Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Birth survey

The lovely Kate over at Academic Ecology recently posted a link to The Birth Survey, run by the Coalition to Improve Maternity Services.  The survey is designed to collect detailed feedback on specific providers and hospitals/birthing centers in order to help women make educated decisions on where and with whom to give birth.

I never understood how profoundly the choice of provider could impact ones birthing experience until I gave birth to Bean.  Now the idea of informing and empowering women before and during the birth process is a subject that is near and dear to my heart.

So if you've given birth in the last three years, please go participate in the survey.  I think it will be a powerful resource for expectant mothers.

Big sister Bean

Thank you to everyone for your well wishes!  We have, in fact, told the Bean the happy news.  She’s too young to really understand.  She knows “there’s a baby in mama’s tummy” and she will put stuffed animals under her shirt and tell us that they are growing, but that’s about the level of her understanding.

My earliest memory is of being just about Bean’s age now (a little over 2 years old), and seeing my mother, very pregnant with my younger brother, getting out of the shower.  I remember being amazed at the size of her belly.  You’re fat” I told her.  And she gently reminded me (for no doubt the 8,000th time) that there was a baby in her tummy.  So yeah, I don’t have high expectations for Bean understanding the situation.

And to be fair, I didn’t really understand what it was to have a baby until Bean arrived.  And though she sort of understands the concept of brothers or sisters, I don’t expect that she will really know what it means to be a big sister until the baby starts drooling on all her stuff.

But, I hope Bean will get excited as the time nears.  7 months is a long time for her to work on “getting it”, and I’m sure the big sister books will help.  For right now though, I’m happy to let her enjoy being an only child for a little bit longer.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Back in the saddle... sort of

Some of you may have noticed that my running counter hasn't been ticking upwards for, oh, about 6 weeks.  Frankly, I've been too sick and exhausted to run, but it's for a happy reason.  Husband and I will be expecting our second little Bean in January 2010!

It's been a pretty rough first trimester (and I'm not out of the woods yet).  I don't remember being THIS exhausted or so darn sick with Bean.  But maybe that's just the hazy mommy memory (what?  labor was painful?  I don't remember that.).  It's also possible that experiencing first trimester woes was significantly different when I could baby myself all I wanted instead of chasing a toddler around.  

Either way, it's been tough.  But I seem to be through the worst of the nausea now.  And though I'm still ready to keel over and die of exhaustion at the end of each day, I've started some light running again this week.  Getting back to a more regular exercise routine is bound to make me feel better both mentally and physically and I hope I can keep it up.

The bonus is that 6 weeks of semi-forced rest seems to have allowed my shin splints to finally heal.  *knock on wood*

Anyway, we're pleased as punch.  It's a little strange being pregnant the second time and feeling like it's already so different from the first pregnancy.  All of my symptoms started earlier, including some very undesirable symptoms that didn't kick in until late in my first pregnancy.  I also don't feel as focused on or connected to the new baby yet, most likely because I'm so focused on and connected to the Bean.  That will probably change once I start feeling the baby move.

I also feel much more paranoid this time around.  I feel like the Bean came out so perfectly and there are so many things that can go wrong... how can we get that lucky twice?  We're doing prenatal tests this time that we didn't do with the Bean, to hopefully settle my nerves a bit.

But we're excited as heck.  I know the first couple of years managing two kids will be tough, but I know too what a gift our second little one will be.  

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Springtime "snow" storm

The cottonwoods in Dissertation City have started shedding their fluffy little seeds.  At my house, the trees are dropping their seeds so rapidly that the fluff is falling through the air like snow, accumulating in drifts in the parking lot and along the edge of the grass.  

Bean is very excited about this new development and for the last two days has wanted to "step in the fluff", as she puts it.  I was a little hesitant, as Bean has somewhat sensitive skin and I didn't know if it might irritate her little legs.  So last night I put her in her rainboots and she had a grand time stomping around, kicking up the fluffy seeds and squealing in delight.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Silence is the Enemy

I am shoulder-deep in really exciting data, but while my motif search is running, I wanted to take a quick moment to draw your attention to this piece in the New York Times, as well as an effort led by my favorite blogger Dr. Isis to not only raise awareness of the crisis in Liberia.

Dr. Isis has some excellent suggestions on how you can get involved, from donating to Doctors Without Borders to contacting your representatives in Congress.

Thank you to Dr. Isis and her fellow bloggers for highlighting this critical issue.