My Christmas Gift

57 posts / 0 new
Last post
Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852
My Christmas Gift

I found out today that I am pregnant with baby number seven.

Yesterday I had a bit of red spotting that went away. That told me right there that I was probably pregnant. I did a test this morning and it was very faintly positive, but just barely. I was also spotting some more. I did another test and it was definitely positive. It's light but definitely there.

The spotting seems gone now, but I feel crampy. Here are the symptoms I have so far:

sore breasts
shakiness when hungry
complete lack of sex drive and difficulty o-ing

Dh Mike doesn't know for sure yet, I am waiting him to call from work. He is going to flip out, but he'll adjust and be great to me just like he was last time.

See, he was supposed to pull out but he got a leg cramp and couldn't move. Sometimes fate works in strange ways! This baby is definitely meant to be! And I have a very strong feeling that it is a boy; he's going to be a large man built like my mil's brother. Not red hair like Eric.

I'm excited!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Constipation! Other than that, I feel pretty good so far. I go from feeling normal to feeling crappy, back to normal, then feeling incredibly high, then back down, back and forth.

I'm so afraid the IUD caused scarring in my uterus and I'll end up miscarrying. That would be awful.

It feels so right to find out that I'm pregnant now in early spring when there is so much new life outside. New life outside, new life inside. And what a great way to get out of having to see all the relatives at Christmas!

The cramping and spotting have been gone since Friday, so that is good. On Thursday morning, right after I peed on the stick there was red blood on the tp, but then it was just brown spotting then it went away.

I want to go buy a cheapo test and do it. I love seeing two lines!

Well it is a beautiful day so I should take the kids to the park. I need to do things now before the extreme tiredness sets in.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I have gained six pounds in the past three days! It must be water weight, but still! Holy cow! I was 139 on Saturday and today I am 145! I haven't been eating that much!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

5 weeks, 2 days. I am feeling more and more tired, but at the same time I wake up early ready to go. It's very odd. I feel slightly drugged, and like my IQ has dropped several points! I've also been peeing constantly. I wake up at 3:30 and 7am to pee. My breasts are getting more sore and it's hurting to nurse Abby. Also, I have been so hungry. A touch of nausea here and there, but mostly extreme hunger. I'm going to gain a ton again. Oh well, I'm still trying to avoid sweets and not succeeding terribly well.

The kids don't know yet and I am dreading that conversation. They have said that if I got pregnant again they'd move out. Obviously, they can't really move out but they are going to be very angry and upset. They are just going to have to learn to deal.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Here is a weird symptom I've been having for a few days now. My joints are stiff and sore, especially my wrists, knees and hips. Gotta go, phone.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I now weigh 148. WTF???? That is nine pounds in 12 days. I"m sure it's water because my fingers are all puffy and my rings are tight. My pants still fit but they are a little tight at the waist. Thank goodness for low rise jeans! No morning sickness yet. If it doesn't come by six weeks, this Saturday, then I probably am not going to to get it. I never had even a touch of nausea with Emily or Eric. I only actually threw up with Rachel and Abby, and only a few times each. I can't imagine going through severe ms like some people do. But then again, at least then I would gain so much weight so fast.

I've been trying to avoid junk but I"m so hungry all the time. I've been eating some pasta, and even cookies and ice cream sometimes. But I"m not eating that much, I don't understand why I always gain so much weight in the first trimester.

Oh well, it could be worse!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Today for the first time I felt very nauseous and almost felt like I was going the throw up. It is not fun. I was hoping to avoid it. Oh well.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

6 weeks 1 day

My pants are getting tight at the waist. I am using the rubber band trick for the time being, but it won't be long before I have to break out the maternity clothes. I got a terrible stomach ache yesterday from a too tight waistband. Finally I burped several times and then I felt better.

I get very tired by 9pm, but I feel pretty much awake in the morning. I am getting up three times a night to pee. My breast are starting to enlarge and my nipples are getting very sensitive. Suddenly it is hurting quite a bit to nurse my two year old.

We may tell the kids today. I am so dreading it. Yesterday Heather said something about not taking care of another baby, I forgot how the subject came up. It's going to go over like a fart in church or worse. More like a bomb in the bathtub.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

On May 12th I had my first appointment. I weighed 152lbs, blood pressure was 90 over 60. We saw the baby on the ultrasound and it was measuring right on schedule.

I started getting much more tired around 8 weeks. I've been totally exhaused and in a very very bad mood. I've had a few days where I got very nauseous, but I haven't vomited at all.

I'm 9 weeks 6 days and looking forward to the end of the first trimester.

We told the kids and they actually responded quite positively. That was a pleasant surprise!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

10 weeks 6 days

I am starting to feel that I have entered the transition phase between the first and second trimesters. No more nausea at all, a little more ambition, not quite as exhausted. My mood is a little better as well. I am not peeing as much and my breasts aren't as sore. Woo hoo!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I had my second prenatal yesterday at 11weeks, 4days. My weight was 160, blood pressure 103/60, and baby measured two inches by ultrasound (crown/rump length). So I gained eight pounds in four weeks! Holy moly!

I am feeling very tired today. I wish I could take a nap.....

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

12 weeks 2 days

The fatigue came back last week, but it's coming and going. I can't wait for the fog to finally lift!

I keep feeling this tiny little fluttering right above my pubic bone. But how could I be feeling the baby so early?

I finally went to the health food store and got some natural vitamins. They are food based so my body can actually utilize them, plus they don't make me feel sick. I also finally got some red rasperry leaf tea, and some fish oil supplements. So I'm finally taking care of my baby to the manner in which he deserves.

With Abby, the midwives were very impressed with the size and condition of my placenta. They said they could tell that I drank the teas and ate a very good diet. Good nutrition is so important for the baby, and the teas make an enormous difference in the health of the baby and the mother as well. They are yummy too! I actually need to order the pregnancy tea. It contains red raspberry leaf, nettle, red clover, oatstraw and spearmint. Very high in minerals and helps to tone the uterus and regulate the maternal hormones.

Well I'd better get back to my laundry!

Edited to add: my knees were so sore last week. It was agony going up and down the stairs, and it was even difficult getting on and off the potty. They are much better this week. Leave it to me to have strange pregnancy symptoms.

Also, I took my measurements last night. Here they are:

chest 40
waist 37
hips 41
thighs 22?

These are my prepregnancy measurements:
Weight: 142
Waist: 32 1/4
Hips: 36 1/2
Thighs: 21 1/2
Calves: 13 1/2

And these were my measurements last year before I lost the weight:
Weight 161lbs
Chest 40in (thanks to lactating!)
Waist 36in
Hips 41 1/2 in
Thighs 24in
Calves 14

So basically all I did was end up where I started. Maybe I should count my weight gain from this point on.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

13 weeks

I'm still exhausted and moodier than ever. I have wicked, pole-through-the-chest heartburn right now and it is not fun. I went to lie down and take a nap but lying down made it worse so I came back downstairs. I have nothing else to say, I am in a very foul mood.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

13 weeks 3 days

The weirdest thing happened on Sunday. I woke up looking the same as always, then by evening my entire abdominal region popped out! I was like, um hey come look at this, was I this big this morning? I should have taken a picture. I'm due for a belly shot anyway; I'll have to do that today sometime. But the good news is the heartburn went away, but my knees are killing me again. I have to go up and down the stairs sideways. Getting up and down from chairs is agony, to say nothing of getting up and down off the floor. Standing and walking doesn't hurt at all. My mood is much better too.

Well I guess that is about it.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

13 weeks 5 days

The fog has definitely lifted over the past few days. I have the energy to make a nice dinner every night, and even help with baths and still be up and alive after they are in bed! It's amazing!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

14 weeks 4 days

It is amazing how much better I feel all of a sudden. I don't feel pregnant anymore. I am looking forward to feeling the baby move, hopefully in a few weeks. My energy is back, my mood is normal, I feel like myself again. It's like magic!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

15 weeks, 3 days

I was feeling so great last week that I think I overdid things a bit. I'm getting to the point now where I get out of breath from walking up the stairs and exerting myself. I had forgotten about that! My lower back has started to hurt too. Okay Abby is screaming becaues I won't let her eat marshmallows in the morning, be back later...

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

15 weeks 4 days

Yesterday I think I felt tiny little movements way down low, right above my pubic bone. It's so exciting! I can't wait for the big movements to start!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

15 weeks, 6 days.

Had my ob appointment today. My weight was 166 and my bp was 100/58. I had to wait for an hour in the office for him. He did a quick scan and gave me a picture of the baby's face. Next month is the actual ultrasound. We have to decide between now and then if we want to find out the sex or not.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

17 weeks 4 days

Today for the first time I felt tiny little thunks in my left lower abdomen. Finally!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Joined: 07/27/04
Posts: 1

I'm new on this board. I feel for you about the weight gain. I don't think I eat that much not anymore than what I use to anyway. And to top it off I think I eat healthier now so I have know I idea why I've gain so much weight. I hope I'll be able to lose it all. Well take care

Due Aug.9th Biggrin

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

19 weeks 1 day

Last Wednesday, at 18 weeks 4 days, Mike felt the baby move for the first time. The movements have been sporadic but I've had some really nice thumps. I've been feeling really healthy, my sex drive is that of a 19 year old boy, and Friday is my big ultrasound. To find out the gender of the baby or not? I think we will leave it up to fate. It is a boy anyway, I can feel it.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

20 weeks

On Monday, I saw the movements for the first time. On Wednesday morning lying in bed, the baby was thumping around like crazy and my abdomen was moving all around. Baby has been pretty quiet since then.

Yesterday I had my big ultrasound. Blood pressure was 104/60, weight 173 and the baby is a BOY! There was no mistaking it, he had his legs open and Dr. Skory said there's a third leg. He gave us a picture of it, it's so funny.

I am glad I found out because it just confirmed what I already knew in my heart and gut. Now I can just relax and stop second guessing myself and buy that blue yarn.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

21 weeks 3 days

I feel such a bond with this baby already. I get a sense of his personality, that he's a happy, optimistic, warm, open soul with a great sense of humor. He reminds me of Grampa, but I really don't think it's him. Someone like him, though. I wonder who he was before and why he chose us.

It's funny how different each pregnancy is. I got a very strong sense of who Emily was right away. Rachel I was much foggier, then with both Heather and Eric I felt like a mere vessel (and they both resembled Dad so much more than me), Katie was hard to get a feel for because of the stress, and Abby I couldn't get a real feel for at all, except that she had died a traumatic death.

This one just feels wonderful! I can't wait to meet this incredible being.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

22 weeks

Here are my measurements:

bust 41 1/2
waist 44 1/2 inches
hips 44 1/2
thighs 24

Ok, now that's depressing!!!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

23 weeks 5 days

I had an appointment with Dr. Skory yesterday. I weighed 179 (up six pounds from last month), bp was 100/60 and we heard the heartbeat. Baby kicked the doppler while we were listening.

I finally got to the chiropractor Tuesday. I go again today. The right side of my pelvis is tipped backwards and that is what is causing the horrible pubic bone pain. It hurts mainly if I've been sitting upright. Then when I get up to walk I can barely do so. But in the morning when I get up it is fine, and it's fine if I'm up and about. Sitting in a restaurant is not doable anymore, or at any table. Hopefully the adjustments will get my pelvis back into place over time.

Well that is about all. Oh, my belly is getting absolutelly HUGE and the baby is very very busy in there!!!!!!!!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

25 weeks 6 days

I have been so tired this week. It's like the first trimester all over again, with the moods and the fatigue except now I'm huge and having a hard time getting comfortable in bed. Heartburn is getting bad too. I have two more weeks till I start the third trimester, but it feels like I already have. It sucks because I had been feeling so good and been in such a good mood and then BANG it is all suddenly gone.

The baby feels much stronger too, moving all the time and strong kicks. I think he went though a growth spurt this week. I ate a big steak the other night and I felt much better the next morning. I'm also drinking tons of nettles infusion and taking yellow dock tincture for iron.

On Monday I thought I had a bloody show, which really freaked me out. It was a clump of brown mucus on the toilet paper, but I'm not sure where it came from if you know what I mean. I also had contractions three minutes apart all day, so I went to the doctor who examined my cervix with the ultrasound and it was long, thick and closed, so he sent me home. I finally got the contractions to stop by doing pelvic rocks. Baby was lying diagonally across my abdomen with the head under my right rib cage. It was not comfortable.

I dont' know what is wrong with me, I cry at stupid shows and get all grumpy. My left shoulder is killing me too, I have such bad knots there, chiropractor said they would go away as I continue to get adustments. I hope so, they've been there for a year now and sometimes they really hurt.

Well I'll shut up now all I am doing is whining.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

27 weeks 5 days

I am HUGE! I've been extremely tired in the afternoons to the point where I actually fall asleep on the couch. I feel drugged! I'm also always hungry. The baby has days where he is super active and I feel all sorts of little parts squirming all around. I failed my one hour GTT (170) so I am taking the three hour test on Saturday. I have an ob appointment tomorrow so I will post again afterwards.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

27 weeks 6 days

Today at my ob appointment, I weighed 188 and my bp was 100/60. My uterus measured 26cm and I had some protein in my urine. I gained 9 pounds this month! Doctor was not concerned.

I really hope I pass the GTT tomorrow. I hate that test, it makes me so sick. ICK.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

28 weeks

I'm back from the 3 hour GTT. It wasn't that bad at all. The lab guy was very good with a needle, and I didn't feel crappy until I got up to walk when it was all over. I thought I was going to pass out in the elevator. But I got something to eat and I'm fine now, just a little weak and woozy. There was another lady in there doing the same test. She and I had the same due date and failed the 1 hour test with the same number. Weird or what. Now I just have to wait and see if I passed

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

28 weeks 5 days

My belly radically changed shape as of yesterday. It seems lower. Yesterday I had bh contractions constantly, and today I just feel crampy. I see the chiro today so she will be able to feel where exactly this baby is and what kind of strange position he's gotten himself into.

And I passed my three hour test, YAY!!!

ETA: I just got back from the chiro. Baby turned head down and that is why I feel lower and have more pressure on my bladder.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

29 weeks 6 days

I think I'm going to send this to my mil. She just doesn't get it!

The Center for Unhindered Living

Guidance for Families and Friends
of New Mothers

I felt the need to write this article on behalf of the
many new mothers who I am associated with, and all new
mothers out there who fall into the same category that
I am about to discuss. As a childbirth educator and
parenting class instructor, I spend a lot of time
helping expectant parents prepare to take
responsibility for their births and help them parent
their children in a way that will nurture a secure
attachment. These new parents have spent months
learning to protect themselves and their unborn
children from the harm that exists in the modern
world. They will instinctively carry this protective
spirit into the parenting of their children.

I would like to give you grandparents, aunts, uncles,
nieces, nephews, neighbors, close friends, and even
strangers some guidance about what many new mothers
find acceptable and unacceptable as far as your
behavior toward them and their babies after birth.

First of all, I recommend to all my new mothers that
they give their baby a babymoon. After all, when they
got married they had a honeymoon, a time when they
were secluded from all others and focused only on the
marriage relationship. This honeymoon often lasted
days or even weeks in some cases. When a baby is
born, the baby deserves the same consideration. I
encourage new mothers to remain in seclusion for a
period of time after birth, with this period of time
being as short or as long as they deem necessary.
There are a variety of reasons for this:

A newborn's immune system is very weak, and they don't
need a lot of people coming in carrying germs to them.
The baby needs days or even weeks to breastfeed and
receive the antibodies that mother's milk provides so
they can build a strong immune system before they
receive visitors. Please do not be offended if the
new mother you are associated with asks you not to
visit the baby for a few days or weeks. I know that
you are eagar to meet your new grandchild if you are
one of the grandparents, but you've already waited
nine months to see this baby, you can wait a few more
days or weeks.

If the baby was born at home, then the baby already
has immunity to the germs in the maternal home because
the mother passed those antibodies to the baby
in-utero, and is innoculating the baby to those germs
through breastfeeding. But since you do not live in
the maternal home, the baby more than likely is not
immune to your germs. Compound that with the fact
that if the baby is born in the hospital, it has
already been exposed to a whole host of virulent germs
which its body is trying very desperately to defend
against. Its little immune system is overtaxed
already, please do not put more burden on it at this
crucial time just because you cannot control your
ardent desire to see that baby. This situation is
even further compounded if the mother chooses to
formula feed, for this compromises the immune system
even further. So you see, there is good reason for
you to stay away for a while.

Another good reason for you not to visit the new
family is that the new mother is just learning to do
her job as a parent. If this is her first child, she
is just learning to breastfeed, just learning to
diaper her baby properly or just learning the use of
elimination timing, just learning to console her baby
when it is fussy. She may not be very good at it yet,
and it is twice as hard to learn a new skill when
somebody is watching you. She will be nervous and
will make mistakes. Please give her time to gain some
confidence in her parenting abilities. The babymoon
helps her to get to know her baby and herself a little

When you finally do talk to the new mother or see the
new baby in person, please refrain from giving advice
unless you are specifically asked for it by the new
mother. You will build your reputation as a meddling
mother or mother-in-law by always trying to tell the
new mother what she is doing wrong. Let her find out
for herself whether or not she needs advice, and let
her ask for it. Remember, she is feeling protective
of her baby and herself, and is very vulnerable. She
is not sure of herself yet, and having you tell her
what to do just makes her feel more inadequate.

Please do not criticize the parenting style or methods
that the new parents have selected. Just because
it's not the way you brought your kids up doesn't mean
it's wrong, it's just different and it's not your
place to change them. So the most important thing is
no giving advice and no criticism.

Don't go to visit; call on the phone and ask if there
is anything you can do, and abide by what the new
parents say they want. Here are some things you could
do to help the new parents without actually having to
be in their presence:

Cook some meals for them that can be frozen and thawed
later so that nobody has to worry about cooking for a
while. Take these meals and stack them on the front
porch of the new family's home, ring the bell, and go
back to the car. Wave to them as you leave. They
will appreciate this so much. Frozen dinner meals, as
well as sandwiches, fruit and veggie trays, healthy
beverages such as filtered water, organic milk, fruit
juices, and herbal teas would be great. Then they
have dinner meals as well as lunches and snacks.
Breastfeeding mothers need about 600 extra calories
per day just to provide milk for their babies, and
lots of fluids.

Offer to help with laundry. Have them stack their
dirty laundry in baskets, boxes or bags on the porch.
You come and pick it up, wash dry and fold it, then
return it to the porch. Make sure and use a detergent
that is acceptable to the mother. Many are very
environmentally conscious and want something that is
not bad for the environment, and others are sensitive
to certain chemicals and may have a preference for one
brand or another. Babies clothes should be washed in
something as mild as possible. Once again, ring the
bell and return to the car, waving from a distance.

Offer to take older siblings on some outings so the
house can be quiet and calm for the new mother and
baby. That is, if the new family wants this service.
Some like the siblings to stay around and so don't
feel that this is a must. It's up to the new mother.

When you finally do see the new baby:

One thing that often irritates new mothers is that
when people are allowed to see the new baby, the first
thing they do is want to touch the baby. I know,
babies are like magnets, it's almost impossible not to
tweek that cheek or stroke that hair, or let their
little fingers grab yours. That is a biological urge
you are feeling, if you are a woman, and it was
designed to promote attachment between you and YOUR
baby. It is not meant to glue you to some other
person's baby, even though you may feel it. Please
resist the urge to touch the new baby. Ask the new
mother first, and please don't be offended if you are
told that they prefer you not touch yet.

You may be thinking, "I am this child's grandparent,
and I am not even allowed to hold my own grandchild?"
Precisely. This is NOT your child. Please respect
the rights of the new mother and father to protect
their baby. Do not discourage them. That child is
going to grow and you are going to get to spend lots
of time with it. Don't rush things.

Friends and strangers, later on when you see the new
mother in a store or at church, please resist the urge
to start stroking the baby and playing with its hands.
The baby has its hands in its mouth constantly, and
when you touch the baby's hands, those germs go right
in the baby's mouth. I know you wouldn't
intentionally pass anything to the baby, but you may
never know that you accidently were exposed to some
germ when you shook hands with somebody and then went
over and touched the baby's hand, and into the mouth
it went. If you are in a store, your hands were
probably just touching the handle of the shopping
cart, and 500 other people have touched that same cart
today. Do you really want the germs of 500 people in
that baby's mouth?

New mothers have very strong hormones which cause them
to be extremely protective of their babies.
Sometimes mothers feel that people take too many
liberties, touching and being too familiar when they
shouldn't. Please keep your distance. This goes for
pregnant women as well. Some people feel its all
right to just walk up to a pregnant woman and feel her
belly. This is totally unacceptable because it
violates her personal space and makes her feel
vulnerable. If she invites you to touch, that is
different, but don't just assume that its your
personal right to be able to touch.

Many mothers, especially those trying to promote
secure attachment, will wear their babies in slings
that hang across the shoulders. If the baby is being
worn in a sling, please do not try to pull the edges
of the sling back and look at the baby. The purpose
of the sling is not only to carry the baby in a
convenient manner that is comfortable for the mother
and provides the opportunity for around the clock, on
demand breastfeeding, but its purpose is also to
provide the perception of protection to the mother and
those who look on. The sling is an artificial
boundary that the parent is trying to put between you
and the baby to protect the baby. Please don't
violate that boundary. You wouldn't walk up to a
woman and stick your hand inside her blouse, would
you? No, of course not. You recognize that this
would violate her personal boundaries. Sticking your
hands inside the sling to get a look at or touch the
baby also violates the baby's and mother's personal
boundaries as well.

I have a friend who carries her baby in the sling the
whole time she is at the store. She says this about
the experience:

"I also found that even WITH the sling, there were
those who felt obligated to peek inside and try to
stroke baby's arm, or whatever. It got to the point
where I'd just walk around the grocery with the baby
in the sling and my naked breast right there, even if
he WASN'T nursing, so they'd reach over, pull back the
sling edge, and voila, there was a boob as well as a
baby. The embarrassment on their faces was enough to
convince me that they would think twice before doing
that to ANYONE every again. By the way, my breast is
as big as a baby's head, so it was quite obvious, and
made it tons easier for the babe to just turn his head
and plug in whenever he wanted."

So, enough said about the boundary issue.

Some women have strong enough personalities and are
confident enough to tell people that they are crossing
a boundary, or to ask them in advance not to. Some
women, however, don't feel comfortable about telling
you that you are violating their boundaries. So I
speak for those who feel unable to possibly offend you
by telling you these things.

For more information on topics that pertain to birth
and parenting, try Autonomous Childrearing

I talked to my grandmother about Christmas and she totally understood that i was not going to be bringing a newborn out to people's houses nor was I going to be having anyone over to my house. She said the kids could come over to her house on Christmas Eve, but I'm afraid that my father will throw a fit right in front of the kids about Rachel not being there and no one needs that. I think I'll have them go over a different evening. She will understand and it will prevent a potentially damaging event.

My mother-in-law is another story. She truly doesn't understand why I am not going to be allowing anyone to come over to the house to celebrate Christmas when I have a newborn baby. I mean, come on! How can she be so dense??? Doesn't she remember what it's like to have a new baby? Would she like a house full of people when her private parts are still throbbing from passing a human being, and she's bleeding like a stuck pig, and her breasts are swelling to the size of balloons, and she's exhausted and physically as well as emotionally wide open and vulneralble? Trying to entertain people and exchange gifts? COME ON!!! Wake up and smell the coffee! People never cease to amaze me.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Or maybe this one is better for mil:

Postpartum Bubble


Everyone expects a newly married couple to take some time to themselves after the wedding: it's widely recognized that they need to be given some space so that they can become comfortable in their new roles as husband and wife (to say nothing of beginning to recover from the sheer insanity of those stress-filled weeks leading up to the wedding). But when couples who've just had a baby ask to be given a few days to themselves before the visitors start arriving in droves, they're sometimes made to feel as if they're being unreasonably selfish in depriving other people of the chance to sneak a peek at the new arrival.

"In the sheltered simplicity of the first days after a baby is born, one sees again the magical sense of two people existing only for each other."
Anne Morrow Lindbergh

There's certainly a strong case to be made for taking what renowned childbirth educator Sheila Kitzinger has dubbed a "babymoon" time alone as a family during a baby's first few days of life. Not only do new mothers need to physically recover from the rigors of giving birth and adjust to the hormonal changes that are triggered as they move from a pregnant to a non pregnant state, but both parents also need a chance to regain their bearings and to get used to the fact that from this point forward they're going to be someone's mom or dad.

People in other parts of the world would no doubt be amused to hear about Western society's supposed "invention" of the babymoon. In many cultures, it's been a long-standing tradition to give mothers and babies the time and space required to get to know one another better. One tribe in Brazil, for example, routinely grants a mother and her baby a month of seclusion, while in India, it's traditional for new mothers to focus solely on meeting the new baby's needs during the first 22 days after the birth. These cultures have long known what we're just now discovering: that it's only natural to want to drink in everything about your new baby the softness of her skin, the vulnerability of her cry, the irresistible smell of the top of her head, and those soulful stares that tell you that there's a lot more going on inside her head than you might otherwise have suspected.

All your senses are heightened after birth in order to forge a strong bond to your baby and become acutely aware of what you need in order to stay mentally, emotionally and physically healthy.

"My sense of smell, taste, and even feeling textures in my mouth and with my fingertips were so enhanced. If something smelled good, it smelled really good. If something tasted bad, I couldn't eat it for weeks after the initial taste. And feeling my baby's skin was like heaven. My hearing was especially affected. What was the typical volume on the TV suddenly was too loud. I couldn't stand to watch violent movies or anything with a fight in it. And even the thought of listening to semi-harsh music got me stressed out."
Mother of 3, one week after birth

Nature made this 'heightened state' a universal constant for every woman. It's how we bond to our babies and make them and ourselves and families strong.

"Because I was feeling so good, I made the mistake of going to the store two days after given birth. What seemed like a normal shopping experience to others ended up being very stressful for me. I felt like everyone was staring at and judging me. I felt so exposed and vulnerable to everyone. Luckily no one came up to me and wanted to touch and ask about the baby. If they had, I might have run out of there." Laura, mother of 2

Marguerite, 37, feels fortunate that she and her husband, David, were able to enjoy some quiet time as a family after the births of their two children. Marguerite's father was on hand to celebrate the arrival of each of his grandchildren but managed to give the new parents the breathing space they needed to settle into their new routines. "With both of my children, my dad came up the day they we re born to help us get settled in at home, but then left soon after to give us some time alone for a few days," she recalls. "Then he returned several days later for another short visit. This was the perfect amount of intervention. He helped when we needed it, but left us alone to sleep and babymoon."

Don't make the mistake of assuming that you don't need a babymoon if this is your second or subsequent baby. Contrary to popular belief, babymoons aren't just for first-time parents. "Having a babymoon is even more important the next time around," she insists. "Life seems to go back to its normal pace sooner than you want it to, and people aren't as generous with you when it's not the first baby. There seems to be an assumption that this is all old hat and you don't need the support as much."

Like Lisa, third-time mother Chonee, 36, agrees that a babymoon is as important for veteran parents as it is for first-timers: "I believe that whether it is the first or the second or even the third child, there needs to be a quiet time to adjust and get settled. I think the exact period of time needed differs for everyone, but what is most important is that new moms and dads not feel guilty about saying no to visitors during that period of time. We found that people readily accepted it when we said, 'We'd love to see you, but not until next week. We need this week just to get back to normal.'"

Other mothers have experienced similar intrusions from well-meaning but nonetheless annoying relatives and friends. "I had visitors all day and all night during my first week home, recalls Jane, a 32-year-old mother of one. "No wonder I was exhausted and suffering from the postpartum blues!" Darci, a 29-year-old first-time mother, found that the steady flow of visitors during the early days of her baby's life left her feeling totally drained: "I was so overwhelmed by visitors that at one point I left the room and cried, and when my husband came in to see how I was, I told him to send everyone home."

He re are some practical tips on defending your right to a babymoon without alienating those around you. (I don't know about you, but I think there's the makings of a Dale Carnegie book in here somewhere!)

* Talk to your partner about your plans for the babymoon. It's important to be upfront about your expectations so that there won't be any crossed wires or hurt feelings down the road. It's also important to be prepared to compromise with regard to your partner's involvement: while you might want him to participate wholeheartedly in the babymoon experience, you have to be prepared to respect his feelings if he isn't willing or able to hang out with you and the baby 24 hours a day. Forcing the issue will only lead to stress and conflict at the time in your life when you most need to feel in synch with your partner. Molly, a 36-year-old mother of three is still dealing with the fallout of her babymoon three years later...

"I really wanted a babymoon. I had fantasies of my family and I spending hours lying around and falling in love with the baby. My husband I agreed that he would do the dishes, laundry, make the meals, and take care of our daughters during his time off, about 5 days. Well, I felt great after the birth, a little too great, and my husband took that as a signal that he could do some yard work, make some work phone calls, and spend time on the computer. He would spend about half the day doing other things besides caring for me and the family. That left me feeling abandoned and taken advantage of. I ended up having to do the dishes and folding loads of laundry."

How you spend your time immediately following birth you can never get back and it will be etched in your memory. Whether it's a good or bad is a matter of planning. Just like you will always remember your wedding day, your honey moon, and the day you birthed your baby, you will always remember your babymoon.

* Communicate your wishes to friends and family. Once you and your partner have agreed about how you intend to handle your babymoon, be sure to get the word out to friends and family members. You'll find that people will be more accepting of your need for privacy during the early days if you reassure them that there will be ample opportunities for visiting down the road. Another way to handle this situation is to let the eager beavers in the crowd pay a quick visit shortly after the birth: with any luck, they'll back off a little once they've had the chance to check out the baby. But I there is still caution with this.

"My next baby, I'm not going to tell anyone I had her for at least a week. Even well meaning phone calls and help drained me. I don't really care if they think I'm dead. I regret devoting energy to anyone other than my baby and husband. It's more important to preserve that time with my family." Stacie, mother of one

* How much time for a babymoon? That's going to vary, but plan on at least a week. Some women take the end of their lochia flow as a signal that their bodies is ready to resume "normalcy". For some mothers, especially those who had worked outside the home, they can feel like they have cabin fever, but resisting the urges to "go out an do something" pays off in the end. That's not to say that a leisurely walk isn't in order, but certainly don't resume normal life if at all avoidable.

"A Mbuti pygmy woman in Zaire sits in her spherical, womb-shaped leaf hut with her baby, rocking it as she rocked it while she was rubbing her belly by the river, singing it the special song that it heard her sing while it was still inside her, letting it drink her milk and explore the feel and smell of her body. She might sit near the doorway for a while so that the baby can slowly get used to the leafy green light of its new world. But not until the third day does she leave her hut with her baby."
Carroll Dunham and The Body Shop Team,
Mamatoto: A Celebration of Birth

1..Allow both baby and family protection from illness. The baby's immune system has time to mature before being exposed.
2. Allows mom to get familiar and comfortable with breastfeeding and baby care before she has to demonstrate this in front of others.
3. Mother needs time for physical recovery and hormonal and emotional adjustment.
4. Mom will avoid overburdening abdominal and uterine muscles thereby speeding recovery and increases the time it takes for her to return to a pre pregnant state. Additionally since lochia flow is heaviest during the first week, you eliminate dealing with that inconveniently.
5. The Father and sibling also benefit greatly from a babymoon. Everyone understands better the sacredness and respect a new family member deserves. It also strengthens their bonds to the baby and mother, too. It's a gentle way of expanding the love in a family and helps to avoid jealousy. Love isn't always automatic and a babymoon fosters that love and provides an opportunity for services towards the mother and baby. And it's well known that we end up loving those we serve.

Adapted by Amy Jones from The Mother of All Baby Books, by Ann Douglas

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

30 weeks 2 days


A sudden, urgent need to clean, clean, clean! I finally tackled that huge pile of laundry, put away Eric and Abby's summer clothes, washed their winter clothes, vacuumed. Now I need to get the newborn baby clothes back from Alex. If only Rebecca would respond to my email request for her phone number so I could get them! I'm going CRAZY. I NEED to get the clothes, wash them, smell them, fold them and put them away. NOW!!!

I can't believe I won't be having this baby here at home. It is just wrong. Maybe I'll hide in the closet like a cat and give birth without anyone knowing.

Nine weeks and five days until my due date. I can't believe how fast this has gone by so far.

ETA I had my appointment with Dr. Skory today. Weight was 194, blood pressure 110/60, uterus measured 32cm and baby is head down.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

30 weeks 5 days

Last night I had very painful contractions, but they were spaced far apart and went away in two hours. I was so tired yesterday and still today even though I slept 11 hours last night. I must have overdone it with the nesting!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

31 weeks

My back is killing me now from all that bending from sorting baby clothes. And I'm so tired. I'm not sleeping well at night because I'm so uncomfortable. There is almost not enough room in the bed for both Mike and I and my pillows. I feel like my body went from just being pregnant to preparing to have a baby over the past week. I'm having more braxton hicks contractions and mentally and emotionally I already feel ready to give birth. As soon as I get the rest of the clothes and some more blankets and wash everything I will be all set.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

31 weeks 3 days

It feels like the baby is dancing in there. Sometimes I even hear the movements. It's a low rumbling sound.

I broke down last night and took a Zantac. The heartburn had been waking me at night and I was completely miserable. I also had Mike raise the head of the bed more, so I'm not sure which it was, but I feel much better today. I really hate taking meds, but they are supposedly safe, and if my stomach is going to hurt so badly that I can barely eat, then it is worth it.

Speaking of food, I've entered the most important time from a nutritional standpoint. So I am being more dilligent about getting 75 to 100 grams of protein a day. I drink two glasses of milk, eat cheese and some meat every day, add that to the stray grams in the rest of my food it's not that hard to do. If only I could eat eggs it would be even easier but they give me a terrible stomach ache.

Another month and I'll start drinking red rasperry infusions. Right now I'm just drinking nettle. I also take yellow dock tincture for iron.

On Sunday, Mike and I went to St. Claire's so he could see the birthing unit. We lucked out and there were no births going on so we got to see the rooms and talk to a nurse. She was really nice, and said they would pretty much do whatever we wanted. My main concern was not having the baby taken away for the newborn stuff, but rather having it done right on my chest like the did in my homebirths. She also said I could refuse the eye ointment and vitamin K shot, but CPS would be called and a social worker would come to talk to me to make sure I knew what I was doing but that no one would take my baby from me. I'm still debating if it's important enough to me to have to deal with a freaking social worker at a time when I really don't need stress. A homebirth would be so much better from this standpoint.

But it will be nice to have a few days away from the ruckus of my house. And another good thing is they are making much stricter visiting rules. They are going to be locking the doors of the mother/baby unit and only allowing visitors for a set time. That makes so much sense. Mom's and babies need to be resting and getting to know each other, not having a party.

They will bring in a cot for the dads, so Mike will be staying the whole time. They also don't really use the nursery much, so no one will be trying to take the baby there. All in all, I feel pretty good about choosing this hospital.

And I will be getting my baby clothes back soon. I can't wait!!!!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

32 weeks, 3 days

I had my appmnt with Skory yesterday. I weighed 196lbs, my blood pressure was 104/58, and he let Katie find the heartbeat with the doppler.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

33 weeks 4 days

I got the clothes from Alex today. Yay! I have tons of newborn clothes now, and next week I am getting more from Robin so I am all set. I just have to wash them all and put them away. Then I have to pack my hospital bag, dig the infant car seat out from the basement and finish and print my birth plan and we will be all prepared.

I was in so much pain yesterday and the day before. I got adjusted and I feel much better now. My hips were way out again. I need to get a birth ball to sit on. That will help alot.

I don't feel afraid of giving birth this time. I'm starting to get very excited about it. I can't wait to meet my new son.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

33 weeks 6 days

Yesterday I washed, folded and put away all of the new baby clothes. I have a ton! Fourteen gowns, fifteen onsies, etc etc. All I need now are bassinette sheets, a sleep positioner, cloth diapers and covers, a monitor and some blankets. Oh and some baby soaps and lotions from the health food store. It was so fun to wash all those clothes!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

34 weeks 2 days

I had my appointment today. My weight is 196 (did not gain any weight since last visit), blood pressure is 104/68 and there was a trace of glucose in my urine, and a trace of protein. Baby is head down, and he did the group B strep test. I've never had it before so I doubt I will this time.

I feel just awful. I have a terrible cold. I spent the day in bed yesterday with my new pregnancy pillow. It is cozy.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Kimberly and Michael L’s Birth Plan
Due Date: December 25, 2004
Birth Attendant: Dr. David Skory
Birth Facility: St. Clare's Hospital

It is our desire to have a natural, medication- and intervention-free childbirth. We have educated ourselves and are prepared for the work involved. We understand that complications do arise and in such instances ask that you discuss with us any procedures or medications before administering them, whenever possible. We greatly appreciate your cooperation in realizing our plan.

I would like the lights dimmed and disruptions kept to a minimum.

I would like the baby to be monitored intermittently using a Doppler.
I do not wish to be examined by residents..

I would like to view the birth using a mirror.
I would like to push instinctively and not be told how or when to push, ie no counting to ten..

I would like to hold my baby immediately after birth.
Please do not clamp the umbilical cord until after the placenta has delivered.
I would like to deliver the placenta unassisted.
My partner would like to cut the umbilical cord.
I prefer not to have routine pitocin after the birth.
I would like to postpone newborn procedures until I have had a chance to bond with and breastfeed my baby.
I would like all newborn procedures to take place in my presence.
Please do not bathe my baby.
I plan to breastfeed my baby.
I would prefer that no artificial nipples (bottles, pacifiers) be offered to my baby at any point.
If my baby's a boy, I don't want him circumcised.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

35 weeks 4 days

Earlier today I noticed two spots of brown blood in my underwear. Nothing since then. I had contractions starting at 2:30 that are more intense than braxton hicks, but they are not regular. They are still coming but they are not getting stronger or closer together and they space out when I change activity so it's not labor. I lost five pounds, which is a prelabor sign. So maybe this baby is going to be coming a few weeks earlier than his due date. I can't wait at this point. I'm so uncomfortable.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

36 weeks!

We're really coming down to the wire now. Chances are we will have a baby in our arms in less than four weeks now. It's funny how when you think you can't get any bigger you do. Mike finally had to relocate to the couch because there is simply no more room for him in the bed. I feel bad but he understands, and says he's more comfy on the couch now anyway since he was trying to squeeze into a 8 inch space. I did some real cleaning in the kitchen yesterday and the laundry in the laundry room is almost all done. I have a few more baby items to wash in Dreft. Today I am going to the chiro then the health food store to pick up a few things. I need more vitamins, and rescue remedy, plus some motherwort and crampbark for after the birth. Speaking of, Mike is late getting back and I need to leave for my appointment now.

It's later. The chiro was great. The baby is LOA, which is exactly how he should be. He isn't engaged as I have room left in the back of my pelvis. He probably won't engage until I'm well into labor anyway.

Major nesting today! We rearranged the computer room, and tomorrow I need to tackle the play room. I'm also doing laundry like a mad woman, though I haven't exactly been putting any of it away. Oh well.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

36 weeks 2 days

Today I had my appointment with Dr. Skory. I weigh 198, blood pressure was 110/60 and I tested positive for group B strep. So I will have to have a heplock during labor. Oh well, no biggie. I brough in my birth plan and he signed it, so that's all set. He said I could go into labor any time now and it would be fine. I hope he waits a few more weeks. I am not quite ready. There are still some things I need to get, and I'm not feeling quite ready emotionally to say good bye to this pregnancy. Even with all the discomforts, I am going to miss it.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

36 weeks 5 days

I am VERY upset. The stupid alarm clock woke me up at 5am again and so I'm up. I feel like a complete sell out. How can I go to a hospital to birth this baby? I should have found a way to come up with the money for the homebirth. To hell with the house not being peaceful during Christmas time, it would have been fine. I think in the back of my mind, I intended on just staying home anyway and having an oops. But now with the strep b, I feel like I can't do that. I feel like I'm dirty and contaminated. The midwife could have either brought iv antibiotics to my house, and/or used other methods to get rid of it. Now I'm trapped. Now I have to go to the hospital and the cascade of interventions will start as soon as they stick that needle in my arm. Luckily I trust my ob and I know he won't interfere with my having a natural birth, but I don't trust the ped because I do not know him. I have no way of knowing which ped will be the one to examine the baby. My doc doesn't come to the hospital for newborn exams, so I'm stuck with a stranger. I've heard way too many horror stories about doctors retracting babies' foreskins. My ped doesn't even touch the penis, just feels the scrotum to make sure the testicles are in the right place and for hydrocele. But I don't know this doctor. It happens so fast. I will have to make sure that either Mike or I or both are there for the exam and that we tell him not to touch his penis before the diaper even comes off. Why should we have to protect our new baby from a DOCTOR??? It's just insane!!!! This is really a crazy, mixed up, screwed up society.

I feel so trapped now. My options are gone. Now I have to go to the hospital. For how long have I been colonized with strep b? Dr. Skory never used to culture his patients; he didn't believe in it. So I could have had it for all of the births and didn't even know it. I wish I didn't know it now. Since my water doesn't break until literally minutes before birth, where is the opportunity for the strep to get to the baby? I have none of the risk factors. This just sucks.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

36 weeks 6 days

I had a dream this morning that the baby was born and he looked just like Eric. But the girls and think this baby will have dark hair instead of red. I can't wait to find out!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

37 weeks 1 day

Well, I'm offically full term now. I had to take off my rings this week and my feet are feeling a bit swollen all of a sudden. The chiro said that I had some edema in my lower back which is what happens at the very end, so YAY! I am just waiting. I think he will be born during the week before Christmas. We got the tree yesterday but it's not decorated yet. It's beautiful, a Frazier Fir, nice and full and round. I am looking forward to sitting in the rocker nursing the baby while looking at the Christmas tree.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

37 weeks 3 days

Had an appointment with the ob. My weight is 196, so I lost 2 pounds, and my blood pressure was 100/56. I am so completely exhausted and miserable. The baby very definitely dropped yesterday. I suddenly have this space under my breasts. My belly is sticking WAY out now. My mood swings are horrible. One minute I'm fine then the least little thing sets me off and I scream. I was like this just days before giving birth before, but I probably won't be that lucky this time. I'll probably be in this state for the next two weeks. OMG, I waited an hour and a half at the doctor's office. I'm about done. I woke up because of contractions last night, one startled me awake. I was awake for four hours and couldn't sleep. The baby was moving around like crazy. I think he was trying to find a comfortable position now that he's suddenly lower. I just want this to be OVER WITH NOW!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

37 weeks 6 days

When the baby dropped on Monday, he also went posterior. I've been afraid of that since I have an anterior placenta. I've been trying to get him to rotate back around but he is apparently very comfortable the way he is. He squirmed like crazy on Monday night while I was trying to sleep after he dropped and settled OP. It's hurting me because his head is right on my rectum now, that's rather unpleasant.

I am trying to make peace with a hospital birth. I still haven't packed my bags, and I suppose I really should do that this weekend.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

38 weeks

These contractions are annyoning the crap out of me. About half of them really hurt. We went Christmas shopping and about finished for the kids. I had to keep stopping for contrax. People in public look at me and smile because I am so huge.

I'd be perfectly happy to go into labor right now. I packed my bags so I'm all set.