Friday, May 31, 2013

22 Weeks!

Happy effing Friday everyone! I'm so ready for the weekend. For a short holiday week, its been one heck of a long one at the office. Here's some tons of pics (my hubby was trigger happy with our camera tonight haha), at 22 weeks! Also! I'm confident that I can now celebrate being over the halfway mark! If baby is early, if baby is on time, or if baby is late. HALFWAY THROUGH. I still feel like she will come after her EDD, but we'll see what she wants to do! It's up to her, that lil punkin. Without further adu, photo evidence that I am creating a human. We had some fun with them tonight:

Starting things off right, The Profile Pic:

The Photo to send to family and baby's grandparents:

The, "Can I get Away with Grabbing my own @ss in this Pic?" Pose 

The, "I Totally Can Get Away with Grabbing my own @ss In this Pic!" Pose

This is the, "What up now, halfway through b!tches!" pose. 

And then of course the, "Oh, so this is how it feels to not vomit every morning, I had forgotten" pose.

 And of course, the mandatory dog butt bomb pic. (Love you Holden!)

Have a fun weekend everyone. We're planning on spending lots of time swimming (dogs included), and I'm excited for prenatal yoga tomorrow at my birth center. Raise your finest glass of pinot noir for me! Over and out.

Supernatural Baby

I watch, read, and write a lot of sci-fi and supernatural horror. I also consider myself a very spiritual person. I've had some supernatural, unexplained experiences in my lifetime - some I might even attribute to a spiritual level of awareness, but nothing comes close to the supernatural feeling of creating a life- IN YOUR STOMACH. Haha. Incredible.

A couple nights ago I came home after work and the house was hot from the AC being off all day, so I was just wearing some shorts and a loose crop top. I was reading on the couch, when I felt Jocelyn really moving around. I looked down at my belly and I COULD SEE HER! It was so amazing that I put down my kindle and watched my stomach move with her elbows, hands, feet, and knees (and head?) for I don't know how long. When my husband came home for work I was still doing this - just lounging on the couch, still cracking myself up (or rather she was cracking me up) while I watched all of her in utero dance moves.  So wonderfully bizarre. My lil person in there. Which made me think about dogs, and cats, and animals that have litters of babies. If one baby makes this much movement, I can only imagine all the movement of several lil babies, all dancing together like little magic jumping beans. I wonder if having twins feels anything like this? Or if  mothers of multiples can distinguish and connect with their fetuses on a level to feel each separate person in there, distinctly.

I'm really starting to feel more and more connected to Jocelyn, I see now in retrospect, that perhaps I did have the maternal intuition after all, with my dream premonition of her having a tattoo of "female" on her stomach pretty early on (and perhaps the mustache she also had is my intuiting her sense of humor, and open gender identity, -as I am plan to raise her to like whatever color she wants (not choose to cover her in head to toe pink), and I want to emphasize the value of important women in history over Disney princesses). I have dreams about her telling me how much she wants to meet Holden and Zombie (our dogs) - and some, where she comes out and they cover her in kisses which makes her laugh like crazy. I also notice how when I'm awake and near our dogs or talking to them, I really feel her moving, like she wants to get out and play with them already! Haha, no interest yet in our cats, but I've noticed they have been extra cuddly around my belly. Especially my black cat Molly.

I haven't asked any of my tarot decks about Jocelyn yet, because I haven't really had any questions I felt were important to get advanced insight into yet. I could ask about how her birth will go, but the more I read, and the more I feel in tune with my body, the more I trust whatever will happen to happen, and that keeping a  loving positive attitude about everything will be the most important for her, for me, and for Jason (though he's told me he's starting his hand workouts now to prepare for  when I will be gripping them in a bone-crushing  manner haha). And speaking of her birthday, chances are she will be a Libra, a perfect air sign to balance my husband's fire, and my earth. I can't wait to do her full star chart, and find out her moon and rising! A few years ago, when I had a couple's astrology session with a previous boss, she read our charts together and told us that we were going to have, "The Christ Child." All along, I thought that must have been our Zombie girl (afterall, she did come back from the dead with her journey of finally finding us). But like any parent wants to believe, I think that my Jocelyn girl is also destined to do some great things.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Current Reading: Ina May's Guide to Childbirth

I just started reading Ina May's Guide to Childbirth and am feeling more and more confident in my decision to have an out-of-hospital birth. The first part of this book is a collection of women's experiences giving birth on The Farm, a community of midwives and vegetarian farmers in rural Tennessee. Its empowering, beautiful, emotional, and really moving to read about the love and care that went into all of these natural child births. I highly recommend this book to any mom to be, or any one looking to one day grow their family (moms and dads alike). I feel like this perspective on birth (natural, midwife-coached, non-hospital) in the United States isn't as well known, or as trusted as it really should be.

There are so many powerful quotes, but this one has really stuck with me:
"Have you never heard anyone speak positively about labor and birth before? If so, you are not alone. One of the best-kept secrets in North American culture is that birth can be ecstatic and strengthening. Ecstatic birth gives inner power and wisdom to the woman who experience it, as you will learn from many of the birth stories told here [in, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth]. Even when women [at The Farm] experience pain in labor, they understand that there are ways of making the sensations of labor and birth tolerable that do not involve numbing the senses alive if they are to experience the true wisdom and power that labor and birth have to offer."― Ina May GaskinIna May's Guide to Childbirth

I also feel like this quote really paints a clear picture of what midwifery and Ina May is all about:
“The techno-medical model of maternity care, unlike the midwifery model, is comparatively new on the world scene, having existed for barely two centuries. This male-derived framework for care is a product of the industrial revolution. As anthropologist Robbie Davis-Floyd has described in detail, underlying the technocratic mode of care of our own time is an assumption that the human body is a machine and that the female body in particular is a machine full of shortcomings and defects. Pregnancy and labor are seen as illnesses, which, in order not to be harmful to mother or baby, must be treated with drugs and medical equipment. Within the techno-medical model of birth, some medical intervention is considered necessary for every birth, and birth is safe only in retrospect.” 
― Ina May GaskinIna May's Guide to Childbirth
So far, I feel like the only thing this book doesn't offer is any of the inner-workings or insight of bodily changes leading up to birthing (or maybe it does and that comes later, I'm just not there yet). What it does do is offer a complete look into the world of natural birth and the power of the female body and mind. This is a must read! 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Baby and Me!

At my last appointment I found out that I have gained 13 pounds, and for my BMI, my healthy weight gain range by the end of my pregnancy is anywhere from 25-35lbs. So I'm right on track. The 5 pounds I lost in the first few months from all the nausea, were gained back no problem (as my midwife reassured me they would be).

I got to listen to Jocelyn's heartbeat again, and this time it was immediately found with the dopler now that my belly's bigger, so it wasn't a 10 minute procedure of curly-ques with the machine back and forth on my tummy to locate the tiny heart like last time. Within a couple seconds, we heard a perfect 155 beats per minute, healthily pumping along. It is one of the most magical sounds. Amanda, my nurse friend with a baby told me that she would use her stethoscope everyday to listen to her baby's heartbeat during the last months of her pregnancy. This makes me want to buy a stethoscope. There is a heart beating inside my belly. Its really pretty trippy, and amazing. Truly magical.

I also found out that due to my inverted uterus and upside cervix (shaped like a SHARK), that the placenta is in front, rather than behind the baby in my tummy. This means that it can be more difficult to feel movement, since the placenta is between my belly and baby (so for a visual think of these layers: Belly > Placenta > Baby, rather than most women who have: Belly > Baby > Placenta). To me, this explains why when I first started to feel the kicks/ "bubbles" they felt more like droplets of water in a pond (more circular than "butterflies")  because what I was feeling was my baby kicking against the placenta towards my stomach. I've been feeling her movement a lot these days, and I've had Jason's hand on my belly a couple times and he's felt her too. I love her! Lil pumpkin.

I also learned that (as per our last anatomical ultrasound a couple weeks ago) that she weighed 12 ounces, which is right at the 54th percentile, so right in the middle which is perfect. Not underweight, not overweight :)

I've also been so very grateful to have finally graduated out of my nausea stage! It only took me 19 weeks to fully kick it, but I did it! I'm still eating crackers in bed first thing in the mornings, because I want to be extra sure I won't get the morning voms, but it feels so good! I have more energy and just feel AWESOME. They said that this period of pregnancy would come with the 2nd trimester, I'm happy that I get to enjoy it, because for a while I thought my nausea would never go away.

Its been raining a lot this last week, which is so great. I'm hopeful that this summer won't lead to another extreme heat/droughty summer, but to be as mild as a Texas summer can be. Of course still with lots of swimming involved. Tomorrow I'm meeting up with Monica to have tea with her and her October baby (born last year) Poppy Olive. I'm really excited to see her, its been a long time and I haven't met her lil one yet. Yay for October babies!!

Centering at Austin Area Birthing Center

This week I had my first Centering group appointment and I cannot wait for my next one! So what exactly is "Centering?" My Birth Center offers a very special group-based program that allows mothers to actively participate together in their prenatal care. There are 8 sessions throughout our pregnancies, and everyone in the group has an EDD (expected date of delivery) within a few weeks of each other. There is also a reunion after all babies are born (can't wait for that one!). Each session is two hours and includes:

  • A Private Belly Check for baby and mom - blood pressure, weight and private time with your health care provider 
  • Time to socialize with other members of the group, to meet other new parents going through the same period of their lives
  • Time for discussion with other pregnant women, facilitated by (not led by) a midwife to help answer questions we have
  • Midwife instructed education, information, and medical advice on pregnancy, birthing, nutrition, infant care, breastfeeding and everything baby and child related etc.
  • And of course.... Snacks!
I've been eagerly awaiting this experience to start, to meet new moms to be and hopefully grow my network of friends with babies here in Austin. Having other women who are going through the same stage of pregnancy is overwhelmingly comforting. Having no other real close friends in my life right now who are nearby and pregnant, sort of makes me feel like this odd alien going through a strange great unknown transformation of mind, body, and spirit while being surrounded by (non-pregnant) earthlings. I'm so thankful I have the opportunity to join this group! 

The group that I'm in has 6 October moms. All of whom seem really nice, some of which I really feel like I could see grow into close friends- and of course have similar views on childbirth (why we are all members of the group, and the birth center in the first place). 3 of the dads were there as well, which I think is also so awesome! Some of them had great questions, and are just as much a part of this process - since (I think all) of the 6 dads will be the ones assisting our births. Jason wasn't at this meeting because of his work schedule, but I asked which sessions are the most important for him to go to and he's planning on scheduling off work to attend the two that are suggested, because they are the ones that are the most informative and "lecture" heavy. I hope he can make them, because I think he would also really get along with some of these other dads too!

There are also some additional classes that are scheduled outside of the regular centering meetings, and after all of the 8 centering sessions are completed and we approach our 40 week marks, we will have our own private sessions until the baby is born, and then of course we have the baby reunion in December. My heart is exploding with anticipation to see all of us on the other side of this mountain, as new mothers, with our new babies.

I had so much fun with these women, all first-time moms as well. There is a Musician, an Obstetrician, a Nurse, and a lady who does Christian youth out-reach. The 6th mom wasn't at the first meeting, I'm wondering if she'll be at the next one. There is another vegetarian, and also another vegan (though she admits that she's been caving to her non-vegan cravings during pregnancy- which I told her do what feels right to her- no judgements. Her husband was asking me for recipes which I thought was cool too!). I really feel like I got along with all of these moms, though we are all different in our own ways, we are all together sharing in this experience of creating a new life and going the natural birth route.

What's cool about the group too, is that there is also an "anonymous" question basket, where we can ask the group a question to discuss with each other and the midwife anonymously - which I feel will be important for honesty especially when it comes to our health - and if later on one of us is experiencing something that we might be too embarrassed to talk about, we can still bring it up in the group to get all the info we need - which can help all of us in the long run. 

We are all getting a lot of personal attention, but also learning more from each other's questions and experiences that we either hadn't thought to ask, or forgot to. It is such a cool way to go through pregnancy, and I can't wait for my next session! Yay women!!

Shock Media Culture: Vegan Mom Killed Her Baby

As any expectant mom can relate- when you are pregnant this strange thing happens where people- anywhere from close friends and family, to complete strangers will make it their mission to tell you horror stories of bad pregnancies, still births, and baby deaths. Any mom you ask has been in this uncomfortable situation. How do you respond, as a pregnant woman? As a mom?

As a vegan in Texas, it seems that EVERYONE needs to make me aware that if I do not consume animal products I will kill my baby and go to jail for 5 years. That if I breastfeed with my cruelthy-free vegan milk, my baby will not get all the vitamins she needs. How do I respond to this? Keep reading.

As this is something that not only vegans face while trying to begin a positive, educated, new life for their most treasured creation (a new tiny person!), the midwives at my birth center have advised all of us expectant moms to prepare a quick and punchy come-back to ward off the negativity that will be pushed on us most definitely. This is the phrase they suggest:

"My doctor, and my midwives are not concerned about me or my baby's health. I don't understand why you are- without ever examining me medically." 

What right do people have to bring in this kind of negativity to a pregnant woman's life? None. Yet, so many people feel that this is what they have to do. Though some people may feel like they are doing a kindness, it is actually very rude. Giving me this information, asumes that I am not aware of my or my baby's health, that I have not done my homework, and that I am negligent in my life choices. Life choices I've made to cause as little environmental impact, and as little harm to others. Hear that? Vegans are not just about eating celery for tiny waistlines, most vegans (myself included) choose to live in a way to cause as little harm to others and the planet- which most certainly includes as little harm to my baby as possible.

The shock value of using one article (yes, this same article of the same couple has been passed to me several times online, and also been mentioned in person) of one instance, of one vegan baby dying of malnutrition is smeared across the entire culture of vegan mothers and vegan babies. How many non-vegan babies die from negligence on their mother's behalf? I refuse to google for this kind of information - because I strongly believe that I should only be surrounding myself with positivity - ESPECIALLY during the period of my life while I create a new small life. Regardless, I can be 100% confident that this number of infant mortality of non-vegans far outweighs the number of vegan infant mortality. But why think about any of this?

Do I feel that it is my right to approach a pregnant lady and tell her how another mother, in a completely different situation, accidentally killed her baby? No. No mother wants to hear these stories. If you really want to be helpful, and you are in fact concerned about the health of my vegan baby- I advise you to take the time to do your own homework. Do something constructive and positive.

Telling me that if I do not change my morals, if I do not change my strong life philosophies, and if I do not change the informed diet that I have mindfully practiced for the past 12 years- I will kill my baby- will not do me any good. If you honestly have this much concern for me and my baby's safety, do not simply click, "share" so I can read about a dead baby. If you truly believe that I am incapable of providing a healthy, thriving environment for my newborn as a vegan, I strongly encourage you to learn more about vegan nutrition and vegan breastmilk. Trust me, there are a lot more instances of happy, healthy, vegan babies out there than ones that are killed by vegan breastmilk.

Again, my doctor and my midwives are not concerned with me or my baby's health. If you don't believe me, try doing some research on your own. From just a quick google search on vegan babies and breastfeeding, the first page had the vast majority of positive and informative articles:

"Vegan Children" -
"Vegan Babies" - Huffington Post
"Raising a Vegan Baby" -
"Bringing up a Vegan Baby" - The Vegan Society
"Raising Your Vegan Baby" - One Green Planet
"Is it Safe to Eat a Vegan Diet During Pregnancy" -

Any mother can make poor decisions regarding her baby's nutrition - its not a vegan thing. Vegan moms are not the only ones who are suggested to take prenatal vitamins. I trust my doctor, and my midwives and not the strangers who seem to think they know more than my medical professionals.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

21 Weeks

I have so much to say about a lot of things, but don't have a lot of time tonight. Tomorrow/this weekend I will post about:

  • My first centering meeting at the birth center, 
  • My feelings about recent news articles regarding vegans and breastfeeding, and! 
  • Words celebrating my nausea finally going away! 
But for tonight, here are a couple pics of me and Jocelyn (one day before) 21 weeks (and Zombie stuck her nose in as usual):

Monday, May 20, 2013

Teaching a Bird to Fly

Jason and I were talking last night about our future child, and wondering how she will be exposed to bullying and crap that we went through as kids. We were talking about how we want her to be confident, to stand up for herself as well as others, and to be kind and caring. This lead to our discussion of outlets for emotional stresses, and creative exploration. Jason said that he thinks Kung Fu is an important activity, as he's practiced Kung Fu and got a lot out of it. He also worked on cars, liked building and taking things apart and building them again (electronics etc) and liked going to Punk shows. I grew up with the arts (singing, dancing, playing music, theater, etc), and took horseback riding, read as much as I could, and also made beaded jewelry. I feel like those were great outlets for me. Doing something you are good at, and enjoy doing as a kid, I think helps build up confidence ("I'm good at this!"), self-assurance ("Look what I can DO!"), and gives them a social outlet ("I have friends with my same interests!") and allows a release from stresses and worries- in a constructive, positive way.

Talking about our own likes and interests, lead us to wonder if she will be a girl who wants to be a princess, and a cheerleader, or a girl that will want a mohawk and listen to Dead Kennedys. There's really no way of us to control who she wants to be, and why would we want to? Sure she may have some interests that neither of us were interested in, but that's how I think you learn and grow from being a parent. In being a great parent, I think that you have to put aside your own ideas and dreams for your kids (to an extent) and trust them to know what their interests are and let them explore them for themselves. It sounds obvious, but I feel like a lot of people grow up with pressures to do what their parents want them to do, rather than make their own choices. I feel so grateful that my parents encouraged me to explore my self expression (even when they didn't want me dying my hair pink at 12, or start getting pierced and tattooed at 18 - but they let me make my own choices). They trusted me in who I am, and regardless of their own interests trusted that I have always been a kind and caring person - which I believe is the most important - above all else.

Of course I'm not talking about destructive activities that I'm not interested in, or doing things that harm herself or others (by the way no tattoos or piercings for my daughter until she's 18 either! if that's still happening when she's that age). Loving arts (martial arts included), I would hope that my baby would share in some of our interests, and ideals or even push them further. But who knows? Maybe she will be more interested in religion, or maybe the Sciences, or who knows, maybe living in Texas she will want to hunt and learn taxidermy. I think trying to force my beliefs on my child is totally oppressive, and I hope that she would feel strong and confident enough with herself to make her own decisions and follow the path that her heart sings to. All I can do is show her what I know, and give her the resources to learn and make up her own mind (but please gods and goddesses don't give me a baby who wants to hunt and stuff animals!).

I think that being a parent is about supporting your child's best interests, even if they aren't totally aligned with my own. So will I be buying her non-vegan food if she wants it? No. Just like me, growing up in a house (two or three houses actually) full of non-vegetarians, I had to move out and start buying my own food so I could finally become vegan once I turned 18. Before that I always had plenty of food on all of the tables I ate at, and I plan to do the same for my kids - with vegan foods only. My parents supported my choices as a young vegetarian, but they didn't go out of their way to accommodate me being different from all of them, and I think that's helped me build my strong sense of morality, and personal self-awareness - but also my ability- from a young age- to make my own choices, which I appreciate so much.

Its fun to wonder what she's going to be like as she develops her own personality and character. Lucky for me, while she's a baby I will get to dress her! And I definitely see a mandatory Ramones onesie in her future, as well as a few, "Lettuce Turnip the Beet!" and "Vegan" ones. I can't wait to meet her. <3

Friday, May 17, 2013

Halfway There! (Sort of)

Today I'm 20 weeks! Which means I've been pregnant for roughly 140 days, and have roughly 140 more to go. The first baby is generally always late so I'm thinking end of Oct rather than beginning. So in another couple weeks I plan to celebrate another (probably more accurate) halfway mark! Regardless, Hooray! Still no stretch marks!

In fact, since I found out, I went ahead as per a friend's recommendation (she makes and sells THIS, Stay True Organics awesome vegan tattoo cream btw), and bought some organic vegan stretch mark "preventers." I've read that regardless of how much oil you slather on, if stretch marks run in your family, its very likely you will have them too. But I live in a "bikini time 8 months of the year" city, so I want to do what I can (naturally) to try to limit belly marks. I love the way the Erbaviva Stretch Mark oil smells, and since I've been using it every night, my skin is so soft. Soft as a baby's toosh! I love it, highly recommend, as so far its done the job and even passed the smell-test during my most nauseated beginning stages (when everything - i mean everything, smelled so bad it made me wanna ralph).

 I've also been using this one, which I'm pretty sure is vegan as well, but is not 100% USDA organic like the oil. It also smells super yummy, and feels better on my skin during the day when its hot out so I've been using it in the mornings before work (unlike the oil which feels too heavy during the afternoon heat- so i put it on for while I sleep).

Jason flies back into town tonight, and I just realized that when I go to pick him up at the airport this is the first time when I won't be able to have him pick me up and twirl me around while kissing me like we always do at airports when one of us is arriving after a trip. My belly will be in the way, and after the 10lbs I've gained, I now weigh as much as my husband! haha. I'll just be so happy to kiss him! Even though I'll miss the dramatic Leo twirl and pick me up. And Zombie is totally going to freak out. Haha. Best weekend ever!

Thursday, May 16, 2013


 My lil Fosse girl is trying out her first dance moves! I'm happy to announce that the blowing bubbles have graduated to elbows and kicks! Jason was even able to feel some of them when he put his hand on my belly. These are the times when I've noticed them the most:
  • After eating Grapefruit
  • After eating anything spicy
  • After laying down in bed for a night's sleep
Its incredible. Once or twice I've been startled by them. When I start to feel her move I put my hand on my belly. Its almost like playing pop goes the weasel, when she really POPS its sort of a jolt! and a surprise shock! There is nothing like this. I'm so in love. I love her, so much.


I haven't noticed any swelling yet, and am still happily wearing my wedding ring, and the three other friendship rings I never take off (Geraldine's, Gwyneth's, and Kate&Chelsea's - from when each of them visited me in Austin). My toe ring (from my cousin Mei's visit), is also still happily in place. Not sure if my hands and feet will start to swell, but for now I'm glad because I feel naked without my rings.

Speaking of, for the last ultrasound, I had to take out my belly ring. I've had my belly ring since I was 18. I know its such a "90s" look, but I still love it. My midwives said that I can keep the ring in as long as I want, but it might start to get uncomfortable late into my pregnancy, especially when my innie turns to an outtie. I still haven't put it back in since the ultrasound, not sure if I will, but my stomach looks so funny to me without it. So strange. I'll probably put it back in. What can I say, I'm a 90s girl.

Reading online about other pregnancy experiences I learned about something called a, "Push Gift." Which is the present the husband/father gives the wife/mother for pushing a watermelon out of her vagina. That's kind of weird to me, isn't the baby the gift for both of us? But hey! Any opportunity to ask for something sparkly, right? If our baby is born in October (which is most likely), her birthstone will be Opal. I told Jason a super-thin, tiny opal ring (stackable) would be awesome. I don't really wear any big jewelry anymore. Although, now that I'm thinking about it, maybe I should ask for a new tiny opal belly ring, that seems more appropriate for me haha. Regardless, I am just so looking forward to meeting my new lil pumpkin!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


I don't know if you're "supposed" to tell people your baby's name before the baby's born, but we knew immediately after getting pregnant what our names would be. That's because I couldn't stop thinking about names as soon as we found out. As my husband will tell you, I would be asleep in bed, and then pop up, wake him up and ask him if he liked this name, or that name. This went on for a few weeks. I even made a spreadsheet (nerd alert).

After weeks of brainstorming, internet searches, and even browsing a baby names book my mom sent me, we chose, Jackson for a boy, and Jocelyn for a girl. Jackson, or Jack, was partly due to the fact that we found out we were pregnant on the same day that my grandfather passed away. My mom called me that morning, after I had peed on two strips, both positive, and immediately I could hear she was crying. It was a hard day, and interesting how the circle of life works and moves forward, ending and beginning new cycles of life and change. For Jackson we knew his middle name would be Herbert, for Jason's grandpa Herb, or Michal, which is Jason's middle name. Though I would have loved to raise a little boy, and maybe we will someday as well, I'm sort of relieved we're not naming our child Jackson Michal (Micheal Jackson) or Jackson Herb - being from Nor Cal and all.

So Jocelyn it is. We are still trying to figure out the middle name, but that's one that we will probably not share and keep private. We've thought about using her birth month as her middle name (like me), but being born in October (or September, or November) seems more like a stripper name haha. We love Jocelyn already (the baby, and the name). Jocelyn as a name is particularly special to us because we don't know anyone else with that name, so its all her own. It's also a German name, so we are honoring Jason's (and my) German heritage.

So happy we're having a girl! <3 <3

Vegas Baby, Vegas!

Jason's in Vegas for the rest of the week for a company paid vacation that he was awarded for basically always kicking ass. All the big wigs are going, so its also an awesome opportunity for him to buddy up to some of the new execs at the company after the buy-out that happened beginning of the year. I'm so happy that he gets to have some time outside of the usual and go have some fun (without spending any of our money)! They are taking him to see Cirque de Soleil tonight, man so awesome, and tomorrow he can either spend the day golfing (ha! yeah right!), or be treated to a spa day. I told him he should go for the full spa treatment, mud wraps, massage, and drink fancy cucumber water so I can  live vicariously, but he said that what he really just wants to do is lay out by the pool at the hotel, haha. That's my Jason. <3 He deserves a vacation and I'm just so so SO happy that it was scheduled AFTER we had the gender reveal ultrasound together. I hope he has the best time ever! Even though I already miss him.

Having him out, means that I have a pouty Zombie who misses her Jason. To reward me for taking care of her and giving her extra attention while he's gone (she's a daddy's girl), she decided to take a huge shit downstairs in the middle of the night. Not what I was expecting to wake up to before going to work. Half on our area rug, and half on our pergo floors. Oh Zombie, he'll be back! Such a drama queen. And then of course Holden, who knows that when Jason is gone there is no one to yell at him to get off the bed at night. So last night I spent 15 minutes yelling at him, "OFF!" "I MEAN it. OFF!!" while he just rolled around, play bowing, and wagging his tail at me. ("Oh Mama, you're so funny, and not as scary as Papa!"). Finally I got him to get off the bed by pushing him with all my might and coaxing his crazy night-time naughty ways to go to HIS bed. Which he didn't do, but he went into our stairwell and sat there pouting until who knows how long because I had the bed to myself (and Molly), and fell right asleep.

Having Jason gone reminds me how much I'm so incredibly grateful to have such a loving, and available husband to help me bring our baby into this new life. It also makes me appreciate all the single moms and single dads who go through raising a household on their own. I don't even have a baby yet (well not human ones anyway), and I already feel the void of not having my partner in crime around to help out, if only to laugh at me while I try to act dominant and Alpha in our house of wild dogs. I'm so glad that we've waited as long as we did to start our family (almost a decade). I know anything can change, but I trust him so much and believe he's going to be the best dad. I think waiting as long as we did, and working on "us" will make our relationship that much stronger going into this next life chapter. My baby is so damn lucky! Speaking of luck, when he was leaving for Vegas, I wanted to tell him, "Don't do anything our baby wouldn't do!" Then I thought of what babies DO. Doo doo. Shit and barf in public. Haha, instead I just said, "I love you, have fun!" And thought to myself, and now especially after Zombie gave me her present this morning ("Run from a house of excrement for as long as you can!") haha. Miss you J. <3

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

It's a Girl!!!

All the waiting and wondering is now over, at least for the gender chapter. Jason and I are having ourselves a beautiful, perfect, healthy little baby girl! The ultrasound today made me cry. So happy, and so thankful. We saw her heart beating, heard it beating, saw her spine, her brain, her hands, fingers, feet, toes, umbilical cord, face (though she's a shy one! haha), and she is already practicing her yoga. For the most part she was in "child's pose" and kind of looked like a little turtle, all curled up in a little ball in there. Haha, heroes in a half-shell, Turtle Power! We are so excited! I'll try to scan and post pics later. I was too busy laughing and crying and holding Jason's hands to take any pics of the screen with my phone.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

5 Things to NOT Do if you are Pregnant

  1. Stop mid-sentence, grab your stomach, and say, "OUCH!" when talking to your husband, and experiencing gas pains. This will really scare him.
  2. Expect people to mind your personal space, and not stare. Never going to happen.
  3. Make Zombie Baby jokes. No one will laugh but you (even if they want to), and then you'll feel really uncomfortable.
  4. Decide to eat your favorite foods, regardless if the sight and smell repulses you. It will not taste the same as you remember and only cause confusion, frustration, and if you're like me, vomit.
  5. Try to stay up past 10. Don't fight it. Not worth it.
And on that note: Another classic Pregnant Husband

Whenever my pregnant wife is out past 10 o’clock on a Friday or Saturday night.

The moment we get home, she’s like:

Attitude of Gratitude

Yesterday surprised myself with the most explosive case of road rage (for me at least). Generally I'm the zen one, who spends the daily commute singing along to my mp3s or the local independent radio station (I love you KUTX!), knowing that it will take me 45+/- minutes to get to work in the morning and then also the afternoon traffic. Why stress it out? Its the same every day, and yeah its a bummer that a 15-20 minute drive is slowed down by all the other commuters, but I know that getting upset about it doesn't do any good and just bums me out. So I don't really mind traffic... usually.

I was heading home and knowing that Austin hosts some of the WORST drivers EVER, its not unusual for me to be unfazed by (though constantly on alert for) people who cut me off, try to come into my lane without turn signals, or immediately jerk to a stop while doing 45 mph. *Knock on Wood* I've never gotten into a car accident in my life, and I think its because I'm not trying to rush around and generally take the defensive role, rather than the aggressive one. Thanks to years of riding a Vespa in San Francisco. Anyway.

Leaving my office a car sped out in front of me from a side road that had no right of way, and honked as if my green light meant nothing. Okay, not unusual. Annoying, but no big deal. Whatevs. A few blocks later, this happens AGAIN. That was when I lost my shit. Haha. By that I mean for the rest of the ride home, this Silver Dodge Truck was in front of me only making my rage worse. I think I tried out more new creative insults I could think of than I have ever used in my whole life. Everything from Barf Bag, to Dust Bunny Sandwich. Sometimes with a classy expletive thrown in there for good measure (Snot Fuck Booger Face). I was so pissed off at this effing truck haha. Letting off some steam felt pretty good, but man, watch out for me. These emotional hormonal outbursts could lead to some verbal sticks and stones.

I've tried to keep my attitude in check, and being aware that I'm sometimes less than grounded, exhausted and overly sensitive helps remind myself to count my blessings (as my grandmother would say), and to remember to stay grateful and positive. There's always at least 3 things to be happy about, for each single thing that is frustrating me at the time. Things to be grateful for like this:

On another note! 6 more days until gender. This suspense is killing me haha. But like my mom says, you don't count the day you're on, and you don't count the day you're waiting for, so really just 4 more [whole] days! At this point I am so excited to just know that I still have a living baby in me. Its so odd to be making a person. I mean, I've seen 2 ultrasounds already, heard the heart beat twice, and I see my huge belly, even felt some movement, but I honestly regularly forget that I'm making a person. Out of this world bizarre, and cool. But also still pretty unbelievable. Its totally surreal. Like, "Oh hey! Just kidding! You are just fat!" I keep thinking the midwives are going to say that next time.

Speaking of, I also start my centering group this month! I'm excited to see who else is in my group, and hopefully that I can make some new mama friends to go through this whole experience with.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Baby Shower Etiquette

Its only 10am and I've already peed 5 times today. Oops, just came back. Make that 6. Yeah, I'm impressed too. Less than a week away from our gender reveal, which means less than a week away from when I will start to really plan my shower. First, I know, for proper etiquette I'm not supposed to plan my own, but considering I didn't have a bridal shower (since I didn't plan my own), I know I just have to take it in my own hands to be sure it happens. For my wedding it wasn't a big deal, I'm not much of a princess type anyway, but for baby, this is like new puppy party x100. I'm better at spoiling others than myself anyway. Plus we can use all the help we can get, being so far away from family, and having no friends in Austin with babies (with the exception of one couple, who's baby is still well a baby). I did ask our Baby's godmother Chenoh to help me plan the shower, which she agreed to! We're going to meet up sometime soon to figure out where, address invites, and think of fun things to do and all that baby crazy stuff. Mostly I'm wondering where to have it. Considering it will be summer in Austin, which most likely will mean triple digits. I'm thinking swimming, maybe Barton Springs?

I'm also technically not supposed to have it at my house, but we'll see about that too- depending on who RSVPs we might need to provide some AC. Its a bummer that we still haven't been able to fix our pool (every thing we've saved has gone to new floors, new fridge, vet bills, paying off our car (yay!), and trying to lower our monthly credit card bills as much as possible before I stop bringing in half our income. Jason has been having stress dreams, and losing sleep over our finances, but I know we'll figure it out. We have so much more than we had growing up, and there is so much to be thankful for. Its just hard when we don't have a solid community (or family nearby) to rely back on, all the pressure is resting on the two of us, or rather will be resting on him to financially take care of our mortgage, our 4 animals, his wife, his baby. Healthcare, food, utilities, everything. Since we found out, all my income has gone directly to debts, and we've been even more tight with no eating out, not spending, to see what it will be like to live on his income. Its been not as bad as we expected, and with lowering all our monthly bills (the car payment was the biggest one), its definitely going to be alright, but still our goals of paying off all our cards by the time the baby arrives is putting a lot of pressure on us, rather on him. I know there are a lot more things that we want to do to our place, we need to install carpets on our dangerous, plywood stairs, upstairs hallway, and two upstairs bedrooms (one will be the nursery). We also just had to pay for installing a fence on one of our property lines, which is really nice, but was really expensive. I'm hopeful that when baby comes, we can afford to at least get our garden going so we won't have to spend money on (most of) our veggies.

Its kind of embarrassing to have people over with all the work that's left to do on our place, but I know I'm probably more critical than other people. I keep reminding myself how much we've done, how much I've done, and how much better it already is than when we bought the place (carpet in all the bathrooms and kitchen anyone?), but I'm a perfectionist so nothing is ever good enough (of course). I can't wait to have more time at home to take better care of our backyard (pool or no pool). Everything is so overgrown. We want to replace the fence on the back of our property line, but ugh, everything is so expensive. Hopefully by next summer we'll be in a place to get the pool back up and running. Oh my god, such heaven, having a pool in Texas. Then again that's what we said this time last year, and summer's already here. At least we had it the first summer we moved in, which was one of the worst, longest summers in decades. Anyway. Back to the shower.

Also, who am I supposed to invite? Considering we've registered (we didn't register for our wedding), and considering we have to start from scratch on our own, I want to invite as many friends and family as possible! It's embarrassing to ask for help, or for me, to admit that I can't provide everything for myself (dammit pride), but truthfully I need to suck up my pride and get used to the idea that its expected to register and ask for gifts when you have a baby (or get married). Even rich people do that! When we got married, I asked for "presence" and not "presents." And said if people wanted to get us anything we love art, and would love some live music at our reception. If neither of those were your style, and if you wanted to get us something practical, we said we could always use gift cards. But thinking of bringing a new baby home, I want to be able to provide for this lil kiddo to the best of our abilities even if that means asking for help. I know its probably horrible etiquette to even talk about any of this, but why be ashamed of wanting to be a great mama, and give my baby everything he or she needs? Plus I doubt that many people will come to our shower, considering the vast majority of our family and friends live at least a three-days drive away from Austin. The more people I invite, hopefully the more people (half a dozen?) will show up, right?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


I'm not sure if its just me, since I haven't read anything about this for any other women, but I've pretty much had the non-stop hiccups since I've been pregnant. Luckily its not constant, but every day throughout the day (at least once every other hour) I have hiccup attacks. This is also in the middle of the night while I'm sleeping, it will wake me up. Haha, so weird. Jason's tried to scare them out of me, but this usually just makes me laugh and causes worse hiccups.

Next up on my reading list is something by Ina May Gaskin (as recommended by my midwives). I'm thinking about getting Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. Though all of her books are supposed to be amazing.

I'm also ready to start getting back into some more exercising to hopefully help strengthen my back, and get rid of some of these back aches I've been having. There are three maternity yoga classes a week that my birth center offers, Tuesday and Thursday nights I can go after work (if I go home for lunch to let the dogs out), and also Saturday mornings. So awesome that all the classes are included in my enrollment at the birth center - so virtually free for me to take, no extra costs for me to go.

Time to start getting back into it now that I'm not (too) fearful of nausea hitting me in public places without barf bags.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Photos 18+ Weeks

Its hard to keep up with the weekly photo that we planned to do, so this one's 18 weeks plus a few days. Honestly, I sort of think that there must be twins in there by the size I keep growing. Also my hair is out of control, growing so fast, and I have to cut my fingernails twice a week. Played around with some B&W this time. Zombie wanted in on the action.

Also! I felt movement again last night! It woke me up, to feel the little bubbles in there, its the weirdest coolest feeling. I know when I call them bubbles it sounds like I'm just describing gas, but its like droplets in water and doesn't hurt (like gas pains - TMI, but I have plenty of those too). I can't wait to feel them again. Yay! My lil bubbles!

Junk in the Trunk

I recently met up with a friend for smoothies, and when she arrived, I had already ordered and was sitting at a table waiting for my drink with my back to her. "Hi Tyler! I could barely recognize you from the back! You've changed SO MUCH. You got big QUICK."

As I awkwardly stood up and turned around to give her a hug, all I could think to say was, "Yeah! My ass sure is HUGE these days." It made me think though, do I really look that different from behind? I've only noticed my belly and boobs get bigger, my arms and legs and even my feet haven't gotten any bigger, or swollen, but apparently I look like an unrecognizable big fat person from the back. Haha, great. Being pregnant is fun.

I threw up yesterday. I'm convinced I'm going to be one of those people who have morning sickness for all 9 months. At least the all-day sickness, has graduated to only appear when I first wake up- now truly just morning sickness. Lucky me. At least my toothpaste doesn't make me throw up anymore. The worst was barfing, brushing, only to barf again. The only food aversion that I still have is steamed rice. White or brown, the smell makes me so sick to my stomach. As my ass will agree, my appetite is definitely back in full force. No weird cravings, but a few times I've noticed that I'll have a huge plate of food or snacks, look down a second later and it will all be gone. Hungry lil monster in there.

For some Monday cheer ups, here are some of my favorites from the tumblr pregnant husband. This tumblr is really a life-saver whenever I need a pick me up and can't pour a glass of wine.

When my pregnant wife is ready to go to bed.

She’s like:

Talking to my pregnant wife the morning after she made some five or six trips to the bathroom during the night.

She’s like:

When my pregnant wife is cranky before she leaves for work, but when I get home later in the day she tells me she’s feeling better because she picked something up for the nursery during the day.

I’m like:

Friday, May 3, 2013

Blowing Bubbles

18 weeks! My Baby Bump Pro app tells me that I'm supposed to really start feeling some moving from this point on, and so far I have felt something! Just once, and it was pretty delicate, but definitely unlike anything else I've felt before.

People describe the first feelings of movement like, "butterflies" in your stomach, but what I felt was better described as blowing bubbles. It felt much more circular when I felt the three or four "bubble" kicks, it was like bubbles being blown and landing on me then popping- but on the inside of my belly. Pretty magical stuff! I haven't felt that again, but I've been trying to be more aware and conscious of movement, my blood flowing, everything in my body in hopes of feeling it again. Most of the time all that I feel is like my stomach is a huge water balloon.

Only 11 more days until our next ultrasound for gender! My goodness, so happy its finally May, and we are that much closer. I can't wait to see the lil pumpkin again, now with bones and fingers and toes. According to my app, my baby is now the size of a sweet potato, roughly 5.6 inches. I've been pretty much dreaming primarily about my baby these days, it went from no dreams about my baby (just weird vivid stuff), to dreaming every night about ONLY my baby. Last night I got to hold (him/her), (s)he had soft blonde hair and was so soft and sweet smelling. I kept kissing his/her top of his/her head. Still no idea on gender as far as mama intuition, but will find out soon enough... trying to cherish each of these moments. Relaxing into all of this waiting, since I'm now starting to see everything I do as baby-free, and imagine how different it will all be: going pee without baby, cooking dinner without baby, cuddling with Holden on the bed in the mornings  without baby, eating without baby, getting dressed without baby. I'm reminding myself to appreciate all these little things that I take for granted, since I know that they will all be gone in a few more short months. Wow.  Whole. Life. About to Change. VERY SOON. So excited!!!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Goals for Post-Pregnancy

I'm planning on working full-time up until the very last minute before I go into labor. But what I realized today, is that after I have the baby I am taking time "off"- rather I'll be leaving my accounting job - whether temporary or permanently, still undecided- though leaning on decided. Point is, I will not be tied down to an 8am-6pm Mon-Fri.

What I've been so looking forward to (aside from HAVING MY BABY [queue Paul Anka - See Below]), is that I'm planning to finally start a garden at our house. We've spent so much time working on the INSIDE new floors, painting, appliances, bathrooms, kitchen, laundry room, ceiling fans, etc... that we haven't had the time to focus on the outside. Austin is one of the few lucky places that gets great crops year round, and I can't wait to get some more time back in MY life, and start to grow my own Kale! (Holden can't wait either, we'll have to figure out how to dog-proof our raised beds).

My other goal while being a stay at home mom, is to write my second novel. Realizing that I won't be constrained by someone's else's time schedule (ha, can you tell I'm a new mom and have never had kids before?) or have to be anywhere other than where I want to be is one of the luxuries that I miss from the year I took off to write my first book (which I ended up never getting published, but still! I wrote it!). And now, I will be able to be a full-time writer again. I'm so excited. I could pee my pants (yes I actually could because being pregnant also makes you pee 1294783 times a day).

Without further adieu ladies and gentlemen, Paul Anka: