My 4th Pregnancy: 22 weeks

Week 22! 

My 6-year-old decided she wanted to take photos with me this week. She’s so loving, always giving my belly kisses and talking to her baby brother.

Look how much she has grown! Here we are at 22 weeks last pregnancy:

What a week. Wow. This last week was so full, I’m still recovering. My son turned 2 and I had a friend and her two children stay with us during the week, Tuesday through Friday. We had activities planned every day, from hikes to museums, and even when home, things felt crazy busy. But in a good way. I like getting outside, especially when the weather is gorgeous and we’re surrounded by friends.  

As far as the pregnancy goes, all is well this week so far. My belly seems to have grown a little and the kicking is constant, a sweet reminder of the little person I’m growing. He’s supposed to be around 11 inches now and nearly a pound, and he’s developing tiny tooth buds beneath his gums. I almost felt heartburn one night, waking up after accidentally falling asleep with the kids at their bedtime and drinking a tall glass of half water, half green juice. My stomach was so shoved up in my ribs, I could almost feel the heartburn coming on. It didn’t, so I’m thankful, but it was a reminder of what I’m “missing” now and will probably have in the coming weeks.

I weighed myself and did break the 130 barrier. I’m at 131, 132. A steady gain, I suppose, from my 120 starting weight. I wonder if I’ll be at 160 by the end, the weight I always am by birth. Seriously. I always start out the same and end up the same. I have four and a half months to get there, or not. We’ll see! I wouldn’t mind gaining a little less but it doesn’t seem to be up to me. My body just does what it needs to, I guess.

Weekend Update: My hospital visit 

I took so long to post this because I had a bit of excitement this weekend. We made a family trip to Point Reyes Lighthouse this past Saturday and when I got home, I rested in bed and then started bleeding heavily. Now, I’ve been used to spotting after active days but this was much more than usual and when it lasted through the next day, all day, I decided to go to the hospital to see if an ultrasound could determine the source of the bleed. Basically to get peace of mind, to confirm it wasn’t anything serious. Because I still felt the baby and was feeling fine, just bleeding a bit much, and I knew it wasn’t placenta previa. The sonographer did locate the issue, a subchorionic hematoma, and I’m thankful for the reassurance that a clot was all it was, is, nothing serious or life threatening to myself or my baby. I didn’t feel that it was something serious, just very concerning due to the increased bleeding this weekend after a couple of months of heavy to light spotting on and off. I wasn’t told by the doctor that I should go on bed rest or to return often for more scans, told there was anything to do about it really, except I should just eat more iron rich foods to help my body replace the lost blood. It’ll likely just go away on it’s own. I guess I had the best possible visit.

But still, I’m feeling conflicted about my first hospital experience this pregnancy. Why? I don’t know. It just bothered me. I was thankful for the resource, because I did make the choice to go in, but it was exactly as I expected, not any better. I was hoping it’d be better. The standard questions and hospital routines done on me, all pregnant moms really irked me. I did my best to remember I was using them as a resource, not to let those things get under my skin, but I’m so far removed from the hospital’s model of maternity care now, seeing it from my side was quite sad. I wish it was a more warm, personal experience. I could ramble on about every detail of my visit but I’ll spare you and save it for my personal journal. Let’s just say, I hope I don’t have to return.

How were you feeling around 22 weeks? What week are you at now? Did you have a subchorionic hematoma or experience any bleeding during your pregnancy?

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Happy 2nd birthday, Quint!

My toddler turned 2 today! It seems like yesterday that he was born, at home, caught by my hands, supported by my husband’s hands. I couldn’t have had a better birth experience, any more peaceful and empowering. I still feel so grateful for that day, two years ago. And what a surprise he was. We were told he was going to be a girl during our ultrasound and 20 minutes after his birth, we checked and noticed he certainly was not a little girl!

We didn’t do much to celebrate the day, a party or anything, but we spent all day together, as we do every day. I ate a chocolate cupcake while he was asleep. He had a birthday dessert of his choice at a bakery this weekend, a chocolate chip cookie. His first whole cookie. I would have cut it in half but his papa let him eat the whole thing.

Here he is now, in all his two-year-old bed-head glory.

And here we are, making it to our second nursiversary. <3

I’m happy to have made it to this goal. Now, he can wean anytime after this when he’s ready. I’m sure he’ll go to at least three though, probably four or five like his sisters. We’ll just keep going until he’s ready to stop, because that is what seems to work for our family. It’s been rough the last few months actually, pregnancy sensitivity and all, but we’re still going. He still asks many times a day. He is now night weaned though.

How did you celebrate your child’s 2nd birthday? And nursiversary?

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My 4th Pregnancy: 21 weeks

Week 21!

[If you're wondering about my dress, I snatched it this super comfy, organic cotton, non-maternity dress by Threads for Thought from REI online for only $12 before it sold out. Lucky me!]

I knew I was due for a “meh” hair photo after two fantastic (for me) weeks in a row. I took these quick snaps while my family was waiting impatiently in the car to go to breakfast. We went to our old favorite spot in Oakland’s Jack London Square, the Oakland Grill, and popped around the corner to a free San Francisco Orchestra concert at the Asian Cultural Center in Chinatown.

Here I am at 21 weeks last pregnancy:


I feel the same as last week, not like my belly or anything else has grown. I didn’t bother to weigh myself this week but I’m probably 130 by now. Maybe I’ll check next week. In my photo, I feel like I actually look smaller than last week. But maybe it’s just the angle of the belly or the dress being black and looser. I sure love dresses while pregnant though, especially for my weekly photos and weekends. Have you noticed? Maybe I’ll get crazy next week and take a photo wearing a sweater and jeans! I do wear jeans most of the week while out with the kids. They just want to play in my long dresses and trip me when I wear one. Like today.

I feel like I had a slow week, at least before the weekend, taking it easy, resting at home every day. I guess we did go out every other day for hikes or park play but I didn’t stay out long, wanted to get back in bed and take it slow to recover a bit. I’m still being kind to my body after my random bleeding last week and a mild cold I had. Now that I think about it, I had a couple random gushes of blood this week. One on Tuesday night, maybe from my hour hike babywearing Quint. So I bought a good all-terrain stroller this weekend though so I could push him instead of carry him on longer walks. I don’t know if he’ll accept the stroller instead of me when he’s tired but I’ll give it a shot. The stroller I bought was my old favorite that I’ve been missing, even though I hardly ever use strollers, a single BOB. They’re dreamy to push, aren’t they? I had one years ago then upgraded to a double that I never used, sold it, just used an umbrella for the occasional use, but always missed my single BOB. Anyway, I bled a little on Friday, too, so I cancelled our newt walk and gymnastics play date, because I felt I needed to rest. I hope this next week, I’ll be back to nothing. We’ll see if using the stroller or asking Quint to walk more instead of automatically babywearing helps reduce the stress on my body.

I also had my first hot flash, which was funny because I thought it was odd to have one and then when I turned on my phone to look at my pregnancy app, a daily update popped up that said hot flashes were normal. I’m thankful I have skipped constipation so far, another thing my app mentioned was normal if I was experiencing it, but that’s probably because I’m not taking synthetic prenatals with iron. Those messed me up my first pregnancy for sure.

Food

It’s been another week of pickles and sauerkraut and hearty veggie soup. And fresh fruit. A few nights this week I really wanted fruit, apples, strawberries, raspberries, pineapple, and tea for a snack or with plain whole milk yogurt. I would really love to try some coconut milk yogurt actually but I have to find a store that carries it. I’m still thankful to feel free of nausea and food aversions. I successfully resisted a few urges to eat old childhood favorites, like canned pork and beans and McDonald’s dollar burgers, and ate healthier things instead. I ate an avocado as a midnight snack the other night instead of mango moochi. Truthfully, my freezer was blocked and I couldn’t reach the dessert without rearranging and cleaning for 10 minutes.

The Baby

I feel like little guy kicking all the time now. It’s not super forceful but noticeable. My girls love trying to watch for kicks, and give my belly kisses. Every time we eat or they feed me, they say the baby is eating now, too. It’s adorable how much they think about their little baby brother in my tummy. My 4-year-old inspects my stomach nearly every day and exclaims, “Wow! You’d belly is getting bigger!!’ My toddler, who turns 2 next week I can’t believe it, touches my belly and says, “Baby! Baby!” But then he touches his own belly and says the same thing. I think he’ll get it eventually. For now though, he’s still my baby and he’s so loved. He’s sleeping on my full front right now, something he probably won’t be able to do later, for my comfort or his.

I thought about my blessingway again this week when my best friend offered to host one for me. I had another dear friend offer as well. I’m definitely feeling the love. I really just want to keep it small, simple, low stress, and all about sharing our stories and relaxing, either under the trees or somewhere outside we can be served a meal we can chat over. I’m thinking about a blessingway I attended at a restaurant in Berkeley last year, outdoor patio, beautiful, and we talked for a couple hours, it seemed, ate food, dessert…it was nice. Then I bought a new dress on thredup with the idea that I might wear it to my blessingway in early summer, a white strapless Free People with gold embroidery. We’ll see. I wish it was floor length. It’s only to my knees or so and I prefer longer dresses at the end of my pregnancy. 

Hmmm…what else. My stomach muscles are starting separate. I think it’s called diastasis recti. I can feel a gap at the top now. I hope they’ll come back together like they have the last three times. I’ll just have to wait and see. I think that’s it for this week.

How were you feeling around 21 weeks? When did you notice your stomach muscles separating? What were your favorite foods in the second trimester?

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My 4th Pregnancy: 20 weeks

20 weeks down. 20 weeks or so to go! 

[My maxi dress is Ecote from Thredup, if anyone wants to know. It's not maternity. I love buying regular dresses I know will work during pregnancy and after. It was only $12 after a sweet 20% off. Seriously!! Anyway, if you click this link you'll get $20 off your first order and I'll get a $20 credit to feed my Thredup shopping addiction. They even have kids clothes!]

Here I am at 20 weeks my last pregnancy.

My daughter was only 3, almost 4, years old then. She’s now 6! Time sure flies.

And in case you missed last week’s announcementwe’re having a BOY!

So anyway, I’m excited to officially be halfway through. I guess I went a few days past 40 weeks the last time and halfway past 41 the time before so we’ll see when this little guy decides to make his entrance. They say he’s 6.5 inches, crown to rump, or 10 inches long from head to toe, and 10.5 ounces heavy.

I weighed in at 129 pounds this week. I was 117 pounds pre-pregnancy, but I’ll just round it up to 120 to make things easy, because why not? Usually start around 120, a couple pounds under, and ended up at 160 to 163 every time. I wonder if this time will be the same. I wouldn’t mind gaining 10 less pounds but I don’t see how that will happen since no matter how my diet is, or how active oi am or not, I always gain exactly the amount. 40 solid pounds. it usually takes my body and breastfeeding around 4 or 5 months to burn it all off. that’s fine with me, I guess. I hope I’ll come off like the last times but I’ll just have to wait and see.

I finally broke down and bought maternity pants. I was pleasantly surprised to see so many cute styles, nothing that made me feel frumpy. Except they all have full panel that I find annoying, especially later on when my belly is huge and itchy when those darn panels are on my skin. I also can’t believe it took me four pregnancies to finally buy a pair of maternity leggings. I also picked up a couple pairs of clearance shorts for when the weather warms up.

I also got my very first pair of maternity undies and my first nursing tank. I only got both because they were cheap for some odd reason and right there with everything else in the same section. It was actually a tiny section, about the size of my living room, but it had more than enough to pick from. The undies are super cute and comfy. I’m actually not very happy with the nursing tank though. It feels odd, the snappy thingy seems like an extra step, loud, pointless, that I’m probably going to hate it after years of simple pull-up or pull-down no-fuss nursing but I’ll just see when the baby’s here.

I feel pretty set now. I’m still happy that I gave away all my maternity clothes to my friends and family because honestly, I wanted an update.

Food

I’m doing a little better this week, I think, having a better variety of foods, more veggies, having fresh kale every day again after being turned off it for a while. I’m loving those little organic ramen noodle packs (I get mine from Whole Foods) with whatever veggies sliced or diced in there with super finely chopped kale from my garden. And an egg or two whisked in. Delicious.

My midnight snack last night seemed funny enough to note. I was stuck under Quint for a couple hours, starving, and my bladder was going to explode. But I got a huge craving for raw sauerkraut, a flame warmed buttered tortilla, and fresh garlic cheese curds. I finally escaped for five minutes and gobbled it all down. It was heavenly. (Of course, I’m still feeling the guilty every time I eat dairy but I’m not going to change my diet in the middle of pregnancy. I’ll just continue to think of the cows and hope they’re treated better than those in the awful videos I’ve seen.)

As for the odd bleeding I mentioned, I woke up to a gush of dark brown blood four mornings in a row, with nothing all day, and then nothing on my 5th day. I think maybe it was because I was too active again early in the week, not resting enough, and I bled a bit internally but didn’t notice. It wasn’t released until my body was horizontal for hours and then quickly vertical again in the morning. Anyway, I’m glad it’s gone and I hope I don’t have any more strange bleeding to worry about. I am thinking about an ultrasound near birth to make sure my placenta isn’t covering my cervix. My placenta was up at the top at 15 weeks. We’ll see.

How were you feeling around 20 weeks? Did you ever have unexplained bleeding? When did you start wearing maternity pants?

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Colgate ignores studies, tells moms breastfeeding causes caries, to wean at 12-14 months, contrary to global health recommendations

A major toothpaste brand, Colgate, is spreading misinformation on their website about breastfeeding, telling moms that breastfeeding at night causes caries and urging moms to wean at 12-14 months.

A concerned mother, Jackie Leventhal, messaged me this week, stating: “I recently bought Colgate kids toothpaste (which I have no returned and purchased a different brand) and I wanted to do some research on it before using it. When I went to their website I found that they’re trying to say that night nursing causes Cavities (which is completely false) and also say you should wean by 12-14 months which completely goes against the WHO recommendations! I have taken these screenshots. I personally think they need to update their website before a parent sees that and it scares them into weaning before they are ready!”

Her screen shots:

In case you cannot read it, Colgate’s website says:

Here are some tips on preventing early childhood caries:

  • Talk with your doctor about weaning your infant from the bottle or breast at age 12 to 14 months.

“Early childhood caries can occur if your child:

  • Breastfeeds throughout the night

Normal breastfeeding has not been shown to cause dental cavities. However, breastfeeding for long periods of time can still put your child at higher risk for dental decay.”

You can see the full article here on their website.

This article was supposedly “reviewed by the Faculty of Columbia University College of Dental Medicine,” per the top of the article. However, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months, with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond for best health outcomes. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends exclusively breastfeeding infants for 6 months and to continue breastfeeding as complementary foods are introduced for 1 year or longer, as mutually desired by mother and infant.

Does breastfeeding cause caries? No.

Colgate posted this exact quote on their page, in another post. “A recent study in Pediatrics, the journal for the American Academy of Pediatrics, says that neither breastfeeding nor its duration is associated with increased risk of early childhood dental decay.”

Another post on Colgate’s website recognizes another benefit of breastfeeding, “Breast-feeding may promote properly aligned teeth, an Australian study suggests.”

So, why are they leaving damaging information on their website and failing to support breastfeeding in this one post, even when asked to update it? Updating a old post would take half a hour, really. Pressuring moms to wean early, unnecessarily, is damaging to the mother and child, global health. That’s why major health organizations (UNICEFWHOAAFP) and our Surgeon General are asking everyone to support breastfeeding. 

How can you help?

Please contact Colgate and respectfully ask them to update their website to reflect the current information and to support breastfeeding, not to tell moms that they’re hurting their children’s teeth, that they need to wean.

How do you think Colgate should respond?

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Out & About: Regional Parks Botanic Garden

We spent yesterday exploring the Regional Parks Botanic Garden in Tilden Regional Park in the Berkeley hills. It was a chilly day but the garden was gorgeous with moss, mushrooms, fairy fingers, and water falls. It felt nearly magical really, as silly as that sounds. Everything was alive and spring was just starting to show with buds on the branches. We even spied a few newts, some swimming alone, some mating.

Here are a few of our photos.

And of course, I couldn’t get a good selfie without Quint eating but here I am.

Have you been to the Regional Parks Botanic Garden​? 

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My 4th Pregnancy: 19 weeks and we’re having a….

19 weeks down. 21 weeks or so to go!

I’m feeling pretty good these days. Nothing to complain about it or report this week, really. Except my face is finally looking better (the acne has calmed down) and I’ve officially gained 10 pounds since September. I feel curvier but I don’t feel like it’s my belly that’s grown. Mostly my thighs and tush. So when I look at these photos, I don’t feel like that’s my belly. I looks much larger in the photos than I feel like I look every day. When I’m out and about, I don’t feel that pregnant. I hardly notice a bump at all. Maybe it’s because that’s a dress I usually wear a sweater over and my usual, day to day outfits are looser. But I got dressed up for the photo because, why not? My big girls were out with their father and my toddler was sleeping in the bed next to me. I didn’t find my tripod but I set up a child’s chair on top of my side table and voilà! That is a Zara dress from Thredup, if anyone wants to know. (If you click this link you’ll get $20 off your first order and I’ll get a $20 credit to feed my new online shopping addiction. They even have kids clothes! And I don’t have to haul all three of my kids inside a store!) I’ve been loving shopping for pregnancy friendly clothes (just regular dresses and tops that I know I can have a belly in) on there. They do have a maternity section on there but I’m not into buying maternity yet. I’ll save that for when I’m really huge later this summer. I usually put a price max of $16, select a few brands I love, plug in the size I want, and a long photo list of dresses pops up for me to pick through, everything over 70% off.

But anyway, this isn’t a sponsored post so I’ll move along. At 19 weeks last time, I was wearing maternity pants. This was my 19 weeks photo from my third pregnancy.

(I feel like my belly looks smaller??) I’m just not in the mood to wear them yet. I realized today that I waited too long to pull out my “fat pants,” you know, the ones that fit better than your regular ones, but have more room in them, but aren’t maternity pants yet? Well, they just laughed at me and I had to search everywhere for my belly band. I put it on and went grocery shopping and my to my annoyance, it just rolled up, made me show everyone my plumbers crack. Sigh. I guess I should think about those maternity pants sooner rather than later.

What else? The baby should weigh about 8 1/2 ounces and measure 6 inches from crown to rump. I feel my little one wiggling mostly at night, or any time I’m laying down really, and he’s still doing that belly button moving thing that is creepy but cute. Since all of my family members that know we’re having a boy keep telling everyone, I guess I’ll just come out and say it. We’re having a BOY! I’m pretty certain the sonographer got it right this time but you know, we’ll be sure at the birth. Although I admit, I wanted another girl, I’m excited to have two girls and two boys. It seems kind of lucky, kind of like I could have actually planned it. My girls play together all day and I can’t wait to see Quint paired up with his brother. He does play with his sisters too, of course, but I’m just wondering what our future will look like. Have I mentioned Quint is a very physical boy? He’s so strong and active. I know he’ll love having a brother. He rough houses with everyone right now but I’d love another rambunctious boy for him to play with, rather than bruise me up. Sometimes he’s too rough with his sisters and they either cry or run away from him. Oh, to be almost 2 and have no impulse control. At least he gives hugs and kisses after he realizes he hurt someone. Anyway, we are no where close to picking a name. My husband keeps vetoing all my suggestions. Boy names are so hard!

As for me, I’m craving fruit all the time. And brie with fig jam. I will eat anything set in front of me at this point, because something I don’t have to cook is the best. My husband obliges my lack of enthusiasm in the kitchen on the weekends so that’s nice. I still make a couple meals but being served food is heavenly. What else…hmmm…My linea nigra is ever so slightly visible now. My energy level feels pretty good though I do get short on patience when I’ve done too much, feel frazzled, and need a little quiet. As long as I rest after a long day out, give myself some time to myself to relax, put my feet up, I feel sane. I don’t like this part of pregnancy at all, the mood swings related to being tired and/or hungry, but at least it’s better now at 19 weeks than it was for the whole first trimester. Have I mentioned my boobs finally evened out? I had one that nearly quit making milk early in my pregnancy and one super producer. I was a bit lopsided and not very happy about it. But thankfully, sometime in the last couple weeks they both evened out and now I’m making enough milk (and colostrum) to keep Quint (mostly) happy but my nipples still hurt so I have to set limits. Quint is now calling milk “nilk.” He says, “Nilk, meeese.” It’s adorable. I will definitely not be nursing four children when the next one is born. My eldest weaned herself (I can’t believe it!), my middle daughter is nearly finished (asking once a month or so), and my toddler is no where close to being finished. So I’ll probably just have two.

I’m still having nothing but positive thoughts about the upcoming birth. I hope we’re still in the house we’re in now because it’d be a lovely place to birth. I love the light here. And the fact that I have no upstairs neighbors. I was actually worried about being too loud during labor in our last home. OOoo…or I would love love love to birth outside! I would be so thankful to have an outdoor freebirth, someplace calm and quiet, surrounded by trees or someplace I can always return to, bring my son to years later to show him where he was born. I thought about placenta encapsulation this week as well. Last time I just cut up up my placenta into chunks and put the raw pieces in to smoothies, froze the rest. (And I still have two bags to bury under a tree I still need to plant!) But I’m thinking I might have pills made this time. I have a close friend that processes placentas so I’ll probably have her do it if that’s what I want to do come June. If you’re local to the SF Bay Area, check Jinny Pagle out (YelpFacebook)! She’s also a doula and she makes organic lactation cookies!

Anyway, that’s enough for now. I’ll write more later if I think of anything else.

How were you feeling around 19 weeks? 

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