Thursday, January 27, 2011

Interview with a Pregnant Lady

As soon as you tell someone you're pregnant, the questions start.  I don't mean to sound ungrateful--I've always loved being the center of attention, let's be honest--but sometimes the questions you get asked are ones you hadn't even though of yet or ones that you're not prepared to answer yet, and already the waves of self-doubt wash over you as you wonder "Should I know the answer to this? Am I a bad parent already for not knowing the answer to this?" And thus begins the rest of my life filled with doubt and worry over my ability to be a good mom. They certainly don't tell you about this in books.

So in an effort to perhaps answer questions that you (and I) might have, and to ultimately make me feel like less of a failure already at this whole "mom" thing, let's play...

Interview with a Pregnant Lady

1. Are you going to find out the gender?
Yes.  My dear husband couldn't stand it if he didn't know.  He's far too impatient and far too practical.  He likes to plan ahead, bless his heart.

2. Do you have a "mother's intuition" on the sex?
Oddly, I've just thought "boy" since day one.  But who knows.  None of those old wives tales are coming to any sort of consensus.

3. How have you been feeling?
It could be worse.  It could always be worse.  I had waves of nausea that would come and go during the day and day by day, and fatigue often set in during mid-afternoon. Oh, how glorious naps are!  There were a few other more unsavory pregnancy side effects, but I shall spare the details.  I'm in my second trimester now, when things are supposed to be on the upswing...but my nausea has returned.  Boo.  I'm not a fan.

4. Are you nervous?
Well, this is really a silly question, now isn't it?

5. Were you trying?
Yes, in fact we were!  (see answer to question 1 about dear husband liking to plan ahead). Some health issues came up on my end last year that made us nervous about how long it would take...but needless to say it didn't take that long at all!  Thank goodness!

6. Have you thought of any names?
Yes, we have!  But we're not going to tell anyone...sorry!  But, should you have a name that you absolutely, positively despise, feel free to comment below.  So far the names out of contention: Mildred, Gordy, Angie, and Vera. 

7. Where are you going to give birth?
Most of you already know that we like to do things "naturally" here in the Melby household, so it should come as no surprise that our child will hopefully enter the world this way as well.  We are receiving care at the Midwife Center for Birth and Women's Health here in Pittsburgh (check out their website at They view childbirth as a normal process and believe that a woman and her body know how to give labor and give birth--after all, we're all here long before the advent of the epidural, right?  They practice very few interventions--no induced labor, epidurals, routine IV's, electronic fetal monitoring, or medically-unnecessary episiotomies. Their c-section rate is 18% as compared to 33% in the hospital  They have two options for where to give birth. You can either give birth at the birth center or at the hospital they have privileges at (UPMC Mercy). At this time, we're hoping to give birth at the center.  This all being said, though, the midwives have very strict guidelines they follow for who can give birth at the center (must be between 37-42 weeks, cannot be breech, major medical conditions, etc.) and should complications arise during labor, we would go straight to UPMC Mercy where my care would then be co-managed by the midwife and the OB/GYN's they work with there. I could go on and on, but from everyone I have talked to who has used the Midwife Center, I have heard nothing but positive things. The midwives and nurses I have met so far have made me feel so relaxed and comfortable that I feel ready and prepared for this pregnancy.

8. Have you heard the baby's heartbeat?
Yes we did at our last appointment--it was beautiful!  It took the midwife a while to find it, though.  She warned us ahead of time that given how far along I was (10 weeks at the time) it was likely that we wouldn't hear it.  I'm sure it was only 45 seconds in real time, but it felt like it took forever before the "thump-thump-thump" rang clearly in our ears. I cried. Jake got this wonderful gooey look on his face. It was a moment we will cherish forever.

9. Have you had an ultrasound yet?
No, we haven't. That's another thing about the midwives--they don't do ultrasounds there. Plus, they only order them if there's something they feel is wrong. So we'll be going in for the 18-20 week anatomy scan, where *cross fingers* the baby will show us whether they are a he or she!

10. Speaking of tests, are you going to do any prenatal screens or testing?
Ah, what an interesting, highly contested, and highly personal topic. It's something that Jake and I have talked about, but perhaps something that I've struggled with more due to a family history of muscular dystrophy and spina bifida. Ultimately, we decided not to, and here's why: it wouldn't change the outcome of the pregnancy for us. Further more, if we did find something wrong, not much can probably be done about it while the baby's still in the womb. We personally didn't feel that knowing would help us be more "prepared" or ultimately better parents. There's always going to be things that will come up with our children that we aren't prepared for. We'll just deal with whatever comes our way the best way we can when things arise.  It's funny, too, because I always thought that I would want to have them done.  But I owe a lot to our dear friends, Courtney and Grant, and their children, Aiden and Maddie, who've taught both Jake and me many lessons on love and parenting this last year (read all about Maddie's birth story).Also have to do a quick shout out--it's Maddie's one-year birthday TODAY!  Happy birthday honey bear!

11. Do you have a bump?
I don't think so.  Not the tell-tale "hard" bump anyway.  As my friend Tamara said, "It just looks like you've eaten a big pizza...or Thanksgiving dinner."  Pictures forthcoming when there's actually something to show!

12. Since you guys are all crunchy granola types, are you going cloth diapers?  Make your own baby food?  Make your own baby clothes/products?  Breastfeed?  Attachment parenting?
Cloth diapers--look for a future post about this topic.  Still undecided, although we would certainly like to attempt it.

Baby food--a food processor is the best thing ever invented.  Between that and our garden glut, you bet we are!

Baby clothes/products--it depends on how my sewing skills progress.  Things I would like to attempt to make include burp cloths, a nursing cover, and a wrap to carry the baby in.  The rest: TBD.

Breastfeeding--sure gonna give it a try!  You know why?  Cause it's FREE!  Oh, and it's the best thing for the baby too! 

Attachment parenting--well, for those familiar with it, some of the things I've mentioned above fall into this category (like baby wearing and breastfeeding). But there are some other things that I'm not sure we necessarily agree with. So we'll likely pick and choose whatever works for us and the baby (which in reality seems to be at the heart of the attachment parenting philosophy from what I can tell...although I get the sense that there's some judgment in the community if you don't follow all of the main tenets).  

Got any more questions?  Post em below! Exactly 6 months to the day until Baby Melbs is due for arrival :-)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

BIG Changes!

"What?" you're asking.  "She's still doing a blog?  Where the *bleep* has she been?"

Currently, for your information, I have been right where I have always been.  At home, doing my thing, but there's been a reason why I haven't blogged since mid-November.  Because I had a secret.  A secret so secret that no secret before has ever been so secret!  Just kidding.  It's just that I wanted to talk so badly about this secret that I couldn't envision writing a blog without talking about it.  So I just stopped.  Until now.

Are you ready?

Sure?  You're sure you can handle this?

Drumroll please...

We're having a BABY, due to make it's grand entrance into this world on July 27, 2011!  (fireworks go off, women weep, men clap hands, the crowd roars!)  Okay, so I might be the only one so excited about it, but that's the reason why I've taken a break.  Because I wanted to talk about it, but I also wanted to make sure everything was okay before making the big announcement.  More details will follow about what's all been happening, what we're planning, etc.  But there was another reason that I didn't want to tell until now, because there was yet another big change in the works...

But I still can't tell you about that one yet.  Sorry.

Secrets secrets are no fun...