Monthly Archives: September 2011

What’s all this about barefoot?

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Ladies combat boots.

Every girl needs red heels.

For the moment at least, I have given up on wearing anything with a heel.  Basically I have given up on wearing anything that isn’t my sneakers, or my gel sole flip flops.  Well ok, I do wear my slippers from time to time, but even those are a big snug and hard to pull on right now!!! So I guess this is something I have had to give up, that I miss.  Oh boy do I miss it.  I went out for my birthday in mid July, and I wore a pair of heels.  I had to, I can’t wear palazzo pants with flats, I just can’t.  I drove to the restaurant barefoot, and drove home the same way.  I would do it again too!  Well…  I like to think I would.

Just a week or so ago I thought I would wear my favorite pair of ankle boots from last fall.  I wore these boots EVERYWHERE last year.  I could walk in them all day long.  I think the thing about them was that they have a solid rubber heel.  I never realized what kind of a difference a rubber heel would make.  I got them on just fine, they were a little snug.  I took a step though, and I about went down.  I wouldn’t be wearing these shoes again for a while…

These boots were made for shopping!

I know it’s not considered safe to wear heels while you are pregnant.  Your center of balance is all KINDS of screwy,and my balance was never great tobegin with.  It took me a while to accept this, and honestly I didn’t stop wearing my beloved darlings until was about 3 months along.  That was when they started to feel snug, and I started to notice that my normally abysmal balance was getting worse. I guess to be honest I have to say that wasn’t exactly when I completely stopped wearing heels.  I still had a couple pretty important dates ahead of me, and there was no keeping my feet in flats for them.

The bachelorette party.

My wedding was June 25th.  I was just a couple weeks shy of 5 months pregnant at that point.  I knew it would be hard, but I already had the shoes!  I had bent over backwards for months looking for the perfect wedding shoes.  I knew that I would need at least two pairs.  One pair for the wedding itself, and one for the

The Wedding.

rehearsal dinner.  By the time I found out that I was pregnant I already had both of those pairs purchased,

plus one more pair.  I decides to get a pair of pink glittery Toms shoes to wear to my reception.  I thought it would be cute.  Well, when i found out I was pregnant my reception shoes, and their 5 inch heel, were an absolute bust.  I would NEVER consider returning them however.  Luckily my cousin and maid of honor wanted to do a little theme for my bachelorette party.  Jeans, cute tops, and the fanciest shoes we own!  I figured 5 inch heels would be safe, especially with me not drinking, and my pink bordellos got to be worn.

The day of the wedding my shoes were tolerable.  My actual wedding shoes just had one strap over the toe, and a 1 3/4 inch heel.  Easy peasy.  I made it through the ceremony and all that without having to take my shoes off, I was so proud.  As soon as we got back to the house I kicked those puppies off (and gently placed them back in their tissue paper lined box) and went for the Toms.  Egads, they wouldn’t go on!  My instep was too swollen!  I wore them long enough to get a few pictures, and then switched them out for my flip flops.  I regretted it the next day, but I was able to dance all night!  That brings me to the jewel of my collection.

A mile in Paris's shoes...

Because the pink bordellos were not usable for my rehearsal dinner I had to find something else.  I had had my eye on a pair of Paris Hilton heels that absolutely nobody could keep in stock.  I thought that her signature bright pink sole would be an affordable replacement to Louboutin’s signature red one.  Everybody that saw these shoes instantly fell in love with them.  When I received them I was already almost 4 months pregnant, and my feet were definitely showing it.  These however, unlike many of my shoes, are real leather.  Which means they stretch.  I spent many house laying on my couch with my feet kicked up sporting jams and these shoes.  By the time the rehearsal rolled around there were tolerable.  They were tight, but they were tolerable.  I made it through the rehearsal and dinner without incident.  I did have to hold onto Hubby Bunny walking across the ceramic tile to my table, but that is acceptable.

The old...

and the new!

My wedding was three months ago now, I have not worn heels since.  I bought a pair.  I love ankle boots in the fall, and when a pair shows up on the Kohl’s rack in the middle of summer,marked down, and in my size, I have to have it.  Even if they do look an awful lot like last year’s…  Well, they are the same color any way.  Last year’s pair has almost a 5 inch heel, and a very narrow elegant heel.  The ones I just bought, and won’t get to wear until next fall, are more of the every day hiking boot look alike I wear, well used to wear, all the time.

I miss my shoes, when it comes to lifestyle changes for baby, this is a big one.  We’ll have to see, but I know this isn’t a permanent change.  I’m not crying though, I am buying baby shoes!!!  My very first purchase for this baby was a pair of pink fuzzy shoes.  I didn’t even plan it out that way.  It wasn’t as though I walked into the baby section that day thinking I would pick up some baby shoes.  They happened to be on an end cap display, and they grabbed me by the elbow and demanded to go home with me.  This has happened to me a number of times by a number of pairs of shoes.  It didn’t frighten me, I calmly placed the tiny shoes in my cart, and home with me they went.  Honestly, I think i am ok with baby shoe shopping being more regular than Mommy shoe shopping, those pink fuzzies were only 5 bucks!  In the meantime I will stick to my sneakers and flip flops.  Now that you’re pregnant, what do you miss that used to be part of your day to day life?

Comfort rules!

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To whom it may concern…

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Recently in a pregnancy group I am in online I saw this letter posted.  I read it, and laughed to myself.  I personally have not really experienced much of this, but the girls I talk to have plenty of stories.  They tell these stories, and are obviously very hurt by what was said or done.  Then, at the end of every story, they all ask the same question, “What should I do?”  That seems like it should have the obvious answer “tell them they hurt you.”  Why is it not that easy?

It seems to me that as soon as a woman becomes pregnant many people don’t view her as her own person any more.  People take liberties with pregnant women that they would never take with any one else.  Try this, walk to up an obviously not pregnant woman and grab her belly, she will slap you.  However if you do the same to a pregnant woman she will sigh, obviously annoyed, and just walk away.  Why?  Well, the same reason when you comment on their weight to both of these same women.  The pregnant woman is already used to being regarded as public property, the non pregnant woman… not so much.

So why doesn’t the pregnant woman just simply say ‘hey don’t do that’?  Well, if she doesn’t know you she might.  She might even slap you just as fast as the other woman.  If you are someone she knows though, she won’t want to do that.  She wants you to be a part of her baby’s life and so won’t alienate you.  Unfortunately people take this as an opportunity to take advantage.  Personally I am glad to be one of those pregnant women whose family, both on my side and my husband’s, have more sense than that.  I have not been told to do this, don’t do that, what are you thinking, bla bla bla.  My husband and I both come from pretty forward thinking backgrounds.  It really makes me feel bad seeing women that I care about going through these kinds of shenanigans.

So, when this letter was posted, and all these girls laughed, i laughed along.  I have heard a story for pretty much every point here.  I did not, however, laugh at the comments some of the girls made following this post.  A few people reposted it on their Facebook pages as a note, but only a few.  More than a few said they wanted to but they were afraid it would offend somebody.  What?!  Here, read the letter…

Dear Non-Pregnant Person,

I hope you find these guidelines helpful in your interactions with pregnant women, as failing to follow them may result in serious physical harm. If you are thinking, surely she doesn’t mean me — then you should probably read this twice.

1. The appropriate response to a couple telling you they are having a baby is ‘Congratulations!’ with enthusiasm. Any other response makes you a jerk.

2. Through the wonders of science, we now know that babies are made ONLY by the mother and father — not grandparents. Unless the baby is in your uterus or you are the man that helped put it there, you may not ever use the phrase ‘my baby’.

3. On the same note, unless you made the baby as defined in 2, the pregnancy, birth, and raising of the child are not about you. You do not have input. No one wants to hear your opinion unless they ask for it…

4. The body of a pregnant woman should be treated the same as any other body. You would not randomly touch someone’s stomach if they were not pregnant, nor would you inquire into the condition of their uterus, cervix, or how they plan to use their breasts. Pregnancy does not remove all traces of privacy from a woman.

5. Likewise, no woman wants to hear comments on her weight…ever. A pregnant woman does not find it flattering that you think she is about is pop, must be having twins, looks swollen or has gained weight in her face. Telling her she looks too small only makes her worry that she is somehow starving her baby. Making such comments invite her to critique your physical appearance and you may not act offended. The only acceptable comment on appearance is ‘You look fabulous!’.

6. By the time we are 20-30 years old, most of us have picked up on the fact that the summer is hot. We are hot every summer when we are not pregnant. We don’t need you to point out that we will be miserably hot before the baby comes. Nor do we need to know how badly you will feel for us because we will be pregnant during the summer and how glad you are that YOU will not be pregnant this coming summer.

7. There is a reason that tickets to Labor & Delivery are not yet sold on Ticketmaster. Childbirth is actually not a public event. It may sound crazy, but some women really do not relish the idea of their mother, MIL, or a host of other family members seeing their bare butt and genitals. Also, some people simply feel like the birth of their child is a private and emotional moment to be shared only by the parents. You weren’t invited to be there when the baby was created, you probably won’t be invited to be there when it comes out either.

8. Like everything else in life, unless you receive an invitation, you are NOT invited. This includes doctor appointments, ultrasounds, labor, delivery, the hospital, and the parent’s home. You do not decide if you will be there for the birth or if you will move in with the new parents to ‘help out’. If your assistance is desired, rest assured that you will be asked for it.

9. If you are asked to help after the birth, this means you should clean up the house, help with cooking meals, and generally stay out of the way. Holding the baby more than the parents, interfering with breastfeeding and sleeping schedules, and making a woman who is still leaking fluid from multiple locations lift a finger in housework is not helping.

10. The only people entitled to time with the baby are the parents. Whether they choose to have you at the hospital for the birth or ask for you to wait three weeks to visit, appreciate that you are being given the privilege of seeing their child. Complaining or showing disappointment only encourages the parents to include you less.

Sincerely,

All the Pregnant Women in the World

Yea, ok, so it’s kind of blunt and to the point.  If you really read it though, whoever wrote this is merely asking for the basic level of respect you would expect between two people.  Don’t touch me without invitation, don’t insult me, don’t tell me what to do or how to live, and don’t interfere with my day to day activities in a way that would be detrimental to me and my family.  I am not stupid, I am an adult, and I don’t want you hanging out in my bedroom.  Seems reasonable enough, so why are people worried about this letter being offensive?

The wording does edge on offensive, I will give it that.  While the line about Ticketmaster was cute, it is quite, well, snarky.  I appreciated that, but I can see how some people might not.  I think the main reason the pregnant women I am friend with think this would offend their friends and families is because of the level of entitlement people feel toward mother and baby.  I don’t know where this entitlement comes from, but it really shouldn’t be there.  These new parents, whether it be their first or fiftieth child, are excited and full of joy.  There are some things you may simply not want to share, such as the first day you bring your baby home from the hospital.  Just be respectful of the new parents.  Especially be considerate of the feelings of the pregnant woman.  When you see a letter like this, take it for what it is.  This is not an attempt to cut you off, this is a desperate plea to be treated with respect.

People are very quit to write a pregnant woman’s feelings off.  Oh, she is just hormonal right?  Wrong.  She isn’t just hormonal, you just told her she was fat!  If we all stop taking these ridiculous liberties with pregnant woman, maybe when someone has real, good, worthwhile advice to give they won’t have to feel like they aren’t allowed to approach an expectant mother and give her a few uplifting words and a little good advice.  This Mom over at Maternique had a few good words she would have liked to share, but was unable.

I admit, I thought people who offered all that advice were being know-it-alls. That is, until I found myself wanting to tell this woman she didn’t need even half that stuff she was buying.

I wanted to tell her that her favorite moments with baby would include none of the things on the list she was consulting. I wanted to tell her that what mattered more than who comes to the baby shower is who shows up for you after the baby actually arrives.

I wanted to tell her that this experience would, indeed, turn her world upside down, but she would love the view from there. I wanted to tell her this would be harder than she thought, but she was stronger than she could imagine.

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth

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First off let me say that this was a great book for me.  I am new to this childbirth thing, and I have a lot of questions.  This book helped me find answers to many of them, as well as come up with a few more I need to ask.  That being said, this book is not for everybody.

The first half of the book was strictly birth stories.  I didn’t find them terribly helpful myself, and did not read all the way through the first half.  The stories were not all butterflies and ponies, it does have a good mix of the good and the bad.  One story that I read that really stuck with me gave me an image of just how traumatic birth could be for the mother.  This woman’s story included standard pitocin and episiotomy without assessing need, strapping her to the bed, taking her baby away, sedating her, and a number of other horrible assembly line type experiences.  She was not even told the sex of her newborn, much less allowed to hold it, before being given ether to knock her out while they stitched up her episiotomy.  I think this story itself outlines the fear many woman feel approaching childbirth and not knowing what to expect or what to ask.

The stories are not all like this, as I mentioned before there is a good collection of the good and the bad.  The good stories are full of happy mothers relishing in their birth stories, experiences that changed their lives for the better.  This section of the book does include positive stories of hospital births with obstetricians, and does not make any effort to cast a negative light on those types of births.

I found the second half of the book to be far more useful and informative than the first.  Ina May outlines labor and delivery, and what to expect every step of the way.  She starts off by describing the mind/body connection that we all have, but has been downplayed by current medical practice.  Comparing it to the placebo effect the author explains how we have the power to influence our bodies in many ways.  She discussing speaking your wishes aloud, listening to the words of others, visualizing the desired effects, and a number of other ways in which our bodies respond to situations that affect us mentally and emotionally.  For instance did you know that being comfortable with your practitioner is good not just for your peace of mind, but for ease of labor?  Having a strange person walk in, and possibly behave in a manner that is not gentle and peaceful, can negatively impact your laboring, and even cause dilation to go backwards?

Ina May delves into all the details of labor itself, explaining to the reader exactly what to expect, while making sure they understand to expect the unexpected.  She goes into detail what goes on with our bodies while laboring, stressing the point that if your labor is different that what is ‘normal’ that you are not broken, merely human.  The second half of the book is full of diagrams and photographs depicting women in labor and birth describing different characteristics.  One set of images shows many different laboring positions that are all perfectly natural.

Later on the author details potential interventions and their risk, encouraging women to talk about these things with their practitioners and find out exactly what that person is used to doing.  I think I found this to be the most helpful part of the book, and answered a lot of questions that I had.  Going into this book I had a vague idea of some things I should know before my due date is upon me, but I really wasn’t sure what all I needed to know, and had not asked my doctor anything.  Through this book I was able to come up with a rather broad list of questions and concerns that I will be able to present to my doctor at my next visit as well as to the nurses at the hospital when I have my tour.

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth is a fantastic book full of incredibly useful information.  In my opinion this book should not stand alone in your library of childbirth resources, but should make an appearance.  This book does have the power to scare a woman, but it also has the power to arm her with the knowledge she needs to proceed to the next source of information.  Don’t let this book scare you away from doctors if that is what you want, but let it lead you to the right doctor for you.  If you are looking into an all natural home birth experience, you already have a good idea what you’re getting into, read this book anyway.

To all mothers, regardless of how they choose to bring their little ones into this world, remember that you are a woman, and this is a woman’s experience.  No man can ever know or fully understand childbirth.  The things we know did not come out of a book, and can never be put into words without losing a good chunk of what it means.  Trust yourself, and don’t let anybody force you into something you do not want.

My list of questions:

1. How far into labor do I need to arrive at the hospital, what signs should I look for before I know it’s time to see my practitioner?

2. When would induction be recommended, and by what method?

3. What style of fetal monitoring is typically used by this practice and the hospital of my choice?

4. Are intravenous fluids routine, and will I be allowed the freedom to eat and drink during labor?

5. Will I have the freedom to move around as I see fit?

6. What is the cesarean section rate of the practice and the hospital of my choice?

7. Will I be on a time limit to deliver once I arrive at the hospital or will I be allowed to continue laboring as long as nothing life threatening presents itself?

8. When will the umbilical cord be clamped, immediately or when it stops pulsing?

9. Will placenta expulsion be hurried, or allowed to progress on it’s own?

10. Are epistionomies routine or reserved for situations where they are absolutely necessary?  (Under what circumstances would they be considered necessary?)

6 months!

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I have to post this now, before the clock hits midnight, or it won’t be the same!!!  Today I am exactly 27 weeks, which means I am exactly 6 months pregnant!  I’m not sure where I get this idea, but 6 months seems like such a milestone to me.  Probably because it marks my entry into the third trimester.

I’m really starting to get excited about this baby, it feels so real now.  That and I can really feel her…  I am willing to bet that, had I been looking that direction, I would have seen my belly jump a couple times one morning.  It was the first time I had felt her from the outside, and I couldn’t stop giggling.  It was early morning and I was resisting it, laying in bed reading before the need to pee overtook me.  She was just dancing away and I was enjoying it.  When she started kicking the same spot pretty hard a couple of times I laid my hand over it, just to see if I could feel it.  Oh I felt it all right!  She kicked me pretty hard, twice.  I tried to wake Hubby Bunny up so he could feel it, but he as so groggy he didn’t know what was going on, and she stopped before he could figure it out.  Soon I hope.

I don’t remember what I was going yesterday, probably watching tv, and all of a sudden it struck me.  I’m pregnant.  This little outfit I am knitting?  My baby will be wearing this in just about 3 more months.  So I guess it’s time to start thinking about the real things I need to know.  Bottles, diapers, bedding, parenting…  I have a lot to learn yet.  I haven’t read into it much, but I think I am leaning toward attachment parenting.  Although I am not comfortable with co-sleeping.  She takes up too much room in the bed as it is!

I have a few hurdles to overcome as far as breastfeeding.  I don’t think many, if any, people around me truly understand what it means to breastfeed exclusively.  Well, my husband does, he is very supportive.  As a matter of fact he was the first of us to say it out loud.  I didn’t even realize he had strong feelings about it until he (jokingly) announced to me that I would be doing it.  It seems like a simple choice, do it or don’t.  Wow I had no clue how much else would go into it!  Aside form people not understanding, or having these preconceived ideas born out of societal norms, it’s going to be a lot of work itself.  Never before have I heard the term ‘nipple confusion.’  Really?  That’s real?  Yea, apparently.  No bottles, no binkies, not until breastfeeding is firmly established.  Know what else that means?  No babysitters!  Eep!  Not that I think I will have any kind of desire to be separated from my little miss at all, but what if something did come up?  I guess I’m not going…

I won’t sleep with her in my bed, but I am willing to put her next to my bed where I can easily reach her.  We’ll see how it all goes, I need to get a book on attachment parenting and decide if that is for sure going to be our method, but I am sure it will be.  The time has come to decide, as well as to pack my overnight bag!  Just in case she makes an early debut…

The good with the bad

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Bad day is bad!  Today my lower back is absolutely killing me.  I can hardly stand up at all, much less straight.  Even looking at the basket if towels I was going to fold today made me want to cry and I had Sean hide them in the bathroom so I wouldn’t have to look at them.  

I have gained less than 20 pounds so far, but on days like today it sure feels like a lot more.  Sean is sweet, he said it doesn’t look like it either. My sense if balance is completely off though, which doesn’t help when I can’t stand up straight to walk into the kitchen.

It didn’t turn out all that bad though.  I made pork chops, mashed potatoes, and corn for dinner and it was fantastic.  I have peanut butter swirl (my favorite) for later.  Right now I am watching Stand By Me, one of my all time favorite stories, with my wonderful husband.  Oh, and little miss is rolling around all over, making me forget how crummy my day was.