Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Bumpdate - 29 Weeks

I feel extremely uninspired to blog lately.  I've started to feel really emotional and overwhelmed and oddly those are not emotions that spur me to blog.  It's usually sadness or anger that really rile up a good blog post

But I began my bumpdates, so I must finish my bumpdates.

Here we go.

How far along: 29 weeks...holy shit.

Weight Gain: +1, we're up 17 lbs.

What's Up with My Body: I feel fine.  If these bumpdates ever came on a day where I'm doubled over in pain from gas or when my Braxton Hicks feel like they're coming constantly then I would obviously not be writing "fine". But the days I have problems are so infrequent and are honestly nothing to worry about...I just like to freak out about them in the moment...that I have no trouble disregarding them and moving on as soon as they're over.  So, today and yesterday I feel fine.  And aside from the 2 days of gas pains, I've felt fine all week.  No heartburn, no swelling, no stretch marks, I don't feel huge yet, I am sleeping fine...what else is there?  The gas situation seem to have been relieved by a bowel movement, but as far as I know I was not really constipated as I'd had a bowel movement the same morning the gas pains started, what's up with that?!

A lot of people seem to be complaining about sleep at about this point in pregnancy and I'm happy to say that my sleeping has stayed the same pretty much the whole pregnancy.  Yes I do get up 2-3 times a night to pee every single night, but I have no trouble falling asleep, I have no trouble falling BACK to sleep after I'm up to pee and I don't wake up in pain, other than some very mild back pain every once in awhile.  Not something I'll complain about.

It also feels like a lot of people begin complaining about their bulk at this point. Sizewise I honestly don't feel that much different.  Other than the bump, which kind of just feels like an extra appendage, my body still feels like my own.  There is a bit of grunting that happens when I go from a reclining or horizontal position to a vertical one, but that's more of a trouble bending situation rather than a bulk situation.  I do not actually feel bigger.  The bump also feels a bit heavy when I go from reclining to standing, but it's just for a moment and if I'm up and about I don't notice the extra bump weight.

Is this when I start being happy that I'm only up 17 lbs?

I think so.

Movement:  I've started to feel baby hiccups sporadically.  They're very light and so different from all of the hard kicking and punching that seems to be going on the rest of the time.  Oh and we officially have baby in the lungs!  Oomph, really takes your breathe away when you get kicked in the lungs!

Emotions:  I am quite the emotional basketcase lately.  I know it's hormonal, it FEELS hormonal, but sometimes I just can't help myself and tears just start pouring down my face...for no real reason.  It's usually in the middle of what is SUPPOSED to be a discussion (you know the ones where you're actively trying to NOT argue and just DISCUSS without getting too emotional?) but I can't turn it off, the emotions are just too close to the surface these days.

I'm very overwhelmed with what we've got going on at our house and it puts me on edge.  While I am busy worrying about getting the nursery ready and having a serene space to give birth in, the hubs seems to be worrying about getting THE WHOLE HOUSE done, which leaves the whole house UNDONE.  We have tons of little projects that we've been putting off for awhile and suddenly he's VERY worried about doing them NOW.  In my head I would rather not worry about them too much, finish the nursery and keep plugging away at them one by one, as I believe a few weeks after the baby is born we will have figured out how to live life again and it won't be a huge deal to have an electrician come in after the initial weeks that we're figuring out a newborn.  But it seems he may be more nervous about the impending changes than he would like to admit and he seems to think that after baby is born we will NEVER have a chance to finish up these little projects.  He would never admit that, but his behavior says otherwise.

And if I'm being really honest (and let's face it, when am I not?) I'm really sad that I'm going to miss out on a 2nd birthday this year because of a pregnancy.  Dom turns 40 in a month and we're going to have a big BBQ party here at the house.  My birthday is a month later and what are we going to do for it?  Nothing.  We'll be sitting around waiting for a baby.  Last year was my 30th, what did we do for it?  Nothing.  We were too excited that we were pregnant.  I hate that I'm upset by this because you know, WE'RE HAVING A BABY, what better gift could a girl ask for, but THIS girl wants a party FOR HER...having a baby is not just going to magically change my personality and make me not care.  So, there you have it, selfish, bitchy, but the honest truth about having a due date 2 days after your own birthday.  It's like the whole of my 30th year was gobbled up by pregnancies...and not in a good way.

What I'm Looking Forward To:  Trip to NYC for my baby shower in T minus 2 days!!!  Dreading the flight but really looking forward to seeing all of my friends one last time before I have this baby!

Bumpdate: If you couldn't guess from the picture, husband is gone again.

This, my friends, is a maternity dress!  Pea in the Pod.  Why oh why can I not take a straight picture with the iPhone?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Still the Bitter Infertile

I don't know what is up with 2012 but it seems everyone is turning up pregnant.

The luck of the dragon I guess.

As all the BFP's have been raining down on the IF community I've been nothing but happy for each and every one of them, whether they struggled for a year or 5 years I'm so happy so many are getting good news this year.

But it seems the dragon luck is not exclusive to the IF community and nearly all the NON infertility bloggers I follow have announced their pregnancies in the last few months as well.

And it irks the shit out of me.

Is this because I tend to follow others who are at similar stages in life as me?  ie. most were recently married and thus pregnancy is the next step?

I want to be happy for all of these people.  I want to say "yay!  another member of the 2012 babies club!"

But a part of me still aches when someone married 3 months ago turns up pregnant.  Or when someone waits until 12 weeks to announce and then starts back-posting everything they wrote during the weeks leading up to their announcement and they mention baby names, they talk nurseries.

There's no fear in those posts.  

There is nothing but joy and excitement.

And I'm jealous. 

I am 29 weeks pregnant and I am still scared to death that something will go wrong in the next 3 months and I won't have a baby come August.

It is not a constant worry.  Most days I walk around perfectly comfortable in my pregnant body, happy to tell people that I'm 7 months pregnant.  And I smile and nod as they tell me how hard newborns are and how I will never sleep again, etc etc.

But then something hurts, or something is uncomfortable and I'm fully convinced that this is the beginning of the end.

I've spent the last 2 days on the couch with gas pains so severe that I could hardly walk.

My uterus seemed blissfully unaware about all the action going on around it, but that didn't stop me from poking it ALMOST CONSTANTLY to see if it was contracting.  To which I could then connect the dots of uterus contracting and I'M IN PAIN, I MUST BE IN LABOR!

I was obviously not in labor.

It's almost as though this whole thing has been too damn easy and I need something to go wrong so I can say, THAT WAS IT, now the rest can be easy.

I don't like being this person that worries all the time.  I am not a worrier by nature.

Part of me thinks, WELCOME TO MOTHERHOOD, as I know all mothers worry about their children and I will probably never be the carefree non-worrier again.  But part of me is sad, sad that I can't JUST STOP.

I've tried hard to relax and enjoy the pregnancy part of this journey.  But I must admit, I desperately want this kid out.

I want to quit worrying about every twitch and pinch and pain that I experience being a sign that something is wrong.  I want to quit being afraid that it will all end when I am alone.  I want to quit worrying that because I'm so worried about seeming crazy to my midwives that I won't call them about something I should have ie. I did not call my midwives about the gas pains I've been having, I'm so tired of emailing them, feeling crazy, them reassuring me and then have everything feel ok the moment they email me back so that I feel even crazier.

And I'm want to quit being jealous that people get pregnant easily.  That not everyone has a miscarriage.  That not everyone loses babies.  As though it's some rite of passage that everyone should have to experience before they can have their healthy babies.

I don't want to feel that way.  I wish NO woman EVER had to experience a miscarriage or worse, a stillbirth.  And I'm bitter and angry that I was one of the people that had to experience one.  And I feel like a bitch because so many people have had it so much worse and lost so much more.

And I hate that IF and baby loss take away the joy of pregnancy.

Does it ever end?  Once a bitter infertile, always a bitter infertile? 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

How My Glucose Test is Different Than Your Glucose Test

If you're having a homebirth it's possible that your glucose test IS the same as mine, but it sounds like generally this is not a normal glucose test for gestational diabetes.

So, first and foremost, I passed and I DO NOT have GD.  Woohoo!  Not like I was concerned but pregnancy is so weird, you just never know!

Even though I've been obsessed with homebirth since I was 22 my main fascination lay with the birth itself and not so much with the pregnancy.  Thus it never occurred to me that homebirth midwives would do gestational diabetes tests differently than say an OB.  What I assumed honestly was that they wouldn't have you do a glucose test if you weren't showing signs of GD and that they would send you to the hospital to do a regular glucose test if you WERE showing signs of GD.

Turns out they still like to do the glucose test for everyone, they just do it a little differently.

And obviously one midwife is not the same as another, but this is how my midwives do the glucose test.

They do the glucose test with food.

Your body treats all sugar the same, glucose, fructose, lactose, any kind of "ose" is sugar and your body does the same thing with all of it.

So instead of making me drink a disgusting sugary drink (which I've done by the way, I had the normal glucose test done when getting my PCOS diagnosis) and sit in a Dr.'s office waiting room for 2 hours I got to have pancakes and chat with my midwives while we waited our 2 hours.

The appt went down like this.  The night before I had a normal dinner and then a protein based snack before bedtime (I had tuna and crackers in case you're curious).

Then the midwives showed up at 8:30 this morning, Dom made brekkie while I got my finger pricked and my blood sugar tested on one of those little diabetic machines:

We all then sat around and had breakfast together, I HAD to have 75g of carbohydrates, which for me came in the form of 2 pancakes with maple syrup, a cup of coffee with milk and sugar and a half glass of orange juice.  And because they don't like you to ONLY eat carbs I also had some eggs for protein.  All of which had to be consumed within half an hour of my initial pinprick.

Then we had my 28 week appt.  

We discussed what supplies I need to get for the birth (OMG we have to start buying supplies for BIRTH!), what pediatricians they recommended in the area and what questions we might want to ask before choosing a pediatrician. They took blood to make sure I'm not anemic.  They did a breast exam, a heart and lung check, belly measurements and the doppler check.  

And after all that we still had about 15 minutes before the 2 hours were up so we chatted a little bit about birth and what Dom's roll is etc etc.

Then I got another pinprick and VOILA!  I find out my results right then and there, no gestational diabetes, glucose is well within the normal range.

And THAT my friends is one of the many differences between homebirth midwives and OBs and why I LOVE the path I have chosen to bring my baby into the world.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Bumpdate - 28 Weeks

I've been in a bit of a blogging rut this week since the last few miscarriages were announced.  I don't know what it is about these latest ones specifically but they've made me hit the skids on whatever it was I was going to blog about. I couldn't bring myself to blog about nurseries and glucose tests and whatever the hell else was on my mind when these ladies were dealing with the hell of a miscarriage.

I almost even skipped today.

But it's Wednesday and I've been really good about getting these out on time, so I have to bumpdate.

Let's get to it.

Regardless of what book you are reading I AM IN THE THIRD TRIMESTER and 7 months pregnant!

I feel like this was the last big milestone before you know...birth.

How far along: 28 Weeks

Weight Gain: Nothing this week, so +16 bringing me to a whopping 138 lbs.

Food: My first official food craving of Pregnancy #2 is...SWEETS!  I'm all over sweets.  If you don't know, I'm NOT a sweets/dessert kind of all.  I will almost always pass on dessert.  But on Sunday night at 7:30pm suddenly I desperately wanted dessert and since we don't keep sweets in the house this required us to seek out said dessert.  Unfortunately it was Sunday and this is not NYC which means a lot of places were closed, but luckily this is still San Francisco and thus a big enough city that we found ONE OF THE BEST DESSERT PLACES IN THE CITY still open until 8pm and not far from us.  So we hopped in the car and drove out to get dessert.  We got an eclair and a piece of chocolate cake to split between the two of us and I consumed every last crumb of my half.  DELICIOUS.  The next day I then proceeded to eat my husband's half of the eclair because he hadn't had his the night before, HE SAID IT WAS OK!  Then today I stopped for a donut on the way home from yoga.  Yeah, sweets craving is in full effect, I haven't wanted sweets like this since Pregnancy Numero Uno.  Clearly the baby has a sweet tooth.

In other food news, twice more I've had to get up at 5am to eat because my tummy was growling so loudly I just couldn't ignore it.  But other than at 5am I am not feeling overly hungry, SO WEIRD.

What's Up With My Body:  Things are generally calm.  No heartburn, no constipation, no swelling, no stretch marks.  I'm starting to have a bit of back pain if I sit in my chair at the computer too long or if I'm cooking too long.  Something about my posture when I'm chopping and then tending to food on the stove has started to really hurt my back.  And it's not the lower back ache I would normally associate with pregnancy and carrying a heavier load in the front, it's up high between my shoulder blades!  Not sure how to fix the situation other than to quite cooking ;-)

Speaking of cooking, does anyone else feel like they're cooking their baby when they use their stove?  My stomach is perfecty level with the stovetop whilst cooking and I literally feel like I'm roasting my baby. They caution us against taking baths but not about roasting baby in utero with the stovetop?

Movement:  Baby has been breech (I think!) for most of the pregnancy as I pretty consistently feel kicks down low in my pelvis and only sometimes up around my middle, but I think baby may have finally flipped over and is no longer breech.  I felt a very distinct roll or flip or something that was completely unlike anything I'd felt before and now I'm feeling baby kicks more consistently up by my ribs and belly button and very rarely down in my pelvis. This makes me happy because as much as it doesn't matter what position baby is in right now it DOES matter in just a few short weeks because WE ARE NEARING THE END.

Things I Need To Do: Find a pediatrician. OMG, really?  I honestly didn't realize you should find a pediatrician BEFORE you had your baby...luckily there is one down the street that both Dom and I did a bit of research on independently and unbeknownst to one another and I think we both agree that we'd like to give it a whirl.  I think you're supposed to go in and interview them or meet them pre-baby though, yes?

Finish nursery.  You guys will be happy to hear that I've made progress on my nursery without really buying anything more.  I bought the crib which I told you about but it only arrived 2 weeks ago and we just put it together last weekend.  I will do a nursery post soon so you can see what I'm doing, but honestly I didn't buy much besides a crib.  But it's damn just wait.

Milestone:  I have my glucose test tomorrow and unlike most of your glucose tests mine is done at my house and it's done with FOOD rather than that disgusting sweet orange drink.  I'll post about it tomorrow after I'm done but I basically have pancakes and we test my blood based off THAT glucose rather than the drink.  I'm not gonna lie, I'm totally looking forward to it because I don't really eat carbs and thus I haven't had pancakes in YEARS!


I am aware of how fabulous my hair looks, for some reason I decided to take it out of it's up-do...clearly a wonderful decision.

Kitty photo bomb!

And one more because I believe my bump is finally growing and because I obviously look fabulous post yoga class.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Heavy Heart

It is with a very heavy heart that I relay the news that there have been some losses in the IF community this week.

Both Belle at Scrambled Eggs and Tiffany at Pifer's Journey found out their babes no longer have heartbeats.

2012 has been so amazing, blessing so many of us with pregnancies that these two losses feel particularly difficult.

Hearing about others dealing with miscarriage takes me back every time to that sad little place in my head when I was dealing with my own.

I cried for them both.

Love and hugs to these ladies and their families as they deal with their grief and as they learn to survive one of the cruelest jokes god plays on us, blessing us with a pregnancy and then taking it all away.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Pregosaurus

Also known as Diastasis Recti.

Cornfed, these pics are for you!

Most of you expressed either disgust or shock when I said my stomach muscles had begun to separate.

Or ignorance.  In that you'd never even heard of the phenomenon.

I agree that this is one of those things that they like to keep pregnant women in the dark about.

It's not mentioned anywhere in What to Expect When You're Expecting except as a postpartum symptom...ahem why not mention it when it's happening as well as what to do after it's happened?

And as far as I can tell,, and the one million and 7 other pregnancy websites don't mention it either.

When you google it you get some rather disgusting piccies of SEVERE diastasis recti in which the muscles have fully separated and it's just SCARY.

For the record, that's not the norm, that's the exception.

To which I say, WTF?  It happens in roughly 60-70% of pregnancies, and a higher percentage of twin/multiples pregnancies, that's a huge number to just completely ignore the phenomenon all together.

Also women themselves seem to be pretty mum about it.  When I mentioned it most people said they didn't notice it had happened if it had or that they'd never even heard of it.  Very few people spoke up and said it HAD happened to them. 

So, I thought I would show you guys what it looks like.

It doesn't hurt even though it sounds painful.  I mean your muscles are SEPARATING, surely that should be painful!

It's not.

According to my yoga instructor it's very normal to happen even if you don't notice it and as long as the ligaments in between the two muscle groups don't stretch out too far, as in beyond their capacity to stretch, then it really shouldn't be a problem getting things back together after baby.

Here's mine at 27 weeks.

Normal Pregnant Lady Belly

Watch out for the Pregosaurus!

Hahaha!  Oh it cracks me up just looking at it.  

Maybe not to you guys but every time I see it I think of a dinosaur. LOL.  All I'm doing in the pregosaurus picture is lifting myself up with my stomach ie. using my stomach muscles.

And in case anyone is interested the only thing you can really do about it DURING pregnancy is continue to strengthen your transverse abdominal muscles LIGHTLY, nothing strenuous!  There's some yoga moves that are super easy and supposed to be good for the old diastisis recti situation.  One of them is honestly the belly dancer sway, seriously, swaying your hips in a figure eight.  How easy is that?

But generally speaking like all pregnancy symptoms it usually resolves itself after the birth with little effort.

I will obviously update you guys at the end of pregnancy and see how bad it gets and I will also keep everyone posted about how quickly it goes back to normal postpartum!

So, now that you've all seen it, anyone else experiencing this phenomenon I've dubbed The Pregosaurus???

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Bumpdate - 27 Weeks

Well, it's Wednesday again.

Time to bumpdate.

The good news is that my cold FINALLY went away.  It stuck around for a solid week and a half.  That's 10 full days of phlegm and hacking.  FUN.  But thank god we're past that now and let's hope I'm not destined for 1 cold per trimester...I don't want to have to survive one more.

So, just like with the discrepancy about when the 2nd trimester starts there is the same discrepancy about when the 3rd trimester starts.


But some books say it's not until next week.

Screw it, I'm going with the school of thought that says it's this week.

So, Yay, 3rd Trimester people!

How Far Along: 27 Weeks

Weight Gain: Up another pound FINALLY after stalling out for a full month, +16 total.  Wasn't the majority of the weight gain supposed to be in trimester 2?  I suppose I gained 10 lbs in the 2nd trimester which was twice as much as the first...I honestly thought I would gain more.

Maternity Clothes: I brought this one back into the mix because I just have to mention that maternity clothes, specifically dresses still do not fit me.  There is too much room in the bump area and my bump just doesn't fill it out.  By the time my bump is big enough for maternity dresses I will be ready to give birth.  This makes me sad because dresses are the most comfortable thing ever while you're pregnant but only a very specific type of non-maternity dress can be worn during pregnancy.  I'm down to like 5 in my rotation and ALWAYS looking for new ones, but having a lot of trouble.  I keep trying, keep buying maternity dresses, cheap, expensive, everything, looking for something and I have exactly 2 that I can wear and even they are a bit too big in the bump.  So, to maternity dress makers, MAKE SOME CLOTHES FOR SMALLER BUMPS PLEASE!  That being said I love maternity tank tops and wear them whenever I don't have a dress on.

What's Up With My Body:  Let's bullet point today shall we?

  • Braxton Hicks contractions are evil and Mr. Braxton Hicks is the devil.  I hate these things with every fiber of my being.  They cause me so much stress that I don't know how I'm going to survive the next 13 weeks.  Here's the thing, I start to get them A LOT if I'm tired, if I'm dehydrated, if I'm on my feet too long and apparently for a million other reasons.  Midwives say don't worry about them unless you have more than 4 an hour or if they're painful and I SWEAR I'm having 4 an hour but when I sit down to count them, guess what happens?  Oh yes, they slow down, I've never counted more than 3.  And they don't hurt but holy hell it's uncomfortable when they're almost constant.  It's like walking around with your tummy constantly flexed.  And in a state of SHEER TERROR that this is the beginning of labor

If you couldn't guess my husband is out of town again, I seem to only stress about preterm labor when he's gone.  This is his last trip for the duration of the pregnancy THANK GOD and you just know I'll never have a day of Braxton Hicks again.

  • I've started having crazy dreams again.  I had a bunch in the beginning and then they seemed to go away during the 2nd trimester but now as we hit the 3rd they seem to be returning.  I keep having anxiety dreams, birth dreams, and the latest and greatest SPIRIT SMOKE BABY DREAMS.  Are you guys watching the new season of Game of Thrones?  If you are then you know the crazy red haired lady who gives birth to the smoke monster?  Well, I birthed something similar to that, except it was blue and it was a baby, not a full grown man, AND IT WASN'T EVIL.  But I birthed a spirit smoke baby and had to push it back in because the baby wasn't ready to be born yet...and you was a smoke baby but after I pushed it back in I started having all these cramps, I woke up to discover I HAD TO PEE, oh yes, pushing my spirit baby back in was just my body's way of saying WAKE UP AND PEE.

  • My stomach muscles are totally weird.  I have a post for you tomorrow all about the diastasis recti complete with PICTURES!

  • Normal symptoms have all but disappeared, I had one afternoon of heartburn and one day of swelling, no headaches, no back pain...still doing good physically, waiting for it all to go to shit.

Emotions: I'm ready to be done with this pregnancy.  Not because I hate being pregnant, I don't mind it at all and I kind of love the bump.  But the stress of worrying constantly is taking it's toll, and I'm ready to be done.  I hate that I can't let go and quit worrying as I'm not a worrier by nature but the miscarriage took it's toll and I'm always waiting for the next thing to go wrong.  I'm tired.  Very very tired of worrying.

Movement: Baby seems to enjoy spicy food and baths/showers.  If I eat anything spicy I get a lot of somersaults and kicks and when I sit in the bath baby has her own little dance party in there.  We like baths.

Bumpdate: I figured out where and how baby is growing.  Baby is growing up and sideways, not so much out.  I can feel baby kicks just an inch or so below my boobs, though not in my ribs or lungs yet and i can feel baby WAY out to the sides, like so far out there I had no idea my uterus could even BE out there.  You guys know the old wives tale about girls growing wide and boys growing out right?  Well, if that's true this is a girl.  And honestly...I officially think this is a girl.

Rockin more non-maternity wear.  This is J. Crew.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Babies Are Coming!

Remember back in March when I finally decided to get rid of my TTC Timeline and added a Fellow Pregnant IFers tab along the side of my blog?

It was my attempt to embrace pregnancy, let go of the fear of losing the pregnancy and celebrate the fact that so many IFers were getting their BFPs right alongside me.

When I wrote that post there was roughly 30 of us all of who struggled through infertility and all pregnant.   Since that time the number has climbed to roughly 50 and the miscarriages were oh so few, and for once this group of women who seem to always be on the wrong side of statistics were BEATING the statistics.

The due dates were (and are) June through October and with the added BFPs that have sprung up in the last few weeks they've extended out to December/January.  ALL DRAGON BABIES!!!

But a few of the little dragons have decided to make an early appearance.


Rebecca's twin boys arrived a few weeks ago at 31w3d.
Lindsey also had her baby a few weeks ago delivered early at 38 weeks due to pre-e.
Brittany had her baby about a week ago at 35w4d due to complications.
Jessica twin girls arrived a few days ago at 25w4d.
and Lulu who is supposed to be delivering her baby today at 37 weeks due to restricted growth.

As you can see most of these ladies were well ahead of me in their pregnancies and due late May or early June and their babies were purposely delivered early for one reason or another.

But poor Jessica was BEHIND me in her pregnancy and honestly that sort of freaks me the fuck out.  Yes she was on bed rest for a few weeks and it was a twin pregnancy but STILL!!!  Those early babies are doing nothing to squash my fear of preterm labor!

But in honor of the new little dragons that have started to make an appearance I've added a new tab over on the right called IFer's Who Made it to Motherhood!

And in other news today is MAY 15 and my due date is AUGUST 15.  Just 3 months to go!!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Different Conversation About Breastfeeding

This is not a post about the Time magazine article.

All I will say about THAT is to each his own (or her own in this case).  We don't need to fuel the fire of mommy wars with articles like these.  I have no problem with a woman choosing to nurse for 3+ years, but nursing your kid for 3+ years does not make you a better mother than someone who went to work 8 weeks postpartum.  Everyone's decisions that they make for their own family are OK and there's no need for one group to be fighting with the other.  We don't need a Working Mothers vs. Attachment Mothers.  We should all just be MOTHERS and be in this together.

So, moving on to another conversation about breastfeeding.

Most people can rattle off a whole list of benefits to breastfeeding both to baby and to mother, especially in the early months when baby has no immunity and uses mother's antibodies exclusively to ward off disease and stay healthy and when mama uses breastfeeding both to help her uterus contract back down to a normal size and to help lose a little baby weight.

And most women have a strong desire to give breastfeeding a go with their newborns.

But nobody talks about the other reason to breastfeed that has nothing to do with the health of mother or baby.

Breastfeeding as Birth Control.

Breastfeeding (let me specify ON DEMAND breastfeeding) has been used as birth control for centuries (we could even say thousands of years here).

Royalty has always used the LACK of breastfeeding to pop out as many kids as possible knowing full well that keeping the baby on the boob would delay the next royal heir.  Many devout Catholics use this anti-breastfeeding as a tool to have more children as well.  You can bet your ass Michelle Duggar does not do breastfeeding on demand.

Hunter gatherer tribes do the opposite.  They keep the baby on the boob FOR YEARS so that they don't have millions of children.  It works beautifully.  I don't have exact statistics for you guys but let's just say Irish twins (siblings less than 1 year apart in age) are unheard of in hunter gatherer societies.

Given my history and my possible PCOS I feel that breastfeeding is the only tool I have in my arsenal to have any choice about how far apart in age my children will be.

To refresh the memory of the masses I ovulated exactly once on my own in the year and a half that we were TTC and it was 8 weeks after a miscarriage.  


While it's possible there were other factors that led to my spontaneous ovulation I firmly believe it was the pregnancy and I feel strongly that I can ovulate soon after a pregnancy has ended in the future.

But I don't want Irish twins.

I'm aiming for 2 years apart.

But I don't know if I can ovulate more than once.

So, enter breastfeeding.

I NEED to be able to breastfeed in order to keep whatever ovulation may or may not happen at bay for at least a year.

If I stop breastfeeding at 2 months and I ovulate soon after.  WE HAVE TO TRY FOR BABY #2 AT THAT TIME because as far as I know my ovaries have a very small window of opportunity to pop out eggs on their own.

And I don't know what my window is.  Is it one cycle?  2 cycles?  More?

The only information I have to go on is that my periods ceased 6 months after I stopped my pills BEFORE we were TTC and were irregular the whole time leading up to the complete stoppage.  Unfortunately I wasn't temping so I have NO IDEA if I ovulated at all coming off my pills.  What I do know is that 6 months later I DEFINITELY was not ovulating.

And I know I ovulated ONCE after a miscarriage.  Luckily once was all it took to get pregnant again but I have no idea if I would have ovulated more than once had a pregnancy not taken place.

Unfortunately I also know that the first pregnancy did not leave my ovaries cyst-free, I had an ultrasound to confirm my uterus was clear a few days after the miscarriage and they were still polycystic but apparently they were just clear enough to pop out an egg.

I know there's a lot of skepticism about BOD (that's Breastfeeding On Demand) WORKING as a tool to delay ovulation, but I believe strongly that it does work.  It's an evolutionary tool after all.  

Evolution is amazing that way.

Tori Spelling, Michelle Duggar and Rosie Pope getting pregnant just months after popping out a kid do not count as using BOD as birth control....I guarantee they were not.  They were probably hoping that whatever amount of breastfeeding they were doing would work, but I'm certain they were not BOD. 

Cause you have to do it right.

Scheduled feedings will lower the effectiveness of this working.

Pumping can lower the effectiveness.

Basically anything that doesn't involve your boob being there whenever you baby needs it will lower the effectiveness.

But I'm ok with that.

Even introducing solids at 6 months, which is customary, can lower the effectiveness.

But I'm ok with that too.

If I make it to 6 months exclusively BOD with no ovulation and suddenly we introduce solids and I ovulate?  FINE.  We'll have kids 16 months apart.  IT IS WHAT IT IS.

I'll control what I CAN control and leave the rest up in the air.

If we get to a year and a half and I'm STILL not ovulating?  Time to cut the kid off the boob and see what happens.

Control what I can.

Of course this means I've just put a ton of pressure on myself to be able to breastfeed, BUT YOU KNOW WHAT?  I think of it as motivation rather than pressure.  I AM GOING TO DO IT.

I'm going to pretend I'm a cavewoman and if I can't breastfeed my baby THEN MY BABY WILL DIE.  No pumps, no bottles, no formula will be in this house.  IT'S BREASTFEED OR BUST.

Otherwise we have to deal with the rigmarole of going to the RE again and as much fun as that was it was way more fun to get pregnant like normal people.

So, I open this up to discussion, what are your thoughts on BOD as birth control and any of you plan to use it as your sole form of birth control post baby?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Blessing or A Curse?

Warning:  Some talk about my miscarriage in here!  If you're in early pregnancy and shielding yourself from miscarriage chat than do not proceed!

I've been thinking about birth a lot lately.

And why wouldn't I?  As it draws near suddenly everything has started to be about the birth rather than pregnancy, ie. childBIRTH classes, HypnoBIRTHING, etc.

But as I sat with a heavily pregnant friend yesterday and she expressed her uncertainty about what exactly a contraction felt like it suddenly dawned on me just how prepared I may already be for childbirth.

The preparation came in the form of a miscarriage.

Though it didn't produce a happy healthy baby in the end and though it was to something infinitely smaller than a traditional birth, my miscarriage was a birth of sorts.

 I know exactly what a contraction feels like.

I know that it feels nothing like a Braxton Hicks contraction and it feels nothing like period cramps.  It feels like a contraction and the term "wave"or "surge" describes it perfectly.

I even know what it feels like to have the urge to "bear down" and why women think they need to poop when they actually are ready to push their babies out.  Cause that's really what it feels like when the baby is ready to come out...apparently no matter how small it may be.

And I know what it feels like to have your cervix uncomfortably open for a few days after.

Oh how I hate the feeling of my cervix being open.

But is this a blessing or a curse?

I've read from a lot of crunchy home birthing hippies who are very anti-hospital birthing say that it's our cultural fear of childbirth that makes it painful and that it's the fear and the ingrained believe in how painful it is that actually makes childbirth painful.  While the feelings of childbirth may be "intense" they don't have to be painful if we can change our mindset.

There was a part of me that believed this and still does to some degree.

But I learned a few other things from my miscarriage besides what early labor will feel like.  

I learned that contractions hurt like hell.

I did not go into my decision to have a natural miscarriage with the idea that it would hurt.  I only hesitated because I was scared of seeing the dead baby, I didn't want to see it and thank god I didn't have to in the end.  

It never occurred to me that it would be super painful.  ESPECIALLY when all the assholes at the hospital tell you to just expect a lot of cramping.

I don't know about your cramps but my cramps have never been particularly painful.

So, I did not have a preconceived notion of pain and I wasn't necessarily scared of the ordeal.  A little panicked about possibly seeing a dead baby in the toilet, but scared wasn't the emotion I was feeling.  There was no expectation of pain and no fear of pain.

But it hurt.  It hurt a lot.

How do you explain that crunchy hippies?

So, now I'm torn, was the ordeal a blessing in that I'm prepared for at least some of this?   I don't know what it's like to go through labor and delivery of a full term baby, but I've had a little glimpse and I definitely know what to expect, especially in early labor.

Or is it a curse because I now KNOW it hurts and thus can never fully mentally prepare myself for it not to hurt...which is part of hypnobirthing, changing your idea of pain and convincing yourself that your "surges" are not painful.  Haha, ok I'm paraphrasing to suit my argument, but hypnobirthing IS about changing your mindset so that you don't think of the experience as painful.

I'm still ready to fully immerse myself in both the hypnobirthing and natural child birthing and still plan on having this baby at home, but a part of me is scared, scared of the pain I KNOW I will experience rather than the idea of the pain of childbirth.

So what do you think?  Do past experiences prepare you or just scare you?  

And could it be the happy ending, ie. the happy healthy baby in your arms after all the hard work, that can make childbirth "intense" and not painful?

Bumpdate - 26 Weeks

First things first, I must alert you all to the fact that I have less than 100 days left of pregnancy.

Don't tell me about going over 40 weeks, I KNOW, in fact I'm hoping to go OVER by a week, remember?

But that's not the point.  The point is that the ticker says 98 days!

And in other news...

I'm still sick.

My poor, sickly, sad little asthmatic lungs take normal 2 day colds and turn them into week long affairs.

There's a lot of mucus...and not the fun kind that I normally talk about, like CERVICAL mucus.  Just the disgusting my nose, in my throat, in my chest.

Mucus, mucus, everywhere.

And the coughing.

Oh the coughing.

Hot steamy showers where I just sit in the shower, not in the water and try to breathe in the steam have become my new obsession to try to loosen the phlegm and ease the coughing.

And because I'm miserable and obviously already complaining.

Guess what SF has that I wasn't anticipating when I moved here?



It's gorgeous weather here, 80 degrees and sunny and I can't go outside because not only do I sound like a 75 year old smoker with my hacking cough but because the ALLERGIES will attack me and I will live to regret it.  In fact several days I did regret it and have vowed to stay inside for the rest of allergy season.

So, back to pregnancy.

Pregnancy has been boring this week.

NO GROWTH.  NO WEIGHT GAIN.  Ok there's a LITTLE bump growth in the last 2 days since my last post...don't worry I have pictures.

I am either:

a) growing a tiny baby

b) losing weight while baby is gaining so that we're evening out.


c) about to have a massive growth spurt in which both baby and I gain like 5 lbs in a week...

Whatever.  Baby is kicking like crazy and I'm too sick to keep worrying about it.

So, bumpdate:

How far along: 26 Weeks

Weight Gain: +15...still.

What's Up With My Body:  Nothing.  No constipation.  No heartburn.  No swelling.  No stretch marks.  No symptoms of pregnancy whatsoever other than this bump on my belly that keeps kicking me and the baby's new trick...STRETCHING.  So uncomfortable when baby stretches out, I end up poking him and nudging him to encourage him to STOP WITH THE STRETCHING.

Food: As most of you know I haven't had any true cravings or aversions this pregnancy at all.  But the latest and greatest thing to happen in the food department is that I had to get up one morning at 5am TO EAT because I was starving.  Of course I was already awake hacking up a lung so I thought, WHY NOT EAT AND HACK AT THE SAME TIME?  I've been ravenously hungry twice since then at 5am but haven't bothered to get up...sleep is better.


Eating too much makes me want to vomit now.  There's just no room left, if I eat too much it threatens to come right back up.  No vomit yet, but boy we've come close!

Emotions: I cry for no reason.  TV makes me cry...a lot, for no reason.  More than once I've found myself bawling and then laughing because I was nothing.  Luckily I am alone when this has happened otherwise that would have been embarrassing.

Bumpdate: Let's all obsessively analyze these photos I took for you shall we?

I BELIEVE that my bump looks bigger at 23 weeks in the purple dress than it does at almost 26 weeks, but I believe it's bigger at 26 weeks in the gray tank top than at 22 weeks.

I DIDN'T SAY IT HADN'T GROWN SINCE 22 WEEKS!  Obviously it has, it's the 23 that I'm stuck on.

Let's obsess....I mean analyze some more.

After careful analysis I suppose it's clear that the bump has grown.  BUT I swear it just happened in the last two days.

If you look at 24 and 25, those suckers are the SAME, in fact 24 looks bigger, can you see where the crazy came from?

I'm done now.  Obsession OVER.

And onwards and upwards people we have just 1 more week until we're in the 3rd Trimester!!!

Monday, May 7, 2012

A New Level of Crazy

If you are one of the MANY that received their BFP in the last few days maybe you don't want to read this, NOT because there's anything scary in it, there's not, but because you probably have enough things to obsess over and you don't need to add something else to the list of things to obsess over ESPECIALLY when it's Things To Obsess Over 20 Weeks From Now.

Warning over.

I'm almost at 26 weeks.

I made it past all those scary early weeks.

I made it through the miscarriage stage.

I made it to viability.

Third trimester is coming up in just over a week.

I only have 14 weeks to go.

You would think I would have found a way to relax into pregnancy.

Instead, I have found a WHOLE NEW LEVEL OF CRAZY.

I am absolutely obsessed and WORRIED about the size of my bump.

Like, pondering calling my midwives obsessed even though I JUST SAW THEM ON MONDAY.

I was measured.  I am measuring fine.

I heard the heartbeat.  Heartbeat is fine.

I was weighed.  Weight is fine.

I can feel baby move...all the time.

But I swear that my belly has not grown since 23 weeks and I'm worried.

I also haven't gained a pound in 3 weeks (almost 4 now) and I'm worried.

Rationally I know that everyone grows at a different rate and that everyone carries that weight differently.

But 2 days from 26 weeks and my bump officially feels tiny.

It was a normal size for 23 weeks.

It was a normal size for 24 weeks.

It was small for 25 weeks.

And at 26 weeks....I feel like it's tiny.

I thought pictures would be a blessing, not a curse.  I did not anticipate obsessing over them.

I wasn't expecting this level of crazy at 26 weeks.

I thought I got off the crazy train.  HOW THE HELL DID I GET BACK ON?

I'm not even sure what I think is wrong or what I want measured or reassurance about.  

But I know what the underlying panic is about.

Baby is now ABLE (not necessarily will, but able) to survive outside the womb and how devastating would it be if baby died IN the womb when it could have survived OUT of the womb if someone would have caught whatever imaginary problem I'm obsessing about in time to get baby out.

As an update, since I wrote most of this yesterday, I went ahead and let the crazy out for my midwives and told them what I was obsessing about.  They assured me that I was measuring beautifully just last week and that they would have alerted me to any problems if they felt I was measuring small.

And they offered to have me come in again this week for another measurement.

They're good with handling my crazy.  And they should be at this point as I used to send them an email once a week asking them some ridiculous question about one thing or another.

I'm made it almost 2 months without sending them an email this time...ever since I've felt baby movements I've been calm, NOT CRAZY.

But going in for another measurement would make me feel even crazier, because what am I wanting?  I accept that I was measuring fine for 25 weeks, what I'm having trouble with is 25 weeks looks the same as 23 weeks.

You want photographic evidence?  Don't worry I have it...but you will have to wait for my bumpdate on Wednesday, because YOU NEVER KNOW, maybe it will have grown by then and I will have gained something by then AND THIS WHOLE POST WILL BE MOOT.

Either way Wednesday will be bumptastic, you're going to get a whole slew of bump pics because if I don't share them with you then all the crazy picture taking that I may or may not have been doing over the last few days will be for nothing.

I need others to share in the crazy.

Fingers crossed we have a discernibly bigger bump in 2 days time.

Until then, share your crazy, anyone else OBSESSED with their bump size?  OR something else that you know is completely ridiculous that you're obsessing over anyway?

Please share, I don't like being on the crazy train by's a journey best shared with others.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Bumpdate - 25 Weeks

I'm sick.


I was really hoping that dreadful cold I had at 14 weeks would be the only time I was sick during pregnancy, BUT I GUESS NOT.

I just want to curl up into a little ball with a bottle of NyQuil and sleep until I feel better...they should totally make a Pregnancy NyQuil...

On to the belated bumpdate.

How far along: 25 weeks

Weight Gain: Same +15 lbs, though at the midwife appt on Monday it said 141 lbs (first time she's weighed me), mine says 137, I even double checked it again this morning.  That's a 4 lb discrepancy between scales!  But my beginning weight was done on mine, so we're using mine as the TRUE weight ;-)

What's Up with My Body:  Generally I've felt really good this week.  I went a WHOLE WEEK without constipation.  Heartburn was minimal and I just feel pretty good.  Calm before the storm of the third trimester?


I'm starting to get uncomfortable if I do too much during the day.  If I walk for long distances my feet, hips and lower back start to hurt.

And I've made an interesting discovery this week as I attempted to find something appropriate to wear for a hike...


I have all these cargo pants that I only wear when I'm about to participate in an activity in which I might get dirty, such as hiking, and as I went to try them on with my bellaband (I knew they weren't going to fit over the belly!) I discovered the won't really even fit over my hips!  It's strange because my thighs aren't wider, nor is my ass, but the tops of pants REALLY struggle at the top to get over the hips!  My body is REALLY getting ready to give birth!


Possibly the strangest thing to happen in pregnancy that NO ONE TALKS ABOUT (aside from the leaking boobs!)

My stomach muscles have begun to separate!!!

About 2 weeks ago I discovered in the bathtub that if I used my stomach muscles to pull myself up or lower myself down I had this ridge that popped up down the center of my tummy.


I felt like a dinosaur with a ridge down their back...except mine was down my tummy. I suspected it may be my stomach muscles separating but I mistakenly thought that meant I MUST BE OUT OF SHAPE and that would have been really embarrassing!  So at my midwife appt on Monday I asked WHAT THE HELL IS THIS DINOSAUR RIDGE DOWN MY STOMACH?  And sure enough she answered that it's my stomach muscles separating AND THAT IT HAPPENS SOONER IN WOMEN WITH TIGHTER ABDOMINAL MUSCLES.  Wait, what?  Really?  I totally thought it was because I was out of shape, turns out it's because tighter muscles don't stretch as much.  So...groovy!  My TIGHT stomach muscles apparently mean I have a dinosaur ridge now if I use my tummy muscles.  I am NOT looking forward to getting those muscles back in shape after baby!

So, WHY DOES NO ONE TALK ABOUT DIASTASIS RECTI (separating abdominal muscles)?  I can't even tell you how many pregnant blogs I read and NO ONE talks about this!  Also, it happens in MOST pregnancies, so really, does no one else find this as fascinating as I do?

Best Moment of the Week: I've started to feel really small bump-wise and like I'm not growing much from week to week anymore, so I was happily surprised at my midwife appt to find out that the bump (and theoretically the baby) are growing on track and we're measuring right at 25 weeks.

Bumpdate: I'm sick remember, my bed isn't made, there are clothes everywhere, I have no make up on, but I put on jeans for you guys...which is more than I've done in the last 2 enjoy.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Reality Setting In

I had a midwife appt yesterday.

Can I just tell you that it's still weird to go to appts and not have to drop trou?

And also how weird it is to go see my midwives so infrequently?

But here we are, just a day shy of 25 weeks and suddenly some things are beginning to sink in.

The most important?

We're probably really gonna have a baby in August.

I know, it should already be a reality, but MY reality is that I've already been pregnant for 9.5 months and I don't have a baby, so...continuing to be pregnant does not always = baby.  But as we're rounding the corner into the 3rd trimester (2 more weeks!), and August gets closer and closer...the reality is we may really have a baby soon.

And with THAT reality comes others.

Another reality?  

I have to GIVE BIRTH.

This is no longer something I am pondering conceptually, but something I actually have to get ready to DO...soon!

Hypnobirthing preparation begins at 29 weeks...that's just 4 weeks away now.

Childbirth classes and group prenatal classes begin in 4 weeks and continue all the way to 36 weeks.  ALL SCHEDULED.  

Guys, I might really have to do this.  I might really have to push a watermelon through a very small hole and I have to mentally start my preparing to do it au naturale.

And something completely un-baby related that is sinking in?

We're missing a once in a lifetime opportunity to go to the Olympics.  

When we first found out we were pregnant and the due date of AUGUST 15 popped up on FF we very nonchalantly said oh damn, that's right after the Olympics and moved on.  There was no guarantee that this would be a take-home baby anymore than Baby A so we put ALL of it out of our minds and played the wait and see game.

And we waited all the way until 24 weeks to discuss it further.

And now the reality.  We've made it past 24 weeks and we're not going to the London Olympics.

You see, these Olympics have sort of an odd importance in our relationship.

We've been planning on going to these Olympics since we first met more than 4 years ago.  Very very early in the relationship (like 2 weeks in!) Dom told me we were going to go to the London Olympics together.  I scoffed at his arrogance that we would still be together 4 years later, but he was right, we're still together and we've literally ALWAYS planned on going to these together.

It was almost like an anniversary or a milestone in the relationship to FINALLY be going.

It never occurred to either of us that anything would hinder our plans.  In fact, when we started TTC we planned on taking our little one over to stay with Grandma (she lives in London) while we went off to the sporting events.  And even when we were pregnant the first time and baby would only be 4 months old for the Olympics, we still planned on doing it.  

After the miscarriage we even planned on delaying our next Clomid cycle until after the new year so that we could STILL go to the Olympics, even if I was going heavily pregnant (not the most brilliant plan I admit as I hate flying pregnant, but I didn't know that at the time!).  

But we never planned on ONE moment of spontaneous sex during my theoretically fertile time (it's theoretical for me cause I always have CM but rarely ovulate, for all the readers who have showed up AFTER all my TTC has resolved =) resulting in a pregnancy that would be full term at the exact time of the London Olympics.

And while we would obviously choose baby over Olympics regardless of the situation, it's beginning to sink in that we REALLY could have been there and I'm a little sad about it.

At least it's something we can always throw in this kids face, right?  How we chose him/her over the OLYMPICS!  It will be one of those stories that the kid hears SO many times over their life that one time as a teenager, when they're angry, they'll tell us that we SHOULD have gone to the Olympics instead of having them.  

Hahaha, oh teenagers...the fun things in life to look forward to.