Tuesday, September 27, 2011

baby #3 update: 27 weeks

I am 27 and a half weeks pregnant. My womb and my womb-mate are growing and measuring right on. I like to refer the prenatal development chart in one of my university textbooks. It says that Third Girl should now be about 14 inches long and weigh almost 2 pounds, with eyes that can open and close. I have gained 8 pounds (two of those in the last four weeks, and six in the four weeks before that). I don't remember how my weight gain was with the other pregnancies besides the total number of pounds, but it would probably be good if I gain about a pound or more per week until this baby is born. I wrote before that I was exercising most days. Since then, it's become closer to two or three days a week because . . . well, I think I have more days when I am just not in the mood to work out. It's more likely to happen if I do it in the morning, and it is easier and more enjoyable to read a book while walking on the treadmill than to do my 40-minute prenatal strength training DVD.
I'm grateful that I have not been having any nausea (since about 14 weeks), heartburn,  constipation, swelling, varicose veins, stretch marks (I have never gotten any), calf cramps, etc. I remember that several times during my first pregnancy I had to jump out of bed in the middle of the night to stand up because of the sudden pain in my calf. I haven't had strong food cravings or aversions. A few times during this pregnancy I have craved Mexican food or stuff from the olive bar at the grocery store. I have also been really enjoying green salads, berries, and Healthy Choice fudge bars, but I wouldn't call those cravings.

Sometimes I do:
  • feel a little uncomfortable or back-achy by about 9 p.m. or earlier (stretching, walking around, or lying down can help)
  • get a headache
  • have a hard time falling asleep again after getting up to use the bathroom (or if one of our many apartment neighbors is noisy and wakes me up)
  • have trouble breathing through my nose -- the last few days I have been more congested and blowing my nose, but it seems that we all have minor colds.
Also, I wrote that I don't want to be in a hospital for this baby's birth and that I have been seeing midwives at a birth center. I love the idea of being in labor without having to continually meet and be observed by new nurses and others who come in the room without warning. I feel that a woman in labor is not a "patient" and most of the time doesn't need a hospital (read the preface of this birth story). What do statistics mean to one individual, anyway?

Although I still would prefer to give birth in a birth center or at home, my husband and I know that unfortunately our insurance will not cover any of the delivery cost unless the care provider is a Certified Nurse-Midwife or obstetrician. The women at the birth center I have been going to are a different type of midwife, which means we would have to pay for the entire cost out of our own pockets. The one or two CNMs here who do out-of-hospital births are already booked. It is frustrating and makes no sense to me that our insurance would not reimburse us for any of the less-than-$3,000 cost (while they have covered each of my $10,000 c-sections). But my goal is to have a natural vaginal birth, and that can happen in a hospital. So I called my doula for advice, and we switched to CNMs. My doula didn't hesitate when answering my question about which hospital she thinks would be best for me personally (she is the same doula I had in 2006). Last week was my first appointment with one of the midwives at the clinic near that hospital. They are very supportive of birth without drugs or medical interventions and they are very pro-VBAC. The hospital has the lowest epidural rate in the state and is "Baby-friendly" (I was not aware of this before and I think it's fantastic!). My husband and I both really like this midwife and are confident that the others in the practice are excellent, too. She recommended a certain Webster Certified chiropractor -- someone trained to work specifically with pelvic balance in pregnancy -- actually the very same chiropractor I already starting seeing for adjustments. It will be helpful to the midwives to have a copy of my records from my last birth and from the birth center, and I am looking forward to receiving my own copy. (FYI, you can simply go in and get your own medical records for free.) I've been told it is hard to overcome "the failure to progress scenario", but we are thinking positively.

I have spent and continue to spend many hours studying the normal process of labor -- the way women's (and babies') bodies were designed for babies to come out. I'm re-reading the book Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. I cannot recommend it enough. I also have learned a lot from the films The Business of Being Born and Orgasmic Birth (Don't avoid this just because of the title. The idea is that giving birth can be a good and enjoyable experience. There is a shorter version called Organic Birth.), and about 5-10 facebook groups including the one for Birth Without Fear.

Why do I want to stay at home until I am in active labor? Why don't I want an epidural or something? The mind and the body are closely connected. For me and my baby, I want to let the natural hormones of labor flow. I want to have a comfortable environment with as much freedom and privacy as possible, and minimal interruptions and interventions. From Orgasmic Birth 
The pain down here gets sent up to the brain, the brain releases hormones which go down here to the uterus and tell the uterus what to do or not to do. And if you take away the pain, the whole normal physiology is gone (Marsden Wagner, M.D.). 
[M]any of the interventions that are commonly used in maternity care today will reduce the release of these hormones in a laboring woman’s body and make her birth less ecstatic, less pleasurable, and actually less safe for herself and her baby (Sarah Buckley, M.D.).
What if you numbed your feet and then you were supposed to walk down a highway? You'd have difficulty walking down the highway. . . . If your birth canal is numb, it doesn't work the same way (Christiane Northrup, M.D.).

Besides the change of providers, there is something else that has changed. Unless another idea comes to us, we chose Third Girl's name! We will give her both a first name and a middle name, like our other kids have. As always, nobody but my husband and I will know the name until the baby is born. Sometimes when we leave my mom's place, she says to my belly, "What's your name?" or "Goodbye, Gertrude. :o)

Finally, some photos:

I had fun comparing some photos of my bump during the last pregnancy and this one. (We really didn't do any belly profile pictures during my first pregnancy, except for a photo shoot my friend Anne did about 2 months before my due date). My mom's neighbor was surprised that this baby is a girl, because just like last time, she thinks I look like I'm carrying a boy. Also, it's definitely impossible at this point to make my abdomen appear non-pregnant. A couple of days ago a cute old man asked me, "Is that a basketball or a watermelon?" I said watermelon, but when I get a moment I try to picture her tiny human body inside of me and express our love for her. I wonder exactly what each movement is. I swear, at least twice she has kicked in response to something I said about her. For example, when I had my hand on my belly and said to the other kids, "I have a big belly with a baby inside," I immediately felt her kick beneath my hand. I'm doing my best to enjoy the next three months with her inside me. We will have plenty of time with her on the outside.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

favorite August 2011 photos

More from this August {I already blogged about the girls' curtains, the day D reenlisted, and the Saturday at the park . . . The pictures of the grownups in our family are in those second two posts}.

L at my chiropractor's office.

Swimming at our old rec center.

Here are about half of us who were at book club
in my friend's gorgeous backyard. We only do
dinner once a year. It was so fun! Our book was
Gift from the Sea and one of the ladies had
picked shells for us when she was at the beach
in Oregon. {I should have taken a posed group
shot, but at least I have this.} The only problem
was that I got sixteen mosquito bites.

 I love taking the kids to this library. It is
beautiful outside (they called this "the jungle")
and inside (next two photos).

 Shboogoo informed me, "That's the spout the
spider came out."

This is right outside our apartment.

After church, August 14.

Breakfast one morning was steel-cut oats (and
I think I was able to sneak in some walnut
pieces and/or ground flax seed) and fresh
bananas, strawberries, raspberries, and
peaches. I ate the same except that my fruit
was blended with water and spinach in

Second time swimming in our pool.

During one of my walks with our girls, we saw
these flowers. They were huge!

 Shboogoo set up the mermaid Barbies like this.
They are in better position for push-ups
than the humans are.

 Sitting on our patio wall eating lime fruit bars,
probably right after a walk because it was hot
outside by the time we were done. I really 
loved the summer season this year!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Saturday at the park

August 20th was really fun! We took picnic supplies, peanut butter and jam sandwiches, and other food to a park. Across from some grass and a playground area there is a farmers market, so before eating lunch we bought some fruits and vegetables. Our plan, which worked beautifully, was to add a little of that yummy produce to our lunch and take the rest home. We shared a peach and a tomato (plus the Sprite my husband bought, shown below, and the food we had brought).

I don't think the girls realized that they were taking turns smiling. 
She will do the downward dog yoga position anywhere.
See what I mean? (This is inside JoAnn a week earlier.)


We had brought our large tent in a suitcase, but somehow we didn't bring the poles, so we couldn't set it up. The next week we pitched our two-man tent in our living room and watched half of a movie called Ant Bully while eating our dinner.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Almost a month ago my husband reenlisted in the U.S. Army. It seems appropriate to share this post today, because the terrorist attacks that happened on September 11, 2001 have very much affected our family. My husband probably would have enlisted anyway, for several reasons, but it would be a very different career.  It's likely that he never would have been to Iraq or Afghanistan (or Kuwait, Qatar, etc). He also feels that without 9/11 he would be an almost entirely different person than he is today. He loves what he does, and I am so proud of him. We both feel good about the decision to sign a contract for another six years.

Afterward, we ate lunch. Then went to a miniature golf place and played 17 holes with D's mom (we skipped one hole because we were getting tired). It was the girls' second time mini-golfing with me and Grandma, but the first time that Daddy came, too. We only had L hit her ball a few times because she was happy to simply watch everyone else play, and walk onto the areas where she wasn't supposed to be. When we were done an employee took this photo. I like all of the mural walls (you thought this was a real lake, didn't you).


Thursday, September 8, 2011

July 2011: holidays, water day, family day, bunkbeds, birthday


On the night of July second I walked with the girls (my husband had to work) to a nearby high school that always hosts fireworks a day or so before Independence Day. We arrived just before the sky started to get dark. There were so many people sitting on the grass by then that it was impossible to get over to where my mom, brother, sister and brother-in-law were, so we just found a place and sat. Shboogoo thought the fireworks were pretty, but the two-year-old absolutely hated them (they definitely were loud, plus the songs were not what I would have chosen), so we left early. It was really late by the time we got home. I was so glad L could fall asleep right away in the stroller. It was kind of far for Shboogoo to walk, especially at that time of night, but we have not bought a double stroller. She was a trooper and even though it was tiring, I think it was a fun adventure for her. If I could rewind to that day, I think we would just stay home.

Here is our family after church on July 3rd. We actually had not planned to have all of us coordinating in red, white and blue, but I did choose L's dress based on Shboogoo's.

On July 4th my mom, the girls and I drove up one of the canyons. We got out of the car and really enjoyed exploring an area that was new to us.



Later in the month there was a free Water Day for kids downtown, with this (which made my kids whine and cry because they didn't want to get very wet):

and a train ride that we didn't have the cash for, and bounce houses and face painting we couldn't participate in because they were only allowing the people who were already in line . . . but we did walk around . . .

The poor pigeon must have been hurt. It didn't fly.

And there was this (which really freaked out the little one, so we had to leave).

I decided that before having a real lunch at home we should stop for a little something. We found a delightful cupcake shop.

I read the Fancy Nancy book to them.


It's too bad that we didn't get other pictures of our friends there.

L was soooo sleepy.

Once we were back home we wanted to take photos that included him and me.


Just like a few years ago, we spent the evening of Pioneer Day with my husband's mom and her roommate doing fireworks in their street. First was the "snakes":

Then we smiled and laughed a lot as we watched some Pixar shorts. 

I ended up taking a nice nap during the fireworks that everyone else enjoyed when it was dark outside. Again, L was not a fan of fireworks, so after a few minutes (?) someone brought her in the house and she slept cuddled up with me until we went home.

:: WE GOT BUNKBEDS AND A MINIVAN! (we feel old) ::

My in-laws were ready for a new bed for their daughter, and they didn't need or want their white minivan anymore. They pretty much gave the bunkbeds and the minivan to us; we paid them $750. What a blessing! (Now we need to sell our truck.) The girls were so excited the day these became ours, because we had been talking about them for a while. I just realized we have not yet taken any pictures of the minivan, but it is nice to have and we will need it once Third Girl arrives.

Our girls and their aunt with one of the beds. Shboogoo and her aunt shared them in spring of 2009.


We went with most of my family to eat at Golden Corral for my little brother's 28th's birthday. My step-mom was there, too, and she took this picture. 

Those were the most significant days in July for us. It has been a fun, not-too-scheduled summer.