Monday, October 26, 2009

Happy Birthday Jareth Grae Anderson!

Jareth was born Monday, October 19th at 3:15pm. He weighed 7lbs 15 oz and was 20 1/2 in.

I had a great experience with labor and delivery! Jon and I were up at 4:30 am to get ready for my 6:00 am induction. We had to call the hospital before leaving to make sure they had room for us. When they said we could go in I let out a big "Woohoo!!" and the nurse on the other end laughed. I was so ready to meet my little boy that day and was preparing for disappointment. So on our way we went to Parkwest Hospital. When we got there we met our nurse and she took us to our room. After we got settled in I was given IV fluids for an hour before they called in the doctor to start my pitocin. At 8:11 my water was broken and the pit was started. When my water broke there was a pretty big gush. Each time I moved more leaked out. With all the fluids I had been given I needed to go to the bathroom. After I felt safe enough to get up without too much leaking Jon started to help me to the bathroom. As soon as I lifted my body what felt like a gallon of fluid gushed out of me. It went everywhere! The bed was soaked, the floor, my gown... It was crazy the amount of amniotic fluid I had in my belly.
Other than Jon, my parents, and our friends Mike and Erin were there for the entire process. After my water broke and the pit started my contractions began. Everyone had fun watching the monitor and telling me when to expect each contraction. By 9:00 they were coming on pretty strong. When I had gotten to the hospital I was 4cm dilated and by 10:30 I was at 6! That was when I requested the epidural. I'm glad that I got to feel the contractions for a while, I didn't want to miss out on anything. But, the pain got to be too much and at one point I told Jon we weren't having anymore children. So Dr. Tate, my anesthesiologist, came in to do my epi. I had been told that you can't feel the epidural being placed. Well I did! I could feel the tube going in my back and I could feel the medicine going through the tube. It hurt; it hurt pretty bad. After it was placed, my left side went completely numb. It took a couple of minutes for my right side to catch up. Then I felt no pain. It was wonderful. I could feel my uterus get hard when I contracted and I could feel the baby move so I was able to tell what was going. That was nice.

An hour later nurse Amanda checked me again and said that I was 9 cm and that we could start practice pushing. We did several practice pushes and finally she said "Well his hair is delivered!" I looked up at Jon and he had the biggest smile on his face. He was a great coach. He reminded me to breathe and keep my chin to my chest and coached me on how to push. I don't know what I would have done without him. After a couple more pushes the nurse asked me to stop and called the doctor. Other nurses filled the room and it went from a labor room to a delivery room in about 5 seconds. Dr. Walker arrived at 2:50 and I began pushing again. As Jareth's head was birthed the Doctor made me stop because the cord was pretty tight around his neck. She had to clamp and cut it before we could deliver the rest of his body. Also I had to have an episiotomy. I didn't feel anything but I heard two big "pops" and all of the sudden Jareth's body slid out. I have to say I honestly felt nothing, no pain from pushing or from the episotomy. It was amazing. I really enjoyed the entire experience.

As soon as Jareth arrived he was placed on my chest and I was in awe. I couldn't believe he was ours. They rubbed him down and he just sort of wimpered and never really cried. The doctor called him the "zen baby" and said he was relaxed because we were. Jon was so excited. He had the biggest grin on his face the entire time. After poking and proding him, Jareth was wrapped up and given to me. We just stared at him. Finally, I let Jon hold his son : ) He was one proud papa! About 45 minutes later I was able to breastfeed. Jareth did great his first feeding. I was so proud and so pleased with the way everything had gone. It was a perfect day.

a comic strip!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

4 cm and 100%

Today at my weekly appointment I found out that I am 4cm dilated and 100% effaced. Last week I was at 2 and 80. Hopefully this means that within the next few days I will go into labor. If not, then on Monday they want to induce me. I have mixed feelings about the induction. I have wanted to labor and deliver naturally since the beginning. I have educated myself on the risks and benifits of an induction and epidural and decided that the best way to go would be au naturale. Now it seems that my body and baby are ready but there is something keeping me from contracting regularly. Induction is extremely tempting. I can prepare fully for labor and delivery, my family and friends can make preparations to come to town, and it is a relief to now that he is really coming and soon. But do these advantages outweigh the risks associated with induction? On one hand, with an induction I risk not only a prolonged labor but a harder labor with more severe contractions. If the induction doesn't work I could end up having a c-section. On the other hand the induction could go smoothly and make labor go faster. Many women have great experiences with inductions. So what am I going to do? Well, I was told that there is a good chance that I will go into labor within the next few days. Emotionally and physically I feel like I can't go on much longer with the pregnancy. It is just getting very hard on me. So I am going to schedule the induction for Monday hoping that I will go into labor before then. I hope I am making the right choice for Jareth and myself. Part of me feels a little selfish for going ahead with the induction but I also feel a great sense of relief to know that he is coming soon.

Monday, October 12, 2009

10 Days To Go.... A Few Mixed Feelings

There are only ten days to go until Jareth's due date! And although I am extremely excited I think this next week and a half (or however long it takes him to make his appearance) will be fairly emotional. Mostly I am anxious to get him here but the thought has occured to me that I am going to miss pregnancy. Its so amazing to carry a life inside your own body. It's completely up to me to nourish, warm, and protect him. I get a little teary eyed at the thought of not feeling him move and squirm in my belly. It is a very intimate relationship we have right now and soon I will have to share him with the world. I waited what seemed like forever to get pregnant again and although I can't say that this pregnancy has flown by, I can't believe that within days I will be holding my little boy. So, I am going to try to be patient and let Jareth come when he and my body decide it is time.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


"Everything is going to change!" This exclamation is one of the most popular given to those expecting by those who already have children. However, when people tell you this you generally assume that they mean your life is going to change when the baby gets here. And by "life" you think that they mean your daily rituals and your relationships between yourself and your friends and family. But I have found that this merely scratches the surface. Allow me clarify by changing that exclamation to the following: "From the moment you find out that you are pregnant not only does your life change, but also does your mind, body and spirit and the views you have painstakingly constructed about the world around you." Too deep and ominous? Okay, fine. I will just try to stick to the part about the amazing alteration your body goes through as I have experienced it. : )

Pregnancy has changed every understanding and comfortable reliablilty that I have acquired about my body in the past 24 years. In the first trimester late nights out with friends ceased and I became highly conscious of my eating habits as instructed by my OB. We got to see our baby at just 5 weeks 5 days gestation by ultrasound yet his presence was surreal. It wasn't until I looked in the mirror one day and saw the soft curve of my lower abdomen and began to tear up with a smile on my face that I accepted the fact that this was really happening. Then I began a slow losing battle with my favorite pair of jeans.

In the second trimester my body started to change dramatically. This not only caused self consciousness with every inch gained but also pure amazement at the fact that it was solely up to me to nurture and grow the new life that Jon and I had created in my womb. My physical body began to alter but so did the relationship I had been accustomed to between my body and pyche. Upon the realization that there really is a human life growing inside of me the internalizations I had about my body changed dramatically. I very quickly began to idolize my stomach; obsessing over it, admiring it, willing to protect it at all costs. At about 16 weeks I began to actually feel the importance of what my body was doing with each butterfly movement. And that importance grew quickly with each kick, roll, and hiccup that got stronger every week.

Then as I started to understand my body again, the third trimester snuck up on me. I discovered that I could no longer do the things that I was used to doing with ease. For example those yoga poses that I had relied on to keep my thighs from growing to gigantic proportions, finding a comfortable position to sleep at night, or perhaps simply painting my toe nails without getting the paint all over my feet. Now I have finally reached the final month and the excitment from the realization that I will soon get to hold and see the precious baby that, with God's help, Jon and I created is overwhelming. However, my body has become my personal enemy resisting any resemblence of normalcy. The ninth month should be in a category all of its own. Sleepless nights with constant back ache and days of seemingling ceaseless cramping alternate with those of energy bursts and fixating on whether or not the house is baby ready. My stomach has grown to gigantic proportions and feels at any moment that it is going to burst open on its own. My muscles have foresaken me and something as simple as getting into the car has become an ordeal. The child that I have been carefully nurturing in my womb for the past 37 weeks is head butting my cervix while kicking my ribs at the same time. And to top it all off, my uterus contracts involuntarily sending me into fits of pain but at the same time excitement that this may be it; I may be in labor and will get to have my baby soon! But then all of the sudden it stops and I start yet another week of waiting.

Everything I thought I knew about my body ceased to exist the moment the nurse came into the room and told us that I was pregnant. My body has changed immensly over the past nine months and I have a new found respect for it. Everything has changed and will continue to change and I'm sure that with my next pregnancy I will learn even more and all that I think I know now will be quite irrevelent and laughable. Good thing I'm open to change.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Full Term and Oh So Ready!

It is finally October and we are 37 weeks along today which is considered full term! That means Jareth's little body has matured enough to leave the watery world he is has lived in since January. And his mom couldn't be happier! Bring on the pineapple, spicy food, accupressure, long walks, and lovin'! I haven't been experiencing as many contractions lately so I am a little worried that at tomorrow's appointment they will tell me I'm still at 2 cm. Right now my worst fear is getting stuck at 2 and not getting to have him for three more weeks.
Last night we put the carrier in the car and packed a few more items in the hospital bag. We pre-registered at the hospital on Tuesday, filling out all of our paper work and discussing our birthing options. I'm still really wanting a natural labor and delivery. Hopefully I will be able to do it. Everything is set up and ready for Jareth's arrival. All that we need to do is keep the house clean and keep the pantry stocked. We are ready for you, Jareth!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Moving Right Along!

After my appointment on Tuesday, the doctor realized she forgot to do my group b strep test. So, she asked me to come back in on Friday. After she did the test she checked me again for dilation. I was 2 cm dilated and 70% effaced! Dr. Walker predicted that little Jareth will be here in 10-14 days! She said she would be suprised if I go longer than two weeks. Maybe the October 4th Harvest moon will help things along. I go back to the doctor on Friday the 2nd and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'm still progressing. My fear now is getting stuck at 2 cm for the next couple of weeks. I am so ready for him to come!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Things are Starting to Happen!

At my weekly appointment I found out that I am one centimeter dilated! Now, it will still be a little while before Jareth makes his debut. He needs another week or two to gain some weight and to let his lungs mature, but it is exciting to know that things are happening and I am getting closer to seeing his little face. I have been having a ton of BH contractions lately along with some "stabbing" pains down low. The doctor says that these discomforts are helping me dilate and efface so I suppose I will take them. : ) Jareth has been extremely active this week. Either he sleeps when I do or he doesn't sleep at all. He is constantly rolling, kicking, punching, hiccuping and stretching. It is really funny to watch my belly bounce around. Also, he is estimated to be 5 1/2 to 6 lbs right now and will gain about a 1/2 lb per week from here on out. We are so excited!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Ways to Help Induce Labor

At about 36 weeks of pregnancy I have found myself secretly thinking about how to induce labor. Yes, I am at that point where I really want him out. Ive enjoyed pregnancy but geeez it is getting rough. After a lot of discussion with other women and of course the magical world of google, I have found some interesting ways to self start your own labor.

The most popular answer I have gotten is sex. Many moms swear that sex is what brought on their labor pains. Second comes walking. Apparently walking is supposed to help push the baby down onto the cervix causing contractions and dilatation.

Here are some other answers I have gotten:

1. Eating a Labor Cake is supposed to start labor within 48 hours. Its Devil's Food Cake, chocolate chips, chocolate pudding mix, and chocolate frosting. ( I made one because it just sounded awesome)
2. Eating spicy food is supposed to help by not only getting your bowels moving which can cause contractions but also your little one because he can taste the spiciness in the amniotic fluid. However, this can cause angry heartburn.
3. Taking a spoon full of castor oil is the yuckiest way to supposedly bring on labor. It gets your bowels moving in a major way. I wouldn't recommend this, Ive heard of cases of explosive diarrhea and no one, especially not a pregnant woman, wants that.
4. Inserting a primrose oil capsule into the vagina is supposed to soften the cervix causing it to dilate.
5. Eating pineapple is supposed to help, although I'm not sure why.
6. Doing squats opens the pelvis and encourages dilation by stretching out the cervix.

I would be willing to try a few of those, but not all of them. I try my best to stay away from heartburn and diarrhea. Yuck. I guess this baby will come eventually and I just have to be patient. But I am so ready for him to make his appearance.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Belly Measurement, Oh Lord

So, I just measured my tummy. It is 43 inches around. Yes you heard me right, 43 inches. Thats over a yard. Jon's waist is a 32. Mine used to be a 29. I just had to share.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I Don't Feel Like Doing Anything!!

Only five weeks to go and still so much to do! But do I have the energy to do it all? For the last week and a half I have been sick so any energy that I did have, which wasn't much to start with, has been utterly depleted. All I want to do is sleep, eat, and take bubble baths. Okay, maybe I'm just having a rough day. After I get to feeling better I will feel like doing all the things that need to be done, right? Wishful thinking? I still have several more weeks to get the things done that I need to. Maybe if I tackle one chore each day everything will get done on time. Jon is doing a lot around the house. But I hate to let him do everything by himself. He works so hard and I think I have gotten him sick as well. He has been absolutely amazing. I fell asleep the other day on the couch and when I woke up he was doing laundry and the kitchen was spotless. I assume most men would have used that time to watch tv, play on the computer, or what not, but Jon was great and got things done. I'm a lucky woman.
Okay, its naptime now. Maybe I will get around to a couple of chores later. Today's goals: straightening up the bonus room and cleaning our bedroom

Friday, September 4, 2009

Apparently Sleep Doesn't Exist in the Third Trimester

The night before last was, well, ridiculous. Between the lying down at 10:00 pm and Jon leaving at 7:00 am I was able to get a entire two hours of sleep. My stomach feels like it weighs the full 30 lbs that I have gained all on its own, my back hurts, the heartburn is unbearable, and Jareth likes to sleep during the day and exercise all night. The only sleep I got during the night was in the guest room, which has a firmer mattress, for two hours and then the alarm clock went off. After Jon left for work I gave in and took a benedryl allowing me to sleep from about 8:00 to 11:00.
Last night I felt exhausted as soon as I hit the pillow and actually fell asleep fairly quickly. However, I woke up after an hour and a half with a stretching pain in my lower abdomen and my hips were aching (time to grown again!). This time I went straight to the guest room, after a trip to the bathroom of course, and fell right to sleep. I slept through the night. The firmer mattress seems to help I think that I am officially in the guest room now. Sorry Jon, this momma needs her sleep!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Doctor's Appt

I went to the doctor yesterday for my 33 week check up. My blood pressure was a nice 100/62 and I have gained 31 lbs. I do have another infection, there was a lot of blood in my urine. So I will be back on antibiotics to keep the infection from causing pre-term labor. After the baby is born the doctor wants me to see a urologist. Other than that, everything is going well. Jareth's heartbeat was great and I am measuring perfectly. Last night he was very active. He is lying on his side, the left side of my stomach, and punching and kicking my right side. We could feel his little hands pressing against my lower side. 49 days to go!

Belly Gazing

We had our maternity photos done Friday night in Franklin, TN. The ever so talented and lovely Kate Crafton met us at the Aloft Hotel by the Cool Springs Galleria. The hotel's modern architecture and hip furnishings made for a very cool backdrop to the photos. After taking a ton of photos at the hotel we went to a field close by. Here are some of the photos from the shoot. Kate had them up on her blog just a few days later! This was our third experience with Kate Crafton. We met her at our friends wedding last year where she asked us to model for a workshop she was doing a few months later. The workshop was a blast and we got some amazing pictures out of it. We have grown to love Kate, not only for her fantastic photography but also for her fun personality and candidness. We definitely plan to keep using her in the future!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Choosing Jareth's name

When we tell people what we are naming our son the response is generally a raised brow followed by a pause waiting for us to further explain our choice. Older people especially seem to be turned off by the name. I don't know how many times I have been told that he will be called Jared or Jarett all of his life. One person even said that the name sounded like a lisp. Younger people warm up to it quickly and of course for most of our family members the name sounds natural now. There have only been a small handfull of people who when I say "Jareth" know exactly where we got the name from and get excited about it.
Some may laugh but I initially fell in love with the name Jareth when I watched the movie Labyrinth. David Bowie plays the part of Jareth, the "goblin king," in this 1986 dark, family film. In the film a 15-year-old girl (played by Jennifer Connelly) wishes her baby brother away to the Goblin King Jareth who will keep him forever if she does not complete his Labyrinth within 13 hours. It was directed by Jim Hensen and the majority of the film's characters are puppets. If you haven't seen Labyrinth, I highly recommend it. David Bowie is fabulous.
Okay, back to choosing Jareth as our son's name. Jonathan told me in highschool that he wanted to give his son the initials JGA. These initials are shared by Jon, his brother, and a few of his cousins. I thought of the name Jareth immediately and he thought it was cool. The middle name, Grae, was just pulled out of Jon's head. He chose the name and the spelling. We kept this name in the back of our minds for several years.
Another name we considered for our little boy was Thomas Jettie. My grandmother's name was Tommie Jean and Jon's grandfather's name was Jettie Clinton. I was very close to my grandmother and wanted to name my child for her and Jon wanted to do the same out of respect for his grandfather. When we told our family's that we were thinking of this name we got mixed reviews. Jon's grandmother said she never liked the name Jettie (which made us laugh) and my sister named her son Thomas after his father. So we were torn. One name was already being used and the other wasn't liked by the one person who we felt we were choosing this name for. So, we pulled Jareth Grae back out of the hat.
After we chose the name Jareth I was interested in what the name meant. I have only been able to find Jareth in two places. Both say it is an invented name (but aren't they all?). One said that it is a blend of Jarah and Gareth. Jarah meaning "God gives sweetness" and was a decendant of Jonathan, son of King Saul. Gareth means "gentleness" and was the name of one of the knights of King Arthur's round table who was noted for his bravery. Perfect!
I do still plan to name a child after my grandmother. Whether we have a boy or a girl we will use a part of her name for our next child. If it is a boy his name may be Thomas or maybe even Campbell and if it is a girl, her middle name will be Jean.

Friday, August 14, 2009

10 Weeks To Go!

I have been pregnant for 30 weeks and one day. That is 211 days or roughly 7 1/2 months of being pregnant so far. That is a long time. Just think, if I were a cat I would have had my baby months ago. They only have to be pregnant for about 9 weeks! Although I suppose I would be having a litter and I don't think I could handle more than two babies in me at a time. So, I guess I'm thankful I am human. I mean, at least I'm not an elephant. I would have 15 more months to go!
There is really a weight lifted off my shoulders now that I know the end is near. My anxiety over whether he will be healthy and thrive is long gone and now I look forward to being a mother. I have loved being pregnant and feel blessed to have had such an amazing experience, but I am ready to have little Jareth in my arms. I'm ready to see his face, touch his skin, and hear his voice.
I have been asked if I am worried about the delivery by several people. I have to say that I'm really not, at least not yet. I mean of course I would hate for anything to go wrong and the thought of a cesarean section or even a perinea tear isn't pleasant, but I don't have any sort of overwhelming anxiety about childbirth. Any worry I have about having a baby is financial. But even then, we have always made it and I know we always will. God has always blessed my marriage and I have faith that he will continue to do so.
So, what am I going to do to keep myself busy over the next 10 weeks? Well I have four small weekend trips scheduled to Rainsville, Cookeville, Nashville, and Athens to see family and have baby showers. After that I plan to rest and get things done around the house in preperation for Jareth's arrival. I'm hoping the next several weeks go by quickly!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

"Natural Childbirth?!" "Are You Crazy?!" Apparently So

Warning: The majority of this blog is educational and not as fun as some of the others I've posted

“Who is planning on getting an epidural?” asks the childbirth class instructor. Of about twelve, all but three couples raise their hands. Jon and I are included in these three.

I’ve been asked by my friends, family, and even complete strangers whether or not I will be using “drugs” during labor and delivery. At first my reply was a firm “No, I’ve decided to have a natural birth.” These are the responses I have gotten:
“Just wait, you will be screaming for that epidural!”
“Things may not go as planned and you may not have a choice.”
“Don’t have your heart set on it, you never know what’s going to happen!”
I have even gotten the “oh but honey, you are too small” speech
Needless to say, support has been minimal. Generally I smile and nod in agreement. I have found that changing my answer to “Hopefully, I will be able to have a natural birth” or “I would like to try a natural birth” gets a better response. I don’t go into all the reasons why I have chosen to have a natural birth. Most people don’t want to hear it. So, stop here if that’s you!
In my first trimester Jon and I were told to watch the documentary, “The Business of Being Born.” It compares and contrasts natural birth at home and medically assisted birth in a hospital. It offers a glimpse into a world of childbirth that I for one had never seen. And as you probably guessed, it favors natural childbirth and the at home childbirth experience. I suggest this documentary to anyone who plans to have children. Even if you don’t agree with their ideas it never hurts to educate yourself on alternative methods of childbirth. It changed mine and my husband’s feelings greatly.
It seems that there are numerous ways to give birth, all of them very different but none necessarily better than the other. It really depends on what you are most comfortable with. In the US the most popular way to give birth is in a hospital under the care of an obstetrician and nursing staff. The second is again in a hospital but under the care of a midwife. The third most popular is giving birth with the help of a midwife in a birthing center and the fourth is doing so, again with a midwife, in your own home.
Many people say that giving birth in a hospital is the safest way to go incase complications arise. Others choose to do so, so that they can receive an epidural or other drugs. In most cases, a birthing center is not equipped to administer most systemic or regional anesthetics and in the case of an emergency an ambulance must be called to take you to a hospital. The argument in favor of the birthing center and/or at home delivery is that the birthing experience is more pleasurable. Also it is viewed that an obstetrician, who is a surgeon, is not needed in normal labor and delivery. In a birthing center or at home, your experience is completely up to you whereas a hospital may have policies about things such as IVs, water births, who can attend the birth, who can “catch” the baby, what you can eat during labor, and etc. However, it is important to note that these policies are put into place to protect you and your baby.
Jon and I have chosen to have our baby under the care of my obstetrician/gynecologist in a hospital. I have never given birth before and feel that I will be more relaxed in a setting that is equipped to handle complications should they arise. That said I probably would have opted for a midwife if my doctor’s office had one on staff. I think using a midwife in a hospital is ideal because you have someone more geared toward natural delivery but if need be a doctor can step in at any time.
I have done a lot of research on the assistance of medications and anesthetics during childbirth as forms of pain management. After a lot of consideration we have chosen to make the experience as natural as we can within the walls of a hospital. In our minds the disadvantages outweigh the advantages of medicinal intervention and we would prefer to steer clear of the problems that can arise out of medications and anesthesia.
I have found that there are seven types of drugs that can be used when it comes to managing your pain during childbirth. They are under two categories; systemic medications and regional anesthesia. Each has advantages and disadvantages.
Systemic medications include narcotics, tranquilizers, and sedatives. They are given orally or intravenously and affect your whole body. They can also affect your baby and must be given at the appropriate time with an appropriate dose depending on the progression of labor. These medications include; Demerol, Nubain, Stadol, Phenergan, Vistaril, and Seconal. Advantages of these include; increase of pain tolerance, increase in ability to relax, decreased anxiety, alleviate nausea, and may be used to stop false labor. Disadvantages include; sedation, drowsiness, decrease or increase in speed of labor, respiratory and neurological problems in the baby, and they offer relatively no pain relief.
Regional anesthetics are administered to the lower part of the back or into the lower birth canal. They block nerve impulses that transmit pain. They include local anesthetics, pudendal block, epidural, and spinal epidural. Each is administered through injection or intravenous line. Pudendal block is administered by an injection into the vaginal wall and is used when forceps are needed or during an episiotomy. A spinal epidural is used when a cesarean is necessary. Advantages include; pain relief with no sedation, little effect to baby, and increase in ability to relax. Disadvantages include; not effective in some patients (15%), does not necessarily block discomfort of contractions, may decrease mother’s blood pressure, decreases ability to push, may prolong labor, confinement to bed, and rare nerve damage. Other side effects of epidurals include headache after delivery, loss of consciousness if needle is misplaced, and toxic reaction. However, epidural anesthesia is the most common use of medical pain management and is considered safe and excellent for those women who require considerable pain relief during labor.
The alternative to medical pain management is natural labor. Coping mechanisms for pain include relaxation techniques. Body awareness, distraction, slow and paced breathing, massage, meditations, guided imagery, and water/warmth remedy are combined to help manage pain. The advantage of natural labor is clear. You don’t risk the problems associated with medicinal intervention and you are in control of your own body. The mother can feel when to push, she is alert and mobile, at birth the baby is more alert and latches more easily to the breast, and there is no need to reverse or wait out the effects of anesthesia. If you have pain medication during labor, after it has worn off you will be just as sore as the woman who had a natural birth. There are of course disadvantages to natural labor. These include; exhaustion due to pain which can prolong labor, emergency anesthesia if a complication arises and there is need to perform a cesarean or use forceps, and possible dehydration if an IV isn’t administered.
With all of this knowledge and more we really want to have a natural childbirth experience. I like to think that our views are balanced. We understand and respect the arguments and issues of both sides of the spectrum. Each woman’s pregnancy is different just as each childbirth experience is and there is no right or wrong as long as the baby’s and the mother’s best interests are at heart. But here are the facts and our personal reasons for choosing the way we have. Maybe I should print this out and carry it with me. Each time I’m asked whether we are getting drugs or not I could just hand this out.
: o)

Monday, August 10, 2009

A Few Items

I thought I would share pics of a few of the items we have for Jareth. :o)

His take home outfit and blankets. Its hard to tell but the hat has matching argyle on it.

Two of my diaper bags

The door wreath for the hospital door, we plan to put Jareth's birthday stats on the lion

Jareth's bouncer

Can't wait to get him in his little bath!

We are UT fans. And this isn't all of it!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Something Sweet

Jareth has been very active the past couple of days and yesterday the sweetest thing happened. He rolled in my stomach putting his entire back out front and pushed so hard that I could feel him top to bottom. Using my fingers I traced up and down his back and gently rubbed him. He stayed there for about a minute and then rolled away. his back seemed to be about the size of my hand. :O)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

My Birth Plan

My OB encourages her patients to come up with birth plans which layout how they would like to see their labor and delivery go.

The Birth Plan of Heather Anderson
I understand that some or all of my wishes may not be met either due to hospital policy, complications with the labor and delivery, or complications with the baby. However, I hope to have a non-induced, vaginal delivery without the use of an epidural, narcotics, or an IV line. I wish to have skin-to-skin contact with my baby as soon as he is delivered and wish to breastfeed exclusively.

During Labor
If possible and there is no threat of a Cesarean Section, I would like to stay hydrated by being allowed to drink/eat ice chips during labor
I prefer not to have my labor augmented unless it is medically necessary
I would like for my baby's heart to be monitored intermittently so that I may be mobile
I only want pain medication if I request it and do not want it offered it to me
I do not wish to be administered pitocin
I am prepared to manage my pain using breathing techniques, massage, and hot and cold compresses.
During the first stage of labor I would like to use the Jacuzzi tub offered by the hospital.

During Delivery
I would like my spouse Jonathan, my mother Lisa Snell, and my aunt Dana Campbell to be in the room during the delivery with my spouse as my primary support person.
I prefer the use of perinea massage, warm compresses, and positioning instead of an episiotomy and only wish to have one performed as a last result. Use of local anesthetic is okay.
When pushing, I'd like to be semi-reclining, using people for leg support. Also, I would like to be directed by my doctor as to when I should push and for how long.
If a cesarean becomes necessary I would like to be conscious with my partner with me at all times. If possible I would like to watch the baby come out. When he is born I would like to be able to see him as soon as possible.

After the Delivery
I prefer to have the baby placed on my chest as soon as he is born, before eye antibiotic is applied and be suctioned and rubbed down while he is with me
My spouse would like to cut the umbilical cord after it has stopped pulsing
I wish to bond with my baby using skin to skin contact as soon and as much as possible
I would like someone other than my spouse to deliver the news that the baby has been born to awaiting guests so that he may remain with me and the baby
I would like my baby's medical exam to be performed in my presence after I have had the chance to hold him
I wish to breastfeed as soon as possible after he is born
I want my baby circumcised with the use of a local anesthetic and if possible in my spouse's presence
I would like family members to be permitted into my room upon my request and only a few at a time after delivery

I plan to exclusively breastfeed my baby and would appreciate the help of a lactation specialist
Please do not offer my baby any of the following unless it is medically necessary:
Bottle Formula Sugar water Pacifier
I'd like my baby to be in my room 24 hours unless I ask for him to be taken out so that I can rest

If my baby is not well, it is important to us that:
My spouse accompany the baby to the NICU or another facility and be allowed to visit him often
While he is in the NICU I wish to breastfeed or provide expressed breast milk
Thank you so much for your care and support!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Sleepless Nights

Like most pregnant women, the farther along I get in pregnancy the harder it is for me to sleep at night. I can be exhausted at the end of the day but as soon as I kiss Jon and turn out the light I start a battle with my body that I cannot possibly win. This is what I go through most nights: First I struggle to find a comfortable position. I have found it increasingly hard to breathe when I lie down. It feels like a weight has been put on my chest and I get a tingly feeling in my head and arms. I try different positions, left side, right side, even my back (which I'm not supposed to do) and I prop my self up with pillows into a sitting position. But nothing seems to help. It doesn't seem to be bothering Jareth though because at this time he is doing his nightly workout. After about an hour or two of huffing and puffing I find a position somewhat suitable and close my eyes. As soon as I let my body relax my legs start to ache. My calf muscles tighten up and my legs start to jump. Much like restless legs syndrom, my legs make me feel that I need to get up and walk around. Although I stretch my legs before bed I have to get up from my finally comfortable spot and stretch them again. And since I'm up I take a bathroom break. By now I'm about three hours in. After stretching I lie back down, find a comfortable position, and start off to dream land. I sleep for a couple of hours and it hits me hard and fast. If I don't get up immediately I am going to pee all over the bed. All that preventative water drinking I do to keep my legs from cramping sneaks up on me at night. I use the bathroom about every hour and a half to two hours. I can't help but wonder if my body is preparing me for the multiple times I am going to have to get up at night once the baby is here.
You may ask "What is Jon doing during all this activity?" He is sleeping like a baby. He is clueless about what is going on until he gets up in the morning and notices that things aren't in the same place as they were before he went to bed. He is highly sympathetic and has gotten up several times to support me, but if it weren't for my shaking him awake he would sleep right through it. I have always been jealous of his ability to sleep so soundly. Even before the pregnancy I had a hard time falling asleep at night. But with Jon, as soon as the lights are out he is in dreamland. I have literally taken a sip of water, turned off the lamp, and rolled over to talk to him only to find him completely out. He must be a man with a pretty clear conscience because when he lays down his blonde head and closes his blue eyes his brain shuts down and keeps anything from entering it. I find it annoying and adorable at the same time. Although lately, it's more annoying than adorable.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Packing for Labor and Delivery

With all of these lovely Braxton Hicks (practice) contractions I've been having I've started to think about what I need to pack for the hospital. I've looked at several lists online and asked other mommies what they thought and compiled a list of my own. Here is what I have listed so far.

I plan to take two bags along with the computer bag, my medium size baby bag for all of Jareth's things and an over sized bag for mine and Jon's.

1. Computer for music and down time if labor is very long
2. Camera and Video Recorder
3. Snacks for Jon and hard candy for me
4. Bathing suit top in case I want to get in the tub
5. A robe for post delivery, extra socks, and flip flops
6. Toiletries such as toothbrush, paste, hair brush, makeup
7. Clothing for Jon including Swim trunks in case he needs to help me shower
8. Going home outfits for Jareth and myself
9. Extra pads
10. Nursing bra and nursing pads
11. Baby blanket so I don't have to take him home in a hospital blanket
12. Car Seat!!
13. A focal point such as a photo
14. The door hanger I made welcoming Jareth into the world
15. Oh, The Places You'll Go by Dr. Suess to read to him shortly after he is born
16. Something celebratory to pass out to those in attendance
17. Chapstick or lip balm because all that huffing and puffing dries your lips
18. A copy of my birthplan, although that may go completely out the window : )

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Our Baby Pool

Click here to join in our baby pool. Guess Jareth's birthday, birth weight, and more!

Heather 7 lbs 4 ozs 21 in Oct 19, 8:15 pm Knoxville TN I'm the mommy
Aunt Liz 6 lbs 0 ozs 19 in Oct 17, 2:00 am Atlanta GA I'm one of the aunts
eddie & peggy 7 lbs 1 ozs 19 in Oct 26, 5:46 pm smithville TN great great uncle and aunt!
Heather Spain 7 lbs 6 ozs 23 in Oct 31, 2:23 pm Knoxville TN I'm Aunt Heather! :)
Jonathan 7 lbs 7 ozs 21 in Oct 20, 3:19 pm Knoxville TN I'm the papa
Jeremy 7 lbs 8 ozs 21 in Oct 24, 7:06 am ATL Uncle Jeremy
Drew 7 lbs 2 ozs 18 in Oct 18, 6:18 pm charleston WV baby's ninja
Danyell Wilson 7 lbs 4 ozs 20 in Oct 30, 5:13 pm Chattanooga TN Godmother!!!
Lisa 7 lbs 0 ozs 20 in Oct 22, 12:00 am
Lisa Snell 7 lbs 4 ozs 20 in Oct 19, 4:00 am Englewood TN proud soon to be Mimi (grandma)
Ashley Morris 6 lbs 6 ozs 19 in Oct 23, 3:30 pm Knoxville TN Friend
Evelyn Belnap 7 lbs 3 ozs 21 in Oct 25, 10:25 pm Tia Evelyn
Erin Washam 7 lbs 2 ozs 21 in Oct 11, 4:00 pm Nashville TN baby's Nina (god mother)!
Roger 6 lbs 6 ozs 21 in Oct 29, 2:30 am Athens TN Grandpa
Sharon 7 lbs 2 ozs 15 in Oct 24, 8:00 am Athens TN Grandma
Faye 8 lbs 8 ozs 21 in Oct 10, 3:00 am Nashville TN Memaw

Your Child Isn't a Plaything: Modern Glamour Babies

photo by cristina mallet,

I used to be on a kick about piercing newborn babies ears.
My ideas on piercing is that it should be the child's choice and done at an age when they are able to learn to take care of their ears themselves. Plus it took nine long months to shape those precious little ears in your womb. Why put holes in them as soon as they come out? Well lately, I have found this argument to be triffling to say the least. Iv'e been faced with a new controversy...

Its starting younger and younger, the whole glamour child thing that is. Im talking about the Jonbenet Ramsy type little girls. We have all seen images of three and four year old girls in high heels, fake tans, big earrings, sequins, and too big hair strutting on stages in the provocative outfits their mothers have chosen for that week's beauty contest. Many of us have cringed at the bright pink lipstick, dark blue eyeshadow, and fake lashes donned by these tiny tots. Could it possibly get worse? Yes and sadly it has.

Don't get me wrong, I love a little glitter sometimes and have been known to go ga ga over little skirts with ribbons and sequins. However, I believe a little goes a long way. In my online shopping time for the baby I keep running across out-landish baby girl clothes. I recently stumbled upon a picture of a baby girl, not even one year old yet, in a bright pink tutu dress with sequined spaghetti straps, baby high-heels, and pearls and earrings hanging from her neck and ears. She also had a gigantic flower the size of my fist attached to her head. (and of course the site didn't allow me to copy the picture for you) I must wonder what this kid will be wearing by the time she hits kindergarten. If the little girl had, had on just one or two of these pieces it may not have struck me the way it did. A cute flowered headband with a simple, pretty dress would have done the trick. Or, perhaps the dress alone with little ballet flats would have been perfectly adorable. Instead I was left with this creepy feeling that Jonbenet (God rest her little soul) won't be alone for long in her tragedy.

Why are parents doing this to their little girls? Don't they realize that their sweet daughters look like hookers? I think even Dolly Parton, whom I love by the way, would be ashamed of this new baby girl fad. We are teaching these little girls that you have to fake it to be beautiful. I suppose stage makeup will soon be a thing of the past because it will be the norm. This is a bad habit to start, not to mention an expensive one.

I did some research on these glamorous baby items and they cost a pretty penny. These were the cheapest I could find:

Rinestone studded tutu at $56.99

Flower Headband at $18.00

Baby High Heels by Heelarious at $35.00

Baby's First Pearl Necklace at $40.00

Baby Hoop Earrings at $67.00

Grand total: $216.99

I found that tutu dresses range any where from $50-$300.

To see more visit:

Monday, July 27, 2009

Oh, That's Easy, I Can Do That! ... Wait, No I Can't

Over the weekend it hit me like a ton of bricks that I cannot do all the things that I'm used to. Jonathan and I kept my cousins, Kennady 6 and Logan 8, over the weekend. We took them to the park, to Wonderworks in Gatlinburg, and to the fountains and playgrounds at World's Fair Park. They are great kids and they have a lot of energy! When we went to Wonderworks the first thing they wanted to do was ride an earthquake similator. So we all get in line and then Jon points out that the sign says pregnant women can't ride. "Oh yeah, duh! I can't ride this thing. Talk about shaking baby syndrome!" I was the photographer. Well, there ended up being several things I couldn't do. I stood on the ground while they rock climbed, rode a rollercoaster similator, and also while Jon rode some thing that spun him upside down. It was fun watching them of course but I wanted in on the action! The next day we took them to World's Fair Park where they played in the water fountains and on the playground. They had a blast! I couldn't join in on the fountains afraid that I would slip and fall so I sat on a blanket under a tree while watching and shouting at them playfully. When they wanted to go to the playground I went with them and Jon stayed by the fountains. On the playground Kennady couldn't reach one of the handle bars on a piece of equipment. Logan could do it easily so she was getting frustrated. I went over to hoist her up and could barely get her off the ground. She is tiny and only weighs about 50 lbs and I couldn't pick her up well enough so that she could grab the handle bar. Pre-pregnancy I could have done this with ease. Actually about a month ago I could have done it with ease. Although I was a little bummed out by not getting to participate in some of the activities at Wonderworks and not being able to pick my six year old cousin up, it was easy to shrug the feeling of inadequacy off. I mean I'm pregnant. No woman in her third trimester is expected to do these things.
After the kids left on Sunday I decided to do some yoga before dinner. Jon sat on the couch with the computer and I sat in the floor. I hadn't done yoga for a while and was excited to start back. So, I pop in a pre-natal yoga dvd and get ready sitting cross-legged in Namaste. There were three women that I could follow. The first was the instructor, a non-pregnant twig of a woman named Sheva. The second was a woman in her second trimester named Britta. And the third was a woman in her third trimester named Poppy. (I just had to include their stereotypical hippy names) So they start and I am following the woman in her second trimester. It all starts out fine and I'm feeling good until we move to standing positions. Try balancing on one foot while stretching in your third trimester, its not a pretty sight. The women in her third trimester was using a chair so I decide to follow her. Using a chair for support I get into position. Everything is going fine. Then they move on to something else and I decide that it looks easy enough and slide the chair away following the second-tri girl again. And guess what. I couldn't do it. So, I grab the chair. Its still too hard and I hit fast-forward until I find something I think I can do. "Umm...No." Fast-forward.....Stop, Play...Fast-forward.... Finally I give up, sit on the floor and cry. Jon gets in the floor at that point and cuddles me to make me feel better. Then I fast-forward to the relaxation techniques at the end of the video.
After dinner I decide I want to take a bath. But I don't just want to take a bath, I want to take a bath with Jon. Well, I have your basic average sized tub. Without trying we knew that we no longer could fit in there together. So, I sat on the couch and cried. Jon was wonderful. He started the bath water and helped me in and then sat by the tub as I soaked. He washed my hair and talked to me until I was ready to get out. We went to bed and he lotioned my belly and talked to Jareth some. I felt much better. I decided not to push myself to do the things that I can no longer do and not to be so hard on myself. No one expects me to do these things and I shouldn't over-extend myself either. I will tackle yoga again, but with lesser expectations of myself.
Only a few more months to go!!! Though after he is here I will most likely complain that I miss being pregnant of course.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

For Fun: Old Wive's Tales and Gender Prediction

Apparently there are lots of Old Wive's Tales out there claiming to predict the gender of unborn babies. Here are the predictions, lets see if they are right! By the way, we definitely know its a BOY!
Taken from

1 Carrying a baby high is a girl, low is a boy
Me: carrying low! 1/1

2 A boy’s heart rate will be under 140, a girl’s is over.
Me: the baby's heart rate has been steady in the mid 150's range. 1/2

3 Craving something sweet is a girl, sour is a boy.
Me: my cravings have varied from salty (not sour) to sweet. 1/3

4 Early morning sickness means it’ll be a girl
Me: I had relatively no morning sickness. 2/4

5 If your husband/significant other puts on weight it will be a girl.
Me: Ha, Jon I think has lost a couple of pounds! 3/5

6 If your feet are colder now you’ll be having a boy.
Me: My feet are always cold at work and at night they are pretty much the only thing under the covers. 4/6

7 Your urine is bright yellow means you’ll have a boy.
Me: Its yellow, but I kind of think its due the the vitamins. 5/7

8 If your nose is spreading during the pregnancy it’ll be a boy, stays the same it’s a girl.
Me: Im pretty sure it is the same as it was pre pregnancy. 5/8

9 If you look like a basketball it will be a boy, if you look like a watermellon you are having a girl
Me: My belly is out front, more like a downward sloping basket ball 6/9

10 Craving fruit is a girl, craving meat is a good sign to having a boy.
Me: I have craved both throughout the pregnancy 6/10

11 If you have stringy looking hair, it’ll be a girl. Luscious hair is a boy.
Me: My hair is pretty full these days. 7/11

Conclusion: Seven out of eleven isn't bad, but I wouldn't depend on Old Wive's Tales alone.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Banana Macadamia Nut Pancakes with a Side of Garlic Breadsticks, Please

Although I haven't sent Jonathan out at two a.m. for oreos and pickles, yet, I have had my share of cravings. In the first trimester all I wanted was tomato sauce. I ate tomato soup, spaghetti, bread sticks with marinara, vegetable soup, and sliced tomato. One day I made toast and heated up some spaghetti sauce for dipping. It went from there to peanut butter. (Although there was the random mustard sandwich packed in there somewhere) Honey and pb sandwiches, pb and pear sandwiches, spoonfuls of pb, and pb and chocolate syrup on grahams and bananas were on the menu for weeks. Then heartburn set in. After fullfilling my peanut butter and tomato cravings I went on a tums and milk binge that I haven't quite gotten out of yet. Coming into my third trimester I seem to be hooked on sweets. Weekly trips to Bruster's for Chocolate Rasberry Truffle ice cream have become a ritual. They give out doggy ice cream treats too so we get to make it a family event! Our dog, Jack, woofs that stuff down in ten seconds flat and then stares at ours until we break down and give him a piece of waffle cone.
Although I have succombed to these cravings you can be assured that Jareth isn't going to come out a peanut butter covered tomato with a rasberry swirl. I've been eating pretty healthy. My diet mostly consists of oatmeal, eggs, cheerios, steamed veggies, chicken, fruit, cheese, V8 juice, milk, and an enormous amount of water. Jon comes home every day inquiring about my food intake and tells me what out of the basic food group I am lacking. Then he usually shoves V8 and more water down my throat. He's a good papa.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Hot Topic Among Moms-to-Be: Diaper Bags, the Possibilities are Endless

Google the words "diaper bags" and you will find there is an endless amount of possibilities when it comes to finding one. From Wal-Mart's Sesame Street Mini Diaper Bag costing a meesly $9.49 to a Louis Vuitton Mini Lin costing a whopping $2040, there is an amazing range of bags out there for baby.

How to choose the right diaper bag is one of the most popular discussions among parents and moms-to-be. In a poll I made on I found that moms think that the most important thing to keep in mind when choosing a diaper bag is space. One mom said, "I'm a pocket freak when it comes to my diaper bags. I have to have everything in its own little spot. I can't stand to throw stuff in a bag and have to dig for it." (nursemommy3) Those who didn't choose space as the most important went on to say that comfort was their number one because they had to be able to carry the bag everywhere they go without hurting their shoulers and backs. The look of the bag seemed to be on the bottom of the list but one mom to-be said that since her bags and purses are her "primary accessory" they need to "make a splash" against her wardrobe. (smphung)
The number of diaper bags or "baby bags" a parent needs is one of the many important questions that are discussed. I believe that the number really depends on a family's lifestyle. Do you go on long outings? Do you do overnight stays very often? Do you take baby everywhere you go? Does each parent want their own bag? Some families may only need two bags, some three, some may need up to five. I will explain.

Bag #1 : A medium size bag that can carry diapers, wipes, a changing pad, bottles, formula, snack, diaper creme, bibs, pacifiers, burpclothes, a toy or two, and an extra pair of clothes. This bag would be used for mall trips, day-long social gatherings, and other trips that could last longer than just a couple of hours.

Bag #2: A small size bag that carries only the neccessities: diapers, wipes, a pre-mixed bottle, and perhaps a bib or cloth. This bag would be used for quickie trips to the store, a dinner out, or some other event that only lasts up to two hours or less.

Bag #3: A Large over night bag that carries all the basics plus extras: diapers, wipes, a changing pad, bottles, formula, food, diaper creme, bibs, pacifiers, burpclothes, a toys, extra clothes, blankets, medication, sunblock, hats, etc.

Bag #4: A medium sized bag for the trunk. This is a back up bag just incase you forget or run out of something or perhaps a trip runs longer than expected. Extra diapers, wipes, clean bottles, and clothes would be good items for this bag.

Bag#5: A small to medium Daddy bag. Dad may require his own bag for when he and baby are doing outings alone. He may not want to carry the adorable ribbon adorned bag that mom loves so much. For dad, packing the essentials is probably all that is needed. He may get overwhelmed trying to find wipies in a sea of creams and powders and such.
Here are some great bags

The Vera Bradley "Baby Bag"

The Petunia Pickle Bottom Boxy Backpack


The Skip Hop Uptown Duo

found for $53.99 at Net Shop Stores

The Foo Goo Sporty Diaper Bag by Thermos

$14. 95

The Petunia Pickle Bottom Cake Cameo Clutch


Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Most Terrifying Issue in Pregnancy: Miscarriage and Loss

Bear with me, this will be a long one. And not a pleasent one, but an important one none the less. I knew that miscarriages were a real phenomenon but I always had assumed that they were fairly rare. I had heard the word, but never fully understood what it meant as a child and shrugged it off very early in life.
Last year when my husband and I decided to start a family it didn't take long before we got pregnant. It took about a month of trying to concieve. The day I found out I was just taking a pg test for fun because we had friends in town. It was a surprise to find out we were pg so soon. The pregnancy was very much wanted and having my grandmother pass away just a couple of months before we concieved made me feel like a piece of her was with me and the child that I was carrying. At week four I had an ultrasound to determine the baby's gestational age. I was given the due date of 12/27/08. At week seven my husband, Jon, and I heard the heart beat. They say after the heartbeat is detected the risk of miscarriage goes down to 5%. We were feeling pretty good. Two weeks later I began to feel different. I told Jon that I didn't feel pregnant anymore and started to get upset. He reassured me saying that it was still very early in the pg. One week eleven I went back to the doctor for my normal check up. He couldn't find the heartbeat with the hand held monitor but told me not to worry just yet that the pg may be too early to be able to find it without an u/s. I was taken back for a u/s and the technician tried several times before saying a simple "I'm so sorry." She left the room to get the doctor. I was left by myself feeling rather exposed both literally and figuratively, bawling my eyes out. When the doctor came in I asked him to try to find it again. He did and couldn't. Jon wasn't with me that day so we had to call him to come get me. He came in very upset and very worried about me. They said the baby only measured nine weeks and so it had stopped growing two weeks prior. I asked why this had happened and they said that usually it is unexplainable and that sometimes it is natures way of taking care of something that isn't thriving. Sometimes chromosomes do not add up right. They scheduled my D&C for two days later.
The night before my D&C I was a wreck. My stomach was in knots and right before I went to bed I started crying uncontrollably refusing to have the procedure done. It was my baby and I didn't want it "removed" from womb. I had my husband and two close friends there to help me through it. The next morning, very early, we went to the hospital. I shook involuntarily the entire time. My nerves were shot. The nurses just stared at me with a pitiful look on their faces. I think I was told 8 times that morning by different women in the hospital that they too had had to do what I was doing. I couldn't believe it afterwards that so many women in the same vacinity had gone through at least one miscarriage. As soon as I woke up from the procedure I started crying that the baby was gone. I think they gave me something to ease my nerves because for the next few hours I was numb.
I layed in bed for about a day and a half afterward. Friends and family stopped by ocassionally and people sent a few bouquets of flowers. In memorial we had some calla lillies and roses dried and put in a shadow box. That helped the grieving process.
I wondered days later why no one had told me that miscarriage was such a common occurence. I found out later that on my mother's side of the family there had been at least four miscarriages and one still birth. I began to assume that no one talks about it because it is such a hard thing to go through and the people who love you are afraid to scare you. But Im here to talk about it. Our daughters and sons should know that miscarriage and pregnancy loss is a real thing and it can happen to any of us. They should know the facts and feel comfortable talking about it. I think if I would have known more about it I wouldn't have struggled the way I did with it.

Here are the facts:
One in five pregnancies are lost to unexplained miscarriage. 670,000 pregnancies are miscarried every year. The majority of miscarriage occur before week 13 of pregnancy.
The cause of many miscarriages cannot be identified, but there are a few known reasons for miscarriage. Most miscarriages, especially those that occur in the first trimester, are due to random chromosomal abnormalities with the baby and cannot be prevented. Other reasons for miscarriage may be: problems with the implantation of the fertilized egg, maternal problems with health, hormones, or infection, unhealthy lifestyle (smoking, drugs, excessive caffeine, malnutrition, exposure to radiation), maternal age
It is important to note that one miscarriage does not increase the likelihood of another! Just because you have one doesn't mean you cannot or will not have a healthy pregnancy in the future. However, there are many women who simply cannot carry a pregnancy on their own without medical intervention. So it is important to talk with your doctor about tests that can be run to ensure your ability to carry a pregnancy full term.
Signs of Miscarriage
These include vaginal bleeding, cramping, diarrhea, excessive vomiting not due to morning sickness, and lack of fetal growth proven by your doctor.
Treatments after Miscarriage
Many times women can pass their miscarried pregnancies on their own without surgical need. But if done so, these women need to see their doctors as soon as possible to make sure all fetal tissue has been removed from the uterus.
If the body does not expel all the tissue, the most common procedure performed to stop bleeding and prevent infection is a dilation and curettage.
Taking Care of Yourself Emotionally
Its easy to put on a brave face in front of family and friends. It is very important to talk about how you are feeling. If you can't talk to your family and friends there are many resources out there for you. Talk it out and grieve however long you need to.

Monday, July 13, 2009

My First Baby Shower

I had my first baby shower this weekend. It was hosted by two of my best friends, Heather and Erin. It was a tea party theme complete with big hats, dresses, my grandmother's tea cups, and a cake shaped like a tea pot. Everyone looked beautiful all dolled up. We had fourteen guests in my home, two of whom traveled from Nashville for the weekend. All of the gifts were lovely and I only had one set of repeats. Jareth's closet is getting full! I got so many adorable outfits for him. It was fun getting to wash all of his clothes and put them in his closet. I'm sure this will be the only time that laundry is actually fun! The house was decorated so pretty with tulle, flowers, confetti, and clothes lines of hats, onsies, and mittens. Only 100 days until my due date. I can't wait to bring him home!

Friday, July 10, 2009

My First Stretch Mark!

So Im drying off after a shower and look at my belly in the mirror and get all warm and fuzzy about the life that I am growing inside me. Then I take a sneak peak at the back...."What is that on my caboose?" "Please tell me that someone drew a little squiggly line on my hiney with a purple pen in the middle of the night." Nope, its definitely my first stretch mark. After mountains of Palmer's along with other elasticity promising lotions, it finally happened. The sad part is that it is most likely only the beginning. I knew it would happen but hoped it wouldn't creep up on me until the last few weeks of pg like some of the other women I have spoken to. But with an extra 17 pounds on my relatively small frame my skin just couldn't accomodate. I still have 14 weeks to go until my due date. Thats a lot of time to gain more weight and accumulate more of these purple lines on my tush. I just hope they stay on my tush. Stay away from the belly you pesky bikini haters!!! My new resolution is not to look at my rear in the mirror anymore. In her book, "Belly Laughs," Jenny McCarthy warns about this. But I didn't heed her advice. No pg lady should ever look at her rear end in a full length mirror. Unless you are a super model of course. Those pregnant super models should be force fed doughnuts everyday.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Creating an Adorable Nursery while Saving Some Money

Decorating a nursery is so much fun! There are so many themes and style options out there that it actually can be a little overwhelming. Outside of a few baskets and new cushions for the glider, ours is finally finished! Jareth officially has his own room now to come home to.

When we found out we were having a boy we immediately started talking about the nursery. Our guest bedroom was already painted blue so we didn't have to paint. I knew I wanted something sweet and baby-ish, I mean it is a nursery, but I didn't want cartoon characters or a blanket of pastels. I asked my husband, Jon, what he had in mind. He said monkeys would be cute. I didn't really want just monkeys all over the room so we compromised and went with jungle animals. After doing some online research I found a cool and modern jungle themed set. Its main colors are chocolate brown, orange, teal blue, and green. The bumper and blanket has big lions, giraffes, monkeys, and elephants on it. The set went for $200.00 at Babies R Us, but I found it at for $164.00. I am very pleased with the purchase. The fabric is great. It isn't too heavy but it is super soft with velvet and cordouroy on it.

Other things we bought for the room was the convertible crib (craigslist $75), a shelving unit with baskets (ABC Distributing $60), a sheer white misquito net to go over the crib (Ikea $20),and a vinyl wall decal in the shape of a big tree (etsy $64). The diaper changing table was built by my grandfather for my cousins and passed on to me and the cradle, also made by my grandfather, was mine when I was born. Also, my parents gave me a pretty, white glider that they had bought when my nephew was born. So, for roughly $380 we completely decorated our nursery. And I must say it is pretty darn cute.

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Little Window Shopping

Thanks to the web there are now thousdands of places to shop at for baby with just the click of a button....and your credit card number of course. Its amazing how many online baby stores there are. From consignment to couture, from organic to handmade there is no ending to shopping for our little ones. You can even purchase your diapers online, be they disposable, flushable, hemp, fleece, or cotton, and have them shipped to your front door. There are some pretty cool places out there. So, with my eclectic style variations from hippy dresses to argyle sweaters along with enjoying both Belle and Sebastion along with Garth Brooks, I have found the web to be a great place to find things for baby. Here are just some of my favorite websites. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Knock Three Times On the Ceiling If You Want Me....

This little boy is an acrobat. I don't know how he manages it but he kicks/punches/knees/elbows me in every little corner of my abdomen. It really is an amazing feeling to know that your child is creating its first movements inside of you. Although its cleche, it makes the pregnancy so much more real once you can feel them move. Whats funny is when you look down at your stomach and it is involuntarily bouncing back and forth. And, he is one strong baby boy. One morning he kicked so hard he knocked my husband's arm off my stomach! Another time, at the doctor he kicked while the nurse was trying to get his heartbeat and almost knocked the little monitor out of her hand. But my favorite part is when either we poke at him or talk to him and he responds with a few punches. Its the sweetest thing in the world.

Don't just chalk it up to Round Ligament Pain

At work this afternoon I started getting a crampy feeling in my lower abdomen. It felt like menstrual cramps just kind of coming and going. I figured it was round ligament pain. Round ligament pain occurs when the uterus is stretching to make room for the baby and occurs frequently throughout pregnancy. I had felt this stretching type pain many times before, usually right before I would put on more weight. The baby seemed fine. He was doing his daily acrobatics and didn't seem to be bothered by whatever it was going on. So, I let it go and went on with my work. Then, the pain worsened and it became uncomfortable for me to sit down. My abdomen started to tighten and my back started to hurt. I decided I should probably call the doctor to see what this may be. Although I have no experience with contractions this was what I assumed they felt like. The doctor's office was busy of course and the line went straight to voicemail. I left a message detailing what was going on and waited for the nurse to call back. After about a long five minutes of waiting I took a ride from my boss and went straight to the doctors office. I figured it was better to go there instead of the ER and wait for three hours for them to just tell me Im fine. So to the doctor's office I go. When I explain to the nurse what was going on, she tells me its just round ligament pain and that Im merely going through a growth spurt. By that point Im more or less doubled over in pain refusing to sit down because it makes it worse. The nurse leaves me for a moment to speak with the nurse practitioner. She comes back saying they want to monitor me on a machine that measures contractions. They put me in a room and strap this ugly belt across my stomach that was hooked up to a machine on a rollng cart. Sure enough I was having ever so mild contractions. After a few tests they tell me I have an infection which is causing me to have an "irritable uterus." That was a new phrase for me. I was given a prescription for an antibiotic and was told to increase my water consumption and rest as much as possible. They warned me that I could go into preterm labor if I didn't take care of this soon. Round ligament pain my butt!

Those sex ed teachers will lead you to believe the baby making process is an easy one, but let me tell you its not!

After months of trying to concieve I made a doctor's appointment in hopes of finding out what we were doing wrong and why we weren't having any luck. You see the first time we got pregnant (pg) it was only a week before we got our big fat positive back (bfp). Sadly, however, that pregnancy ended in miscarriage eleven weeks later. With the great luck we had last time I thought it would take no time to get that bfp back again. I was wrong. It took about 7 months of ovulation predictor tests and about 9 bfn before we were able to successfully concieve.
After month 5 I started going to the doctor when I stopped having a period all together. They did blood tests, ordered ultrasounds, put me on progestrone to make me start my period and continued to watch my ever so irregular cycle for the next two months. Finally I get a phone call telling me that I have PCOS (poly cystic ovarian syndrom) and that we would need "help" getting pregnant. They scheduled me and my husband to come in for a fertility consult. Immediately I googled PCOS and followed that with fertility treatments. Word to the wise, if your doctor gives you a prognosis over the telephone don't immediately hang up and google it. It will only stress you out.
So, we go to our appointment on February 24th with ideas of Clomid, IVF, egg donors and words like ovarian hyperstimulation in our heads. When we arrive they give me a cup to pee in and then we wait for about and hour and a half in a tiny waiting room surrounded by pregnant women and old ladies. Finally a nurse walks by and says we are next and that she would be right back to get us. Then about ten minutes later she walks back by and looks in giving me a thumbs up. "What the hell? A thumbs up? What does that mean?" "Yay, we get to go next or what?"
Finally we get to go back to the room and the doctor of course is not there, we find out that we are only seeing a nurse practitioner. (I will explain later on that nurse practitioners are pretty much awesome and my theory on not needed doctors offices) The nurse practitioner asks me how I am feeling. At that point I wanted to scream, but I was a lady and told her that I was good. I explained to her that I thought the progesterone shots weren't working but that my breasts had been pretty sore and I figured that it was just due to the added hormone. Her reply was "Well, its because your'e pg!" I didn't even smile. I thought this was a very mean trick to play on a woman who had recently miscarried only to find out that she would have to undergo fertility treatments in order to ever get pregnant again.
With the crazy cycles I had been having lately there was no way to tell how far along I was without an ultrasound (u/s). So, they took me across the hall into another tiny waiting room where I waited about ten minutes before my husband and I were called back for an u/s. The room was small but pretty and the tech was extremely nice. There was a big screen on the wall so that we could watch what was going on. They took an internal u/s (fun) and there it was. The earliest form of life. They told us the gestational age was 5 weeks 5 days and that my due date would be October 22nd. A pumpkin baby!
The next few weeks were excruciating. My last pregnancy made it to 11 weeks so I was eager to get past that stage. The first trimester seemed to take forever to go by. I hate to admit is but I didn't allow myself to become excited about the pregnancy for many weeks. I actually cried a lot, worried about another miscarriage. I actually got a little depressed. I would like to say that as soon as the first trimester was over I was able to relax...not really. I don't think that until I finally have my little on in my arms that I will be able to fully relax. However, with each passing week I get more confident that this baby will make it. I feel very blessed to have gotten pg again without medical intervention.

From here on out, although I may complain some about the woes of pregnancy, you can be assured that I am relishing in the fact that I am pregnant and I am very excited about my little baby coming this fall. I am now 24 weeks pregnant and loving it!