Thursday, January 31, 2013

Hypnobirthing Vs. Natural Child Birth

At our last prenatal appointment, at 12 weeks to be exact, we had a discussion with our doctor about creating a birth plan. This was her exact suggestion:

"Don't make one! That's a sure way to get yourself a cesarean. You really have no idea how you will react or your body will react to the intense pain of child birth. Just go with the flow."

I couldn't agree with her more. Surprised because I'm such a planner? I know, I was too. But let's be honest for a moment....

During my miscarriage 2 years ago, I had opted for a D&C. Which at first I thought I wouldn't need. However it was 2 days before Christmas, and the thought of going through this on Christmas day made me incredible depressed. The first day wasn't so bad, and the procedure was scheduled for the following day. At which time, I woke up with intense cramps. We ended up bringing a heating pad in the car with us to the hospital. I couldn't take anything, nor eat anything. So I felt everything. I felt the clots. I felt the contractions my body was creating. We finally arrived at the hospital, at which time I was ghostly white and could barely move. The pain had become constant and completely unbearable. Thankfully, my OB was there and quickly got the anesthesiologist to come in and administer some meds to help me relax.

What's my point? I'm guessing child birth is going to be just as painful, and more intense. And seeing as I couldn't handle that pain, how will I handle the actual child birth pain?

I have no idea. So here's my thoughts on how to prepare for labor.

1. Hypnobirth- hopefully it will help to distract me from the pain, and get me through the intense contractions.

2. Natural Childbirth- do I opt for the traditional coping?

I would love to hear all your thoughts and suggestions, or what you did that seemed to help.

Here's my birthplan:

Step 1. Attempt Hypnobirthing or Natural Child Birth 

I would like to be up and moving around as much as possible. I prefer not to be attached to IV's or monitors. I'm hoping I can walk around, utilize a birthing ball or the birthing tub. I'd like to just go with what feels right.

Step 2. Have a "Safe Word" when the pain gets too intense. Meaning I want drugs.

Hubby and I will have a chat ahead of time. If I start to feel like the pain is too intense, and I'm going to pass out, he'll know it's that bad, and allow for drugs. Otherwise, I hope to not have them.

Step 3. Whatever means necessary.

If labor isn't progressing, or there's a complication or issue, I don't care at this point, just get the baby out! Whatever means necessary is my last resort.

I'm sure this might change as I get closer to delivering, but I think it's a good start.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

16 Weeks!

Baby Size: 
4.6" long 
3.5 oz


Baby. (Original, I know.) But the kid is actually looking like a baby now, so it seems fitting.

Baby Changes: 

  • can now hear me, thanks to tiny bones forming in their ears
  • hair growth, including lashes and eyebrows
  • taste buds are forming

Weight Gain: 
I definitely feel bigger this week. So I'm sure the weight has gone up. We'll find out Thur at our 16 week appointment.


Spinach calzone. Went home last night and had to make some.


None to speak of. Lettuce is finally my friend.


Um, yeah. The questionable looks are happening more frequently now, and the bump is harder to hide. Almost sticking out past my boobs. I'd say they're neck and neck right now.

Body Changes: 

Headaches, that do not get better with Tylenol, heat, ice, stretching or massage. Guessing it's hormonal changes causing them. Slight dizziness as well when I stand too long. Feeling lots of stretching around the round ligament area. Breasts have definitely gotten large. Almost time for some new bras. The skin on my face has also gotten a little red and blotchy. And the left side of my scalp, is so obnoxiously itchy!

Worst Moment this Week: 

Not seeing hubby for several days at a time. Work has him quite busy. 

Best Moment this Week: 

Hearing our family talk about how excited they are for us. Always nice to hear :)

Looking Forward To: 
Really feeling Baby move. Apparently it can start as early as this week. Still feeling sensations, but no actual kicks yet.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

15 Weeks

Baby Size: 
Orange, 4" long! 2.5 oz


Muffin, I find myself saying that now, no idea why.

Baby Changes: 

  • squirming all around, but I still can't feel it
  • possibly hiccuping
  • joints and limbs can move all around

Weight Gain: 
I actually feel like I may have lost a little weight. First trimester usually brings a lot of bloating, which has subsided. Leaving me feeling a little lighter.


None this week. I've been munching on peanuts, organic fruit leather, and of course chips.


Lettuce is still not appealing.


Oh yeah! Belly is definitely sticking out. I snuggled up next to hubby this morning, and he said he could feel my belly pressing against him.

Body Changes: 

I have not been able to sleep past 7am, and seem to be waking up around 4am, and tossing and turning until 7. Ugh. (Preparation for baby?) My stomach has also shifted up because baby is making a slow move up as well. Meals can only be really small, but I find I'm hungry every couple of hours. With the shift in my stomach, it has been causing indigestion and huge gas bubbles that take hours to subside. Not terribly fun. Along with those changes, my belly is getting that hard feeling, instead of being all wiggly jiggly.

Worst Moment this Week: 

Panicking when I felt like I hadn't grown all week. Did a little research and discovered that's normal, because the bloating has finally gone down. 

Best Moment this Week: 

Realizing that in 5 weeks, we're half way done! Kind of crazy to think. And in a few weeks, we'll know if we'll be welcoming a son or a daughter <3

Looking Forward To: 
The weekend. Work has been really crazy the last couple of weeks, and I definitely could use some downtime. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

14 Weeks - Hello Second Trimester!

Sorry for the bathroom photo again.

Baby Size: 
Lemon, 3.4" long! 1.5 oz


Jumping bean

Baby Changes: 

  • thumb sucking
  • toe wiggling
  • making urine
  • breathing amniotic fluid
  • Lanugo, growing all over baby to keep them warm

Weight Gain: 
still haven't purchased a scale, and honestly, I don't plan to.


Chips and dip. Attempting to balance it out though with lots of healthy eating the rest of the day.


None this week. Having a hard time downing lettuce or salad though.


Yup, definitely. I had one stranger look at me then my belly, when ringing up our order this weekend. Apparently it's beginning to become noticeable to strangers.

Body Changes: 

Energy is seriously coming back. I've been able to stay awake later, and not drag through each day. Sleep has become more soundly and have had 3 nights of no waking up randomly! Yay!

Worst Moment this Week: 

Finding out my company's STD coverage has a 15 day elimination period, meaning instead of getting paid for 30 days of leave, I'm only getting paid for 15, or 3 weeks. Not happy.

Best Moment this Week: 

Realizing we're 1/3 of the way through this pregnancy. I never thought I'd get here, and am truly elated that we've made it this far. (Chance of miscarriage has dropped to 1%.)

Looking Forward To: 
Our next appointment on the 31st. 16 week check in, no ultrasound, but happy to see another doctor in the practice. (There's 4 total. We've met Dr. Hale, but haven't seen him in 2 years, so it will be nice to chat with him again.)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Top 10 Favorite Suggestions

Planning for baby is quite intimidating. Between maternity leave coverage, unexpected costs that will become the norm, how many hours to work after baby's arrival.....the list is never ending. Some of you have given advice on how to plan for baby, that I have to say, they are fabulous! So here's my list of all your favorites!

1. Save up sick, vacation and personal time, and spread them out during maternity leave.
Get paid for 3 days a week instead of 5 while on leave, so you could potentially double your weeks off.

Thankfully I have 10 vacation days, 8 sick days, and 3 personal days I will be using. Hopefully work will allow me to spread them out so that I can get paid 3 days a week, for a longer span.

2. Start buying Walmart/Target/BabiesRUs gift cards every week, and stash them away.
That way the money is put aside, and spaced out over months, instead of being hit all at one time when baby arrives.

I'll probably start just stashing $20-40 a week, seeing as I  don't really have an ideal place I'll be shopping. Cash is just as good!

3. Purchase necessities ahead of time like diapers, wipes, soap, detergents, etc.

Most likely I'll start purchasing a cloth diaper every other week, along with wipes, soaps, and detergents. All the things that we normally don't purchase that would hit once baby arrives.

4. Create a monthly budget, including the expected new costs that come with baby.
Include any salary cuts that will be effected, and plan out how to combat the new gap.

Already done. We've been using the spreadsheet to determine how long to take off, and how many hours to work once I return. I've been using a spreadsheet for bills for years now, definitely helps in planning ahead. We've also set up a "bills" checking account, and a weekly "spending" account so that we never eat into our bills money on things we want.

5. Start saving now, no matter how far along you might be.
Build up your savings so that if you have to take some weeks unpaid, you have a cushion account.

Done. Hubby has been doing extra contract work on the side that we've been stashing away, along with any extra funds each month. Should have a nice little cushion come July. (Good thing since STD will only pay for 3 weeks.)

6. Buy used furniture.
Reach out to family and friends and see if anyone is looking to donate their crib, changing table, glider, etc.

We ended up purchasing a used crib and changing table from an extended family member for only $140 all together, in pretty much perfect condition. We also found a free Dutalier Glider, and a second changing table we'll be putting in the downstairs bathroom. The glider needs a new cushion that I'll either make, or purchase from the manufacturer.

7. Start a hidden registry on Amazon. 
That way you can take as much time as you need to organize your thoughts without looking like an over eager maniac. It also allows you to research, read reviews and change your mind on things, well before the baby comes. Shower or no shower, you have a running list of everything you might need.

I started one a couple weeks ago to organize everything that we'll need to purchase. It's definitely helped to narrow down our choices, and determine products based on reviews.

8. Take a mini-babymoon.
Cant afford to take off a full week away? Take a long weekend instead, and drive somewhere local for a mini getaway just the 2 of you. 

My in-laws gave us a 2 night stay in Lincoln, NH for Christmas, so we'll be using that to have a mini-babymoon sometime in March or April. Half day of work, and a couple nights away will be perfect!

9. Clean your house.
Whether nesting kicks in, or you hire someone, give your home a deep clean and start donating things that are just collecting dust around the place. Baby will take up more room than you think.

I'm usually really on top of cleaning our place, giving it a deep clean once a month, and light cleaning every week or so. Although I hate washing windows.... Nesting has slightly kicked in, and I've found myself cleaning things up when I have a moment, or trashing things we don't use/need. I'm considering having a professional come in right before baby arrives though to be sure everything is spotless.

10. Enjoy your alone time!
Whether alone, with your spouse or with friends, cherish every moment you have to yourself. Once baby arrives, all that will change.

Definitely trying to enjoy all the time I have to myself right now. Spending time with hubby has become more cherished as well. Thoroughly looking forward to all my Girl's Nights, game nights, and gatherings before July!

Monday, January 14, 2013


What the hell is a babymoon might you ask, like my husband did when I brought it up. It's a trip for you and your spouse before baby's arrival, usually taken anywhere from 4 to 6 months along. Yes that means you're showing. Yes it usually involves a bathing suit. And yes, who really cares?

Here's the problem. My work, like most Americans does not offer any paid maternity leave. And because we are under the required amount of employees to offer FMLA, I'm kind of shit out of luck. They do however offer short term disability, which I happily pay towards every week. Our only saving grace for maternity leave income. (Kind of odd that pregnancy is seen as a disability though, isn't it?)

And of course I waited too long to sign up for hospital coverage through Aflac, so we only get paid if their's complications, which I'm praying there isn't.

So what's an expectant girl to do? I only get 6 weeks of 60% of my salary for a vaginal delivery, or 8 weeks at 60% for a cesarean. Thankfully, my vacation time refreshes every January, so I still have 2 weeks vacation.

But how can you take a babymoon if you have barely any maternity coverage, and limited vacation time?

You can't.

So we aren't.


Instead, I am saving all, if possible of my vacation, personal and sick time as possible. That way I can hopefully tack it on to the end of short term disability so that I can hopefully be home with baby for as long as possible.

It amazes me that it's 2013, and the US still doesn't mandate paid maternity leave coverage. Honestly, who's making these rules? (Oh yes, our mostly male run government.) Do you know that other countries, no where near the resources that we have, offer up to 56 weeks of paid maternity leave? How the hell are we so far behind?!

Infographic comparing nations in government-mandated paid maternity leave

What you have done, fellow Mommas regarding maternity leave?

Friday, January 11, 2013

13 Weeks

Baby Size: Peach, 2.9" long! .81 oz

Knickname: Still jumping bean. 

Baby Changes: 

  •  forming vocal cords and teeth
  • she or he already has fingerprints.
  • intestines are moving from the umbilical cord to their more permanent place, in the tummy.

Weight Gain: haven't weighed myself this week.

Cravings: Loving chips and chocolate right now, but no really intense cravings yet.

Aversions: Fish tacos at Mezcal. We went to dinner over the weekend, and almost threw up on the first bite.

Showing:  I actually said to Hubby last night that I didn't feel like I had any growth this week. He laughed. Then I woke up this morning and felt like I grew over night!

Body Changes: Sleeping has become a problem. I seem to wake up every 2-3 hours. Pretty sure baby is preparing me for those nightly feedings. I did however breakdown and buy the maternity Boppy pillow. Love it! Still getting tingly nipples now and then, and my skin is super dry. I've also been fighting some bad congestion this week. Waking up coughing and hacking, not fun. Starting to get some energy back during the day, but still falling asleep pretty early.

Worst Moment this Week: My boss telling me I need to work more hours. (I work 40 as is, and pass out on the sofa at 7-8pm.) Pretty sure more work is not an option at the moment. 

Best Moment this Week: Feeling so many flutters during the day now! Amazing to already feel the little one moving all around. And getting the call from the Doc that the Down Syndrome screening was negative. 

Looking Forward To: The weekend. Can't wait to relax. And maybe clean...

Monday, January 7, 2013

Sleep, Food & Fitness


On the verge of 13 weeks, I assumed my energy would be back. My stomach would be not so queasy. Food wouldn't bother me. I was wrong. Last week my energy was definitely back, and I felt so much more alive. Then Sunday hit. The lack of a good night's sleep, waking at 7am, just did not seem to work for me. I ended up napping around 1pm, after prepping the food for our last holiday party. Only was able to sneak in about an hour, and definitely felt like I could sleep the rest of the day away.

I was hoping today would be different, but the sleeping issue has continued. Although I am getting plenty of sleep at night, I am waking up around 6 am feeling very restless. Tossing and turning for an hour, trying to get comfortable. That extra hour I usually desperately need, has left me completely exhausted by the afternoon. The mornings are mostly fine. It's some time after lunch I begin to severely crash. It's moments like these I wish I worked from home, or only worked part time.

I am really hoping the second trimester will help bring back some of these things I really need. Like sleep. I see a body pillow investment in my near future....


I've also not had any energy to cook at night. I usually get home from work around 5:30-6 and curl up on the sofa with my favorite fleece blanket. Not wanting to move, for anything. So thankfully Hubby did a little research, and found a local company that offers home delivery for precooked meals. Most are vegan, vegetarian and or gluten free. And seeing as we've been eating a lot of take out, we figured why not give it a shot. The price wasn't bad, and equaled a little less than we spend each week at the grocery store for the same amount of food. Let's just hope it tastes good! I'll let you know how it goes.


This week I am hoping to get back to the gym, for at least 2 or 3 nights. Slowly progress back into a normal low impact routine to help keep weight gain at bay and my muscles tone and strong. Because let's face it, you need them in child birth. Also hoping to find a prenatal yoga class near by. The only one I've found is at 4pm on Sundays. And this is such a lame excuse, but that's Patriots time. I wish I didn't like football so much...

13 Weeks tomorrow! Yay!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

12 Weeks!

12 Weeks 2 Days

Baby Size: Plum, 2.1", .49oz

Knickname: Jumping Bean, the kid was seriously jumping during the ultrasound scan. It looked a little something like this.

Baby Changes: 

  • Most of her critical systems are fully formed!
  • She's about to enter the growth and maturation stage, in which her organs and tissues will grow and develop rapidly.
  • She's now developing her reflexes -- if you poke her body, she'll likely move. (She/He did!)
  • She's opening and closing her fingers and curling her toes, too.
  • Her brain is developing fast!

Weight Gain: -3lbs since week 8! Yay!

Cravings: None to speak of.

Aversions: None to speak of.

Showing:  Oh yeah! Belly is definitely sticking out.

Body Changes: Besides my pot belly, my skin has been super dry. I've also been feeling a lot of stretching and flutters, which is mostly likely the little one doing jumping jacks. My body is also looking like a road map. At acupuncture yesterday, one of the needles fell out of my forehead, and I was dripping blood down my face. Glad no other patients saw it. Increased blood is definitely happening. I've also been having some major headaches, that have thankfully subsided today.

Worst Moment this Week: It's been a good week. Actually made it to midnight on New Years, however I did sneak in a nap from 7:30-9. Just waiting on the bloodwork to check on the baby's health. We should know sometime next week. Neck measurements were right on schedule though, so that's helped to ease some fear.

Best Moment this Week: Finally seeing our little one's profile. Still in awe that there's a small person growing inside of me. And that they can already jump around. And of course watching my husband's face during the ultrasound. He's one proud Daddy!

Looking Forward To: The next few weeks. Next ultrasound isn't until Feb, but our next check up is at the end of the month, at 16 weeks. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

What a Difference a Year Can Make!

What a difference a year can make! 

Happy New Year!

4 Weeks
6 Weeks
7 Weeks
8 Weeks
9 Weeks
10 Weeks
11 Weeks
12 Weeks