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“Babies Ruin Bodies”

“Babies Ruin Bodies”

I just saw this blog post and had to share… http://weseekjoy.blogspot.com/2013/12/babies-ruin-bodies.html?m=1

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Before I became pregnant, someone told me, “don’t have a baby, babies ruin your body.”

It has been over a year since Anabel began her life. This time last year she was a microscopic speck in my stomach, and we were announcing our pregnancy. Between then and now, I have gained and lost fifty pounds. Four months after her birth, and my body still carries proof of her existence.

I have dark pools under my eyes. A valley where my belly button once was. Hips with a new amplitude that my teenage self wouldn’t recognize. I have lines mapped across the mountains of stretched skin left over on my midsection. Lightening bolts on my sides proving I once was too small to contain all of the love that filled me. Lines indicating that my daughter once lived inside of me.

Do you realize the significance in that? Every limb, finger, toe…her heart, even, developed near the very place my own heart beats inside of my chest. Those mountains of skin are all I have left to prove that we were once one and not two.

How can I be ashamed of that?

I have so much to say about seeing my grandfather’s eyes embedded into the sockets, and under the brows and lashes of her father’s. I see the seventeen year old boy I fell in love with, and my grandpa as a child all at once every time she looks up at me. She even wears my ears and my chin. The two very things I cursed having the most growing up. Not much makes me feel more beautiful than seeing tiny renditions of those same features on Anabel, and realizing just how special they are.

My body grew that. 
Not everybody has that privilege.

Sure my belly is a bit softer nowadays, but the way it moves when I jump up and down sends my girl into fits of giggles. And yeah, my hips are hardly as narrow as they used to be, but they sure know the perfect figure-8 motion to sway her to sleep. My twenty-one year old hair is even beginning to gray, but not much soothes her more than my hair between her tiny fingers.

I am not something flawless in the eyes of society, or even close to what I once was physically, but my perfect girl sees me for who I am. To her, I hang the moon.She knows my heart. She knew it long before we met.

And she loves me for it.

I cannot tell you how much worth and validation I feel because of that truth.

My body is only a vessel for my spirit. An incredible vessel. It is strong, well, abled, and undefeated.

My body is full of life.
My body is powerful.
My body made me a mother. 

If anything, I was ruined by the world before I knew her & she made me whole again.

 

Games for Baby

Games for Baby

I get an email every now and then with information about the boys and what to expect.  There was one today talking about games that they’d enjoy playing.  I thought it’d be interesting to post just to give everyone an idea of what the boys are like right now… so much fun!

http://www.babycenter.com/0_20-fun-silly-development-boosting-games-to-play-with-your-ba_1479310.bc?page=3#articlesection3

7 to 9 months

Your baby’s becoming an expert at sitting and may soon be crawling as well. Encourage these physical feats by celebrating each new milestone: “Joshua, you sat up! Amazing baby!” Include a big hand for the little fella.

The ability to transfer objects from hand to hand and the fabled pincer grasp are part of your baby’s increasing hand control (which means you’ll be forced to carry a container of O-shaped cereal with you at all times for the next year).

Your baby also begins to understand that when an object disappears, it hasn’t fallen off the edge of the earth. This discovery makes games like peek-a-boo a favorite.

Touch It, Hold It, Bang It
If your baby has one object, he’ll bang it on the table. If he has two objects, he’ll bang them together, hold them up to the light, squint at them, bang them separately on the table, hit the table with both at the same time, see if the object sounds different when hit using the left hand rather than the right hand, and on and on.

Help him out by handing over objects that make interesting sounds: hollow containers, metal spoons, bells.

Pay attention to tactile sensations as well: Your baby will be fascinated by a greeting card laced with glitter or the slickness of Mom’s enameled jewelry box. A baby with strands of cooked spaghetti to play with wouldn’t notice if a bomb went off.

I Can Control the World
Babies love cause and effect at this age, as in: I do this, the light comes on. I do that, the light goes off. Showing your baby how to work light switches, remote controls, cell phones, and more will thrill him — but can make life more difficult for you when he insists on being held up to work the lights yet again.

Instead, you may want to offer a toy phone or remote to satisfy his craving for control, or a jack-in-the-box to provide a thrillingly surprising result. Or, let him manage his environment by filling a low-lying cabinet or drawer with safe objects and letting your baby rummage around. Make sure there are no sharp edges or other dangers (dressers with drawers pulled out can turn over on a child) and then let your baby go to town.

Obstacle Course
If your baby’s crawling, scooting, or walking, he may enjoy the challenge of having to move over things. (This is great for developing his motor skills, too.) Pillows, phone books, tired parents, and laundry make good obstacles. Sleeping cats do not make good obstacles.

So Many Variations on Peek-a-boo
The classic: Hold up a towel between your face and your baby’s and ask, “Where’s Sam?There’s Sam!” over and over again. You can vary this game in a million ways. Hide behind a door and make your baby push it open to see you. Hide behind a chair and pop out first from above then from the sides. Go behind a corner with another person and alternate who jumps out and yells “Boo!”

Keep a selection of hats behind the couch and pop up wearing a different one each time. A surefire laugh-getter is to put a hat on your head, hiding your eyes, and let your baby take it off, saying “Oh!” in surprise each time he does it. (This will also guarantee that you’ll never wear a hat in peace again.)

Roll Play
Babies are fascinated by balls and how they move. You’ll get a big laugh by juggling or tossing balls up in the air and letting them hit the floor while you make a silly sound effect: “Whoops!” Roll a soft ball toward your baby and watch him grab and squeeze it. Eventually, with encouragement, he’ll roll the ball back toward you. And someday he’ll be able to kick and toss the ball or drop it into a big bowl or bucket. For now, bounce and roll.

Mommy is an inventor!

Mommy is an inventor!

I can tell by the way that you look at me that you think I’m very special, but you boys probably didn’t know that your mommy is an inventor!  I have over 80 patents granted through the United States Patent and Trademark Office with over 300 pending.  In fact, I am the most prolific female inventor in IBM history.

Just yesterday, IBM published an article about me.

http://asmarterplanet.com/blog/2013/04/meet-lisa-seacat-deluca-another-person-for-a-smarter-planet.html

You should know that your mom will ALWAYS support your ideas, no matter how crazy they sound.  Follow your passion and you will always be happy.  Being creative is in your DNA… the world is your oyster

Lactation Consultant

Lactation Consultant

One of the perks of being an IBM employee is a program with LactCorp which allows me access to a Lactation consultant for 6 months after birth.  This includes unlimited phone calls to a consultant.  Yesterday I decided to call in and see what it was about.  I’m so glad I did!  I got lots of great advice and cleared up a few wives tales.  Here’s some interesting facts I learned:

  • It’s okay to wake up a sleeping baby.  “They wake you up, it’s okay to wake them up… especially if it makes life easier on you by getting them on the same schedule”
  • Stress does not affect milk production
  • Breastfeeding mom’s only feel “full” for the first month or so after giving birth.  Even though you don’t feel full, there is plenty of milk.
  • There is no correlation to the amount of fluids a mother drinks and her milk supply.
  • Almost all babies have fussy periods.  It’s usually around 6 weeks old.
  • What you eat does not affect whether or not your baby has gas.
  • Pumping does NOT increase your milk supply.  In order to trick your body into thinking you have another baby you’d need to pump 8x more a day.  Your body produces milk based on the “pulls” and draining of the breast.  That’s why milk typically slows down around 6 months since that’s when solids are introduced and less pulling is happening.  Since a newborn typically eats 8+ times a day that’s why it’d take 8 extra times to increase the supply.

Tummy on Mummy

My tandem breast feeding attempts so far have been in the football hold.  One thing the consultant suggested was to lay on my back and let the boys find my nipples to nurse that way.  That position makes it so that I don’t have to pull their heads up to my breasts or support their body weight.

Bottom two photos:

There was even a video: http://www.biologicalnurturing.com/video/bn3clip.html.  We gave it a try last night and it worked amazingly well.  Since it’s just Steve and I now at night, this hold made it a lot easier feeding both babies at once.

My consultant, Nancy, said that I was in the top 5% for multiple moms.  She was impressed that I was exclusively breastfeeding the twins.

It makes me feel good to get some expert advice and reassurance that the boys are getting everything they need.

31 week belly

31 week belly

Now that we’re in Baltimore it feels like the days are flying by!  I have so much to post about but we’ve been swamped trying to settle in not to mention I’m pretty useless.  Here’s a pic at 31w5d:

The newest symptom this week is nose bleeds.  I woke up to one last night around 6 and had one randomly on Saturday. I’ve tried sleeping with a humidifier but I don’t notice a difference yet.  http://www.justmommies.com/articles/nose-bleeds-pregnancy.shtml

Aggressive Gracie

Aggressive Gracie

One thing that I’ve noticed a lot lately is Gracie’s increased aggression towards other animals.  She used to give a little growl but now she will run towards other animals and even open her mouth as if she is going to bite them.  It’s gotten to the point where it’s embarrassing to take her for walks or have other animals over.  It’s hard too because It hurts for me to bend over that quickly to pick her up.

I found an article on baby center talking about how pet’s can sense pregnancy and I’m hoping that’s what’s wrong with Gracie and praying she goes back to being nice after the babies are born.  Luckily she is still very friendly towards people.

“It’s common for dogs to go on alert and become overprotective of their expecting owner from the very beginning of her pregnancy. I’ve worked with dogs that growled, barked, or blocked doors with their bodies to prevent other family members — even the baby’s father — from coming into the same room as the mom-to-be.”

http://www.babycenter.com/404_can-pets-sense-pregnancy_1379572.bc

Anemic

Anemic

Yesterday I drank the koolaid… i.e. i took the glucose test.

I just got a response from my doctor:

Hi Lisa,
Your recent blood tests show that you do not have gestational diabetes. Your complete blood count does indicate that you are mildly anemic, however. You would benefit from increasing your dietary iron through foods such as red meats and spinach. You should also take a daily iron supplement, such as SlowFe or ferrous sulfate 325 mg, either of which can be purchased over-the-counter at a pharmacy or health food store. Take the iron supplement in addition to your prenatal vitamin, preferably at a separate time.
As always, feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.
JANIE YEN SZE MD

I thought I was taking an iron supplement but I guess not.  So the recommended version has been ordered.

Component Your result Standard range Units
Glucose 1h post meal 133 < 139 mg/dL
Glucose po, dose 50G
Component Your result Standard range Units
WBC COUNT 12.4 3.5 – 12.5 K/uL
Red blood cells count 3.60 3.60 – 5.70 M/uL
Hgb 10.6 11.5 – 15.0 g/dL
Hematocrit 31.4 34.0 – 46.0 %
MCV 87 80 – 100 fL
RDW, RBC 13.1 12.0 – 16.5 %
Platelets count 238 140 – 400 K/uL

http://www.babycenter.com/0_iron-deficiency-anemia-in-pregnancy_3073.bc

“If you do become anemic, you might not have any symptoms at all, especially if your condition is mild. Or you might feel tired, weak, and dizzy. (Of course, these are symptoms that many women experience during pregnancy, anemic or not.) You might also notice that you’re paler (especially in your fingernails, the underside of your eyelids, and your lips). Other symptoms include a rapid heartbeat, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, headache, irritability, and trouble concentrating.”

This might explain why I’m so irritable and lack concentration these days.  Every little thing has been driving me crazy like Gracie licking and the “l” key on my keyboard not working.

DeLuca Dragons

DeLuca Dragons

According to the Chinese Zodiac calendar, on January 22, 2012 the Year of the Rabbit will end at midnight, giving way for the Year of the Dragon which will run from January 23, 2012 to February 9, 2013.

Persons born within these date ranges are said to be born in the “Year of the Dragon, and since the Dragon is said to be a deliverer of good fortune and a master of authority, those people born in Dragon years are to be honored and respected. The dragon is one of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar, and it is the only animal that is termed ‘legendary’. The Year of the Dragon is associated with the earthly branch symbol. The Dragon is the fifth sign in the Chinese Horoscope and signifies luck.

PAST & FUTURE YEAR OF THE DRAGON DATE RANGES

  • 16 February 1904 – 3 February 1905: Wood Dragon
    3 February 1916 – 22 January 1917: Fire Dragon
    23 January 1928 – 9 February 1929: Earth Dragon
    8 February 1940 – 26 January 1941: Metal Dragon
    27 January 1952 – 13 February 1953: Water Dragon
    13 February 1964 – 1 February 1965: Wood Dragon
    31 January 1976 – 17 February 1977: Fire Dragon
    17 February 1988 – 5 February 1989: Earth Dragon
    5 February 2000 – 23 January 2001: Metal Dragon
    23 January 2012 – 9 February 2013: Water Dragon
    10 February 2024 – 28 January 2025: Wood Dragon

Did you know? In Chinese astrology the dragon is the only animal of the Chinese zodiac year that is not real.

WHAT DOES THE 2012 YEAR OF THE DRAGON HAVE IN STORE?

EXPECT A WILD YEAR, although it is a ‘water dragon’, and water has a calming effect on the Dragon’s fearless temperament.

 

Your mommy and daddy were both born in 1982, the year of the water dog.  Dragon seems so much cooler!  

Twin Tentative Timetable

Twin Tentative Timetable

Found this article about twin pregnancies:

You’ve seen the pregnancy calendars (40 weeks’ worth). You might have estimated your due date (40 weeks from LMP). But before you circle that due date with a permanent red marker, consider this: A twin pregnancy is considered full-term at 37 weeks. (Three fewer weeks of heartburn and puffiness — whew!)
Happily, by 37 weeks, your babies will have fully mature lungs and will likely be able to leave the hospital safe and sound within a few days. But just as 95 percent of all singleton births fail to fall on their due date, you shouldn’t count on your D-day hitting the 37-week bull’s-eye either. If your pregnancy ends up going past your estimated due date (EDD), your practitioner might likely induce at 38 weeks, maybe longer, depending on how you’re progressing. (It’s a good idea to have an “end-game” discussion with your practitioner long before week 37, since many doctors differ on how they typically handle the latter stages of twin pregnancy.)

More typical for multiples, however, is that the pregnancy will end up being shorter than full-term singletons — and many multiple moms-to-be find themselves in a race with the calendar, trying to maintain the pregnancy long enough to ensure healthy outcomes for the babies. Here are some multiple-pregnancy milestones:

  • The first major milestone is 24 weeks: the threshold of viability. Babies born this early will likely spend at least three months in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), and a third of them will survive with no long-term problems.
  • The second milestone is 28 weeks, when viability skyrockets. Ninety percent of babies who make it to this stage of gestation survive. Long-term complications — including cerebral palsy, vision and breathing problems — are still a possibility, however.
  • The next milestone is 32 to 34 weeks. Babies born now generally have an excellent chance of survival, without any major long-term complications, though they might not have full lung maturity (which generally occurs between 33 and 37 weeks) and will need to spend time in the NICU.  Some babies born at this stage may require oxygen to help them breathe, while others may need to be fed through a nasogastric tube (which runs through the nose into the stomach). “Super-twins” (triplets or more) almost always spend time in a NICU, but if you can get past that 32-week mark, chances are excellent that the babies will be healthy.

To ensure that your pregnancy — and your babies’ growth and maturity — is on the right track, your practitioner will probably order a barrage of tests as the end of your pregnancy approaches (generally at around the 32-week mark, when all is well). You can expect nonstress tests, biophysical profiles, or even late-stage amniocentesis to check for lung maturity and other indicators of how the fetuses are developing. Depending on the test results, your practitioner may decide to deliver your babies early or leave them cooking in the womb a little longer.

taken from http://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/twins-and-multiples/giving-birth/your-tentative-timetable.aspx