38 Weeks: Props For Mom

We tend to put so much focus on baby stuff, that often a stocked house of things to help mom are forgotten until they are needed.

Based on recommendations from friends and some of you, I’ve stocked up on the following:

Big overnight pads + stool softener. You just never know…

Pads   Colace

Washable breast pads

Foodblog-3703

Two kinds – an organic kind from Babies R Us and Medela brand

Foodblog-3704

Gel pads – you can freeze them for comfort

Foodblog-3701

Nipple cream that I’ve seen a few bloggers recommend (and lanolin too)

Foodblog-3699

A blog reader sent me these sitz bath tea bags ages ago and I tucked them away…until now!

Foodblog-3698

That throw-away stash of underwear…

Foodblog-3151

Gina also sent me some fenugreek [Fenugreek seeds are thought to increase milk supply]

Foodblog-3702

I’ve been sipping raspberry leaf tea since 37 weeks started.*

Foodblog-3693

I like it better iced than hot (although I do like it hot but iced is easier to sip between meals in the summertime). I put 4 teabags in 4 cups of boiling water and steep for 15 minutes. Then store in the fridge in a pitcher and sip 1 cup a day.

Foodblog-3692

I might increase the cups per day as 39 weeks gets closer. I’m trying to be conservative introducing the tea. The tea is thought to tone the uterus and prepare it for efficient contractions – it is not supposed to induce labor.

Foodblog-3697

I also started taking evening primrose after 37 weeks by mouth. A conservative one gel per day. I might try it the other way when I reach 39 weeks. Caitlin wrote posts on both raspberry leaf and EPO on her Babble blog for more info and sources. EPO also won’t induce labor – it is thought to help soften the cervix so when labor does start, it dilates and effaces easier. My only goal by taking these is to hopefully make labor go more smoothly.

Foodblog-3694

I also read in Fit Pregnancy this summer that dates have a compound similar to oxytocin that meant women were less likely to need medication to start labor or keep it going. Who cares if this is just a wives tale – I like dates! So I’ve been eating them more.

Foodblog-3696

One thing I have changed my tune about: castor oil. I used to think I might try it on my due date, but the more I’ve read about birth, the more I consider it an intervention. Baby might not be totally ready to come out yet and I don’t want to jump start things (unlike those things above, castor oil CAN induce labor with the cramps it causes the intestines). So unless I have an induction with pitocin scheduled for the morning, I don’t think I’m going to mess with castor oil.

*Talk to your doctor or midwife before doing any of these things!!

PREVIOUS 38 week posts

Snapshots

A Father’s Reflections On Pregnancy

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

31 weeks

32 weeks

33 weeks

34 weeks

35 weeks

36 weeks

37 weeks

37 Weeks: Expecting The Unexpected–Pregnancy

With just a few weeks to go, I can hardly believe my pregnancy is almost over. In some ways, it has been nothing like I thought it would be. While thinking about the baby and what’s to come has taken up a huge amount of my brain space, I’m still surprised at how normal I feel. I really don’t even feel pregnant a lot of the time (unless I’m going from lying down to sitting up!) and I have no problem seeing my toes or shaving my legs.

Most of my knowledge of pregnancy before I went through it myself stemmed from the media, which we all know tends to exaggerate things! I figured at this point in the game I would be huuuge, waddling, crying, eating ice cream by the gallon, saying “get this baby out of me!”

So what has surprised me about pregnancy?

 

* That I’d Get Terrible Morning Sickness. Starting early on, I was shocked that I got morning sickness. You’d think the media would have prepared me well for this one! My mom didn’t get morning sickness and I have a pretty strong stomach. I learned that those two things don’t mean a thing. Even from pregnancy to pregnancy, women have totally different reactions. Luckily I was able to get it under control, but the whole first trimester was much, much worse than I was prepared for! I am hoping if I have a second pregnancy some day that I luck out and don’t get much. Hoping.

* That I’d Take So Long To Show. I’ve written about this a number of times, so it’s not news to anyone, but I really had no idea that it would take so long for the baby to get big in there! I figured I’d look about as pregnant as I do now at about 25 weeks, and I don’t think I really started to show-show until 30+ weeks. I figured all along that my small torso would lead to a huge bump, but I couldn’t have guessed more wrong.

 

* That I Would Gain Less Weight. I’m surprised at how my weight gain has hugged the lower end of normal. I think based on my history with being overweight in college, I just assumed that I would gain a ton of weight while pregnant. I assumed that the final months I would not be very happy with my body and would have a ton of weight to lose afterwards. Now of course I don’t really know how much I will have to lose quite yet, but I am not unhappy with my body at 37 weeks pregnant. Sure areas of me are much thicker than they used to be, and I have put on a normal amount of pregnancy weight, but I can still see my arm muscles and feel physically fit. I feel like my old self – just plus a big belly. Totally not what I would have predicted.

* That I Wouldn’t Be Moody, Grumpy Or Weepy. In the movies, the women always tear up at everything and yell at their husbands. “You did this to me!” The stereotype is that the husbands go through hell. In 9 months, I haven’t had any urges to be mean to my husband (perhaps that is due to a good relationship from the start) and really haven’t felt all that tearful or hormonal at all (except when watching A Baby Story : ) ). I’ve been lucky to avoid mood swings and the grumps too.

* That I Wouldn’t Get Heartburn Or Have To Pee All The Time. While for some strange reason I figured I wouldn’t get morning sickness, I did assume I would get all the other symptoms. I didn’t realize there was so much variation in pregnancy and that symptoms come and go. For example, I had bad back pain from weeks about 20-30 but now my back feels pretty great despite having a much bigger front. Some symptoms that I have others in my yoga class haven’t had at all, and unlike many of them, I never get up to pee in the night more than once – if at all. I’m thankful that I’m still sleeping pretty well too. It’s all just luck of the draw.

IMG_20120605_080729

* That Sneezing Would Hurt So Much. This is due to a symptom I have – a tender muscle spot under my right ribs where little feet like to play. Still not sure what’s going on in there (but I’m almost positive – and so is my doctor – that it’s muscle and not an important organ that hurts), but gosh when I sneeze it’s the worst! I also can’t twist without making the muscle spasm and/or cramp. Backing out of a parking space when driving is quite painful!!

* That The Hardest Part Of Being Big Isn’t The Bump. I always figured the reason pregnant women were slow to move around was because the bump was soooo heavy. But now I realize the bump is pretty light – it’s everything aching on the inside – muscles, abs, ligaments, lower back, etc. – that keeps me from bounding out of bed or up from the couch. So many little ailments attributed to major structural changes all adding up at once.

* That I Wouldn’t Want To Eat Lots of [Junk] Food All Day. Although I definitely experienced some weird cravings, including a period where anything green totally turned me off, I’ve been surprised by the decrease in my appetite throughout pregnancy and the lack of change in my diet in general. Food just hasn’t tasted as good – even desserty foods – and I have been less hungry than I used to be. I figured I’d want to eat a box of cereal a day! There are two foods that I have loved this whole time: cheese and ice cream. Surprisingly though, I don’t want to go overboard on them. No cravings for fast food at midnight or a pint of Ben & Jerry’s for breakfast. A little ice cream is satisfying enough. This whole experience has been a wonderful time of intuitive eating. Another shock: that I wouldn’t go nuts going 9 months without beer + wine. It really hasn’t been that bad! But I’m also really looking forward to participating in the tasting of alcohol again.

* That It Would Go By So Fast. I have been trying to stop and say “ENJOY THIS MOMENT.” But even when you remember to stop and pay attention, the moments still fly by too fast. I keep thinking that I haven’t made enough videos of me pregnant. I haven’t taken enough photos. I DO have this whole blog to remember my emotions and thoughts, but sometimes I wish I could slow down time a little and really let it sink in what it feels like to be 29 years old, 37 weeks along and expecting my first baby.

Padres

* That Each Week Would Be Better Than The Last. I always assumed that as I approached my due date I’d get more and more uncomfortable and miserable. I’ve actually gotten happier and happier with pregnancy in general (although some physical symptoms are worse…). I didn’t really love being pregnant until the third trimester. Even in the middle of the second trimester I didn’t really have that “I love this and want to do it again” feeling that I’ve heard other women speak about. But now…now that I can feel him move, now that I have a sizable bump, now that nursery items are being purchased and delivery is getting close…now I love it. I definitely hope to do it again someday.

* That This Blog Would Be So Hard. I don’t regret writing BERF at all, and I’m thrilled that I have my pregnancy documented as an online journal. I’m also so thankful for those of you who have been supportive, positive and shared so many great tips and bits of advice. But overall, it’s been a lot of work and a lot more emotionally draining than I ever imagined. I’m very glad I created a new space to talk about pregnancy separate from KERF, but in some ways this experience has not been what I hoped it would be.

I feel now that I can’t be totally honest with my thoughts because pregnancy is such a sensitive topic and requires disclaimers in every post. There are topics I now don’t want to touch with a 10 foot pole. I wish I didn’t have to moderate comments to avoid people saying things like “You look fat” and “Stupidest post ever.” But thus is the internet. I have realized that I have no desire to be a mommy blogger when the baby is born. As much as I love reading the super helpful blog posts about sleep habits, baby gear, solid foods and cloth diapering that other bloggers have written, I don’t plan on continuing to write about topics on BERF. I just don’t want to open myself up for the kind of criticism that comes up, and I think motherhood is a part of my life that I want to keep more private.

That’s not to say that I won’t post 1,000 baby photos or pose questions for feedback as they come up, but I’m not going to turn BERF into a full-time mommy blog, which makes me a bit sad. I just know it’s the best decision for us. For the short term it will be a baby photo central (for me, my family and those who are interested) and in the long term, a memory of this journey. KERF is my passion and what gives me the most work-related joy at the end of the day.

PREVIOUS 37 WEEK POSTS

Snapshots

The Hospital Bag

Belly Dancer

Full Term + Full Of Baby

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

31 weeks

32 weeks

33 weeks

34 weeks

35 weeks

36 weeks

34 Weeks: Seasons Change

Whenever I tell people that my due date is August 31, they always comment on being pregnant in the summer. “Oh you must be soooo hot!!” My response is always that I’m actually really thankful for the timing of this pregnancy – I actually couldn’t have asked for more perfect seasons of change!! Of course we can’t really just decide when to conceive, but reflecting on the seasons, I’m very thankful for how my timing worked out.

Winter

I found out I was pregnant on December 19 – just before Christmas. It made for a really exciting holiday! Thankfully morning sickness had yet to appear, and although I was off the alcohol at parties, it was very fun to tell our families as part of their Christmas presents. And then of course we took a fabulous vacation to Jamaica – a babymoon of sorts, although we hadn’t planned it that way!

Then morning sickness set in and I spent the rest of the first trimester feeling terrible and eating cheese and popsicles:

[10 weeks!]

2012-02-08 20.42.06Blog

In the winter, all you want to do is lie on the couch anyways, so I didn’t feel like I was missing out on much. I was able to bundle up in my winter coat and go for walks (and a few runs!). Comfort foods were “in season.” Everyone was wearing bulky winter clothes so any first trimester bloat was well hidden under sweaters and coats. My pants, coats and tops still fit, and I just had to buy a few pairs of maternity jeans towards the end.

Spring

Then like magic, spring arrived and my morning sickness melted away with the frost! I felt better and the world was feeling better too. I no longer wanted to sit on the couch – I couldn’t wait to get outside and breathe in the fresh air! I was ready to eat asparagus and greens again and sit on the porch to work with the birds chirping.

2012-03-13 13.04.02Blog

The wonderful springtime cheer matched my mood, and I was so thankful that the first trimester and winter were both over. I often called them “the dark ages” because I felt like I could sum up the entire winter with eating dinners on the couch, in the dark, watching LOST and feeling pretty terrible. Spring was a new beginning!

Summer

Following a great spring was an even better summer. I was feeling great and starting to really feel pregnant. My maternity wardrobe consisted of a dozen Old Navy tank tops and 4 pairs of shorts that I wore over and over. Luckily summer clothes are cheap! I could also wear dresses now – which I didn’t really even need in maternity (I only bought a few to get me through the third trimester). We went on vacations – like to the beach – and I was in the sweet spot of the second trimester where I was feeling good but not too pregnant to travel. I even traveled across the country – to Seattle and back!

During

Being pregnant in the summer hasn’t been that bad – I sweat just about the same amount as I did before! Sometimes it’s just more noticeable than others : )

2012-06-21 09.32.34

And Fall!

I really can’t think of a better time to have a newborn!! I am due August 31 – and September is usually the break in heat for us. Temps drop back down to the mid 80s and fall creeps in. Give me a few weeks of recovery and I bet we’ll have our first crisp days just when I’m ready to start walking with the baby. We’ve had some truly gorgeous Septembers the past few years, and October is even nicer – perfect for walks! Baby wearing won’t be like carrying around a personal heater as it is in the summer – we can keep each other warm in fall temperatures! Fall is my favorite season, so I’m hoping that the excitement of having a baby during my favorite time of year will make this one extra special – especially since my 30th birthday is just around the corner : ) We have a few months to adjust before the frigid winter temps and sickness season begin, and a few months to prepare and practice for the holiday season and traveling.

2012-04-25 10.37.54Blog

And there’s one last really, really good reason I am excited to have a baby right before fall begins: PUMPKIN BEER SEASON!!

PREVIOUS 34 WEEK POSTS

Snapshots

Breastfeeding Class

Drop Or Not?

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

31 weeks

32 weeks

33 weeks

23 Weeks: The Magic Inside

From Conception To Birth

 

Someone shared the above video with me a while back and I just recently re-watched it (twice!) It is the magic of conception to birth shown in some pretty incredible digital images. I think my favorite one, though, is the one of the baby inside of the mother’s body.  It’s the best depiction of what-goes-where I have seen to date:

This is me a few weeks ago [although my belly is not nearly that round, so where is my baby hanging out!?]

image

And then what’s to come:

image

There are some really amazing videos on You Tube (including lots of birth videos if you’re interested!!)

And check out this awesome animation too!

image

Pregnancy is soooo cool and so weird!

PREVIOUS 23 WEEK POSTS

Snapshots

Pumping (And I Don’t Mean My Breasts)

Baby You’re A Firework

Pregnant In America

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