Recently in Pregnancy Category

Sonya's Birth Story

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Dear Mama,

It's been a while since I've written, so of course plenty has happened, but I'll stick to Sonya's birth story for right now.

Sonya's due date was 10 December, but back in October the doctors showed a concern for possible low amniotic fluid and I wasn't sure we'd even make it to your birthday. We *almost* made it to December. She was born 30 November at 5:05 p.m. That was at 38 1/2 weeks, which is a week longer than with Liam - all full term, so that's fine with me.

I woke up that morning and realized that I needed to start paying attention to these contractions. They stayed at about 8 minutes apart until 1 p.m. Then they got more intense. We got to the hospital at 2 p.m.

It was really interesting to me to notice the difference in labor, since last time I was induced. Nothing was less intense, however, this time I had space between contractions. With Liam, starting at 5 cm dilated I just had one LONG contraction - for an hour, until I delivered and pushing was brief and intense, too. With Sonya, the contractions were certainly no less intense, but I had time in between them to catch my breath. Even when I was pushing I had down time, which was very, very bizarre for me. It gave me time to think, which I wasn't particularly interested in, frankly. But, after 15 minutes of pushing, it was over. Now onto the hard part, you know, life.

And this will be my last birth story. We are done bringing humans into this world. Just in case you were wondering.

I've given you two grandchildren. Some would say, "One of each!" (why do people say that? I find that so repulsive.) Now it is up to your other children to give you more grandchildren.

Peace out!


The Wire

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Dear Mama,

So life has been busy since we found out my amniotic fluid was low and baby Sonya's growth slowed rather dramatically. Apparently, this is how my pregnancies go. My fluid got really low (or the doc who did the ultrasound was stingy), but someone suggested grapes and pears had helped them, so I thought, "what's the harm?" I ate 4 pounds of pears and 3 bags of grapes in a week (with some help). My fluid levels are back into the normal range. Are the pears and grapes what did it? Don't know - but I'm not going to mess around. And heck, I like pears and grapes! I may not want to eat them ever again after this, though!

I'm 36 weeks now. In two weeks is Thanksgiving. With Liam, at 38 weeks, you were already holding him. Today, Mark has the day off for Veteran's Day, so I think we're going to set up the crib and get some other stuff ready.

It's hard not to think of you often these days. To think about how much it meant to me to have you there with me when I delivered Liam. To think about how much you would love who Liam has become. To think about what you would have been busy knitting for baby Sonya. To think about how you and Papa would've come down to care for Liam together while Mark and I were in the hospital. To think about how your very existence was so reassuring to me.

Yesterday, I saw a couple in a bookstore. She had on a wool poncho and was talking on her cell. She sashayed her way over to her husband, twirled the phone toward him and sing-sang "there's someone on the phone who wants to talk to you!" with a certain sparkle in both her eye and her voice. I knew it was a grandchild. I winced. Visibly. And then I realized that if Mark and I both live to the point that we get to enjoy grandchildren together, part of me will feel guilty. Truly. But hey, we all know I'm getting way ahead of myself.

Mama, I'm sorry you had to go through parenthood without your mama, too. It's awful.

I love you and I miss you,

On My Mind

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Well, I'm frequently awake at about 2 or 3 a.m. these days, and script wonderful blog entries in my head instead of falling back asleep. Last night, I waxed poetic about my memories to 'Littlewoods', my mother's parents' property in Maryland. I do have wonderful memories of my 'PopPop', his home, and all the wonderful stuff we did while we were visiting down there as kids. One of my favorite memories is of my youngest brother, at the age of about 4, trying to get a lunch order out of our grandfather - who couldn't hear the higher pitch voice tones. "SALAMI, HAM OR CRAB" Mendon tried again. PopPop's response was to pat Mendon on the head and reply, "oh, yes." Mendon was soooo frustrated.

But anyway, I thought I'd share a few photos of Liam with you.

Oh, and if you don't know by now. I'm three months pregnant. And we're house hunting - in contract, in fact. It's all around Columbus, so not a big move. And Liam is having stents put in his tear ducts to open them up so that they drain properly. Not a big surgical procedure, but no fun all the same.

On to the photos. Or photo. Apparently, on this new version, I can only upload one photo at a time without it getting messy. So, here's Liam playing the piano with his cousin. And wearing his beloved wristbands.


Birth Story

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Okay, it's been 3 and 1/2 months. (and yes, Liam is trying the sleeping thing again - can you tell I'm not used to doing anything without him in arms? I can't even think of anything other to do...)

I originally had no desire to write down my birthing story. My friend Leila, however, just experienced her sister-in-law giving birth and I keep checking for her birth story for some reason, so I thought I'd settle for me describing mine.

The doctors' did an ultrasound and decided that Liam was too small. There was a chance he had IUGR (too small - not getting enough nutrients through the placenta), and that could be bad. They also thought I didn't have enough amniotic fluid.

Both turned out to be false. Which, well, I have to admit I sort of knew. In the future I will not repeat this experience. Because of these decisions, I was induced. That night. So, 3 April, Mark and I went to the first hour of our last Lamaze class and then headed upstairs for me to receive the first phase of my induction: Cervidil (sp?). It's basically a tampon meant to soften the cervix. It did. By the next morning I was 3 cm dilated and they began me on Pitocin and my antibiotics since I also tested positive for Group B Strep.

I labored, rather simply and straightforwardly, for about 9 hours. Mark was a wonderful, helpful partner. Someday I hope to hear his side of the story. My mother joined us, well, frankly, I have no idea when. Around 4 pm maybe? I cried when she arrived. I'd had no idea just how much I wanted her there. She was such a solace. Her simple presence gave me more comfort and confidence than anything else in the world could have possibly.

I think around that same time my doula arrived. For those who know, that's our dear friend Anne Grove - a midwife. Her loving encouragement and knowledgeable skill guided my experience. She directed me so that my labor continued on when it started to falter a bit.

Around 7 p.m. my water broke - all of its own accord, thankfully. Proof positive I had plenty amniotic fluid, thank you very much. When my water broke, I immediately advanced to 5 cm. The contractions immediately accelerated.

Through. The. Roof.

Good ole Pitocin.

My mind went into overdrive. A panicked frenzy. I thought I was going to pass out from the pain, mainly because I knew that 5 centimeters dilated does not a delivery make. A woman can still be in labor for HOURS at that point.

But I wasn't. Basically, every contraction brought me a centimeter closer to delivery.

Literally. My midwife (not Anne) snapped me back into focus and got me centered. I remember her quite clearly getting in my face and practically yelling at me, "Mara, this is going to happen. It can happen. But we need you to focus. Now." Bless her heart. I love that woman. That was exactly what I needed. I would have never thought it, but she got me on my hands and knees and it made everything much easier.

45 minutes later, Liam was born. Yeah. 5 centimeters. 45 minutes. Done.

Thank goodness someone finally told me that if you take it the slower route (sans Pit), it's not quite so painful.

However, I do have a caveat: I did it. I survived. No drugs. So, those 45 minutes were extreme, but they were obviously survivable 'cause I'm still here. And whole.

And I know I'm getting some distance from the whole experience because I suspect I could even convince my body to go through it again.

(and Liam is still asleep this time!)

Game On!

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Well, it's time.

No, really. It's time. We're going into the hospital shortly and not coming out until ... until, well, we've got a baby to bring home.

I had the ultrasound today and not only is the baby in the much smaller percentile (umm, 2nd?), but the placenta looks as if it's not getting as much nutrition to the baby as it should be, so keeping it here on the other side of my belly button for the next two weeks wouldn't do it any favors.

Me? Nervous? HAhahahahahaha...(that's me laughing uncontrollably). Oh. My. Freaking. Gods.

Holy Crap!!!

Erm...see ya' on the flip side!

(darn it, I had a hair appointment tomorrow, I still haven't finished the baby sweater...sigh...)

And They Say I'm Small?!?!

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Well, we figured it was time for another belly shot. I've sort of been holding back, since I've been talking about how small I am - don't exactly need to document it, you know? So, I tried to have it photographed in such a way as to make it look as large as possible. I know, I'm so sneaky.


And here, the trigger-happy grandma caught me as I was rolling off the sofa. I figured I'd like the picture better if I smiled, but that wasn't exactly how I was feeling, as the baby was sitting hard and low.


p.s. and the naked belly? well, my mother occasionally asks me whether I will "bring the baby out to play" so that she can watch the baby practicing its aikido.

Full Term

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I made it! I'm 37 weeks pregnant today. 37-42 weeks is considered full term, so I now know that any time I deliver this baby it will be a fully developed one.

Time to Cut my Toenails

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I swear I didn't do it on purpose. But, the proof is in the numbers. I've lost weight. In my eighth month of pregnancy. My torso has shrunk. I wouldn't have thought it by looking down, frankly, but the midwife pulls out the measuring strip each week and I was down 5 centimeters from last week, which means I'm 8 centimeters from where I should be this week. Two centimeters they don't mind. Eight, however, is not taken lightly.

And yet. Our midwife is still proceeding cautiously. She didn't freak out and scream cesarean. Her exact words were, "well, you've just won yourself another ultrasound." So, in a week, I have another ultrasound. They'll be looking to see whether the baby is still around the 32nd percentile. We just don't want a dramatic decrease. They'll also be examining the flow of the fluids in the placenta. The main concern is that, regardless of what I'm eating, it's not getting to the baby. If that's the case, I doubt I can avoid an induction; however, if it's all looking okay, than they will simply accept that we have a small baby and we can go on our merry way.

And the toenails, you ask? Well, I figured I might as well take advantage of my shrinking figure and cut my toenails quick while I can still breathe.

Birth Plan

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Well, my midwife asked me to give her a copy of my birth plan, so I finally sat down and wrote one out.

We turned it in yesterday - at a much better, more supportive appointment - and she 'approved' it. She was very encouraging. I titled it "birthing preferences" because, really, who are we kidding?

So, for your reading pleasure (I know, you've been waiting with bated breath, haven't you?):

Recognizing that any or all medical intervention may become necessary at some point during labor and delivery, I would prefer for the first course of action at any time to be non-invasive and non-drug related.

For example:

I would like to be as mobile as possible during labor.

I want as few vaginal exams as possible.

I would prefer not to have an epidural, however I do wish to be informed when my window of opportunity for an epidural is closing so that I may make a decision at that time.

I would prefer not to have an episiotemy.

A Word on Contractions

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My sister asked me a very reasonable question: what do the contractions feel like? I say this is very reasonable because I've been having Braxton-Hicks for about 3 months. However, I only realized this about a month ago, when our Lamaze coach explained what they'd feel like. D'oh.

So, Braxton-Hicks, for me, are not painful. (hence the not noticing them!) It basically feels like the bottom half of my belly hardens for a bit. I can't really tell, frankly, unless I start getting a series of them - as I did the night of the new year's party - and then I notice them because my muscles are starting to get a bit of a workout, particularly my lower belly and the back muscles associated with them, at which point it feels like the begins of some mild menstrual cramping. I say mild because I know severe, for other women that might be as severe as their menstrual cramps ever got*.

*never writhed in pain on the floor in tears after 5 Aleve pills haven't even taken the edge off the cramps, let alone the migraine and vomitting? then, in my humble opinion, you don't know severe

Oh, Now That's Different

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Tuesday was the Baha'i new year. There was a big party put on by the students at Case (Western Reserve University - wouldn't want to irritate anyone), so we went to the party.

I had a nice chat with some old friends and almost immediately started having some contractions. Nothing new, really. My body's getting ready to do the real work eventually is all. But they kept coming. They didn't escalate, they just kept coming. I had dinner. I chatted with a Case student who also happens to be pregnant - and due Saturday. Mark got a swing dance lesson.

By 8:30 or so Mark could tell I was beat. We left. Thank goodness I got us there early to get one of the few cherished parking spots right on the street outside the building. Mark drove as delicately as possible because not only were the contractions continuing, but the baby found a new format for its kicking. Just when I got used to the old way. I suspect, though I've not looked into it at all, that the kicking changes as the baby grows. In any case, the baby's movements are nearly constant now. It feels sort of like a three-year-old has discovered roller-ball deodorant and is trying to apply it to my insides. Jabs and rolls - all with a bit too much force. I'm beginning to actually feel bruised. My back, and especially my right side, which the baby favors for kicking, is beginning to feel crampy.

Sleeping comes less often now, so I sleep on the couch during the day some, too. This month won't be very comfortable. I'm still okay. Really. But my final month has definitely come in with a bang.

The baby's way of saying "Happy New Year", perhaps.

The Next Chapter

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First, cool event: we were walking down the street in Pittsburgh this past weekend and it was snowing lightly. I was looking down to watch my footing (pregnant bellies don't exactly stabilize your balancing abilities) and I happened to catch a snowflake on my scarf. Now, those of you not familiar with snow, individual snowflakes tend to be small and fairly, well, unexciting. You can't usually SEE the intricate designs and patterns so widely touted. However, this snowflake was huge! It was large enough for me to call Mark & Tammy's attention to it and we all stared at it for a bit. It was hexagonal, with a spoke coming off each side. It was a precious little moment.

On to the next chapter, as per Sjona's request.

We met with the midwife again on Monday.
***Warning: This May Be Too Much Information For You - Enter At Your Own Risk***

I had my first cervical exam. Let's just say it's a whole different ball game when you're pregnant - especially third trimester. My dearest friends who plan on getting pregnant some day, here's some warning: prepare to fight the desire to kick your provider in her teeth and don't be surprised when the worst concoction of cuss words comes immediately to mind when your partner tries to calm and relax you so that the provider can get on with her business.

It probably didn't help that this was how our visit started, but then when I went on to ask the questions that I had prepared about the labor and delivery it seemed like for some reason the midwife went on the defensive. Are they not used to women asking questions and trying to understand, be prepared and maintain some control over their birth experience?

It seemed a little as if she expected me to pull out a shotgun and shoot anyone who said I should have an epidural. Whereas, what I said was "I don't want an epidural, but I would like to know when my window of opportunity is narrowing." Among other things. I left feeling like I'd loss some of my power. And frankly, I think power is important in labor. Not in a control way, but an empowered way.

In any case, we went to Lamaze class last night and some of my questions were answered better there. Furthermore, I will have either a doula (a friend who happens to be a certified nurse midwife) or my mother (or both) there to run interference. I hadn't decided whether I wanted my mother there or not, but especially after that visit, I know my mother has two absolutely valuable skills for this particular task:

1. an ability to translate (or speak on my behalf) in a way that the medical staff will respond

2. experience - not to mention that I got much of my attitude about childbirth from her, so I know we're mostly on the same page and she'll respect my wishes on the few things where we differ

I certainly hope Anne can be there to doula, but seeing as how she works as a midwife herself, it just may happen she's working when I'm in labor, so I'm glad I've got other support people I know and trust.

And yes, of course Mark will be with me - but seeing as how he has the abovementioned skills as much as I do, well, he has a different function. I must admit, it's a bit frustrating to know that the people who are best positioned to help have already done it. It's kind of like wedding planning - now that I'm married I'm much more knowledgeable about wedding planning. So much for that skill. Maybe that's why so many women go on to have another baby.

Prenatal Consults

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I must admit, when I read that we should pre-interview future pediatricians I felt a bit put upon. What a chore. I don't wanna'....

Now I feel like a private detective. And considering that my mother felt like our pediatric practice didn't really respect her as a mother until she was on her third child, I guess it does make sense.

Anyway, back to our detectiviness. Our choices were fairly limited, since Medicaid is our insurance (that's US-speak for 'government insurance if you're poor enough'). There were a couple of individual doctors I didn't even consider - I know enough to want a whole practice of physicians available to me. That left us with two. Hmm. Interesting. One is all male and the other all female. Huh - weird clue number one.

Interviewed male practice on Monday. Seemed okay. Mark and I were both put off, however, by some of the "art" displayed in the doctor's private office, though. It's fine to love golf, but a sign that says "I bought a set of golf clubs for my wife. It was the best trade I ever made" - well, it certainly says something (especially when you later reveal that you are still married - ouch!). However, since as a physician he seemed in line, I figured I could overlook that (and other offensive art depicting sexual harassment - I kid you not!!).

Tuesday, we met with the female practice. Less reading material for adults in the waiting room - of course, how many children are going to let a parent quietly read while they wait silently next to you for 20 minutes? So, we meet with a doctor. She just casually mentions that the women have all practiced together for a while now and recently decided to leave a larger practice and start their own.

Wait, which practice did you say you all left? You say it was the male practice we just visited yesterday?! Wha...?! Hmmm. Of course, we played it cool since that wouldn't be very professional, however, all the women up and leaving together does say something. Especially when male chauvinism was detected just on a very surface level at the male practice. Then she got into their working style and habits - hours, hospital visits, etc. - and I realized that this is a more worker-friendly environment. I might not be able to see my pediatrician in the hospital, but they have hospitalists that they work with, and this means my pediatrician has a life and likes it. And I like that - correction - Mark and I both like that, and we like supporting such choices (and a wise use of resources).

I'm glad we did the interviews. The female practice is further away, but for now (pre-baby), I'm willing to make the longer drive to support a healthier lifestyle choice.


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In the past few days, my mood has become even more erratic than previously. I suddenly did a 180 from looking forward to my Lamaze classes and the knowledge that would come with it to outright positively dreading it. Other pregnant women? Pass. (ok, ok, it wasn't that bad)

I spent an entire night in a frenzied free fall of thoughts wondering what's happening, why we chose to make it happen and mourning what was my previous life (i.e. the job I absolutely adored). Oh, and the classic Mara thought, "how can I get out of this?"

Hmm, writing this out now I realize that perhaps my mood is no longer erratic - it's just downright freaked out. The lack of control over my life is becoming increasingly evident, I suppose. And it ain't gonna' change any time soon. Well-intentioned people ask me whether I'm getting excited and it always turns into an awkward silence as they expect my happy response and I think, "do you have any clue what's about to happen?!?!"

On a lighter note, I'm making progress with the sweater. Just the neckline and sleeves to go now!


Further Progress

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I'm knitting again! And this time, it ain't a scarf! I'm starting small and simple, but really, how long could I hold out when living with my mother - a knitting fiend? So, here is the beginnings of a sweater for the baby:


In other news, I thought perhaps it was time for another belly shot now that I'm finally wearing maternity clothes, so, for your viewing pleasure:


On a side note, the painting on the wall was done by one of my French ancestors. His parents weren't exactly very encouraging, so he signed his paintings "Iwill" (and of course pronounced it "ee-wheel", which is how we still refer to him).

Quick Clarification

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I realized, reading everyone's comments on my previous blog post that I left out a fairly vital detail: the baby.

According to the ultrasound - the one that determined that my baby was 'only' in the 32nd percentile - my baby is healthy. It has a good heart rate (with all 4 valves), organs are developing as they should, femur is looking good (for retardation, among other things), etc. So, other than the fact that it's smaller than the average (American?) baby, all is well with it's development.

All that's really changed is that when I go in search of food at 4 a.m., I reach for a protein shake instead of dried figs. It's a win-win situation really. The doctor's (should be) happy, I'm less hungry when I crawl back into bed and my mom gets rid of her old protein shakes from the days of cancer treatment.

And to everyone who has offered their love, support and encouragement, again, thank you.

Hangover? Monday? Life? Poop?

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Those are all possible titles for this entry. None really capture the essence very well, though.

I really want to emphasize that I had an absolutely marvelous weekend. I did. I swear (see, I told you the titles aren't very good at indicating that). My family (most of it) was together to celebrate Ayyam'i'ha. We had loads of yummy food (bao, best pancakes ever), fun gift-giving, overloaded on Pinky and the Brain and gobs of superb chocolate. We partied with friends. Found out my longest-time friend (how do you say that?) is engaged - yay for her!

Sunday, my sister (with assistance) threw this fine baby of ours an "early birthday party". Wow, Mark and I were overwhelmed by all the love, support and beautiful gifts we received. Thank you to everyone who planned, coordinated, came, partied, gifted and loved. Party-goers each decorated a onesie for the little one to eventually wear. They all seriously rock. There's everything from "I (heart) M & M" to pastoral scenes to Mondrian to storybook classics.

A photo, as promised, of a sampling:


See? I had an awesome, exhausting weekend.

Then came Monday. I had two doctors appointments. An ultrasound, since all previous ultrasounds had been done in Israel, and then on to see my midwife.


I've had a pain in my left side for a week now. Figured it was ligaments stretching in combo with the baby kicking that very region, which some of it certainly is. However, it turns out I have a VERY SMALL ovarian cyst. Not quite half a centimeter. But there all the same. "Must be monitored". Of course, I know a thing or two in tumor terminology - that's called "watchful waiting". I ain't, unfortunately, ignorant. Largely, I think I reacted so emotionally to this news because of dealing with my mother's cancer for the last year and a half. It's so likely to be benign it's ridiculous, but it's simply over the top, in my humble opinion.

Oh, and that's not even what the midwife is worried about. No. Not going to even think about it again until after I deliver the baby. Her beef? (pun intended) The baby's too small. I need more protein in my diet. Could be I just need more protein in my diet. Or it could be a problem with the placenta and if that's the case, they may want me to deliver early (as in 38 weeks, not 40 - nothing extreme).

Somehow, something with a clear and obvious solution with very few possible repercussions, such as a baby who is only in the 32nd growth percentile, is much less concerning to me than anything related to cancer, however remotely.

But today is Tuesday. Today we have other things to do. And if the weather is nice to us, we will be able to go hear our friend Dick talk about his recent trip to Ghana, which I am very much looking forward to (BWC peeps - he was part of the crew that visited Haifa after the Black Men's Gathering in Ghana).

32 Weeks - or 7 months

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It's 7 months today.

Hopefully, I have 2 months left. There's always something to worry over. You know - miscarriage in the first trimester, diabetes in the second (ok, ok, I wasn't super worried about much of anything in the second trimester), and now premature labor in the third.

So, even though the baby is using me as boxing practice, I'm happy for every day the baby gets to develop its lungs, put on fat and grow fingernails.

Activity of the Week


I follow a blog (Baby Central) that gives me a weekly estimate of what to expect in the baby's development and my own bodily changes (thank you, Sieni). At the end of the description, it has a suggested 'activity of the week'. Some just make me laugh. One week it told me to buy a piece of jewelry with my child's birthstone. That being diamond, well, I just laughed. Another week told me to take my rings off, since some women's fingers swell. My fingers have actually shrunk, so I just moved them to other fingers....

Anyhew, this week's suggestion (at 31 weeks?) was to pack my bag for the hospital. I'm not quite convinced I need to do that just yet, but it did bring back memories. When we were living in Columbus, I went to the hospital with Amina and Whitney for the birth of their first child. I hung out in the waiting room with Amina's parents. I feel so honored to have been there, and to be involved in the little ways that I could contribute. I recorded Amina's parents talking about their anticipation and love for this soon-to-be-born first grandchild. I went on runs to the hot dog vendor. I recorded it when the midwife & Whitney came out with the happy news. My favorite part, though, was calling everyone on the list that Amina & Whitney had prepared ahead of time to inform them of the happy news. Not only because it gave me a glimpse into A & W's circle of loving family and friends, but it allowed the rest of the family to be completely focused and present upon the arrival of Elijah.

Anyone have any ideas/stories on things they appreciated having at the hospital or wished they'd had?


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You know the whole "eating for two" thing during pregnancy? Well, I understand it's not true, that a woman needs to make sure she's eating well, avoiding empty calories, etc., etc.

However, I am getting tired of eating. Seriously. I am hungry all the time. Ask my family. Going more than 30 minutes without eating can be a challenge for me. I'm not eating tons of food (large quantities increase the risk of heartburn), but I also almost never feel full. Not "oh-my-gosh-I-overate" full, just "I'm-not-hungry-because-I-just-ate" full. There are mornings that it takes me a while to get around to brushing my teeth because about the time I think to brush them, I'm hungry again.

Not gonna' kill me, but I didn't expect it to happen, either!



First, we'll start with the up close shot:


And then to this funky shot that to me looks like my child is sticking it's butt out at the camera:


And conclude with me fully dressed:


Even the Waddling Version?


Before I got pregnant, I couldn't fathom those pregnant women who worried about weight gain, how they looked pregnant, etc. I would look at a pregnant woman and be awed by her beauty and the process.

My mother has a saying, "you're comparing your insides with my outsides" - you know, judging a book by its cover. For example, come visit us. Check out my mother. You'll walk away thinking, "she has cancer? but she's so healthy!"

Well, now I'm pregnant. Being on the inside of what I used to judge from the outside, I've gained a bit of perspective. Yes, being pregnant is an awe-inspiring process. However, there are definitely trials to having your (YOUR) body expand in ways previously unthinkable. And you can't know everything that is going to happen in advance for two reasons: 1) there's simply too much that happens to know it all and 2) every woman is different and so is her experience - each time she's pregnant. Not all of it is comfortable. I've never had to exercise so regularly simply to be able to make it through the day without too much achiness.

Last night, Mark said, as he often does, "I love you" and I caught myself thinking, as I walked into the kitchen, "even the waddling version?" I guess that's when my previous outsider thinking made the connection with my current insider thinking.

You'd Never Know


You'd never know that I was 6 months pregnant and she had cancer, no?


We had our haircut yesterday, so we figured this would be a good opportunity to show the world just how well my mother is doing. For a more in focus photo, check out my mother's blog.

Today is a Baha'i Nineteen Day Feast, which I'm still getting used to again (since they don't happen in Haifa). We're hosting and it's potluck! Yum!

Tomorrow Mark and I will be heading down to Columbus for a New Year's party and to take care of some other business as well. I cannot even begin to express how old all this travelling is getting. Well, I guess I best enjoy it while I can....

Which brings me to my final topic. Pregnancy, I think, is just about the weirdest thing that has, or probably ever will, happen to me. I have another human growing inside of me. Inside. Of Me. It's rather difficult to wrap my head around it - to really convince myself it is for real and happening to me. Not that I ever had difficulty believing it was happening to someone else. Weird. That's as far as I've gotten.

Mah Belly


True to her word, my mother took updated photos of my ever-expanding belly last night in order to satisfy the starving masses (you know, all two of you...).

Anyhew, feel free to check out the poser on her web site.

Con Man


For your daily chuckle:

Upon returning home from delivering further-requested documents for Medicaid, I found 5 letters from the government - informing me I'd been accepted for Medicaid (umm, that was fast?! or, rather, then why did they need those other documents? anyway, doesn't matter, I got what I wanted).

So, yes, 5 letters. 3 were unsealed. One of them, I kid you not, has already expired. Turns out I was covered for November. Gee, thanks.

Finally, my favorite. Medicaid requires that I belong to an 'MCP' or managed care plan - whatever, it means that basically they are outsourcing me to a health insurance provider. So, I have to choose one. They give me a web site to go to in order to check out my options. The web site ends, again I kid you not, in "con-man-care.stm".

A Moment in Time


Every morning and night now, when I say my prayers, I put my hand on my belly. This way I feel like I'm including my baby - we're praying together. Sometimes, I will start with a children's prayer and then move on to other prayers more focused on me. That's what I did last night.

I was in the middle of my 'infants' prayer and I feel POKE, Poke, poke ... getting softer until it stopped. It was sooooo amazing. I wanted to wake the house up to tell everyone (aren't you glad I didn't? heheheh). I moved on to another prayer and POKE again, then it stopped. Now, today it's like I'm feeling the baby all day long. It's different from the poking of last night, but now that I've felt the baby I can tell what is the baby.

Having a Grandchild


That's how my mother puts it anyway - that she's "having a grandchild" (might as well skip the 'middle(wo)man', no?).

For those of you who have requested photos of my pregnant belly, my Maman has posted photos. I leave it to you decide whether I actually have one yet or not....

Thing Not To Do # 496


Just in case you didn't know, as I appear not to have known, I thought I'd enlighten you:

Do NOT ram your finger up your nose in the shower (I'm not talking picking your nose, I'm talking jamming it as if you're preparing yourself for mummification). A bloody nose in the shower is ... awkward.

And then having the bloody nose come back as you're standing at the voting booth, and again in your parent's office, well, you know, it can be a sort of a bummer - especially when you're wearing the only pair of pants that fit you anymore and you bleed on them.

So don't do it. Consider yourself warned.



Pregnancy is all about development. My development as well as the growth of this extra spinal column I'm incubating inside of me. (Don't ask me why, but seeing the spinal column on the ultrasound was the most moving thing for me - not head, arms, legs, whatever else.)

Anyhew, I'm 15 weeks today. Which means that my baby is supposed to be roughly 4 inches/10 centimeters. However, as of Tuesday (that last ultrasound I posted), the baby was already 11.5 cm, or 4.5 inches. I measured this and figured out that the baby is larger than my palm (my real hand palm here, not my Palm Pilot, folks), and is quite possibly already up to 12 cm.

I can't quite explain it, but the more 'real-life size' the baby gets, the more real-to-life it gets for me that this is all happening inside of me. (obviously, I have a way to go!)

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This page is an archive of recent entries in the Pregnancy category.

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