right now our baby is kumquat-sized (1.5 inches from head to rump) and looks something like this:
developmentally, he/she is out of the embryonic stage and is officially a fetus! go, baby, go! all of the vital organs are in place and kumquat is kicking away, though i can't feel it yet. sometimes i lie really still and try to feel it move. occasionally i think i feel something and get very excited, only to realize it's just gas. sigh. soon enough.
i apologize for not having taken a "bump" picture in the last couple of weeks. truthfully, not enough has changed to justify a weekly picture at this point. i'll start back up with it next week because i have a feeling it's all going to begin to snowball soon. before i know it, i'll have my own gravitational pull. i'm looking forward to it.
finding affordable, stylish maternity clothes is just as difficult as i thought it would be. i finally managed to find a pair of cute, inexpensive, black maternity skinny jeans:
$28.99 from kiki's fashions. black is the only color of denim i'm allowed to wear to work, so finding a pair was a top priority on my clothing list. now i can stop wearing the one increasingly uncomfortable pair that still sort of fit me. huzzah!
i've been looking to a lot of non-maternity places for items that might work. forever 21 has a lot of cute tops with bump-friendly cuts, for a fraction of the price of most maternity stores:
$11.50, available in 4 colors
another awesome maternity site is yesstyle.com. you have to weed through a fair amount of items that are $100+, but there are some pretty good deals to be found.
if i could afford topshop maternity i would probably buy everything they offer. i particularly LOVE this adorable flowered cardigan (US size 6 if anybody wants to make my year):
on the other hand, it is extremely easy to find affordable, adorable baby clothes. seriously, i want to have a little girl just for this amazing ensemble:
$36.95 for the set, available from punkbabyclothes.net. the cupcake? the tutu? UH-MAZING.
of all the internet memes out there, chuck norris jokes have long been some of my favorites. today i found this shirt:
i think it is a primo candidate for something to wear while i'm in labor. most books i've read on pregnancy/childbirth say it's good to develop a labor mantra for yourself early on. i'm supposed to repeat this mantra to myself anytime i feel anxious about labor pains, childbirth, etc.
PAIN IS WEAKNESS LEAVING THE BODY. PAIN IS WEAKNESS LEAVING THE BODY. PAIN IS WEAKNESS LEAVING THE BODY. PAIN IS WEAKNESS LEAVING THE BODY. PAIN IS WEAKNESS LEAVING THE BODY. PAIN IS WEAKNESS LEAVING THE BODY. PAIN IS WEAKNESS LEAVING THE BODY. PAIN IS WEAKNESS LEAVING THE BODY.
in all honesty, i'm kind of looking forward to labor. it may be too early to determine my feelings on the subject either way, but right now it doesn't scare me. it's a beautiful part of what my body is designed to do. yes, it will hurt. it will be excruciating, possibly very long, and definitely very emotional. BUT the end result is well worth all of that. it's one day of pain for a lifetime of joy.
all that said, i am considering natural childbirth. call me crazy (and you may be right), but the idea of being 100% physically, mentally, and emotionally present for the experience is way less terrifying to me than have a giant needle shoved into my spine. i have done a lot of research into this, as well as read and watched (gotta love youtube) many first-hand accounts of natural childbirth. to me (and this is nothing if not a very personal choice), the pros far outweigh the cons.
the benefits of a natural birth that are most important to me are:
1. no epidural means that i would be able to move freely, use the restroom, walk around, and change positions at will.
2. i would be able to respond to my body's signals and reflexes, and give it exactly what it needs. if lying on my back becomes uncomfortable for me, it is most likely uncomfortable for the baby, too. pain during labor serves a purpose to help me seek out the best positions for both of us.
3. women who do not get an epidural can push harder and faster, thereby decreasing the amount of stress pushing puts on both you and the baby. i can push when i need to push, not when the doctor tells me a should. i would also be able to actually feel the progress my baby is making, and i believe this will offer the best incentive to push through the pain.
4. the pain of a natural birth causes the mother's body to secrete endorphins into the placenta and umbilical cord. research shows that these endorphins serve to help the baby adjust to outside life and make their journey more comfortable.
5. most mothers report that recovery after a natural birth is faster. most can walk, eat, and shower right away.
6. research as shown that naturally birthed babies are more alert and show a more immediate interest in pre-breast feeding behaviors, and usually nurse for longer and with more success the first time.
these are just 6 of the many reasons why i am considering this path. i believe that each woman has the right to labor in any way she chooses, so long as it is not detrimental to the baby. that said, if something did go wrong, i would absolutely do what needed to be done, even if it involves pain medication. it's all about bringing the baby into this world in the safest way possible.
also note that just because i say "natural childbirth" does not mean i plan to have this baby at home, in a bathtub. i would only consider this route under the close supervision of my doctor, in a hospital or a birthing center. any advice from mothers who have been there is welcome, but please no "you're crazy" comments. this is nobody's decision but my own. thank you.
we finally made the big announcement today and made the news of our pregnancy public. i'm so excited to be able to talk about it with family and friends. this is the beginning of amazing, wonderful things for our family. i'm just trying to take it all in and enjoy it. happy sunday, everyone.
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just another quick post before i go into work for the evening.
i think we can all agree that this girl is clearly NOT ready to be a parent. may i just say that the "best answer" is absolutely hilarious. "...that can lead to complications like an infinite loop." HA.
pregnant gas is a horse of a different color. not only is there a lot of it (like enough to power a small city), but it just feels different. it hurts more, for one thing. i was up half the night with this crampy sort of pain creeping up to my ribs. i must say, i have never had gas under my ribs before. it's almost like it has nowhere else to go because the baby is taking up some primo real estate in my gullet. at the risk of getting completely crude, i think i will end this part of the post here.
travis and i went on a small shopping spree yesterday. the purchase i am most excited about is undoubtedly my snoogle!
it's a little early to start using it, but i'm very happy to know it's there waiting for me.
if you've read the previous posts in this blog, you know i'm having a somewhat difficult time with morning sickness. i've only thrown up once, but i'm nauseous constantly. i bought these to help:
i tried the sour raspberry flavor at a particularly queasy moment. it worked! and it tasted good! really, really good! VICTORY.
the other edible goody i bought is a pack of belly bars:
i bought a 5 pack of the chocolate toffee crunch flavor. due to my constant queasiness, i haven't been eating as much or as often as i should. if i can keep down just one of these, then at least i know baby is getting all the nutrients it needs for the day. i ate one yesterday afternoon, and it was yummy! very yummy!
i also bought a couple new bras for my ever-expanding chest area, but no one wants to hear about that.
**due to the new laws governing the blogosphere, i am obligated to tell you that i reviewed these products for funsies and was not offered any products or compensation for my efforts.**
today we got to see and hear you for the first time. we could just make out your head and one of your little arms. your heartbeat was so fast. i knew it would be, but 164 beats per minute sounds like a tiny helicopter! your dad and i can't stop looking at these pictures of you. you're so amazing, baby. we love you so much.
love,mom and dad