Going au Naturale

Friday, December 30, 2011

I always told myself that one day, far far into the future when I had a baby, I would of course have an epidural. I mean, they offer it, it's widely acceptable, and why wouldn't I want to minimize pain? It was a no-brainer.

My opinions started to shift when I actually had friends who were having babies. And their birth stories revealed bits and pieces that, when put together, painted pictures of things being incredibly out of their control: interventions they didn't necessarily want, emergency c-sections after hours of labor, terrible reactions to epidurals. Even though the stories all resulted in their beautiful bouncing babies - and at the end, that's all the matters - their stories really stuck with me.

Last year, just starting to think about the word "baby" and what our lives might be like with one, I watched the documentary The Business of Being Born. I'm not going to make all of my big life decisions based on what I see in a documentary, however, my eyes definitely opened a little wider at the end.

I learned a lot more about certified nurse midwives and, after doing a little more research, knew that I would forgo my regular doctor's office for a midwife. So far, this has been a wonderful decision. I love the warm, friendly environment that the midwives offer. And, contrary to what some may think, they have made no attempts to sway me one way or the other as to what type of birth plan I decide on. At my first appointment I was told I can opt for whatever intervention is a good fit for me - as my midwife said, she had already had her birth story...this birth story was mine.

Since then, I've been toying with the idea of a natural birth. Can I do it? Will I regret it, or regret not giving it a try?

Then, a couple of weeks ago I watched the documentary Pregnant in America. Overall, it wasn't nearly as well done as The Business of Being Born, but what resonated the most with me was one of the interviews - I believe it was with renowned midwife Ina May Gaskin.


Gaskin spoke about how a successful birth requires the mother and the baby to be working together. When you start intervening (Pitocin, epidural, etc) you are inhibiting this process and making it harder and harder for mom and baby to be a team. As a result, you often need more intervention because the natural birth process has been interrupted by your initial acts of intervention.

This definitely got me thinking even more (and even more positively!): why shouldn't I give a natural birth a try?

Right now I'm reading Your Best Birth which, after I got it home from the library, I realized it was by Ricki Lake (who also did The Business of Being Born). Now, I don't plan on making my childbirth decisions based on what Ricki Lake says, but so far the book is really great. It shares stories of birth from all different perspectives and decisions, and puts you on the road to being an advocate for yourself.


Since I obviously have not given birth before and I know that each and every birth is different, I absolutely will not say "I am going to do it like this." But I do know that I am ready to do more research, learn more about how to advocate for what I want, and approach birth with the plan to try it naturally and see what happens.

And "seeing what happens" will be in 4 short months. How time is starting to fly!

Baby K: Weeks 21, 22, 23

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Time has certainly flown by! The past few weeks have been crazy with finishing up house projects (including painting everything!), work, and preparing to host Christmas.

In the meantime, our little Peanut has not slowed down in growing...

...as long as a carrot in week 21...


...as long as a spaghetti squash in week 22...


...and at week 23 weighs as much as a mango (just over a pound)!

Overall, I've been feeling absolutely wonderful! I have no major cravings for anything but do have intense hunger ALL THE TIME. No food aversions. No real heartburn or indigestion. I'm tired but not any more tired than I think I normally am in the winter. Feeling great has been an extra blessing, as we've been so busy lately!

And, so many wonderful things have been happening. We bought our crib, had our first ultrasound and found out Peanut's gender, and have been feeling and seeing so many baby kicks! Peanut is a crazy kicker, loving it when I settle into bed to read at night - that's apparently the best time to play. Steve has finally been able to feel a bunch of kicks and we've both finally seen the little one move my belly like crazy. Loving it!

I also made my first Zulily purchases and bought my first box from thredUP. Fun buying some things for Peanut, even though I'm sure we will get plenty of clothes as gifts. My thredUP box was jam packed full of great things - loved it!

We are finally getting back on track with belly shots. My oh my how the belly has grown! I'm finally able to wear the maternity dresses I'd bought a few months back (I liked to be prepared for any fashion need) as I can finally fill them out. I never thought I'd be excited about a bigger belly!

And, just for fun I made Steve take a picture of me making a heart over Peanut!

Check out my crib

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I've been a bit of a delinquent blogger these days. I'm a few weeks behind on Baby K updates (who is now being referred to as "Peanut" as we're hoping a nickname will help us not reveal the gender accidentally!)...on Thursday I'm hoping to get a post done to recap the past few weeks and show off the rapidly growing bump!

Anyway, this post is all about the crib.

A year or so ago I started to become obsessed with looking at inspiration pictures of nurseries. And of course, I happened across the Oeuf Sparrow in grey. We're most definitely grey people (every wall in our condo was grey, and we have now painted 90% of our house the same), and so it would only make sense that we would one day buy a grey crib.

But the $700-ish price tag seemed like a lot. I know you can spend way more on a crib, but you can also spend way less. I (sadly) crossed the Sparrow off my "future baby purchases" list and moved on.


A minimal, more modern white crib seemed like a better option for us. We'd have more options to consider at our price point. So I started looking at anything under $500.

I found the Babyletto Mercer, which seemed like a good fit for us. It's not oversized and just under $400. Reviews overall seemed good. But the two-tone just isn't our style.


Babyletto also makes the Mercer with a drawer at the bottom. It is also around $400 and the reviews are good. The drawer would give us some extra storage, which is much needed. However, until recently I could only find it in the two-tone combo. Finally there's an all-white option!

So, I thought this is the direction we'd end up going in. Affordable, good reviews, minimal, white.

And then, my crib finding world was rocked when I found the Baby Mod Modena in grey! Modern, minimal, grey and $200! And fabulous reviews!


Sold exclusively at Wal-Mart (which, to be honest, is not my favorite store), I was skeptical but ended up being impressed the more I read about it. Great reviews - both on the site by parents and on a variety of blogs. I love the look of it and the price can't be beat. We'd finally found our crib! I was so excited to order it.

And then, we painted the nursery. Grey. And with such a small space, adding a big grey piece of furniture would be totally overwhelming. Not to mention the fact that it would be highly unlikely that the two shades of grey would match, and I'd have no way of knowing how they looked together until the crib arrived. Humph.

Sadly, I had to walk away from my perfectly designed and perfectly affordable grey crib that I thought I just had to have. But that didn't mean I had to walk away from the Modena completely. It also comes in navy, brown and...white!

So last Friday I ordered the Modena in white (and, as I had just signed up for Ebates, I earned $9.95 off of the purchase!). It shipped so quickly that it arrived on Monday and Steve put it together that night!

The crib search for our little Peanut is done and done and our nursery is slowly started to come together!

The big (gender) reveal...

Friday, December 9, 2011

...will be in April! That's right, when Baby K makes his/her entrance into the world.


Today we had our first ultrasound for Baby K, which was also the big screen where they do all of the measurements to check baby's development. This was a pretty big deal, as it was our very first ultrasound of the entire pregnancy, so we finally got to see the certain someone who has been kicking me so hard lately!

We had already made the decision months ago that we absolutely wanted to find out the gender, but we wanted to keep that news to ourselves. Now that all was revealed during the ultrasound, I realize it's going to be harder than I thought to keep my mouth shut on the topic. Because knowing it and not sharing it feels huge. But we have our reasons.

In college during one of my Gender & Women's Studies classes, a friend and I jokingly decided we wanted to go on a big hospital blanket crusade, handing out green blankets to all newborns, boys and girls alike. We thought that we needed to save all of these babies before gender stereotypes were just foisted on them on the first day of their lives. We were also idealist college students, where we thought we could change the world.

Fast forward to today. I think there's absolutely nothing wrong with going super pink, girly girl or boy baby blue all over the place. I love both! For our baby, however, I'd love for people to think outside of the box a little bit. If they would like to buy us some cute clothes I hope they will think "Is this cute?" instead of "Is this cute for a (insert baby's gender here)?"

So, as I said, it's not easy holding onto this secret...a secret we can talk about inside our home when it's just the two of us. But we are so excited for a happy, healthy baby with two arms, two legs, 10 fingers and 10 toes and we are overwhelmingly excited to share that news with everyone!

Nursery Rocker Dilemma

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

It's not easy to find a rocker for the nursery that works well for a small space and a small budget, and is a little on the modern side.

I had originally thought I would buy one of these Eames-style rockers. They're affordable, minimal and I see them cropping up all over the 'net. You can pick one up for around $100-$150 and in theory, they are great. I just worry about overall comfort and the fear of buying a chair neither one of us will want to sit in. And, since we'd have to order it online, there would be no test run to see if we liked it before buying.

I know the IKEA Poang chair is popular as well. It comes in a variety of different fabrics and ranges from $69-$299, depending on the fabric you choose (the version below is $99). It's not 100% my style, but does fit overall with budget, size and comfort.

Today when shopping for other furniture online at CB2, I came across the Curtis rocker. I like its simple, clean lines. At $299 it's on the high-end of my budget, but not outrageously expensive.

For months there was absolutely no debate in my mind: we would get the Eames-style rocker and call it a day. But now that I'm beginning to have my doubts, it opens up a huge can of worms for me.

What other rockers are out there that work well for small spaces, are comfortable and are under $300? Please share!

Baby K: Week 20

Monday, December 5, 2011

We are finally here: Week 20! Baby K is about halfway through cookin' and about as long as a banana.

On a side note, why do they even have bananas as a "weapon" in Mario Kart? I mean, you can just avoid driving over them. Anyway...

Things have been pretty good right now on the pregnancy front. I have few-to-no "symptoms" these days. I feel really good, I'm eating a lot (yay!) and I feel the baby move more and more each day. Especially after eating candy. Which I, umm, rarely do.

The house is getting more and more settled, which is exciting. The nursery is still a bit of a dumping ground for things that have no home...hopefully we will take care of that soon so that we can actually get a better feel for what the room will be like when a certain someone arrives.

It's been awhile since the last belly shot. Baby K definitely has been growing and I'm finally getting a little bit rounder. Which means the maternity dresses and pants I've bought are just starting to fit. Yay! (on a side note, I thought this outfit "hid" the bump a bit...yeah, not so much)

Keeping the Belly Warm

Friday, December 2, 2011

I had always imagined having the bulk of my pregnancy fall over summer/early fall with a nice November delivery. Therefore, I would bypass winter and any need for a maternity winter coat. I'd live in sundresses in the summer and a simple trench coat when the weather turned cooler.

And then I got pregnant in July. Meaning an April baby. Meaning a full pregnant winter. Doh! Time to rethink things.

As this fall turned chilly, I quickly grew out of my wool coat that I wore everywhere. It was a very fitted coat and I felt like any day I was going to pop a button. So I had to just stop buttoning it all together. I also have a big puffer, which is great for the really really cold days, but not for every day use. Especially this early in the season.

So I started the hunt for a maternity coat. Did you know that they are outrageously expensive and even more expensive if you want to buy something that you actually like? The best I could find was a $90 coat from Motherhood Maternity, but I just couldn't face up to spending that much on a coat that I would get so little use out of.

After hunting around online for weeks looking at every non-maternity winter coat out there, I came across this coat from H & M:


Sadly, it's no longer on their site so I can't show more pictures of it, but it's perfect for an expanding belly! The buttons are high and then it flairs out across the mid-section. And, best of all, it's cute! And was only around $70 (or $80?), which is completely reasonable for a coat that I'd actually be able to wear again post baby!

I ran over to H&M after work the day I found it, battled through the line of high schoolers (note to self: do not go to H&M downtown on a school holiday) and picked one up. It actually comes in two colors, so I opted for a salt and pepper tweed-like version.

So now, when I'm out and about, I actually feel really cute and my expanding belly is right at home!