Friday, February 25, 2005

Being Beautiful and Being Pregnant

You are beautiful no matter what they say Words won't bring you down You are beautiful in every single way Yes, words won't bring you down Don't you bring me down today... - Christina Aguilera Our society has an elevated consciousness of our appearance and how we look. Everyone loves babies and *most* women want to have a family at some point in their lives. Yet society throws us images of thin skinny women. Especially when we view pregnant celebrities giving birth and then walking skinny as a minnie, down the red carpet weeks later. These kinds of images can make it difficult to view your pregnant body as beautiful. Many women workout through their pregnnacy and return to being in even "better" shape than they were before they were pregnant. While there is nothing wrong with exercising, it should not be the main focus. And let's face it, sometimes the goal can be hard to reach. Unless you're a celebrity with 3 nannies, 2 trainers, cook, maid, dogwalker, and a person to change diapers. Let's review. A woman is encouraged to gain 25-35 pounds during pregnancy in order to deliver a healthy child. 35 pounds is going to drastically alter a woman's body. And yet I read forums where women are concerned that they are gaining too much or worried about how they will lose the pounds after they give birth. Take a moment to comprehend how our bodies work. They are capable of so much and designed for doing amazing things. If we focus on this mindset, there will be a greater appreciation for our curvy features. Physically we grow. Emotionally and mentally we grow as well as a new person grows inside and we start experencing pregnancy symptoms (heartbeats, kicking, hiccups). The idea of being a parent really starts to "kick" in (both mentally and physically!). And that little kicker is dependent on you to survive. You might wonder, "Where the heck is this pregnancy glow?" Aside from the green glow of morning sickness there is a radiance that comes to our faces perhaps due to the rapid changes in hormones or because we're eating healthier and taking vitamins. Not only is our skin smoother, but our nails grow much faster and our hair becomes fuller in volume, textured differently, and grows fast as well. You might not see the glow but others can. People you meet will say, "There is nothing more beautiful than a pregnant woman!" Your first response may be to smile and think to yourself, "Right! I'm sick all the time, my stomach seems to be growing bigger by the minute. I just look at food and gain weight. None of my clothes or shoes fit me anymore. How can you think this is beautiful?" You ARE beautiful even through the lows. So love your pregnant body, take lots of belly pictures and shout a "woo-hoo" when you look at yourself in the mirror.

To Color Hair or Not To?

Ah, the age old question of whether to color your hair while pregnant or not. Some say YES! Some say NO! So what's the lowdown on changing your 'do? I understand how it is to have your hair growing super fast, your roots starting to show in a bad bad way. You just want to get in a salon and work on your hair. Plus the scalp massages can be sooo nice. So should you color your hair while pregnant? There are no conclusive studies about whether hair color will have an effect on a developing fetus. But it is recommended that you wait until after the first trimester before you color your hair. This isn't necessarily for health reasons but because you might not get the desired results if you color your hair during the first trimester. With hormones working into overdrive, your hair might react differently. Also, since morning sickness is particularly high during the first trimester, it might be best to stay away from chemicals and their strong aromas. If you do color, you want to be careful when coloring that the hair color is not directly applied to your scalp. Make sure the salon is well ventiliated so chemicals and fumes are not lingering. If anything, talk it over with your OB and your hair stylist. Go with what you feel comfortable because ultimately it's your hair. And your hair might even change on its own! Your hair texture can change during pregnancy and post pregnancy. In fact, a good friend of mine was a blonde during pregnancy and after she gave birth, she was a brunette! And this was with no hair coloring -- it was simply the change in hormones!

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Is it a Boy or Girl? Some Old Wives Tales.

Fact or Fiction? Whether you believe it or not, every woman will hear some magical way to determine the sex of her child. Scientifically, the only ways to find out whether your baby will be a girl or a boy is to have an ultrasound performed sometime after the 20th week of pregnancy or, if you're having an amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling done, you can ask about your baby's sex. Alternatively, you can wait until your baby is born and see for yourself. However, if you want something a bit more fun (although not necessarily very reliable), here are some old wives tales that claim to be able to determine the sex of your baby. You can try some for yourself and see if everyone is predicting the same sex for your baby. Carrying High, Carrying Low The way you are carrying during your pregnancy is one of the most oft cited ways of determining the sex of your baby. The general story goes that, if you're carrying low, you're having a boy. If you are carrying high, then you must be having a girl. Science says "NO, NO, NO!" to this: the way you carry is determined by muscle and uterine tone as well as the position of your baby. But who's to say that boys don't like being lower in their mom's stomach while girls prefer a view from the top? What Your Urine Says This next test to determine a baby's sex may not be for everyone, although it is very simple. Just take a sample of your urine and mix it with Drano. Depending on the color change of your urine, you will have a boy or a girl. Unfortunately, there is no consensus on what color equals which sex. So, if you do decided to try this and your urine turns bluish yellow, brownish, brown, black or blue you will be having a boy. If your urine looks more greenish brown, green, blue or doesn't change at all, then you're having a girl. But be warned: if you decide to do this test, there could be some pretty harsh fumes produced - not to mention the possibility of an explosion!. Heartbeats One belief that has been around for some time, and even had some acceptance in the medical community at one point, is that the fetal heartbeat differs for boys and girls. If you're having a girl, then the fetal heart rate will be above 140. A boy will have a heart rate below 140. However, that pesky science has reared its little head again to say that this is complete fiction. A baby's heart rate is not affected by its sex until it is born, when a girl's heart rate will increase considerably compared with boys during labor. Craving Something…Sweet? Many people believe that your cravings are caused by the sex of your baby. So, if you can't get enough chocolate, you could be having a girl. Does the idea of drinking straight lemon juice sound delicious to you? Then those sour cravings are a result of the little boy inside of you. However, if you go by the scientists, then some of them will claim that you're not even having cravings because cravings just don't exist. Weight Gain Thankfully, this one doesn't refer to your weight gain. The belief is that, if your husband puts on weight during your pregnancy, then you will be having a girl. If he doesn't put on a pound, then you're carrying a boy. Is Her Face Round and Full? Some say that the shape and fullness of your face during pregnancy can indicate your baby's sex. Every woman gains weight differently during pregnancy, and every woman experiences different skin changes. If people tell you that because your face is round and rosy you are having a girl, they might be right - but it's just as likely that they are wrong! At-Home Tests ·Look in the mirror at your breasts. If the right one is larger, you're having a boy! A larger left breast indicates a girl (if they're the same size, does that mean you're having one of each?). · Hold a pendant over your hand. If the necklace swings back and forth, you're having a boy. If it is more of a circular motion, then it's a girl. This can also be done by suspending a ring on a string above your belly. · Do you have acne? Some believe that getting acne during your pregnancy indicates you're carrying a girl. Maybe the acne is caused by twice the amount of female hormones? · Pick up a key. If you've picked it up by the thinner end, you're having a girl. Picking it up by the bottom, rounder part means a boy is on the way. Did you pick it up by the middle? Then congratulations! You're having twins! · Ask yourself what you think you're having. In a study that asked women with no previous knowledge about their baby's sex, the moms-to-be correctly guessed the sex of their baby 71% of the time. (Courtesy of pregnancy-info.net) * Know of any other wives tales? Let me know! Or have a friend who is *absolutely* sure you're going to have a boy or girl? Tell me the story.

Snappy Snapsuits and Fun Tees

Tshirts these days have got that "I've been washed so many times" look to them or the "I was found for only 5 cents at a garage sale" look. Retro, vintage, offbeat, the better. Crazy catchphrases have found their way onto tshirts which you can find anywhere from Target to Urban Outfitters. And it's not just for adults either. There are many websites which feature great tees and snapsuits for the wee ones. And man, are they adorable. I Can't Read. I Might Barf. I'm Not a Girl. I'm Not a Boy. These are some of the cute snapsuits at Wry Baby. Because sure you could dress up your baby in cute snapsuits with little sheep or rabbits or flowers, but these snapsuits are just plain funny. Another great website for other fun baby tees? Try BabyWit. Their baby tees are a bit punk, a bit rocker, very retro and very cool. Jeeto makes great tees and snapsuits in bright colors with all kinds of animals or designs. You can also get a tee that reads: "Gluten Free" or "No Peanuts Please" or "Dairy and Egg Free" --- great for kids or babies with allergies. Another online store (and there are many!) is Kee-Ka which has some beautiful simple designs. I especially like the "Handle With Care" snapsuits. I have received a few of these for my Belly and I'm excited for the day I can dress her in them. They make great babyshower gifts too! I only wish they made them in my size!

Red State or Blue State?

Whether you are a red state or blue state or personally prefer to be a shade of purple --- a neat memento is a note of Congratulations from the President and First Lady. Great keepsake for your baby book or album. Send your baby's name, address and birthdate to: White House Greetings Office Room 39 Washington, DC 20500

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Google and Yahoo - What's Your Search Pleasure?

I have a counter on this blog (invisible ---ooooh!) which tells me how many visitors are visiting (thanks!) and how many visitors are coming back (double thanks!) and it also tells me some other interesting things. Such as where you are coming from. Most of you are coming from the States but I have a few international visitors. So merci, arigato, danke, gracias. What is particularly interesting are the visitors that are directed from a search engine to here. There have been your usual searches: "pregnancy week" or pregnancy week by week" or "pregnancy weekly guide" but then there have been ultimately random searches: "karla" (no doubt for a returning visitor to this blog, Karla!) "goldfish pregnant" and then the random yet still pregnancy related searches: "what causes cramping in 14 week pregnancy" "trying to get pregnant" "pictures of weekly growth" "first sign of being pregnant" "first OB appointment" "prenatal vitamins" and my favorite: "is mouthwash okay during pregnancy" [And to note --- stay away from mouthwash that contains alcohol in it. (Check with your dentist/OB) Take good care of your teeth during the 9 months of pregnancy as most dentists will suggest no dental work during pregnancy. So brush, floss and if your teeth are extra sensitive (often the case with pregnant women), try using a natural toothpaste. I am a personal fan of Toms of Maine.] Aside from that tangent, a big THANK YOU for visiting the website. Pregnant or not --- I hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

DS, DD, DH, AF, BF --- What the Heck is She Saying?

Internet is amazing to me. You can be stuck in the middle of nowhere but if you have an Internet connection you can easily be connected to millions. Along the same lines of having a blog, forums and communities are great to ask questions, share stories, vent, rant and offer advice. There are some great forums out there related to pregnancy, birth, babies and parenting. You might notice on these forums all the particular lingo that is being used. Acronyms thrown in which makes sense to the poster but to a first timer on a forum, it can be confusing. Listed below are some pregnancy specific acronyms to help you guide through the forums like an old pro. AB After Baby BB Before Baby BF Breastfeeding BM Breast milk/Bowel movement CIO Cry it out DC Daycare DD Darling Daughter or Dear Daughter DH Darling/Dear/Damn Husband DS Darling Son or Dear Son DC Darling children or Dear children EBF Exclusively Breastfeeding EDD Estimated Due Date GF Girlfriend(s) IMHO In my humble/honest opinion IMO In my opinion ITA I totally agree IF Infertility IVF In vitro fertilization LMP Late menstraul period M/C Miscarriage M/S Morning Sickness MW Midwife MIL Mother-in-law SIL Sisten-in-law BIL Brother-in-law FIL Father-in-law DIL Daughter-in-law NMS Not my style NP New poster OR Original responder OP Original poster OMG Oh my goodness/gosh PIMP Peed in my pants laughing PG Pregnant/Pregnancy PMS Premenstrual Syndrome PPD Postpartum depression ROFL Rolling on the floor laughing SAHD Stay at home dad SAHM Stay at home mom SO Significant Other TIA Thanks in advance TTC Trying to concieve U/S Ultrasound VBAC Vaginal birth after cesarean WAHD Work at home dad WAHM Work at home mom WOHD Work outside home dad WOHM Work outside home mom There will be a test on this later. ;)
Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog. * As you can see I've enabled a new commenting system on the blog. This *should* make it easier for all of you lurkers out there to leave a comment. :) It has however deleted all previous comments...couldn't fix that. So don't be offended if you're wondering where your comments are. Thanks Cosmogrrl for the suggestion.

Birth Ball

So what's a Birth Ball? A birth ball is a physiotherapy ball designed for strenthening and low impact exercises. It's not a toy however, it's a professional physiotherapy ball. They are ideal for pregnant women for non-impact workouts. They can be great for relieving stress on your joins and maximizing exercise when you're pregnant. You can also soothe babies be gently moving in rhythmic motions while on the birth ball. We have a birth ball at home in our office. I like to sometimes type at the computer and sit on the birth ball although I have to be really careful of gravity! I have read somewhere that just sitting on the birth ball strengthens your muscles without you realizing it because you are constantly adjusting which works your muscles. Plus, kiddo#1 loves to roll around with it. Typically, the following sized balls fit these heights accordingly: The 53cm birth ball is suggested for heights up to 5' 2". The 65cm birth ball is suggested for heights 5' 3" to 5' 10". The 75cm birth ball is suggested for heights 5'11 and over. It’s recommended that when you’re sitting on the birthing balls, your feet are totally flat on the floor and your knees are at a 90 degree angle. If you have the correct ball for your height, simply add or release air as needed to achieve the correct size. The ball should be inflated until firm but still gives somewhat and rolls easily. Some tips on taking care of your birth ball: Inflate to 80% capacity for first week of use, allowing time for the birth ball to "warm up". After that you can inflate it to full firmness. This will help extend the life of the birth ball. Make sure not to store your birth ball in high temperatures or next to items with intensive heat. Keep sharp objects away from the ball. Never patch a birth ball because it will not be able to support the weight it was designed for. A professional birth ball will hold over 300 lbs (136 kg). Check for weight recommendations before purchasing. To clean your birth ball, simply set ball in tub or shower, wipe clean with a soapy cloth and rinse. Disinfect by spraying a germicidal surface cleaner, let stand as recommended and rinse.As with any exercise, always consult your physician before you start a program with the birth ball, as these balls can add fun as well as true benefits to any fitness program.

Months 1 - 9 Videos on Discovery Health

I hope you all had a nice weekend and for those who had yesterday off, I hope you enjoyed a 3 day weekend! I know I did. :) We had a lazy yet productive day at home watching movies and working on the nursery. I also surfed the internet and spent some time on one of my favorite websites. Besides Pregnancy Weekly *wink* one of my favorite websites is the Pregnancy section of Discovery Health. They have great updates regarding science and technology with pregnancy related topics that are easy to understand and follow. My favorite however is the video gallery with each month of pregnancy documented of the baby growing in the womb. The videos are breathtaking. I know what it feels like to be pregnant --- but to see videos of what is happening is truly amazing. Truly, the Miracle of Life.