Friday, June 25, 2010

Baby Stiller - Week 36

Week 36 (2010.06.14) FINAL

And then there was full term. 

And with full term came a name . . . a first name at least.

I am "enjoying" braxton hicks and focal contracts in this ninth month of pregnancy. We've only progressed to 20% effaced, so Cannon will not be arriving this week. 

Yes, he has a name. Cannon Stiller it is! 

Now we're just deciding on a middle name. *rolls eyes* 

And we won't be having any more children for about 10 years because we have problems! Can we all just stop and laugh at my big belly and my commitment issues with baby names?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Date Night: Labor & Delivery Survival Kit

I've been told I'm over the top - I take that to mean we're doing crazy preparation for the birth of Baby Boy in July. But, I figure if we're having fun, then over the top we'll go.

In our Bradley childbirth class we learned tons of various techniques on coping with and getting through childbirth and labor. 

So, in preparation of looming birthday of our son we spent a date night scavenging the city for all of our "laboring" supplies.

We had more fun checking items off the list, dreaming of Baby's arrival, and ending the night gathering honey packets (for energy during labor) and eating ice cream.  


Most of our items are pictured below. 


Things Pictured:

  • rice socks (to be heated and used as heating pads)
  • ice bottles
  • exercise/birthing ball
  • yoga mat
  • massager
  • ipod & dock
  • lavender oil (for relaxation)
  • honey packets (for energy)
  • Luna/Clif bars
  • graham crackers
  • cheese crackers
  • Wheat Thins
  • jello cups
  • chocolate
  • nuts
  • gatorade
  • juice
  • Dr. Pepper (for Danny)
Things Not Pictured:
  • rebozo
  • dvds (most likely Friends & Gilmore Girls)
  • massage oil
  • lotion
  • grapes/fruit
  • Danny's snacks ( trail mix, Wasabi peas, Australian licorice, dried fruit)
  • pillows
  • list of visualizations scripts for relaxation (see a sample here)
  • list of ways to naturally induce labor
  • list of positions/techniques (I gathered this list from books I read, if you're interested in seeing it let me know!)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Savoring the Moments

There are alot of things to complain about when you're pregnant - fatigue, achiness, sleepless nights, heartburn, clothes that don't fit, lack of a waistline, feeling like a whale and on and on and on.

However, this little boy is due to arrive in four weeks (give or take some days depending his punctuality). I only have four more weeks to be pregnant.

Danny calls pregnancy something like the "in between" time. We knew life and marriage before our son, and we'll know life and marriage and family after he's born. But for now, we're waiting, living in the in between, waiting, just waiting for him to come.

Mothers tell me I'm going to miss it.

Miss feeling the little kicks. Miss having him with me all the time. Miss the smiles strangers give you at the grocery store. Miss how quiet and easy he is to cart around when he was on the "inside!"

For nine months of my son's life there were two hearts beating inside my body as he grew.

That thought stops me in my tracks more times during the day than any other.  There is a little brain inide of me. Eyes that will open and take in the world a floating in my womb. Two souls in my body.

For nine months the Lord grew life inside of me. And so I'm trying to soak up and rejoice in the aches and inconveniences that come with being two-in-one and simply revel in the miracle that the Lord choose to create life inside of life.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Bradley Birthing Class Graduation

About a month ago we completed our Bradley Birthing Class. And, while it's probably a little overzealous and very much like a first-time parent of me, I'll say we feel pretty prepared to labor and deliver little Stiller in July.


Our Bradley class was a great, hands-on resource to supplement all of our reading. It gave Danny and I a specific time to practice relaxation and laboring techniques together and also instigated some great conversations on childbirth for us.

I'd love to hear what birthing class you took and what you thought of it!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Baby Registry (Laura-style!)

Early on in my pregnancy I began asking tons of questions of friends - first about labor/delivery/birth then about STUFF!

In case you've never visited us (which you should - Dallas is fun - we eat - ALOT!), we live in a two-bedroom apartment. One of our bedrooms has served as the study/office for the last three years of school.

We just don't have TONS of space. So, after our first visit to Babies R' Us, I looked at Danny and said, "If we need one of everything in here then we're in BIG trouble."

So, I started asking friends, "What do I really need to have a baby?"

I got varying responses, but I also got numerous overlapping responses! In case you're in the process of "getting ready for baby" here are the results.

Shortest Ever Version (These were by far the most popular six items recommended by multiple people):
  1. Miracle Blanket
  2. Diaper Champ (because you can use your own trash bags)
  3. Medala Pump In Style (this got more votes/thumbs up than any other item)
  4. Boppy
  5. sling/Moby Wrap 
  6. bathing sponge (instead of a big plastic tub) 
Long Version (This is the minimalist list of baby stuff I compiled after reading numerous blogs, articles and responses from friends.)
This is the spreadsheet I took with me to register so I wouldn't get carried away with registering for ONE OF EVERTHING.

We decided to register at two places to keep it simple:
  • BuyBuyBaby - I liked the selection and layout better than Babies R Us
  • - I wanted a way to register for cloth diapers (and yes, there's another blog post coming about diapers)
Q&A - because I've already received several quizzical looks and random questions about our registries:
  • "You're not registered at Target?"
    We contemplated registering at Target because that is such a popular choice, but I found that everything that was available at Target was already available at BuyBuyBaby - I love simplicity - so I avoided the duplicity.
  • "You didn't register for any clothes!"
    I barely registered for clothing. It overwhelms me. It seems so expensive for such little pieces of fabric, and I've heard you get lots of booties, hats, onsies, outfits, etc. at showers. So, I registered for the basics to get us through the first few days/weeks and if we don't get a single article of clothing as a gift, then I'll have time to run out to Once Upon a Child and buy a few things.
  • "I didn't see a Boppy on your registry."
    I didn't register for a Boppy simply because I heard from several people that My Brest Friend was simply better - so I registered for that.
  • "Why didn't you register for an exercauser or a Bumbo? You're going to need those."
    This could probably be another post for another day, but the short version is: I read a book on child development that said it's not developmentally not good to overstimulating babies with too many toys or prop them up in the "sitting" position before they can hold themselves up on their own. Based on that book and several of minimalist blogs I read, we just decided that the exercausers, bouncers, swings, and jumparoos were not "necessities" for us. And now ya'll have probably officially labeled me as that "crunchy, granola mom," but that's okay. Hopefully my child will survive without all the gizmos and gadgets. ;-)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Baby Stiller - Week 34

Week 34 (2010.06.01) FINAL

Two weeks late. But I was sporting our nursery colors - yellow and gray!  

You are also getting a glimpse of my summer uniform: tank tops and shorts. I come home from work and promptly put this on - in different colors of course - and sit under the fan. 

Welcome to summer in Texas Baby!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

still:image photography - Mandy's Bridals

I've always wanted a sister.

And now I have the cutest one.

To see all of Mandy's bridals (including her gorgeous gun-totin' and haybale-climbin' self) visit still:image photography.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Labor & Delivery Resources - Part 2 - Fun Recommendations

Okay, after all of those books what else could I possibly have time for in regards to learning about childbirth? All of the fun stuff!

Here I'll share some of the fun resources I've come across regarding pregnancy and becoming a parent.


  • Pregtastic - This is a podcast I found on iTunes by pregnant women for pregnant women. I am not a podcast kind of girl. It's all I can do to make it through one sermon - so the fact that I'm recommending a podcast to you tells you a) that it's good and b) it really captivated me.

    I didn't listen to these podcasts in order, instead, I went through the iTunes archives and downloaded the episodes that I wanted to learn more about: water birth, epidurals, strollers, baby registries, Birthing from Within, the Bradley method, etc.

    It seems that Pregtastic has covered every topic possible. They also podcast various birth stories from the women on their show, which was an encouraging reminder to me that women survive childbirth every day!

Nursery & Decorating Ideas:

These were a few blogs that I was particularly inspired by and from which I stole most of my creative ideas.
Photography Inspiration:
I'd love to know of any other fun pregnancy/childbirth resources ya'll have come across and LOVE!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Childbirth Resources - Part 1 - Book Recommendations

I've done alot of reading this pregnancy and people have asked my thoughts.  This is post one of two on pregnancy resources I'd recommend. This post will highlight books only - since I have quite a few thoughts and titles. The next post will highlight other resources I found useful.

Books I read that I would HIGHLY recommend:

  • Your Best Birth by Ricki Lake
    Don't worry - Danny gave me enough grief about reading a birthing book by Ricki Lake that he saved all of ya'll the trouble. However, I didn't really know where else to start, I'd already watched her video (The Business of Being Born) months and months ago, and I ended up LOVING this book. It was an very readable, understandable introduction to childbirth. I thought it was would bash me over the head with natural childbirth, but I feel like it gave a very unbiased presentation of all types of childbirth (hospital, c-section, birthing center, etc.), which is why it was such a fabulous first read. It gave me a great overview and things to think about.

  • Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way by Susan McCutcheon
    If you are thinking of having a natural/unmedicated childbirth you really shoudl read this book. I was forewarned (and very rightly sow) about the graphic pictures, but other than those I LOVED this book. It was the most practical and easy to understand book about how to prepare for the pain and endurance of labor.

    It gave a great overview of what goes on in your body during labor/delivery (most of which I had no idea), gave great explanations of the entier childbirth process, and then walked you step-by-step on positions, techniques and things to practice in order to be prepared for labor.  This book and our Bradley birthing classes calmed all of my fears about labor/delivery and have transformed our attitudes about childbirth from apprehension to excitement.

  • Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
    I could not put this book down. I absolutely LOVED all of the birth stories in the first half of the book. They were emotional, encouraging and inspiring. They also contained so many practical tips on getting through labor and delivery that I was taking notes the entire time.  The second half of the book was a very practical guide to having a natural/unmedicated labor & delivery. It is written from the perspective of women who give birth with midwives at home (or on the Farm) but I think most of the pain coping techniques are applicable even if you plan on having an epidural at the hospital. Ina May also gives a pretty good overview of risks and complications associated with different childbirth procedures.

  • The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer
    This book contained tons of data and statistics and was also quite biased towards natural births at home - so it was a little tedious to get into. However, if you like stats and facts, then this might be a great read for you.

    Once I got into it though, this book provided a very thorough overview of the different birthing options and included some great questions to ask doulas, doctors, midwives, hospitals, birthing centers, etc.

    This was one of the last books I read, so it affirmed our desires to have an unmedicated birth, so if you're planning on delivery in a hospital with pain medication or a c-section you might not enjoy this read as much.

    Books I read that I might recommend if you're wanting to go more indepth:

    • Husband-Coached Childbirth by Robert BradleyThis was the second book I read on childbirth and I wish I would have put it more towards the bottom of the stack. Not because it wasn't good, it is just very indepth, very historical and was a little intense to get through and understand for someone without much understanding/background of labor/delivery. It did have some very prenatal exercises/stretchs/positions that were good and also briefly covered some pain-coping techniques. But overall, it was more about the history of the Bradley method than about practical tips for a pregnant mom.
    Books on fitness/exercise during pregnancy:

    • Maternal Fitness by Julie Tupler
      This was a great resource for mainting strength and endurance during pregnancy. My doctor told me I could continue running and working out up until delivery (obviously he's never run with a bowling ball in his belly before), so I wanted to do some research on exercise and physical fitness that was safe for a growing belly. The basic exercises/stretches were great and easy to do before bed. I also appreciated that she emphasized strengthening my core in preparation labor.
    • The Alexander Technique Birth Book by Ilana Machover
      This book starts out with an overview of the Alexander Technique (simple movesments to ease physical strain). It was a little slow to read at first, but half-way through it gave GREAT descriptions of childbirth and provided cooping techniques that lined up with what I'd read in the Bradley books and Maternal Fitness. I felt confident in the exercises and stretches I was doing every day after reading about them in three different sources.
    Books that I still want to read on childbirth (let me know if you've read any of these, or if you have any good recommendations that aren't on my list!)

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