Pregnancy Related Reads

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You may recall me saying in my second trimester recap that reading anything about pregnancy had not been my cup of tea but once we started prenatal classes I felt much more inspired to read up on everything I could. Here is what I’ve read so far and my thoughts on each selection:

Books:

What to Expect When You’re Expecting

My mom got me a copy of this book soon after we announced and in the early stages of my pregnancy I found it very alarming to read. There were too many extra possible problems that it alerted me to and as a notorious over thinker I didn’t need extra reason to worry. Later in my pregnancy I’ve found it much less upsetting to read. I also like that there is detailed information about labour and delivery, breastfeeding and postpartum care that will be nice to have on hand.

Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding

This book is amazing and so helpful. I truly felt like it taught me a lot. I understand the importance of breastfeeding and wasn’t needing to be sold on that, but I did find a lot of practical advice and troubleshooting tips that I hope will be helpful after I deliver should we run into any issues with breastfeeding.

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth

I struggled with this one, especially after loving Ina May’s breastfeeding book so much. The first half of the book is full of all natural birth stories, none of which happened in a traditional hospital setting and so I found that hard to relate to. The second half of the book has some good, encouraging info, particularly about the ability for us to birth naturally but some of the chapters were just weird. An entire chapter dedicated to “sphincter law” and another on “orgasmic birth” left me skeptical. I also found the information on medical interventions such as C-section, episiotomy and epidural VERY biased and as my personal goal is to go into my delivery with an open mind, I found her strong opinions discouraging. I didn’t end up finishing this one.

The Mindful Mom-to-Be

This is the best book I’ve read during my pregnancy and I wish I’d found it right at the beginning, as it is broken down into chapters month by month. I loved the voice of the author, and found that she gave advice in a gentle, nonjudgmental way. The book includes exercises, meditations, DIY’s, recipes and some great tips I plan to use during my labour and delivery.

The Honest Life

This book isn’t a pregnancy or motherhood read specifically but it includes chapters on pregnancy and lots of helpful information regarding chemicals in the home and healthier alternatives. I started to pay much more attention to these things once I became pregnant and I wish I had found this book sooner when I started to eliminate these things in our home.

Articles:

Baby on a Budget: What Do You Really Need?

This helped me from going crazy when shopping for baby. So. Many. Options.

The Joy of Having Boys

The comments on this one are great, too.

10 Tips for a Mindful Birth

I LOVED this article and found it very encouraging and enlightening.

That One Time I Made Ten Million Freezer Meals, Part One and Two

I’ve read Jessica’s blog forever and found these tips helpful for planning some freezer meals.

Also:

Something else that helped me was reading the manual for our hospital’s labour and delivery unit specifically. As lovely as it is to read about home births and birthing centers, I need to be realistic about what my birth experience will look like in the specific hospital I plan to deliver in. In addition to prenatal classes and a hospital tour, I’ve thoroughly read up on my hospital’s policies and procedures and found that very comforting just to have a better idea of what to expect.

What was your favourite pregnancy related read? I still have some time for more!

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The Second Trimester

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I cannot BELIEVE my second trimester is ending. I remember being five weeks pregnant and feeling like double digits were so far away. Recently I commented on being six months along and I thought Tom was going to have a heart attack. Turns out, saying how many weeks along I am hasn’t been registering for him but hearing that I’m six months pregnant = shit’s getting real.

So, remember how I felt awful my entire first trimester? Around 14 weeks I began to see the light at the end of the tunnel and started feeling like myself again. Most of my food aversions are gone now, and my appetite was back in time for Christmas which was a relief. That said, I’m still taking Diclectin. Every time I try to wean off, I become terribly ill and completely miserable. Recently I saw an article about Diclectin having a placebo effect and not being effective. I laughed out loud when I saw it. I don’t even have to tell Tom when I’ve tried to take a lower dose because he can tell a marked departure in how I’m feeling. I’ve had some guilt about this but it’s proven to be necessary for me. It’s what’s kept me eating well and even enjoying my pregnancy this last while and I figure happy mom = happy baby.

As my belly grew bigger I did a little shopping at Thyme Maternity. These jeans are awesome. That said, I’ve always been more into flow-y tops and leggings so I’ve been able to transition most of my pre-pregnancy wardrobe fairly easily.

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I’m sleeping really well most of the time, all thanks to my Snoogle. I am obsessed with this thing and absolutely think it’s worth the money. That furry guy above really likes to curl up in it each morning after I get out of bed and it’s still warm. I will be so sad to put it away after the baby comes, although I’m sure Tom will be glad to get more of the bed back.

One of my favourite things is hearing the heartbeat in the doctor’s office at my checkups. We didn’t get to hear it at either of my ultrasounds so Tommy hadn’t heard it yet and was super disappointed. I was able to record it at my last checkup and sent it to him on Valentine’s Day. We also look forward to the weekly update on my Bump app and seeing how big the baby is and how he’s developing.

I definitely relate to the second trimester being the “honeymoon phase” of pregnancy. I chopped my hair off at 19 weeks which really helped give me a little confidence boost, especially because my skin has never looked so awful on a regular basis. In terms of mood, I’m definitely weepier than I’ve ever been, over happy and sad things. Also, pretty sure that baby brain has kicked in. I recently spent 10 minutes trying to figure out why the blender wouldn’t work. Tom finally came over to help and pointed out that it may blend things better if I put the blade attachment in the jug. *Face palm*.

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I’ve been doing a ton of research on the necessities and we have everything mostly decided on. Everyone kept telling me that boy clothes are disappointing, but I have to say I disagree. I’ve found so many adorable things and if anything, I have to be careful not to overdo it. I love going through his little wardrobe and imagining how he’ll look in the things we’ve bought him so far. It’s such a strange and magical thing, anticipating meeting this little person who you already love but have never met.

I love to read and always thought I’d read a ton of pregnancy books, but I quickly learned to read NOTHING unless I have a specific question. I have yet to find a book that doesn’t make me overthink everything so ignorance has been bliss thus far.

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Things I love to eat: overnight oats; I have them almost every day for breakfast; bananas, and fruit in general, peanut butter, and burgers. I want red meat a lot lately, which is odd for me. The other day I made a meatloaf because I wanted one so badly. I don’t remember the last time I had it but it hit the spot. Weirdest cravings: a hot dog, Velveeta Shells and Cheese and Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls. Basically, any nostalgic junk food. Luckily those types of things are a one and done, because, yikes. Also, I can’t live without sparkling water. It helps my indigestion so much.

I’ve hated coffee my whole pregnancy but have really missed tea. I found a few varieties at David’s that don’t have any herbs and I’ve enjoyed drinking those once in a while. If you’re curious, the flavors are: Birthday Cake, Movie Night, Green & Fruity and Strawberry Shake.

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I’ve been feeling lots of movement for several weeks now and Tom has felt it too which has been so fun. The baby always moves a lot right before bed and I love to relax and feel him do his thing before we go to sleep.

We start prenatal classes right away! Super excited for those. And scared to learn more about how the baby has to come out of me at some point.

Bring it on, third trimester!

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It’s a…

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So, I know that we were very insistent on not finding out the gender at the beginning of this. But then we found out my younger sister was expecting and due just a week after me. We tested some Old Wives’ Tales together on New Year’s Eve. And then the suggestion came up about a double reveal. Nothing big, just our parents and siblings. The more I thought about this, the more excited I became. We started to plan the get together but when Caitlin couldn’t find out the gender of the baby at her ultrasound, things came to a standstill. Again, I wrestled with finding out at all, but ultimately, Tommy and I had gotten too used to the idea of finding out to go back to playing a waiting game.

We had our 20 week ultrasound and saw our baby squirming on the screen. We saw tiny hands and perfect feet and a pulsing heart. It was magical, and we left with an envelope with the answer inside.

I should back up here. For a long time now, I’ve believed this baby to be a girl. I can’t say why, really. Is it because I was around for more of my sister’s growing up, so I felt I understood them better? Was it because little girls love Tommy and gravitate to him? Was it because my nausea was so intense? I don’t know, but I for sure thought this little baby was a girl. In addition to this, almost everyone I talked to was convinced I was having a girl too. This just felt like our reality and I never really thought about the alternative. Don’t get me wrong. I want both genders, for different reasons. But I definitely thought this one was a girl and that has been the narrative in my mind this whole pregnancy.

Then I saw BLUE balloons and everything changed. We have a video of the reveal that I’ve avoided posting publicly because all you can hear me saying is, “Holy sh*t, holy sh*t, holy sh*t!” about fifty times. I was SHOCKED. Everyone else was too. It was a great moment.

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So, we’re going to a have a little boy. We know his name and we use it in private. We call him “he” every chance we get. We went on a little shopping spree for him this past weekend and bought all the little boy outfits we’ve been looking at since we found out we were expecting but before we knew he was a boy. I went through a weird phase of panic about being a “boy mom”. Like I might not be good at it. I’m a girl’s girl all the way through. How will I relate to my son? I had to redirect my thinking after all of that girl projecting I’ve been doing for the last few months. Time is good medicine for worries like this and I’m already looking forward to all our little boy has to teach me. Remember when I talked about being a student on the journey of motherhood? This feels like lesson number one.

IT’S A BOY!

I am so shocked. And thrilled. And terrified. And grateful.

We can’t wait to meet him.

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Fun With Old Wives’ Tales

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My youngest sister Caitlin and I are both expecting and due just a week apart in June. It’s been a lot of fun to compare symptoms and to have a sounding board about our pregnancy related stresses, too. On New Year’s Eve we got together with family and while speculating about the genders of our babies we decided to test out a few popular Old Wives’ Tales. I thought I’d share our results for fun!

Heart Rate 

Apparently if the baby’s heart rate is higher than 140 it’s a girl and if its lower, it’s a boy.

Our results:

Me- Boy

Caitlin- Boy

 

Pee Test

You pee in a cup and then add baking soda. If your pee fizzes, it’s a boy. If no fizz happens, it’s a girl.

Our results:

Me- Girl

Caitlin- Boy

Sidenote: probably the weirdest thing I’ve done for fun in a while.

 

The Ring on a String 

We had my Dad tie each of our rings to a string, hold it steady over our belly and watch what direction it naturally turns. If it goes around in a circle, it’s a girl. Back and forth is a boy.

Our results:

Me- Boy

Caitlin- Girl

Bonus: We also completed this on my Dad for fun and the string did nothing. It definitely seemed to sense our babies’ energy!

 

Stolen Beauty 

The legend goes that if your beauty gets “stolen”, it’s a girl. If you look like your regular lovely self, it’s a boy.

Our results:

Me- Girl

Caitlin- Boy

 

Chinese Gender Predictor

This is an online quiz that calculates the gender by conception month and age of the mother. It boasts 90% accuracy.

Our results:

Me- Boy

Caitlin- Boy

Spoiler: I spoke with a Chinese co-worker who laughed in my face and told me that this is in no way legit.

 

Cravings

Sweets for a girl, salt for a boy.

Our results:

Me- Undecided- I wouldn’t say my cravings go either way

Caitlin- Boy

 

Sickness

If you are sick, you are more likely to be carrying a girl.

Our results:

Me- Girl

Caitlin- Girl

 

Final Tally:

Me- 3 girls, 3 boys and a ?

Caitlin- 5 boys, 2 girls

 

Final Thoughts:

I was quite certain we were having a girl from the start but lately I’ve been seeing our boy’s name everywhere and wondering if it’s a sign. Caitlin has no idea what she thinks her baby will be. The anticipation is part of the fun and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us come June!

 

Photo Credit

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