Category Archives: Pregnancy

Six reasons to not get an epidural

I have moved! I am now blogging at The Energizer Mommy. Please come join me there!

Let me start by saying that if you want an epidural for your birth, more power to you, go for it! This post is not to judge the decisions of others. It is to ask that the decisions of other not be judged.

Today at lunch I was talking with a coworker who recently decided to go for a home birth for her current pregnancy. As we were talking about out-of-hospital (OOH) birth, another coworker entered the staff lounge and overheard  my pregnant coworker saying she was happy to not be going to a hospital because she didn’t want an epidural and thought it would be harder to avoid if she was in a hospital. The newcomer entered the conversation to say:

“Do you know what my nurse said to me about epidurals when I was in labor? Antibiotics were invented for a reason, and epidurals were invented for a reason. Science progresses. There is absolutely no reason to not get an epidural and to be in pain and suffer through your labor.

I made a bland reply along the lines that being in pain and suffering were not the same thing, but the comment really got to me, probably partially because my pregnant coworker was so happy with her decision to switch to an OOH birth and there was no reason for her to be derided for her desire to avoid an epidural. It is far from the first time I’ve heard such a comment; it is regularly stated by those deriding OOH birthers that there is “no reason” to not get an epidural. The remark, and follow-up statements by the woman, stayed with me, and I began to think of what I wish I had said.

There are reasons to not get an epidural. Just like there are reasons to get one! For some, getting one is the right decision, even if just because they want one, and I do not dispute that.

However, for some getting one is not the right decision. And that seems to be something that many, many people refuse to acknowledge.

I wish I could go back and reply to her again. I would say that there are reasons to not get an epidural, including:

  1. PositioningIf your labor stalls, if your baby is in a poor position, or if, like me, the last little bit of your cervix simply doesn’t want to get out of the way, changing positions is one of the best things you can do to help things get back on track. Additionally, during pushing many people in a hospital have a baby who gets “stuck”, but simply getting off your back and squatting increases the pelvic opening by 30%. Gravity works even while you’re in labor, and your hip joints and other parts’ positions can be drastically changed by how you are sitting/standing/laying. With an epidural you either partially or completely immobilized, and the range of positions you can achieve is severely limited. This may mean a longer labor, a malpositioned baby who doesn’t want  to drop, a cervix that doesn’t want to finish effacing, an “inability” to push out a baby, or many more complications which are created or worsened by being stuck in bed.
  2. PushingIf given enough time and left unmedicated, virtually all women will have the urge to push. The urge does not not necessarily start right when the cervix is dilated to 10, because at that point the baby often drops down into the opening and it can take awhile for the uterus to shrink to be pushing on the baby again, but once your body is ready the urge is nearly irresistible! Pushing is far more effective with an urge from your body. During my labor, because I was so tired, my midwife gave me the option of having her hold my cervix out of the way while I pushed, which I took. My body was not ready to push, and I had no urge for about the first hour. My pushing was progressing, but it was hard and painful. Once I got the urge, however, there was no stopping me! It felt FABULOUS to push! At one point they even suggested I rest through a contraction and I couldn’t; my body knew its job was to push that baby out and she was coming with or without my consent! In addition to the urge, pushing feels a certain way, and the feelings you have during pushing give you feedback on how to push better. Imagine trying to learn how to “roll your r”s while your mouth was shot full of novocaine and you couldn’t feel your tongue or mouth. Even if you could hear yourself and see yourself in a mirror, it would be much more difficult to learn than if you were getting tactile feedback from  your efforts. The tactile feedback a woman gets from pushing is important as well. An epidural takes away or dampens a woman’s pushing urge and her body’s feedback on her pushing. This, again, can lead to many women who are “unable” to push out their baby, though they may well have been able to if they were left to feel.
  3. Pain is not the same as sufferingPain is a part of life. Sometimes it is to no end but to tell us something is wrong, and once we know something is wrong there is no need for it. However, sometimes it is communicative. Would you want to exercise while completely numbed up to avoid the soreness and pain that can be associated with a good work out session? Of course not! That is pain with a purpose. So is labor pain. Pain is a physical response, suffering is a mental response. It is possible to feel pain without suffering, like when you are achieving a good work out. For many the purposeful pain during labor is worth feeling and does not lead to suffering.
  4. Lingering NumbnessI have a friend who got an epidural and asked for it to be very light. Since it is not always possible to control how strong an epidural is with that degree of finesse, she ended up with an epidural that left her completely unable to feel anything from the waist down, and whose effects did not wear off until hours after she had given birth. She really disliked that she was unable to stand, walk, or even adjust in bed, and that she felt so uncomfortable being numb, in the first hours of her child’s life. Unfortunately, there was nothing to do but wait for the medicine to wear off. This type of occurrence is not uncommon; it is hard to control exactly how strong an epidural is. Is this a life-changing side effect? No. But neither is experiencing pain during labor. It may be  a strong reason to avoid an epidural for some women, just like avoiding pain may be a strong reason to get one for other women.
  5. Epidural headacheAn epidural is a medical procedure and has a long list of possible side effects like any medical procedure. One of the most common side effects, occurring in up to 1 in 100 epidurals, is an epidural headache. An epidural headache occurs when the epidural needle, which is supposed to be placed just outside the spine, punctures the dura surrounding the spine. This leads to spinal fluid leaking out of the puncture wound. Spinal fluid surrounds the brain, and if too much leaks out the brain tends to sag and rub against the bones of the skull, causing pain. An epidural headache can range in severity, but can be debilitatingly painful. The duration varies from a few days to months or years, with most healing themselves but some needing treatment. A woman may not want to risk this relatively common complication in the first days or weeks of her baby’s life.
  6. Higher chance of interventions, possibly including c-sectionOne main reason many women have for avoiding an epidural is to avoid the interventions which often come with it. An epidural increases a mother’s risk of longer labor, fever during labor (which leads to antibiotics for mom and baby), perineal trauma (e.g. 3rd and 4th degree tears), and operative vaginal delivery. Some studies show that it doesn’t increase the risk of c-section, but some show it does. For example, one article in OBGYN News (a source definitely not biased towards downplaying a connection) discusses a small study which showed a 30% risk of c-section for women who got an epidural and an 8% risk of c-section for women who didn’t.This larger study of over 2,000 women also found a link between epidural administration and c-section rates. For women who want to avoid these and other interventions, this is a huge reason to not get an epidural.

So to those who berate natural birthers, scoffing, “You don’t get a medal for doing it without drugs!” or declaring, “There is no reason to not get the epidural!” I say, you are wrong. There are reasons to not get it, just like there are reasons to get it. Neither choice is wrong, and the choice should be left for the mother to make without belittlement or scorn.


Filed under Pregnancy

Why my birth wasn’t empowering (and that’s ok)

I have moved! I am now blogging at The Energizer Mommy. Please come join me there!

When you look into natural birth one thing you’ll hear over and over is, “It’s so empowering!” It comes in many forms, like, “It was the hardest thing I ever did, but I did it and now I know I can do anything!”, but one thing pro natural birthers seem to agree on if that the experience is ultimately positive and empowering when all is said and done.

Mine wasn’t.

And that was hard.

I never did it to be empowered. I did it because I thought it was best for me and best for baby (and because my social phobia and bad experiences with doctors made the thought of hospital experience terrifying). So I wouldn’t have thought I’d mind that the experience wasn’t positively transformative.

But I did. A lot.

Mainly because this is one thing about natural birth everyone agrees on, so if I didn’t feel it that way it must have been some failing on my part. I must have done something wrong.

Talking with my doula, I realized these kinds of feelings aren’t uncommon. Not everyone has the amazing experience advertised.

And I wish people would talk about that. Because no one should choose how they birth for the experience. That shouldn’t be a “selling point”. And no one should feel like a failure because they felt in a totally normal way.

My labor sucked. Plain and simple. I said “I can’t!” a lot. I felt out of control. Not that I think you can control labor, but you can be not out of control. It’s like being caught in a raging river. You can flail and struggle and flounder and be utterly out of control, or you can hold yourself together and ride the current. Either way you end up down river, but the two paths are not the same. I feel like I flailed. That is why, even though I “did it”, I don’t feel like I actually did anything.

My time just after birth, the supposed payoff for labor, sucked. There was no flood of endorphins. No getting lost in the wonder of my newborn. I had a lesser version of that for a few minutes, but I still felt like shit. I was having back labor to deliver my flipping placenta. I was getting dizzy from rapid loss of blood. I was exhausted on top of that. I felt guilty afterward that after a few minutes I had no interest in seeing my daughter until my placenta was out.

These experiences were not empowering.

But that’s ok.

That’s not why I did it.

I am glad my daughter got to cook until 42 weeks. She was doing great, she wanted it.

I am glad I had no interventions that made my healing harder or baby girl’s experience more dangerous.

I am glad I felt respected before, during, and after labor.

I am glad my daughter avoided formula.

I am glad there is no decision about the management of my labor that I would change. Not one. Not even minor preferences. I cannot imagine that would be the same in a hospital where my preferences are so different than their default and I had strangers attending me.

My birth was not empowering. It sucked.

But you know what? I did something hard because I thought it would be best for my daughter and myself. And isn’t that what being a mom is about?

It didn’t have to be empowering to be the right decision.


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Baby girl’s birth story

I have moved! I am now blogging at The Energizer Mommy. Please come join me there!

This is a birth story which means it includes things about female-parts. You have been warned…

My birth story begins on May 28th. I was 41w5d pregnant and the deadline for hospital transfer and medical induction was loomng. That morning I went to see my midwives to get lemon verbena to be used with castor oil, almond butter, and apricot juice in a disgusting natural induction cocktail (that doesn’t make you sick). I was not even remotely dilated and my cervix was still fairly posterior, but it was very soft. I took the cocktail that afternoon and…nothing in the 4-6 hours it was supposed to take. However, later that evening, contractions started. They were 3 minutes apart and uncomfortable (the first contractions I had ever felt! My BH were painless), but only lasting about 30-45 seconds. I was excited but cautious. Over time they got stronger and harder and longer. Around 2:30 they were strong enough I couldn’t sleep through them and about 2.5 minutes apart and a minute long. Definitely within 4-1-1. We called the midwife, and she said that since I could talk through them I should labor longer at home and call her back when they got too intense for that. I agreed, and tried to sleep a little bit between them. I dozed until about 4:30 on the couch, then moved to bed. I woke up at around 8AM with…nothing. The contractions had stopped. I was devastated.

We had another midwife appointment that day (41w6d) to check on baby and try to get things going again. We also did another NST, which baby girl passed with flying colors. I was hoping that at least I had dilated some from the hours of painful labor that kept me up most of the night, but still nothing. My cervix was a little more anterior but still completely closed. My midwife even tried to open it a little herself so she should do a membrane sweep, but my cervix wouldn’t budge. We agreed I’d take the other induction cocktail that afternoon and be in touch.

I took the cocktail shortly before my acupuncture appointment at 5 that afternoon, which was also to induce labor (I was desperate). On the drive home from acupuncture at about 6:30 I told my hubby I could feel contractions starting again. They weren’t painful, but this was only the second time I had even felt contractions, so we were cautiously hopeful. By the time we got home at 7 they were moving beyond discomfort quickly. By 8 they were taking all of my attention to cope with, but were only lasting about 45 seconds and 2.5 minutes apart. I knew I should lay down, since I had had no sleep since the 4-ish hours the night before, but I didn’t want these to peter out as this was my last chance to avoid the hospital, so instead we went for a walk. After going about a block and a half I realized this wasn’t going to happen as I was in too much pain to keep it up, especially since I was only getting about 90 seconds between contractions. We made it home and things ramped up quickly. All of those early labor activities people tell you to plan, like putting sheets on baby’s crib or baking a birthday cake? Yeah, those didn’t have time to happen.

At 8:45 we called Geraldine (our awesome midwife) and told her I’d been having contractions I couldn’t talk through for about an hour. When I told her I was doing OK coping with them she said that since it had only been an hour my cervix probably hadn’t had time to change, so we would check back by phone in a couple hours. We agreed and the countdown began. I was living until those two hours were up so I could call her again, I was having killer back labor and it was HARD. I wanted to get in to the tub at the birth center!

We called at 10:45 and she said there still probably hadn’t been time for my cervix to change so let’s wait another few hours. I about lost it. I told her that no, I wanted to go to the birth center (if you know me you know how very hard saying something like that was!). We agreed she’d check back in in 30 minutes. She did, and then we agreed to meet at the birth center at 12:30 (which gave her time to get there and get set up).

At 12:30 we arrived and Geraldine checked me, with my permission. She told me she was extremely impressed and that I was already at 4cm and my cervix was basically gone it was so thin, amazing after where I’d been that morning. She left me to labor with my husband and our awesome doula, Lauren. As soon as she was gone I said, “Ha, I told you so, Geraldine!” I knew that with contractions as intensely painful as I’d been having there had to be progress being made!

I continued to labor for awhile. I got into the tub, my expected pain-destroyer, and it was…nothing. Didn’t help. I was having KILLER back labor, and the tub was so small I couldn’t have my front and back in it at the same time. I asked if I could get back in the shower, which was my savoir at home, and Geraldine told me that it needed to be cleaned from a birth that had happened earlier that evening (it was attached to another room). So I managed. Somehow. I was exhausted because my last real sleep was two nights ago and labor came on so fast I didn’t get a chance to eat dinner. Coping was HARD. But with the help of my amazing hubby and doula, I did.

At 5 Geraldine suggested checking me again sometime, and I agreed, asking her to now. She did and told me I was now at 8cm. I was disheartened and said, “Then shouldn’t I be in transition?” She kind of smiled and said, “I think you have been for a bit now!” I hadn’t noticed a difference in the pain, except it kept getting stronger, but evidently this was it.

My husband asked her if the shower had been cleaned, because he noticed on a run to reheat the heat pack for my back the door was closed. Geraldine said yes, and I got in the shower. Which was HEAVEN. The shower virtually negated my back labor. The regular labor I could deal with just fine, by swaying on a birth ball, it was the back labor that made it so very, very hard for me. Labor in the front was painful but felt productive and I could work with productive! I did so much better in the shower, in fact, that when Geraldine came back to check on me she was afraid my contractions were slowing or stopping because I looked like I was in so much less pain!

Eventually my hubby and Lauren somehow convinced me to get out of the shower. I went back and was checked again and Geraldine told me I was at 9.5 with just a little lip of cervix on the sides and back. She said if I labored for another 30 minutes laying down and switching sides then she could hold my cervix out of the way and I could push. I agreed, not knowing that, as the assistant midwife said later, pushing through a cervix being held out of the way is about the most painful and hardest thing you can do in a labor. But I was so exhausted and running out of energy I still think that was the right choice.

After what felt like it should have been more than 30 minutes I finished a contraction and said, “Where the FUCK is Geraldine???” I heard a quiet, amused voice from the other side of the bed say, “Right here.” Oops.

She checked me again and told me I was almost completely dilated, the lip had reduced. Then the pushing began. I had no urge, because my body wasn’t really ready yet. Pushing felt wrong, it intensified the pain where my cervix was being held out of the way. It took several contractions before my birth team could convince me to really push through a contraction. I pushed on the birth stool until I moved baby girl down enough Geraldine could release my cervix. Then I switched between squatting (which is when my water broke), being on my side, and being on my back, before going back to the birth stool to deliver. While back on the birth stool I finally got the pushing urge, and then pushing felt so good and I made great progress with it!

After roughly an hour and a half of pushing, my daughter was born at 8:28 AM! She was lifted up instantly to me and I held her on my chest. My hubby leaned around me, where he’d been supporting me as I sat, and we stared at her together. I was moved to the bed with baby girl and laid with her on my chest for awhile. My hubby took her after a bit when my placenta refused to come out and I was losing a lot of blood so we could try some things, and eventually I completed the third stage. I didn’t need any stitches, and the only medicine I ended up having was some Pitocin after the delivery to stop the hemorrhaging. One my placenta was delivered I felt so much better and was ready to really see my sweet baby girl. I love that she was naked and not a burrito for those first moments with her, I got to feel and explore the entirety of this amazing little creature I had created!

Baby girl was 8lb 3oz and 19.25 inches born on May 30 at 42w0d. Her head circumference was 14 inches, the 69th percentile, ouch! She was perfect and amazing and after a nap and some food we all headed home at 1 in the afternoon.

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Things which are going to be weird

No more fists and feet pushing out of my belly.

My stomach back in my stomach.

Being a parent. (I still don’t really believe this one is going to happen)

Not feeling my daughter wriggling whenever I lie down.

Being able to suck in my belly.

Putting on socks and pants without forethought or planning.

Waking up every hour to feed a baby instead of waking up every hour to pee.

Looking flabby instead of looking great.

Having a lap again.

Seeing my daughter.

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Riding My Pregnancy Mood Swing

When I got pregnant I was wary of what it may do to my moods, given that I already suffer from dysthymia and anxiety disorder. I was warned repeatedly to keep an eye on my conditions and watch for them to get worse. Every midwife I talked to who found out about my history cautiously told me to be sure I had support in place. After all, post-partum depression is real, and so is ante-partum depression. The raging hormones of pregnancy can do crazy things to our minds and moods. Every pregnant person I’ve known has complained about the wild mood swings their hormones force on them. I was aware things may get worse, but I also knew they may not.

What I didn’t expect was that pregnancy would actually serve to level me out. Since getting pregnant I have had exactly one episode of depression, and it was under some pretty extreme circumstances when I was forced to be without my service dog.

I have, however, experienced the pregnancy mood swings everyone talks above. Oh my goodness, those swings have a range!

I tear up at lame TV shows. I panicked over finding the absolute best price for our stroller. Little comments can sting deep and cause hurt. Stupid things can make me sad. Crying is becoming a regular part of my day.

However, “mood swing” is the perfect name. It is as if I am on a playground swing, swinging out over ocean, secure in my seat. My moods go up and down randomly and unpredictably as I swing back and forth.

But it is nothing like depression.

Depressions is like falling out of the swing and plunging into the deep, dark ocean so low you no longer know what is up and what is down. You are lost, disoriented, confused, and hopeless as you struggle valiantly in a battle others cannot see.

The emotions of my mood swings, which my husband can tell you are pretty significant, are nothing, nothing, compared to the potency of depression. Yes I have a roller coaster of ups and downs throughout my day. Yes, I cry at the drop of a hat over things 20 minutes later I’ll realize don’t matter at all. Yes, I get genuinely unhappy more easily than before.

But these emotions are all so surface-level. They are me swinging securely well above the fathomless ocean, and in the lowest low of these hormonally induced moods my toes aren’t even touching the spray of the water below.

I almost enjoy my pregnancy lows, because they are so handle-able. They are so easy. I can deal with this surface-level unhappiness. It is nothing!

The experience of being pregnant and having these mood swings I have heard so much about has really showed me that what I suffer? Dysthymia? Is not normal. It is not a weakness that I cannot deal with depression taking over my mind in the same way other people deal with unhappiness. Now, for the first time in my adult life, I am getting the chance to deal with simple unhappiness. And I can not only do it, I can do it easily!

While I have said over and over to others that unhappiness is not the same as depression, I have always wondered. Doubted myself. Thought maybe it was just me. Maybe it was a personality flaw. Maybe if I just tried harder. Maybe I, for some reason, wanted to be unhappy and that’s why I couldn’t shake it off. Because even my unhappiness was always tinged with the threat of depression. My swing was set low enough that, at the low point of my arc, my feet were in the sucking ocean water. It was all caught up together.

Now it’s not. And I am realizing.

I am strong.

I am capable.

I can deal with regular emotion.

Depression? Is not regular emotion.

And you know what? I still deal with it.

I kick it’s ass. I did every day of my life for years before I got pregnant.

You know how you can tell?

I’m still here.

Depression didn’t win.

And I’m so glad. Because I’m getting to live the truth that it really, truly, does get better.

This may not last. I may have my baby and get hit with PPD so hard I cannot cope. I realize this.

But for now, I am enjoying this time of better.

Please realize this: Depression is not unhappiness.

If you do not suffer from depression then no matter how bad your PMS, how bad your mood swings, how often you might “get sad” sometimes, you are still swinging carefree over the ocean those with depression are drowning in. Recognize the difference. Even just that recognition can help those around you fighting the battle stay strong.

And if you are fighting that battle? You are strong. You are facing challenges most people don’t even realize exist. And you are winning. Every day you are here, you are winning. Keep fighting.

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Filed under Invisible Illnesses, Life, Pregnancy

Overdue Update: California Adventure

Hello, world! I *am* still alive, and baby girl is still doing well! Between work and a new semester and traveling and being sick I have simply not had time to get to this here blog as much as I would like.

A couple weeks ago the hubby and I took what is evidently called a babymoon to California. We didn’t do much for our anniversary, because we knew I might be pregnant and didn’t want to plan something I couldn’t really enjoy. But then we decided, forget it, so what if I’m pregnant, I can still have fun! We went to Disneyland, which the hubby had never been to, and had a BALL.

You know, up until I got either food poisoning or a stomach bug and spent the first night after Disney throwing up for approximately the 2nd-15th times I can ever remember in my life. As a side note, throwing up while pregnant is a very interesting experience. Have you tried doubling over with a big belly in your way? Things Anyway, we ended up missing our next day, which was supposed to be at Universal Studios, because I was too sick to do necessary things like stand or drink water. You know, details. But after that we went back to Disney for two more days and it was magical fun. It didn’t hurt that my bestest friend Erica drove up to join us for those two days in Disney! I LOVE seeing her. And she earned her keep when she told us we could rent a wheelchair so I didn’t have to hobble around the park after 48 hours of no food!

After our days in Disney we said goodbye to my bestie and headed to Huntington beach, where we spent several beautiful days right on the ocean in a giant, gorgeous, luxury ocean-view hotel room relaxing and enjoying each other. It was wonderful and rejuvinating.

Another plus: while we were gone, snowmageddon was happening back home. Evidently the entire area shut down for the week. When we left it was just starting to snow. When we came back the snow was mostly melted. When you consider the fact that the entire (very, very hilly) city of Seattle has 3 snow plows you get an idea of how equipped they are for snow. And when you think about how the area had 8-12″ for most of the week, you understand why the region shut down.

We, on the other hand, were busy strolling on the beach barefoot in short sleeves and rolled up pants, enjoying 70 degree weather and full sun.

Yeah…too bad we missed the snow…

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I would like to win the perfect stroller

I spent months looking for the perfect stroller for us. Months!

Traditional travel systems were giant and heavy and a general pain to haul around. Most of them drove like…well…a crappy, cheap-plastic stroller. Chicco ones were much more comfortable and handled beautifully, but weighed 23 pounds. For just the stroller! The carseat was another 10 if you had that snapped in! Plus your child! You’re suddenly looking at about 50 pounds of stroller to push! Not to mention when you fold it up it is humongous, and there is no denying the fact that you can no longer weave in crowds when you are pushing something that massive.

So we looked at lightweight strollers (our original intent, anyway) and contemplated buying one of those, possibly after using a snap-n-go at first. But they felt so flimsy, like they wouldn’t hold up well. And they were a lot more money than an umbrella stroller…but didn’t seem to have that many more features. Plus the way they were balanced felt like they were unstable, and their folded size was still really long, if a lot narrower. And honestly, most of them weighed at least 17 pounds anyway, and when you were getting that much less out of them with regards to features, was it really worth spending more money (to buy a carseat separately and possible a snap-n-go) to have fewer features and save 6 pounds?

Every stroller we looked at we either disliked, or I’d feel like I’d want another stroller in addition to it.

And then, one day, while spending another period at Babies R Us “test-driving” strollers, a kindly stranger saw us and said, “Just go with Britax!” We hadn’t really considered these strollers before, but we decided to give another look at the Britax B-Agile, a three-wheeled stroller.

And oh. My. Gosh. It is PERFECT for us!

It is stable and sturdy feeling, like the traditional travel systems. But it only weighs 16 pounds. It collapses up extremely easily, with a simple push of a button and grabbing a handle, and it locks into its tiny collapsed size that is also easy to carry one-handed, even better than most lightweight strollers. It maneuvers like a dream, again like traditional travel systems, even one-handed, and the suspension is to die for. I was driving over hangers on the floor and barely noticing them. And, more like a lightweight stroller, it can easily be maneuvered through crowds or obstacles because of its compact, three-wheeled design. On top of all of that, you can fit a Britax carseat into the included very low-profile adaptors and use it as a travel system (or you can buy another carseat and get the adaptor, but honestly, Britax carseats are some of the best so I don’t see why I would!). And even better, as an added bonus, it can be used as a jogging stroller once this little one is here and I can finally get back to jogging!

I am seriously in love with this stroller. It’s kind of sad how much I think about it. It is the only stroller I have found (in months of looking and hours of test-driving) that I’m not left with a feeling of, “This would work for most things, but I’d probably want another stroller as a back up…” It has the sturdiness, stability, and features of a traditional travel system. It has the light weight and small fold of a lightweight stroller (and, in my opinion, is even better!). And it can double as a jogging stroller (for light runners like me). What more can I ask for?

Well, there is one thing.

I would like to win it instead of having to buy it!

And in that vein, I’m entering over at Mommy Mandy’s blog in a giveaway for a Britax B-Agile and Britax B-Safe travel system!

And you can, too! Well, if you’re quick. It ends tonight.

Cross your fingers for me!

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22 weeks!

I’m feeling great, and baby girl is doing so well! She HATES dopplers, or any other such technology and will swim away from them. Which made my last midwife appointment pretty amusing, as she was sleeping when they found her heartbeat at a strong but slow rate, and then she woke up and wouldn’t stop wriggling trying to escape, making them chase her around my belly and raising her heart rate. We could also hear her kick at the probe on the doppler, and I could feel her kicking at the same time. Absolutely incredible!

My two youngest sisters in law know me and my love of snark so well. I have always loved my nerdy t-shirts, and miss wearing them now that I’m pregnant. So their Christmas gift to me?

Hehe. He.

And here’s my 22 week belly, which makes me feel ridiculously pregnant, but according to strangers still could be passed as being fat depending on what I’m wearing.

I love being pregnant! Seriously! I cannot wait to meet my baby girl…but after she comes could I just stay about 20-some weeks pregnant forever?

ETA: I should add, my sisters got the shirt from ThinkGeek, an amazing place for all things geeky! They also have some baby onesies I am dying for, but am too cheap to purchase!


Filed under Life, Pregnancy

What baby clothes have taught me about gender

I had perused baby clothes sections before becoming pregnant and before learning my baby’s sex, mostly focusing on the boy clothes because I was looking for gender-neutral. And I saw so many cute clothes that appealed to the interests of me and my hubby! Now that I know we have a baby girl on the way, I’ve switched to looking at those clothes, thinking it would be easy to pick up a couple of cheap onesies to celebrate. My experience in baby clothes has taught me many things I did not previously know about gender:

  • Girls do not like dogs and boys do not like cats.
  • Girls are big fans of bugs of all types. (Funny, I always thought this was a boy thing…)
  • Girls do not like sports. Except maybe volleyball, if you’re lucky. Or ballet. Does ballet count as a sport?
  • Girls like pink. A lot. They refuse to wear anything that doesn’t have at least some pink on it. Exceptions may be made if purple is included. They definitely don’t like any shade of blue other than possibly teal.
  • Transportation (airplanes, trains, etc.) is completely uninteresting to girls.
  • Girls only like animals if the animals are wearing bows or mascara or shooting hearts or rainbows out of an orifice.
  • While boys are “Mommy’s little helper,” girls are “Daddy’s spoiled princess.”
  • Girls are also bratty, self-centered, and demanding, whereas boys are cute, tough and loveable.

I am scared for the message we are sending to future generations of girls from birth. When did this obnoxious trend start? I do not look forward to buying her appropriate clothes as she continues to get older.


Filed under Life, Pregnancy

It’s a…

On Tuesday we had our first and likely only ultrasound, and it was incredible. Roughly 40 minutes of watching my sweet baby dance and getting a first glance of what my child looks like!

The tech went through and took all the needed measurements, and at the end we learned there are no warning signs and that everything looks good! We’ll get confirmation of this next week at our next midwife appointment, but I’m very happy to hear that baby is looking healthy! We have had no testing so far (by choice, we have been offered most standard tests except ultrasounds and opted out, and we could have requested ultrasounds), and so I was a slightly nervous wreck leading up to this anatomy scan to make sure baby was really doing OK in there! Seeing the four chambers of the heart beating away so strong, and the delicacy and strength of how they interacted, absolutely took my breath away.

But enough about that. Now to the part that you want to know.

It’s a girl!!!

That’s right, our first born will be a sweet baby girl, and we flat-out cannot wait to meet her. I had really kind of assumed she was a boy, and I was surprised when the tech told us she was pretty sure it was a girl in there. It took a lot of time and several shots to confirm (because she showed she was my daughter and was being a complete stinker), but we’re virtually certain she’s a she. I am blown away. I can’t wait to meet my little girl!

I love, love, love knowing that my belly dancer is a girl. I know that there is so much more to a person than their sex. But our sex is still a big part of our idenity. And I feel so much more connected to our little one knowing this important piece of who she is. Being able to talk about what she is doing. Being able to refer to my daughter. My daughter. That is crazy.

When we found out we were expecting on our anniversary weekend, my hubby and I kept listening to this song in shock as we drove around. After our ultrasound, I pulled out the CD and we listened to it on the way home. It makes me so happy to hear. It may have made me cry.

“I never thought that through love we’d be making one as lovely as she, but isn’t she lovely, made from love…”‘

The song even includes a fair amount of religious references, and I still find it perfect. Because I understand the sentiment deeply, even if I don’t believe in the specifics.

I already love my baby girl so very, very much! Grow strong, little one, I can’t wait to meet you in May!

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Filed under Life, Pregnancy