Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Faith & Joy

photo by Bob


I'm 32 years old and 32 weeks pregnant.

Yesterday I had my first experience of heartburn. I changed my usual morning diet and drank an herbal tea before eating, then I ate a few cold apple pancakes that I'd made the day before. On the bus ride to work it happened, and it was unpleasant! For the rest of the day, I felt a slight burning sensation, and then by the end of the evening my throat hurt and I started to wonder if I was getting a cold or if my throat hurt from the heartburn earlier.

Well, I woke up today feeling fine -- no cold. But I still feel on the verge of having another heartburn experience. So I've been eating frequently, I ate some almonds (which I read could help) and am drinking ginger tea. The teacher of our childbirth classes told us last week that papaya extract can help with heartburn. Good timing to find out that information! So I googled "papaya extract for heartburn" today and found this page on the Berkeley Parents Network website. Several moms say that papaya helped their heartburn. It worked better than Tums, one mom said. I plan to go pick some up at the store on my lunch break.

Reading about papaya reminds me of our vacation in Hawaii last July. We had fresh papaya with breakfast every morning and it was super yummy!

Friday, February 22, 2008

7 months pregnant

Here is a current picture of me (photo by Jim Cruise). I'm now 32 weeks pregnant.

This week has been full of baby preparation activities. On Monday I went with my mom to two baby stores (Natural Resources and Babies R Us) to research and price baby items and I made a list of things that I want to get before the baby arrives.

On Tuesday Bob and I went on a tour of the Labor & Delivery department at St. Luke's Hospital. After the tour, we sat in a conference room with 3 other couples and one of the hospital pediatricians talked to us about caring for newborns. That was very useful, and it was generous of the pediatrician who volunteers to give these talks. Bob appreciated what he had to say.

On Wednesday we went to the first session of our 6 week Childbirth Education course. It was awesome! We like the teacher very much. She seems very intelligent, well-informed and responsive to the needs of the class members. There were 5 other couples in the class and they all seemed like great people. The teacher is also a birth doula and post-partum doula, and I think Bob and I will hire her to be our postpartum doula and visit us after the baby is here. She is also a lactation counsler and she teaches brestfeeding classes, so she will be a good resource for any breastfeeding questions. She also teaches newborn care classes. I'm excited to have found someone that we both like and feel comfortable with! We will have an official interview with her at our place in a couple weeks.

About a month ago I was feeling very moody. I was feeling sorry for myself and sometimes crying for hours with no reason that I could think of besides pregnancy hormones. I told some friends that I felt like I was mourning my pre-pregnant self. It started to worry me how negative I felt, so I did some research on the internet. I googled "pregnancy depression" and I found an article that mentioned a relationship between Omega-3 and mood. Pregnant and breastfeeding women need more Omega-3, and there was a study done that proved if a mother took fish oil pills while pregnant and breastfeeding, the children would be more intelligent than those whose mothers took olive oil pills. The claim that it could help mood for moms with postpartum depression convinced me to try it. Bob takes fish oil every day for allergies, so we had some at home. The very next day I noticed an improvement! That was about 2 weeks ago now, and I've been taking fish oil pills daily and I haven't felt any depression ever since. So maybe my diet was lacking omega 3 and it was affecting my mood. I'm so relieved to be feeling better!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Baby Shower

The baby shower was on Sunday, and it was great to see so many loved ones come out and show their support for the new life we have growing on. Thanks to all of you who have shown us your love and excitement. It is such a special time for us.

Nice weekend

It was great to have my family in town from New Jersey. On Saturday we had lunch at The Slanted Door in the Ferry Building. Afterwards we walked around the arts and crafts booths that were set up for the saturday farmer's market. Here is a picture of me, my mom and sister-in-law, Lee Ann.

Then Bob and I took my mom to see the towns of Orinda and Lafayette. Here is a picture of me and Bob at Lourd's ice cream parlor in Orinda.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

My family is in town for a baby shower this weekend. Last night Bob and I shared a special Valentine's Day dinner with my brother Jason and his wife Lee Ann. We went to a hip new restaurant on Valencia Street called Spork. (Thanks to Gimme for the recommendation!) This new restaurant is in the same place where there used to be a KFC fast food restaurant. I learned that KFC introduced the spork utensil in the 1960's, and that is what inspired the new restaurant's name and theme. The food was pretty good, and the atmosphere of Spork was unique. Best of all was the company. It was great to celebrate Valentine's Day with loved ones. I'm glad we took advantage and went out for the night, because my future Valentine's Days will most likely be spent with a baby, or with thoughts of "I wonder if the kid is okay...". However, the little girl in my belly was very active all through dinner, so she made sure I remembered that she was with us. Bob was able to feel her kicking, too. For dinner I ate filet mignon! It wasn't bad. The brussel sprouts and mashed potatoes were good, and I loved the butter lettuce salad. Our waiter gave us a little Scooby-Doo valentine card with the check, as well as M&Ms and heart candies.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Intentions for labor and birth:





At yoga class this week, Britt asked us each to come up with one word to describe what we would like our birth experience to include. Like setting an intention for our labor and birth. The first thing that came to my mind was "love", then I thought of "joy" (which is also a name we like for a girl's middle name), and then I decided on "patience". I have used intentions before in yoga classes, and when I first became a dedicated yoga student, keeping the word "patience" in mind with each breath helped me a lot to get through the classes (as opposed to leaving the class early which was sometimes my gut reaction to an uncomfortable pose).

I think that keeping PATIENCE in mind during labor and birth will help me. It will also help to remember to TRUST my body and my birth assistants, and to keep in touch with feelings of LOVE and JOY.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Bob and I went to the SF MOMA on Saturday, and enjoyed an installation called "Take your time" by Olafur Eliasson. They were interactive pieces, and we went because a couple from our Hypnobirthing class recommended it. One piece had you stand about 6 inches close to a large screen and stare at it while it changed colors from white to yellow, green, violet, blue and red. It was intense how the color felt as if it was surrounding me, and my favorite color was the sky blue/violet, which reminded me of the sky and made me feel like I was flying. It felt empowering. The exhibit will continue to be at the museum through February 24th, so check it out if you have a chance. The couple in our class recommended it because one of the guided visualizations that we learned in class involved going through the colors of the rainbow one by one and being immersed in the colors.

I've been reading a book called Breastfeeding Made Simple, and I've watched some breastfeeding videos online to get me ready for when the baby is born. Although breastfeeding is natural, it is also a learned skill rather than purely instinctual for the mother.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Little earthquakes

So now we are 29 weeks pregnant, or 6.5 months. I'm feeling huge most of the time, although I still meet aquaintances who insist I look "tiny". I often explain to people that I have a long torso, or I'll say with a smile, "I wear it well". What can I say to people who express disbelief that I'm as far along as I say I am? One woman yesterday told me that when she was 3 months pregnant she looked as big as I am now. Well, I've gained 20 pounds and as far as I can tell it is all in my front body. Yes, 20 pounds! For the first time in my life I have to slide the scale weight over to the "150" mark. It is harder and harder to bend forward (like when putting on pants or shoes), and I'm feeling like my insides are cramped up under my rib cage (because they are).

Bob and I went to our 2 sessions of the Hypnobirthing class we signed up for. We learned the basics of hypnobirthing, and we'll have opportunities to go over it more with our doula later this month when we meet with her. I like the teachings of hypnobirthing, but unfortunately Bob and I weren't psyched about the teacher of our class. There was a lot that I read in the book that she didn't go over at all, or that I would have liked to hear in more detail. So I look forward to learning more about hypnobirthing from our doula, and I'll probably have to reread some parts of the book to get a firmer understanding.

Here's a photo that Bob took last night while I was mellowed out after a bath and watching my belly shake from the baby's movements. It reminded me of that Tori Amos song, "little earthquakes".

I went to two different prenatal yoga classes this week, to make up for skipping a class last week. I have a goal to go to at least one public yoga class each week. So now I've been to 4 different teachers' prenatal yoga classes, and I have to say I love Britt Fohrman's class! Going to a different teacher made me appreciate her even more. I feel lucky to have a teacher that I like so much. I trust her judgement and I appreciate her teachings. Every class she teaches is different from the previous class, and I am learning a lot about pregnancy and birth just through her yoga classes.