Monthly Archives: August 2003

20 weeks 1 day

Here I am, the halfway point of my pregnancy. I cannot believe that I’m now closer to labor than conception. Eeek.

Bubs has been moving around quite a bit today. I’m surprised to find that I’ve gotten used to the feeling of movement, to the point that I don’t always notice it. Bubs is still not at the painful kicking stage, but I am certain there’s something in there — and it’s not last night’s pizza.

I just read in the August issue of Real Simple magazine that breastfeeding is a “waste of time.”

The article is no longer available online (I’ve heard they’ve received 20,000 letters and e-mails of complaint about this) but here’s the text of the article:

“What happens if you…

don’t breast-feed your child?

most likely: “In the long run, nothing,” says Boris Petrikovsky, chairman of the department of obstetrics-gynecology at Nassau University Medical Center, in East Meadow, New York. When you’re bottle-feeding, you know exactly how much food the baby is eating, and Mom may be less tired because Dad has no excuse to sleep through 3 a.m. feedings. “There is also absolutely no conclusive data on breast milk’s effects on brain development,” adds Petrikovsky.

worst case: “The biggest downside of not breast-feeding is that the mother misses out on some of the bonding,” says Petrikovsky. And since breast milk is specially designed to meet the nutritional needs of infants and contains antibodies that help protect them from a variety of illnesses, “babies who are breast-fed are more likely to have a stronger immune system and be sick less than formula-fed infants.”

This really pissed me off. So I wrote a letter to Real Simple and cc:ed the idiot doctor:

TO: letters@realsimple.com
CC: drpetrikovsky@yahoo.com
RE: “20 Time-Wasting Rules to Break Now”, Real Simple, August 2003

I have been a subscriber to Real Simple magazine since its inception, and I have consistently been satisfied with the quality of content. Until now.

I had to write to express my great displeasure with your decision to declare breastfeeding a waste of time in the article “20 Time-Wasting Rules to Break Now” as published in your August issue.

As an educated pregnant woman who intends to breastfeed my child, I was shocked by the outrageous, misleading, and false information included in the article.

I can only assume that Dr. Petrikovsky’s false, unscientific claims are an attempt to mollify women who feel guilty for choosing not to breastfeed their children, despite the documented benefits.

Shame on you, Real Simple, for not speaking to a real authority on the subject, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, La Leche League, or the World Health Organization.

I will not be renewing my subscription to Real Simple magazine.

I wondered how many doctors they had to call in order to find one that would actually say that breast milk isn’t any different from formula… then I found out that Petrikovsky received a Traveling Fellowship from Bristol-Myers, Squibble/Mead Johnson.

Mead Johnson are the makers of Enfamil and other baby formulas. Surprise, surprise.

My good deed for the lactating (and lactating-to-be) is now complete. If you’re interested in joining the fray, check out the information at Mothering.com

19 weeks 5 days

I went on a shopping spree this weekend and bought baby clothes from Old Navy … I spent about $70 and got a lot of cute stuff.

Then I brought it all home and washed everything in Dreft. If there is a smell that is “baby,” it is Dreft. I’ve been storing all of the baby blankets and clothes in a big Rubbermaid container. I just love opening the lid of that container and seeing the little yellow onesies and the white t-shirts and green receiving blankets, smelling that little-clothes smell. I know it’s probably just the hormones, but I always get a little misty-eyed thinking about it.

George has been talking to my belly a lot lately… this morning he ordered Bubs to “kick Mama good and keep her in line today” which I thought was pretty funny. He has a sense of humor unlike anyone I know.

I need to make a wish-list of kids books, since there are so many good ones and it’s very important to me to have a decent collection. I’ve found several from Half-Price Books, including:
“Guess How Much I Love You” by Sam McBratney
“Where The Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak
“Swine Lake” by Maurice Sendak

I really want the Curious George Anthology, Seven Chinese Brothers, and lots of Shel Silverstein and Roald Dahl (including “James and the Giant Peach,” “Danny, The Champion of the World” and “The BFG”). And “George Shrinks” by William Joyce.

Oh, how I look forward to sharing my favorite growing-up books with my little one.

19 weeks 1 day

I had my 19-week ultrasound on Tuesday, where George and I got to meet the OB/GYN that backs my midwife. He seemed very nice, and was very attentive during the visit. I was very leery of having a male OB, since I had such a bad experience with one in the past, but I feel comfortable with him. He checked my chart and noticed my OvuSoft temping chart, and asked if I had been on Clomid. (I guess it isn’t very common for women to chart as a means of natural birth control, which is really too bad). I explained that we temped to avoid pregnancy for 2 years, and we were able to get pregnant immediately when we started trying. I don’t know if he was blowing smoke or what, but he did seem interested and congratulated us on using an alternative method. (On a side note, George paid me a huge complement… later as I was making my next appointment, he told one of the nurses, “I was really skeptical of this charting stuff at first, but she was able to figure out when it was ‘time’ and after avoiding pregnancy for 2 years and then getting pregnant as soon as we started trying… I’m a believer.” I was so proud.)

The doctor checked my ovulation date, and after caclulating the baby’s dimensions from the ultrasound, he announced that my due date should actually be January 13th… which is 2 days earlier than what I’ve been saying all along.

I love it when I’m right.

Bubs looks great… spine, kidneys, fingers, toes and heart all look to be functioning properly. S/he was very active during the ultrasound, flips and turns and kicking most of the time. I couldn’t keep from giggling, which made it worse for the doctor.

As far as finding out the gender, we ended up making our decision in the waiting room (as I figured we would). There isn’t any really good reason to find out since the important stuff (see above) has been checked. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a boy or a girl, since it will be loved and nurtured… it already is loved an nurtured. So, no more discussions about gender.

Although I have thought it’s a boy from the beginning, and I still think it’s a boy. Not that it matters. But my intuition is pretty strong.

18 Weeks

I hate pregnancy dreams.

I have had the worst dreams since getting PG. Some have been seriously violent, others terrifying.

I believe that dreams are expressions of the subconscious mind, and that they can reflect concerns and worries of day-to-day life just as much as random disjointed thoughts. I think last night’s dream was one of the “worriers.”

George and I have an appointment next week to meet our OB/GYN, who is the backup for our midwife. He’ll do the 19/20-week ultrasound, answer some questions and chat for a bit.

George and I have not decided if we will find out the gender… we will probably wait until we’re in the waiting room to decide if we’re finding out. I think this “to know or not to know” surfaced last night in my dream.

George and I were in a doctor’s office, waiting to have our ultrasound. There were 5-6 couples in the room with us, the large PG women all lying on exam tables with their husbands holding their hands. The technicians came in and started a machine, and next to each couple a little platform appeared with a 3-D holographic image of their baby. One was crawling, already diapered; one had long dark curls pinned back with little pink barrettes.

Then we saw ours. Only there wasn’t one; there were three! And one was dead, looking small, naked, hairless, emaciated, with its little hands tied behind its back… as if its siblings had executed it. Then we saw the other two, similar in shape, but something was wrong… they were conjoined at the side, like the famous Siamese twins, Chang and Eng. Bald and drawn, they looked like small mummies excavated from an ancient burial ground in Nepal.

I stared at the picture before me, and the technician said, “from the looks of it, they can easily be separated once they are born.” Then the doctor told us they were girls, and the dead one was a boy.

By this time I was standing. I turned to George, wrapped my arms around his neck and sobbed. I woke myself up crying, reaching for George across the bed.

I hate these dreams.

17 Weeks

I hate pregnancy dreams.

I have had the worst dreams since getting PG. Some have been seriously violent, others terrifying.

I believe that dreams are expressions of the subconscious mind, and that they can reflect concerns and worries of day-to-day life just as much as random disjointed thoughts. I think last night’s dream was one of the “worriers.”

George and I have an appointment next week to meet our OB/GYN, who is the backup for our midwife. He’ll do the 19/20-week ultrasound, answer some questions and chat for a bit.

George and I have not decided if we will find out the gender… we will probably wait until we’re in the waiting room to decide if we’re finding out. I think this “to know or not to know” surfaced last night in my dream.

George and I were in a doctor’s office, waiting to have our ultrasound. There were 5-6 couples in the room with us, the large PG women all lying on exam tables with their husbands holding their hands. The technicians came in and started a machine, and next to each couple a little platform appeared with a 3-D holographic image of their baby. One was crawling, already diapered; one had long dark curls pinned back with little pink barrettes.

Then we saw ours. Only there wasn’t one; there were three! And one was dead, looking small, naked, hairless, emaciated, with its little hands tied behind its back… as if its siblings had executed it. Then we saw the other two, similar in shape, but something was wrong… they were conjoined at the side, like the famous Siamese twins, Chang and Eng. Bald and drawn, they looked like small mummies excavated from an ancient burial ground in Nepal.

I stared at the picture before me, and the technician said, “from the looks of it, they can easily be separated once they are born.” Then the doctor told us they were girls, and the dead one was a boy.

By this time I was standing. I turned to George, wrapped my arms around his neck and sobbed. I woke myself up crying, reaching for George across the bed.

I hate these dreams.

17 Weeks 4 Days

Someone told me that there is a website that will calculate your chances of having a boy or a girl, based on the responses you offer. Here are the surprising results.

You have a 50% chance of having a boy.
And you have a 50% chance of having a girl.

And Here’s Why…
You are carrying the extra weight out front, so it’s a boy.
The hair on your legs is not growing any faster during your preganacy, so it’s a girl.
Boys are carried low. You are going to have a boy.
Sleeping in a bed with your pillow to the north indicates that you will be having a boy.
Your feet are not colder than they were before pregnancy. You are having a girl.
You refuse to eat the heel of a loaf of bread. You are having a girl.
Dad-to-be hasn’t been gaining weight along with Mom-to-be, so it will be a girl.
The maternal grandmother doesn’t have gray hair (dyed or natural), so a girl will be born.
You had morning sickness early in pregnancy, so you are expecting a girl.
You are looking particularly good during pregnancy. Therefore, it must be a boy, because girls steal their mother’s looks.
Your chest development has been quite dramatic during pregnancy. You should expect a girl.
Since the sum of the mother’s age at conception and the number of the month of conception is even, it will be a boy.
Your urine is a bright neon yellow color, so you will have a boy.
You have a craving for salty or sour foods, which means that it is a boy.
Your nose hasn’t changed during pregnancy, which indicates a girl.
You have been craving fruits, so it is a girl.
Your baby’s heart rate is 140 or more beats per minute, so it’s a girl.
You must have orange juice every day, so it’s a girl.
You are having headaches, so it’s a boy.
Your belly looks like a basketball, so it’s a boy.
You show the back of your hand, so it’s a boy.
You use the handle, so it’s a boy.

Hmmm… imagine that, the chances are 50/50! Big surprise there.

17 Weeks 4 Days, Part II

Last night we went to see the Cleveland Orchestra perform at Blossom Music Center. The program was “Best of the Baroque” and included Telemann’s Trumpet Concerto. Bubs went crazy with the kicking; it was the first response s/he has made to sound. I think it’s a sign that George needs to start reading “Where The Wild Things Are” to my belly at bedtime.

We gave all of the maternity and baby clothes back to my sister-in-law, since she’s expecting again and we don’t have the room to store everything. We’re trying to work out how we’re going to move furniture around so as to finish drywalling, get the rooms organized and get rid of junk. I can’t believe how much stuff I’ve accumulated over the past 5 years… I remember the first time I moved out of my parent’s house, when everything fit inside the hatchback of my 1986 Dodge Omni.

I bought the first of the baby clothes this weekend. I picked up a 25-gallon Rubbermaid storage container and I’m keeping all of the baby clothes I get in it. Man, even on sale, those little Carter’s onesies are expensive — regularly $15 for a pack of 3, and I paid $8. It’s been eye-opening to see how much these little squares of cloth are.

We’re still on the fence regarding finding out the gender. One of our neighbors made a great point; if we find out the gender now, we can buy all of the baby’s clothes for next year on clearance. Bubs will be about 7 months old this time next year, so I could pick up lots of 6-8 months clearance summer clothes now… it’s tempting, but I don’t know. The more I think about it, the more I’m leaning towards finding out. George and I will have to discuss and decide before next Tuesday, which is “the big ultrasound” visit where we can find out the gender.

17 Weeks

8.7.2003
17 weeks

The basic prenatal workup has revealed that everything is A-OK, no protein in my urine, no diseases or problems to be concerned with. The only potential issue is that I’m RH negative, which only affects about 15% of the American population. George needs to have a blood test to determine if he’s RH- as well; if he’s RH+ and the baby is born RH+, then I need to have a RhoGam shot within 72 hours of the birth. If he’s RH-, then we’ll never have RH+ babies so nothing to worry about. Thank God this pregnancy has been so easy so far.

I can’t believe how much I’m feeling Bubs move. I’ve heard they tend to be quiet during the day and get active at night, but I’m feeling him/her moving a lot more than I expected. I admit I’m feeling more pregnant now that I’ve experienced “the quickening.” If I lay down on the bed, and I feel him/her start moving around, I poke my belly to see if s/he pokes back… which drives George crazy! He thinks I’m going to hurt the baby, poke it in its eye or something.

We’ve been trying to get out of the habit of calling the baby “him” since there’s a 50/50 chance “he” is a “she.” I haven’t for a minute thought it’s a she, but that could be wishful thinking. You know, that whole “having the boy first” Neandertal mentality that I haven’t quite worked through yet. A secret part of me would love a little girl with curly red hair and blue eyes and fair skin like her father; the other part wants the blue-eyed, dark-blonde boy. I don’t really want to find out the gender, but George is on the fence. We have a few weeks to decide if we want to find out at the 19/20-week ultrasound. Either way, we’ll probably keep it a secret.

16 Weeks 6 Days

The basic prenatal workup has revealed that everything is A-OK, no protein in my urine, no diseases or problems to be concerned with. The only potential issue is that I’m RH negative, which only affects about 15% of the American population. George needs to have a blood test to determine if he’s RH- as well; if he’s RH+ and the baby is born RH+, then I need to have a RhoGam shot within 72 hours of the birth. If he’s RH-, then we’ll never have RH+ babies so nothing to worry about. Thank God this pregnancy has been so easy so far.

I can’t believe how much I’m feeling Bubs move. I’ve heard they tend to be quiet during the day and get active at night, but I’m feeling him/her moving a lot more than I expected. I admit I’m feeling more pregnant now that I’ve experienced “the quickening.” If I lay down on the bed, and I feel him/her start moving around, I poke my belly to see if s/he pokes back… which drives George crazy! He thinks I’m going to hurt the baby, poke it in its eye or something.

We’ve been trying to get out of the habit of calling the baby “him” since there’s a 50/50 chance “he” is a “she.” I haven’t for a minute thought it’s a she, but that could be wishful thinking. You know, that whole “having the boy first” Neandertal mentality that I haven’t quite worked through yet. A secret part of me would love a little girl with curly red hair and blue eyes and fair skin like her father; the other part wants the blue-eyed, dark-blonde boy. I don’t really want to find out the gender, but George is on the fence. We have a few weeks to decide if we want to find out at the 19/20-week ultrasound. Either way, we’ll probably keep it a secret.

16 weeks 5 days

We had our first midwife appointment at 11 weeks and everything appears to be fine. She couldn’t find the heartbeat with the Doppler, so she fired up the ultrasound machine and we got a couple of shots of Bubs. From the ultrasound, s/he looks “advanced” by about a week, and so at 11 wks s/he looked to be 12 wks along. Based on the u/s she changed my EDD from 1/15/04 to 12/30/03. We may have a tax deduction yet!

George told the sisters and brothers (well, the 6 that attended the meeting) that we’re PG, and all hell broke loose. They are so excited for us, I’m really looking forward to all of the help/advice that they can share. Between the 6 sisters, 5 are married and have a total of 17 kids between them.

We just found out that my SIL is PG, about 7 weeks behind me. Yay, Bubs will have at least one cousin that is the same age!

I felt the first real obvious movement Tuesday night. (Before that, I figured it was probably the baby, but always psyched myself into thinking it was gas. Not a stretch, believe me.) Just shy of midnight, and almost asleep, lying on my left side (better circulation) with George’s arm over me. I felt this sudden movement, like a minnow trying to swim upstream. Jolted me right awake.

“Whoah!” I said. George mumbled an acknowledgement into my back.

“I just felt the baby move!”

“Mm-hmm, that’s nice, go to sleep.”

The midwife said that babies tend to find a spot that they like and stay there; ususally she can find the heartbeat fairly quickly, since they’re usually in the same spot. Which appears to be my lower right abdomen, from the activity.

S/he’s been active today as well. Little flip-flops in my lower belly. It feels quiet and secret, like only I am supposed to know. Amazing, this process called creating a life.