Granny Smith, With A Touch Of Downy

I love apples. It’s one of the few fruits I really enjoy eating. I’ve been trying hard to eat as healthy and organic as possible lately. What I eat, Wee One eats, and I just can’t justify stuffing my face with junk food now. My weird tastebuds (as of late) are making it difficult to eat my beloved apples. I’m having to snack much more often than before (every 2 hours or so), so just a few hours after a big breakfast, I pulled out an apple. I washed it and took a bite. Everyone looked at me strangely when I practically gagged and said, “It tastes and smells like laundry detergent. Downy. This really tastes like Downy”. Of course I’ve never actually tasted Downy fabric softener. But by the smell of the stuff (which I’ve always thought was quite pleasant in the past) I can only imagine what that would taste like. I got K to smell the apple. I got all the boys in the back of the shop to smell the apple. I asked K’s dad to take a bite. He refused. But, he did smell it. “Yeah, it just smells like a normal apple.” Cue me looking like an idiot. I I thought maybe it was the skin…. the texture maybe…..so I peeled all the skin off the apple and tried again. Bite. Spew. Gross. The inside tastes like Downy too. I’m officially off apples and looking for a new fruit.

6 Weeks

Wow, 6 weeks already!!! How excited are we?? I’m still a lucky duck with NO nausea! Keeping my fingers crossed that I’m one of those very few who don’t get it!! Symptoms-wise: my chest feels like it’s gotten huge…and is very sensitive. A good friend gave me a hug last night, and I felt like I could have cried! Still having occasion cramping, and continued backache. And did I mention that I’m peeing ALL THE TIME? No? I’m peeing ALL THE TIME. It’s insane.

I was amazed to read what will be going on this week. The developments each day are just awesome:

Your magical miniature baby is growing at unprecedented rates, developing hand plates and the beginnings of finger buds. What’s more they’re already demonstrating the reflex responses to stimulation! Ah at last! The beginning of symptoms of morning sickness should be kicking in for you about now if you’re one of the 85% of women that experience it.

Your baby is now about the size of an apple seed. That’s about 0.08 to 0.16 inches (2 to 4mm) from crown to rump. It has formed a distinct head with the first stages of eyes and ears. The spinal column and cord are formed. Buds that will grow limbs have also formed. The heart is starting to beat and at this stage its beating may even be detected by sensitive ultrasound equipment, though, it’s still very early. The kidneys, liver and nerve cells have also begun to develop. Ten dental buds are growing in the jaws. Blood circulation has begun and primitive red blood cells circulate. The neural tube has closed over along your baby’s spine. The optic vesicles, which resemble tiny discs of pigment set in cups along the sides of your baby’s head will develop into your baby’s eyes. A distinct tail is still present. The body is shaped like the letter “C”.

Here is my 6 week belly shot. K thinks she sees a difference…. I don’t know. I still feel bloated though!

Beautiful Women

So … I had no idea that it was Beautiful Women Month. A friend informed me this morning by sending me this lovely poem by Sam Levenson – a favourite of Audrey Hepburn’s.

Now I’m sharing these “beauty tips” to all the awesome women out there in blogland. You are all beautiful in so many ways! And to the most IMPORTANT “beautiful woman” in my life: I love you heaps. xo

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.

For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.

For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.

For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.

For poise, walk with the knowledge you’ll never walk alone.

People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed;

Never throw out anybody.

Remember, If you ever need a helping hand, you’ll find one at the end of your arm.

As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands:

One for helping yourself, the other for helping others.

The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair.

The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart,

The place where love resides.

The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole, but true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul.

It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows,

And the beauty of a woman with passing years only grows!

Make Peace

The rain has been steady all day. This morning the thunder crashed so loudly, it woke us up. It sounded like it was right outside the window – the rain poured down for several hours earlier today, drizzled during the afternoon, and now is teeming again. The thunder is still crashing too, with the last bolt shaking the house. We’re supposed to have weather like this for the next few days. I’m not complaining. Rain has always been my favourite type of weather. As a kid, I used to go out walking in the storms. Something about the sound of the rain and thunder – I find it peaceful; it makes thinking easier somehow, and for some reason, I get my best sleep during a storm. I’m thankful it’s cooled off a bit, with the last few days being in the 80’s. I don’t do well in the heat, unfortunately. There are puddles of yellow rain on the sides of the roads now; the showers were much-needed though, as the pollen had gotten out of control, causing K’s allergies to act up again. As soon as she starts using that nasal spray, I know it’s bad. She practically gets addicted to that stuff during allergy season!

Friday night found us at the newly opened venue THE NATIONAL, for a live performance by hometown boy JASON MRAZ. The concert was impressive, to say the least. His talent never ceases to amaze me! The opening acts including a magician that was witty, funny and really worked the crowd. We also got to hear a trio of siblings called the MAKEPEACE BROTHERS that had some powerful lyrics and killer harmonies. They blew me away; I’m definitely going to be picking up their cd here soon. It was so nice to hear a group with a sweet sound, and positive lyrics promoting change. We also got to hear some fab new stuff from Mraz’s upcoming cd, “We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things”. Awesome. He did a couple of special songs bringing him back to his hometown Richmond roots. (I’ll will post some videos and music from Mraz below). He had his whole family there: aunts and uncles, cousins, friends, and his adorable little grandma. It was so cool to see him back home with so much support behind him. It was such a feel-good show and his voice was simply stunning. A pic of K and I as we were leaving for the show:

So, back in pregnancyland, today is 5w1d. K took a belly shot of me this morning (for our own ‘private collection’ – ha ha! you guys are only getting them every TWO weeks, remember!?), actually the belly looks a little smaller this week then it did last week. The bloating hasn’t gone away though, and my body just feels DIFFERENT. I have been having cramping, on and off every day (sometimes takes my breath away!), and backache. Haven’t had any other weird cravings the last few days though, but we’ll see what this week brings. Here is what wee one is supposed to look like right now:

K and I paid USA.BABY a visit on Saturday, and got a demo of the very buga.boo-ish SKATE by P.eg P.erego. It is made in Italy, has the look and performs beautifully- and has a way-too-cute bubbles pattern, and personally, gets my vote over the bug.aboo frog OR chameleon. At around $899 though … it should be mighty beautiful!!! That includes the extras like the rain cover, muff for colder weather, cup holder, etc, that would cost you extra $$$ with the bug.aboo. It is a lot of money though, not as bad knowing that we’ll use it for two children, but still it’s pricey for sure:

K and I are still looking at the Fisher Price Infant-To-Todder stroller that is a mere $150 and has gotten rave reviews in the Baby Bargains book:

We’re doing a lot of looking around, a lot of research. We most likely will register at T@rget and Babys.R.us when we’re around 3 months along. It’s a fun stage right now, just browsing the stores and keeping ourselves busy until we see the midwife. And with me still not having any morning sickness, it’s a prime time for shopping. Any distractions to keep from worrying is a good thing, and the appointment isn’t too far away now!

We’ll be trying to go as organic as possibly throughout my pregnancy, and in raising our wee one. I have switched to organic toothpaste and deodorant this past week (made with no aluminum), and will be getting as many certified organic baby products as possible. We are going to register for organic crib sheets, mattress, etc too, which aren’t pumped full of chemicals, and come from more natural ingredients. Also diaper-wise we like g.Diapers and K.ushies. Something that is a happy medium between disposable and all-cloth.

We’ve got a busy week ahead, with a 3000 shirt order due soon. It’s looking like K and the boys in the shop will be working all weekend too. Lots to do!!! Hope you all had a relaxing and restful weekend. I’m off again to watch the rain falling outside and relax in front of the tv with K.

Jason Mraz singing “Love For A Child” Friday night (I LOVED this one):

Wandering Thoughts On Water Births

So, these last few days I’ve really been thinking a lot more about having a home birth. I’m getting more excited about it, and even becoming confident in my ability to do this sans medication. I will be committed to a med-free birth at home, unless (God-forbid) there are complications that make it impossible. Okay, I know I’m really really early into my pregnancy, and I’m jumping ahead thinking about the delivery and birth plan already – but the organizational freak in me thought it’d be a good idea to jump right in with my research!!! I found birthing tanks for rent through aquadoula, but wasn’t sold. It didn’t look too comfortable. I didn’t see anything to hold on to. It seemed a little pricey too, with rental being $250 and shipping close to $200. Right there you’re at $450, without add-ons. I googled birthing tanks, birth pools and many other similar variations, and came across the Birth Pool In A Box. As soon as I saw it, I thought “that’s it!!”. I was so excited, AM so excited. They offer their birth pools for purchase, not rental, and they can be used more than once with new disposable liners (hello, baby #2!!!). They looked super comfy, with 4 sturdy handles and a seat!! I loved the seat, giving mommy some time to spend with the baby after the birth. They offer 3 types of pools: the birth pool in a box regular, mini, and eco (regular-sized). At only $185 with $20 shipping, this is very affordable. Here’s a picture of it:

The Regular Birth Pool in a Box: Eco includes a seat, and has been designed for strength and comfort with 2 people, enabling your partner to take an active part in the birth of your baby. The Birth Pool in a Box Mini is a smaller alternative for use when space is limited. The Eco Birth Pool In A Box is one of the only inflatable Birth Pools made without phthalates, which have been linked to fertility problems. Better for the environment, better for you and your baby.

I am so pumped to have found this! I really have to do a lot more reading on water births, but they honestly sound beautiful – what an amazing way to bring a baby into the world!

Pros of Water Births that I love:

  1. Significant pain relief is provided by getting into a tub. Some have compared it to the relaxing benefit of a narcotic.
  2. The water reduces gravity’s pull of the baby toward the mother’s back, thereby reducing pain from back labor.
  3. There is some evidence that tearing may be reduced in water births.
  4. Home births/water births involve fewer episiotomies and c-sections because the natural rhythms of the body are respected; these procedures are often done because of lack of patience on the part of the caregiver.
  5. Freedom to control your own birth experience. (lighting, music, noise level, people present).
  6. Environment is safe, warm, and inviting, making relaxation easier and labor smoother.
  7. Mother and baby have already developed antibodies to any germs found in the home, so they pose little threat to mother and child.
  8. Mother can eat, drink, and move around as she chooses.
  9. No separation of mother from infant.
  10. Partner can play as active a role as she wishes.

As for how I’m feeling: still in tip-top shape! No nausea whatsoever. My appetite has picked up and I still have the dull backache. Last night it was a little worse, and I struggled to sleep in any position. Also, I’m getting sharp twinges in my pelvic area that only last a second or two. I had another weird craving this morning.

Yorkshire pudding with gravy. This was breakfast time, so it was rather odd. MMMmmm…I could really go for some. Other than that, I really don’t even feel pregnant. For that reason, I can’t even tell you how desperately I need to hear that heartbeat. I need the confirmation of knowing the wee one is THERE and okay. Just a few more weeks. I can’t wait.

Tomorrow K and I are going to see Jason Mraz in concert. I know we’re going to have a blast!! Woo! Bring on the weekend . . . . .

 

Phone Expectations

Today, K & I called Richmond’s only CNM -Certified Nurse Midwife- that is licensed to do home births. K spoke with her at great lengths about what we’re looking for. If we are going the home birth route (Richmond doesn’t have any birthing centers, unfortunately) I love the idea of a water birth. I would love to give birth in a comfortable, peaceful space without all the harsh lighting and beeps and buzzes of a busy hospital. No IV’s, just a calm and relaxing atmosphere with K, the midwife and myself. But, the midwife can’t administer any pain medications, which I had known, but was ignoring. This was the only thing that had really ever caused me some worry when it came to home births. I couldn’t have an epidural. For some reason I always thought I would get one. I hate pain (who doesn’t though) and imagine that my labour will be long with our first child. I am going to be a mommy, and I just don’t know what to expect…. I think it’s probably perfectly normal to be a little scared of the pain…I just want to do everything right and to the best of my ability, you know? I would love to have a natural, un-medicated birth though. I think, if you are able to do it, it is giving your baby the best start possible. (However, I know that for some women, this isn’t an option.)

Anyway, I felt like the conversation went really well. It exceeded my expectations. I think K and I will know for sure when we meet her though, but for a first phone conversation, I’d give it an A….and K did most of the talking. K said the midwife seemed to be surprised at how much I knew, and was further surprised by my very positive pregnancy test at 10DPO. She seemed pretty cool, and both of us really look forward to meeting her in person soon. She said that she only does necessary testing, which is what we want. She told us that we didn’t need the beta tests, and that we should book an appointment for our first prenatal visit with her associate, who is a dear friend and colleague. Our first visit will be mainly paperwork and blood work. I’m not sure when we’ll hear the heartbeat. I have an appointment for Tuesday, May 6th. I will be about 7 ½ weeks along by that point. That feels like a long time to wait though. We were saying in the car the other day that this is worse than the TWW. I just so badly want to know that wee one is okay; I know most folks can hear the heartbeat around 7-8 weeks – I can’t wait for that. She also informed us that she usually only recommends one ultrasound at 20 weeks, which K and I are happy with. We can request more, she said. Not sure if we will or not. The fewer tests, the better I think. We won’t be doing any genetic testing. The main thing for me is hearing that heartbeat!! After that, I think I can wait until 20 weeks to see the wee one and find out the sex.

As for how I’m feeling. Right now, I’m a happy camper. No nausea (am I jinxing this by typing it?). I have dull lower back pain, and the bloating is still here. My jeans were old and had holes in ‘em, and were a bit snug on my waist thanks to extreme freakish bloating, so K bought me a cute pair of maternity jeans from T@rget. I have to fold the elastic part down for right now, just because they come up too high on my stomach (and just feel odd). Can’t wait till I have a baby bump to fill them out! As for cramping, it has been every day, but nothing I can’t live with! Oh, and last night I was awake at about 11:30pm and craving balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing. I could literally smell it and taste it in my mouth. The odd thing is – I don’t even really like that dressing. I’m a Ranch girl at heart. Let the pregnancy craziness begin!

4 Weeks

Day 30: At one month old, the embryo is 10,000 times larger than the original fertilized egg – and developing rapidly. The heart is pumping increasing quantities of blood through the circulatory system. The placenta forms a unique barrier that keeps the mother’s blood separate while allowing food and oxygen to pass through to the embryo.

I am so amazed how the embryo develops week by week. I’ve looked at the pictures and 3-D images. It is so amazing. I can’t believe there is a heartbeat already! Wow!

14 DPO = 4 WEEKS. How crazy is that??? It’s still not really sinking in. I cannot believe that I’m pregnant. I can’t believe that there is a little thing growing inside of me, and that (if all goes well) around December 20th we’ll have a baby in our arms. I have cried several times in the last few days. I’m a bit emotional about all this. I think I’m allowed to be though…it’s a pretty big deal! Although I won’t have a baby belly for some time, K has already kissed that “area” and said “good morning baby”, which has been making me smile. We are both just IN AWE of creating life. I can’t believe that we’re going to be a part of something SO awesome. I guess it’s starting to get a little bit more real. I’m peeing more often (getting up once every night, which I never used to do), and have an increased appetite and feel VERY bloated. No complaints though. More than anything, I’ll believe it when I hear that heartbeat in a few weeks. I’ve tried not to worry, though it’s hard. I tend to be a bit of a worrier… and it’s hard knowing that so many things could go wrong. I can’t imagine losing our wee one, even at this early stage. I’m trying to eat a lot more fruits and veggies, and just overall BE HEALTHY. On the to-do list for this up-coming week: FIND A MIDWIFE! I’ve opted not to get a beta test, and just meet with a midwife at or around 6-7weeks. Lots to do and lots to look forward to!

In my last post I told you guys that we were going to keep the news hush-hush from the parental units. Yeah….hasn’t really gone according to plans. Our excitement has taken over. We told K’s mom. She knew we had been trying for a few months, but we really hadn’t discussed it too in-depth. We’ve occasionally shown her some cute baby clothes we’ve purchased….but not too much more. Well, let me FIRST say this: K and I joke around a lot. A LOT. We joke with friends AND family…..So, we had dinner last night with K’s mom. I made turkey tacos for all of us. Ok, let me get a little sidetracked – again – K’s mom is a screenprinting contractor. So, she sort of is the middle man for K’s dad’s business. Sales. So, we’re all sitting down and K says, “Tiff’s placed an order…. But she won’t need it until December 20th.” Her mom just stares at her. “Placed what order….? December? Why will she need it in December? What’s going on in December??”. K says: “Well, she placed an order for a baby…..we’re pregnant!!”. K’s mom stares and turns to look at me, “Oh really you are?”. Silence. Cue K’s tears. Her emotions completely took over, “Mom, I wanted to you be excited for us.” The realization hits K’s mom that this isn’t a joke. K doesn’t cry often. She runs up and hugs her and then hugs me. Later she tells me that she just thought we were playing a joke on her. She called me later that night and said, “I really am just SO excited, but I just thought you were joking with me when you said that…..that’s why I said ‘oh really?’! I was waiting for Karli to say ‘You’re punked!’.” I had no idea that K’s mom was even familiar with Ashton Kutcher. Guess I was wrong. Anyway, long story short, I think she was overjoyed!!! She and I had a 40 minute phone conversation about it. And it made me feel really good….especially because my parents will not be happy about this whatsoever, so I won’t get any support from my side of the family. Today I also received an e-card from her saying, “Can’t stop thinking about this little MIRACLE. So much to anticipate, so much to pray for. Sharing in YOUR JOY.” I was very touched, and thankful. It meant a lot to me, and that much more to K.

Last night we also told K’s two younger siblings (ages 14 & 11) who were thrilled, and K’s dad. K’s youngest brother wanted K to teach him how to rollerskate, and her dad said, “Great! Why don’t we go tomorrow….” Karli responded, “Well Tiff won’t be able to rollerskate, but she can watch.” (I know how to ice skate, but NOT rollerskate. I really don’t want to take any chances that I would wipe out….cause I know I would!” Her dad immediately said, “Why can’t Tiff rollerskate?” K smiled, “Because she’s pregnant. We’re due December 20th.” Shock on her dad’s face. “Really!? You are?” I just said, “Yup!”. I was a bit nervous about how the news would affect him. He is completely OKAY with our relationship, but we don’t really DISCUSS it. He was in the middle of eating lasagna and said “Congratulations.” Then we went right back to talking about rollerskating. K and I know that this is a lot for him to take in. Over the next few weeks, he’ll definitely warm up to the idea…and as time goes on, I think he’ll be excited. K and I are just glad that he knows about it now. All my life I’ve been excellent at keeping a secret….but this one is too good not to share! I tried 😉

Thanks again for ALL the support guys. We’re planning on doing something to celebrate this weekend!

Just for kicks, here is my 4 week fat belly shot. Okay, that was negative. Moving on. I don’t have a baby belly yet obviously, but I’m going to take belly shots every 4 weeks and I figured you’d all need something to compare the future baby bump to! Happy weekend all!