Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Pregnancy Belly Etiquette

There is a thing called "Belly Etiquette". Seriously. Google it and you will find 51,100 websites dedicated to the subject matter.

I remember with each of my friends pregnancies, they all had the random stranger approach them and rub their belly (without permission). Some would even say they are rubbing it for good luck, which, by the way, is ridiculous. How is rubbing someone's belly going to give you good luck?

According to nestbaby.com the #1 Belly Etiquette Fauz Pas is: “LET ME TOUCH YOUR BELLY!”

"We’re all guilty of the belly rub… it’s hard to resist. But hold back unless you ask the mom first. Not only is it scary and weird when someone, whether it’s a stranger or even a relative, touches her, but a woman’s belly is private, and she may not want you reaching for it."

I had my first experience today with someone approaching me and making a very poor attempt to rub my belly. Unfortunately, this person didn't realize that patting it as though she was patting her dog after doing a trick was not considered appropriate, let alone gentle! Baby says, "Ouch!"

Thankfully, most of the people in my life already know some form of belly etiquette. They know what to say (even if they haven't been pregnant before), they throw out the appropriate compliments, and they'll even ask before rubbing (not hitting) my belly.

Just remember - pregnant belly's draw attention, but with that comes etiquette. Or, at least it should...

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Oh hormones, you have arrived!

Dear Hormones,

You made your first true appearance last night. While I could sit here all day and try to blame another crappy commute home, a long week, fatigue, hunger and 8,000,000 other things, I am going to go ahead and put the blame all on you - you nasty pile of hormones.

If it weren't for you, I probably wouldn't have gotten ticked off when my husband started laughing when I walked in the door. I probably wouldn't have thought that he was making fun of my growing figure, when he was probably just laughing that he beat me home. I probably wouldn't have broken down and sobbed (while hiding in the bathroom) as though someone had just passed away and not have a clue as to why - twice.

Thankfully, your appearances have been very rare over the past 19.5 weeks. For the record, I would really appreciate it if you would go back to where you came from and leave me (and my poor husband) alone!

Thank you,

Smyrna Pregnant Lady (who is in a very good mood today)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Happy 19 weeks, Smyrna Baby!

Oh how you are growing...and oh how your mother is too! This week you have all sorts of stuff going on. Let's take a look and see what babycenter.com has to say about you this week!

Your baby's sensory development is exploding! Her brain is designating specialized areas for smell, taste, hearing, vision, and touch. Some research suggests that she may be able to hear your voice now, so don't be shy about reading aloud, talking to her, or singing a happy tune if the mood strikes you.

Your baby weighs about 8 1/2 ounces and measures 6 inches, head to bottom — about the size of a large heirloom tomato. Her arms and legs are in the right proportions to each other and the rest of her body now. Her kidneys continue to make urine and the hair on her scalp is sprouting. A waxy protective coating called the vernix caseosa is forming on her skin to prevent it from pickling in the amniotic fluid.

Now, it's time for me to start feeling you move! I'm your mother - listen to me! You will only hear me say this while you are in the womb - kick me, punch me or give me a little jab! This is the ONLY time it will be acceptable!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Braxton Hicks, Bedding Updates and I'm a sweepstakes winner!

Wow - all sorts of stuff to fill you in on today!

Braxton Hicks:
I didn't mention this yesterday, as I was in my OCD mode over bedding, which I will fill you in on shortly, but Saturday afternoon around 3:00 p.m., I started to notice a litle bit of cramping. Nothing out of the ordinary - just cramping. Well, I became a litle alarmed when around 5:45 I noticed that I could actually time these so-called "cramps" - they were roughly 3 minutes apart. While I was a little nervous, my gut told me it was more than likely Braxton Hicks. I read they could start in my second trimester. Sure enough, about as quickly as they started, they subsided. PHEW. I guess this is my bodies way of getting ready!

I'm a Winner!
I received an email this afternoon from Graco, letting me know that I won a sweepstakes I entered into a few weeks ago! I remember entering one evening, but naturally didn't think anything would come out of it, but apparently I was wrong! I have won one of three "travel systems" - as shown below!

We discussed choosing the first one (the brown/blue one). The challenge is that the carseat is for up to 32 lbs, and after talking to a couple friends yesterday I would much rather have a smaller infant carseat (easier to handle). But, we'll get it and if worse-comes-to-worse, we will sell it!

Bedding Update:
We actually made a decision today - we have chosen the crib bedding! But, unfortunately for you, I'm not letting you know what we decided on! You will just have to wait and see, but I will go ahead and let you know that it is not either of the ones I presented yesterday! :)

Stay tuned...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Hunt for Bedding

I'm on a mission - a big one - and it's all centered around crib bedding. Given that we are not finding out the sex of the baby, I have found it a *wee* big more challenging than I had hoped to find what I want. Of course, the problem being that I don't know what I want!

I would like our colors of the nursery to be green, brown and tan. I have been all over the board in terms of my taste - animal theme (yuck), bedding that really is for a boy, but I tried to convince myself it could work for either, fish theme (yuck), tan bedding (boring), and now I am looking at green and white polka dots. Of course, now the question is whether or not green/white polka dots are too girly or not?!

I did find one set at Babies R Us that I like - it's green/brown paisley with hints of turquoise. Apparently this manufacturer classifies this under "boy bedding", but could it work for unisex bedding?

If anyone has any thoughts, PLEASE leave a comment/email me!

**Please note that I do not want all of the accessories (diaper bag, etc) - only the crib bedding!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Treasuring Moments

Yesterday morning, I popped in a CD I recently received at a baby shower. The CD includes a wide mix of songs by all sorts of artists, “Sweet Baby James” (James Taylor) to “Mockingbird” (no clue on the artist, but I’m sure you remember it). While listening to these soothing songs during a rough morning commute, I found myself getting a little teary-eyed thinking about Smyrna Baby, and all of the adventures my husband and I are about to embark upon as new parents.

It suddenly occurred to me - it really and truly is all going to fly by. If I am already almost halfway through my pregnancy and cannot believe it, how are we going to comprehend our newborn infant growing into a toddler, then into a young boy/girl, into a teenager, young adult, etc.? How do you not freak out at every little thing he/she does (right or wrong), keep your patience intact, not lose your cool all while trying to take in every moment and enjoy it – all because before you know it, they will be out of the house and living their own lives? Now, I know I am getting a little ahead of myself, but I would have to assume that you parents out there can somewhat relate to what I am saying.

A few hours after getting to work, I received an email from a family member. She forwarded me an article that Anna Quindlen, well-known Newsweek columnist, wrote and advised me "to enjoy your kids and love their own uniqueness!!". I thought her email couldn't have been more timely.


Anna Quindlen
Newsweek Columinst & Author

All my babies are gone now. I say this not in sorrow but in disbelief..

I take great satisfaction in what I have today: three almost-adults,
two taller than I am, one closing in fast. Three people who read the
same books I do and have learned not to be afraid of disagreeing with
me in their opinion of them, who sometimes tell vulgar jokes that
make me laugh until I choke and cry, who need razor blades and shower
gel and privacy, who want to keep their doors closed more than I
like. Who, miraculously, go to the bathroom, zip up their jackets
and move food from plate to mouth all by themselves. Like the trick
soap I bought for the bathroom with a rubber ducky at its center, the
baby is buried deep within each, barely discernible except through
the unreliable haze of the past.

Everything in all the books I once poured over is finished for me
now. Penelope Leach., T. Berry Brazelton., Dr. Spock. The ones on
sibling rivalry and sleeping through the night and early-childhood
education, all grown obsolete. Along with Goodnight Moon and Where
the Wild Things Are, they are battered, spotted, well used. But I
suspect that if you flipped the pages dust would rise like memories.
What those books taught me, finally, and what the women on the
playground taught me, and the well-meaning relations --what they
taught me, was that they couldn't really teach me very much at all.

Raising children is presented at first as a true-false test, then
becomes multiple choice, until finally, far along, you realize that
it is an endless essay. No one knows anything. One child responds
well to positive reinforcement, another can be managed only with a
stern voice and a timeout. One child is toilet trained at 3, his
sibling at 2. When my first child was born, parents were told to put
baby to bed on his belly so that he would not choke on his own spit-
up. By the time my last arrived, babies were put down on their backs
because of research on sudden infant death syndrome. To a new parent
this ever-shifting certainty is terrifying, and then soothing.
Eventually you must learn to trust yourself. Eventually the research
will follow. I remember 15 years ago pouring over one of Dr.
Brazelton's wonderful books on child development, in which he
describes three different sorts of infants: average, quiet, and
active. I was looking for a sub-quiet category for an 18-month old who
did not walk. Was there something wrong with his fat little legs?
Was there something wrong with his tiny little mind? Was he
developmentally delayed, physically challenged? Was I insane? Last
year he went to China. Next year he goes to college. He can talk just fine. He can walk, too.

Every part of raising children is humbling, too. Believe me,
mistakes were made. They have all been enshrined in the 'Remember-
When- Mom-Did ' Hall of Fame. The outbursts, the temper tantrums, the
bad language, mine, not theirs. The times the baby fell off the bed.
The times I arrived late for preschool pickup. The nightmare
sleepover. The horrible summer camp. The day when the youngest came
barreling out of the classroom with a 98 on her geography test, and I
responded, 'What did you get wrong?'. (She insisted I include that.)
The time I ordered food at the McDonald's drive-through
speaker and then drove away without picking it up from the window.
(They all insisted I include that.) I did not allow them to watch the
Simpsons for the first two seasons. What was I thinking?

But the biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make while
doing this. I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly
clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs.
There is one picture of the three of them, sitting in the grass on a
quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4 and
1. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked
about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that

I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing:
dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little
more and the getting it done a little less. Even today I'm not sure
what worked and what didn't, what was me and what was simply life.
When they were very small, I suppose I thought someday they would
become who they were because of what I'd done. Now I suspect they
simply grew into their true selves because they demanded in a
thousand ways that I back off and let them be. The books said to be
relaxed and I was often tense, matter-of-fact and I was sometimes over
the top.

And look how it all turned out. I wound up with the three people I
like best in the world who have done more than anyone to excavate my
essential humanity. That's what the books never told me. I was bound
and determined to learn from the experts. It just took me a while to figure out exactly who the experts were.

Newsweek Columnist - Anna Quindlen:

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

18 Weeks and Bell Peppers

Head to rump, your baby is about 5 1/2 inches long (about the length of a bell pepper) and he weighs almost 7 ounces. He's busy flexing his arms and legs — movements that you'll start noticing more and more in the weeks ahead. His blood vessels are visible through his thin skin, and his ears are now in their final position, although they're still standing out from his head a bit. A protective covering of myelin is beginning to form around his nerves, a process that will continue for a year after he's born. If you're having a girl, her uterus and fallopian tubes are formed and in place. If you're having a boy, his genitals are noticeable now, but he may hide them from you during an ultrasound.

Here are some new pictures for you! Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Sound of a Miracle

Today was a true blessing and another one of those days I will probably never forget. We made a trip to the doctor for a very routine check-up, but the highlight was hearing the sound of Smyrna Baby's heartbeat - and a very strong one at that! It was my husband's first time actually hearing this amazing sound, and I am pretty sure he was quite amazed by the entire experience.

We had a great doctor today who allowed us to listen for at least a full minute. She mentioned several times that his/her heartbeat sounded great.

I don't know which was more exciting - hearing the heartbeat for the second time, or having my husband there to share in this incredible moment.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Movement? Maybe, possibly? Please???

It started a week or so ago - these little flutters in my belly. As most pregnant women will tell you, or as any articles that you read will tell you, most women mistake these so-called "flutters" for gas. It will sound ridiculous if you have never been pregnant before, but hopefully some of you out there know what I am talking about. Flutters could even be compared to feeling like bubbles in your belly.

Most recently, I have felt as though popcorn is periodically popping away. It doesn't happen all the time - just every now and then, and pretty much whenever I am not expecting to feel any movement.

Last Tuesday I was laying in bed with my hand on my belly when the flutters started. I hollered to my husband, and just about the time he walked into the room, I swear I felt a little kick! Now, I don't know if I would have felt it if I didn't have my hand pressed onto my belly, but who knows.

I've waited every day since then to feel more jabs, but nothing so far. Just a few flutters here and there, but not as many as I would like. We get to hear the heartbeat on Tuesday, and I am anxiously counting down the hours...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

17 Weeks

I swear, every time I turn around I am posting about a new week's developments! Before I know it, I am going to be 20 weeks - halfway!! Um, yeah, that's scary.

Your baby's skeleton is changing from soft cartilage to bone, and the umbilical cord — her lifeline to the placenta — is growing stronger and thicker. Your baby weighs 5 ounces now (about as much as a turnip), and she's around 5 inches long from head to bottom. She can move her joints, and her sweat glands are starting to develop.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Ugly maternity jeans...No More!

Most of you who read this blog know how important it is to find a decent pair of jeans. Pre-pregnancy I stumbled upon a new brand that I fell in love with...It Jeans. They are cute and they won't make you file for bankruptcy if you buy a pair.

Given that I could not squeeze this growing body into those any longer, I was desperate to find a cute pair to wear over the next 5 months.

The resourceful person that I am actually called It Headquarters to find out whether or not they sold maternity jeans or not. Jackpot - they do - in one store in Atlanta!

Tonight I ran in, picked up a pair, tried them on, fell in love, and now cannot wait to put them on!

Thank goodness I do not have to sport the $7 Old Navy jeans any longer!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Tugging at the Heart Strings

Today when I arrived home from a wonderful weekend getaway with some dear friends, I walked upstairs and discovered that Smyrna Baby's crib had arrived, and had been assembled. I must've stood there in the nursery staring at the crib for a good 2-3 minutes, at one point feeling like I may tear up, before I finally just had to sit down on the floor and continue looking.

It's obviously not the beauty of the crib that was tugging my heart strings, but the idea that in 5 months there will be a baby taking up space in this room that has been unoccupied for so long. Honestly, reality really started to set in and it made me so incredibly happy!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Kid's Predictions

I've encountered two children within the past couple of weeks who have predicted the sex of Smyrna Baby. The first is an 8-year-old girl I met at a birthday party, and the other is a 4-year-old daughter of a friend. Both parents pointed to my belly and told the children, "There is a baby in there." The young kids looked at me with curiosity, periodically sneaking peaks at my protruding stomach.

The mother of the 8-year-old girl asked her daughter to listen to my belly and make a prediction. The mother of the 4-year-old girl didn't prompt her daughter at all, just allowing her to draw her own conclusion.

The instant response from both girls: It's a boy!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

16 weeks = Avocados

Yesterday we hit the 16 week marker and are having some major developments! If you recall, yesterday I mentioned that I was having cramping. Well, it turns out they are definitely the result of growing pains; which, by the way, I not having them as much today and feel 100% better!

How your baby's growing:
Get ready for a growth spurt. In the next few weeks, your baby will double his weight and add inches to his length. Right now, he's about the size of an avocado: 4 1/2 inches long (head to rump) and 3 1/2 ounces. His legs are much more developed, his head is more erect than it has been, and his eyes have moved closer to the front of his head. His ears are close to their final position, too. The patterning of his scalp has begun, though his locks aren't recognizable yet. He's even started growing toenails. And there's a lot happening inside as well. For example, his heart is now pumping about 25 quarts of blood each day, and this amount will continue to increase as your baby continues to develop.

I thought the last line of the growth update was interesting, as this morning I came upstairs, and felt like I had just completed an hour of boot camp! Smyrna Baby is definitely using up a lot of my oxygen these days!

Below are a few pictures for your entertainment! The last one cracks me up - only because I remember when the 9.5 week picture was taken, I commented about how "much" I was showing. Um...yeah right....

16 Week Picture:

14 weeks versus 16 weeks - You can definitely see a little bit of growth!

9.5 weeks versus 16 weeks - And, to think that I thought I was really "showing" at 9.5 weeks!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Growing Pains

I've had a couple rough days - probably the only two days in the past few months in which I have not felt 150%. After walking our dog for 4-5 miles on Sunday, I started to cramp up late in the day and it lingered for a couple hours. Monday morning I was fine, but by late in the day I felt miserable. The area right around my belly button was so cramped up, and I found the only way to fix the problem was to lay on the couch (and watch my guilty pleasure - The Bachelorette).

I talked to a couple friends about this yesterday, and they said more than likely I am experiencing "growing pains". Sure enough, after I talked to them, I read an article that stated right around 16 weeks, I may start to have some cramping, which is a result of the baby starting a very big growth spurt.

With this being my first pregnancy, it's so hard to know what symptoms are OK and which ones are not. Regardless, I feel 1,000 times better knowing that everything is just fine and Smyrna Baby is probably just in there growing and growing.