Posts Tagged ‘pregnancy’

Back before September 2012, when I was more rotund and breathing for two, I had a tendency to compare my pregnancy experience with that of a dog’s.

“I hope all goes well during delivery and we can have immediate skin-to-skin contact, you know, like the way dogs lick the goo off their pups after they are born. Or is that horses?”

“I feel like it is unnatural to only have one baby. Dogs know how to do it — tons of immediate siblings.”

Patrick would nod at these comments. He knows who he married and at this point he is more unflappable than ever. My mom was sweet about it. She kindly reminded me that I wasn’t a dog and empathized with the fact that I didn’t have personal experience to draw from. After my human baby was born, it continued:

“Why is breastfeeding so difficult for us? Puppies don’t have latch problems! Mom dogs don’t have supply issues, do they?”

“If we were dogs, the baby would be up and about by now. It’s been 2 months, for crying out loud, and she can’t even wobble-walk around! Human babies need to take a lesson or two from puppies.”

Patrick continued to nod. But at some point my mom pleaded, “Will you please stop comparing my granddaughter to a dog? She is a human!” Her voice was high-pitched and sort of desperate, so I stopped making these inane comparisons…aloud.

Well, joke is on you, mom! Your granddaughter is a puppy and I have proof!! (Sidetrack: If puppies that are loved as much as human babies are called “fur babies,” then what are babies who are loved as much as puppies called? Skin puppies? Gross.)

Proof That My Daughter Is a Puppy

Exhibit A: Chews On Slippers

Who needs toys?

“Meh eatz this.”

My little pup can be surrounded by toys, but will  traverse the wide expanse (4 feet) of the big blue mat to get to our slippers.

Exhibit B: She Eats Her Vomit

"Meh lurves dessert."

“Meh lurves dessert.”

Yes, that there is her vomit. And yes, I took a picture before removing her from the situation and cleaning up the mess…the rest of the mess…that she didn’t already lap up…because I took a picture first…then went on an app to make a collage of the vomit pics…to share with you…you are welcome.

Exhibit C: She Hates When Her Humans Dress Her In Costume

"This is so lame."

“Meh hat ewe.”

Read that face: disgust, embarrassment, menacing promise of retaliation, despair.

Exhibit D: Moves Around On All Fours

"Meh canz move."

“Huh? Meh notz a baby?”


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Did the title make you hungry? That is why you are reading this post. Welcome!

Today, I want to share a lesson with you: A step-by-step guide on how to make your ordinarily boney feet swell like… well, things that are known for being super swollen.

1. Get pregnant. This may take a while. (See archived posts)

2. Brag about how you haven’t had swollen appendages so far, then begin week 38.

Gorgeous veggies and herbs!

3. Decide to make an Asian-inspired sesame peanut noodle salad.

4. Drive to local Asian market for green onion and cilantro. Easy peasy! It is only 5 mins away! And for a bushel of both you only pay $1.50. Cash only.

5. Cook pasta. We had linguine, so I used that.

6. Cook edamame.

7. Chop raw veggies and herbs: garlic, cilantro, red peppers, green peppers, green onion. Omit carrots since they went bad.  Oops! Omit bean sprouts because you just aren’t into them.

8. Shell edamame to add to veggies (pictured to the left). Eat extra edamame and share with Patrick. If you don’t have a Patrick, all the better, more for you!

Chicken in some foil

9. Grill chicken flavored with sea salt, fresh ground pepper, curry powder, and coriander. Have Patrick help you with this stage because the grill pan is splattering and you can’t handle it. If you still haven’t got a Patrick, deal with oil splatter or use sparingly to avoid this problem altogether.

10. When linguine is finished, add a bit of sesame oil to noodles to prevent from sticking. Pop in fridge.

11. Put veggies in fridge. Keep them crispy!

12. Slice cooked chicken into thin slices and add to fridge too. I stored these in tin foil since I ran out of room in fridge. (See blurry picture to right.)


13. Kill this healthy collection of ingredients by making this fabulously fatty dressing: 1tbsp of sesame oil, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp soy sauce, a 1tsp of chili oil, a squeeze of honey, juice from 1 lime, and 1/3 cup of peanut butter. Stir it up.

14. Combine pasta, veggies, chicken, and toss with dressing. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top!

15. Put finished product in fridge. Allow flavors to mix and mingle and chum up before eating.

Salad for days!

16. Suddenly become aware of the fact that you have been on your feet for 2+ hours (world’s slowest cook?) and they hurt REALLY, REALLY bad.

17. Look down at feet and notice they have ballooned! You now have fat balloon animal feet! But you have also made a great noodle dish. So kick your feet up and come to terms with the fact that you have 0-28 more days of fat feet to look forward to. But bonus, you also have 1-3 days of peanut sesame noodles to look forward to!

18. If you follow this guide, more or less, you too can have delicious peanut sesame noodles and swollen feet. Now it is your turn to give it a go!

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It is that time of the year! When summer break is ending and Captain’s Practice and Two-A-Days begin! Not one to be left out just because I’m no longer in high school, I weigh more than a football player, and have the lung capacity of… well, a pregnant person, Patrick and I started our own two-a-days on Saturday. Yes, that does sound a bit untoward, but we are firm in our commitment to not over-share, so read on.

I do, in fact, weigh more than #13 but not my favorite nose tackle, Big Snack (#98).

I should note that I took a hiatus from anything resembling exercise during the majority of July. It was too hot to walk — morning, noon, and night. And to top it all off, I had overdosed on my Prenatal Fitness with Summer Sanders DVD. I think I could still pop in the  DVD and recite the workout dialogue with the TV on mute.

Anyway, last week Patrick suggested that we start walking since the temps were passing for cool in the late evenings. In an effort to stay close to home, we walk a .5-mile loop around our home twice each night. Most of the walk is uphill, so even though we are clocking in barely a mile, believe me, with the extra girth I’m lugging around, loosening joints, and my lung expansion problems, it feels like  quite the challenge!

Reflective sneakers and a huge pink belly

On Saturday, I decided to kick it up a notch and get into shape for labor with a two-a-day workout. Two miles in 40+ non-consecutive  minutes… I’m not sure if this will gear my body up for the marathon that is labor, but it is getting me into the spirit of sport and training from which I will be drawing during labor.

Oh! And labor will be soonish. I’m 38 weeks. We are taking bets. I say between weeks 41 and 42. Patrick says between 39 and 40. OB/GYN, just for fun, chimed in with 40-41weeks. Please let Patrick be right!

38 weeks

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Yesterday at 36w4d, I spent the day alternating between naps and baby laundry. I love washing and folding these little baby clothes, blankets, and towels. How can socks be so little? It is noticeably quiet during this last month and I am stopping to smell the roses (and absence of baby poo). This is a definite calm before the storm.

How did a hoarding phobic, non-shopper end up with so many goodies to wash? Baby Showers!

Happily overwhelmed at Pittsburgh “Jack and Jill” shower!

Baby clothes for months!

Red, White, and Blue!

Thanks to the goodwill of our friends and family, we had three showers!! Thank you notes all written and baby treasures sorted, I am still surprised and in awe of the thoughtfulness and generosity of the wonderful people we know.

Mugging at office shower!

Patrick shows off new onesies!

Surprise! Our faces as the stroller of our dreams is presented.

I expected we’d drop quite a bit of money on the big items, and just as much on the small stuff, in typical first-time parent fashion. But I never anticipated that the majority of the big and little items would be purchased for our lil dragon by friends and fam!

Connecticut shower hostesses!

Opening gifts at my ladies’ luncheon!

Hamming it up!

I think this onesie fits her already!

Thanks everyone! I just felt like we needed to say it again. Also, wow! It is such a powerful feeling to receive all this love for our little baby dragon!

Invites with dragons are difficult to find, but pink giraffe theme is just as cute!

Baby dragon, you can come out soon! Lots of loving people are waiting for you! Especially your mommy and daddy!

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When I posted about hospitals in Massachusetts no longer sending new parents home with formula samples, I did not expect some of the reactions I got — mostly via private communication, not blog comments.

“Free To Be You And Me” does not seem to apply to parenting choices. I’m starting to keep a list of things not to discuss with other parents: labor plans, feeding, diapering, pacifying, baby transport systems…

I love having options because we are all different parents, with varying needs, interests, and preferences. Do I think my preferences are better than all the rest? Not in the slightest. I don’t even know if my prenatal preferences will be best for my postpartum life.

That being said, we got a “gift” in the mail yesterday. Patrick and I just sort of stared at it dumbfounded…

G: Is that what I think it is?

P: Yup!

G: How did they get our address?

P: No idea.

G: Is this from our hospital?

P: Or a pregnancy group you are a member of?

The offender:

Enfamil found a way around Mass hospital formula policy?

More logical people than ourselves would say, “Hey neat! A box of three samples, just in case.” But part of my breast feeding approach is not to have alternatives handy until I know there is no other way.

More considerate people than ourselves would say, “Hey, let’s see if any of our parent or parent-to-be friends would like some of this formula!”  But we are just a little ticked off. So, we’ll be returning to sender.

No one asked us if we wanted this formula. Had it been offered in the hospital, we could have declined and moved on. But this direct shipment has rubbed us the wrong way. Furthermore, it seems just plain wasteful to blindly send these heavy, large boxes out to third-trimester moms unaware of their feeding plans/desires. Here is an idea, Enfamil — don’t waste money sending huge boxes of food to parents that don’t need them and lower your crazy high prices so parents buying your food can afford it.

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Babies leaving Massachusetts hospitals won’t be wearing formula mustaches anymore. Well, not hospital-provided formula mustaches, anyway. Beginning July 2012 hospitals statewide will no longer be sending new moms home with a canister of free formula.

Honestly, this doesn’t seem like a big deal to me. But there is a lot of hubbub about this. I don’t really understand it…

Full disclosure: On the formula v. breast-feeding debate, I fall on the side of “do whatever works for your family.” Further disclosure: I admit that I plan to breast feed, and plan to work hard to make a go of it, but I have already forgiven myself in advance in the event that the Little Dragon and I can’t get the hang of it.

Lulu investigates the milky way…

So back to this hubbub in Massachusetts…

Pro-Formula Stance: Why are you hating on formula, Mass hospitals? You guys are completely unfair! Well, are they saying don’t formula-feed? The hospitals aren’t getting rid of all formula in the hospitals. It is my understanding that if you plan to formula feed, Mass hospitals will have formula on the ready. They just aren’t sending new parents home with a free sample. Seems like they aren’t committing to loving or hating any feeding preference.

Pro-Breast feeding Stance: Finally! Mass hospitals are supporting moms who breastfeed! Well, maybe so in other ways, but I don’t really agree with the argument that leaving a formula freebie out of my goody bag constitutes breast feeding support. Still seems like a noncommittal stance from Mass hospitals, as if they’re saying, “You decide. Breast pumps and formula are at the store, parents/guardians. Buy what works for you.”

Now, I have yet to give birth and am completely unaware of what is usually included in a take-home bag from the hospital. But if this omission of formula is coupled with a canister of starter breast milk, I’ll hub and bub alongside my formula-using mamas!

And Mass hospitals, if you give in to the pressure and add that formula sample back in the going-home bag, feel free to pop a hospital-grade breast pump or a box of fenugreek tea in there too! Thanks ever so much!

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…Third is the one with the moles on her chest.

After the whole first trimester debacle…

Pregnancy Book: Morning sickness happens to weak-stomached women who have a history of letting the flu get the best of them. (I paraphrased, but I’m pretty sure this was the gist.)

Me pre-pregnancy: That won’t happen to me. Poor other women, though. My heart goes out to them.

Me first trimester: [vomit noises 24/7]

…I learned my lesson. As it so happens, I am susceptible to the awful side-effects of pregnancy. So as I began second trimester I read the warnings differently…

Pregnancy Book: You will be constipated all the time. Your boobs will most certainly leak colstrum when you are out in public. You are 100% guaranteed to have stretch marks so severe that it will look like a werewolf attempted to rip open your belly. You will definitely have cankles, swollen feet, and fat fingers…and everyone will call you sausage lady. You will absolutely have hemorrhoids, even though you still don’t understand what they are. (Again, not the exact words, but practically exact.)

Me at beginning of second trimester: Ack! What did I sign up for? All the warnings are here in this book and yet I did this to myself ON PURPOSE? I’m a sucker! A dupe!

Me with 8 weeks to go: [Waddling around sans all expected major side-effects] Success!!


I was so busy tracking bathroom frequency and obsessing that every drop of cleavage sweat was embarrassing nipple leakage, that I forgot to obsess over the possibility of coming down with the more mild symptoms of later pregnancy. Here are the not-as-scary symptoms I am happily saddled with instead, may I continue to stay in the pregnancy fairy’s good graces:

1) Moles. These blind little beasts are popping up all over. They are teeny, practically microscopic, but honestly, I was happily light on the moles pre-pregnancy. I haven’t yet done research to determine if they go away. I’m guessing no?


2) Braxton Hicks contractions. Whew they can be intense! They stop when Patrick reminds me to breathe and I relax for a bit. Those practice contractions also make me giggle in anticipation of the real thing!! Then, I have to remind Patrick to breathe and have him sit down because he thinks I’m having a baby and losing my wits at the same time.

3) Anemia. Sounds serious, doesn’t it? But I’m taking an iron supplement and a lot of naps in between bouts of fantastic, sweaty, scrubby, nesty-nesting. Totally manageable, especially since I’m a big fan of napping!

4) Back pain. Okay. This hurt second trimester, but seem to be related to some major belly growth spurts I had earlier. With continued exercise and time to acclimate and readjust posture for the belly, this pain has now become rare and short-lived.

5) Hives. We haven’t figured out why they come and go, but my best guess is heat and/or food allergy, combined with even more skin sensitivity, thanks to pregnancy. Sounds bad, but they are so mild that I just ignore them. …after I point to them, frown, and Patrick babies me a bit. He is good at that!

I swore that I wouldn’t keep awful pregnancy symptoms a secret, and I feel equally obligated to share the not-so-awful symptoms too. TMI? Probably. But I believe people have the right to know what pregnant ladies really go through, before they get pregnant, “join the club,” and learn the hard truths.

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