And the Nesting is BACK!

I’m not sure if it was the realization that my due date is next week, the fact that I’m starting half-time maternity leave, or my body doing it’s labor-prep thing, but I am back at the nesting game. I feel like the bulk of my pregnancy was spent at a pretty high level of nesting (minus that wicked first trimester) until about a month or so ago… maybe a few weeks? Whenever the swelling started. Once that hit, I was a puffy, sleepy mess with little drive to do much but wimper, ice, or lay. BUT, the past few days have brought me some serious levels of productivity. And not the kind of productivity I had before – where if it wasn’t baby-related, it wasn’t getting done… or at least not quickly – this was full-on, “A-Game” work! At work, at home, at my other work… I’ve been checking things off my lists, getting organized, cleaning up… it’s amazing. I feel really great about it! Last night, I actually unpacked my hospital bag and repacked it in a way that felt more organized. Yep, that’s where I’m at.

So now, it’s 5:10 and I’m working at a totally cleaned up desk with only one thing to finish… this blog! Then, I’m off! I will officially start my half-time maternity leave. Unfortunately, I have to work a full day at my other job tomorrow and a half-day on Friday, but whatever. Regardless, I’m feeling pretty excited. The uncertainty of this job was really starting to bring me down… not to mention the humidity. So once I leave here, I will head to the gym for my last pre-baby workout (they told me I needed to stop after today… I guess they don’t want to deliver my baby on the gym floor) and then go home to organize something. Or maybe fold some laundry? The bedroom could use a bit of organizing.

And despite all the loveliness of my nesting spree, I must mention that yesterday, it did inflict a little damage…

Yup... that is a HUGE chunk of paint that I gouged out of the wall that took us FOREVER to paint. Urgh. That caused my heart to ache a little...

Yup… that is a HUGE chunk of paint that I gouged out of the wall that took us FOREVER to paint. Urgh. That caused my heart to ache a little…

Other than that, hubs and I did a little cloth diaper practice…

This is Mutsy, my childhood stuffed animal. Pretty cute in his little prefold diaper, huh?

This is Mutsy, my childhood stuffed animal. Pretty cute in his little prefold diaper, huh?

Doesn't he look excited to be using cloth diapers?

Doesn’t he look excited to be using cloth diapers?


I will be so happy when…

  • The hot flashes stop. Holy smokes… if anyone looks at me too long, or says something weird, or exists, I start sweating. A lot. My thermostat is way outta whack.
  • I can curl up in the fetal position.
  • I can sleep on my back.
  • My hands are no longer numb.
  • My hands no longer resemble sausages.
  • My feet fit in all of my cute shoes. Oh how I miss wearing cute shoes.
  • I can run and jump into my husband’s arms.
  • I can run and jump.
  • I can give my husband a hug without having to be watermelon-distance apart.
  • I can put my shoes on without breaking a sweat.
  • My stomach doesn’t rest on my stomach when I sit.

So, yesterday I was having very light Braxton Hicks contractions all day. I wasn’t really keeping track of them because they were random and all over the place. Today I’ve had more than I was having previously, but probably not as many as yesterday… at least not that I can remember? I don’t really think it means much except for the obvious, I am coming up on 39 weeks and this baby is coming out soon.

I will say though, I’m getting a little sick of over analyzing every contraction, movement, etc. To the point where I was even considering skipping my internal exam tomorrow. BUT, I’ve decided that I’ll let her check me and if I’ve made no progress, which could totally be the case, then I will skip my 40-week exam. My appointment is tomorrow and I just really hope there has been some progress. I think I feel different. I haven’t had to pee much more than normal (I already pee all the time), but I have had more pressure in my pelvic area and hips. It could just be that this baby is getting HUGE and weighing down on me, but who knows?

I can’t believe this baby is coming soon. I think I’m back to feeling really confident. I spoke to a friend from high school who I had kind of lost touch with and she is just a god-send. She had a natural birth and is just so open and honest about everything. It’s SO nice talking with her. It definitely gave me a boost in confidence. The hubs and I have also been doing the perineum massage, which I think is helping. I don’t know if it will ultimately prevent me from tearing, but it is helping my husband and I in terms of boundary breaking (it was pretty awkward at first), and just in terms of working together. It’s opened up conversation regarding what helps me focus versus what breaks my focus and so on. I know this is a very, VERY mild version of what I’ll actually be feeling, but it at least gets us thinking of ideas.

50 Days, Magical Cheesecake & a Great Appointment

I’d like to start off by warning you that I’m obnoxiously chipper right now. Why you ask? Well, a lot of reasons, but mainly, I had a really great appointment with my doctor today. Here’s the update…

Blood pressure: GOOD (98/66… I think?)

Belly Bump Measurement: 32-33 cm (measuring right on track or maybe even a little small… my lady parts like the sound of small)

Baby’s Heart Rate: Great! (I forgot to ask specifics, but she said it was perfect)

Baby’s Position: Still head down! She’s such a good girl.

Weight Gain: Dan da daaaaan… 1 lb! Yes, this made me very happy! My doc said it was great, too! So, now at 33 weeks (tomorrow), I’ve gained 27 lbs. That feels way better than 26 lbs at 31 weeks. I’ve just got to keep up the good work… ie: exercising and eating well. AKA… I will not be going home and eating all the leftover cheesecake. Damn.

I also asked my doc quite a few questions…

1) Can we pre-register for the hospital? No need to! Everything is electronic, so they’ll get you right in a room and any questions needing answers will be asked there.

2) In order to get my breast pump paid for by insurance, I need a prescription… can I get one from you today? Yep!

*NOTE: I had heard great things about the Hygeia Enjoye breast pump and am attempting to go through to order mine (the website was recommended to me by the rep at Hygeia). I’ll let you know if my insurance accepts it and it works.

3)  Do you apply oil / do perineal massage when the baby is crowning? I’ve heard it helps prevent tearing. I do sometimes, but it depends on the patient and how she’s feeling. Sometimes it is too sensitive down there and the massage doesn’t help. If you would like me to, just let me know and I will. And, if you’d like me to apply oil, feel free to bring the oil with you and I’ll be happy to use it.

4) If I have any tearing, will I receive local pain meds before I’m stitched up? Yes. We use lidocaine, which sometimes hurts a touch when administered (it’s a shot), but sometimes it doesn’t. That should relieve any pain from the stitches.

5) When do you cut the cord? I’ve read that it is beneficial to wait a few minutes after birth to cut the cord so extra blood flows from the placenta to the baby. Supposedly it lowers risk of newborn anemia and iron deficiency. I have been trying to adjust my practice to wait a few minutes before cutting the cord. Just remind us [or put it in your birth plan] and we will do that.

**So, here is where I handed the doc my package of mini cheesecakes (see recipe in yesterday’s blog post) and said, “Here’s a little bribe before I ask my next question…” Mark made sure to add in, “You can have the cheesecakes no matter what” haha… I love him.

Classic Cheesecake with Graham Cracker Crust Garnished with Mixed Berry Preserves and Lemon Zest & Whipped Cream, Fresh Blueberry and Lemon Zest... AND, Oreo Cheesecake on an Oreo Crust topped with Whipped Cream and a Mini Oreo. Mmm....

Classic Cheesecake with Graham Cracker Crust Garnished with Mixed Berry Preserves and Lemon Zest & Whipped Cream, Fresh Blueberry and Lemon Zest… AND, Oreo Cheesecake on an Oreo Crust topped with Whipped Cream and a Mini Oreo. Mmm….

6) My company requires a doctor’s note for my maternity leave. I am requesting 12 weeks and was hoping you could write a note saying that I need 12 weeks. Definitely! The more time the better! What I’m not able to do is fill out a disability form because medically, it is pre-determined that a vaginal birth receives 6 weeks and a c-section birth receives 8 weeks.

SUCCESS!!! YES! How amazing, huh??? I love my doc. Hopefully the damn note will be enough and I can finally get the maternity leave thing checked off my list.

One more reason for smiling… as of today, there are exactly 50 days until my due date! I love round numbers.

Interesting Information on Inductions

Last night I was searching online for a “cervix dilation visualization” meditation and came across some interesting information on inductions. First, I should explain my original search… I’ve been thinking that maybe if I could find a guided meditation to help relax exactly the right muscles to promote dilation and effacement, it could help in my labor.

While I did NOT find anything of the sort, here’s an interesting article/chart I found regarding your inductability (probably not a word??)… aka: how induceable (I think I made up this word, too) you are. Why is this important? One of the risks with induction is that you’re forcing your body to labor before it’s naturally ready. But, I guess there is some score that you can be rated that takes into consideration a heap of factors and estimates how conducive your current conditions are for an induction. Your score should be 7 or above… here’s the score chart:

The chart and some background info...

The chart and some background info…

More information on calculating your score.

More information on calculating your score.

I thought this was interesting. Obviously, I do not want to be induced, but for some reason, this felt very useful so I thought I’d share.



Last night, Mark and his dad loaded up his dad’s car and went off to return the chair/ottoman. We were all VERY relieved to find out it was actually quite easy! SO, now we officially only have one chair again… well, we will have one chair… when it arrives in a bazillion weeks. Maybe I should start calling them every day to see if it’s ready yet? 🙂 Okay, maybe not.

In other news, I went through all of our 3-6 month hand-me-down clothes last night and decided what I want to keep. It’s CRAZY how many clothes this miniature child has. These piles are literally 3-6 month only…

Lost in a sea of tiny clothes.

Lost in a sea of tiny clothes.

And in case it wasn’t clear, I’m obsessed with my puppy. He’s just so cute…



That Whole Birthing Thing Looks Hard…

Last night we had our first birthing class. As I mentioned yesterday, the class was part one of a two-part class with our hospital, and we also have a two-part, 8-hour class with our Doula.

So, what did we learn? Oy. Well, the gist is that it’s potentially a VERY long process that is going to be a TOTAL mind/body challenge. I’m trying to stay very positive about the whole experience. From what I’ve read, going in with a positive outlook can really change your experience.  But, I’m not going to lie… I teared up three times during the 18-minute video of one couple’s natural birth / labor story. It’s just so intense. I feel like I just need to keep reminding myself of these key points…

  1. There are hundreds of thousands of people around the world powering through the same experience at any given time.
  2. It will end and it will end with the birth of our sweet girl. It’s not a pain or ailment that will last forever. Hopefully I’ll be able to hold onto this perspective.
  3. Throughout the entire labor, I will be working WITH my baby and with my body to deliver our girl.
  4. I can do this. Women’s bodies are made for this. It’s the most natural thing in the world. So much so that once your baby is born and placed on you skin-to-skin, a mother’s body will change temperature to help regulate the baby’s temp. For example, if the baby’s temperature is too cold, the momma’s will warm up to warm the baby. That’s how natural the process is.
  5. Like all the other women who have powered through this same experience, I am a superhero.


I’m feeling a touch sleep-deprived and my back is quite achy. Other than those two things, I’m feeling pretty good! I have it in my mind that we’re so close to the finish line, and am hoping that this mindset doesn’t turn the final 9.5 weeks into what feels like 20. As of right now, I’m thankful for the time we have to finish all the little things that still need to get done… BUT, if she were to come early, I’m also quite confident that we’d be okay!

Have I mentioned that I’m SO excited to meet our girl?



Infant CPR & Safety… And the Effects of Third-Hand Smoke on Your Baby!

Last night the hubs and I went to our Infant CPR & Safety class and learned how to give our sweet girl CPR and the Heimlich if ever needed. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about the class, but honestly, I would recommend taking that class or a similar one if available to you. Ours was free through our hospital.

It’s so important to be able to protect your baby. And in fact, Mark and I both agreed that we’d really like our parents and any others who will likely care for her without us present to take the course or have the skills.

I forgot to bring my worksheet with me today, but I will add it to this post later so you can see some of the information we learned. There was also a great website for childproofing your home based on the age of the child… but again, I don’t have it with me.

Also, a friend told us about an app from the American Red Cross for CPR. Here’s the link to it…

One thing that REALLY surprised both Mark and I was the information provided on the effects of second and THIRD hand smoke. Here’s the difference…

  • First Hand Smoke: Person smokes a cigarette and receives first-hand smoke from the cigarette
  • Second Hand Smoke: Person is exposed to another person’s cigarette smoke as they are smoking
  • Third Hand Smoke: Person is exposed to cigarette smoke residue from their clothing and breath

Our teacher – a CPR specialist, labor and delivery nurse, and lactation specialist – told us a story about a father who smoked about 2 packs a day. He was a great father and never smoked around the baby. One day, he went out to have a cigarette, came back inside, took his jacket off, and sat in his recliner with little baby sleeping on his chest. Two hours later, he started to feel concerned that the baby hadn’t woken. He tapped the baby and called his name, but the baby did not respond. The baby had died due to the severe exposure of third hand smoke from the father’s breath and clothing. F**ked up, huh?

The nurse said that it takes 24 hours to remove the “third hand smoke” or toxins from your body.

Needless to say, Mark and I have decided that no matter how much we love you, if you are a smoker, you will not be holding our baby. Their lungs and respiratory system are SO fragile at that age and they do not need to be exposed to such toxins.


Well, this morning I discovered that one of the frames above the changing table/dresser must have come crashing down during the night. The damn thing broke in half and took a CHUNK out of my dresser. I am not a happy camper and 3M better believe they will be receiving a not so nice email from me. Jerks. But, deep breaths… it’s not a big deal, right?

This week is totally dragging and I haven’t been getting enough sleep at all and I’m just feeling blah. I should be over the moon because my favorite house guests will be here in a few days and I get to see so many perfectly lovely little faces this Sunday at my shower. Maybe I will get to bed early tonight… that could help. I’m sure the funk will pass and I’ll be floating by the time the weekend rolls around. But, for today, I’m definitely going to be in survival mode… just get me through this day! Tonight I’m going to work out and do some grocery shopping… then maybe some sitting! That sounds nice, right?

On a different note, I’ve been reading Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth and am somehow really enjoying it. So far, it’s just been story after story of women’s experiences with childbirth. They’re not sugarcoated at all, but they’re natural and real and empowering. There are a lot of tips hidden within the stories, which I really love. The gist of what I’ve gotten so far is that your mental state and outlook can be very instrumental in the process. I am going to do everything I can to go into the experience from a completely centered place. I’m going to set the scene with a birth plan that outlines basic guidelines for the room (ie: dim lights, minimal staff in the room, low voices, and don’t even think about asking me if I want drugs)… bring other mood setters like zen/yoga music… maybe a lamp or flameless candle… my ocean noises (these are so clutch for me… I listen to them every night at bed and find they really soothe me)… my sweet and amazing husband… and our doula. I’m not going to rush or obsess over what’s coming. Just be present, continue to breathe, and work WITH my baby and my body to bring our girl into this world.

Just writing all that made me feel a little better. She already makes things so sweet.

Meeting with our Doula

After going to the Doula Meet & Greet through our hospital a month or so back, we had done a little digging only to find out that the Doula, Rachel, we met – who was part of the Doula co-op – also offered Doula services independently. So, yesterday we met her to have a chat and see if she was the right fit for our birth.

And honestly, it went perfectly. She is a totally smart lady with perfectly hippy ways… the exact personality and influence we want for our experience.

I also have to mention that we have received a lot of comments like, “isn’t Mark supposed to be your birthing coach?” And so on… but, it must be mentioned that even just working towards the process of selecting a doula and following her movie/book suggestions to date have made me feel like Mark and I are more of a team in this. He is really taking the time to understand what I will be experiencing (he’s even watched some live births), what our baby will be going through, and how – together with our doula – we can have the best birthing experience possible. If anything, the doula is helping Mark to be more of a birthing coach and support than I think he could have imagined without her.

Anyway, here are some of the questions/responses from our meeting:

  1. What happens if I go into labor during a time that you just can’t make it? (This was a concern because through the co-op you just get whoever is on call, but with an individual, you’re just counting on one person.) She ensured us that she does have a couple back-ups, but is confident it won’t be an issue.
  2. When I’m laboring at the house, can you check how dilated I am? How will you know when it’s time to go to the hospital? No medical procedures will be performed. She will observe physical labor signs and will base everything on my comfort level, distance from the hospital, time of day, etc.
  3. Your closest birthing class is over an hour away from us. Are there other options? Yes. I can offer the 8 (or 16 – I can’t remember) week class to you in (2) 4-hour sessions at your house for the same price. This will include lessons on breastfeeding as well.
  4. What are your thoughts on the different birthing positions? While the mother is in “transition” or pushing, I don’t let her stay in one position for over 20 minutes. By staying active (aka: changing positions), you’re promoting movement within your body, which can really speed up the process.
  5. Can you be in water after your water breaks? Yes!
  6. We want minimal-to-no intervention. How do we make this happen? It’s very important to make a birth plan. This will help guide the hospital staff in providing you the labor that you want. I will also put a sign on the door to remind the nurses and staff to refer to your birth plan, keep voices low and respect the peace. Also, there are ways to prepare your body through your diet. For instance, at 34 weeks, you should double your probiotics and increase your garlic consumption. This will help to fight the Strep B virus and prevent you from having to be put on antibiotics. Also, at 36 weeks, you’ll want to really increase your vitamin C intake with 1-2 Emergen-C packets per day.
  7. Do you have sample birth plans? My favorite is from Earth Mama Angel Baby. Here’s a link!
  8. Have you noticed delivery timing patters for new moms? Yes, the most common delivery is at 41 weeks and 1 day. (I hope not… means I might have my baby at my friend’s wedding! SHIT!)
  9. What does the birthing doula service include? A 36-week home visit to do some paper work, get me acquainted with your house and where you keep things so that the day of your delivery, I don’t have to ask where things are and can just move about, supporting you both. Then, of course, the birth. I will be there while you’re laboring at home and through your birth. And I will return for a postpartum visit three days after delivery. At this time, you’ll be at home and I can help with lactation consulting, etc.
  10. How much does it cost? $500
  11. How much is the birthing class? $250
  12. What are your thoughts on placenta encapsulation? I think it’s great and actually work with a woman who is really good. She can encapsulate the placenta for less than $200.  Consuming the placenta helps to stop postpartum bleeding, prevent depression, help your milk come in and in general help you bounce back quicker. (We will explore this more in a separate post.)

Other Resources

Pregnancy Meal Plan

Here’s a daily meal plan for optimal pregnancy health.

  • 4 servings: Milk/Dairy
  • 2 servings: Egg
  • 8 servings: Protein (SO much…)
  • 2 servings: Green Vegetable
  • 5 servings: Whole Grains
  • 2 servings: Vitamin C Source
  • 3 servings: Fats & Oils
  • 1 serving: Vitamin A Source
  • Can’t get enough SEA SALT
  • Lots of water

Below is a guide for what 1 serving of each of these looks like…

What does a serving look like?

What does a serving look like?

And here’s a worksheet to track your progress…

Pregnancy Diet Worksheet

Pregnancy Diet Worksheet


Nothing new to report! Tomorrow we’re 6 months! HOLY SMOKES!

A Month’s Worth of Questions Answered

Homemade caramel coated, chocolate covered pretzels... a little bribe.. errr... gift for my doc and nurse!

Homemade caramel coated, chocolate covered pretzels… a little bribe.. errr… gift for my doc and nurse!

While our 20-week doctor’s appointment was wildly overshadowed by our anatomy scan, which we had right before the appointment, I must say it was quite informative. I’ve been sending myself text messages in the middle of the day… or night… when I think of questions to help keep track of everything over the month’s time.

This month, I happened to watch, “The Business of Being Born,” which created about 10 questions right there. Anyway, this is why I bake for my doctor. I am totally aware of the fact that I’m an obnoxious patient. Not-to-mention the fact that I have it in my mind that if my doctor likes me, she’ll be more willing to go out of her way to make it to my delivery. I’ll let you know how that pans out.

So, here are my questions and the corresponding answers:

  1. Does it bother the baby when I poke my belly (my husband was on my ass about this one)? Nope! There is so much cushioning, etc, that you wouldn’t be able to poke hard enough to hurt the baby because of the pain it would cause you. IE: Poke away!
  2. Can I drink kombucha? My doc didn’t know too much about kombucha but we pulled up the product page online and she said her only concern would be the caffeine quantity in Black Tea, and urged me not to drink too much.
  3. Is it okay to take a probiotic supplement? Yep!
  4. What are your thoughts on a doula? Essentially, she said they can be very helpful for the mothers and tend to work really well with the nurses in our delivery hospital. Doula away!
  5. Can you write me a note providing permission to fly (we are headed to NY tomorrow and Mexico next month)? While she didn’t think this was necessary, she had no problem writing our note.
  6. Can I drink fresh fruit juices from the resort juice bar in Mexico? All of the food you have at the resort should be just fine – assuming you’re following basic pregnancy do’s and don’ts. This makes me beyond happy because for some reason (maybe because I’m a hungry pregnant lady), a juice bar and pizza restaurant were requirements for the resort we selected.
  7. What percentage of women are given pitocin? Oy. This answer was sad. My doctor literally laughed and said, “A Lot!” This obviously isn’t surprising, but the conversation felt like a clip out of the Business of Being Born.
  8. Do you have to take pitocin? This was a little wishy washy, but the gist was that if you do not want it, they will be patient with you. And, ideally, you want to stay out of the hospital for as long as possible. It definitely reinforced the fact that if you don’t know your options, it’s very easy to fall into the pitocin/epidural/c-section pattern.
  9. Do you allow mothers to deliver standing up or on all fours? Our doctor definitely seemed flexible, although, it seemed as though she’s only delivered a couple of babies with the momma in an alternative birthing position (versus the typical on your back posish).
  10. Do you guys use vacuum/forceps for delivery? Yes, when necessary. They’ve found that it can be done to prevent the need for a c-section.
  11. Does the momma have control over the lighting and number of people in the delivery room? Absolutely! My doc recommended writing up a birth plan to give to the nurses when you come in to labor/deliver. While the nurses and docs have their standard procedures, they are very willing to work with you to create the best environment and experience for each mother. Mark and I decided we better have some sort of homemade goody to bring to the nurses so they don’t get turned off by my ridiculous birth plan 🙂
  12. At what point are interventions optional versus requirements? When the mother or baby are at risk, that’s where the docs step in.
  13. Percentage of c-sections? About 20%… I think that’s what she said?
  14. How can you stay in the Jacuzzi tub? Can you deliver in there? You can pretty much stay in there until it’s time to get the baby out… but you can’t deliver in the tub. One question my mom brought up was that she had heard you couldn’t be in the tub once your water breaks. I’ll have to ask that next month.
  15. Do you get an IV right away? Yes! There doesn’t have to be anything connected to it, but just in case, they want to make sure they’re prepared for any situation that may arise.
  16. Can you request that your nurses don’t ask you if you want pain meds? Yes! Again, this is something to put in the birth plan. My thought is that if I want the meds, I’ll ask. But if not, I don’t want to be tempted.

Wow… okay, that’s all of them! Thankfully, she seemed excited about her treat and didn’t seem to notice the ridiculous number of questions I asked. She even said that she didn’t feel as if she had earned the delicious pretzels. She did in my book!


A couple new things lately… one, in certain positions – mostly when I’m lounging on the couch or laying down in bed – I can feel my heart/blood pumping. At one point, I even took my pulse because it felt like my heart was pounding… but it was completely normal. My doc said it’s just the increased volume of blood that is likely causing my heart to work a little harder in certain positions. Regardless, it’s a little annoying.

The other symptom is the kinda-but-not-really runny nose. I pretty much always feel like I need to blow my nose, but there is rarely anything to blow out. Not a big deal, just something I’ve noticed.

Big Weekend!

Saturday, October 19. 2013

After a failed attempt at telling my parents on Friday evening, we decided to try again on Saturday. My brother was in town for a wedding and my niece and nephew were staying at my parents for the weekend. The husband and I went over there for lunch and after we ate, I pulled out a bag of goodies. I had some furry slap bracelets for the kids (something to preoccupy them during my reveal), and some “honeymoon souvenirs” to show my mom. With my niece on my mom’s lap, I showed her some necklaces and then pulled out a box and said, “Mom, look at this one. It’s my favorite from our trip.”

In total “my mom style,” she half-ass started opening the box, attention lost on the surroundings. With me standing at her side, she finally got the box open and in it was a card. I helped her open the card (because her attention was almost completely lost at this time), which read, “Baby Lang – Due 6-18-14” and had a positive pregnancy test stuck to it. My mom made her weird, “I’m not paying attention” laugh and then just stared at the card. It felt like forever, but FINALLY, she got it! She looked at me and screamed, “WHAT!” and burst into tears. All the while, my poor brother is just staring at us like, “What the f is on that card??”

Ahhhh relief!

Later in the evening, we had Mark’s mom and grandpa over to celebrate my Milly (mother-in-law)’s birthday. I made Indian food, we played a game of Clue, and then had birthday cake and opened presents. We gave his mom her birthday card and some flowers first, and then gave her the box we had given to my mom earlier that day. She stared, and stared, and then very quietly – fighting back tears – said, “Really?” Lots of hugs and a good 5 minutes of her hiding her head in Mark’s chest later, we decided to FaceTime with Mark’s sister. We chatted and then showed all of Milly’s birthday gifts, including the card with the pregnancy test stuck to it! Everyone was so happy… it was amazing to finally share the excitement with everyone!


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Baby JLast, but not least, it was time to tell my sister. She and her husband had been laying low for the weekend, so, on Sunday we planned to all get together for lunch so they could retrieve their children from my parents and see my brother. Before lunch, I had gone to my mom’s house to quickly make a shirt for my nephew that read, “I’m getting a cousin! Expected Delivery: 6-18-14” using an iron-on transfer. Once he was in the shirt and ready to go, I made my way to meet my sister and beat my parents and the kids to the restaurant. My sister and her husband arrived just a few minutes after us and thankfully, we were able to get a table before my parents and the kids came in. My nephew went right to my sister for help taking his jacket off and her reaction was hilarious. The jacket was unzipped and then, using her mom juggling skills, she moved the edge of the jacket over a bit with her pinky to reveal the full message on the shirt. She instantly SCREAMED… in the restaurant… and ran over to me! It was a perfect reaction. She was so sweet.

To add a little funny to the whole thing, right behind my sister was a girl I went to high school with. I hoped and prayed that she didn’t notice my sister’s scream, or me, to ensure my secret stayed secret a little longer. Oh well!

After lunch, Mark, my parents and I headed over to Aurora Grafton Medical Center to check out the labor and delivery center. I really wanted to see the hospital before selecting a doctor. Prior to our visit, I was going between the West Allis Women’s Center and the Grafton hospital and after the visit, I was set. The nurses were absolutely amazing and answered my entire list of questions (see below). They also ALL recommended the same three doctors, which was very reassuring. So, I’ve officially selected Dr. Kosnik and will hopefully deliver at the Grafton Medical Center.

It felt like a huge relief to have my secret out and have a doctor selected…

Clearly, the only way to celebrate such a big weekend was a trip to CostCo! Mark’s first to be exact!



So, this weekend I have been deciding how PC to be with this “symptoms” section. I am pretty private when it comes to my body, but feel like there is value in sharing my full experience. So, here it is… for the past week, I have had light to mild cramping. In addition to that, I’ve noticed that after my many trips to the ladies room, I can see a faint pink or very light brown coloring left on the toilet paper. I emailed my regular doctor and she simply said, “that could be reason for concern.” Obviously, that has left me in a total panic. However, I’ve done a LOT of Googling and it seems that it’s pretty normal. Right now, my uterus is expanding, and in doing so, there is cramping and a little bit of blood (some old blood that’s being released and some new). So, I’ve decided to monitor, but not freak out about it. I found this thread, which made me feel a lot better.

Other than that, my sleep is a lost cause and I’m headachy. BUT… all the while, feeling obnoxiously happy and optimistic.

Questions When Selecting a Hospital

Here’s the list of questions I asked the hospital when I went for my mini-tour. Also, they have scheduled “tour times,” but I called the Labor & Delivery department and asked if I could just stop by for a quick visit to check things out. I would recommend doing the same. They had no time to spruce anything up and I got one-on-one time to ask all of my questions.

  • Does the hospital offer birth classes?
  • Can we see the worst room? (Often times, during a more formal tour, they will show you the best room… ask to see the worst, because there is sometimes a big difference!)
  • What kinds of rooms are available?
  • Are all rooms private?
  • Does the labor and delivery happen in one room? Or will you have to switch rooms?
  • What is the usual care if labor is progressing slowly?
  • What percentage of women get an episiotomy?
  • What drug-free measures for pain relief are available?
  • How does the doctor / nurse help a mother stick to her birth plan?
  • What percentage of births are C-Sections?
  • If a C-Section is required, will my husband be allowed in the room with me?
  • Is the baby taken out of the room after birth?
  • Does this hospital have a newborn ICU?
  • If I deliver early, will I still come to this hospital?
  • What happens if all the birthing rooms are taken?
  • Which doctor would you recommend?
  • Do you have experience working with a Doula? Any recommendations of Doulas?