Monday, March 29, 2010

Calm and relaxed

Years ago I would have never pegged myself as someone who would even consider having a natural childbirth. After all why go through all that without meds when we live in a world with some many options available. But once I got pregnant, and even a little before, I started researching the prospect of having one of those crazy, hippie births...

I have heard that I am crazy for even considering this option, from nurses I work with to close friends of mine. Most people are stunned and just don't understand why I would even think about doing this drug free, after all, I must have forgotten where babies come from. Ouch. They are quick to point out that there is no way I will be able to do it.

I say why not? There are plenty of women out there who have had babies without the use of epidurals, pitocin, and other pain medications. Women had babies for thousands of years without medication, and many nations still don't use it (many with better statistical outcomes, I might add). It's funny because when I mention the fact that I will try to go au naturale, after all the negative comments are finished, there is always someone who talks to me quietly about how they had their baby or babies naturally and how they are the biggest wimps ever, but they could do it. Why aren't these people screaming their stories from the roof tops? They should be so proud of themselves and try to share their story with everyone. But they are quiet, and all you ever hear or see are the "war stories" about how terrible childbirth is.

Now I am not going into this decision blindly or without at least some tools to try and make this experience as least painful as possible. Firstly, Ros and I are taking a natural childbirth class. Which I personally don't think is totally necessary as we know the different stages of labor and whatnot. But they do teach different birthing positions which I find insightful and it's something that Ros and I can do together. Secondly, I have started using a course called Hypnobabies. I found Hypnobabies on the internet after our original hypnobirthing class was cancelled. With this course you read their manual, listen to positive pregnancy and birth affirmations daily, and various hypnosis cd's. Will this work for me and help me have a natural birth? I guess we won't know until July comes and we actually have to use it, but from what I've read, if you are dedicated to using the program, you will be successful. My philosophy is, if I need the drugs, I will get them, but I will do everything in my power to avoid them. Who knows what kind of side effects they will find these drugs have down the road. I'm sure James Sokolov will have a commercial in the future so you can get the compensation you deserve.

So for the past week and until my first "birthing wave" hits I am a dedicated student of Hypnobabies. Not because I am some hippie or some martyr who loves to torture myself, but because I want to avoid the endless cascade of interventions that usually accompany "regular" births such as:
1. being induced with pitocin and strapped to a monitor and confined to the bed
2. then the contractions are so bad due to this fake hormone that you have no choice but to get an epidural
3. then you are tethered to the bed because you can't feel/move your legs
4. you get a catheter
5. all of sudden the baby is in distress because the contractions are so strong because the pitocin is making your uterus squeeze too hard
6. then an emergency c-section

Watching the Business of Being Born was very enlightening. Although I wouldn't consider a homebirth, the info provided in this documentary is eye opening.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Quickie post about the soccer player vs. her mom. Yesterday as Ros was taking part in her routine baby harassment when the baby kicked her in the head several times. It really weirded out her mom, but I loved watching.

We're doing great here, bummed I have to work all weekend. It's getting harder and harder to work 12 hour shifts, but I just have to suck it up because the only alternative is to work less during the shift but more days during the week. I'm lucky I have a boss that is flexible and this would be a possibility but there is no way I'm going in there more than 3 days a week.

Cankles are becoming more of a reality these days. Not so much on a daily basis, but I definitely look more cankly after 12 hours on my feet even while wearing TEDS. I guess this will just be part of my pregnancy. I just hope those varicose veins stay away during the next several weeks, but thinking back to what my mother's legs looked like after a few kids, I don't stand a chance. She never wore shorts my entire life unless we were at the beach, sad. Maybe the TEDS will help with that...I hope.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Not to say that I want to see little Nugget anytime soon, but it is nice to know that if something were to happen, all hope would not be lost as far as her little life goes. All that being said, I do not want to see her little face until at lease mid-June. I've seen what happens to most of those little angels born too early, of course there are some babies who do well, like a co-worker of mine who had twin boys at 24 weeks, but most do not.

Moving on to some non-baby related news, Ros and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary yesterday. I can't believe I have been married for a year already, seems like just yesterday we were talking about how we couldn't wait to dive into the top of our wedding cake since we could barely enjoy any at our actual wedding. Well we dove right into that bad boy yesterday, and I have to say, for a cake that's been in a freezer for the past year, damn it was delicious. Konditormeister does a great job. I'm still waiting to go to the "new" Milky Way so I can enjoy the pizza (loaded baked potato) that I never enjoyed at our wedding, because really, who has time to eat on their wedding day?

I am so happy to be able to be 6 months pregnant at our 1 year anniversary. One reason we decided to get married was so Ros could be on the birth certificate when we finally had a baby. We were also both nervous that MA would pull some sort of crazy California crap and we wanted to be grandfathered in if that was the case. To celebrate our wonderful day we enjoyed Thai lettuce wraps and buffalo blasts from the Cheesecake Factory along with our first natural birthing class. It's wonderful how things have come full circle.

So here we are, 1 year later, pregnant, back from our wonderful babymoon, and the wait begins. We had Nuggets room painted while we were gone so I could avoid the hazardous fumes. I know there is no VOC paint, but we had extra of the color we ended up using so hopefully we won't give her cancer by saving a few bucks on a new can of paint. Next on the agenda is to have the stairs and 2nd floor carpeted. It's sad to see Tucker and Avery fall all the way down the stairs if they have a misstep and I don't want to fall down them if I happen to slip in my socks with an infant in my arms. Then we can finally set up the crib and have Jeff come over to hoist the dresser through the window.

Being 6 months pregnant has it's ups and downs. One of the greatest ups is that I can feel Nugget move very frequently, and her kicks are getting stronger every day. I love it when Ros gets to feel her although she does get shy sometimes when a hand gets placed over the spot. Another bonus is looking pregnant without being too big yet. My belly is still cute as the organic Palmer's coco butter lotion is keeping any impending stretch mark at bay for now. One downside is that it takes a Herculean effort to roll over in bed, and I know this is just going to get worse. This leads to waking up several times per night to roll over, realizing that I should just get up to pee, and then time to fall back asleep. It makes for a slightly fatigued me, although no where near as bad as during the first trimester.

So I have to say this pregnancy (and life) is treating me well so far. We'll see what kind of turn these posts will take in a few weeks when we reach #3.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Screw NY!
Butterflies at the Conservatory Nickie taking a buddha break at the Conservatory
23 Weeks!
Baby's first drink! =P
My lizard friend
Us at the beach
Don't make me go!

We're back from our babymoon: The last hoorah until our nuggette arrives. Nickie and I went back to Key West where we honeymooned last year. We stayed at Pearl's again, our favorite women only/ clothing optional resort!
In booking the flights in January, we talked about our options. We could have one layover and pay out the rear, or have 2 layovers and save $260. BAD IDEA. Our flight from Boston to LaGuardia was over 2 hours late in leaving due to a "late crew". That, in addition to circling NYC for 30mins because there was no available runways to land meant we missed our connection. Apparently you need to assume this is going to happen when going to LaGuardia, which we will NEVER do again. I bitched to American Air and got free lunch out of it....great. When all was said and done, we spent 13 hours dealing with airports and didn't get to Key West til almost 10pm. The first 6 hours consisted of Nickie going through fits of anxiety and hormonal rants; I considered getting up and running away since she'd never catchup with the baby on board her frame. Instead, I kept rubbing her back and said, "It'll be fine..We'll get there..."Screw you, New York!

Pearl's was as lovely as we remembered. We got our little shack back with enough room for a bed. We took advantage of the hot tub outside of our room every night. It'll be that memory under the stars that I'll dissociate to when we haven't slept in 2 weeks...

Vacationing is different with a pregger. When we honeymooned last year, the priority was what water activities we could do and where we could find the cheapest drinks. This time, it was about where we could find a dessert fix and where we could go that had an accessible bathroom. Boats were out of the question. We had to find places that we could walk to that would not result in cankles ("cankles"- ankles that are the same circumfence as one's calves). TEDS were fine for the plane but were not appropraite island-wear.

We had some good pool days and met lovely ladies (who stayed dressed) to chat with. Nickie wore a bikini for the first time and looked SO cute! It was a nice, relaxing trip. We did do a few things: go on the gay trolley tour with a mess of cute old homomen, went to the Butterfly Conservatory, had a couple's massage at Prana (where the 4 mins on her back made Nickie vagal, but only once!), shopped on Duval Street and visited Ripley's. The evenings consisted of bumming around Pearl's bar and, of course, taking dips in the hot tub.

On the way home, we sat across from a 6 month old on her mom's lap from Miami to Boston. We were taking bets on how long it would take until she started wailing. To our relief, she happened to be the most well-behaved baby on the planet. She never screamed, but never slept; she just looked around and smiled for 3 hours. Nickie would stick her tongue out and the baby would do the same, then laugh. It was pretty outstanding.

I'm glad we went. It was nice to just have some QT together, knowing that time will be a hot commodity in a few months (4, to be exact!). I'm also glad we went when we did. 2nd trimester is great! Nickie wasn't sick or ginormous. Perfect timing!

Monday, March 1, 2010


Nugget at 19 weeks!

I don't know what else to call it. To Nickie, it looks like it scares her out of her seat. But when the baby kicks, all I can feel through Nickie is a little "ping!". Nickie's been feeling Nugget's movements for about a week. I've been harrassing the baby to get her to wake up and have been generally successful. She moves, kicks and does some weird vibrating movement when I talk to her, but that's only been by report. It's been fun to see Nickie jump with her eyes lit up when the baby would twitch, but I haven't been able to feel it until today.

This has been the only thing I think I would say I'm jealous of. My maternal urges have been adequately quelled til this point. I wish I could have the baby in me for just a few minutes. I'm just curious!

I read the other night that fetuses can start to taste flavors in amniotic fluid around week 22. I started to wonder what the baby likes. Would she freak out with hot sauce? Is there anything that she thinks is gross? Does she have a favorite yet? I hope she loves peanut butter; she wouldn't be mine otherwise.

I thought as a nurse I had a good understanding of this whole process, but watching it from this angle continues to baffle me. A parasite in my wife can taste what she's eating?! What?!

Update: We saw Valeree, the midwife today. All is well. We found out that when we go to Key West at the end of the week, Nickie can go in the hot tub outside our room for short periods. Valeree talked about the cyst and confirmed that it is benign. We have the option of a follow-up ultrasound in a few weeks.
Buddha pics!
22 Weeks! Bets are on as to when her bellybutton will fall out. I give it 5 weeks!