8 Weeks: Getting Bigger

March 4, 2012

This week my middle seems to be thickening!

8 weeks (1)

I’ve always had a small stomach pooch, but it’s sticking out more than normal, but it’s also firmer than normal. Surely I am not showing yet, but maybe this is the beginning!? I do have a small frame and small torso, so it’s possible. I wouldn’t say my pants are tight, but my tight ones are probably too tight by now : ) My doctor said my ab muscles are relaxing and making it harder to keep good torso posture. I definitely believe him!

Because this is how I stand all day long!! How’s that for pushing out the bloat! I’ve always had the ability to make myself look second-tri pregnant, but it seems I have even more to push out than ever!

8 weeks (2)

I definitely think I’ve gained a few pounds since Jamaica and my starting point, but nothing to be concerned about. It could also be mostly bloating too. But I think my diet has been wonked up enough that I’m sure to be gaining some. See any real rounding? I do! [Ha, publishing this at 14 weeks and I thought I was round then!? But there was definitely a little]

8 weeks (5)

I felt pretty cruddy for a few days. At the end of week 7 I could barely keep my eyes open and was in bed by 8:30 two nights in a row. Ironically, the fatigue set in the day I decided I felt energized enough to go for a 4 mile run! WOW – that run was hard!!! Probably a combination of the fact that I haven’t been running that much and my increased physical demands. Could it have been responsible for wiping me out of energy for two days? Dehydration? I’m definitely starting to feel fatigued and have taken several baby naps (ha!) on the couch. I’ve set a timer for 10 or 15 minutes and fell asleep in minutes! They definitely have helped get me through the rest of the day though. I’m really not much of a napper, but these little naps feel good.

I’ve also found that I wake up parched every morning. I’m trying to drink more water. I’ve found a few swigs of OJ taste like gold when I wake up. I’ve sort of lost my taste for hot tea. In fact, I’ve lost my taste for many things I used to love: tea, salads, veggies of all kinds – and now ground beef is edging off my craving list. The only salad I can think about is a Caesar, which is normally not a salad I would put at the top of my vegetable pyramid! I don’t want to think about vinegar, and all I want are creamy dressings. A blog commenter even noticed this because I never have bottled dressings in my house but bought some Caesar. I think my secret is starting to become obvious…

More melted cheese was consumed this week!!

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Cereal is still a favorite and mac and cheese made its appearance. I went out and bought Whole Foods brand though in place of the Kraft. Thought that would be too hard to explain on the blog.

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I also ate an entire bag of salt & vinegar potato kettle chips! No idea where that craving came from, but my gosh they tasted good. I’ve had a few diet ginger ales as well:

Chips

Ice cream still tastes amazing, as does cereal and ice cold milk. I’ve been getting some veggies down from sautéed greens and a mix-ins but I really don’t know how much longer I can fool the entire blog world! Blame it on winter palate? And the visit to Bodo’s Bagels this week was a total pregnancy craving for a bagel and cream cheese. I would eat one at every meal if I didn’t think it would be too obvious! Like my lunch of smoothie, popcorn and gelato wasn’t… :mrgreen:

Foods in my grocery cart
  • A JUG of orange juice – with the pulp! I am so not a regular OJ drinker.
  • Blueberries – can’t get enough berries
  • Oranges, bananas, apples – <3 fruit
  • A head of romaine – trying to force some veggies
  • Potatoes – mashed potatoes on the menu!
  • A pint of cherry tomatoes and a pint of kumquats – for the BERF header photoshoot!
  • A carrot – also for the photoshoot but threw it away. Carrots are gross!!
  • Chicken sausages – I want a hot dog
  • Ketchup + mustard – for the hot dog!
  • Honest Tea – which I drank IN the store because I was so thirsty!

I had a sip of red wine on Saturday night. IT TASTED SO GOOD!!!

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I always thought alcohol would seem unappealing to a pregnant woman – not true at all. I want it more than I did before! Even though recent research suggests there may be no risk with moderate drinking during pregnancy and the collective research of many of the OB institutions says a little is fine, and even though many women across the globe drink lightly during pregnancy, I’m not willing to take gulps or glasses. It’s not worth the risk now when the baby is still in full system development mode. In the second trimester, I might upgrade to a tiny glass every now and then, but I’ll see how I feel when I get there.

*** Edited to add: I want to be clear that I’m not recommending or advocating drinking during pregnancy.  I haven’t had more than a sip in months. However, the research studies mentioned above were eye-opening and new information to me, so I wanted to share.  There is no proven amount of alcohol to be deemed safe. But as Dr. Broder says in Panic-Free Pregnancy, there isn’t a recommended safe amount of sun exposure either. This is a personal decision each women has to make. ***

First Doctor’s Appointment

The highlight of week 8 was our first doctor’s visit at 8 weeks, 5 days. I knew there wouldn’t be an ultrasound, but I’m still excited any time I get to find out more information about what’s going on inside of me. Matt came with me to the appointment, which made it extra exciting. It’s funny how we go through our whole adult lives going to appointments solo and then suddenly two people are involved. It was funny having him there as I got weighed and measured – and of course the exam!

My blood work came back great (I’m not anemic – yay!) and my blood pressure was still low, which they said was great. The doctor answered several questions I had:

· Can I eat peanut butter (yes)

· Can I do yoga (yes, but maybe try pre-natal research poses first)

· Can I do all exercise right now? (yes, but listen to your body closely, and nothing too risky like skiing)

· Should I wean myself off of these nausea meds in case they are cumulatively harmful (you can try, but it’s not necessary because they are super safe. They were tested on 1.7M women/babies with no signs of any adverse effects)

The appointment ended with a pelvic exam (with Matt in the room!) I was a bit embarrassed of this, but the doctor is professional and the sheet covered me up. My doctor said everything felt fine. I asked him to show me where my uterus was and he said it was just barely cresting the pubic bone. Bummer – I thought I could feel it already, but it’s still so low! Grapefruit size, apparently, but I find that hard to believe.

I also told the doctor about KERF + BERF and when he told me my next ultrasound wouldn’t be for another month (I had thought originally 3 weeks) I asked him what he thought I should do. He put my miscarriage risk at about 5% at that time and said I could come back in 2 weeks and he would listen for a heartbeat with the doppler. If he could find one, the rate would drop down to 2% or so. I decided that if we hear a heartbeat, I will tell KERF when I’m almost 11 weeks.

SUCH A LONG, NERVOUS WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Previous weeks

4 weeks

5 weeks

6 weeks

7 weeks

{ 111 comments… read them below or add one }

1 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey March 4, 2012 at 8:13 am

Okay I love you so much more now that I know you have the skill of making yourself look 5 months pregnant by pushing your stomach out. Seriously, I could probably fool people with how far I can push my stomach out!!!

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2 Michelle March 4, 2012 at 11:30 am

I thought I was the only one that could do that! Seriously, so weird! I used to do it at summer camp and thought I had a serious talent!

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3 Emily March 4, 2012 at 10:09 pm

Same here! And I’ve been on the cusp of underweight my entire life, which makes it even more weird-looking. Oh, I’m so glad I’m not alone.

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4 Erin Motz March 4, 2012 at 8:18 am

I love the BERF header! Such a great/creative idea! Funny you should mention the wine craving… a friend of mine said the same thing when she was pregnant. She would have a bit here and there and her little one is just perfect. Good luck! :-]

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5 Colleen March 4, 2012 at 8:21 am

Glad to know I’m not the only one that can make myself look preggers. I was embarrassed too when the husband came with me and I had an pelvis exam, but all modesty goes out the window on delivery day.

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6 Reghan March 4, 2012 at 8:32 am

I find it so fun reading about your cravings, food aversions and wanting to take little naps because I was exactly the same! I never nap but found in the early weeks I just needed a little one to get me through the day. I also craved the exact same things! Cheese, bagels with creams cheese, OJ every morning with breakfast (not usual), kraft dinner and hot dogs! Love carbs and pasta too. Some of things that I hadn’t eaten since childhood (kraft dinner and hot dogs). So weird! Maybe we are having the same gender?! I find out in 2 weeks 🙂 Although, I did have less morning sickness than you. I was only queasy for week 7 and other than that I wasn’t queasy and I was never sick.

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7 Lee March 4, 2012 at 8:38 am

Ha, I have that same skill of making myself look pregnant too.

Do people say that you can’t have peanut butter when you’re pregnant? I’ve not heard that.

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8 KERF March 4, 2012 at 9:37 am

There are some concerns over peanut allergies, but my doctor said the research isn’t very solid so it’s fine

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9 Alex March 4, 2012 at 10:22 pm

Totally anecdotal, but: I have a life-threatening peanut allergy, my sister (2yrs younger) has no allergies whatsoever. Our mom craved and ate peanut butter like crazy for both of us. So clearly if there is a relationship it’s not a linear one! (and a peanut allergy isn’t the end of the world…I’m 32 and still a.ok.)

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10 Janelle March 4, 2012 at 8:43 am

I love this blog ! Have you two been thinking about baby names ?

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11 KERF March 4, 2012 at 9:38 am

A little! And we think we have a boy name 🙂

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12 Janelle March 4, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Aw that’s great 🙂 if it’s a girl feel free to use my name 🙂 Janelle

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13 Stephanie @ Legally Blinde March 4, 2012 at 8:46 am

Love the second picture of you! My sister (who is pretty slender) can make herself look pregnant, and it’s so hilarious. I’ve never had a kumquat before – do you eat them like an orange or other citrus fruits?

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14 Diana @ frontyardfoodie March 4, 2012 at 9:00 am

Yeah I definitely popped a little at nine weeks with both my first pregnancy and this one. Although I’m sure no one can tell you are showing except yourself! hehe

During the first trimester I never feel like drinking…too sick and tired but during the second and third I feel like i need a drink more than I EVER have. However, once you CAN start drinking again your tolerance will be so low you won’t be able to drink barely anything for quite a while. haha

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15 Lisa @bitesforbabies March 4, 2012 at 9:00 am

You know they have non-alcoholic wine, right?! Not as good as the real thing but you should try it anyway! 😉

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16 KERF March 4, 2012 at 9:39 am

If I could find some, I will try it!

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17 Regina March 4, 2012 at 1:31 pm

I asked my husband about this at New Years and he replied “Yeah, honey, it’s called grape juice”

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18 Annalisa March 4, 2012 at 9:02 am

It is true that modesty goes out the window when you have a baby! I had 3 people (total) in the delivery room and in hindsight, there could’ve been a circus in there and I wouldn’t have cared. My husband came to all of my prenatal appts and I really didn’t mind the pelvic exam at the end of my pregnancy with him there. I guess I figured he’s going to really see it all anyway so why be squeamish now?

Can I add that exclusively BF’ing my baby (no bottles, pacifiers, etc – not really by choice!) has made me really not care about boobs in public. I think I was a little more modest before and now I’m like “oh whatever, it’s a boob, we all have them”. It’s funny how using the body for what it is intended for has relaxed my ideas of modesty.

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19 ES March 4, 2012 at 9:08 am

My husband also came with me to that first appointment, but unlike you, I enjoyed freaking him out! Haha. I chased him around the room with a speculum. He was horrified.

I loved OJ in my first tri, and then early in the second, what would become debilitating acid reflux began. I drank a glass of OJ and woke up with my chest and throat on fire. Hope this doesn’t happen to you!

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20 KERF March 4, 2012 at 9:39 am

Haha

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21 Marci March 4, 2012 at 9:14 am

Luckily the pelvic exams go away until the very end! Bloodwork sticks around a while. My husband only came to ultrasound appointments until one at Week 37. I like going by myself. What would be wrong with peanut butter?

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22 KERF March 4, 2012 at 9:40 am

Allergy concerns, but apparently it’s not documented well with research. My doc reminded me women have been eating PB for centuries with no problems.

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23 Ashley March 4, 2012 at 10:10 am

Haha, my doctor said the same thing about all the women in Asia who eat sushi! But she still said to avoid that one. Peanut butter I would die without!!

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24 Julie H. of Spinach and Sprinkles March 4, 2012 at 9:23 am

It just keeps getting better and better, doesn’t it. It is crazy how fast and how slow the time goes- all at the same time! Waiting for those doctor’s appointments is BRUTAL! Isn’t hearing the heartbeat the best?! 🙂

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25 Allison K March 4, 2012 at 9:29 am

It’s so funny how pregnancy affects everyone differently. When I was in my first tri, like you, I HATED most vegetables, but the one I could stand was carrots. I needed all produce to be crunchy. Anything mushy was out. Also, my very first gagging episode occured when we had an open package of chicken sausages in the fridge. I think, even though they were wrapped and in a baggie, it was the smell. I couldn’t eat a chicken sausage again until like week 22!
Also, I know people like to say that at 8 weeks, you can’t be showing (which, as you learned from your doctor, your baby isn’t showing it’s your intestines/bloat) but 8 weeks was when my tighter pants stopped being comfortable. I am about 5 inches taller than you, but I have a very, very short torso. Those pants just wouldn’t button! I was/am jealous of my friends and women who could wear their pre-preg lowrise jeans until their third trimester!

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26 KERF March 4, 2012 at 9:41 am

When I say I’m showing, I know I don’t really LOOK pregnant, but for me it’s a noticeable change. I wish there was some other word to use – poking!? I hate it when people say “Oh you’re not showing…just you wait.” I get it that my stomach is going to get huuuuge 🙂

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27 Alyssa @ Fit and Fun in Third March 4, 2012 at 9:43 am

Hahah those pictures are so cute. Love it! 🙂

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28 Tara March 4, 2012 at 9:44 am

Our craving/aversion lists are exactly the same: anything cheesy, carby, citrusy or ice creamy get a big thumbs up while vegetables suddenly become enemy! I’m 15 weeks and 2 days now and the food aversions seem to have stopped but I’m still having unpredictable and ferocious cravings.

Anyway, I was wondering if you’ve started researching things like baby products, furniture, strollers, car seats etc and if you eventually you’ll post your thoughts about what you find. Right now I’m looking into baby carriers and body pillows…it’s a short list but already slightly overwhelming!

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29 KERF March 4, 2012 at 9:45 am

I haven’t really started yet, although I love my friend’s stroller (the Uppababy Vista) so I might just save myself the time and get that one. Haven’t even started to think about the rest, but I will definitely be blogging about it

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30 Cee March 4, 2012 at 4:15 pm

I used to work for a baby store that specialized in strollers. Do lots of research before buying one, because it’s a very personal (and expensive) decision. For you I would recommend something that’s good for running – look for a jogging stroller (three wheels opposed to four) with big air-filled tires. The Uppababy is an okay urban stroller, but not great for exercise. The tires are foam, which are inferior. Go to a store where you can practice pushing and folding up strollers to find one you like best.

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31 KERF March 4, 2012 at 5:28 pm

I got to play with them yesterday and have used Holly’s when I’m with her and really like it. I don’t think I’m going to be jogging much – but walking, yes.

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32 Amanda March 4, 2012 at 7:28 pm

You would be surprised how much you use your jogging stroller! My BOB is still pushing a 4 year old and 6.5 year old around! Best exercise ever!

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33 Ashley March 4, 2012 at 10:07 am

At my first appointment they did the transvaginal ultrasound AND insisted on doing a pap, since I would be due for one in the middle of my pregnany. And yes, my husband was right there in the room with me. Inwas highly uncomfortable, and my poor husband. He hung in there like a champ. I was so thankful for that sheet!! We are close and all, but that’s a little TOO close!!

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34 Allison K March 4, 2012 at 10:30 am

My husband was there for both as well. It wasn’t uncomfortable for me, but I think it was for him. I’m glad he got to see what women go through every year for our annual exams!

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35 Jennifer @ Eat With Knowledge March 4, 2012 at 10:11 am

I can do the 5 month “pregnancy bloat” too! I wonder how many comments you wil get with people saying that haha. I love reading about your journey Kath!

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36 Christine March 4, 2012 at 10:21 am

KERF + BERF sounds like Surf + Turf!!

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37 KERF March 4, 2012 at 10:25 am

Ha!

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38 rachel March 4, 2012 at 10:27 am

I’m loving all your posts and updates -they’re so fun to read! I was wondering if you ever thought about doing a post on how you chose your OB and how you’re planning to choose your pediatrician (what qualities you looked for, etc).

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39 KERF March 4, 2012 at 10:30 am

Sure. I think I write about that in an upcoming post!? Since Cville is a pretty small town, our OB choices aren’t huge. I went with the same practice I chose when I moved here, which a few friends had recommended. They have about 7 doctors that you rotate between and deliver at our local hospital here. It just seemed to be a solid, recommended practice. I haven’t even begun to think about pediatricians yet, but I imagine I’ll just ask my friends for a rec for that too.

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40 rachel March 4, 2012 at 1:10 pm

great! i look forward to those posts!

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41 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats March 4, 2012 at 10:47 am

I think my biggest fear with pregnancy would be all these little “rules,” like with caffeine, exercise, peanut butter (???) haha so many things to think about! Sounds like you’ve got it covered though!

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42 Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga March 4, 2012 at 10:54 am

The difference between sucking it in and pushing it out stomachs is always a fun comparison 🙂 Especially after Thanksgiving dinner, I think we can all make ourselves look about 5 months preggers…haha!

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43 Sarah @ Williamsburg Baby March 4, 2012 at 10:55 am

It’s funny how the first trimester seems to drag on….I feel like I hibernated quite a bit, in part because I found it hard to socialize while keeping a secret, and in part because the time between drs appointments seemed to go on forever. I realize 9/10 months is not that long in the big picture, but with so many crucial tests and milestones to wait for along the way, things seem to really slow down.

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44 Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga March 4, 2012 at 10:57 am

My last comment just went into mod…weird.

Love hearing about your early pregnancy days and what was all going on behind the scenes.

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45 KERF March 4, 2012 at 11:09 am

Yeah, I’m moderating all comments here

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46 kyla March 4, 2012 at 11:02 am

My uncle is surprisingly very good at making a fake pregnant belly. Family legend is he did it as a teenager at Thanksgiving and made my great grandmother cry!

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47 Jessie @ Graze With Me March 4, 2012 at 11:05 am

I had a sm glass of champagne at a wedding when I was 6 months preggo. Not a big deal to me but you should have seen the looks I got!!! That right there was enough for me to keep my sips and tastes in our own home. I also had a full beer at 37 weeks to celebrate being full term! I figured she was fully cooked by then so no harm done. 🙂

Btw I LIVED on bagels & cream cheese my first trimester. I was eating 2-3 a day at one point!

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48 KERF March 4, 2012 at 11:10 am

Perhaps I should carry around the research in my pocket 🙂 I saw a pregnant woman drinking at a wine festival once. I’m sure she was just taking tiny sips, but this was before I was informed of the studies and I didn’t know what to think!

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49 kt March 4, 2012 at 2:22 pm

If anyone gives you crap, tell them to mind their own business. Your body is not public property!

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50 Christine @ BookishlyB March 4, 2012 at 12:39 pm

I was thinking that too, about the looks and the comments she’d be getting if she wasn’t moderating.

I think people need to realize that’s there’s a huge difference between taking shots and throwing back beers and a few sips here and there, especially as the baby becomes more developed.

Hey, since you love your research, have you seen anything conclusive about hair dying? As vain as it is, the idea of letting a few greys sneak through on my dark head freaks me out 🙂

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51 Rachel March 4, 2012 at 11:09 am

I’m nowhere near ready to have babies yet, but I am LOVING this blog! It’s so exciting to hear about your changes, and your thoughts on pregnancy. When I’m on Google Reader, I find myself looking to see if there are updates for this blog before all else! SO glad you decided to start this blog in addition to KERF.

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52 Jennifer March 4, 2012 at 11:24 am

Oh, I craved ground beef with one of my boys and couldn’t get enough spicy foods. 🙂 You’ll have to do a blog where we can all guess the sex before you find out. 🙂

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53 Kate March 4, 2012 at 11:42 am

Oh, I could not get enough of kettle chips during the first trimester nausea! My doc said that it was because my body needed salt for increased blood production. And bagels and cream cheese are still high on my list, but they are also the only thing I’ve sent my husband out for, you know, like they do in the movies. 🙂

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54 natasha March 4, 2012 at 11:47 am

OJ and cereal were pregnancy faves for me all three times as well.

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55 EllenE March 4, 2012 at 12:01 pm

FYI, you should not be drinking first trimester… at ALL. This is when the organs, spinal cord, etc. are being established. I’m sure you have looked into all of this, and that you know, but I wanted to make this clear. I’m getting a PhD in developmental biology and am married to a doctor, so I do know what I am talking about.

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56 KERF March 4, 2012 at 1:23 pm

I’m not disagreeing with you or arguing, but the research doesn’t distinguish between trimesters

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57 JessicaE March 4, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Just wondering what “the research” is? I have researched this as well since I’m pregnant and many, many articles/sites/doctors that I have read DO distinguish the first trimester as the most risky…There have been many books I have read that also say this. Hope this came across as a respectful question as I intended it. There is just so much research out there in general i was wondering how it could all be generalized like that.

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58 KERF March 4, 2012 at 5:28 pm

The second link I referenced above is a summary of 31 (according to footnotes) research studies, and they never mentioned first vs. other trimesters. It makes sense that the first would be the most prone to any problems, but I think if the research showed any significant differences between trimesters it would be very cleared stated in these summaries. I know a ton of women also drink when they don’t know they are pregnant at 5,6,7 weeks. I’m not saying that is safe, but just saying that I don’t think it’s quite as serious as it sounds. From what I have gauged in my research, FAS is most common in alcoholics who consume heavy amounts of alcohol and are more likely to also be malnourished and/or use other dangerous substances.

So disclaimer, I’m not advocating that everyone should go out partying or even have 1 drink a day. It’s a very personal choice. I’m just sharing the research that I have come across.

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59 Clare March 4, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Hi Kath,
I have also heard that having a glass of wine once a week later in pregnancy was okay but hadn’t really heard anything about the first trimester specifically, so I was curious. A quick Google search turned up this article from the National Institutes of Health and U.S. National Library of Medicine website : http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_120886.html which contains information from a study that is being published in April and says the most dangerous time to drink during pregnancy is 43 to 84 days after conception. I know you’re interested in getting information from scientific studies so I thought this was something you would like to see.

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60 KERF March 4, 2012 at 8:55 pm

Thanks, I’ll check it out!

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61 KERF March 4, 2012 at 9:04 pm

I guess this is indeed one of the first to distinguish between trimesters: “The authors say it is one of the first to examine the impact of quantity, frequency and timing of alcohol exposure on the condition.”

While they noted that no amount is considered safe [which the author of The Panic Free Pregnancy likens to sun exposure..], they didn’t say how much the women were consuming. I’d really like to know if we’re talking sips, glasses, or bottles. I would definitely be interested to read this whole study when it’s published.

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62 Clare March 4, 2012 at 9:42 pm

I saw a couple other short articles which also previewed this study which mentioned that this study tracked women WHILE they were pregnant and recorded alcohol consumption as it happened, rather than most other studies which ask women who’ve given birth already to recall their alcohol intake after the fact — interesting to think about how that could affect the data! As for how much alcohol we’re talking about, I’m not sure, but it seems like it must be more than sips (the article mentions something about chances of developmental delays or physical defects that increase by a certain percentage per drink, so it seems like they’re measuring results per drink).

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63 Sally March 5, 2012 at 7:38 pm

I’ve worked with this research group and other FASD groups who have been cited in other comments. Alcohol is a known teratogen, and it is impossible to conduct experimental studies about the timing and amounts of alcohol that are “definitely” harmful. What do we know is that alcohol-related birth defects are 100% preventable by not drinking during pregnancy. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is actually a spectrum of disorders, with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome at one extreme and other, less severe but still heartbreaking outcomes at the other. Why would you knowingly put your child at risk for mental and physical defects?

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64 KERF March 5, 2012 at 8:40 pm

Sally, I appreciate your comment. Since you’re in the profession, could you please help me and others understand the research I cited above? I realize that experimental studies are unethical, but all of the studies that conclude there is no adverse effects with light drinking – what conclusion can you draw from that? (Other than no alcohol is the safest solution). What would you tell a mother who didn’t know she was pregnant until she was pretty far along and had a small glass of wine at dinner every night? I’m definitely not trying to debate anything – just want to know because I’m interested in this topic.

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65 Sally March 6, 2012 at 7:27 am

We don’t really know what a safe amount of alcohol exposure is for a developing fetus. In general, higher exposure tends to lead to more severe defects, but it isn’t necessarily a linear trend and there are likely sensitive periods when exposure has the potential to be more harmful. There are also other variables besides the amount and timing of alcohol exposure – fraternal twins, who are exposed to the same environment in utero but have different genotypes, can be born with different levels of FAS. We’re also starting to better understand the effects of alcohol on brain developmental and cognitive functioning in children who have been exposed prenatally but don’t have the physical defects required for the full FAS diagnosis. Because there is still a lot we don’t know about how alcohol affects the developing fetus, the safest course of action is to avoid drinking during pregnancy.

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66 Jen March 7, 2012 at 4:45 am

I have to agree with Sally here. As a scientist with a PhD in medicine, I know enough to say that you might not cause your child to have FAS with one drink, but that alcohol exposure in uteru definately has a documented spectrum of effects on development. FAS is not the only complication, jut the most dramatic one. During the later stages of development for example even very low doses of alcohol affects the time the fetus spends practicing breathing exercises.

As for your question of what to tell a lady who had a glas of wine with dinner every night not knowing she was pregnant, I’d tell her she cannot change the past, but for the rest of her pregnancy I’d advice her not to do it for safety reasons. Just like I’d tell a lady who’d taken a medication not suitable for a developing fetus the same thing.

I also feel the need to respectfully point out that the articles you are quoting are not scientific papers and should not be takes as such, they are at best interpretations made by journalists or doctors with very limited insights into the science. For real scientific evidence you need to search Pubmed and look for peer-reviewed papers. Most of them have abstracts that are easy to understand even for readers without scientific training.

I also don’t understand likening alcohol consumption to sun exposure? Do I missunderstand you here? Do you mean that a woman who exposes herself to the sun is the same as a woman exposing another human being in it’s most important developmental phase to a known teratogen? To me those are very different things. The first case is an adult making a decision for herself, the second one is an adult making a decision for her child, that could potentially impact that baby for the rest of her life. And to me that is what it came down to during my pregnacies – IF something, anything, turned out to be wrong with my baby, could I live with myself if I felt I had not done EVERYTHING I possibly could to prevent it? For me that was an easy question to answer.

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67 KERF March 7, 2012 at 7:56 am

Thanks for your response Jen. The sunshine mention was a quote by Dr. Broner, MD, author of The Panic Free Pregnancy. He wasn’t saying it’s apples to apples, but just that there are other exposures with “no safe limit.”

68 Jessica @ The Process of Healing March 4, 2012 at 12:07 pm

I have an almost full term friend who is DYING for a drink but she’s too afraid it would harm the baby… or something might happen with the baby and then she would blame herself. I don’t know… I love my wine and I know there should be no harm done to the baby, you should go for it!

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69 Marnie March 4, 2012 at 12:29 pm

As a researcher in the field of FASD, I urge you to reconsider telling your audience about your drinking habits during pregnancy. Many impressionable young women read your blog and although you may feel comfortable with the research you have cited, it is irresponsible to promote drinking during pregnancy to such a broad audience. It is your choice to consume alcohol during your pregnancy and so it is my suggestion is to simply not photograph or discuss your sips of wine on either blog. You have done this before with your food choices when you were trying to hide your pregnancy in the early stages.

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70 KERF March 4, 2012 at 1:26 pm

I understand your point, but I think it’s also important to share the research since there is so much hysteria around small amounts of alcohol and it seems most of the associations agree on the research.

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71 Bianca @A Healthy Gourmet Lifestyle March 4, 2012 at 12:30 pm

Are you still eating grapefruit? I’ve read KERF for about a year now, and I remember seeing it pretty regularly. When my mom was pregnant with me, she had to have grapefruit or grapefruit juice daily. She came to find out from her OBGYN that the grapefruit was really good for getting nutrients to help with the baby’s development.

You look like you have the maternal glow. I’m so happy for you!

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72 KERF March 4, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Yup

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73 Casey March 4, 2012 at 12:46 pm

I am enjoying BERF so much! I am still a few years away from having kids, but I have been obsessed with babies and pregnancy lately! LOVE reading the posts! Are you and Matt planning on finding out the sex or will it be a surprise?

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74 KERF March 4, 2012 at 1:28 pm

We hope to find out!

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75 Emily @LivingLongfellow March 4, 2012 at 1:01 pm

No need to hide from the blog world that you’re eating chips, soda, jarred dressing, and mac n cheese. We’re all human and crave things that aren’t the healthiest. Keepin it real is much more inspirational than not. I think just the fact that you are making an effort to maintain mostly healthy food is the point.

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76 Lara March 4, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Hey Kath! What brand of caesar dressing are you eating that doesn’t have egg yolks in it? I’ve had a hard time finding one without egg yolks, which sucks because it’s sounding really good to me too. I’m just a few weeks ahead of you…approaching 18 weeks 🙂

Also, do you have any information/studies about artificial sweeteners in pregnancy? I’ve been avoiding diet sodas in favor of regular sodas because I figure sugar is at least natural (though admittedly still not ideal!). I see you’ve chosen diet soda and am just interested in your perspective on this.

Congrats again!

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77 KERF March 4, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Whole foods brand

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78 a. March 4, 2012 at 2:19 pm

embarrassed about the pelvic exam? nah, that’s no big deal. soon you’ll have a whole team of strangers doing all sorts of things down there. 😀 all insecurities will be quickly, quickly steamrolled.

congrats, and good luck with your pregnancy/motherhood.

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79 Heather March 4, 2012 at 2:24 pm

I’m a little slow, but I just realized the header is a big something and a little something – like a mama and a baby. Very cute.

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80 Jenn March 4, 2012 at 3:09 pm

Love the tiny wee pooch! I was obsessed too, in the early months of my pregnancies, examining my belly every day to see if I could see a change!!

Just wondering why you would have a pelvic exam – were there some issues which needed examining? (Sorry I realise thats really nosy, but I love how honest you are on here, so I figure you dont’ mind questions!)
I didn’t have any for either pregnancy. (Had a few in labour with #1, but actually managed to avoid them entirely for the whole pregnancy/birth of #2!)

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81 KERF March 4, 2012 at 3:10 pm

No problem 🙂 It was just a standard “let me feel your cervix and uterus” exam and a nice ole swab inside. Standard at all first appts. at my practice. I shouldn’t have to have another one until delivery, I don’t think.

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82 Lisa (bakebikeblog) March 4, 2012 at 3:48 pm

I too loved ginger ale and salt and vinegar chips throughout most of the second trimester! That craving seems to have gone away now though, but it was there for a long time!

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83 Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) March 4, 2012 at 3:51 pm

You know… I remember reading your posts about loving the Caesar dressing and at the time I thought it was an odd choice for you (since you usually make your own) but I didn’t read too much into the decision. Ha!

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84 Beth March 4, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Congrats on baby Kerf!! I am excited to follow your pregnancy…enjoy every minute. I just loved being pregnant and giving birth. Cant wait to do it again 🙂 So many wonderful things to look forward to and get ready for the best day of your life!!!

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85 Kimberly March 4, 2012 at 5:51 pm

I have a friend who was told by her doctor that a glass of wine every once in a while is perfectly fine during pregnancy. Her son (who is now 10) has always had health problems and they are now telling her that it is related to fetal alcohol syndrome. She is of course very upset because she listened to this advice from her doctor but now her son has mental and physical problems that could possibly have been prevented. I know that this doesn’t happen to everyone and I’m not trying to scare people into thinking one way or another on this issue, but I really hope that you let this comment go through because I think there are a lot of people who don’t realize that for some people, even a very small amount can be harmful.

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86 KERF March 4, 2012 at 5:58 pm

I’m sorry to hear that. I wonder how they were able to prove the link?

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87 Kimberly March 4, 2012 at 6:04 pm

I’m not sure if or how it can be “proven” or why it is coming up now. He’s had various problems his whole life and it is only recently that the FAS label has come up. And maybe she really did drink more than the occasional glass but I do want to believe her when she says that she didn’t. I guess I just wanted to share the story because it’s really sad that she was listening to advice from a doctor and possibly did damage to her son. Just wanted to make people think and do lots of research on this before drinking at all while pregnant.

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88 KERF March 4, 2012 at 6:07 pm

Sure, thanks for sharing

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89 Nicole March 4, 2012 at 6:10 pm

The only food I was told to avoid was raw fish, so no sushi. I asked about deli meat, which I craved like crazy in the beginning, but my doc said it’s fine. I used to be a vinegar/oil salad girl, but all I’ve wanted on my salads lately (now that I can eat them) has been blue cheese dressing! Must be something about the creaminess.

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90 Beth March 4, 2012 at 7:41 pm

Hi Kath! Congrats! I’m also pregnant – just a few weeks behind you! It’s fun to read your posts and share in many of the same feelings – aversion to vegetables, love of bagels/cream cheese, mac and cheese, and being absolutely parched in the mornings! I’m excited to keep up with this blog and hear about your experience!

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91 Angel7 March 4, 2012 at 7:43 pm

My belly seems bigger than it was when I was pregnant with our first child. It probably has something to do with the belly stretching or something.

http://faithfulsolutions.blogspot.com/

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92 Chrissy March 4, 2012 at 8:34 pm

Kath,
Have you cut out all caffeine? I notice you keep drinking decaf. I’m curious because my doctor told me that 1-2 cups of coffee per day was ok, just not to overdo it (not that I could stomach coffee at all first trimester). I’d love to know your thoughts/research about it. Thanks!

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93 KERF March 4, 2012 at 8:36 pm

No, I’ve had a few cups of regular (one in San Diego that I can think of in our hotel room). But because decaf is readily accessible, I just use it. Helps me with the jitters too!

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94 Lindsay @ Fuel My Family March 4, 2012 at 9:43 pm

I was always a nervous wreck waiting a month in between hearing the babys heartbeat. I bought something called a MommyDop for around 100 bucks and it was amazing. After a miscarraige before, being able to hear the heartbeat when I was getting stressed had the ability to instantly calm my nerves!

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95 Mary March 5, 2012 at 2:03 am

Hey Kath, I see that you moderate comments on here so you don’t necessarily have to publish this, but I would just like to share my opinion about how some information is presented here. In particular, I find the sentence “Even though recent research suggests…glasses” a little irresponsible. I don’t deny that the research you cite is sound & alcohol in limited quantities during pregnancy can be safe & have no effect on the child…I just don’t think someone in your position (i.e. not an expert in the field) should be dispensing that sort of information on a public forum, particularly when you are using a Discovery article that cites a single study as proof that it’s okay for others to drink. I think it would be better to perhaps include a disclaimer that there is in fact no definitive research about the level and timing of alcohol consumption that is “safe” for a developing fetus, possibly even including a contrasting source (like this one: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1530-0277.2011.01664.x/abstract ). I am definitely not making any sort of judgment about drinking during pregnancy, & admit that I am likely being overcritical as both an over-anal epidemiologist and oversensitive previous employee of an FAS clinic… but I do think it’s important to be careful with how you present data when people take you as a source of information (whether or not you intend for them to).

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96 KERF March 5, 2012 at 9:16 am

Hey Mary,
I did say “I’m not willing to take gulps or glasses. It’s not worth the risk now when the baby is still in full system development mode.” I’m not exactly pushing readers to drink at all. Also, if you click on the second link, it’s a summary of 31 articles – including citations by major OB associations – that aren’t necessarily FOR drinking, but conclude that there is no evidence to suggest a little is harmful. 31 is a pretty large sample. I think it’s important to share this because I can’t tell you how many women I have spoken to in private who admitted to drinking a little during pregnancy. It’s SUCH a taboo topic here in America, and I wanted to share the research I found and let women decide for themselves what decisions to make. I’d love to read more studies that might have a different conclusion, although it seems that the ones that do suggest harm still are talking about much higher doses.

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97 Mary March 5, 2012 at 11:57 am

Well to be fair, that second link isn’t a systematic review of the literature or even a peer-reviewed article, it’s just a webpage that happens to have 31 sources. I don’t doubt it’s a reputable source, but without any reference to their methods indicating how they chose those 31 articles, it’s impossible to know whether the sample is a proper representation of the literature out there (for reference, there are 3748 FAS article on Pubmed so it wouldn’t be hard to find 31 that support any argument). I also want to stress that I was not passing any sort of judgment about whether or not you or any women drink during pregnancy, & that I think it’s great that you want to open the conversation up to women who may be ashamed of something that may be quite safe. But only citing literature that supports one side of the argument (or more accurately, that doesn’t support the other side) without reference to the contrasting viewpoints (that are published & accessible) doesn’t make it a conversation so much as a lesson to your readers. Even with that said, I am sure my point is inconsequential for the 99.9% of the women who read your blog and take what you present to evaluate themselves in the way you intend. However, I think it’s important to be aware that your recommendation may have a greater impact on some people than you realize, particularly since we are talking about something that is not even definitively understood by professionals in the field & that has lifelong (& rather heartbreaking) consequences for the affected children and their families.

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98 KERF March 5, 2012 at 12:29 pm

I realize that it wasn’t a lit review, but it did cite statements from ACOG, Harvard Women’s, Royal College of OBGYN, etc. And I would think they would pour over all the research before making any statements.

Also, want to be clear that I was not recommending drinking during pregnancy but simply sharing what others had shared with me.

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99 Marnie March 5, 2012 at 12:32 pm

Excellent comments, Mary. You perfectly captured what I was trying to get at in my comment #64. Have a great day!

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100 Tracy March 5, 2012 at 7:25 am

I’m curious if all of this discussion about alcohol consumption applies to the two week wait after ovulation before you find out you are pregnant…seems to me drinking in moderation would be ok, as the baby is really just a cell before implanting on the uterus. Any thoughts/research that proves otherwise?

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101 KERF March 5, 2012 at 12:27 pm

I’ve had friends who are doctors tell me “you can drink until it’s pink,” meaning until you get a positive test. I cut way back though and tried not to have more than one drink at a time.

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102 Breanna March 5, 2012 at 1:47 pm

In regard to the “drinking during pregnancy debate”, it seems that the literature is quite unclear as to whether it is/ is not harmful. That said, would it not be better (just to be on the safe side) to not even take a sip? I am certain that you have a very healthy relationship with alcohol and so abstaining for the duration of pregnancy seems like it wouldn’t be too problematic. I very much enjoy having a glass of wine on occasion, but abstained during pregnancy. I didn’t want to be in the position that, heaven forbid, something were to be wrong with my baby, I would spend the rest of my life wondering whether my “few sips” contributed. Just another thought : )

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103 KERF March 5, 2012 at 1:50 pm

Yes, that would definitely be the safest decision.

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104 Suz March 5, 2012 at 5:04 pm

I am so jealous that your doctor OK’ed you for all your old exercise. Though I was thrilled when my doc gave me the thumbs up to color my hair (I never miss my date every four weeks with my colorist!) she refused to…get this…give me the OK to RIDE MY BIKE!!!

I’m the type of person to ride my bike 50-100 miles per week when the Ohio weather cooperates with me, and not biking outdoors broke my heart during my first pregnancy and now, as spring approaches, looks to do the same with my second!

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105 KERF March 5, 2012 at 6:19 pm

Well I actually haven’t ridden my bike since getting pregnant either, just to be safe. My doctor told me that the risk isn’t me falling off on my own mistake (not that that can’t happen) but the car plowing into me thing. Same with skiing and horseback riding – you might be the best skier in the world or the best horsewoman but you can’t predict other skiers or know your horse won’t get spooked. So he said if I was a good skier on a mountain alone, it would probably be fine. I decided to ride in San Diego because it was a flat, bike path with what I saw as little risk, but riding on the roads here with cars makes me a little more nervous now, so I haven’t done it. We’ll get back to it soon enough!

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106 Suz March 6, 2012 at 7:45 am

So mine told me that I couldn’t even ride on a soft, fine gravel flat towpath on which I love to ride. Her reasons were that my center of gravity will be “off” due to my growing belly and that a fall could be disastrous. I love my doc, but I may have to ignore her advice a couple of times on this one this spring!

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107 KERF March 6, 2012 at 8:01 am

Third tri, probably so. But she’s probably just being super cautious. That’s like when I was denied a massage in Jamaica at 4 weeks! Most people wouldn’t have even known by then!

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108 Sara March 7, 2012 at 5:32 pm

Oh boy. I rode my bike until 39 weeks. I felt perfectly comfortable with that decision and didn’t have any problems at all. (I can’t imagine going that long without riding my bike!!!) I had to start wearing my husband’s cycling jerseys to accommodate my belly and had to switch from my road bike to only riding my mountain bike for the last 4 months, but I still got in my daily bike ride.

I DID, however, always make sure to put a note in my ziplock bag with my cellphone giving my emergency contact information, how many weeks I was pregnant, and the phone number of my midwife. You never know what could happen, but you could say that about just walking on the sidewalk or driving your car, too.

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109 j3nn March 7, 2012 at 10:13 pm

Dustin and I always attend each other’s doctor and dentist visits, lol! We’re so comfortable with each other that nothing, not even gastroenterologist and GYN exams are embarrassing anymore. So I guess when it’s baby exam time, it will be business as usual for us.

I love these week by week updates. They feel like they just happened! 🙂

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110 Johanna March 10, 2012 at 4:21 pm

http://palatepress.com/2012/02/wine/light-drinking-during-pregnancy-what-recent-studies-do-and-do-not-tell-us/

Thought you may find this interesting RE: the recent “study” that tries to pinpoint risk in the first trimester. I am expecting as well and I have tried to find REAL data, and it’s nearly impossible. This researcher uncovers a little bit more, not perfect, but a start.

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111 KERF March 10, 2012 at 8:34 pm

Thanks, I’ll check it out

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