Archive for December, 2008

Pregnancy – Month 4

We Have Movement!

Recapping my experience during month 4 of pregnancy with Jack (08/07), it was a great month!  One of my favorites happened… I had been waiting and waiting and waiting to feel this baby, and finally during week 16/17 I felt a little something.  Many moms have different descriptions for this event, but for me the first kicking felt like bubbles popping in my belly.  I was lying on my back on the couch when I noticed this sensation.  I think it had been there for a few days, maybe longer but it didn’t register what exactly it was until later.  I realized it was recurring and it wasn’t my stomach growling from hunger or complaining from eating too many beans!  It was my baby!  Baby “J” as we called our little growing wonder whom we were not finding the gender of until D-day (or maybe I should say B-day!)  “J” was for Jack or Julianna.  About 1 week later Greg felt baby “J” for the first time too!  This was super cool for me because the whole pregnancy thing was still very surreal to me at this point.  I knew I was pregnant and I had some nausea but I couldn’t see the baby, couldn’t feel the baby, it was just hard to believe I actually had a baby growing in my belly some days.  Maybe that sounds crazy, I don’t know.  But I was floured when I could finally feel baby “J”.

 

Can You See My Bump Yet??

Not quite yet.  Towards the end of month 4 I could start to feel my pants getting tighter in some areas but I think I’m the only one who noticed that.  I was waiting and hoping every day that soon I would be able to see my baby belly growing! 

 

Palmer Friends, Packing, Nausea, & Food Aversions!

Early in month 4, August, We felt at this point the pregnancy was healthy and progressing without worry of miscarriage or complication so we decided to spill the beans to our classmates at Palmer in Florida.  A few close friends had already guessed what was going on a few weeks before.  Our classmates and friends gave us warm congratulations.  It was nice now that everyone knew; we weren’t keeping our happy news a secret any longer.  At this time we were planning our move back to Columbus, Ohio, only one month away.  I was excited to be closer to family and friends, especially during this special time in our lives.  Also, for a morning sickness update – the nausea was still there.  I read that for most moms this ends after 3 months so I didn’t know what the deal was but it sure was hanging in there.  I also had a new food aversion – Garlic!  After making some garlic mashed potatoes with A Lot too much garlic, I couldn’t stand garlic on anything for the rest of the pregnancy!  No cravings though.  But Greg sure was hoping I would develop an Ice-cream craving… sorry to disappoint him.

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Jack Pack

 Last week Greg, Jack and I decided to go baby carrier shopping.  We have been talking about getting a new carrier for some time now.  Jack outgrew his Baby Bjorn at about 7-8 months and he’s now10 months.  We have missed the luxury of babywearing tremendously!  I have scoped out a few brands online but it’s hard to really know what carrier to get without trying them on.  Well, I have recently learned of a new, natural family store with natural baby products, including baby carriers in the Columbus area called Sprout Soup.  Upon hearing of the store about 1 month ago, I stopped in when I was in the area and was pleasantly surprised.  They carried cloth diapers, wooden toys, bamboo utensils, BPA free sippy cups, organic clothing and bedding, many, many slings and baby carriers and much more.  In the back of the store there was a large, open area stet up with toys and some tables.  Also there was another room that looked to be set up for classes.  I was really excited to find such a store in our area.  I also saw a salesperson helping a customer try out different baby carriers when I was there.  I thought that’s what Greg and I need to do before we make a purchase!  I had limited time during my first visit, but made a mental note to come back later. 

 

So last week we went back to Sprout Soup, excited to get fitted for the perfect baby carrier!  I spoke with the owner, Alissa DeRouchie, and learned that they started as an online business 4 years ago and just opened their store in Clintonville (a Columbus suburb) 6 weeks ago!  Here is an article about their new business!

 

I told Alissa the qualities we were looking for in a baby carrier:

1.      Something with a weight limit that will last through the toddler years

2.      Easy to use

3.      Adjustable so Greg and I can share

4.      Proper ergonomics to preserve our backs

5.      Safe for Jack

 

She showed us 3 that would be great options: Ergo and Mei Tai, which I had heard of, and the Beco Butterfly II which I had not heard of.  We started off trying them on with Jack but when he got fussy we used a 10lb doll instead.  Here is my synopsis:

 

becoweb1.      Beco Butterfly II

a.       Pros – comfortable, weight limit of 7-45lbs, can hold baby in front or back, has a pocket for baby to sit in, which made transition from front to back easy, padded, back-pack style shoulder straps, chest strap to hold it snug to my body, and love the waist strap, which our the Baby Bjorn didn’t have.  Overall it had all of the qualities I was looking for and was comfortable.  The fabric choices were very cute and there was one organic fabric however it was more expensive.  The Beco comes with a hood so if the baby falls asleep you can support the head.

b.      Cons – It Can’t hold the baby in the front facing out, he has to face me and Jack really enjoys facing out, where he can see the world.  However I found none of the carriers made for larger babies could accommodate an outward facing baby.  Alissa also informed me that it is worse for the parent’s back if the baby is facing out.  I also read recently that it is not good for the development of the baby’s hips, bummer!  The Beco was the most expensive of the 3 carriers we tried ($139 – on sale for $109, or $159 organic).  Also most of the styles were pretty feminine, unless you choose solid black.  It would have been nice to have more gender-neutral options since my husband will be sharing the carrier. 

 ergo-web

2.      Ergo – 

Pros – this carrier was very similar to the Beco.  It had most of the same qualities.  It also had more padding on the shouder straps, which was nice.   There were fewer fabric choices for this carrier but the choices available were more gender neutral.  Also it was slightly less expensive than the Beco ($105).

 Cons – It did not have the pocket for the baby to sit in which made it more challenging to switch from front to back.  It wasn’t impossible but for my husband the “ease of use” quality was #1. 

 

maitai3.      Mei Tai

a.       Pros – Comfortable with most of the same features listed under the Beco.  I liked the ties, gave me more of natural feel if that makes any sense.  The fabric options were gorgeous like the Beco, but again mostly feminine designs.  It does have a neat option where you can get extra fabric panels so you can change the fabric pattern, which I think is fun, and if your sharing, each parent can choose their own design.  You can face your baby outward in this carrier but again it’s not best for the baby or the parent.   The Mei Tai is the most affordable ($80)

b.      Cons – Like the Ergo it didn’t have the inside pocket.  It also didn’t have the chest buckle.  My husband did not like the ties.  It was a little more challenging to put on, and to move from front to back, although with practice I think it would be manageable.  However I know my husband didn’t want to mess with that.  It also doesn’t come with a hood for the babies head.

 

Our decision….

After trying on each carrier, we went with the Beco.  It was pricy but we are hoping it will last, and for future children we can use it as early as birth.  In the end this was the easiest for us both to use and very comfortable.  I think in the future if I find a nice sale I may add a Mei Tai to our baby carrier collection.  But so far I am very pleased with our choice, which we like to call our Jack Pack!  Thank You Alissa and Sprout Soup for helping our family find a great carrier!  We also purchased a few wooden toy cars for Christmas. 

Hood, Carrier, and infant insert
Hood, Carrier, and infant insert

  jack-95-mo-020 jack-95-mo-022

 

 

 

 

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Pregnancy Month 3

Recapping my experience on the 3rd month of pregnancy with Jack last year:  Morning sickness, exercising, and waiting for that first kick!

 

Morning sickness: We spent 3 weeks in Ohio for our summer break and I was just telling my mom that I was so glad I hadn’t experienced any morning sickness!  We’ll I spoke too soon.  Once we returned to Florida it started.  I shouldn’t complain too much because I never did throw up, but I did feel very uncomfortable.  I had a lot of nausea, and it started around week 8 and it didn’t subside until I was well into the 5th month.  Many health care professionals think pregnancy related nausea and morning sickness is due to erotically changing hormones early in pregnancy.  They also think drastic dips and peaks in blood sugar can aggravate it.  So I carried a bag of almonds and raisons with me around school and work (I had a part time job at Dillard’s).  Eating small meals and a protein and light-on-the-carb’s snack like almonds, between meals helped keep my blood sugar steady.  It helped the nausea a little but it never really eliminated it.  For me the nausea was worse in the evening. 

 

Exercising:  Exercising during pregnancy is very beneficial to both the mom and baby, except in rare, high-risk pregnancies.  Exercising was very important to me.  I have been an athlete all my life and I’ve always made a strong effort to stay in shape, exercise and eat healthy, and I didn’t want to change due to pregnancy.  So I did some research on exercising during pregnancy and read the book “Exercising During Your Pregnancy” by Dr. James Clapp.  The book was very informative and I recomend it to any pregnant woman who would like some tips on exercising while pregnant.  Here’s a quick synopsis of what I learned:

 

Benefits of exercising through Pregnancy

         Limited weight gain

         Less physical discomfort

         More energy

         Easier, shorter, less complicated labor

         Quick Recovery, and more!

 

·        Exercising is beneficial for mom and baby (weather you are an experienced, intense exerciser, or a casual walker)

·        Exercising moms often have shorter labors, deliver early rather than late, and have babies with lower but still healthy birth weights.  (If you discontinue exercise during the 9 months then these benefits may not apply)

·        Exercise helps prepare the baby and mother for the stresses of labor and delivery

·        Avoid exercising in hot, humid environments

·        The Borg’s Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) Scale may be a better measure of exercise intensity in pregnancy than heart rate.  The RPE scale is 6-20 with “6” being how you feel at rest and “20” being maximal exertion. 

·        Clapp’s book uses research to address any safety concerns mom’s may have about exercising while pregnant. 

·        You should avoid exercises such as downhill, skiing, skateboarding, horse back ridding, and other activities where you could fall or harm the baby after the baby protrudes through the pelvic outlet (when you start to see a baby bump)

 

I had been running, swimming, erging (rowing ergometer), walking, and occasional pilates and/or light weights before pregnancy.  I typically did 3-4 cardio workouts and 2 strength workouts each week.  I continued most of these activities during early pregnancy.  My frequency slowed down as the morning sickness picked up though.  The nausea made exercise not very appealing.  After the nausea subsided I never did get back to the same exercise frequency that I had pre-nausea.  However, in retrospect I wish I had made more of an effort to continue my exercise frequency throughout pregnancy because of it’s many benefits.  Here is a nice article from the Washington Post and some additional resources 1 and 2 on the benifits and guidelines on exercising during pregnancy. 

 

*There are some contraindications to exercising during pregnancy so do your research and consult your health care provider

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Wordless Wednesday + Jack’s Thanksgiving Day Present…

 

On our way to Uncle Herb’s Dairy farm for the Eilerman Family (Greg’s mom’s family) Thanksgiving, Greg discovered… a tooth!!!!  Jack’s first tooth has begun to arrive!  Thursday it was just a rough edge that we could feel through the gums and today you can actually see the white ridge just barely above the gums.  Thanksgiving 2008 was very yummy and full of family.  And no I had no desire to battle the crowds of Black Friday.  Did you read a Wal-Mart employee in NY got trampled to death!  That is horrible, and insane! 

 

 

Jack with Grandpa Arndts

Jack with Grandpa Arndts

Grandpa has waited 28 years to do this!

Grandpa has waited 28 years to do this!

Ready to hit the turf

Ready to hit the turf

Helping mom and dad wrap presents

Helping mom and dad wrap presents

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