11 Weeks: Birth, Babies and Bumps?

My stomach is definitely starting to show. It’s getting harder to suck in, and while I can’t quite feel my uterus, I don’t think this is bloating alone. Or maybe it is, but it sure feels like pregnancy! I had two friends here in town tell me that they noticed my “tiny bump.”

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Sportin’ the maternity jeans!! Rolled down for photos.

11 weeks (bare normal)

Sucking in! No real bump there yet…

11 weeks (sucking in)

I’m starting to feel more like a pregnant woman in general – from the curved abdomen to the Pregtastic podcasts I am now obsessed with. I have them to thank for the hours of walking I’ve been doing! Each episode has a featured speaker or topic and also includes a panel of pregnant women talking about their ups and downs each week. I’ve already learned so much from listening to about 5 podcasts, and I can’t wait to go through them all!

I’ve started to feel dizzy a lot more frequently. I’m usually one to wake up in bed slowly, but as soon as I’m ready to get up, I LEAP out of bed. I think this is something I’m going to have to slow down because the past 3 mornings I’ve had to sit back down and wait for my sight to return!

Butterflies or Bubbles?

I was reading in a chair this afternoon and being very still when I felt a flutter go through my lower core. Right in the middle. Do you know those Christmas lights with the bubbles in them? My Grandma Younger used to have them on her tree – they must have been from the 70s.

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This feeling reminded me of the bubbles in those candles rising up and lasted a good 10 seconds. I’m sure this could have been gas, but it sure felt like a butterfly. I Googled the phrase “When can you first feel a baby” and several moms said they started to feel their babies at 10-11-12 weeks, although most reported around 15-16-17. Second time moms are supposed to be able to feel them sooner because they “know what to feel” but I don’t see why a first-time mom like me who pays close attention to a flutter or bubble couldn’t feel them that early too! A day later I felt what seemed like a thump to the uterus. I’m not sayin’ these are definitely the baby, but I’m not sayin’ they’re not either!

Birthing Business

We watched “The Business of Being Born” this morning. I agree, women should be goddesses of labor! And we should not fear childbirth. It’s sad to learn the stats of American childbirth interventions and the lack of midwives practicing these days. But I seriously doubt all doctors and hospitals are as evil as they are portrayed in the movie. I’ve heard from friends that our hospital – Martha Jefferson – is very supportive of natural birth, so I think I’m in as good of a place as I can be.

I think what I enjoyed most about the film was watching the births. I can’t WAIT to find out what labor is like. I read the following in the birth story of my friend Lynsie and was totally into her choice of words:

“I think it is vital to note that I have not once classified labor contractions as painful. I can honestly say that they were not. Incredibly intense? Yes. Lots of pressure? Yes. The only time I experienced pain was when I was forced to lay back on a hospital bed or when little Gabe was turning breech. Moving around for each contraction and attempting multiple positions helped immensely. The contractions themselves were difficult, intense, all encompassing, but NOT painful. I truly think this is so important to recognize as we are taught as women to fear labor. For me personally, I cannot wait to do it again.”

I hope to have a natural birth because I want to experience womanhood in its most raw state. However, I’m mentally prepared for every scenario and won’t really know what my body will do until I’m in the middle of it, so I’m not anti epidural epidural either. I think the determining factor is going to be my length of labor. If it’s short, I think going natural would be easier to push through, but if it’s really long – days – then I have heard midwives say they even lean towards epidurals then to give the mom a break. I’ve also heard women on Pregtastic say that the epidural actually jump-started a stalled labor because they could finally relax. Labor sounds absolutely exhausting, from not eating to not sleeping and the incredible physical and mental demand. And of course, if it comes down to C-section (which wouldn’t surprise me with my narrow hips and smallish frame!) then that’s what happens.

There is only one certified nurse midwife who delivers in hospitals here in Cville and she was booked when I called the week I got a positive test 🙁 Apparently she’s awesome and popular. So I’m going with one of the main OBGYN practices here, the one I have been seeing before I was pregnant, and hoping to hire a doula for that one-on-one attention. That’s really what I’m after most – someone who will stay by my side and know exactly what’s going on so she can act as a liaison to the doctor for me. I hope Matt can be my mental coach and the doula can be my physical one.

At the end of the film I asked Matt what he thought about the movie and laboring process and he said he’s even more overwhelmed than ever.  I think he was surprised at how complicated it is – not just during labor, but also all the factors that go into decision making and all the types of birth that are out there to choose from.

More on birth plans in future posts 🙂

Adventures in Babysitting

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I spent yesterday babysitting 2.5 month old Finn. I have loved babies my whole life and he is one of the cutest ever! When I was little, Larbs and I were obsessed with dolls. My mom is a doll lover too. I loved all the baby gear that came with dolls, and we would play all kinds of games. I don’t know if it was mother’s instinct or just something I picked up from the media, but I just love the feeling of putting doll clothes on a doll (and thus, real clothes on a baby!) I really enjoy changing diapers (in infants, anyways! And ones with doll “poop”.) Holding Finn had me thinking about my own baby. I cannot even imagine what it will be like to hold something that Matt and I grew from seeds.

Grapefruit Inside

Here I am on my last day of my 11th week and I THINK I can feel my uterus! I’ve been trying to feel it for weeks now. My doctor said to feel right above my pubic bone and it should start to “peek over” any day now. It’s pretty hard to feel your own internal organs though. I don’t know if my lower abs are just in the way or if my organs are just much deeper in there than I thought, but I wish I had a better understanding of what’s going on in there! I’ve studied anatomy photos and still can’t quite get the 3D image quite right in my mind.

But today I decided that if my uterus is indeed the size of a grapefruit, I should be able to feel it. I pressed all around and while the top still feels flat and hard like abs, I think I felt it on the sides! I can definitely put my hands around something that feels round, and I’m guessing that’s it. It’s also much higher up than I’ve been poking for, so maybe I missed its initial arrival. Now that I know where to feel, I’m excited for it to make its appearance to my stomach. I’ve been stalking my friends’ blogs each week looking at their posts from 10,11,12 weeks. It seems most people had popped by 14/15 weeks with a real pregnant round bump by 17/18. That’s not that far away!

Shopping For Space

Karen and I went to the mall this week to Motherhood Maternity. I tried on tons of different outfits with the 3-month-add pillow strapped under my shirt. It gave me an instant belly! I can’t imagine having my stomach be that big all of the time, but I guess that’s what’s in store!

Here’s some advice to those thinking about pregnancy: buy maternity jeans early! They are SO much more comfortable than jeans + Beband or jeans + button tie closure. They are pretty cute too! So long as you wear a longer shirt, no one knows that you’re wearing stretch pants. I want to wear them forever!*

*I’m sure at 9 months I will never want to touch these jeans again

Speaking of clothes, check out what dear reader Rachel sent me!

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Baby’s first clothing!! This onesie is SO TINY I can’t even imagine the little body that will hopefully fit into it someday. I teared up when I held it in my arms baby-style.

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