Wednesday, February 25, 2009

15 weeks, apples and amniotic fluid

From Pregnancy Center's handy dandy weekly email.

"How Your Baby's Growing"
Your growing baby now measures about 4 inches long, crown to rump, and weighs in at about 2 1/2 ounces (about the size of an apple). She's busy moving amniotic fluid through her nose and upper respiratory tract, which helps the primitive air sacs in her lungs begin to develop. Her legs are growing longer than her arms now, and she can move all of her joints and limbs. Although her eyelids are still fused shut, she can sense light. If you shine a flashlight at your tummy, for instance, she's likely to move away from the beam. There's not much for your baby to taste at this point, but she is forming taste buds. Finally, if you have an ultrasound this week, you may be able to find out whether your baby's a boy or a girl! (Don't be too disappointed if it remains a mystery, though. Nailing down your baby's sex depends on the clarity of the picture and on your baby's position. He or she may be modestly curled up or turned in such a way as to "hide the goods.")

"How Your Life is Changing" (Not so much really, but yes, a little weight. Not five pounds, I don't think!)
"You've probably gained about 5 pounds by now (a little more or less is fine, too) and are well into the swing of your pregnancy, but you may still be surprised by an unexpected symptom now and then. If your nose is stuffed up, for instance, you can probably chalk it up to the combined effect of hormonal changes and increased blood flow to your mucous membranes. This condition is so common, there's even a name for it: "rhinitis of pregnancy." Some pregnant women also suffer nosebleeds as a result of increased blood volume and blood vessel expansion in the nose.

"If you're having amniocentesis, it'll most likely happen between now and 18 weeks. This test can identify hundreds of genetic and chromosomal disorders. If you're getting very anxious while waiting for the results, it may help to know that most women who undergo amniocentesis get good news about their babies — bringing welcome relief from their worries.

"Don't be surprised if you and your partner are feeling a little stressed out these days. Many pregnant couples worry about their baby's health and how they'll handle the changes ahead. But with physical discomforts on the wane and energy on the rise, this is also a wonderful trimester for most women."

back from sick leave, better business model

My midwives are the best. Julie called yesterday. Twice. Once was a routine, early in the process call, to explain to me the workings of the billing process.

The second was to see how I was feeling.

I had left a message on Awakenings answering service on Sunday in preparation for my Monday afternoon appointment. I am supposed to let the lovely ladies know whenever I am sick. And I have been a hacking/blowing/dripping/wheezing mess since Thursday night. Oh joy!

Julie called to give some advice about how much Vit C and echinachea I am allowed (per hour, etc.) as well to ask if I needed to chat. AWWWWW! I had left a scratchy but upbeat message, at some point stating that yeah, sick, but looking at it as yet another opportunity to get rest rest rest. She still called and was all sweet and care-takery and I really know that that when things get more challenging, I've got the some damn find ladies in my corner.

While sick I've stuck to bed and couch, eating lots of comfort food, prepared by Mr. Ross, watched everything that's anygood on Fox On Demand and tried to read. Now I'm better, back to studying, soon yoga, beer ... taking care of Ross. Cause now he's the one making a mess in handkerchiefs. Ew!

And now: Boobs! From the wires that I read of Salon.

Topless cafe in Maine gives neighbors the jitters

Feb 24th, 2009 | VASSALBORO, Maine -- Cup size has more than one meaning at a new central Maine coffeehouse. Servers are topless at the Grand View Topless Coffee Shop, which opened its doors Monday on a busy road in Vassalboro. A sign outside says, "Over 18 only." Another says, "No cameras, no touching, cash only."

On Tuesday, two men sipped coffee at a booth while three topless waitresses and a bare-chested waiter stood nearby. Topless waitress Susie Wiley said men, women and couples have stopped by.

The coffee shop raised the ire of dozens of residents when it went before the town planning board last month. Town officials said the coffee shop met the letter of the law.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

palin's choice and, wait am i really just an incubator

So, little Bristol Palin had a baby. And, like any daughter of a failed GOP VP (Sarah has recently been described as Dan Quayle with a pony-tail) should do — she's talking about it on Fox.

Salon: "Bristol Palin Stammers the Truth About Choice"
Has some choice clips:
"Bristol also bristled obediently when asked by Van Susteren about how the media "dogged" her a bit. "They thought that my mom was going to make me have the baby, and it was my choice to have the baby, and that kind of stuff just bothered me."

"Yes, Bristol insisted, it was her choice to have Tripp. "In terms of the ... whole issue of the right to life and choice and things like that ... this is your decision?" Van Susteren asked. "Yeah," repeated Bristol. "It doesn't matter what my mom's views are on it. It was my decision. And I wish people would realize that, too."'

Go Bristol with your forming feminism!

Posts on Slate's XX Factor quote Bristol as claiming she want's to become "an advocate against teen pregnancy" — again, you keep on going, young mom! But, yeah, good luck with your mom.

I hope she does get into advocating for safer sex education, because as she points out "Everyone should be abstinent or whatever, but it's not realistic at all."

And here's a reason to move all that icky waste they want to truck into a Nevada mountain to North Dakota:

"North Dakota anti-abortion measure approved by state House says fertilized egg is human"

Are you old white assholes fucking kidding me? OK, no, you're not. I saw a picture of you, and I know you are all old, fat, white men. Or at least mostly (maybe they're just jowly?). And ignorant, mean, women-hating women, perhaps? Goooo Christians! Treating the ladies like the incubators we were meant to be.

Ross's response: "Where is this? ... Are there women there?"

From the article:

"This is very simply defining when life begins, and giving that life some protections under our Constitution — the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

So, would I be jailed for having my occasional beer? Would my bikram yoga teachers be robbed of their business licenses for willfully endangering a "baby" when I told them that I had peed on a stick 3 days BEFORE I would have missed a period? Cause with ignorance like this, well, more is bound to follow.

I doubt this will get very far, but WOMEN, this shit has to stop. Maybe when that generation of men die out? Nah, we've got Palin Sr.s out there too.

Time to donate to Planned Parenthood!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

i need me this outfit

I might wear it with my Fluevogs, the pair that most resembles my old (electric blue) 10=hole Docs. Ah, I miss my Docs. Blue and Green.

I just love M.I.A — she had her bebeh just a few hours after performing at the Grammy Awards.

But seriously, I LOVE that outfit. for the summer I might skip the mesh/netting tho.

and now i have a lemon inside me

From Pregnancy Center:

I like the idea of my lemon moving from one facial expression to another, rapidly, unceasingly, like a theater ACTor or mime warming up for a big night of over-acting.

When I told Ross about the urine/peeing, I think he paused and said: "Oh. Gross?" Though I might have imagined the question marks.

"How your baby's growing:

"This week's big developments: Your baby can now squint, frown, grimace, pee, and possibly suck his thumb! Thanks to brain impulses, his facial muscles are getting a workout as his tiny features form one expression after another. His kidneys are producing urine, which he releases into the amniotic fluid around him — a process he'll keep up until birth. He can grasp, too, and if you're having an ultrasound now, you may even catch him sucking his thumb.

"In other news: Your baby's stretching out. From head to bottom, he measures 3 1/2 inches — about the size of a lemon — and he weighs 1 1/2 ounces. His body's growing faster than his head, which now sits upon a more distinct neck. By the end of this week, his arms will have grown to a length that's in proportion to the rest of his body. (His legs still have some lengthening to do.) He's starting to develop an ultra-fine, downy covering of hair, called lanugo, all over his body. Your baby's liver starts making bile this week — a sign that it's doing its job right — and his spleen starts helping in the production of red blood cells. Though you can't feel his tiny punches and kicks yet, your little pugilist's hands and feet (which now measure about 1/2 inch long) are more flexible and active."

I wanna feel punches and kicks. Do I need to register the lemon now for AYSO, like they say I do for pre-school? Heh. Not!

This week's fun food:
Homemade corn bread
Brownies: No Pudge: you add a bunch of non-lo-fat yogurt instead of oil and eggs.
Popcorn with loads of butter (I really need to get some unpasteurized butter!) and cooked in coconut oil, of course!
Grits (because they were there)
Smores (made in the broiler by a visiting stoner; I abstained, from both)
Sushi: yellow tail, spicy tuna and some yummy veggie rolls that Natalie suggested.
Beer: I even had a Racer5 with my pizza at Lane Splitters

As I told a friend, I'm not sure if I can blame this week's belly on the pregnancy or on the food, but I can sure blame the cravings for the above food on the pregnancy.

And blame might be the wrong.

This weekend's plans: Eat more fish! Drink a beer tonight! Take out my nipple rings, maybe! Post the first image of the lemon/then lime!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

when will the boobs get bigger?

Don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining. The titties I suddenly have are great. They're like a loan from a friend whose bra I could stuff with socks from my soccer playing days. And no noticeable stretch marks — still got those leetle ones from back when I went on the pill and went to college and stopped all my team exercise and drank beer and cheap booze ALOT and ate in the dorms Mon - Fri and pretty much only peanut butter on the weekends — so, for sure, no complaining.

But they haven't done any growing now for a week or so. Yes, when I got out of bed this am, Ross immediately pointed his half asleep face at me and opened his eyes just enough to track me as I/we bounced off the bed and into clothes (and ladies, it's cold in our room these mornings, talk about having the girls at attention!). Once the top went on over the cami, closed went his eyes. (At right: Firefly and Mad Men's Christina Hendricks)

"Were you watching my boobs?"
"Ummm, uh-huh." With a hit of a smile on his already almost sleeping face.

So, yes, still got it.

But this am I woke up to Nerve's "The Ten Hottest Women Size 10 and Up" and now I want some of that.

I think first things first, though. I still need to get me a real bra. One that pushes and pulls and shapes and makes my girls pop out of clothes.

Also, I need new clothes.

Come on Obama with that stimulus package.

(Above: Keely Shayne Smith, an actress and a Pierce's wife of eight years)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

one lady in washington state figured it out

There's a bill to protect the right of women to feed babies in public. Breastfeed. Washington State Rep. Tami Green is sponsoring a bill to ensure that nursing mothers have the right to breastfeed in public. Cause she thinks it's a good idea for babies to have access to the very best brain food nature makes. Milk from the tit!

Rep. Green has been backed by fellow Rep. Lynn Kessler, who fully supports the legislation and claims that those who think that women shouldn't be allowed to breastfeed in public because it's "obscene" need to "grow up."

On commentator adds an "STFU" which, yeah, I agree. Who the fuck is offended by this? And why the fuck do we care? I plan to feed my kid when my kid wants to be fed. Fuck all your fucked up inhibitions, bad mother issues, hatred of women/fear of women/your mother/your wife/yourself shit. And if I get ticketed or arrested, call me the poster child for the reality movement.

Course, I have to make it through the cracked/peeling/painful nipples first.

Read more about the Washington ladies: Seattle Times.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

bad blood, scary numbers

Ross is all grown up.

And I think the next time he talks to his dad, he'll get a big laugh. His dad. Not Ross.

Ross turned 41 in January. "I'm in my 40s," he now says. As opposed to "I'm pushing 40," what he said not too long ago.

And with this birthday, along with our little lime, he has begun to heed the warnings.
When the midwife came to visit, she took my blood pressure. "Perfect numbers." Of course. And I asked her to take his. "Um, I'm gonna do this again. But I'd like to invite you to relax." Beat. Beat. Beat. "Um, you should be stroking right now."

The Point Richmond Doc: "These are scary numbers." And so, tiny pills. Once a day. In two weeks a fasting midnight to 9 am and then we're bound to find out that he has also inherited the cholesterol issues his mom and dad have. Bum tickers. Bum blood.

Hope the lime inherits my ticker. And someone else's blood entirely. Cause in my family, there's the whole diabetes thing. Totally not gonna think about that right now.

Back to Ross's bad blood (pressure). Although I haven't met his dad, I can imagine the same, slow, deep chuckle. Which is what Ross will hear over the phone line (do cell phones have lines? I don't think so, now that I think about it.) when he cops to the prescription.

I wonder if he'll tell his dad abou the lime at the same time?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

finger prints on my lime

13 weeks, yo!

My little lime is growing. I think I'll have half a beer to celebrate. Newcastle it is!

From BabyCenter
Fingerprints have formed on your baby's tiny fingertips, her veins and organs are clearly visible through her still-thin skin, and her body is starting to catch up with her head — which makes up just a third of her body size now. If you're having a girl, she now has more than 2 million eggs in her ovaries. Your baby is almost 3 inches long (the size of a medium shrimp) and weighs nearly an ounce. As you start your second trimester, most of your baby's critical development will be completed and your odds of miscarriage drop considerably.
Read more about this week

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

from me to yelp

(Here's what I posted on Yelp, which I usually loathe, but I saw that Awakenings Birth Services -- my midwives -- got a 1 star. Granted, all the other ratings are 5 stars, but still, it got my blood going.)

I am finally SO excited about my pregnancy.

I had a great interview with two of the lovely ladies of Awakenings and just yesterday had my first real deal appointment. It was informative, fun, joyous, serious and even silly (I can get silly when I'm excited). I am absolutely thrilled with not only with my decision to work with midwives and to aim for a home birth, but with my decision to work with Awakenings -- these are for sure the ladies for me and my partner.

My dear friend had an absolutely wonderful home birth with them last July, so I know how professional and competent they are and how well they handle births.

Now I know, from first-hand experience, how they treat a pregnant-for-the-first-time 35 year old woman. I'm new to pregnancy, but I edu-ma-cate the heck out of myself and the Awakenings midwives are not only patient with me when I get to talking, they are receptive when we get into territory that is new to them. Ie: I was talking up a preggo book I like and my midwife of the day asked to borrow it. She left me with a DVD in exchange!

It might seem silly that I'm excited about trading books and such... but their openness along with their demeanor, knowledge and experience have made me more than confident in my decision to invite Awakenings into my home and into ny life.

I am reassured that my exercise, nutrition plans, and my physical and emotional well being are in great hands. And I know that with their assistance I'll be able to navigate the insurance mess(?) and any visits to Western Medicine that I feel I need to take.

I'll surely post again to report on my birth experience

Sunday, February 1, 2009

a badge for ironing and quit your day job for breastfeeding

A couple of things in the news this week, or that I found this week, have caught my attention.

Female Merit Badges: Kinda cute, Kinda sexist, Retro
Linked today on, the article is titled Female Merit Badges Represent 'Rites of Passage'

Maternity Leave Linked to fewer C-sections and Increased Breastfeeding: Found an article while on the UC Berkeley campus. Talked to Lan about it and applauded her plan to take time off before the birth and maybe up to a year after as well. A good quote from the top of the article:
"One study found that women who started their leave in the last month of pregnancy were less likely to have cesarean deliveries, while another found that new mothers were more likely to establish breastfeeding the longer they delayed their return to work."

and another

"'We don't have a culture in the United States of taking rest before the birth of a child because there is an assumption that the real work comes after the baby is born," said Guendelman. "People forget that mothers need restoration before delivery. In other cultures, including Latino and Asian societies, women are really expected to rest in preparation for this major life event.'"

At least CA has a more enlightened view (legally) of what us preggo ladies need. So yay? on that.

and OH! the higher up the ladder the lady is (who is/was preggo) the more control she has over both the time off and how she feels about it. Read on!

"Researchers found that women who took less than six weeks of maternity leave had a four-fold greater risk of failure to establish breastfeeding compared with women who were still on maternity leave at the time of the interview. Women who took six to 12 weeks of maternity leave had a two-fold greater risk of failing to establish breastfeeding.

"Having a managerial position or a job with autonomy and a flexible work schedule was linked with longer breastfeeding duration in the study. After 30 days, managers had a 40 percent lower chance of stopping breastfeeding, while those with an inflexible work schedule had a 50 percent higher chance of stopping."