Sep 30, 2006

Our Belgian Guests

Finally! A Photo of our lovely new Belgian friends Hanna (left) and Lein (right) who came to visit a few weeks ago Posted by Picasa

Sep 29, 2006

Phillies Game

A few nights ago, we watched the Phillies beat Boston at the new stadium - it was a great game and we ate too many hot dogs and peanuts. You can see the optimism on our faces...we actually thought, for a moment, that maybe the Phillies might get the wildcard. Yeah right! What were we thinkin? Posted by Picasa

Sep 25, 2006

Halfway there

So, the bloom is off the rose and we are finally settling in to life where both of us lives here, all the time and we each make messes that bug the other. We're just starting to re-asses the division of labor and daily household (crappy) chores (Mike got out of this for a good year at least) -- so yes, the ugly reality has arrived but I wouldn't trade it for the world, its great to have Mike here and not traveling.

In other news, we are in week 20, which means, we are hitting the halfway mark with our pregnancy. Its strange to think that in only a few short months, we will have a mini of our own.
Yesterday we went to a potluck at our midwives home and met lots of other natural childbirth parents in the midwives' client community. Some were pregnant and many had babies and small kids. It was a nice event and a great way to connect with other urban couples who are having babies and planning natural childbirth. I also made a new four year old friend, named Nika. We played Mr. Potato Head together.

Nothing else to report.

Hey by the way -- for those of you who read this blog as a way of keeping track, in lieu of calling to ACTUALLY talk to us and ask us how we are, shame on you!
Give us a call. 215-551-0570. Seriously. We'd like to hear from you.

Sep 19, 2006

Appointments, Appointments

Prenatal appointment #3 went great.
  • Baby is growing at the right speed.
  • My Blood Pressure is 98/62 and my pulse is 72.
  • We heard the heartbeat - beating at about 160 BPM
  • Also heard the placenta through the fetoscope
  • Baby weighs about 1/2 pound
  • I have put on 5 pounds, which is exactly where I should be.
  • Blood tests all came out normal.
  • I found out that peanuts are okay to eat (Dad, I asked that one for you)
Over the next few weeks, I am to pay attention to my green-intake (meaning get more greens in my diet!) and try to get moer calories on my high energy (aka Dragon boating) days. Also may start an Iron supplement to help with lagging energy (I tend to have low iron anyway).
The book "Eating for Two" by Robin Lim was recommended as a great resource for nutrition during pregnancy, so I am goign to check it out!

The midwives are having a potluck for present and former clients this Sunday, so we are looking forward to meeting lots of other young families and natural childbirth advocates!!!

Next week, I have my first OB consultation with a doc who may also become our family practice physician.

No Videos for Babies...

Well, maybe it's an inherited trait (my mom thought Barbies were just bad and I wasnt allowed to have them, I seem to have turned out okay) but I have long felt that babies shouldnt watch TV. And, videos like the trance-inducing Baby Einstein series (if you have ever watched an infant watch it, you know of which I speak) seem to just be feel-okay-about-it babysitting devices for parents and care providers who need a break, but I doubt if they have any real educational value. Now I find that I am not alone in my concerns...
So, yes, I am going to be one of those parents.

Sep 18, 2006

Bulletin on Elective C-Sections

A good case for avoiding electively scheduled Cesearan-Section:

Happy 35th Anniversary Mom and Dad!

So, today is my mom and dad's 35th wedding anniversary.
Last night, we took them out to celebrate and got to check out the new restaurant at the Waterworks. It was fabulous. At dinner, they sort of did a review of their "marital highlights" good and bad, and, when asked if they could sum up the advice they would give for staying married 35 years, dad said:
  1. No matter what is happening around you or how annoyed you are, always try to remember the person who you fell in love with when you first met them.
  2. And, always say I love you before you go to bed

    Mom said:
  1. Keep your sense of compassion and sense of humor and have fun together
  2. intellectually challenge one another
To me, the story of their marriage is a good and realistic example -- it both inspires me and gives me courage -- Because of them, I realize the reality of marriage isn't always easy or Cinderella-like, but I also realize that it doesn't have to be awful, boring or stagnant either. They have taught me that a couple can choose to continue their growth and development throughout their lifetime, and if they do that, they can inspire one another while living a full and rich life with no regrets.

Congrats guys -- and here's to another 35 more!!!

Sep 17, 2006

Here is what the baby is up to:

What are we up to? Well, we are beginning to look into hiring a post-partum doula to help us out in the first few weeks after the birth when we plan to lay low and just bond as a family. We're thinking about what we will do to welcome the baby upon his/her arrival (a welcome baby party?), we're thinking about what we need to get before the baby comes, and also what projects we want to finish around the house before January. We're lining up our cloth diaper service and supplier information (you didnt honestly believe that people who are into Environmental Planning would be able to bring themselves to use ONLY plastic disposable diapers did you? We plan on doing our part to save 1 ton of waste from our landfills by not using dsiposable plastic diapers). Also, we signed up for a couples childbirth class at starts in late October 2006 and we're so excited for that. We're also thinking about names, but not committing to anything, and just thinking of ways to enjoy this moment in time, when we are still a couple, and not yet a threesome.

Sep 16, 2006

The Belgian guests

This past week, we had some lovely guests -- Hanna and Lein -- come to visit us from Belgium. We took them out on the town in Philly, and laughed a lot together. As soon as I ahve some photos, I will post them. We had a delightful time visiting with our new Belgian friends, and cant wait to take a trip to Belgium to see what their home is like!!

We are about 18 weeks along in the pregnancy...we're almost at the halfway point!!!!

Over the past week we felt a bit more kicking...small little thumps. thwack, thwack. Even Mike could feel them. Pretty cool!!!! I am also getting bigger, although no one but us can really tell.

Everyone seems to have something to say about my weight (how small I am for 4 1/2 months) and it was starting to bother me, but Mike and I can really see a difference in my body and I know I am getting lots of nutritious food so I am trying not to let the comments bother me. I think people are so used to seeing very large pregnant women that they forget that it takes a while to get that big!! Also, I am still very active and exercising, and have not really been eating any junk food, so my weight gain has been relatively slow and steady, which, my midwives assure me, is totally normal and a very healthy way to be putting on weight.

On Tuesday of next week we have a prenatal appointment with our fabulous team of midwives -- Christy, Karen and Susi from WomanWise. We also have our first OB consultation coming up in the next week -- this is where we begin to try and find an obstetrician we like who will support our natural childbirth plans (and see us a few times through the pregnancy). So far, we have two good leads on local OBs who might be willing to provide us with the special type of care we are seeking... but if we dont like them, we may have to venture out to the burbs!! (oh no, not that!!) We're not worried though. We have lots of time and options, and so far, everything looks real good.

We also just learned that my cousin Dan and his wife Cathy, are expecting their second child in March -- Hooray!! Babies will be everywhere come the spring.

Sep 11, 2006

The well researched natural pregnancy...

Okay, yes admittedly many of our posts are going to be about pregnancy from now until the baby comes. If you aren't interested in pregnancy, no problem....Stop back say near Thanksgiving when I should have some pictures of my trip to Tokyo up, and we'll discuss the depressing thought of staying home at Christmas this year (no Mexico beaches for us this Xmas).

So... back to pregnancy:

Overall, pregnancy is going well. My hormones are a little out of whack and my patience with others is very thin right now. My belly is growing inch by inch. So far, its a blissfully uneventful, low risk pregnancy. I am eating well, and continuing to exercise as much as possible.

As we get more and more questions, advice and birth stories coming at us, we feel its important to say that this was a very, very, well -- maybe over-researched -- pregnancy and it will be an equally well researched birth. Well, what can I say --We prefer to use evidence and data as our best decision making tools. Its who we are. But here's the other thing -- we are like the last of a million friends to have a baby. I think that makes a big difference in everything. Bottom line is that we've waited, purposely, to have kids, until we were really ready to take it on. And, over the years, as I have listened to the grizzly birth and childrearing stories of friends and family, I realized that the one thing a lot of people don't do, is educate themselves about the birth process ahead of time...and my feeling is that the birth is a pretty important part that you need to think about and plan for.

So that's where we are at right now. We've gotten past the first trimester and now we are beginning to plan and think about and learn all about natural childbirth.
For our prenatal care and birth planning, we are using a very special and exclusive group of Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) located here in the city of brotherly love. After scouring the city and suburbs and learning about all the options, we feel really great about the practice of midwives that we have chosen to use. Our prenatal visits so far have been about an hour and a half in length each time -- which gives us a chance to go over everything and get to know one another, and our baby, better. We're very lucky that the same women we see at each visit will be the ones delivering our baby -- no substitutes as is common with many places today!

Some of you may already know that using CPM midwives for our primary means of maternity care means we won't be having an ultrasound (there is no medical need for one) so we wont be finding out the sex of the baby until they arrive. Finding out the sex is just not an option when you don't have an ultrasound, which is fine with us...We have no reasons to believe this baby will be anything other than a healthy youngster, and so we look forward to meeting the baby, counting fingers and toes and finding out the gender in February. As for names, we've got some favorites, but we'll probably abstain from naming him or her until we've gotten to know them a bit better during their first week of life.

Sep 6, 2006

My brother is getting married!!

Oh my gosh, its true.
Lilliana is a lovely young woman, and I couldnt be happier to have her joining our family. They got engaged over Labor Day Weekend. I am ecstatic!!!

No wedding details yet, but its looking like sometime next fall in Mexico...Yahoo!!!!!! I hope they have Mariachis.

Mike is back in Philly!!!

Mike is officially back in Philly!!! He started his new job with the EPA last Monday. So far, its great to have him home, and he's finding the short commute a much nicer experience!

Pregnancy update: We are at Week 17 (Entering Month 5).
My belly finally started growing a few weeks ago. Here you can see for yourself.
First photo shows Week 10; Second photo is Week 15

As we have begun to spread our news, we have learned of more babies to come around the same time...Mike's cousins Kevin and Denise, Our good friends Woody & Deb, Our neighbors (and new friends) Brian and Nina. All very exciting!

The other interesting thing that's happened now that the news is out, is that we are hearing some very personal and far-out questions...the award for strangest question of the month was from Mike's brother Bryan -- he asked if I minded if he rubbed my belly when it got bigger (Um, yes, I do mind, thank you. Would you like me to rub your belly?). Hey at least he asked. :)
I'll address the FAQ in another blog post.

Otherwise, all is good. I havent gained much weight, but that will surely begin in earnest very soon. I am sleeping better and feeling lots of flutters so it must not be long til the baby's kicking starts. I've gotten a few maternity essentials thanks to a fun shopping trip with my mom, and I am feeling really great. I am still Dragon Boating as much as I can, and finding that it is wonderful exercise!

Happy September!