Play the Baby Guessing Game!

We're a mere 30 days out from our expected due date, but when do YOU think the baby will arrive? Will the Bump be a girl or boy (poll shows "boys" in the lead), how long will the Bump be, and how much will the Bump weigh?

Go ahead and post your predictions now: birthday, gender, weight, and length.

(Hint: You may want to consider the information provided in the two previous posts before publishing your results.)


The Bump is Breech

My OB is giving the baby two weeks to turn head-down. If by January 8th the baby has not turned, he/she will officially join the 3% of babies who are breech.

At that point Jeremy and I will decide whether or not to have a procedure called External Cephalic Version. This procedure attempts to turn a fetus from a breech position or side-lying position into a head-down position before labor begins. When successful, version makes it possible for a vaginal birth instead of a C-section.

There are significant risks (to the baby) associated with the procedure, as well as a mere 50% success rate. As of now, we're leaning towards not having the procedure and will most likely go forth with a C-section.

Although our birth plan is geared around avoiding a C-section, our baby's health is first priority. It's not worth it to have my child's arm broken or risk a loss of oxygen resulting in brain damage just to save myself from another abdominal scar. It's just not motherly!

In the next couple weeks we are going to try a couple "home remedies" to try to get the baby to turn on its own. My OB said lying upside down on an ironing board at a 40 degree angle is just crap, but I've read otherwise. If you ask me, anything is worth a try. Any other suggestions are welcomed!


In the 65th Percentile at 34 Weeks

What does this mean, you ask? Jeremy put it this way...if there were 100 babies in the room, ours would be bigger than 65% of them. According to the doc, the little one is still in the 'normal' range, just on the higher end at a whopping 5 lbs. 5 oz.

Just check out those chubby cheeks and perfect little lips! We also found out the baby has hair! Yep, we saw it for ourselves, whipping in the amniotic fluid! (And I haven't even had any heartburn – another myth busted!)


Bah, Humbug!

I have no idea whose baby this is. But I had to post the pic, because it's so amazingly adorable.

Dreft (for Suckers)

After an unexpected trip to L&D this week, Jeremy and I realized we might want to purchase our remaining baby necessities sooner than later. (I'm fine by the way...1cm dilated!)

Our list consisted of things like button up pjs for the hospital, some nursing supplies, hard candy to help with dry mouth during delivery and last, but not least, Dreft to wash our all baby items in.

Unlike the bottle system or diapers I chose, I did no research on laundry detergent. Word-of-mouth and numerous advertisements in baby magazines led me to believe that Dreft is just what I should use.

Standing in the laundry isle I was in sticker shock...a 1.5 gallon tub of Dreft is $15.00? What the hell? What's in this stuff that makes it so special? If I use Dreft will the baby shit ice cream?

I just didn't get it, so I "attempted" to compare the solution in Dreft to the solution in Target's knock-off. However, you can't compare the two because Dreft doesn't release their secret ingredients. So there is no way to actually know just what is in this stuff that makes it so friggin' amazing.

I convinced myself that it was okay to splurge this one time and then do further research before buying it again. After all, in addition to clothes, I'm supposed to wash the bassinet and crib sheets, swing and car seat fabrics in this stuff...so I'd better be safe than sorry.

This morning I went to the Dreft web site and clicked their FAQ tab. The first question is, "How is Dreft formulated for baby laundry needs?"

The answer: The Dreft® formula is designed to not only help fight tough baby and toddler stains, but also provide a gentle clean for baby.

Well, no shit. Isn't that what all laundry detergent is formulated to do?

So from now on, I think I'll go with the Target knock-off or All Free & Clear – or something similar with no scents or dyes. I'll consider this a FIRST-TIME-SUCKER-MOM purchase and chalk it up to just being naive.


Dr. Ben Almasa-who?

Meet Dr. Benjamin P. Almasanu, D.O., the Bump's pediatrician. I met with him last week during an open house at Pediatric and Adolescent Practitioners, Inc. in Gahanna, Ohio.

Once a month the practice offers prenatal consults to expecting mothers. So I went, met with a nurse who gave me a tour and the 411 on the practice (how awesome is it that they have TWO waiting rooms – one for well visits and the other for sick children), then sat down and spoke with Dr. Ben.

I chose Dr. Ben as he was highly recommended by a neighbor. And I can see why, because he is very easy to talk to, open to questions, and is very aware of the kinds of things that freak new parents out (like the truth behind whether or not vaccinations are linked to autism). He's also realistic. Having an 11 month old himself, he understands what is recommended and what is real-life.

My next visit with Dr. Ben will be 5 days after the birth of the baby. Which, as we all know, won't be long!


Somebody Better Tell Mr. Slim Goodbody He's Gonna Need a Mrs.

Study: Evolutionary Change Lets Pregnant Women Stand Upright* /Wednesday, December 12, 2007

With all that growing weight up front, how is it that pregnant women don't lose their balance and topple over?

Scientists think they've found the answer: There are slight differences between women and men in one lower-back vertebra and a joint in the hip, which allow women to adjust their center of gravity.

This elegant evolutionary engineering is seen only in female humans and our immediate ancestors who walked on two feet, but not in chimps and apes, according to a study published in Thursday's journal Nature.

"That's a big load that's pulling you forward," said Liza Shapiro, anthropology professor at the University of Texas and the only one of the study's three authors who has actually been pregnant. "You experience discomfort. Maybe it would be a lot worse if [the design changes] were not there."

Harvard anthropology researcher Katherine Whitcomb found two physical differences in male and female backs that until now had gone unnoticed: One lower lumbar vertebra is wedged-shaped in women and more square in men, and a key hip joint is 14 percent larger in women than men when body size is taken into account.

The researchers did engineering tests that show how those slight changes allow women to carry the additional and growing load without toppling over — and typically without disabling back pain.

"When you think about it, women make it look so very damn easy," Whitcomb said. "They are experiencing a pretty impressive challenge. Evolution has tinkered ... to the point where they can deal with the challenge.

"It's absolutely beautiful," she said. "A little bit of tinkering can have a profound effect."

Walking on two feet separates humans from most other mammals. And while anthropologists still debate the evolutionary benefit of walking on two feet, there are notable costs, such as pain for pregnant females. Animals on all fours can better handle the extra belly weight.

The back changes appear to have evolved to overcome the cost of walking on two feet, said Harvard anthropology professor Daniel Lieberman.

When the researchers looked back at fossil records of human ancestors, including the oldest spines that go back 2 million years to our predecessor Australopithecus, they found a male without the lower-back changes and a female with them.

But what about men with stomachs the size of babies or bigger? What keeps them from toppling over?

Their back muscles are used to compensate, but that probably means more back pain, theorized Shapiro, who added: "It would be a fun study to do to look at men with beer bellies to see if they shift their loads."

*This post is NOT intended to spark a debate on Evolution vs. Christianity. Merely, after all these years (and I have no idea how many years I'm even talking about) profs from Texas and Harvard just now discover male and female bone structures are different. I have to call bullshit.*


Gestational Periods for Thought

As I embark upon the last 50 days of my pregnancy I couldn't be more happy. Of course I'm excited to see if our little chicken is a boy or girl, if it has hair or is bald, if its eyes are blue or hazel, and so on and so forth. But even more pressing, is that I'm over this pregnancy gig.

Not to sound ungrateful, but come on...I know this little dude wants out. When it's not poking me in the ribs, it's trying to dig its way out my cervix. And when it's not doing jumping jacks, it's doing the running man.

So I started thinking about what species have gestational periods longer than humans ...what species have it rougher than 266 days?

My research led me to this:
• African Elephant, 640 days
• Giraffe, 395-425 days
• Camel, 406 days
• Seal, 350 days

On the flip side, check out these lucky bastards...
• Opossum, 13 days
• Hamster, 16 days
• Rat and Mouse, 21 days
• Rabbit, 32 days

I think it's the giant panda who has it made. Female pandas are fertile for only 2-7 days, twice a year. Their gestational period averages around 135 days. And, once born, the newborn panda weights only 4-8 oz. and is around 16 cm long. Taking into consideration the mature female panda weighs in between 150-220 pounds, giving birth must be a freakin' cinch. I could squeeze something that small out on my lunch hour!

Only the Breast for My Child

Am I worried about how much pain I'll endure during labor? Not really.

Am I concerned about not getting enough sleep after the baby is born? No, I expect it.

Am I fearful of dropping the baby when walking down steps? A little.

Am I overwhelmed by the breastfeeding process? You betcha sweet ass I am!

I've always wanted to breastfeed. In fact, the only time I ever entertained the idea of not breastfeeding was when I was deciding whether or not to go through with the breast reduction. Luckily, the surgery was a success and all my milk-parts were left in-tact.

In sharing my hopes of breastfeeding with friends and family, and after recently attending a breastfeeding class, I've come to the conclusion that although nursing is a 'natural' feat, it isn't a sure-thing, nor is it guaranteed to happen naturally. Which, quite frankly, is scaring the shit out of me.

Here are just a couple remarks on nursing that I've heard lately:

- "I can remember my milk coming out looking like tomato soup because my cracked nipples were bleeding."

- "Breastfeeding felt like my nipples were being raked across a gravel road or sandpaper."

- "I can remember just crying because it hurt so badly."

And if those comments aren't enough to freak any newbie out, the lactation consultant at our nursing class asked us if we were doing anything to toughen up our nipples...like scrubbing with a loofah, a toothbrush or sandpaper. She quickly added those were things we DID NOT want to do, but either way, the visuals turned my stomach.

I know that if breastfeeding doesn't work out for the cub and I there are other alternatives. I can pump and feed him/her with a bottle or go straight to formula. I guess only time will tell.

In the meantime, I'd prefer to not hear any more horror stories on the subject. If anyone must tell me a story, make it a pleasant one, and lie if you have to. Lord know, these girls of mine have been through enough!


Childbirth 101: What to REALLY Expect When You Are Expecting

This past weekend Jeremy and I participated in a 2-day Childbirth Education class offered by the Ohio State University. What an eye opener!

This class helped prepare Jeremy and I for the events of labor and birthing. We were engulfed in a comprehensive overview of the birth process including signs and stages of labor, relaxation and breathing techniques, pain management options and the birthing experience.

We are now in the process of creating a birth plan we feel confident about. A major part of the plan is to walk as much as possible and utilize the birthing ball and various positions to help move the baby through the birth canal. I feel strongly about allowing "gravity" play a major role in the progression of my labor, which means I in no way want to be confined to a bed.

This ultimately means going through the labor process as naturally as possible. If/when the pains of labor become more than I can endure, I'll opt for the IV pain medicine Nubain or an Epidural, depending on how far along I am in the process.

Jeremy and I are starting to practice our breathing and relaxation techniques on a nightly basis. He's going to be a great coach! I only hope I'll be a cooperative student!