30 Weeks: 3D Photos

This week we ventured back to Inner Child Imaging for a 3D ultrasound! [Here’s my recap from our first visit to find out the sex of our baby.] I was a bit concerned about doing this “for recreation” so I asked my doctor about it and she said she would do it – no hesitation. So I felt comfortable with the short extra session.

The biggest difference this time was that I could actually feel all the movements as we watched him move! And my favorite part was being able to put a limb to a movement. Our baby likes my right side a LOT, which I know from his daily movements and position, and this was clear in the U/S as well – he was tucked into a ball on the right side in a deep C shape with his head down and his butt in the air and his legs wiggling just under my right ribs.

In this photo, you can see his head in the upper left corner, followed by his hands, which are crossed in an X, and then his big ole leg in the front of the image. Wrapped in a ball!

ChillinInABall

This is my favorite of the images – the clearest of his face. Our images aren’t quite as clear as many of the others on the site, but I guess that’s OK – he was not the most cooperative. Everyone is saying that he has my nose! I think it’s cute he’s rubbing his left eye – and those fingers look all pointed. Sleepy boy.

WholeFace

The images are not quite as realistic as I thought they would be – meaning they have a fisheye look to them and all of the body parts aren’t really to scale. Because space is tight too, they have to focus through things, so sometimes we were looking through an arm to try to get to the face – it was tricky to see!

Here’s an elbow touching a knee from the side. Face in the upper left again! I love that he’s sleeping against his left forearm in his little ball shape. Makes me claustrophobic!

Elbow

I love this image – he is smirking!! But his nose looks huuuuuuge – sort of like a cartoon! I think it’s just the fisheye angle though Smile 

Smirk

A nice foot from the bottom. We also got a clear shot of the boy parts!

Foot

It’s not surprising to me at all that his hands were over his face again – because that’s how he was at 17 weeks! He knows his mom is going to take lots of photos of him : )

                                                                17 v. 30 weeks

No Photos Please! Handsonface

And this one is absolutely hilarious if you imagine that his hands – in the upper right corner are really a little orange cat on his shoulder!! So typical that there’s an orange cat keeping him company like El Tigre and Pumpkin – he is certainly our son!

KittyOnShoulder

It was so fun to see him in there live. It find it even more shocking that he’s real seeing him in 3D! It’s hard to imagine that he 3D baby and the one in my stomach are the same. The images are a little weird and spooky, but I can imagine him in real life better. It will be fun to compare him in real life with these images too. It was a fun experience!

PREVIOUS 30 WEEK POSTS

Snapshots

Swingin’ Through The Weeks

Healthy Living While Pregnant

Big Mama

Yes I Want To Eat My Placenta

PREVIOUS WEEKS

4 weeks

5 weeks

6 weeks

7 weeks

8 weeks

9 weeks

10 weeks

11 weeks

12 weeks

13 weeks

14 weeks

15 weeks

16 weeks

17 weeks

18 weeks

19 weeks

20 weeks

21 weeks

22 weeks

23 weeks

24 weeks

25 weeks

26 weeks

27 weeks

28 weeks

29 weeks

30 Weeks: Yes, I Want To Eat My Placenta!

Let’s all approach this topic with a sense of humor.

Like this TIME article that is hilariously written by a dad whose wife wanted to encapsulate her placenta. His video made me laugh out loud 5 times! (And is a good snippet to what goes on during encapsulation).

So back to my placenta, hell yeah I want to ingest it!! I heard on Pregtastic that when you are pregnant you have more hormones in your body than your total hormones for the rest of your entire life. And then just after birth – you have the lowest amount of hormones you will ever have. It makes sense to me that this drop is so significant it can do crazy things to the mind and body, especially considering how much a little birth control pill or PMS hormone flux can do. Placenta eating is nothing new to mankind. In fact, I read a hypothesis on one website that said the practice’s benefits may have evolved for antibody/immune system support but that with later human immune system evolutionary advancement (which animals have yet to catch up with) combined with a “refined” modern society, it went out of style. I have no idea if that hypothesis has any truth to it, but it’s interesting to ponder.

Notice I said ingest. We are on point to have my placenta encapsulated. However, I can’t say the thought didn’t cross my mind to save $250 and just eat the thing!

My darling husband (with sense of humor in his voice) said:

“If you want me to, I will grill it! Heck I’ll take a bite!”

Matt is a very adventurous eater and I have no doubt that if grilled placenta was for dinner, he would try it.

IMG_0224

It sure would save money to just make a placenta smoothie. I’ve heard of people blending it up in the vita-mix as an ice cream milk shake and then freezing the cubes to be used in future smoothies. It really does sound like a good idea to me.

And my gosh, how viral would a homemade placenta recipe video go?! I have considered this…

IMG_0992-2Blog

But when it comes down to it, I would eat my placenta, but I don’t really want to eat it. I do think it’s gross, and if I didn’t think there was a benefit to eating it, there’s no way in hell I’d take a bite. I might have mental trouble with the whole chewing part. I have studied photos of what they look like, but in all honesty, it doesn’t look that much different than the grass-fed beef steak I eat for dinner. Probably just as nutrient dene too…

But I can swallow a pill no problem, and I also see a benefit to taking the pills a little at a time over a long period of time over the whole placenta in one sitting. My mom, who is going through menopause and writes a menopause blog, even found this article with some evidence supporting placenta ingestion during menopause. I wonder if I should keep my pills locked up : ) I do intend to freeze any leftovers for later in life. I’ve heard popping one during PMS can actually help symptoms (just personal reports, of course).

So why am I so excited to take placenta pills?

-First I listened to this Pregtastic episode. The personal stories shared had me totally convinced of its effectiveness reducing postpartum depression and increasing milk supply.

-Other suspected benefits come from the different hormones, proteins and things found in the placenta: Mood stabilization, normalizes libido, regulates cramping from estrogen, progesterone and testosterone // Promotes lactation and milk supply from prolactin // Decreases pain, increases bonding and reduces bleeding from oxytocin // Stimulates natural opioids and reduces pain from Placental Opioid-Enhancing Factor // Regulates the thyroid and boosts energy from TSH // Regulates Corticotropin Releasing Hormone (CRH) which may combat PPD // Reduces inflammation and swelling from Cortisone // Helps uterus return to pre-pregnancy size from Prostaglandins // Replenishes maternal iron // Boosts energy with hemoglobin // Stops bleeding and helps with healing with Urokinase Inhibiting Factor // Immune system support from IgG and Interferon…… even if only 2 of these actually work – worth it.   [Source]

-There is some scientific research supporting it, although nothing dramatic that has doctors prescribing placenta to all new moms. I imagine a PPD study would just be rather difficult to make objective. This site summarizes the suspected benefits and includes the limited research summaries. So does this one. It make sense to my gut (haha) that the replenishment of hormones, iron, prolactin, oxytocin and more mentioned above have positive effects. But when it comes down to it, the anecdotal evidence is enough to convince me.

-Two of my friends have encapsulated. One just had her second baby and said her postpartum difference in happiness was like night and day. Everyone who I have talked to says they are glad they did it. No one has regrets (and I think this person who did had too many variables to really attribute anything to the placenta itself. She might have just been allergic to an herb.) You might know the other friend : )

-There are TONS of testimonials – some are quite remarkable! This pregtastic blogger is glad she did it.

-And even if it’s all placebo effect – I want the placebo effect! I see no reason not to give it a try.

So our hospital bag will include a cooler and ice packs, and we have an encapsulation specialist on call to visit our home up from Richmond in the days after giving birth. Luckily our hospital is cool with giving you the placenta. I will let you know how it goes!

PREVIOUS 30 WEEK Posts

Snapshots

Swingin’ Through The Weeks

Healthy Living While Pregnant

Big Mama

PREVIOUS WEEKS

4 weeks

5 weeks

6 weeks

7 weeks

8 weeks

9 weeks

10 weeks

11 weeks

12 weeks

13 weeks

14 weeks

15 weeks

16 weeks

17 weeks

18 weeks

19 weeks

20 weeks

21 weeks

22 weeks

23 weeks

24 weeks

25 weeks

26 weeks

27 weeks

28 weeks

29 weeks

30 Weeks: BIG MAMA

IMG_0419

In my prenatal yoga class, when you reach 30 weeks you’re welcomed into the Big Mama club. When I first started going to yoga, women in the 30+ weeks seemed soooo far away. I cannot believe I’m here.

IMG_0390

I’m still waiting for my stomach to really grow. I’m starting to think it’s just something in my genetics or frame that means I’ll look on the smaller side this whole time. Sometimes I think it looks huge, but I have had so many people tell me how small I am for 30 weeks. Just this weekend at the market two women commented. I’m not complaining – I’m glad to sport a smaller bump – it’s just so unexpected!

IMG_0394

Similarly and somewhat in contrast, though, I feel like when I was 16-20 weeks I felt like my stomach was huge in real life, but when I looked in the mirror it was not nearly as big as it felt. But now, I barely notice my bump day-to-day and when I look in the mirror or in photos, I’m surprised at how big it really is! I was just telling Caitlin this week that I feel like my stomach is still basically flat – I can see my toes without really even noticing it – but then I came home from an hour at the gym looking in the mirrors and decided that it was bigger than it feels. Hunching over with poor posture is quite hard – my ribs meet that hard muscle (or little baby!) in there and I just can’t.bend.more.

IMG_0387

I THINK I have felt both hiccups and Braxton Hicks contractions this week. I’m not entirely sure, but twice I have felt what feels like little thumps about every half second that go on way too long to be a random baby movement. They are way deep down in me, so I really hope that means he’s head down! He’s done a few episodes of crazy movements this week – a few that Matt was able to witness! I sure hope I can catch these on camera sometime!

IMG_0395

Until recently, I wondered if I had felt any Braxton Hicks. I’ve heard that even though your uterus starts practicing them pretty early on, some women never notice them. But what I have noticed is that sometimes my uterus is harder than others. Sometimes it’s all soft and mushy and other times it’s much, much firmer. It’s often firm when I’m walking and I’ve wondered if that’s just my abs flexing or if I’m having some kind of contractions. A few times at night I have woken up to a really hard uterus too – perhaps that’s it? I’m still not really sure, but I am glad they are painless and not too frequent. I cannot wait to feel what a REAL contraction is like!!

IMG_0406

My back is still doing great. Sleeping is OK. No signs of heartburn, leg cramps or anything else weird. In fact, I probably feel the best I’ve felt my whole pregnancy right now!

A small issue is that I’ve been stretching in weird ways when I wake up and am still half asleep – arching my back and really pushing out my abs, which already feel like they’re going to tear! My abs have cramped a few times and it’s very unpleasant, but I don’t know how to tell my sleeping self not to do this!

But I guess I’m thankful I’m still a sleeping self : )

PREVIOUS 30 WEEK Posts

Snapshots

Swingin’ Through The Weeks

Healthy Living While Pregnant

PREVIOUS WEEKS

4 weeks

5 weeks

6 weeks

7 weeks

8 weeks

9 weeks

10 weeks

11 weeks

12 weeks

13 weeks

14 weeks

15 weeks

16 weeks

17 weeks

18 weeks

19 weeks

20 weeks

21 weeks

22 weeks

23 weeks

24 weeks

25 weeks

26 weeks

27 weeks

28 weeks

29 weeks

30 Weeks: Healthy Living While Pregnant

For the most part, healthy living now is not that much different than before. I’m still staying active for about an hour a day, and I’m still eating a variety of real foods in the form of 3 meals and a snack or two everyday. And one other positive for my health: fewer hangovers ; ) I luckily haven’t had major cravings that send Matt running for Ben & Jerry’s at midnight or put chocolate cake on my plate for breakfast. Real Food still makes me feel best, inside and out.

IMG_2546

But both my exercise and my eating have changed somewhat:

-My workout intensity is drastically different than before: I am rarely out of breath or covered in sweat now – something I used to aim for daily

-My diet doesn’t look exactly the same since vegetables just don’t taste as good

The other day I was trying to put into words to Matt why I just don’t want to run or eat tons of vegetables even though I could force myself to do both. And what it comes down to is this: high intensity exercise and huge salads just don’t make me FEEL as good as they used to.

Before pregnancy, there was nothing like a sweaty run followed by a Hugh Jass salad filled with all kinds of hearty vegetables. I used to love the feeling of racing, being out of breath, being covered in sweat. At 30 weeks pregnant, a run would probably leave me uncomfortable, dehydrated and exhausted. Maybe even sick.

I used to bulk up my plate with all the veggies I could find at buffets and restaurants and would never turn down extras. I wanted them to fill me up but also because they tasted really good. These days I have no reason to fill up my shrinking stomach, and my salads are more like side dishes of simple greens without all the bulky veggies. I used to eat 2-3 servings of veggies but now 1 serving is enough. Enough to get in the nutrients and balance out my plate.

IMG_0242

Walking, yoga, swimming, lighter weight lifting feel good to me.

Running, intervals and pushing myself hard don’t.

While I do still enjoy most vegetables and eat them daily, including salads, they just don’t bring on the same feel-good feeling that they used to and my portions of them are smaller.

Fruit, lightly-dressed greens, yogurt, cheese, eggs – these make me feel good.

IMG_2586 2012-05-15 14.38.16

So I guess my point is this: do what makes you feel good.

Run marathons at 39 weeks if that’s what it takes to raise your spirits. Or drop down to only slow walks and yoga. So long as you’re staying active in some shape or form given all the benefits of exercise during pregnancy, then pick what you want to do most.

Similarly, there are so many healthy foods out there – choose the ones you want to eat most and enjoy them. Have smaller portions of the ones that you’re not as crazy about (likely the green ones).

While exercise and nutrition are extremely important during pregnancy, don’t feel bad if you can’t keep up with your old self. Because your old self is gone – at least for the short term!

I actually can’t WAIT to run again – and hopefully get my taste buds back! You know how when you go on vacation for a week you come home just craving the way you felt before the vacation with your healthy habits in place? Pregnancy is like one looooooooooooong vacation. It hit me about 6 months in when I started to miss my old body – not so much its shape or appearance, but how it felt. Now that I’m closer to the end than the beginning, I absolutely cannot wait to go back to my old self. Or rather, Old Self 2.0!

PREVIOUS 30 WEEK Posts

Snapshots

Swingin’ Through The Weeks

PREVIOUS WEEKS

4 weeks

5 weeks

6 weeks

7 weeks

8 weeks

9 weeks

10 weeks

11 weeks

12 weeks

13 weeks

14 weeks

15 weeks

16 weeks

17 weeks

18 weeks

19 weeks

20 weeks

21 weeks

22 weeks

23 weeks

24 weeks

25 weeks

26 weeks

27 weeks

28 weeks

29 weeks

30 Weeks: Swingin’ Through The Weeks

We are now the proud owners of a Fisher Price Zen baby swing! I bought it used from my friend Holly for $80.

IMG_0075

I chose this one because of its green + brown colors, its ability to swing 2 directions, the AC adaptor and the fact that the base comes off to carry baby around.

IMG_0074

The swing is one of the pieces of baby “equipment” I was somewhat dreading bringing into the home (along with vibrating seats, jumpers, and big plastic things) but babies seem to love them and moms swear by them, so I would like to have one in the event that mine does too. Also, mom’s got to put the baby down sometimes!

I’m sure this is not the location where our swing will reside permanently, but I’m letting it sit there for a few days to get used to it. I actually think it blends in quite well!

IMG_0078

Bocker loved it!! Let’s hope our baby does too!

IMG_0073

PREVIOUS WEEKS

4 weeks

5 weeks

6 weeks

7 weeks

8 weeks

9 weeks

10 weeks

11 weeks

12 weeks

13 weeks

14 weeks

15 weeks

16 weeks

17 weeks

18 weeks

19 weeks

20 weeks

21 weeks

22 weeks

23 weeks

24 weeks

25 weeks

26 weeks

27 weeks

28 weeks

29 weeks

30 Weeks: Saturday Snapshots

Karen’s baby blanket is almost complete!! She has crocheted it from scratch –

IMG_0096-2_thumb

Grey + yellow to match the nursery! I love the little rosebud stiches

IMG_0100_thumb

We gave it a test on a bear [the bears say they are getting tired of being treated like babies!]

Snug as a bug in a rug.

IMG_0102_thumb

PREVIOUS WEEKS

4 weeks

5 weeks

6 weeks

7 weeks

8 weeks

9 weeks

10 weeks

11 weeks

12 weeks

13 weeks

14 weeks

15 weeks

16 weeks

17 weeks

18 weeks

19 weeks

20 weeks

21 weeks

22 weeks

23 weeks

24 weeks

25 weeks

26 weeks

27 weeks

28 weeks

29 weeks