We Made it to Week FOUR!

Week 3 (June 3 – June 10)

Esitmated Due Date: February 11th, 2013

Symptoms: Cramps, a very tender upper top half (okay, fine, I’ll say it…breasts), headaches, being super, unbearably hungry (but losing weight, which is nice, I guess), and the moodiness is still here (the hubs is already cowering in fear of preggers Kirsten). It’s very much like what I remember from being pregnant with E., though I think there is more general discomfort this time around. Lots of crampy twinges all over that I don’t seem to remember from before.

Body Changes: About the same as last week, bloaty and booby.

Cravings: My love for salty things continues. I definitely find myself hankering for comfort foods where as the idea of sweets doesn’t do it for me quite as much (though, again, I won’t turn down chocolate…ever).

High Point: Getting to meet with the midwives of in Bridgton. While the hubs and I have pretty much decided it isn’t in the cards for those lovely ladies to deliver baby #2 (darn insurance), they do offer FREE prenatal care and super inexpensive doulas (only $50!!!). We’ll definitely be seeing more of The Birth House for those reasons!

Low Point: This. Still kind of mad about it, too, but I think, assuming I can get into their practice, All About Women in Portland will be a good option for us. They deliver at Mercy Hospital and seem to have a pretty good view on c-sections and VBACs.

Paranoid Moment: Worrying that every little uncomfortable twinge is a sign of something horrible. I had myself convinced for about two days that I must have an ectopic pregnancy, but then I realized two things: one, it would probably be too early to know, and two, I think if I were dealing with an ectopic pregnancy I would know I was dealing with an ectopic pregnancy, not just worry about it.

What I did to prepare this week: I called and made appointments with a couple of places and am still waiting to hear back from another (All About Women). I also had, as I mentioned that appointment at The Birth House. While I’ll probably only keep one or two of the appointments I made (the others sort of seem pointless now that I know people’s policies of VBACs), it was a good experience to get in touch with all the places I did, because I have a better scope on what’s available out there for me in terms of maternity care (and what I need to start fighting for if I ever become some sort of lobbyist for women’s health organizations).

I also bought five books: The Pregnancy Book, by Dr. Sears (I have The Baby Book, which I love, and I wanted an alternative to “What to Expect”, which I hated); Birthing from Within (yep, bought a crunch/granola pregnancy book); The Breastfeeding Book, also by Dr. Sears (I never had a book on this topic when I had E. and I didn’t have as much success breastfeeding as I wanted, so I hope with will help); What’s Inside Mommy’s Tummy (a book for E.; she has lots of questions and I think a good book about what’s happening will be helpful); and A Baby on the Way, another one by Dr. Sears (Are you sensing a pattern yet? And yes, another book for E.)

What’s going on “in there”: Your Pregnancy Week-by-Week explains: “Fetal development is still in the very early stages, but great changes are taking place! The blastocyst is embedded more deeply into the linning of your uterus, and the amniotic sac, which will fill with amniotic fluid, is starting to form.
“The placenta is forming; it plays an important role in the hormone production and transport of oxygen and nutrients. Networks that contain maternal blood are becoming established. Development of the baby’s nervous system (brain and other structures, such as the spinal cord) begins.
“Germ layers are developing. They develop into specialized parts of your baby’s body, such as organs. The three germ layers are the ectoderm, endoderm, and mesoderm.
“The ectoderm becomes the nervous system (including the brain), the skin and the hair. The endoderm develops into the lining of the intestinal tract, the liver, pancreas and thyroid. The mesoderm becomes the skeleton, connective tissues, blood system, urogenital system and most of the muscles.”

My Pursuit of Happiness

It’s nearly nine o’clock at night on a Sunday and I’m exhausted. But it’s one of those pleasant exhausted feelings – that sort of mentally blissed out way of being.

For two days I’ve been stuffed full of every kind of information about birth, women, and the feelings they so strongly feel (both physical and mental during birth) during the amazing even that we so simply call birth.

After talking and listening and doing like I haven’t in over a year (the last time I sat in a college classroom), I feel a strength and readiness to begin to pursue more strongly a dream I had been keeping at an arms length. There is so, so much I still want to learn and to see, some things I need to think about, and my future, as it stands now, seems fuzzy and unsure, but it’s all good. It’s like the future ahead of me is hard to make out because it’s clouded or foggy, but so bright it will take just a bit for my eyes to fully focus.

Let me come out of the vagueness of above and give it to you straight. I spend this weekend learning the beginnings of what I need to know to properly attend a woman as a doula (a labor support professional – a person who helps a woman through labor and birth). The workshop I attended this weekend is one step towards becoming a certified doula through the organization DONA. I have a few more steps to tackle, but one of the largest is attending three births.

And this is where I say that if you are in Maine (or know me personally) and would be interested in having a doula attend your birth, my services will FREE while I remain uncertified, because I am training. This does NOT mean I will be any less effective than a certified doula. If you or someone you know is interested, please contact me (either comment below with a way to contact you OR contact me via Facebook (if you know me in real life).

I also have a couple of other workshops left to attend and some reading to do, but I’m thrilled this workshop is what I did first. It has given me a confidence and thrill to see what I could be doing not just as a hobby, but as a job. I do not yet know where this path will lead, if it’s a minor detour or the beginning of a lifelong journey, but it is exciting and beautiful all the same.

I know I’m starting to sound like one of those goofy New Age people (and maybe I’m slowly morphing into someone like that), but sometimes those over the top cliches are what best describe what you’re experiencing.

I’m just happy.

And I wanted you to know.

What You Do When You’ve Got A Fever

I’ve gots the fever.

Baby fever.

And what’s a girl to do when she feels so emotionally ready for another little one, but all the pieces haven’t quite fallen into place? Why, she dreams about all the little baby things she wants to have when baby number two makes his (or her) appearance.

Now that we’re a few (almost FOUR) years into this whole kid shindig, I think I’ve been able to give myself some perspective on what crucial “stuff” I want for our next baby that we might not already have (or were decimated in the multiple moves we had to endure or from over use).

Here are the top ten things that I think we need and really, really want.

1.) An electric breast pump. Word to the wise, if you anticipate having to pump more than just rarely, get an electric breast pump. It will save you hours of stress and probably some discomfort. We weren’t really able to afford an electric pump with E. and I felt like they were too pricey to put on a registry for someone else to purchase, so we went without. I will not do that this time, especially since I’m sure I will have to pump a lot as I plan on going back to work after I have our second (assuming the world doesn’t end this year, or something, being 2012 and all).

2.) The Joovy Scooter. I have a Joovy jogging stroller and I love it. While I don’t really jog per say (though I’m trying), it’s a dream to push on almost any terrain (including along the water at the beach), folds compactly into my little Ford Taurus, and just sort of looks cool! Now I want the Scooter to be our new stroller to replace the old Graco (which lost a wheel about two years ago), because the jogger isn’t really the place for infants, PLUS, it is a wee bit bulkier than a regular stroller. AND the Scooter allows you to place an Graco infant car seat inside of it (I probably didn’t describe that well, but hopeful the above picture gives you an idea), which leads me to number three…

3.) The Graco SnugRide 35 Infant Car Seat (preferably in Zurich). We had a Graco car seat, which I loved, but mysteriously disappeared after we transitioned E. into her “big girl” convertible car seat on her first birthday. I loved the Graco car seat and am all over getting another, even if the old one is found. Because, let’s face it, I like pretty things and I like the Zurich pattern way more than the pattern of our old car seat (though that wasn’t bad, either).

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4.) Cloth diapers. There are so many reasons why I want to cloth diaper. The eco-friendly factor. The cheapness factor (after you get over the initial expense). And, okay, let's face it, since I'm a cute-things dork, the CUTENESS factor. I had wanted to cloth diaper with E., but since we were a) completely broke (versus only kind of broke now), and b) didn't have constant access to a washer and dryer, it just wasn't really in the cards. The next time around we will certainly be cloth diapering, hopefully with full success.

5.) A GOOD breastfeeding book. You change as you grow as a parent and adult. Or, at least I hope people do and I’m not the only one. Because, I’ve changed a lot. Prior to having E., I researched nothing. In my defense, coming from an age of technology, where I researched everything online in high school and college, I’m not entirely sure if I fully remembered how to look things up in a book, and while I was pregnant I didn’t have reliable access to the interwebz. So, I knew very little about what was going on with my body, with my baby, and what would happen afterwards, at least beyond what a couple of pregnancy books told me (which, trust me, was a enough at times…can we say paranoia?). I knew very, very little about breastfeeding. I had a couple of pamphlets and there was a chapter or two in my pregnancy books, but nothing in-depth. Plus, I received limited help at the hospital. I was also burdened with a “know-it-all” attitude that prevented me from really pursuing help. It made breastfeeding HARD and unnecessarily stressful and not at all the experience I wanted. I feel with the extra help of a book specifically on breastfeeding and being able to show that I don’t know everything and ask for more help will make a difference.

These are the top five items I really, really want/think I need the next time around. In short, some other stuff I think will make it’s way into my home are:
6.) Trays made for freezing homemade baby food, plus a new blender…maybe (having made baby food before, I really do think these are necessary).
7.) A bouncer.
8.) A co-sleeper (rather than a bassinet, which we had and never used)
9.) Nursing bras and/or shirts.
10.) One of those band thingies that helps your belly go back to normalish.

So, are any of my items completely useless? Or do you have a better idea? What items do you totally wish you had the first go around?