and difficult to get off. I understand that if you use Vaseline on the baby's bottom it's much easier to clean.

Who Wants to Guest-Blog?

Got something to share, but don't want to be relegated to the comments section? Let me know and I'll post you as a guest blogger.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

How to Have Fun

Having fun--kicking back--takes on a whole new meaning when you are pregnant. By way of example, I will describe a typical evening (one much like last night):

Step One: Go over to a friends house

Step Two: Put on your bathing suit

Step Three: Stick your legs in the hot tub but keep your upper body warm with a sweatshirt (goal: don't boil or freeze the fetus)

Step Four: Pass around a six-pack, snagging an O'Douls for yourself

Step Five: Drive home (you're the designated driver, of course)

Step Six: If you need to detox from the O'Douls, try some delicious decaf coffee

Step Seven: Get in bed by 10

PAR-TAY!!!!

Monday, January 1, 2007

2007

Here it is: the year of the baby! Game on!

Okay, it's for real. I'm pregnant. Unbelievably, I'm already in my sixth month. I'm getting bigger daily, and the kid sure does love to kick me. So, it's time to get serious and start doing some real planning and preparation. Here's the list so far.

1. Sign up for childbirth class (Check. We're on for a full day one Sunday in March.)
2. Talk to work about my maternity leave plans (I'm hoping to do this the week after next.)
3. Start getting the house ready (Check. We made big progress this weekend with my brother-in-law moving into the basement apartment. His old room will be the nursery.)
4. Start getting gear (Setting up the registries was a good start. BD is also checking out video cameras and cars.)

I'm feeling good...kind of excited actually. Here's to a happy, healthy, a peaceful 2007 for all!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Shower Power

Now that the thrill of Christmas gift-giving and gift-receiving has passed, why, I guess it's time to think about planning a baby shower! Hooray for shopping!

My mother has been a champion in helping me plan a great little get-together for friends and family. We're looking at a February 10 lunch in Safety Harbor. Though the date has been the source of some turmoil, I think we've finally gotten it settled. So, for all of you Floridians (or Floridians at heart)--save the date!

To me, the components of a successful baby shower are: yummy food and desserts (check!) and friends and family who are in good spirits (hopefully, check!). Everything else is gravy. Good weather is a bonus, but as someone who planned an outdoor wedding ceremony in Florida in February--only to have it drowned by a thunderstorm--can testify, it's not that important.

Shortly after the shower, BD and I are heading south for our final "February vacation" (an annual tradition) before the kidlet arrives. We will be chilling in a Polynesian themed family-owned "resort" in Sanibel Island for a few days, so I'm really excited about that. I know it's not a full week in Hawaii, Mexico, Turk & Caicos, or Belize (our past February destinations), but it should be great anyhow. Because I won't be at work. And I won't be in the "up north" weather. So I'm excited!

Special Shout-Out

So I'm learning that I have some very loyal readers who don't post comments. This is just a special shout-out to you... you know who you are! I feel the love!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Gear

We've just begun the process of figuring out what kind of stuff we actually need for the kidlet. Thanks to everyone for your great suggestions! There's a ton of stuff out there, and it's been helpful to know all you really need is a good car seat.

We've gotten a start on registries at:

www.greatbeginningsonline.com

and

www.babiesrus.com


Feel free to take a look and see if you have suggestions for additions or revisions. If we picked a stupid changing pad or something-- let us know!

One thing I've been finding it hard to register for are the essentials of cloth diapering. But I really, really want Bummi Super Whisper Wrap in the Andy Pandy print. Check it out... it's awesome. I'll probably do an entire blog at some point about cloth diapering. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

What do I need?

Hey mamas-- So what do I actually need to put on my registry? I would like to register at this store (http://www.greatbeginningsonline.com/store/) with an eye on the basics (cribs, strollers, car seats, etc.) Please send me your suggestions for the couldn't-live-without products.

Of course, hand-me-downs are still my favorite things ever... so keep them coming!

Thanks!

Back from a Break

Hello all! Sorry that I haven't posted for a few days. I've been in Florida, celebrating the holiday with friends and family. Here are a few musings from my days away...

1. Even the best children in the world are exhausting, especially when there are three under the age of five. BD and I definitely made some mental notes re: family planning this past week.

2. Work doesn't know how to leave me alone, even when I'm on vacation. A client made me get on a conference call one of the days and coworkers were not shy about e-mailing and calling me with questions. This does not bode well for maternity leave.

3. I look like a "sequoia" (according to my mom). And she's totally right. I'm not growing one bump on the front of my body, I growing outwards all around my waist (this translate to a special roundness in the back and sides, as well as the front).

4. It's okay when family touches my belly. Many of them did (including my brother) and this did not bother me nearly as much as when coworkers do it (or when my boss smacks me on the bum).

5. Pregnant women have insanely strong immunity systems. This is my only explanation for why I haven't gotten a cold yet this fall or winter and why I manage to miss the stomach virus that plagued my family over the past week (even my rock-solid husker of a BD fell victim to the bug).

6. Turns out I do have some pregnancy-related hormones. How else could I explain when I started tearing up on Friday, and couldn't stop until I got all cried out?

7. Not drinking still sucks.

8. Getting a carte blanche to eat all the cookies I want still rules.

9. Getting baby-related hand-me-downs is the best thing ever. Thanks to my sister-in-law and brother, we are now hooked up with: a boppy and boppy cover, a hippie sling, a "snuggle," many cloth diapers and baby outfits, socks, car-seat head huggers, a crib toy, and nursing pads galore. Cletus the Feturs really made out this Christmas. In addition to the hand-me-downs, we also got a little fleece blankey, children's books, a onesy that says "I'm already smarter than the president" (ha!!), a Bucky Badger sippy cup, and little kid leiderhosen (this from BD). We are now also appropriately funded to get a video camera to record all of the little kidlet's most embarassing moments!

and

10. 2007 is getting closer. This has always been when I was going to start really thinking and planning for baby (versus 2006, which was the year of pregnancy). And you know what? I'm okay with this. I think I'm ready to start thinking about house reorganization, lamaze classes, packing the hospital bag, picking names, etc. But we'll see... I still have five more days.

Happy holidays!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Name Change

So I've gotten some good feedback on this blog. One big complaint from a friend is that she dislikes how I refer to my hubby as "my hubby." Therefore, we decided that from here on out he will be referred to as "baby daddy" or "bd" for short.

Cool with everyone?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Disturbing Horoscope

I have a super-awesome daily desk calendar from "The Onion." Usually, I get a nice chuckle from it. But I don't really know what to make of this entry, a fake horoscope for Libra:

"In a nutshell: Everybody knows. They hate you for it. They're absolutely right to feel that way. It will be born dead."

Monday, December 18, 2006

Score!

Two things...and they're both about the awesome stuff I just got.

1. My first major hand-me-down! One of the sisters from my women's group gave me a gorgeous breastfeeding rocking chair (kind of like a glider) with deluxe padding, arm-rests, and a side pocket (for magazines I guess). Since I am a sucker for free things (and, in particular, free things that would otherwise cost lots of money), this makes me really happy.

and

2. My Secret Santa from my office just gave me the perfect gift for the working, pregnant lady who happens to have a small couch in her office: a nap accessory kit! It comes complete with a neck pillow, a fleece blanket, and comfy slippers.

Hooray!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Dangers of the Duckpins

Have you ever been duckpin bowling? It's essentially bowling but with tiny pins and mini-balls (more like Skee Balls). I thought this would be the perfect Saturday night activity for a pregnant woman. Slightly active, but not dangerous. The lanes we found we relatively close to our house and--bonus!--they were in a smoke-free dangerous.

And yet, amazingly, I managed to pull a groin muscle on the very first roll.

So that's it. Nothing but Law and Order reruns on the couch for the next four months.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Good Advice

This from my co-worker who gave birth in September:

"One more tip for you…drink as much water as you can get down. (I could go through 4 or 5 20 oz bottles just at work.) You will be in the ladies room 10 times a day as your bladder runs out of room, but it’s worth it. It will help you feel better when your blood pressure is low, it will give you a bit more energy, and it will keep you from swelling. These concerns may have been more top of mind for me during the summer, but I still think the water makes a big difference."

Job, School, Baby: What's the Right Mix?

It's probably time to start seriously thinking about what we are going to do once baby arrives. As it stands now, I work 40+ hours a week, take two night classes for graduate school, and actively participate in a women's organization. A baby cannot be added into this mix without some shifts.

I haven't decided completely on my plans, nor would it be fair for me to blog about it here before I talk to my employer, but clearly these are clearly among the biggest decisions expecting parents have to make.

The only research I've done on this so far is watching how other women I know have done it. I have been really impressed on the range of decisions people have made to accomodate their needs, situations, and lifestyles. And I really don't want this blog to devolve into a place where women blame each other for the choices they make.

Because the truth is, these are hard choices to make. And nobody is out there trying to make it easier for anyone else. Maternity leave and paternity leave policies at work aren't fair. Health insurance companies are evil overlords. Child care options are less than appealing. Families are spread across time zones. Classes don't take themselves. Breastfeeding in public is a the subject of a major debate on decency.

I feel incredibly lucky that my hubby and I have a good head start on saving money, so we won't have our choices completely limited by financial concerns. And I know that those around me will try to help make it work. And that's a good thing...because, you know, it takes a village.

Any thoughts or suggestions out there?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Gender Poll

We're not going to find out the gender, but that doesn't stop us from engaging in wild speculation.

So what do you think? Post a comment that says "girl" or "boy," and your reason. I'm not asking for preference...just your best wager.

The polls are open now!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Every Waking Thought...

For the last three weeks, I've restrained myself. I have gone to great lengths not to blog about my current obsession. But I can stand it no longer.

The one thing that has been the center of my universe for the past month has a name: Hillary. And, no, I'm not talking about a nice name option for my unborn child. I'm talking about Hillary Clinton, the subject of the media plan I'm writing for my graduate course on political campaign communications.

I have become obsessed. I talk about the project with everyone I see. I even dream about Hillary. It's just sad. Sometimes when people ask "how's the baby," for a moment, I think their asking about my paper.

Fortunately, I will deliver this paper on Wednesday. Then I will be able to think about more exciting projects going on in my life!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

I Suck At Yoga

Today was my third time going to pre-natal yoga, and the sad truth is that I'm terrible at it. I'm the least pregnant woman in the class and also the least flexible and least strong.

I really like the concept of going to pre-natal yoga, and I will continue to go to the class in hopes of becoming more strong and flexible. And I remind myself that if I think this is hard, well, you know... I ain't seen nothing yet.

So that's why I see mastering the downward dog as my first major parenting duty. It's all about sacrifice, right?

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Fun With Life Insurance

Getting life insurance is actually a pretty big ordeal. They send a nurse out to your house to pick up a zillion forms, take your height and weight, draw blood, and collect a urine sample. You haven't really lived until you walk out of your own bathroom with a plastic cup and announce, "Okay, here's my pee."

The worst part of the exam is that they ask you to fast prior to the blood draw (cholesterol test). How do you ask a pregnant woman to fast? I know I wasn't that interested in eating in my first tremester, but that has really turned around in my second trimester. Last night, my hubby reminded me of the fasting requirement, and said that I wasn't supposed to eat anything for 8 to 12 hours. I freaked out completely. I couldn't think of any time in my life when I went eight hours without eating, unless I'm asleep. Fortunately, he did a bit more research and learned it was only four hours.

That was a lot more doable, but still not pleasant. I decided that working on my final paper for school would burn too many calories, making the fast impossible, even for four hours. So, instead, I chose to play video games and watch TV for four hours. Some would call this procrastination; I call it well-reasoned and practical.

Hilariously, we started pigging out once the nurse left. We ate like freed hostages. I ate a PBJ sandwhich, a christmas cookie, honey mustard pretzels, and a cupcake. My hubby had two beers, a hot dog, some chocolate cake, and corn chips. If the nurse came back to our house at the point, needing to redraw blood for some reason, we would've been screwed. But full and happy.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Fun With Sonograms

Hubby and I went back today for a sonogram, since they weren't able to get good heart pictures last week. Everything looked A-OK to the sonographer (is that the word?), and it looked pretty awesome to us. Creepy and kind of weird, but still awesome. I even think I heard the word "perfect" said a few times. So, we're off to a good start...

Music to a Fetus' Ears

Someday, my child is going to be able to say that Lollapalooza 2006 was his or her first concert experience and the line-up was awesome (Stars, Eels, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kanye West, Violent Femmes, Lady Sovereign, Wilco, Death Cab for Cutie, and so on).

Of course, the zygote was just getting nice and implanted at the time...but it still counts, right?

But it did get me a little nervous when I started reading pregnancy books and Web sites, and I saw the warnings to try to avoid loud sounds, for example at a rock-and-roll concert. More no-no's that I was unaware of. And to think that I had been super proud of myself for not drinking that weekend, staying hydrated, and taking little cat naps on the grass when I needed them. Little did I know I was freaking out my new little zygote with great music!

I love going to concerts, but I've really had to cut back. Not just because of the loud sounds, but mostly because of the indoor smoky venues. So sad!

But what is the science that's behind the recommendation to avoid loud music? I looked and looked, but I couldn't find good information...just the general recommendation to avoid it. The Center for Prenatal and Perinatal Music has the following:

"How loud should the music be? Generally as loud as you would normally hear music in your home which is between 50 and 60 decibels. A decibel is how the intensity or loudness of sound is measured. Shouting is equivalent to the sound of a motorcycle at 100 decibels, and rock concerts have been measured to around 115 decibels. Loud music has been found to negatively affect the developing baby in several different ways, lower weight at birth, defects, and others. "

Furthermore, my hubby says that after the first trimester, little fetus might actually cover its ears to block out loud sounds. That image alone is enough to get me laughing... but not enough to stop me from singing random songs at the top of my lungs.

So, I apologize in advance to my new little baby if it has low birth-weight or something. It just goes to show, sometimes you have to suffer in order to rock!

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Am I Really Pregnant?

So I've started going through other blogs similar to mine to find links that my readers might find interesting. I even found the blog of a couple who are due the exact same day we are: http://makingaperson.blogspot.com/.

And here's what I've learned...we are so behind the curve! Clearly my reluctance to announce and obsess about my pregnancy is not shared by my blogosphere friends. Even the pictures of the pregnant women who are also due in April freak me out. They actually look pregnant! Maybe I look pregnant to some, but I think I mostly look somewhat chunky (this has been confirmed by my mother). And, no, I won't post pictures of myself so that you can be the judge.

So it begs the question: Am I really pregnant? Was that really a fetus I saw in the sonogram last week?

And if I am actually pregnant, am I missing the hormones that are supposed to make me want to clear out a room and start collecting car seats?

Getting Ready for Baby

No, we haven't figured out a theme for the nursery or picked out names. We haven't set up a registry or started knitting booties.

We've been getting ready for baby in all the non-cute ways. My hubby, thankfully, is taking the lead on this.

We have:

*figured out health insurance (I'm switching over to his)
*bought life insurance
*started thinking about drawing up our wills
*explored 529s (college funds...we might divert some of our 2007 401k investments this way)
*scheduled graduate school courses for the Spring semester with professors who will work around my due date
*started planning child care options

Odd that people don't ask me about these kinds of issues when they want to talk about getting ready for baby!

Monday, December 4, 2006

Our 'Coming Out' Parties

This past weekend, my hubby and I told as many of our friends as we could about Cletus the Fetus. Since the twenty-week sonogram looked good--and since my waistline does not--we figured it was time.

We still have a few calls to make and a couple of local folks to see, but for the most part, we are totally outed as parents-to-be. Seems the time was right, since more and more people tell me they started think I was looking a little chunky.

I feel an odd sense of relief.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Working While Pregnant

A great article with tips on working while pregnant (particulary about the timing of the announcement):

http://www.askdrsears.com/html/1/T011900.asp

Friday, December 1, 2006

Scheduling Around the Unknown

How do you plan around something major that could happen any time during a four-week-plus span? It's like if you were planning a wedding that could happen on the 15th...but it might also be on the 1st or 27th, just wait and see.

For the pregnant woman who also juggles graduate school and multiple work projects, this whole planning thing is a real challenge. Take school, for example. The new semester starts in January and ends the last week of April. I'm due April 16, so if this holds, I'd only miss the final class or two of the semester. But it's best to be prepared if things change. So I've spent about a month talking to professors and an academic advisor, trying to figure out plans and contingency plans. Just when I think it's been sorted out, one of the courses I picked is now already full.

Work is a whole other issue, one that I haven't even begun to really think through yet.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Passing the Test

Yesterday was a really exciting day. Yeah, sure, we had the twenty-week sonogram and the kidlet has all its necessary organs, but the thing that really got my heart pumping...

We got our midterm papers back in one of my graduate courses, and I got an A! I'm not being facetious. The thrill I got from this was so intense and so familiar, I dare say it rivaled my reaction to the important doctor's appointment.

I guess I just have a lot more experience reaping pleasure from good grades in school. This whole looking-at-sonograms thing, while interesting, is still too new to be truly euphoric.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Article of the Day

A must-read on drinking while pregnant from today's New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/29/dining/29preg.html?_r=1&ref=dining&oref=slogin

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Being an Earth Goddess

One of the first stops I made after realizing that I was pregnant was to my little hippie town's natural food co-op to stock up on flax seed, fruit leathers, and organic milk. And of course a copy of a magazine called "Pregnant Hippie Earth Goddess" or something.

I had visions of nurturing my little one in utero with the best natural foods, pre-natal yoga and massage. Once delivered, we're going to use cloth diapers, breastfeed for years, and bond over Joni Mitchell music... or so we think now.

The first of these plans that fell by the wayside was the midwife. Every year, a group of natural parenting advocates and midwives march in our town's independence day parade, so I knew we had midwives around. I set up the appointment early (even before I had called my regular ob-gyn), to go see what this was really all about.

Let's leave it to say that I was not impressed. She told me they can't guarentee they'd be there for delivery and that they don't actually have many hospital rights. Heck, they even deliver at the same place my ob-gyn does. But the clincher... she charged me for the visit! In my opinion, this was a marketing moment for her, not a medical appointment for me.

So I opted to go the standard route. Hopefully, I'll be able to hold out a bit longer on the other elements of hippie mothering. Or maybe, like women across the country, I'll find out that this Earth Goddess thing isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Quote of the Day

"So have you felt what's-his-ass yet today?"

-my hubby thumbing towards my belly

Monday, November 27, 2006

When to Send Out the Press Release

For the first three months of my pregnancy, the only people who knew about it were me and my hubby, my doctor and my masseuse. That's all. We kept it a well-guarded secret for reasons that fell somewhere between well-reasoned pragmatism and irrational paranoia.

Even now that I'm four months along and I've started telling more people (our parents, siblings, bosses, and some close friends), I'm still not entirely comfortable with the idea of "going public."

Perhaps it's fear that all conversations from here on out will be about babies or pregnancies. Or maybe it's my lingering paranoia that something could go wrong (and then I'd prefer to mourn as privately as possible). Either way, I've found the experience of keeping this secret quite fun, and I highly recommend that more women try it out.

For one thing, during those months, it's your little secret baby, and not yet someone else's grandchild, niece, or godchild (though those are all wonderful things). Secondly, you're going to be a parent above all else for the rest of your life...enjoy your last few months as a professional, a student, a wife, a funky twenty-something, or whatever you may be now.

So on Wednesday, I have the twenty-week sonogram which should prove, among other things, that I am indeed carrying a human inside me. Maybe, after that point, I'll be more willing to send out the press release!