19 weeks.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

How your baby's growing:
Your baby's sensory development is exploding! Her brain is designating specialized areas for smell, taste, hearing, vision, and touch. Some research suggests that she may be able to hear your voice now, so don't be shy about reading aloud, talking to her, or singing a happy tune if the mood strikes you.

Your baby weighs about 8 1/2 ounces and measures 6 inches, head to bottom — about the size of a large heirloom tomato. Her arms and legs are in the right proportions to each other and the rest of her body now. Her kidneys continue to make urine and the hair on her scalp is sprouting. A waxy protective coating called the vernix caseosa is forming on her skin to prevent it from pickling in the amniotic fluid.

How your life's changing:
Think you're big now? You'll start growing even faster in the weeks to come. As a result, you may notice some achiness in your lower abdomen or even an occasional brief, stabbing pain on one or both sides — especially when you shift position or at the end of an active day. Most likely, this is round ligament pain. The ligaments that support your uterus are stretching to accommodate its increasing weight. This is nothing to be alarmed about, but call your practitioner if the pain continues even when you're resting or becomes severe.

You may be noticing some skin changes, too. Are the palms of your hands red? Nothing to worry about — it's from the extra estrogen. You may also have patches of darkened skin caused by a temporary increase in pigment. When these darker patches appear on your upper lip, cheeks, and forehead, they're called chloasma, or the "mask of pregnancy." You may also notice some darkening of your nipples, freckles, scars, underarms, inner thighs, and vulva. That darkened line running from your belly button to your pubic bone is called the linea nigra, or "dark line."

These darkened spots will probably fade shortly after delivery. In the meantime, protect yourself from the sun, which intensifies the pigment changes. Cover up, wear a brimmed hat, and use sunscreen when you're outdoors. And if you're self-conscious about your "mask," a little concealing makeup can work wonders.


Baby showers!

The idea terrifies me. I hate being the person in the room that all attention is focused on. And I do not want people watching big fat pregnant me opening up presents. I may force Lee to be there... we'll see.
I'm guessing that at least 2 baby showers will be planned, which is exciting, because I can't wait to get baby things! I know, I know, selfish to expect people to get me presents. However, just so everyone knows, I am registered at TARGET and BABIES R US!!! :)
I'm really touched, actually, because my DAD is planning my baby shower on his side of the family. Adorable, is it not. He already has a date set (no location as of yet) and a guest list going. How cute is he? :) I can't wait!

Taking time for me.

Getting closer. We find out the sex in less than two days!!! ahhh! I'm beyond excited, but trying to savor my last few moments of not knowing. As of right now, I can't refer to the baby as "he" or "she". I'm not thinking of toys, and interests, and names according to gender. Only according to this little being inside of me that I'm becoming more attached to every second.
My sister gave me some good advice last Monday when I was upset about not getting an ultrasound and knowing the sex. She said don't speed through your pregnancy, you'll regret it when it's over. SO TRUE and the BEST advice I've gotten since I got pregnant. Never again will I feel this baby's flutters and kicks. Never again will I have the same fears, excitement, and newness that come with being a first-time mom. Also, I definitely will not get the same attention from my boyfriend, friends, or family. From the birth on out, it will be, "how's the baby" and everyone saying hi to the baby first. (I'm totally guilty of doing it with my niece and nephew, and I know the same will happen to me). This is the last time that I can watch a movie uninterrupted, or sleep through the night (at least for a few months), or have "me" time whenever I want it. I am so so so excited to meet this little person, and devote all of my time to him or her, but for now, I need to be selfish. I need to pamper myself, because in a few months (145 days to be exact) it's definitely not about me anymore. Not for the rest of my life.

The REAL way to prepare for breast feeding.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Forget that old advice about “gently rubbing your nipples with a towel.” If you really want to feel ready to nurse, here’s what to do.

By Melissa Balmain, Parenting.com

Day 1
Gently rub your nipples with sandpaper.
Day 2
At bedtime set your alarm clock to go off every two hours. Each time it rings, spend 20 minutes sitting in a rocking chair with your nipples clamped by a pair of chip clips.
Day 3
Draw branching lines all over your chest with a blue-green marker, then stand in front of your bathroom mirror and sing “I Feel Pretty.”
Day 4
Open your already-crowded freezer and make room for five dozen plastic milk bags.
Day 5
Fit the hose of a vacuum cleaner over one breast and set on “medium pile.” Turn off vacuum when nipple is three inches long. Switch breasts.
Day 6
Obtain “DO NOT CROSS” tape from your local police station, then wrap firmly around your chest. When your spouse asks about it, say, “Get used to it.”
Day 7
Tape a water balloon to each breast and squeeze into a maternity bra. Repeatedly hook and unhook the nursing flaps with one hand while using the other to balance a sack of squirming puppies.
Day 8
Dine in the fanciest, snootiest restaurant you can afford, making sure to arrive with a big wet spot directly over each nipple.
Day 9
Record your mother proclaiming, “Just give the baby some cereal like God intended, and she’ll sleep right through the night.” Play in an endless loop at 1 a.m., 3 a.m., and 5 a.m.
Day 10
Slather your breasts with peanut butter, top with birdseed and stand very still in your backyard.
Day 11
Go someplace public — a museum, a courthouse, the steps of your office building — and stuff a lifelike baby doll under your shirt. Use the doll’s arm to suddenly hike the shirt up past your collar bone. Lower shirt. Feign nonchalant smile.
Day 12
Suckle a wolverine.
Congratulations! You are now ready to nurse a baby. Maybe.
Melissa Balmain, a freelance writer living in Blacksburg, Virginia, is a two-baby nursing veteran.


Pregnancy Things,

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I've noticed the last few days that my hair is shiny and thicker, and that my nails are growing longer and stronger. YAY! Yay for prenatal vitamins and extra estrogen! The very very bad thing is that I stand for around 6 hours straight at work. My feet are already swelling and growing. Any shoe with arch support creates pressure points because my feet have widened. Shoes with no support... well, have no support. Halfway through hour three, I'm limping and doing calf raises just to get the pressure off of my heels. I have two gel inserts for each shoe, and I've tried using zero, one, and two inserts in 3 pairs of shoes that I rotate using. I've soaked my feet in hot water, gotten (rare) foot massages from my boyfriend because I only see him on the weekends, and attempt to give myself foot massages. NOTHING WORKS! If you have any suggestions of how I can better make it through the day, PLEASE let me know!

Dear Baby...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Every time I feel you kick, it makes me smile. And only you and I know when. Thank you for brightening my day.


Help us pick a name!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Comment on this post to help us pick a name! Give us your vote, or lend a suggestion!



18 weeks.

Head to rump, your baby is about 5 1/2 inches long (about the length of a bell pepper) and he weighs almost 7 ounces. He's busy flexing his arms and legs — movements that you'll start noticing more and more in the weeks ahead. His blood vessels are visible through his thin skin, and his ears are now in their final position, although they're still standing out from his head a bit. A protective covering of myelin is beginning to form around his nerves, a process that will continue for a year after he's born. If you're having a girl, her uterus and fallopian tubes are formed and in place. If you're having a boy, his genitals are noticeable now, but he may hide them from you during an ultrasound.

How your life's changing:
Hungry? An increase in appetite is pretty common about now. Make it count by choosing meals and snacks that are rich in nutrients instead of empty calories (chips, French fries, candy, and other sweets). Bigger, more comfortable clothes are a must now as your appetite and waistline grow.

Your cardiovascular system is undergoing dramatic changes, and during this trimester your blood pressure will probably be lower than usual. Don't spring up too fast from a lying or sitting position or you might feel a little dizzy.

From now on, when you do lie down, it's best to lie on your side — or at least partly tilted to one side. (When you lie flat on your back, your uterus can compress a major vein, leading to decreased blood return to your heart.) Try placing a pillow behind you or under your hip or upper leg for comfort.

If you haven't already had a second-trimester ultrasound, you'll probably have one soon. This painless procedure helps your practitioner check how your baby's growing, screen for certain birth defects, check the placenta and umbilical cord, determine whether the due date you're working with is accurate, and see how many babies you're carrying. During the exam, you might see your baby moving around or sucking his thumb. Bring your partner along, and be sure to ask for a printout for your baby's first photo album!



We made a separate appointment, and we find out the sex on Monday, November 1st. Just a bit longer to wait. :) Love you baby!

17 weeks.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I'm getting big! I've started to feel quickening (flutters of the baby moving), as well as some little kicks. They aren't very regular, but they're happening! This has been the easiest phase of pregnancy thus far. I'm not as tired or sick-feeling anymore. I wake up a lot in the middle of the night for a moment or two, as I've started to get leg cramps and the little kicks are waking me up. But I fall back asleep quickly, and I'm pretty rested for the most part.
As we get closer to finding out the sex (only 4 days away!!!), I wonder more and more who this little person growing inside me is going to be. It bothers me that Lee and I can't decide on a name. I know that there's plenty of time left, but I'm just getting anxious.
I've almost finished registering (Target and Babies R US), and the whole process is a bit overwhelming. I don't want to color code blue or pink based on the gender, for numerous reasons. But choosing everything is tough. I want to keep the prices low, but I'm drawn towards the modern, more expensive stuff. I keep having to remind myself that it's necessities ONLY and the baby phase doesn't last long, so I can't spend a TON of money. :)
I'm getting anxious and I can't wait to find out if we're having a him or a her. :)

17 weeks.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Your baby's skeleton is changing from soft cartilage to bone, and the umbilical cord — her lifeline to the placenta — is growing stronger and thicker. Your baby weighs 5 ounces now (about as much as a turnip), and she's around 5 inches long from head to bottom. She can move her joints, and her sweat glands are starting to develop.

Starting to feel a bit off balance? As your belly grows, your center of gravity changes, so you may begin to occasionally feel a little unsteady on your feet. Try to avoid situations with a high risk of falling. Wear low-heeled shoes to reduce your risk of taking a tumble; trauma to your abdomen could be dangerous for you and your baby. You'll also want to be sure to buckle up when you're in a car — keep the lap portion of the seat belt under your belly, drawn snugly across your hips, and also use the shoulder harness, which should fit snugly between your breasts.

You may also notice your eyes becoming drier. Using over-the-counter lubricating drops may help. If your contact lenses become uncomfortable, try wearing them for shorter stretches of time. If you still have discomfort, switch to glasses until after you give birth.


What the baby is going to look like.

Monday, October 11, 2010

BAHAHAHAHA! Today I was on thebump.com and I found the baby morpher!!! (http://planning.thebump.com/baby-morpher/) I uploaded a picture of Lee, and a picture of me, and it gave us what our baby would look like. I did it twice, once for a girl, and once for a boy. I just hope our actual baby is way cuter than this:

16 weeks.

Get ready for a growth spurt. In the next few weeks, your baby will double his weight and add inches to his length. Right now, he's about the size of an avocado: 4 1/2 inches long (head to rump) and 3 1/2 ounces. His legs are much more developed, his head is more erect than it has been, and his eyes have moved closer to the front of his head. His ears are close to their final position, too. The patterning of his scalp has begun, though his locks aren't recognizable yet. He's even started growing toenails. And there's a lot happening inside as well. For example, his heart is now pumping about 25 quarts of blood each day, and this amount will continue to increase as your baby continues to develop.


How pregnancy happens!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010




The Zaky is designed to imitate the look and feel of a parent’s hand and forearm. Babies are used to the warm comfort and protection of their mother’s womb and the Zaky can help imitate that feeling as it provides similar support. It weighs approximately 1.2 pounds, but you can shift the filling to provide as much or as little weight on your baby. It was originally designed to comfort, support, and protect premature babies that had to be away from their mother in the hospital – but it is a great ergonomic pillow for all infants!

ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? GROSS! I don't want fake hands groping my baby!

How to handle a pregnant woman.

1. Never argue with a pregnant woman. This will lead to a lot of pain. Emotional for her and possibly physical for you.

2. Never point out bloated body parts or stretch marks on her unless you know how to duck and cover very well.

3. Don’t make comments about weight gain unless you want to have a vasectomy done with a carving knife.

4. If she makes a comment about any of these issues, tell her she’s beautiful. You might want to practice this a few times out loud and in front of a mirror so you can say it with a straight face and with some form of sincerity in your voice.

5. Never argue with a pregnant woman.

6. Don’t be surprised if your standard red meat ‘n’ potatoes dinner is suddenly usurped by fresh veggies, whole grains and lean cuts of meat.

7. If you must make a comment about the fact that the woman who’s carrying your spawn into this world is sweating like an unworked horse, tell her that she’s glowing. To tell her otherwise would be…unwise.

8. Be prepared to be asked for your opinion on how the baby’s room should be decorated and try not to act too surprised when it is promptly ignored.

9. Same goes for baby names.

10. Get ready for some really strange food cravings and be prepared to go get said food. I don’t care if it is 2:41 in the morning, get your sorry ass out of that bed and go and get it. NOW, MISTER!!!

11. If you smoke and she doesn’t, don’t be surprised if you and your cancer sticks are banned from the house. No, she really doesn’t care if it’s 12 degrees outside with a wind chill factor of -10, you’re not smoking around the baby.

12. Never, EVER, argue with a pregnant woman.

13. Nesting will become a fact of life. When she decides it’s time to move the furniture, you can either help or be sleeping on the couch that you refused to move because the game was on.

14. Think you can handle gore? Think again. You will be forced to watch birthing videos until you’re wondering if it’s too late to enlist (or re-enlist) and be shipped overseas at least until after the baby comes.

15. Babies are very expensive and the baby product industry is inundated with products, some you need, most you don’t. Take an experienced parent (one with kids well out of diapers, but not so far out of diapers that they’re thinking about grandkids) to the baby store and let him/her help you pick out what you really need for your registry. This will save you time and money. Do not follow the store’s recommendation. They’re there to separate you from your money and if the kid(s) gets some benefit out of it, goody for them.

16. Make a birthing plan for the nurses/doctor and then promptly forget to give it to them. It’s not like they’re going to look at it anyways.

17. Foot massages and back rubs will earn you brownie points.

18. Bringing over the guys for an unexpected night of poker or ball game watching and expecting her to cater to you and your friends will earn you a night on the couch. If you’re lucky.

19. Unless you are a world class sprinter, never assume that you can outrun an angry pregnant woman. It won’t end well.

20. Don’t make comments about your wife’s/girlfriend’s sanity where she can hear you…see #19.
21. Never stand between a pregnant woman and food or a bathroom…unless you enjoy being trampled.

22. Learning to cook and clean will go a long way in making your woman happy. And you want to make your woman happy. Right? I said RIGHT!?

23. You like to drive? Not any more. It’s physically easier on a pregnant woman if she drives. However, don’t expect to get the car keys back once the baby comes. After all, you drive like a maniac and no, it really doesn’t matter that she has more traffic violations than you do.

24. Sex. A pregnant woman’s desire for sex during pregnancy can be anywhere from wanton minx to celibate nun. If you get any, count yourself lucky.

25. Did I mention not arguing with a pregnant woman?

Things I'm tired of hearing while being pregnant.

Monday, October 4, 2010

1. All of the you-shouldn't-do-this or you-should-do-this.

I know that people mean well, and that they have their own opinions, but they should keep them to themselves. "You know, you shouldn't be drinking that coffee". "That's too heavy for you to lift". "You should really be walking more".
I'm not stupid. Everything I do, I've read about and done my research, or have asked my doctor. I'm not going to intentionally do something to put my baby in danger. Once again, I know that everyone means well, but I'm just tired of hearing it.

2. What are you going to do with Lola?

Anyone who asks that does not know me very well. Lola is my first baby. That's like asking someone what they're going to do with their first born when their second baby comes.

3. Comments from other moms who have been through pregnancy.

"Just WAIT until the third trimester... it gets worse" "You HAVE to have an epidural." "Your life is going to change SO much once the baby is born."
NO, REALLY?? Are you kidding me? Do you think I'm stupid? Do you WANT to scare the shit out of me? Once again, I know that they mean well, but please realize that yours are not the only comments that I'm hearing.

4. "How far along are you?" "14 weeks." "Oh, I miscarried at 14 weeks,"

REALLY?! What is wrong with you?

5. Asking what names I'm thinking, then disapproving of them right away.

No one has liked a single name I have picked. Or they say things like, "Oh... that's... interesting." Which is why I've decided not to tell anyone what names I've chosen. The names I have picked are no longer up for discussion, and you won't know until after the baby's born.

6. The absence of morning sickness.

"Oh, you didn't have any morning sickness? That means it's a boy." "Oh, you're so lucky that you didn't have morning sickness, pregnancy must be so easy for you."
People act like I'm the most blessed person in the world just because I'm not constantly throwing up. Just because I'm not puking all day does not mean that pregnancy is not hard. I admit, I am extremely lucky to not be sick all of the time. But they act like I can do anything and everything because of it. I'm still constantly tired, have a constant cold, and cramps.

Once again, I know that people mean well, but please think about things. The only comments I want to hear are how I'm going to make a wonderful mother, and how cute my baby is going to be. :)

15 weeks.

How your baby's growing:

Your growing baby now measures about 4 inches long, crown to rump, and weighs in at about 2 1/2 ounces (about the size of an apple). She's busy moving amniotic fluid through her nose and upper respiratory tract, which helps the primitive air sacs in her lungs begin to develop. Her legs are growing longer than her arms now, and she can move all of her joints and limbs. Although her eyelids are still fused shut, she can sense light. If you shine a flashlight at your tummy, for instance, she's likely to move away from the beam. There's not much for your baby to taste at this point, but she is forming taste buds. Finally, if you have an ultrasound this week, you may be able to find out whether your baby's a boy or a girl! (Don't be too disappointed if it remains a mystery, though. Nailing down your baby's sex depends on the clarity of the picture and on your baby's position. He or she may be modestly curled up or turned in such a way as to "hide the goods.")

How your life's changing:

You've probably gained about 5 pounds by now (a little more or less is fine, too) and are well into the swing of your pregnancy, but you may still be surprised by an unexpected symptom now and then. If your nose is stuffed up, for instance, you can probably chalk it up to the combined effect of hormonal changes and increased blood flow to your mucous membranes. This condition is so common, there's even a name for it: "rhinitis of pregnancy." Some pregnant women also suffer nosebleeds as a result of increased blood volume and blood vessel expansion in the nose.

If you're having amniocentesis, it'll most likely happen between now and 18 weeks. This test can identify hundreds of genetic and chromosomal disorders. If you're getting very anxious while waiting for the results, it may help to know that most women who undergo amniocentesis get good news about their babies — bringing welcome relief from their worries.

Don't be surprised if you and your partner are feeling a little stressed out these days. Many pregnant couples worry about their baby's health and how they'll handle the changes ahead. But with physical discomforts on the wane and energy on the rise, this is also a wonderful trimester for most women.


my boobs itch.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

They're growing fast. Just thought everyone needed to know.
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