Expecting our Little Brother in November!

pregnancy calendar

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

First Bradley Class

So we attended our first Bradley Class last night and it was really nice! It is just us and one other couple at our teacher's house. It was nice to meet someone else about as pregnant as I am (she is due 10 days after me). They seemed really nice and we liked our teacher too.

The Bradley Series (also known as "husband-coached childbirth) is 12 weeks of classes, so we'll finish just before my due date. They think that this is how long you need to really learn the things they are teaching you, which they expect you to practice at home--things like relaxing on cue, different pregnancy exercises, etc.

This first class we learn about how to take a relaxing cue from our partner, and different pregnancy exercises such as squatting, kegels, butterfly stretching, etc.

Another thing I learned about Bradley is that it is really into the "Brewer Pregnancy Diet", which believes you should be eating 100 grams of protein a day, including several servings of milk products, 2 eggs, etc. Wait until they find out we are vegan . . . it is pretty difficult to eat that much protein as a vegan, though we get more than most people think. I counted up my protein from yesterday and I think it was about 50 grams, and I didn't even eat anything that protein-rich--I would say that was a VERY normal eating day for me. So I'm not doing too bad.

After the other couple left at the end of the class, we were chatting a bit with our teacher and told her we were going to have a homebirth, as she mentioned in the class that she had had a homebirth with her youngest son, and she freaked out on us (in a good way). She was SOOOO excited for us that she kept talking to us and didn't let us leave for another 10 mins or something, heheh. It seems like everyone who does homebirth just loves it, so that is really good to hear.

Anyway, we'll have our next class on Labor Day. Stay tuned.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Heartburn Solutions

So since I last updated, I went through probably about a week where I seemed to have heartburn constantly, and I was pretty miserable. Along the same lines, I had one of those "MY BELLY IS STRETCHED BEYOND BELIEF, I AM HORRIBLY UNCOMFORTABLE, HOW CAN THIS BABY GET ANY BIGGER?" few days right at the same time. As usual, I thought that I would feel this way for the rest of the pregnancy and I started to get pretty down about it.

However, in the last few days or so, I've discovered that it really is true that what you eat matters in the heartburn department. The main thing I realized is that I can't drink any tea any more--at least not green, white, or black tea (maybe purely fruit or herbal tea might be okay, I'm not sure). I had gotten back into the habit of drinking green/white tea throughout most of the day, and I think, in retrospect, that this was the main cause of my constant heartburn.

Other bad foods: grapefruit, oranges, orange juice, lemonade (any citrus I guess) . . . I was on a real grapefruit kick for awhile there and they were so delicious and amazing that I think I was in denial that they might be contributing to my heartburn issues.

But low and behold, simply giving up tea and citrus seem to single-handedly have cured my heartburn, and I'm incredibly grateful. And, as it tends to do, my belly and body seem to have made it through another adjustment and I once again feel comfortable and happy with being pregnant.

The only thing about cutting out these foods is that my list of foods I CAN eat is once again shrinking. I have been more and more flexible about eating gluten occasionally because bread is the thing that really sounds good in the midst of this heartburn control diet. I have minimal side effects from eating bread--the times I really notice the effect of the gluten is when I eat something made with a higher processed form of gluten (like fake meat/veggie burgers, etc).

Anyway, it's now been probably 5 days since I needed to have a Tums, so I'm pretty relieved to have managed this issue--at least for now.

Tonight is our first childbirth class (Bradley Method). I will try to remember to update about it tomorrow. I'm very excited!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Third Trimester

So I officially hit the third trimester about a week ago.

Since then,

- I have been cleaning obsessively--which is exactly what my house needed. Right now our new library (with guest bed) and books, is almost set up. The bed and dresser are all set up and all the shelves are in place and the books are at least half on the shelves. That room looks awesome and it will be easy to finish.
Our guest room now holds my sewing desk and sewing machine (and associated mess). I need to go through the desk better and organize everything, but it is a good spot for it. Also in there is a dresser holding our sheets and quilts, and a shelf with all the games in the house. The bed in there needs to be fixed/replaced since it is deflating, but the room itself looks good.
The downstairs has been rearranged so that James' desk is in the living room. We are going to try to set up the bills and mail down here, or we can sit at it when we are on the computer.
The wooden room (to be dining room) downstairs is sort of in the middle of being cleaned up, like that is where I left off. I have an idea of how to arrange things down there--mostly just clearing out to fit our new dining room table and chairs (which James' amazing Aunt got for $57 at auction for us, woohoo). But I also want to arrange the desk in there to hold jars and some big cooking things.
So I have made a ton of progress on the house, which is awesome.

- Also since a week ago when I hit the third trimester, I have had some level of heartburn after most meals (especially while laying down). This can be worsened simply by pressing on my stomach. :-/ But actually it's not really that bad--just very slight. I'm hoping it doesn't get worse but I think I might be fighting physics in there.

- And last but not least, I noticed yesterday (in the midst of my week of insane cleaning and moving things around), that my feet were swollen. I was pretty surprised. But I had been doing a lot (probably barefoot the entire time), and my feet might also have been sore (and swollen) from that anyway.

But it's definitely been a classic third trimester week, hasn't it? In some ways I can't believe that we only have 12 weeks left--less than 3 months to go . . . in other ways I feel like 3 months is still a long time to have this baby grow and get so much bigger . . .

He is supposedly about 2-2.5 lbs right now. He'll probably be at least 6-8 pounds, so he is going to triple or quadruple in size over the next three months, how the heck will he fit in there? -- Yet my stomach just seems to keep getting bigger, and I guess that's how.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Maternity Underwear and Spider Veins

So my sisters were here for a week--we did a cleanse: no meat, dairy, gluten, sugar, alcohol, caffeine for a week. For me, all I had to give up was sugar and caffeine, but for them the diet change was more significant. I think it went well, though!

Anyway, last night we went shopping for maternity clothes. I have now outgrown almost all of my regular shirts, so I wanted to get a few new shirts--especially some that I could wear into the fall. So we got quite a few things, but the most exciting among them was maternity underwear.

OMG I AM IN HEAVEN!! They honestly don't look that different than my regular underwear, but they sure feel different! I think they are cut lower in the front, and the waistband is extra stretchy--so what had been PRESSING against my abdomen is now gone and it feels amazing! I also got these little white shorts that I love--also cut really low in the front. They, too, are super comfy.

And today I noticed, for the first time, that I have spider veins on the side of my leg just below the knee. :-/ I don't really know much about these--I hope they will go away on their own, though. Anyway, it is very minor, I doubt anyone else would notice it unless I pointed it out, but still a little bit annoying. . .

I guess I hoped I would be able to sail through this pregnancy with minimal lasting side effects on my body, but the fact of the matter is, pregnancy does change you and your body forever. You have a baby at the end of it, and it makes it all worth it, but I will never again look in the mirror and see what I saw before, and the sooner I accept that, the better off I will probably be.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Vagina Stretching: It's a TMI Topic

So, as most of you are aware, I will have to push a baby out of my vagina, now in just THREE (yes THREE) short months. Some of you might have observed that the average vagina has a much smaller circumference than the average baby head. Therefore, to celebrate and prepare for this awesome (and quickly approaching) occasion, James and I began stretching my vagina today (I told you this was TMI).

Actually, it's called perineal stretching (does that make this a less weird topic if I call it that?). I just googled it so I could post an "explanation link", but honestly, I think that would be even weirder. To make a long story short, it helps the pregnant and birthing woman if she is used to the feeling of her vagina and perineum being stretched. Also, it can help increase the flexibility of the vagina and perineum. It can help prevent tearing and help avoid an episotomy (which no one really does now-a-days anyway).

It is helpful for the partner to do it because it becomes harder and harder as the belly gets bigger for the Mom to even reach down there, let alone providing any organized stretching exercises. So James assisted me today with this interesting exercise for the first time, and we plan on keeping it up throughout the final trimester, hopefully increasing in how much we are able to stretch it out as time goes on.

Honestly, it hurt a lot more than I was thinking it would. In reading about it, it mentioned that your partner's wrist could start to hurt from the applied pressure. It never mentioned that the Mom would also be hurting. But my reaction was both "Ouch" and "Wow, thank God we are doing this now, how the HELL will a baby FIT through here, talk about ring of fire, geez."

Just sayin.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Bye Bye OJ

So, here at week 25 (and admittedly, even last week--week 24) I'm starting to feel a bit (as a friend of mine put it) third trimestery . . . the peeing has gotten pretty ridiculous, and even more annoyingly, I am starting to get hints of heartburn--most notably, after drinking orange juice. Luckily its not that bad, but it certainly doesn't make me want to drink a whole lot of OJ!

So, I guess me and OJ are all done until November. :-(
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