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  • Now that I’m officially in my 12th week I am starting to feel better. Though, Sunday I was hit with a wretched headache. I had attributed it to not sleeping very well in the hotel the night before but apparently after reading online when morning sickness leaves, headaches enter. Cooooool. I actually hadn’t had a headache in quite awhile, something I had thought had to do with my being off coffee. Sometimes I’ll end up with a caffeine headache on weekends but that hadn’t been a problem since quitting coffee in early January.

    As I said last week I was going to wrap up my thoughts on the first trimester with favorite items, blogs, books, etc. I’m going to attempt to break it down into something meaningful with, I’m sure, some ramblings.

    +(Growing) Body Issues: Last week I mentioned buying new bras twice within the span of a few weeks. I think I nipped that in the bud just a bit by getting a size I could grow into. It was definitely a size I have never worn in my life. And they were nursing bras…which are interesting by the way. The ones I found were the Gilligan & O’Malley brand from Target and an affordable $16.99, or something like that. Some of my shirts are getting a bit more snug around the belly, not really too bad, but definitely showing some of the widening middle. I’m not ‘showing’ per se, it is that stage of people wondering if a person is just chubby or if they are pregnant. I’m afraid this stage is going to last awhile from what I’ve read. I have one pair of jeans that sits higher on the waist than my others and I can’t button them comfortably anymore. While at Target I bought a BeBand so I could wear those jeans without buttoning them as they fit just fine otherwise. So far I really love the band and I may end up getting another one in black (I have white) for later use. As for maternity clothes, I haven’t bought any yet. I tried on a shirt at Target but was immediately frustrated and felt like a whale, so I have a feeling I’ll be attempting to find the loosest clothing possible. It’s too bad sweats won’t be in season in July.

    +Other Products: When I went off the pill I knew that I was supposed to take a prenatal vitamin. Now, I hate vitamins. They have always made me sick and I generally don’t ‘believe’ in vitamins. If one is eating a well-rounded diet you should get the nutrients you need just fine. But, you know, everyone loves to scare a pregnant/soon-to-be pregnant woman into doing the very best for the baby and since I was vegetarian I did want to make sure I was getting enough B12 and folate for the baby. I read up on a couple of whole food vitamins and Chris researched for me as well. We reached the conclusion that New Chapter Perfect Prenatals were the best. I could take them on an empty stomach and wouldn’t have any issues—-which has turned out to be true. Other than they are horse pilled sized, they’ve been great! I also knew that I wanted a vitamin that had folate not synthetic folic acid and this brand had it. Other than vitamins I’ve using good ol’ Palmer’s cocoa butter for preventing stretch marks. Who knows if it will work or not, but why not try and smell tropical at the same time?

    +Movies & YouTube: One of the first movies I watched was The Business of Being Born. This is a must watch if you ever think about getting pregnant or are with someone who is/might be getting pregnant. And family/friends. My ideas on birth had evolved over the years (when I was a kid I wanted a c-section, mostly because that’s what my mom had and that’s all I knew) but it really changed after watching the movie and researching the information even further. Anyway, this movie got me into researching natural childbirth even more and after more reading I realized just how many interventions are involved in the typical American birth these days. Basically the general trend is pitocin—>worse contractions than normal—>epidural—>laboring ‘too long’—->c-section. And then with c-section good luck ever having that VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarian) because most doctors won’t allow it. There’s actually a lot more to that, but I’ll let further links later explain that.

    Over on YouTube I started watching various birth and TTC vlogs. Some of them are even their own channels, with daily or weekly updates. It’s tv on the internet…some of my favorites:

    Mama Natural: Sometimes she’s a bit fringy for me, but I really loved watching her two natural birth videos. She updates often and has a ton of information on natural birth and ‘crunchy’ kid raising.

    Tweedle Tee: I started off by finding her weekly videos for her first pregnancy that detailed the changes in her pregnancy. Eventually I ended up watching her videos summarizing the birth of her son which ended up being quite traumatic, including an emergency c-section and an abrasive, perhaps even verbally/mentally abusive, anesthesiologist. She’s currently pregnant with her second and is has been seeking out someone who will allow her to have a VBAC. She’s in Canada.

    Ellie and Jared: I love this couple! They are hilarious! They had fertility problems but finally they were able to conceive (I think it was IUI) they had their son back in January. She had a scheduled induction and delivery and it was relatively quick, I think 8 hours.

    A Tale of Two Bumps on The Mom’s View: I found this sub-channel from seeing someone else liking it in their feed. Light, frivolous and fun.

    The Kandu Family: I haven’t watched a lot of their videos, I mostly followed her natural birth videos, such as this one.

    Delayed Cord Clamping from AcademicObGyn. I’ve only made it through the first video and need to continue watching, but it delves into a topic that natural birth folks are very interested in. By clamping the umbilical cord too early the thought is that some of blood that has been circulating from the placenta to the baby isn’t being returned to the baby, effectively starving the baby of its own blood. By delaying cord clamping either just a few more minutes or until the cord stops pulsating, the baby thereby gets all of its blood and redcing iron deficincies and other issues.

    Reducing the Fear of Birth in U.S. Culture with celebrated midwife Ina May Gaskin. A TEDx talk.

    Pain versus Suffering in Labor

    Willow’s Birth using the Bradley Method.

    I think that’s the main links for now. I know I’ve watched a ton of YouTube videos!

    +Books: The first book I bought back in August was Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. I’m still reading through it. The first section is comprised of personal stories of women who gave birth naturally on The Farm.

    I also read Pushed: The Painful Truth about Childbirth and Modern Maternity. This one was published in 2008 I believe, so it is already a smidge dated, but it was captivating and very interesting. I highly recommend reading this book if you are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant. Eye opening is one way to put the book.

    The latest book I bought is Natural Childbirth The Bradley Way, which is kind of a companion to the Husband Coached Childbirth by Dr. Bradley. I had read about the Bradley Method and had considered it for natural childbirth classes but I wasn’t sure about it until our midwife recommended it to me. (Yes, I have a midwife. She’s a certified nurse midwife and practices in the same office as her husband who is an ObGyn.) I’d heard about Hypnobirth and HypnoBabies but I hadn’t been sold on either of those. Bradley sounded the best. I’m reading through this book and so far it is good, though a bit dated. Latest revision was in the mid 90s.

    As for other books, I checked out a handful of the typical birth books at the library but all of them were drab, boring, and most of the information can be found on the internet.

    There are two other books I want to read, one is relatively new (last summer), the other is from the 40s. The first is Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong—and What You Really Need to Know, and the other is Childbirth Without Fear.

    If you’ve got a book to recommend, feel free to share it!

    +Other Links:
    Evidence Based Birth: I found this site early on in the trimester and really loved it. She addresses and analyzes many topics surrounding birth, focusing on the fact that many times current practices aren’t really employed based on any current, valid evidence. She has several videos as well. More information.

    The Bradley Method of birth.

    Pregnant Chicken: this is just a light hearted blog for the most part. I particularly like her ‘Is It Safe’ section where she debunks some common myths surrounding do’s and don’ts during pregnancy….and holy cow there’s a lot. Boy, you really do get opinions on what is ok and not. The biggest one out there right now is caffeine. Again, back to the evidence.

    Alright, well that’s it for this little link round up.

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    One Comment

    1. chel says:

      The whole giving birth thing is FASCINATING to me. Other than a brief period in my 20’s, I really did NOT want to conceive or give birth. The idea of growing a family being another completely medical chapter in my life (which it would have to be, with my spine- birth would be a carefully planned thing) was just a “no” for me. So, in that respect, adoption seemed so much more natural. It was all love and connection and no doctors needed to intercede! A true blessing for me.

      But, on the flipside, I think pregnancy is amazing (you grow a baby! Inside you! In your body! How AMAZING!)

      I am VERY curious about all the options available for women and birth and the way infants are handled right after they are born. I’m really big on people having an (educated) say in their health/medical care. That’s a big deal for me. I know that there’s an evolution in childbirth happening and I’m excited that you are interested in it, too. I look forward to hearing/reading about your experiences and choices.

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