Adventures along the journey to parenthood

Archive for December, 2011

A few more holiday photos…

bouquet of gifts

Christmas dinner with Ted's parents

Ted's favorite gift --- no pressure Pancake!

the kitty babies napping in the crib

Another great Christmas tree - one of my favorite things about the holidays. An elderly woman sells them out of her yard a few blocks from us.

A holiday portrait of Grace and her babies... our last year of the traditional Christmas overnight and morning at our parents' house.


Merry Christmas, from Pancake

Christmas day marks 7 months of pregnancy — and that means there’s only 9 more weeks to go! It’s hard to believe he’ll be here so soon. It’s exciting and scary at the same time. Pancake has been especially busy moving and grooving today. Either he’s really excited about Christmas or really excited about all the sugar I’ve been eating. 🙂 One night this past week was the first time we could definitely tell he was responding to us: Ted would place his hand on different areas of my belly and Pancake would follow his movements by pushing into Ted’s hand. Every movement is wonderful. My parents felt his movements for the first time today and I’m continually charmed by how excited my mother-in-law Missy gets each time she feels him squirm. Her mouth drops open and she gives me this look of amazement every time – she sat with her hand on my belly throughout an entire movie tonight. We’re excited to be interacting with our boy.

I got several wonderful gifts today, but the ones that brought me the most joy were the baby clothes, diapers and baby toy (thanks Donna!) I received.  I’ve been getting mushy over nativity scenes too. It’s full on y’all.

I’ve been bad about taking belly photos so we took a bunch today. Happy Holidays to you all!



Sleeping on the left

Sleep is increasingly a struggle (which is why I’m awake right now and writing this) and thus a topic of conversation. I’ve been surprised by how few people are familiar with the benefits of sleeping on your left side. I’ve done this since childhood whenever I have any sort of belly discomfort — I remember seeing something about it on the news at my grandparents house when I was really little. (Weird, the things we remember). So for those of you who have been asking, here’s some more info about it – Sleeping on the left can be beneficial for anyone, pregnant or not, and for pregnant women this is the recommended sleeping position.

New York Times: Lying on the Left Side Eases Heartburn

excerpt: “… sleeping position affects heartburn pain. Studies show that sleeping on your left side is best.

The reason is not entirely clear. One hypothesis holds that right-side sleeping relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter, between the stomach and the esophagus. Another holds that left-side sleeping keeps the junction between stomach and esophagus above the level of gastric acid.”

American Pregnancy Association: Sleep Positions During Pregnancy

excerpt: “The best sleep position during pregnancy is “SOS” (sleep on side). Even better is to sleep on your left side. Sleeping on your left side will increase the amount of blood and nutrients that reach the placenta and your baby. Keep your legs and knees bent and a pillow between your legs.”

The Guardian: Link Found Between Stillbirth and Sleeping Position in Pregnancy

excerpt: “Mothers who sleep on their back or right-hand side on the night before giving birth are twice as likely to have a stillborn child compared with those who slept on their left, according to a study.

Researchers found that the risk of stillbirth for those sleeping on the left side was 1.96 per 1,000 births, and 3.93 per 1,000 births for any other position.

Tomasina Stacey, a midwifery lecturer at University of Auckland, who led the study, cautioned pregnant women not to be over-concerned by the finding. “It was an observational study, not one that can show cause and effect – all it does is show an association. It would be premature to jump up and down and say that everyone has got to sleep on their left. It’s a starting point for future research.”….

“The researchers wanted to examine the effects of sleep disorders in pregnant women, such as sleep apnea or snoring, which could be a factor in stillbirths, because these conditions can reduce the amount of oxygen getting to the baby.

Instead, the study showed that sleep position on the night before birth was the decisive factor. Stacey said a possible explanation could be that when a woman does not sleep on her left side, the foetus could compress her inferior vena cava taking blood back to the heart, and a reduced flow means less oxygen gets to the mother’s – and in turn the baby’s – other organs.

“If you’ve got a strong healthy baby, then the slightly reduced blood flow is fine; but if you’ve got a baby that is compromised in some other way, then maybe that reduction in blood flow can be the tipping point,” said Stacey.

The left lateral position is known in clinical settings to be the optimal position for looking after a woman in labour and is associated with foetal wellbeing in labour, she added.”


Now that I’ve taken time to write this, maybe I can go back to sleep!

P.S. We’re at 30 weeks! Christmas day will mark 7 months. I’m gaining a pound a week now and I’m feeling the difference. Impressive belly photos coming soon.

Lil’ Drac

Lil’ Drac is the official name of our baby! Not really. It’s the name of this cute baby bat that Ted just showed me. You don’t have to be pregnant to find this video precious, right? Animals are cute. Baby animals are even cuter.
Whenever you need a baby animal fix, just visit

Preparing the nest

Ted’s aunt and grandmother hosted a lovely baby shower for us this past weekend. With each new blanket, sleep sack, and diaper it feels like this baby is a little more real and a little closer to gracing us with his presence. Who knew diapers could be so exciting?  They’re so little and cute!

It felt even more wonderful to be surrounded by such a loving and intelligent group of women who will make up our baby’s community. We know we can lean on them for support and so can our child for many years to come. This is certainly the best gift of all! Thank you Ma and Louise for hosting and for all your support.

Here’s a few photos of our progress as we set up Baby N’s temporary home in our bedroom for those first months. As you can see, the cats are already settled in.

Rex and Rose check out the pack and play

A mixture of new toys and old toys -- and the first outfit we bought for Pancake early in our pregnancy

nursery lamp from Missy

baby's first diapers!

Little Boots snuggling up with Emily's handmade blanket and pillow in the hand-me-down Nathanson/Slaven moses basket