Friday, July 29, 2005

Panda Babies

I thought this was a cute story for Friday. San Diego Zoo (which is an amazing zoo - you should all visit) is carefully watching their Panda mom who is pregnant with twins. Some cute highlights from the article. Both Bai Yun (mom) and Gao Gao (father) are both 13 years old. These animals are "on loan" from China. The San Diego Zoo pays China $1,000,000 a year for each panda, and $500,000 for each cub. Gao Gao and Bai Yun have a favorite patch of their home where they mate. Only one of the twins is expected to survive. Twins are common in panda births. The zoo is now on a 24 hour panda birth watch. Can you imagine being a panda?

Thursday, July 28, 2005

My Very First Post

Dear Blogging World, My mom has to write this since I do not know how to type yet. All I'm good at is sleeping, crying, eating and pooping. It is a pretty good life. My parents are tired however and I can tell by the bags underneath their eyes. But whenever they see me, they always coo and smile and I know I am loved. My big brother is still getting used to me but I think I have him won over. Our good friend Claire is doing a super great job on this blog. We are so grateful. Thank you for all your kind words and emails. They made my mom cry. I cried too but that's because I was hungry. Love, Heidi (and her mom Kat) P.S My mom forgot that she doesn't have any pictures stored on this computer, so you'll have to wait a bit!

Preeclampsia

Preeclampsia is also known as toxemia or pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH). No matter what you call it, its cause is unknown, though genetics play some role, and it causes the placenta to get too little blood. This is often because the placenta is overtaxed by multiple babies or because the arteries in your womb did not enlarge as they should during the first half of your pregnancy. Preeclampsia generally shows up after the 20th week and before the 27th week, but it doesn't show up that often, thank goodness! Fewer than nine percent of pregnancies are touched by it, but every caregiver is very careful to watch for it and to catch it early.

Your prenatal appointments include a check of your blood pressure, weight, and urine sample so that your caregiver can identify preeclampsia if it is present. Pain under your ribs on the right side, sudden and severe headaches, spots appearing before your eyes, swollen hands and face, and rapid weight gains caused by swelling, are all symptoms of preeclampsia. High blood pressure and protein in your urine provide evidence of preeclampsia, and let your caregiver know that the two of you need to take steps to fight it. If you have a mild case of preeclampsia, your caregiver will probably diagnose bedrest and plenty of fluids as if you had a cold or flu.

Resting on your side helps your kidneys function as efficiently as they can and allows blood to flow more freely to your placenta. You and your baby will be monitored closely while you rest. You can count on frequent blood pressure, blood, and urine tests twice a week on average. If your preeclampsia is diagnosed as being more severe, you will probably be spending your time in bed in the hospital as well.

Some moms-to-be get magnesium sulfate delivered to them intravenously to increase uterine blood flow and to prevent seizures, or eclampsia. Non-stress tests, contraction stress tests, or biophysical profiles may be performed to check on your baby. Ultrasound exams will measure the amount of amniotic fluid your baby has at his or her disposal. If that level falls too low, or if your caregiver has any other reason to suspect that your baby isn't getting an adequate blood supply, they will induce labor or perform a cesarean section as soon as your baby's lungs are mature enough.

They do so in order to prevent your baby's distress or growth retardation, caused by a shortage of nutrients and oxygen. Even if your baby's lungs are not fully developed, your doctor may choose to induce labor if your health is at risk due to kidney or liver damage, bleeding problems, or seizures. No matter how mild or severe your preeclampsia is, your pregnancy will probably not go beyond the 40 week mark without your doctor inducing labor in order to reduce any risk to your baby's health and strength.

After your baby is delivered safe and sound, your blood pressure will probably return to normal within the next few days or weeks, with or without medication. Moms carrying multiple babies and moms with diabetes, chronic high blood pressure, kidney disease, lupus, hypertension, or a family history of preeclampsia, or any condition their caregiver advises them increases their chances of contracting it, often take a baby aspirin each day of their pregnancy as a preventive measure.

It's not yet known how effective this is, but what is known is that early diagnosis and care lead to great outcomes for both mother and child.

Money and Maternity - Womens Wall Street

Hi Everyone! I wanted to share with you a great website, Womens Wall Street. For those of us who need a little financial assistance or information when it comes to stocks, bonds, investments, 529 plans, credit or anything money related, this is a fantastic website. They have some great articles for the expectant mother. This article, From Here to Maternity, is a great article about going from the workforce to motherhood. Flexability in the Workplace shows you some ideas should the unexpected happen and how to be flexible or to have your workplace be flexible. Whatever Happened to Leisure Time gives some tips on keeping stress at a minimum.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

2nd Trimester Checklist

I read this on Yahoo! Health and thought all of you ladies in the 2nd trimester, might find this useful! The second trimester can be a particularly enjoyable time -- you're probably past most of the discomforts of early pregnancy, and you haven't yet developed the aches and pains of advanced pregnancy. Now is the time to accomplish many of the tasks you'll want to take care of before the baby comes. Here are some ideas of how to use your time. Continue to take care of your physical self: -Eat well, with an emphasis on protein, calcium, and iron. -Maintain a regular, moderate exercise schedule. -Do Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic muscles. -Check out your options for yoga, aerobics, or swim classes designed for pregnant women, and sign up. -Keep up with your prenatal checkups, which will probably be monthly at this point. During this trimester, your provider may talk with you about scheduling various tests, including the glucose tolerance test to screen for gestational diabetes and the AFP test or amniocentesis to look for birth defects. Go shopping: -Shop for maternity clothes. -Shop for comfortable shoes that are low-heeled with good arch support. You may need a larger size during pregnancy. -Shop for baby furnishings and clothing. In some families, it's traditional not to bring baby items into the house before the baby is born; at many stores, though, you can make selections and set your purchases aside for later pickup. -Register for baby items at a store with a gift registry. -Talk to friends and family about whether they can spare hand-me-downs or let you borrow baby equipment. -Investigate classes on childbirth education, breastfeeding, and infant CPR. You'll want to consider not only which topics or approaches interest you, but also date, location, and cost. Once you determine your preferences, sign up well in advance. If you are working, review your company's policies: -Verify when and how to request maternity leave and how much you can claim, paid or unpaid. Determine whether your employer is covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) -If you are planning to return to work after the baby is born, check your employer's policies on child care, flexible hours, and personal leave -If you plan to breastfeed, find out whether your employer has arrangements for moms who pump their milk Take stock of your home, and accomplish these tasks before you're out of energy or time: -Clean the house thoroughly, including closets -Buy a fire extinguisher for your home, if you don't have one already. Install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors -Assemble a first-aid kit that includes what you'll need for a baby. Post emergency numbers next to your telephone -Put non-slip pads under area rugs and on steps. They'll add protection as your balance suffers with pregnancy growth, and later when you're carrying a baby around -Organize any old photos or albums now, as you may never get to them once the baby comes. Buy some new albums to cover your life with baby. -Create mantras or self-affirmations for yourself. Find words or phrases that resonate with you. Then repeat them to yourself, gently and nurturingly. You don't need to share them with anyone else. For example: -I am well. I am strong. I am beautiful -I am taking care of myself and my baby I can give birth. I will be okay, and I can do it. -I am carrying a baby. I am working hard. I deserve to eat well Have fun: -Take pictures of your pregnant belly -Consider making a plaster cast of your pregnant belly -Keep a journal, writing down your emotions, apprehensions, and anticipations. -Keep records of first movements, waist measurements, weight gain, and other milestones. -Talk with pregnant friends and friends who are already parents Go out to dinner, go to the movies, or see a show or a concert -Take a trip now, before it is too uncomfortable to fly or drive

Baby Fever for Nicole

I don't want this blog to become too celebrity baby obsessed - there's already a blog for that! But I read today that the lovely Nicole Kidman, who is the mother of two, wants to experience giving birth. Nicole is an adopted momma of two, Olivia and Connor, with ex-husband Tom Cruise. Whether or not Nicole gets her wishes, she is certainly already twice blessed with two beautiful children!

Alias Pregnancy

For all you Alias fans - or maybe just Jennifer Garner fans - have no fear! Word on the street is that Jen's pregnancy will be written in the Alias scripts so that Sidney Bristow will be pregnant. My own question is, how will Jen peform all those tricky stunts while pregnant? And will she be so willing to dress up in her many alias costumes?

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Fired For Being Pregnant?

I like to read the latest news on pregnancy, babies, births and parenting. Within the past two days, there have been two stories regarding pregnancy discrimination lawsuits. Women who are saying they were fired because they were pregnant. One lawsuit comes from New York where a former sales executive for Google claims she was fired and given a hard time prior to her firing because of her pregnancy. You can read more about this story here. Another story has already been settled by both sids on the first day of trial. A former manager accused a large maternity store and clothing manufactuer of pregnancy bias. Which is certainly ironic. To be fired because you are pregnant when you work for a maternity clothing store? When it comes to your pregnancy and work, make sure you are familiar with the practices of HR. What kind of maternity leave does your company offer, if any? And if anyone that is higher than you starts to make comments about your pregnancy hindering your work, be sure to make notes of what was being said and when. Luckily you won't be one of these women.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Another Celebrity, Another Story

It seems as if the skeletons are coming out. Courtney Cox-Arquette is now revealing that she also had a bout of post-partum depression. It wasn't immediate but around 6 months. This has impacted her feelings about having another child. With the drama between Brooke Shields and Tom Cruise, I think some good things are going on here. For one thing, it continues to bring bad press here for Tom. That's not necessarily a good thing. But it also has women talking about this form of depression. And I think that's good. Discussion - laying it out on the table never hurt anyone. And perhaps it can show those who do deal with post-partum depression, that hey it's okay. Women get it. Even celebrities. And that you're not alone.

Belly Cast

I hope that Nicky doesn't mind but if you click to her blog, you can see pictures from her belly casting. Belly casting is such a neat thing and I wish I had done this during my pregnancies! I mean it's a great memento of your pregnancy and 9 months and you can hold it up to yourself and see just how big you were during your pregnancy! I found some links if you want more info: ProudBaby BellyCast Basics of Belly Casting Glamour Belly

Have Baby? Get Dough.

Did you know that somecountries will PAY you to become pregnant and have babies? Japan is increasing the pay to parents of newborns. Japanese parents currently receive $2700 for each new child but this payment could increase to $3150 - $3600. Not only that, but should parliament approve, parents of newborn parents will be entitled to higher insurance allowences. And if you're giving birth to multiples, your payment increases two-fold or three-fold, depending on how many you give birth to! Now if only they had something like that here...

What's that Red String Around your Wrist Madonna?

Madonna, the IT girl for Kabbalah is planning on giving Britney Spears' baby a Kabbalah welcome and a special blessing. My only wonder is, what exactly is a Kabbalah blessing? Tying a red string around the wrist? Anyone out there know?

Feeling Sick? With Good Reason!

Being sensitive to food can in fact help protect you in your pregnancy. A disdain or disgust for certain foods may help prevent infection and disease during a vulnerable time for both fetal and maternal immune systems. As humans evolve, a disgust for certain foods has developed as a powerful emtion to minimize the risk of poisoning and contamination. Women are often plagued with morning sickness during their first trimester. And so a protective disgust can be important during the early stages because the immune system is suppressed to prevent her body from attacking the embryo or fetus. So remember, if chicken or anything else is making you feel queasy, there is a good reason for it! Your body simply has its guard up!