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Hi Everyone!

Just wanted to jump in for a quick update on the adoption.
We get to meet our son (ha ha ha! woohoo!) on Monday morning. We will continue to visit him as often as possible throughout the week. His hopefully-last court date to become a crown ward is scheduled for end of next week. We’ve since got a lot more info about him, and it turns out some of the original info we got was quite wrong. He is almost eight weeks old (not two). He was born five weeks early at five and a half pounds, with good Apgar scores. The hospital file notes that he had a “four-vessel umbilical cord” and they did a brain scan of some sort on him. Google is woefully inadequate for this umbilical presentation but after a lengthy/frustrating search I found that babies with a four-vessel cord could be perfectly healthy or have one of two horrifying things, both of which would not, if he had had them, usually have allowed him to have survived through birth. One of those things was too much amniotic fluid and the other results in an un-formed/malformed frontal lobe. I’m thinking that’s what the brain scan was testing. There are no further notes about it and he was discharged days after birth into a foster family.

We that he is extremely alert and curious and responds to the voices of his care-givers. Oh, and he also is very cuddly. Snuggles right into their arms (and this week he’s a bit constipated). smile.gif

We know more now too about the early alcohol exposure and that it was about eight (one per week) episodes of Friday or Saturday night 5+ drinks. We are terrified about this, but also very optimistic. Birth mom was very forthcoming with the info, they have no reason to believe she was lying, and she did not drink more than one weekend night per week. She has a job and basically went out and partied one night per weekend. Motherisk in Toronto has a study on such things, and this number of “binge occasions” falls into the moderate portion of their study and none of the children born from those mothers showed any divergence from the norm for IQ, behaviour etc. Occurences that fell between the 15-20 time range, also had same IQ as the norm, but some showed signs of lack of inhibition in their behaviours. Basically, in all probability he will be fine and his outcome would be much scarier according to studies if the mother had been drinking daily, even with far fewer drinks. So … here’s to accepting that this is meant to be and that everything will work out and our little boy F will not struggle at all because of any of the first trimester exposure.

We will be spending the weekend painting his room and buying such things as infant car seats!
Hey, Fooks...I think all this news sounds really, really positive! Sounds like you are doing your research but also sounds like you are being pretty pragmatic about everything. All signs point to YES. So glad the birth mom is forthcoming with all this info. I really wouldn't worry too much about the alcohol exposure...many women drink much more heavily than that throughout their ENTIRE pregnancies and babies are okay.

The umbilical cord thing sounds fine too...I'm sure if it was a problem they would know by 8 weeks old.

OMG, I cannot believe you are going to meet him Monday!!!! I am so so so so so excited for you and Mr. F. Like, insanely excited. Please post when you can and let us know what's going on and how the meeting went!

Awww, "Your Son" indeed! That's just so awesome Fookie. And 8 weeks is a lovely age - my SIL's little boy is about the same and is all smiley and snuggly. I'm so thrilled for you!

Aphelendra, you're right, I feel as if I some I somehow 'deserve' a straightforward and trouble-free pregnancy after the traumas of last year. I'm not stressing about the RhNeg thing now. In fact, I even feel quite special knowing that there aren't many of us, and I'm a universal donor so my blood is precious!

Zelda, you are lucky to have been given so much free stuff - the cost of baby-related equipment scares me. Not that I have to worry about that for while. Right now I have to look into local NCT classes, and face up to the fact that I only have one pair of jeans that still fit me. I hear that maternity jeans are the work of the devil...

Funny, I actually LIKE maternity jeans...I am a woman with a relatively small waist and a big tush (or would you say bum?)...regular jeans that fit my rear end are always too big at the waist, and jeans that fit my waist are too tight in the rear end. But maternity jeans fit like a glove with that expandable panel. I found them pretty comfy!

My advice to you as you buy maternity clothes...if you find something you like that fits you well, buy two or three pairs and/or buy one in every color. My maternity outfits have consisted of the same three or four basic items mixed and matched throughout, and it's made life easier for sure!
Catching up, catching up...Fookie, wonderful to have you hear and I'm about to start bawling too! CONGRATS!!! Love the news!

From an older post, Zelda, I effing love the book Birthing From Within. It is rocking my world. Are you constantly singing that "Turn, Turn, Turn" song from the 60's or what?! At least it's catchy!

Kitty, I have had some unpleasant insurance "suprises" too. Welcome to the grand old USA, where paying corporate CEOs for the priviledge of being healthy is par for the course. Doesn't it make you cray-cray??

Funny, your worries are totally valid and I hope you learn enough more about your bloodwork so that you feel more comfy about your options...a lot of us are new at this too, and every strange occurrence has totally freaked me out too. Frankly I'm still beating myself up over the fact that I did not realize I was pregnant for a good 6 weeks and did all sorts of no-no's, but the other part of me says that I am healthy, low-risk and doing my best for myself and the baby now, and that is what's important. It's tough. (((Big hugs to you))))

Aphelendra, absolutely cannot wait to set up my own reg and cannot wait for your little bub to show up! So excited!

And finally, we found a midwife practice we like that is not out in the boonies and seems really nice and trustworthy. It fits the experience I want but since it is not a home birth association it will not cause our respective families to be freaking out for the next 6 months, which I really felt I did not need. I hope with our next bebeh there will be more homebirth options in our area, or that Illinois will recognize all midwives and not just the CNM's! Come on, homestate, get with the program! Next appointment in a couple weeks but still have to wait, wait, wait for that dang ultrasound. I wanna know more about the munchkin!

Ok, long message...

I'm so sorry for all you american mamas having to pay all that money, yikes! Everything is covered here in Canada, midwife, all the tests etc. I was hoping your health care reform would change to be more like ours.

Funnybird, my little man ended up having rh-neg blood himself even though daddy is positive so all that worry and arguing with an insistant doctor for nothing. I don't know about the girly though, they didn't test her for type when they did that genetic heel poking thing (that is mandatory here, I couldn't opt out of that one unfortunately) even though I asked them too. I hardly want to have blood drawn from her now to find out even though I like to know. It's amazing to me that everyone doesn't know their type, I always considered it so important.

About maternity clothes, I was very surprised at how much my rib cage expanded, I hadn't expected that. None of the cute little sun dresses I made for myself would zip up the back! Make sure you take that into account if you're buying in advance.
I cut tshirts up to use as belly bands under other shirts that fit but weren't long enough. Just chop them right under the arms, you can sew a hem at the top with elastic in it if you want but they stay up ok without it. I sewed stretchy panels into many pants too, there are instructions on how to do it online but a local dry cleaner should be able to do it for you for not too much money.

You really don't need a lot of stuff for a new baby. My advice for not driving yourself crazy is to only dress the wee one in footy jammies for as long as possible, even using them as a base under pants and shirts. This will mean that no bare back and ankles are exposed every time baby is picked up. Plus they are comfy, wash well and you can find them in thrift stores in great condition for next to nothing. You will grow to loathe those adorable looking fancy clothes in no time, believe me.
Only soft shoes if any shoes for as long as possible. Even when baby starts to walk you want the shoes to be soft at first.
If you crib sleep buying second hand (check safety rating and recalls) means it will have off gassed already instead of in your home and into baby lungs, same with anything new that is plastic or has been painted (new carpet and paint too, air this out very well for as long as possible). Try to buy way in advance if you are getting things new and an air purifier is a good idea too. This gets overlooked but is really very important IMO because baby lungs are very sensitive.
I didn't get a stroller for ages because I wore a baby carrier but a stroller can be had second hand for way less money, they are ridiculously expensive. Make sure the handles are high enough that you aren't bending when you push, this will save your back. There are tons of carriers, my fave was the baby bjorn. It was comfy and easy to get on and off and it had an option to support the baby's head when facing in or out. My kids both hated slings and that long stretchy fabric wrap thing that is impossible to get on. Try them out first with a doll or teddy so you see how they work. Like the baby trekker is an octopus that had me in frustrated tears but other people love that thing.
I used tons of baby wash cloths, the kids still use them at every meal (instead of their sleeves, yay!).
I did use a baby bath but only briefly, the sink is easier on your back.
A baby food mill, the hand operated kind. I loved this.

There are so many ridiculous "must have" items. Less is more, honestly. You can always run out and get something you find you want when you know how it's going to go. Don't drive yourself crazy!

Love the sewing tips, pepper! I'm putting off the m wear as long as possible. I did buy a couple belly bands though just to have around.
Foooooooooooookkkkiiiiiiiieeeeeee!!!!!!!!! Your son!!!!! All sounds very well, the info you found relating to the binge drinking sounds really promising. And as far as the umbilical thing, its very encouraging that he had a brain scan and was then released the next day. I'll be thinking of you (and so will hubs, I had to explain a bit when he found me all teary and stuff in front of the computer the other day). I'm sure this weekend will be busy busy busy and monday is going to be very intense, but keep us posted!

funnybird, kudos on finding the silver lining! As a universal donor, you are quite special. I also have to second Zelda on the maternity pants. If I had my way, I would never go back to regular jeans. Mmmmmm . . . . . stretchy elastic . . . . I also recommend buying several of something if you know you like it, I even bought one pair of pants in two different sizes. Gap maternity jeans are the best I've found. They are normally pretty pricey, but if you check the store/website they have pretty frequent sales. I even got one pair for under 25 bucks on super sale.

Luleey, congrats on deciding on a midwife practice. I'm pretty sure of which one you speak of (there are, after all, woefully few choices around these parts), and have to say again that I've heard absolutely nothing but wonderful and positive things.

I only recently became aware of some of the weird Illinois laws surrounding midwifery. Our birth instructor is a very well known CPM, she has worked all over the world (for the WHO no less), has trained under some of the most well known midwives and obstetricians there are, and has attended over a 1,000 births. But because she isn't a CNM, she can legally only attend a birth under the "authority" of a nurse practitioner or a physician. Gag gag gag.

Pepper, I'm curious what brand of baby mill you used? I registered for a KidCo ( I think) but they also had a munchkin brand. Both had some negative reviews and some positive. I am one confused lady, and much in need of experienced mommy advice.

Speaking of registering, I need to vent, just a little (ok, actually this is going to be one big turd of a vent). I did end up bringing a "friend" with me yesterday. She's someone I went to high school with and hung out with in my hard partying days, and she's also the only mommy friend I have who is my age and still lives in the state.

Big, big, big mistake. I hope your friend was helpful and encouraging Zelda, because mine was not. First of all, she kept insisting that I register for really inane stuff (like a twenty dollar light up noisy baby einstein toy that apparently I can't raise a happy baby without) and then got really offended, insistent, and bitchy when I didn't want the stuff she suggested. To the point where I started scanning things I didn't want and then went home and privately deleted them online.

When I said I didn't wanted to register for diaper rash ointment until I did some research, she actually rolled her eyes. Pardon me for wanting to know what chemicals I'm smearing all over my little girl's butt. When I said I wanted to make my own baby food she told me I never would and that most kids "like" gerber better anyways. When I said I didn't want to register for a toddler seat without Mr. having some input she called me co-dependent. It went on and on.

Frankly, the whole idea of registering for gifts, while I totally understand the need and appreciate that I get to do it, makes me a bit uncomfortable. If I'm going to ask people to buy me specific things, I'm going to be thoughtful about it, research the items I want, and only register for things I know I will truly need and use.

And then, to top it all off, her 16 month old son threw the biggest, scariest, angriest tantrum I think I've ever seen. After 30 minutes of sitting in a shopping cart with no snacks, no toys, no books, and no interaction from mommy, the poor little thing just lost it. I mean lost it. He screamed, he hit her repeatedly in the face, he pulled her hair. She just kept saying things like "Oh my god. He's like, never done this before" and "he's just angry because I haven't bought him a toy yet" and then my very favorite "Mommy's gonna beat you up if you don't stop" ( I don't care if she was "joking", I don't find that funny). I kept insisting that we should leave, but apparently she needed to buy some face wash and then have me take her to get groceries. Thankfully, the little bubs fell asleep in the car (no car seat, mind you, I shouldn't have even allowed her to bring him in my car without one), so I waited with him while she did her shopping.

OH.MY.GOD. I literally couldn't fall asleep for hours last night, thinking about her little man and what a terrible day he'd had. And then of course, doubting my ability to cope with parenting at this age. When I woke up this morning, after a very fitful and restless sleep, I informed Mr. that parenting was hard and sad and that babies were very angry little things.

Busties, mommyhood is a magical happy thing, right? Right? It's going to be hard but wonderful? And my little girl is going to be happy and well adjusted (most of the time anyway)?

Alright, end long rant here. Thanks for listening ladies. I'm very happy to have a place to get this stuff off my chest.

OMG Aphel, what a horrendous experience. I hope you never have to hang out with that mommy again. She sounds like she doesn't know what the eff she's talking about and is not a supportive or tolerant person. And YES, you should do some research on the products you want....I know I read some interesting stuff on diaper rash and natural ointments in the book Herbal for the Childbearing Years by Susun Weed, so you might look for that at the library. Good luck and have confidence in yourself, there's no instruction manual with all this no matter what everyone else says! And yes, that is frustrating about the CPMs vs. CNMs. Good old crazy Illinois. But whatevs, I still can't wait for my birth!!
No car seat. blink.gif
Where is it that you live that this is not totally illegal? If I got caught with no car seat the CSA would be all over me, taking both my kids away, not to mention the driver being fined up the wazoo! Your friend is insane.
Sorry, that was harsh, but OMG No Car Seat?!

Ok, I've had two baby food mills and they were both pretty much the same. I don't think it matters what kind you get really. I can see them getting some negative reviews, they aren't effortless or anything. You do have to chop things up first and then apply some pressure to grind them up, especially if you're using raw stuff, and there is always some that doesn't come out and is wasted but it's just a teeny bit. It's best to use raw foods anyhow, vitamins are totally killed by heating so just sticking in some grated carrot and a bit of peeled apple is miles better than boiling them. It's super easy to make a perfect serving size right on the spot and clean up is just a rinse. I never premade, I never froze anything, I took it with me everywhere. It was easy. One thing I did do was to add some fruit to whatever veg I was using (fresh peas, green beans, kale, grated carrot or sweet potato, etc) usually a bit of apple or pear or some mashed banana added later. The apple and pear help to make it easier to grind too.
Also, babies don't develop the digestive enzyme needed to break down starches until they are about 1 year old so even though a doctor will recommend rice cereal, that is hard on digestion and valueless in terms of nutrition. I held off on feeding them any grain products, even bananas and avocados were later foods. Mild, fresh raw fruits and veg are the very best. Also hold off on feeding any allergens like strawberries, oranges, nuts, seafoods (etc), I wouldn't serve any meat or dairy until later on either, those are hard to digest as well.

Aphelendra, they aren't unhappy, I promise you this. You will spend hours eye gazing and cooing and tickling and snuggling and being lost in a foggy haze of love. They just aren't shy about letting you know when they're not happy and they only have so many ways to do that, one of them being screaming, another flailing, and throwing things, etc. Minor bumps, you'll find that you have hidden reserves to cope with all of it. Your friend just hasn't found hers yet (I hope she'll find them someday. "Mommy's going to beat you up" is fairly wretched).
I am being hailed with "My want sit on you lap mommy" so I gotta go. It's lots of love girls, most of the time. You'll see.
Pepper, you're right - I am ashamed about not knowing my blood group before now. I've always wanted to be a donor, but it was one of those worthy things I haven't got round to yet (like learning German and making my own soup). My Mum always used to tell me that they probably wouldn't take me because I was too underweight, which may have been true in my teens and early 20s, but certainly not these days. I feel even worse about it now I know about the universal donor thing. I wonder if it's okay to donate while breast-feeding?

Two questions: 1 - Is it normal to have bump at not-quite 13 weeks?? Does it just show more on me because I'm tall and quite skinny? Architect Boy thinks I'm exaggerating, but I swear it's there and my clothes definitely don't fit like they used to. 2 - When does sleeping position start to matter? I've been trying to sleep on my left side, but I keep waking-up on my back. Probably not a big deal at this stage, right?

Aphelendra, sounds like a pretty terrible day out! Maybe your friend was just having a bad day, but your reaction to her behaviour towards her son is enough to show that your parenting experience will be nothing like that! I'm also shocked at the no car seat thing. Definitely illegal in the UK.
Aphelendra...nightmare!!! Sounds like an unhappy mom...and an unhappy baby. You are not destined to have this happen to you, I promise!

Pepper, we got a Baby Bjorn and are looking forward to using it.

Funny...I am tall but not particularly thin (about a size 12/14 in American clothes). I started to feel like I had a gut around 13/14 weeks. It felt soft...just like extra fat around my middle. Around 15/16 weeks I started feeling more bumpish. By 17/18 weeks I was one of those women you were 90% sure are pregnant but would never dare ask. By 20 weeks there was no denying it - I was knocked up!

Every woman is different...I know my regular clothes were ill-fitting long before I looked really pregnant.

As for sleeping on your side versus your back...I've heard sometime around 16 to 18 weeks it's time to start sleeping on your side. For some reason, my OB (who is quite laid back about most things) is really crazy about that...she really doesn't want me sleeping on my back. But my friend's doctor told her it wasn't anything to get nutty about.

Up until my third trimester started I slept with a pillow between my legs and a pillow under my head. Every time I would wake up to go to the bathroom during the night I'd flip sides from left to right and then left again. When I got to 32 weeks or so the regular pillows weren't enough. Now I use a long body pillow and I looooove it. I'm still flipping from side to side when I wake up.

I really miss sleeping on my stomach and back!!! By the NOT fret if you wake up in the night on your stomach or really is okay. Your body will get into the habit of side sleeping soon enough.

PS...I tried a cheap nursery decoration idea today...went to a vintage store and bought some old lady magazines from the 50s and then got some frames at Target and framed old baby advertisements. They look really sweet and it was cheap!
Awesome awesome awesome idea Zelda. I just told Mr. and I think we're gonna go out tomorrow and look for some mags!

Thanks for listening to my obscenely long rant guys. And thanks for the kind words. Needless to say, I will not be seeing her again soon. P.s. The diapers she insisted I get? Third page of my newspaper today, apparently they cause bleeding diaper rash!

Pepper, thanks for the perspective on the mills. I think the negative reviews I was reading were coming from people who think every product should work effortlessly and perfectly. I'm not afraid of puttin' a bit o' muscle into it. And thanks for the good advice about using raw foods instead of cooked. For some reason, I thought fruits/veggies had to be cooked for little ones. . . . I should probably get to reading Super Baby Food. I once again urge you to keep hanging around this thread . . . . so nice to have a momma to ask these things ( a conscientious and friendly bustie momma no less).

Funny, I definitely had a little belly at 13 weeks (earlier even). Not only is your uterus growing, but the muscles in your abdomen are actually "slackening" ( a lovely word the NP at our clinic used) to make room for further growth. As far as clothes not fitting, mine certainly weren't too comfy by that point. And being thin definitely means you will "show" sooner.

Hope all are well in bustie land . . . .
Funny, I have the same problems at night where I often wake up on my back. I think Zelda is right, it must take some time. Also my husband could tell around SIX WEEKS that I was gaining weight in my tummy and that should have been a clue! I of course glared at him and told him I was just bloated. Riiiiggggghhhhtt....No one else thinks I am showing but most of my pants don't fit anymore, and I'm around the same week as you. And my boobs are huge. I am normally small waisted so I think that is why I am protruding so much, and getting fleshy elsewhere from not exercising as vigorously. Just let your body do what it needs to! Enjoy being "bumpy", I'm sure you look amazing.
The most annoying time for me body wise was week 12 until week 15 or so...three weeks of just feeling FAT around my middle like I had a big ol' gut. And I have to say I am normally really happy with my body...I have a pretty positive body image, but this was just this big hunk of flab...didn't feel pregnant just flabby!

Suddenly, around week 15 or 16, it magically became bump-like, and what a relief! Now my bump is so enormous I look back with laughter at the time when I worried I would never look pregnant enough. Trust me...the time will come soon enough!

If I could offer one tip that would be to keep doing some kind of exercise if you can. It really has made me feel so good throughout this entire process. I liked the Fit Mama DVD...sort of cheesy, but I enjoyed it, and did it regularly from week 9 or 10 until the end of my second trimester or so. Now that the weather is getting nicer, I am doing 20 minute walks and stretches. Exercising has made me feel more in tune with my body, minimized stress, and made me feel like I am doing something positive for baby and for me.
Yes, Zelda, the Fit Mama one is cute! I tried it out from the library. I ended up buying a pilates one and a sculpting one that are challenging but not to the point where I want to sleep for 14 hours after doing it. Seeing the instructors on the DVD, who are really far along, do these exercises is pretty inspiring--I like the message that we're still in a natural state of being for women, not dealing with some debilitating medical condition!
Ok, I'll stick and chat with you guys. So long as I'm not bugging you... I know I can be radical in my parenting, birth and health ideas but I realize that's not for everyone.

FB tons of people don't know their blood type so don't feel bad. I just grew up thinking it was important but my mom is a hippie so maybe she was into that blood type diet thing, who knows. Tons of us are O or O-neg (like me) so maybe that's why we know?

I slept all kindsa crazy when I was w babe, even later on. I always sleep on my side but I'd wake up on my back or even on my front, how is that comfortable with a bump? And I always show immediately, I mean in 3 weeks I know. My boobs swell, I retain water so I look about 5 months up front. It's weird. And I never exercised but I did work as hard as ever and did all the things I always do including lifting stuff and riding a bike. People were always telling me "Oh, you can't lift that!" but pregnancy isn't a sickness, we can mostly just do what feels ok and not have to stress about it.

I love the idea about the old magazine pages, that must be so cute! I sometimes frame greeting and postcards in those glass clip frames and I've been known to repurpose a calendar or two. No cheaper way to get prints of gorgeous art work.

My thinking about eating raw foods is that this is how nature intended us to eat them, we sure aren't supposed to cook stuff even though we do and have for generations. The fact is that heating kills nutrients and enzymes so cooked food is inferior to raw by far. That's fine, we eat what tastes good and take vitamins, we're still doing ok healthwise. But for babies, I prefer things as natural as possible. If they are too young for things raw, I figure they are too young still to eat at all. I fed my little man mostly breast milk until he was one. He got tastes of food but even at one I was only giving him an actual small serving once daily, sometimes every other day. He was big, he was the healthiest baby, he's still tall compaired to his age group and he hardly ever, ever gets sick. I chalk it up to extended, exclusive breastfeeding and good early nutrition. There's no panic to start feeding them, even if they are grabbing at your food it's not an indication of readiness (they will grab at a shoe too, or money, a pen etc). I had a friend who was so paranoid about her daughter eating often and enough that she made her 2 year old fat. It's not neccessary. Tons of moms will tell you that their kids sometimes seem to live on air and sunshine and it's true! They will eat as much as they need to, their little bodies know what to do. If you just focus on making the choices offered to them the healthiest and most nutrious options they'll always be getting something good. It's easy to fall back on snack foods but a fruit plate is better! They will want to eat what you are eating during pregnancy too so keep that in mind. Load up on salads and avoid junk if you can. Don't worry about occasional indulgences but it's great if you make your standard foods healthy ones, of course!
Heads up...take off your rings while you still can! I have barely swelled at all but I guess I have a little because Mr. Z noticed how tight my wedding and engagement bands looked on my finger. My mom reminded me that they will probably have me take them off at the hospital anyway.

Thirty minutes and a half a tub of Vaseline later they are finally off my finger, and my finger is throbbing. If you wear rings, I guess you should take them off while you still can...ouch.

Woah...for any new mama lurkers or posters...when you had Braxton-Hicks, did you feel sometimes like a pain or pressure on your cervix? Was that part of it?

A few times today, I experienced this. It was a significant, deep pressure or like something was pushing down on my cervix. Also, my uterus hardened up. I thought B-H contractions were supposed to be painless. This was not painFUL, but I wouldn't say it was painLESS either...if you know what I mean.

Drank water, laid on my left side, and they seem to be subsiding. I had about one several hours ago and then three in about an hour and a half.


Fookie, your son!!! I am so excited for you! And 8 weeks is perfect. He'll be smiling and interacting and very cuddly. I am so happy to hear your news.
fookie, hope you can check in today or soon after and tell us all about your son!

my tummy is usually soft and flabby but now at 13 weeks i can feel a bit of tightness under the flab where baby is. so my size 12 jeans are starting to get tight. and the boobs! ugh! i had breast reduction surgery about 6 years ago and i'm afraid they're heading back in that direction. all that, the heat and humidity here in NJ this weekend, and the constipation has made me one bloated lady.

zelda, i love your nursery decor idea! i was thinking of doing the same with vintage children's books illustrations, maybe even making sepia-toned copies since the room will be golds and browns (no pastels allowed in our house!). have fun crafting and decorating! and hope you're feeling better today.

i'm gonna check out that Fit Mama DVD at the library, thanks all. i've been walking the pup a lot, but with the bloating i could use all the help i can find.

feel well, all.
Nickclick: I know how you feel. I'm only at a little over 10 weeks and having to rubber band most pants. I'm pretty thin normally so I think maybe it just pops right out? My clothes all have a pretty fitted style- not trashy tight but just "fit just right" so there is not much room to grow. I was thinking at 12 weeks I'd try a Bella Band. Have you tried those? I'm trying to wait the full 12 weeks to tell everyone I work with but it's gonna get hard to hide!

Zelda: Are you feeling better?? I love your nursery decorating idea! I'm a painter and everyone says I should do the art for the baby's room but I like the idea of finding cool stuff by other artists to use. You should check ebay too- you can get some original art that's pretty amazing for really cheap smile.gif

Pepper: I agree with you about the raw foods thing. I'm a vegetarian and considered going Woody Harrelson style and trying the raw foods ONLY diet but I couldn't quite do it. Raw foods are much better for you though! I'm reading Diet for a Small Planet right now and trying out some of those recipes. Have you read it?

Quick question- why does the paperwork from my Dr. say to limit my juice intake? I LOVE juice! I drink only about 1 glass a day. That's fine right?!? Is it the pasteurization/ E Coli thing? I gave up my tea, but my JUICE too?!?

Everyone else- hope you're doing great!!

Zelda? Been waiting all day to see if you'd chime in again... Lighting a candle for you girl, just in case it's your time.

She's close enough right girls? I'm thinking that she is, I'm hoping that she is.

Kittygirl, I don't think 100% raw is actually all that healthy to tell you the truth. The stress of keeping that up is enough to make it less than perfection, let alone all the other restrictions. I liked that book In Defense of Food, he has a good philosophy: Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.
Wherever possible I leave fruits and veg raw, they are far superior in their natural state. I eat a very high volume of that, avoid animal products (The China Study was very illuminating on that subject) as much as possible, choose whole grains (bread, pasta etc I consider processed) and don't stress out about the rest. I like wine, the occasional ice cream, a pizza, dinner with friends or family. The majority of my diet is excellent so that I can eat junk now and then and not freak out about it or have guilty feelings about food, that's a bad relationship to have with eating since it's something that has to happen several times a day every day for the rest of my life. wink.gif

Is the juice thing about sugar? That's the only think I can think of. Ask them...
Kitty - I'm pretty sure the juice thing is about the sugar/extra calories. My midwife told me last week the only thing I should be drinking is water at this point, and that if I really wanted juice I should opt instead for a glass of water and a piece of whole fruit to get all the vitamins/fiber.

nickclick - for bloating, I've found that swimming is my best defense (next to drinking lots o' water of course). And as I get heavier, rounder, and therefore achier, it's really the only exercise I get besides dog walking (which is a pretty good workout in itself, we're still working on a nice leisurely heel).

Zelda - hope you are feeling better . . . . check back soon! I do remember my SIL, who's a doctor, saying that she did find her BH contractions to be painful at times. She ended up going full term!

Found a $120 high chair for $60 at Babies R US today , and an arm's reach cosleeper for $100 cheaper than listed on the website. Ladies, check the clearance stuff at that place . . . . they hide it in the back corner of the store so you don't know it's there, but there are deals to be had.

Hope everyone's feet are less swollen than mine . . . . ugh.
p.s. to Pepper - I think Ms. Zelda is 34-35 weeks-ish? If it is her time (fingers crossed it was a false alarm), I think bubs should be just fine, if very little.
Hey all! Just checking in. Thanks for the kind words. I'll be 36 weeks this Thursday and had a few more BH contractions today but nothing else happened...but man, they do feel intense. I look forward to talking to my doctor about them when I go in on Thursday for my scan to see if lil Elliott has flipped.

Just got back from my shower that my coworkers threw me. I HAVE ONE MILLION ONESIES!!!!! And a poopload of diapers.

I don't know why...maybe because of the BH contractions...but something in me tells me Elliott is not going to go 40 weeks. I don't know, now that I said that he'll probably be overdue! ;-)
Zelda, keeping you in my thoughts for when your time comes. I went 10 days overdue and my BH contractions were fairly uncomfortable from about 35 weeks, enough that when I was out walking I had to slow down and wait the 2-3 minutes they took to pass. I don't remember feeling them in my cervix but I remember my whole bump going rock solid rigid (which I don't remember having with actual contractions when I was in labour). For me labour pains didn't feel like BH, more like period pain crossed with the cramping you can get with an upset stomach, and not pain so much as discomfort.
(((hugs to zelda and elliott!))) Hope the BH contractions let up and the rest of your time isn't too painful.

Wow, kitty, I never heard anything about juice...that being said I use my juicer a few times a week and am an avid fan of the cranberry juice too, so oh well. Probably gonna drink it anyway!! Also I just bought the belly band, am not going to bother using it yet but they fit fine and I think they have enough give for when I get BIG!! Now if the hubs would only stop referring to them as "girdles."
I've drunk GALLONS of orange juice with this pregnancy. I've had a citrus craving. They probably want you to be careful with sugar...oh well... ;-)
Wondering about Fookie...Fookie, post if you can!!
wish I could have tried belly bands . . . . unfortunately they wouldn't have helped with the new and gigantic ass I grew my first trimester . . . . seriously, it was all butt and all thighs for the first three months. Couldn't get away without going up a pants size . . . . or two. Ha!

fookie . . . . wondering as well . . . . sending good vibes, hoping all is going well. . . .

Zelda, 36 weeks! Home stretch! Yay! Hope little elliott has flipped, but still nice to know you'll be meeting him quite soon, upside down or right side up, whichever the case may be.
Thanks, Aphelendra! Hey, my butt and thighs grew in the first tri, too. :-)

Oh lord, so much to wash and organize. I have so many onesies, and I was just putting them in the drawers...struck me tonight that I should probably organize them by size??

There is cat hair all over the car seat, thanks cats. Oh Lord, will any of this get done in time?!? ;-)

LOST is on in 15 minutes, and I am going to take a break and watch...also, taking Thursday off work. We have our last u/s and I want to take the day to relax afterward.
Oh my gosh, yes! Sort by size! You will be amazed at how many things the baby has never even worn just don't fit anymore by the time you go to put them on! It's ridiculous and every mama has experienced it so bet you all will too. Just keep checking that stuff you think is too big because before you know it, it's too small!

ETA I am just reminded of the "secrets" I discovered along that way that I was amazed no one thought to tell me about so here are a few off the top of my head, you may know some or all or none!
After the baby is born your belly will be like jello. I could lie in bed and jiggle one side which would them ripple across to the other like a half full water bed. Disconcerting! it doesn't last, especially if you nurse, so don't worry about it! But buy some spanx in case you don't want to still look pregnant.
When you cut the baby's fingernails chances are good that you will make him or her bleed. I'm sorry, it happens a LOT. The skin is actually attached way up under the nail. If you can bite them off do it, I could never get the hang of it. I would sort of pull the pad of the finger away and get my eyes real close up so I could see what was nail and what was invisible skin.
The first time you bump the baby you're gonna cry like one yourself. Remember that they have squishy bones so they won't get damaged. They will cry because it hurts but you probably haven't really hurt them so Don't Freak Out!! Too much anyhow.
Don't put anything on the umbilical cord at all. Air is best. No polysporin, no alcohol, nothing unless it's infected and then the dr will advise you.
As soon as the baby is born coat that butt in oil or you will have the devil of a time getting that first sticky black poop off. No joke.
Cradle cap looks ucky but it isn't harmful so you don't have to rub the baby's head with oil or any of that junk. They will grow out of it eventually.
Boys get erections. Bet they get them when they aren't even born yet because they sure do it as soon as they are born. Weird.
Boys and girls can both have swollen breast tissue, they can leak from the nipple too.
Girls can get a period. And I was surprised by the egg white in my girly's pooter. Didn't expect that at all!
If you nurse laying down milk can start pouring out of their nose (this was actually kinda funny!)
Great big chunks of orange ear wax will build up and fall out of their ears. This is really pretty weird, it's a lot of wax. Where does it all come from?
They can have or get pimples, red dry flaky skin, be covered in hair, be born covered in vernix (white waxy stuff, it's protective so rub it in instead of off).

I'm sure there's tons more but that's what I can think of straight off.
Keep it coming, Pepper! This is great stuff.

Had heard about erections on baby boys...also that they pee on you when you change them. A coworker gave me some "pee pee tee pees" which are little terrycloth hats, if you will, for the penis. You pop them on while you're changing them and then if they pee, it gets absorbed by the tee pee instead of your face.

Funny thing is when I showed them to Mr. Z and asked him to guess what they were, he did!

Hey, this book looks good, it's getting rave reviews on my natural mama website. Anyone read it?
Anyone seen that Ricki Lake movie? I keep taking it out but not actually watching it, I'm afraid it will make me feel very sad sad.gif .
I'm about halfway through it pepper. I actually started it in my first tri and had to put it down because it is really really tough. I recently picked it back up, and I'm glad I did, because it definitely strengthened my resolve to leave my OB for a midwife.

It's truly, truly, truly an amazing book. But yes, it did make me very sad, and then angry. And then sad again. Still, I would highly recommend it. In fact, the women's book store where I found my very first issue of Bust (many many years ago) is hosting a discussion group on the book in July.

And I have to second Zelda . . . . keep it coming with the pearls of wisdom!

p.s. what did you use to wash your babies pepper? i've been trying to find a good soap that isn't, well . . . . soap
Still lurking/checking in periodically to see how all y'all are doing! Pepper had a great list, let me see if I can add to it:

-Yes, definitely sort by size. But don't freak out if it's not all done before delivery. Sorting clothes is a great project for a willing parent or friend (my mom did it for me!).
-Don't wait for a special occasion to put them in that cute outfit...and for the most part ignore the month guides in terms of sizes, because manufacturers are totally inconsistent. The cheaper brands tend to run smaller, I find. I followed my SIL's lead and put Henry in stuff before it technically fits him - and you'd be surprised how soon they grow out of stuff. Right now - at 5 months - he fits some 6 month clothes but is mostly wearing 9 month outfits and a couple of 12 month things (he also has giant cloth diaper butt, which affects how pants fit him...)
-Sage advice from my friend Adam: "Put the new diaper under them before taking the old diaper off."
-Boudreaux's Butt Paste is our go-to cream for preventing and treating diaper rash. But the most important thing is to change the poopies ASAP - the less time the poop stays on their butt, the less irritation they'll get.
-When you are trying to get bebe to sleep (and swooning from lack of sleep yourself), don't put them down in the crib right when they drop off to sleep. Try to wait until they go kind of limp in sleep (the deeper sleep) or else they will wake up the minute you put them down. I find that keeping a hand on them for a few minutes and gradually easing it away helps a lot with the transition to bassinet or crib. Light jiggling helps too.
-Happiest Baby on the Block has wonderful advice on how to help bebe get to sleep and stay asleep in the early months. I highly recommend.
-White noise suggestion: in the car, set a preset radio station on the AM dial between stations (static). It's annoying but useful for calming them when they are screaming in the backseat.
-I learned the hard way: if they are hungry and dirty/wet, take care of the hungry first. Or prepare for the wrath of baby.
-Corollary to the pregnancy "step away from the Google": that goes double for after baby arrives. Even the most rational among us has been known to become convinced that something is horribly wrong with their child in a post-birth hormone and sleep deprivation fog. Maybe even without the hormones as an excuse (like, you know, with a 5 month old). 99.9% of the time, you're experiencing something that is completely normal for them. Instead, find a pediatrician's office that encourages you to call them day or night with questions. The good ones are used to talking new parents off the ledge and helping you to determine whether you need to be seen or whether you can just monitor the situation. Our peds office also has two nurses who are lactation consultants, which was a total lifesaver for me. DON'T feel guilty about calling, even if you're just not sure about something. That's what they are there for.
-In addition to the (pretty much harmless) ailments Pepper mentioned, a lot of babies get blocked tear ducts, which often leads to them waking up from a nap with an eye that is crusted over with goo (kind of like when you get pinkeye). As long as their actual eyeball isn't all red it's nothing to worry about. Just clear away the goo and gently massage the inside corner of their eye with a clean rag or wet cotton ball to prevent future blockage. Blocked ducts can recur for months, so don't worry if they get it a lot.
-The pee pee teepees are great, but we put a clean wipe over the penis at the beginning of the diaper changing session (we use cloth wipes, so we just reuse the same one again and again) and that works great too.
-You will probably get really tired of carrying around the diaper bag after awhile. I now have a big purse and just throw a few diapers, a travel thing of wipes, a ziplock bag (to take wet/dirty cloth diapers home), a tube of butt paste and a couple of thin blankets (for makeshift changing pads as well as nursing covers) in the bag before I go.
-I wanted to read to Henry from the beginning, but little babes are not known for their long attention spans or ability to sit quietly on your lap for a story. So I started doing what a coworker did with her daughter: lay on the floor with baby and hold the book up above you while you read. They get to squirm, you can get through a short board book, and everybody's happy. Eventually when they do get more aware they actually will pay attention, and it's great to get them used to reading from the get-go.
-Use the nose bulb syringe sparingly. They have little bitty nasal passages, so all newborns sound congested. My pediatrician advised not to use the bulb syringe unless the congestion is preventing them from sleeping or giving them trouble when eating. A better solution for light congestion is to use a few drops of saline in each nostril. They hate it but it does wonders for breaking up the boogers.
-And on that note: you will get peed on, pooped on, spit up and projectile puked on, and you will at some point find yourself picking your child's nose. Oh, and breast milk will get on everything. Don't bother changing your outfit unless it was the target of a torrent of spit up or unless you got pooed on. Go for machine washable clothes for the most part and spot clean; if you are nursing, the spit up usually doesn't tend to stain your clothes.
-Corollary to Pepper's thoughts on the post-preggo belly: try to think of the belly in a friendly way if you can. It'll be around for awhile. I used to call mine "Henry's house" to remind myself that there was a reason my body was so different. (Around Christmas I used to refer to it as my Christmas bowl full of jelly.) It WILL firm back up to a degree, especially if you breastfeed. It WON'T do so in line with your own personal schedule for when you'd like to fit into some clothes again. Before giving birth I was able to be all blase about when I'd lose the weight; I was OK with it taking awhile, I thought. After birth I really wanted the belly to go away and it was kind of surprising how much the extra poundage bothered me. Be kind to yourself. Plan to keep wearing the maternity clothes for about a month or two after giving birth, at least. After a couple months, do a little shopping spree at the thrift store so you can buy some non-preggo outfits that fit. Putting the maternity stuff away was a big lift for me.
-You'll feel kind of weird at various times after birth. Most of it is hormones. I had chills several times but wasn't running a fever and my doc was pretty sure it was just the hormonal changes (kind of akin to hot flashes). Just try to rest as much as you can. And drink lots of water and juice - that will help you keep making milk.
-At some point you will be alone with the baby and will be puzzled as to how one washes one's hands or goes to the bathroom. Some people wear the Baby Bjorn while they're in the bathroom; my solution was to just lay him down on the bathroom rug while I washed my hands and/or peed. The infant seat is also a great option for when you need to take a shower.
-You don't really need to bathe babies very often, especially in dry climates - once a week is probably fine, unless they had a massive blowout or a huge spit-up. We use Aveeno baby wash but I've heard other folks just use water or use Dr Bronner's soap (he makes an unscented baby version) with good results. A little baking soda in the bath water can help a diaper rash.
-I mentioned we use cloth wipes (just little squares of flannel) but didn't mention my SIL's great wipe solution recipe: 1 tablespoon baby oil (we use Burt's Bees), 1 tablespoon mild soap (we use Dr Bronner's baby formula), and water (fill up a squeeze bottle or the peri bottle you get from the hospital). Shake up and spray on the wipes before using.

Okay, time to hit the hay for some sleep before little one gets up again! Love to all...
This is a clip of the great Ina May Gaskin, legendary midwife, talking about natural childbirth, things she has learned over the years and the social conceptualization of birth.
Will watch next time I'm at a computer with something better than dial up!

Good list of tips Julie! Made me think of a few more...

It's a mistake to try and be quiet at any time "for the baby". They are coming out of an ocean of big sound so it's what they're used to and if you go about training them to need quiet to sleep, they will end up needing quiet to sleep!

When my little man got a runny nose it would come out of him eyes too. No worries, it wasn't a problem only a quirk.

I use a can of saline nasal spray when the kids are stuffy, it mists right up their nose and that loosens the snot so it runs out instead of you trying to suck it out with an asperator. You still have to be careful not to do too much but I've used that on the baby since she was wee.

If you need to pick a nostril, use a dull pair of tweezers because your fingers will Never fit up there. My 9 year old still asks me to pick his nose with the tweezers when he can't get it out himself. Ah, the things we do for love.

Diaper wipes are AMAZING at getting out fresh food (etc) marks from clothes, carpet, furniture. They don't disintegrate like paper towel so you can really scrub with them.

If you have to wash dishes or pee or shower or whatever a bouncy chair works GREAT especially if it's the kind that vibrates and plays some music. Boy, those things are lifesavers.

Aphelendra, I try to remember that medical preceedures and doctors are a good thing, a very good thing for those who need them. It's just that not everyone needs them and therein lies the rub. It's a business and part of that is making money and part of that is attracting new "customers" by whatever means possible and part of that is using fear to motivate sales of their goods and services, using social pressure, using gov't support, etc. It ends up being far from good in so many ways and actually detrimental and that is sad and angering. But I do try to remember the good or I really will flip my lid when I read those sorts of things.
julie - you remind me again of why I love this thread so much. thanks smile.gif

pepper - on the subject of doctors and their role in birth etc, I think the book is actually quite forgiving. It definitely sheds light on the pressures of the system that doctors face, specifically when it comes to malpractice insurance and hospital policy. The author really places blame on the system, not the individual, and takes most issue with insurance companies that essentially force doctors to behave in a way that does not benefit the patient as an individual.

I'm in a crap mood today. Woke up sick, had to miss my weekly chiro appointment, which I will surely pay for later. And now I think I'm going to have to sit out on tonight's birth class, lest I spread this nasty nast cold to all the other preggos. Sad.

Hope no one else has the poor fortune to get a cold in may . . . .
You are all so great with the advice...I'm being a nerd and creating a file about everything I hear. Just in case.

I have Pushed but haven't started it yet. I'll read it over the summer...the Ricki Lake movie is not really sad, Pepper, my husband and I watched it together and it definitely solidified our ideas of what we wanted the birth to be like and try to learn as much as we could beforehand. Not like everything always goes according to plan, but whatevs, it's nice to feel in control and aware as much as possible.

In other news my belly button is totally pooching out. It looks pretty silly. And I've decided not to worry too much about the thighs and ass sitch because there is no way they're going to get MORE toned while I'm preggy! I'll be lucky if they're strong enough to support the weight and not swollen to the size of dachsunds. (standard, not miniature.)

hope you feel better soon aphelendra!!!
Aphelendra, I think I'm getting a cold, too!!!! :-( Boo hiss...

With four weeks to go, my belly button is still an innie...wonder if it will decide to pooch out at the last minute? ;-) I think outies are cute, Luleey.

I am reading/loving Lenore Skenazy's book "Free Range Kids"...a how-to on raising an independent child in a fear-obsessed world. I love how she takes media-created scares (playing outside, BPA, plastic bags, child predators, and GASP - eating snow!) and dismantles them one at a time, proving childhood is no more dangerous today than it was 40 years ago.

She is hilarious, too!
luleey, good idea about making a file, because i'm here at 14 1/2 weeks feeling like i'm just getting used to pregnancy, overwhelmed by the amount of child rearing info neither mr.nick nor i have any clue about. oh jeeez.
Nickclick, ignore all those crazy making baby books. IGNORE THEM. Baby Whisperer, Baby Wrangler, whatever...I mean, I am sure they are not all bad, but I myself went through a bit of a second trimester panic when I started reading them all and got a headache! Get one or two you really like and toss the rest.

And trust you will be able to do will. YOU WILL! :-)

If there's anything I learned from that "Free-Range Kids" book (marvelous, by the way) is that so many of the so-called parenting experts are just pushing a financial agenda or marketing's pretty silly. Better to just ask advice from people who have been there (like pepper and julie). Or trust your own instincts which have been helping the human species continue for centuries.

Saw the OB today...36 weeks and Elliott has flipped!! Head down and ready to go. Saw him on the ultrasound so adorable...he has big lips like his mom. Saw him wiggling his feet, waving his hands in front of his head...swallowing and sticking out his tongue.

I had an internal cervix is hard and firm and I am not dilated. She says I have at least two weeks to go if not longer.

One HSV-2 (genital herpes)...haven't had an outbreak since Xmas but I do have the occasional tingle or itch down there...she guessed it was just nerve pain (which I get a lot from the herpes), but she upped my Valtrex dosage and did a culture to see if the virus is shedding. She says if it is they can put me on a therapeutic dose of Valtrex and if there is any concern at all, C-section. So now we shall see what the culture says, but my gut tells me all is well...will just keep being faithful about the meds and remember the odds of transmitting the virus to the baby during delivery is less than 1% if you are on meds...

How is everyone else doing?
Hoorah for Elliott! I'm so glad he flipped, and very relieved to hear he was able to do so a little later in the game. I'm 29 weeks and still have a very transverse bubs. I know it's too early to worry . . . . but you've reassured me that the little lady has plenty of time. Sometimes I wish the midwife hadn't told me what position she was in, would have saved me a lot of unnecessary worrying.

Fingers crossed the HSV-2 stays dormant. Nerve pain??? Yikes, you poor lady.
Aphelendra, Elliott was transverse/oblique for the great majority of this pregnancy...up until two weeks ago (or even more...not sure exactly when he flipped in the past two weeks although I think it was somewhere during week 34).

Hang in there...I have a feeling he will get there!

And, of course, it is no guarantee. My BFF had a baby engaged head down for weeks and weeks...ended up having a C--section when the baby didn't engage the pelvis and she never dilated beyond 1 cm. During labor, the baby turned transverse and moved higher up into the uterus if you can believe you never know!!!!
good job Elliott! really you saw his facial features so well? that's amazing. it's like here's this guy that you know so well already and you're just waiting to meet him and get to know him. 2 more weeks, huh? hang in there.

and thanks for the reassurance. i'm trying not to panic. i'm pretty confident in my common sense skills, and we have lots of support.

i guess i'm just feeling guilty because i've been consumed with being pregnant, keeping healthy and all that, and i'm not paying enough attention to the fact that there will be a baby. i'm sure further along, when i have a belly and when we see those detailed pictures, s/he will be more real to me. i'm truly excited to be a mom, but no matter how prepared i felt i was for baby time, it's still overwhelming. ah i don't know what i'm trying to say.....
Nickclick, I think I do know what you mean. Despite having seen babybird wriggling around on screen, he/she remains a fairly abstract concept to me. I can’t quite connect the images from the scan with the nausea (which is still ongoing) or my expanding belly and boobs. Maybe when I’m showing a bit more, or when I can feel movement it may seem more real. It probably doesn’t help that we haven’t told anyone except our families yet, but it still feels too early – like there’s too much that can still go wrong - to go fully public.

I don’t know if UK politics gets much coverage in the US and Canada, but we had an election yesterday and now have a hung parliament for the first time since 1974. It looks as if we’ll end with a right-wing majority coalition government, which is depressing. The Labour government we’ve had for the past 13 years have been far from perfect (dodgy wars etc.) but have done some great things (introducing the minimum wage and civil partnerships, and improving the NHS for example) and made things better for parents – extending maternity leave from 12 weeks to a year and providing free nursery places for 3-year olds amongst others. I would rather have raised this baby with them in power. And I can’t even drown my sorrows with booze…

Anyway, glad to hear that Elliot has flipped (turn baby turn!) and is looking good. You must be so excited Zelda!
Funny, I was following that election over here on National Public Radio...I'm sorry about the hung parliament and Labour's loss of majority. Sometimes I don't know what I would have done had I had to birth this child under the George W. Bush administration...(okay, I'm sounding dramatic, but seriously, it would have been depressing). All we can do is hang in there and hope that intelligent people make rational decisions...hard to hope for with some politicians, but still....hang in there!

Nick and Funny, I felt the exact same feelings early in my pregnancy. Elliott was a totally abstract concept for me even after the 9 week ultrasound when I saw him move...that stayed that way until about 20 weeks when I started to feel him move and we saw him on the ultrasound looking like a real baby! Up until that time, I, too, felt consumed by the idea of pregnancy (and felt completely apprehensive about parenting) and had a hard time connecting the pregnancy to a baby as the end result. Sounds silly, but I think that's how a lot of women feel - even women who desperately want that baby

Now, after 36 weeks of seeing him, feeling him move inside, and spending more time with him (well, all my time, actually!), he is now, without a doubt, my SON. I love him. I talk to him, think about him, picture him with us, want to meet him so badly, etc. etc. etc. But I didn't feel anything like that until about halfway through even though I was absolutely thrilled beyond belief to be pregnant. I think what you're feeling is 100% normal.
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