Wednesday, February 23, 2011

36 Weeks

How far along? 36 Weeks, one more week until "Full-Term."

Total weight gain: I would rather not say... its still "average" but I don't like it!

Baby Bump? Yes! Definitely! I look really preggers.

Maternity clothes? Yes, maternity everything... I can still wear some regular shirts but not too many.

Cravings: None really, my midwife told me no more dairy so of course, I want dairy.

Symptoms: Indigestion, my hands and feet are starting to swell a little, and I feel really big.

Sleep: I don't sleep great... I get up at least three times a night to use the bathroom and my internal alarm goes off at 5:20am. I do better on weekends and when Steven holds me but sometimes it is just too hot or uncomfortable.

Movement: All the time! I know I should be timing them but they happen every half hour or so and I am always aware.

Gender: Girl, Miss Stella Grace.

Belly Button in or out? In and I think it will stay that way.

Best moment this week: Spending time with Steven and talking about future plans. Like camping trips and where we want to take Stella as she grows.

Weekly Wisdom: Don't judge people about their pregnancy and parenting decisions because you won't like it when people do it to you (I think everyone is different and they have the right to be).

Milestones: Setting up our room for Stella.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Baby Reading List (and a DVD)

First I would like to share that these books have changed my views on pregnancy and birthing. I will post again once I have personally experienced childbirth. I also think that anyone pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant should read at least one of these books and watch the DVD "The Business of Being Born." There is so much women just don't know and we are misinformed regularly. For example, did you know that U.S. has the second highest infant mortality rate in the modern world (Cuba's is lower)? Facts found here and here. Did you know that our cesarean rate is 40%? That means almost 1 out of 2 births are done with MAJOR surgery. Well I had never heard any of this. Some books that were recommended to me and now I am recommending to you are:

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
 -This books is about natural childbirth and a woman's 35+ years work at "The Farm", a kind of birthing commune in Tennessee. It has amazing birth stories in the first half of the book. The second half of the book walks the reader through the entire birthing process, explaining why modern medical childbirthing procedures are not based on the mother's health and needs, but are designed for convenience of the medical establishment. She gives a lot of facts and draws on her personal experiences, even with somethings being a little over the top, this book is amazing.
 Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn (4th Edition): The Complete Guide by Penny Simkin
- One of my favorite things about this book is it walks you through the different "stages" of labor and how they progress, as well as positions and situations to help ease the pain during each of these stages.This is a very balanced book, whether you have decided to give birth naturally or with medication.

 The Birth Partner (for couples or helpers) by Penny Simkin
- Back of the book: If you want to learn how best to help an expectant mother have a happy and healthy childbirth, The Birth Partner, Third Edition is the only book you'll need. For almost 20 years, husbands, partners, friends, relatives, and doulas have turned to this book for guidance on being a supportive partner in the delivery room. The expanded third edition includes the most up-to-date information about techniques, devices, and medications for easing labor pain; tests and treatments of the fetus and newborn; strategies to help labor progress; potential medical procedures and interventions; and how best to help the mother during the early days after the birth. And, with its easy-to-use format and new illustrations, the The Birth Partner is the essential guide have on hand in the delivery room.

The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer
- This should be a book you read after you have read about natural childbirth or if you are open minded. While this book does provide facts, it is also very opinionated. The description on the back cover: "Every intelligent, informed woman is used to gathering the most complete information she can get before making a decision. But when it comes to one of the most important decisions in her life--how she will give birth--it can be tough to get the complete picture, even from an obstetrician. Surprisingly, much of the latest research goes against common medical opinion."

The Business of Being Born DVD
-This is an amazing documentary informing of the realities of hospital vs. home birth. It is really an eye-opening film and though it gets a little graphic and has some foul language, it really is a must see. The only thing I wish was added is there are other options, not just hospital or home births (ex. birthing centers).
Synopsis on back: Birth is a miracle, a rite of passage, a natural part of life. But birth is also big business. Compelled to explore the subject after the delivery of her first child, actress Ricki Lake recruits filmmaker Abby Epstein to question the way American women have babies. The film interlaces intimate birth stories with surprising historical, political and scientific insights and shocking statistics about the current maternity care system. When director Epstein discovers she is pregnant during the making of the film, the journey becomes even more personal. Should most births be viewed as a natural life process, or should every delivery be treated as a potentially catastrophic medical emergency?

Monday, February 14, 2011


The nursery is finally done! Well for the most part I am sure we will add things. My mom did an amazing job on the mural and we collected free/inexpensive furniture along the way. Surprisingly the most expensive item we purchased was her rug.
Here are the nursery expenses:
Crib- Given to us by my cousins friends Consuelo.
Changing Table- Purchased by me off craigslist for $20
Rocking Chair- Given to us by Steven's grandmother
Rug- Purchased by me from Old Time Pottery for $40
Dresser- Purchased by my dad from a garage sale for $35
The mural beginning:
 The finished mural:
Ducks (matches bumper)
"We will shelter you"
Baby Deer (matches bumper)
Here is the complete nursery:
Rocking Corner
 Changing Area
 Inside of the closet

We also have a glider (given to us by my cousin) that we decided to keep in the living room for when she wakes up at night and we don't want to wake up one another.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

33 Weeks and Seriously Nesting!

Only 6 weeks 6 days  to go! I can't believe how fast my due date is approaching. I am definitely starting to feel the pressure to get everything done.  I knew I had started to nest a bit but now I am in the full blown nesting stage. I am getting anxious now and when things don't get done I get really upset or disappointed. Steven has been amazing trying to help me when eve possible even after a 10-11hr day at work! Last night he got home and could tell my hormones were in full swing. I was getting really upset (sad) that we still had so much to do. The biggest thing is we still need to finish our master bath so we can put carpet in our bedroom and set an area for when the baby comes. I know Steven has really been trying but he just can't finish alone. He doesn't know much about drywall and can't do two things at once, hold 16" tile while it sets and continue tiling. I am thinking about hiring someone to finish but he has gotten so far and it is so expensive! Back on topic... he came home, finished the laundry I started and did the dishes. He has been totally understanding when I get really tired and frustrated. I am almost done with the nursery; all that's left is sorting, hanging, and putting away clothes. 

I have started putting a list of all the thing we need to get done BEFORE Stella's arrival (ex. install car seats). It's not a huge list but it is a time consuming list. I have decided to start my maternity leave the week before my due date. This way, if she hasn't made her appearance, I will be able to complete whats left and feel more relaxed. 

Something that has recently started is leg cramps. I will be sitting or lying down and my toes will start to curl, then my calf will get stiff. I am not liking this new pregnancy side affect. This is definitely one I could have done without. Also, I think she has dropped. I am feeling way more pressure and she even looks lower.