December 3, 2011

The week after birth – what no one tells you

If you don't want to read the truth about the week after birth, skip this post, but I know there are women out there who will appreciate this information, because I know I would have and no one tells you about it.

  • You will hurt. No one tells you how much you will hurt the first week after birth, and you will continue to hurt into the second week if you had anything less than a perfect birth. But you heal fast. I was ok by day 9. Plan for this. Have people there to support you with food, cleaning, laundry, and errands those first two weeks. Don't plan on giving all of those tasks to your partner. It’s critical that you and be be nested up in the bedroom able to focus on yourselves and the new baby those first two weeks – up to a month if possible.
  • You will be leaky. Yes, I said it! And here comes the best kept secret advice anyone gave me…
  • Buy one (1) package of Depends women's projective underwear (yes, adult diapers, lol). You will thank the lords above for this advice when the time comes. Wearing these are so convenient and allow you to recover and care for your newborn without added worry. They are like a wearable pad—not anything as bad as you think, and it's only for a few days. Ok, there, I said it. You can thank me later.
  • You will need information. Have reference books/manuals for how to take care of a newborn no matter how much studying you did or classes you took – your mind will not be able to process like it did prior to birth, and you have never done anything like this before. So have some good reference books on hand. (The Internet is horrible when you need reliable information fast.) Click here to see the books I recommend.
  • You may need external help with anything from newborn care, feeding, sleeping, pain control, or post-partum depression. Do not not try to do everything alone with your partner. Do not be afraid to reach out to a family member or friend, a healthcare provider, a lactation consultant, a lactation support group, or a post-partum doula. Too many people think they have to do everything alone--it's crazy! It would be wise to make a list of resources prior to having the baby, so that you don’t have to rack your brain trying to figure out who to call after the baby is born. But whatever you do, reach out to someone for any need - large or small. Anyone who has had a kid and caring service providers will bend over backwards to support you. They know how critical the first month is after birth. And just a little tip or encouragement here and there can help a lot, so reach out. Click here to see some great resources in Denver.
  • You will be waking up every 2-3 hours. It’s normal and can be debilitating. And it take its toll. But it will end. If you and your partner need sleep to be able to function, there are strategies. Call a family member or friend. Our post-partum doula helped us put a routine in place for us to get sleep. Yes, it can get that bad, but again, everything gets better.
  • You may need to feed your baby formula if breastfeeding doesn’t get going right away, so have bottles and formula on hand from day one and a breast pump to help get milk going. I recommend having powdered formula on hand for emergencies, because it can sit in your pantry. Liquid formula is more expensive and has no shelf life. If you end up needing formula regularly while getting breastfeeding going, you can switch to liquid later. Do not be afraid to give your baby formula; there is no such thing as nipple confusion for the first several months per our lactation consultant. Our baby went back and forth for 2 months while we worked out many breastfeeding issues.

August 3, 2011

Announcing Dylan James Moore!

[Here's the birth announcment written and sent by Dylan's daddy on 8/3/11.]
Hi Everyone!
(Sorry to take so long to get this update out, but this is the first opportunity I've had to sit down at the computer since our new little boy entered the world...)
Announcing Dylan James Moore! Born Sunday, July 31, 5:15 PM, weighing 7 pounds, 9.7 ounces. Both he and Mom had a tough go of it over the weekend, but both are doing well and on the road to recovery.

Stacy went into labor at 8:30p Saturday night. Our plan was to deliver with the midwives of Mountain Midwifery at The Birth Center here in Denver. Stacy, in classic Stacy fashion, was on target to break all land speed records for labor. She blew off the idea of "early labor" and jumped straight into "advanced labor" about thirty minutes after everything started. She was barreling towards the birth like a champ, but some unforeseen complications threw a wrench in the works, and we were moved to Swedish Medical Center at 8:00a Sunday morning.

Not being able to give birth in the fashion that we had both been so excited about was very trying for us, but we find ourselves now more committed than ever to raising Dylan in an atmosphere of wisdom, empowerment, and grace. We are still so grateful to have had the opportunity to pursue a natural birth, and everything that we learned while preparing for natural childbirth has served us well, even while we were in the hospital. For anyone considering their own birth plan, or for anyone just interested in birth stories, we would love to share with you the insights we gained from our experience in both the more natural and the more medical realms.
We love you all, and feel so blessed that Dylan will have the opportunity to discover all the amazing people we call friends and family.
Aaron (and Stacy and Dylan, who are snuggled together in bed resting right now... )

June 12, 2011

Belly mapping!

We’ve been learning about the importance of the fetal position for an easier birth and positions and exercises I can do to support our guy getting in the best position. The fun part of the process has been belly mapping to learn his position and being able to visualize he and his movements in my tummy, so I thought I’d share.
The best position for birth is head down, butt up, with back out opposite of mine; he can move into that position anytime, even a few minutes before birth. The position he is currently is a good position even if he never moved from it—with his head down, butt (“the bulge”) to the upper right, and legs to the upper left (see pic below).
When he was up high before last weekend, his legs didn’t have a lot on room to move, but I feel them on the left. Now that he’s moved down some since last weekend, he presses at least one foot pretty hard against my left side several times a day. I can feel the little foot bones with my hands. He must have more room to extend his legs now. It can feel quite concerning at times but is certainly part of the fun.
Below is a picture that resembles our guy’s position taken from the Web site. This Web site explains all about fetal positioning and belly mapping, if interested. The left picture below is easy to discern; the right is how belly mapping works–you draw out the types of movements you’re feeling and then map them to understand the baby’s position (on the left). 
Instructions for mapping:
  • The mother draws where she feels a bulge (the butt) and the firm side of the womb (the back/spine)
  • With words or with pictures, the mother or doula marks each quadrant where she feels:
  • The biggest kicks, (legs)
  • Smallest kicks or wiggles, (hands)
  • The firm back, A big bulge (butt), usually up top, or on one side or the other
  • If you know, circle where the head is, and
  • If you remember where the heartbeat was last heard, draws a heart there.
  • Leave out any parts you are unsure of, and just draw what you are sure of.

June 8, 2011

Going away on a vacation

I have had a hard time moving quickly through the work that needs to be done around the house to make room for our new permanent resident, and a harder time feeling like I’d be able to take some time off with Aaron before the kid comes—not easy for a super-duper-busy-body like me!

But almost the moment the kid came off my breathing hardware this past weekend (see previous post), I am moving a lot better and faster. I can see for the first time how I’m going to get everything done, and I WANT TO GET OUT OF TOWN! So, Aaron and I are off next week to spend some one-on-one time together.
Activities include:
  • A small road trip
  • Stopping at our favorite truck stop for literally the best cinnamon roll on earth and maybe a Mr. Ed breakfast if we’re really hungry
  • Soaking/swimming in a bunch of natural lukewarm hot spring pools
  • Light hiking with our dog able to be legally off leash on private land
  • Seeing the summer home of a colony (estimated between 100,000 to 250,000) of Mexican free-tail bats (the northernmost and largest bat colony known in North America)
  • Eating our favorite whole foods
  • Enjoying amazing views and a very rustic cabin in the middle of nowhere

This is the place I’ve gone for years to get deep rest and rejuvenation. I wasn’t sure we’d be able to make it before the kid got here, and now that we are, I couldn’t be more happy—just in the nick of time too, because I wouldn’t feel comfortable going so far come a few weeks from now. And someday, I can’t wait to bring the kid too!

Interesting development this weekend – baby dropped!

I have been carrying very high and experiencing a ton of pressure and pain in my upper tummy. So much that almost two months ago, I had to stop core exercises like yoga and have had to spend a lot of time laying on my side resting my belly. I’d dread sitting up in bed and doing other simple things. I think oxygen was an issue too, because I’d get worn out so easily–more than we felt was normal, even for a pregnant gal.

Over the weekend, the baby dropped a few inches and although there are new sensations lower in my abdomen, such as added pressure on my bladder, I haven’t felt this overall good and agile in a while. It’s amazing. I can breathe, I can move, and feel I can pick up on and vary my exercise again.

What I think happened is that the fella simply ran out of room being that high. He has largely been in the same main position. When he’d move, I could feel him all the way across my belly—pretty high up on one side down a little to my other side.

I remember him moving around a lot this Friday and Saturday night, and by Sunday, I felt like a brand new human being when I woke up. I thought I had gotten the best sleep ever and didn’t have a clue until my neighbor saw me and said my stomach looked like it was sitting lower—mystery solved!

Now, I know the little man is still growing, so I assume he will fill up the new position he’s in, but in the meantime, I’m sure he and I are going to enjoy this new lease on life while we can! Little guy is pressing a foot against me as I write. Awe.

PS  Babies drop in the whom anywhere from around 30 wks to a few hours before birth, so this was totally healthy (and fortuitous timing for a vacation.)

June 1, 2011

Baby room theme: woodlands

It was between a rockets-and-robots theme and forest animals, and forest animals won out! We’re going to save rockets and robots for when he’s older.

Here are some pics and links to items we’ll be decorating with. (I have to admit, that I am thinking about putting a couple robots in the background of the woodland scene—‘cause I can.)
 •Interesting research behind the design:
 •A piece of framed art to match:–wl/gid–683dce4713a11cf0/p12278832-sa/posters.htm?isV=Y&RFID=&PODConfigID=&ui=71B4B1A00995419AA8A756AFCE500626

Update: Right before the baby was born, and after several long, analytical conversations, hubby and I changed the theme to pirates. We debated going with the nice sophistication and furriness of forest animals and a world we both grew up in (the mountains of Colorado) with the adventure and fun and more varied theme of pirates!

With pirates, you can do so many more animals -- from the ocean world to the tropics not to mention boats, and the kicker for me was being able to decorate with anything you could call a treasure. For example, the baby's room now has several pieces of art, including specials valentines and cards and paintings on the wall we've received from friends over many years. Things that are special to us, which brighten his room, from people we can't wait for him to meet. And well, he'll fit right into the theme, because he'll be the biggest treasure of all. So last minute change to the nursery theme: PIRATES! ARG BABY!

Pregnancy brain

I swore I’d never use pregnancy brain as an excuse, but I have to admit, it sometimes comes in handy. (And um, it’s sorta real, especially in the third trimester.)

Kid saves husband from wife’s wrath, and he’s not even born yet

Aaron doesn’t know, but I was mad at him tonight. He’s not here; he’s out playing trivia with a group of nerds. (Lucky I love nerds, or that might have not sounded like an endearing comment.)

Anyway, I was mad, because I had to ask him to do something I think he should have done without me asking. That happens sometimes. I think people should just be on top of stuff, and instead of being okay making requests, I get annoyed and make them wrong. Sometimes I know better and let it go, and sometimes, I cause trouble and do a little of what you call, nagging.

Well tonight, I was feeling annoyed—like why should I have to ask for a bike to be moved from the middle of the living room to the garage, how long would it have taken if I said nothing. Then, as I have been doing lately, I thought about being a mom, and I thought about having two boys around, and I saw that a lot more of my life is probably going to be asking boys to do things, especially when it comes to putting things away—and I envisioned my choices: I could be miserable feeling like I should not have to make requests, or I could just plan on making requests—perhaps all of the time—for a long time as long as I can see into the future.

I didn’t get resigned about it; I just chose that that’s probably going to be part of being a mom, as it is a wife, lol, and I’d rather just ask then be miserable and make others miserable too.

Win for husband. And he can thank in unborn child, lol.

May 12, 2011

Listen up kid…

…if you ever read this, your mom is listening to a Stanton Warriors station on Pandora that your dad created for her and just got done listening to a kick-butt Crystal Method song, Uberzone, Timo Mass, and now Paul Van Dyk, and expects you to have just as good taste in music if not better. Feel those vibrations, and don’t disappoint! Love you already. :)

Hello third trimester!

What a ride being pregnant has been. They aren’t kidding when they say each trimester is unique.

The second trimester was a breeze, to say the least. Emotions—although high—evened out. The cute baby bump arrived, and no more feeling exhausted and nauseous.

Awe, the glorious second trimester, without warning, with no sweet good-byes—is now gone.

And right on schedule—realized within days by checking the calendar to investigate what the hell hit me—welcome the third trimester.

The wild-chipmunk emotions I know so well from the beginning of second trimester are back (at least I don’t have to get to know them again; just have to adjust to them again), a sudden “large-ness” feeling has arrived (insert sarcastic yay), and a tiredness has come upon me again—like wham!

Good news is, no nausea like the first trimester (so already, third is waaaay better than the first); the kid is growing rapidly, and I am starting to feel his true form, which is fun; and we’re well on our way to meet the little guy!

PS  The wild chipmunk is a single-car roller coaster at Lakeside Amusement Park in Denver that takes lots of tight turns and bunny hops, obscured upon approach, switching between high lateral g-forces and abrupt negative vertical g-forces—thanks Wikipedia—that was a perfect description for describing the emotions!

May 5, 2011

From OB to nurse-midwife

Aaron and I switched prenatal care providers this week. We were working with a traditional OB/GYN. Perfectly capable and nice, but she spent 15 minutes with us at a time and was short in describing only a few possible ways birth could go.

We didn’t feel right for a while, and it’s not because we were working with a doctor or have to have a natural birth. It was because she wouldn’t freely discuss options with us.

So, we searched and searched the OB pool for someone who would be our partner throughout the process—someone who would contribute their invaluable background and experience to our ability to learn and make choices. And although I’m sure there are some OBs out there who would have worked ok for us, given the variables—hospital, insurance, and just plain timing—we just didn’t find one.

In the back of my mind, I was always fascinated by the idea of Mountain Midwifery, Colorado’s only birth center. Not because I was out to have a natural birth, but because of how clear they were in discussing all the possible options and outcomes around having a baby, and that’s why we switch to them.

Other reasons we feel really great about the choice is that they allow you total freedom of movement during labor, (the Children’s hospital in Aurora has similar options, but they are too far away). They have also created a community that Aaron and I both feel really comfortable with—where education, conversation, and mindfulness is present—and where we’re meeting others who were looking for the same thing.

Mountain Midwifery offers totally natural birth, to alternative medicines and herbs, to traditional medicine and techniques. And they are very specific about who they take—you have to be healthy with no issues that would categorize you as high risk. And if an issue comes up before birth, you can tap into their pool of traditional OBs who understand the birth center model, and therefore a model of thinking that works for us. And if something comes up during birth, it’s just a 3-minute ride to Swedish on the same block, and your midwife take you over.

So, that’s our current path. More to come. We start our first baby classes end of month!

April 13, 2011

Fish Bowl Belly

Our little daredevil is approximately 1 foot long now. We were watching a comedy show a few nights ago, and I was laughing hysterically, and all of the sudden, I felt his full body squirm inside me. That was probably the weirdest feeling yet. I was laying there explaining it to Aaron. It felt like a squirmy fish or eel was moving all around and my belly was the fish bowl. Very strange and different than the feeling of kicking. The experiences continue.

April 6, 2011

Kicking (but not screaming, at least yet)

I started feeling kicks, which felt like a fluttery butterfly in my tummy, about a month ago, right when we were at our first music concert since I was pregnant. It was very cool. (See more about that in my “concert-going” post.)

A couple weeks ago, I started feeling real kicks on the inside that couldn’t be mistaken for a real being inside my tummy. Second best experience I’ve had since seeing the first ultrasound.

Since then, I’ve kept my hand on my tummy as much as possible looking forward to feeling the kicks on my hand, so that Aaron could experience them. (His reaction when I first started really showing about 4.5 months was, “wow, you’re really pregnant,” and I replied, “yes, thanks for catching up!” That was fun to see it become more real for him.

Well last night, in the middle of the night, Aaron had his arm up against me laying half-awake in bed, and he got kicked. He woke me up to tell me. It was so cool. Their first moment was alone together. (And Aaron got to feel a kick on the outside before I did!)

March 17, 2011


Both of us were excited to know the sex but not attached one way or the other. I think you can’t help but immediately think about the sex you’re not going to have right when you learn—but then you quickly just think about what you are having.

I was partial to a boy and Aaron to a girl. He helped raise his little brother and felt like a girl would be fun and new. He also thought having another me in the house would be fun, and I too thought having another him in the house would be fun thinking about a boy.

We also talked about the feeling of babies being little, cute, and cuddly—things that generally resembled girls not necessarily boys. Yet I’ve been confronted by the idea of raising a princess that required a lot of pink and frilly stuff. Just seems like raising a boy would have less societal pressure for some reason.

Plus, I just love boys. Most of them seem to love their moms, and as a mom, you get to remain queen of the household when you have boys. Hehe. It’s a boy!

March 16, 2011

A girl?

According to this Ancient Chinese Birth Gender Chart, given to me by a co-worker, per my age and the month we conceived, we are having a girl. It’s supposedly 99% accurate. We shall see this Thursday!

March 10, 2011

Second trimester fun: Baby bump, emotions, and UFOs

I don’t think I’ve written since I’ve been in my second trimester. Well, I’m in my second trimester!!

My favorite thing about the second trimester is that I don’t feel nauseous all the time anymore. I’m able to eat better and work out again and feel like myself.

However, I have grown a baby bump, so it’s not like I’m going to forget I’m pregnant.

And my body is changing again. Whereas nature built up some reserves before any real sign of baby during the first trimester (hence going from size 4 to 8 pant size almost immiediately), those reserves are now being tapped overtime to fuel rapid growth of the kid. I can actually feel my arms and legs getting smaller while my mid-section grows. Go kid—I’d rather you grow than my hips!

The challenges in the second trimester are emotions and losing buttons. I’m sure I had emotions in the first trimester, but they were probably masked by the nausea. These days, I can feel them hardcore. I usually embrace them and ride them out, and other times, I am abruptly reminded again, that nature is in charge.

Finally, the logistical issue of unexpected, unidentified flying objects (OFOs)—or not being able to close my pants without popping buttons. (Stayed tuned for a post about cutting off the tops of my fat pants and sewing on stretchy fabric.)

January 31, 2011

CYBERDOG — don’t mess!

Feast your eyes on our child’s first piece of clothing—Cyberdog! And straight from the UK no less. Thank you Aunt Molly and Uncle Bodhi!

January 24, 2011

The second you get pregnant, things do change

I hate to admit it, but things do change the second you get pregnant. Even though I understood on a basic level and always love my friends who got pregnant, I used to think they were sorta funny. They would not be as available, they would start doing other things, some of them would make major life changes. My impression was, you’re having a kid, why do you have to change your whole life?

Well, now that I’m in their shoes, you don’t have to change your “whole” life, but life does alter. I’m not talking about all the physical changes, but your future literally alters the instant you find out your pregnant. 

Where you could generally feel in control before, you’ve just entered into a whole new, unknown world. Your thoughts change–because your stream of consciousness changes. You evaluate time, money, relationships, your character, goals, and values–things you’ve had handled–it’s all thrown up in the air for re-evaluation.

And it’s crazy; it’s fun; it’s full of new perspectives, feelings, insights; it’s confronting, challenging, exciting. It’s an opportunity. It takes time. And that was probably what my friends were experiencing. Kinda cool.

Why Aaron wanted to have kids

Aaron purports to all that if it wasn’t for me, we may or may be having kids—that it was me who wanted them. However, if you dive a little deeper and ask him what having kids represented for him, you’d would be very touched. At least I am.

Aaron’s insight was that he could pretty much predict the rest of our life. To date, we’ve made things happen, we have fun, we are able to do a lot of the things we enjoy in life, but his point was, life is predictable. If we have kids, our future would not be predictable, and that would be an adventure.

January 21, 2011

Wow, love

I’m driving back from the Denver Tech Center this afternoon, on my way to an appointment, and I started listening to an audio book I downloaded earlier in the week on my iPhone, called Magical Beginnings, Enchanted Lives by Deepak Chopra.

The reason I was listening to this particular book is that it was the only one iTunes had for download, which was also sold and recommended by the prenatal yoga studio I’ve been going to.

The beginning was a bit touchy feely but eased up and started describing interesting details about the experience of growing inside the womb and connections baby makes with mom.

From early development, the temperature and comfort in the womb, to when the baby would start to smell and use its senses, to studies that show babies like food similar in taste after birth to what mom digests during pregnancy, to how baby experiences mom’s emotions…was all painted in vivid picture along with coaching, sort of guided meditation, for mom to connect with baby…and I was present, more than ever before, to the growing life inside me.

I probably got a fourth of the way through the book before I arrived at my appointment, where I had a 15-minute ultrasound -- I got to watch the baby for 15 minutes. Ultrasounds aren’t usually anywhere close to 15 minutes—they are usually much shorter—just quick check-ins to ensure everything is on track. But I got lucky.

15 minutes was long enough for it to seem like time stopped for a moment, for me to just watch, and I saw movement in my belly, settling and then wiggling, holding its own hands, crossing its legs, looking up, and more. And for the first time, I fell in love a little.

January 6, 2011

The alien graduates to daredevil status today

Our little daredevil hit a milestone today. He got his very first picture taken, and his heartbeat was visible through ultrasound. That means the little tyke successfully made it through what medical science states is the most critical phase of development. And so, we have graduated him from the alien feeding off my body to a welcomed daredevil in the making!

January 5, 2011

Today I learned my uterus is the size of a grapefruit

Per BabyCenter, my uterus went from the size of a tennis ball to the size of a grapefruit this week. What a strange and funny thought. But at least that’s clearer than last week, when it went from the size of a lemon to a tennis ball.

Uterus is the size of a grapefruit right now, and the baby is probably the size of that strawberry.

January 3, 2011

Because oxygen is necessary

I sit next to the kitchen area at work. From 11-1:30, the smells from microwave food have the potential to kill me. I do everything I can to breathe through my mouth, but it doesn’t take long to find myself not breathing at all. I’d leave for lunch, but I’d have to be gone longer than an hour.

Two potential solutions: Take laptop and hideout at local coffee shop and/or schedule all my project meetings during lunch time, so that I can be away from the kitchen, which will piss people off, but at least my precious alien will get the oxygen it needs to successfully develop some of its main organs.

January 2, 2011

A blast from the past – I got my old fat clothes out!!

I was 30 pounds heavier five years ago due to a slow and steady growth I undertook until I got out of grad school. Soon after grad school, as I started having more time, I looked at a picture of myself dancing at a friend’s birthday party, and I had an out-of-body experience. That girl is fat. That girl is not me.

After a few sad weeks of dwelling about how I had let myself go, I had an insight…the image in that picture was not a reflection of who I really am. Who I am is sexy and fit, and I knew that and was immediately inspired and in action researching how to eat right and get in shape. For a weeks, I was a bit lost in information overload reading the internet; I had never had to watch what I ate or exercise regularly (I didn’t even know how to really), but I didn’t give up.

Then my friend Michelle had her 40th birthday party. She had a major passion for cycling, so for her 40th, she created a charity where people could donate Bikes and local volunteers would fix them up and then they’d be given to less fortunate kids. Her party included a Chinese silent action to raise money, (like a normal silent auction, except instead of bidding, you buy raffle tickets and put as many as you want towards the item or items of your choice, later to have a chance to win the item.) The more tickets you applied to an item, the more chance you had to win it.

I was pondering down the tables looking at items to use my tickets on when I came across two free sessions with a personal trainer. I hadn’t even looked into personal training. I didn’t know anything about personal training, but I was so struck by the possibility of realizing my goal to get in shape, that I threw ALL my tickets in, (and I even bought more to up my chances to win).

Aaron was the DJ and MC for the party, so when it came time to complete the silent auction by choosing a winning ticket for each item, he was the one to do it! I was standing in front patiently, waiting for my item, and as Michelle handed him the bag for the personal training sessions, he said to the crowd in the microphone, “I know someone who wants to win this, and he looked at me.”

I was jumping up and down, and everyone knew everyone, so Aaron through in the comment, “and if she wins, I guess I win too – a  hot, new wife.” It was so meant to be! Aaron chose the winning ticket, and it was mine!! Everyone cheered hysterically, and I was ecstatic for this opportunity.

The personal trainer happened to be a good friend of Michelle’s who had helped her get into shape years ago, and she was at the party, so I got to meet her. She called about setting up our appointments soon after, and really, most of the rest is history. I ended up losing 30 pounds in four months. I learn how to eat right for the first time in my life, and I learn how to be active and never looked back.

Except today. Today I got out three plastic bins of my old fat clothes. The bins are even labeled, “Stacy’s fat clothes.” I kept them, because (1), I lost 30 pounds, the amount you generally gain during pregnancy, and (2), I had spent a lot of money them.

I’m glad I kept them. Most of my casual “fat pants” have awesome embroidery that must have been in five years ago, or maybe that’s what people in their 20’s like, lol. There are also lots of great work pants that are will in fashion, oh, and, there’s a pair of Citizens that I just loved and am looking forward to altering and wearing again.

What’s funny to envision is that once I get just a tad bit bigger, I’ll be wearing a lot of those fat clothes, which were my favorite clothes from when I was in my 20’s–that should certainly help me feel young at a time when it’s so easy to feel like you’re suddenly getting older.