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January 08, 2008

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chelsa

Hi. I got to your blog through a really random, unrelated google search, but I had gestational diabetes during both of my pregnancies, so I thought I would pass along what I learned about aspartame, etc. while I was here: According to my team of experts, most artificial sweeteners are probably fine, especially in limited quantities, but there is some question about their long-term effects. My midwives recommended splenda, which I guess is less questionable because it is made from sugar, rather than being wholly artificial. The kinds of sodas that you can get that are made with splenda are somewhat limited, but they do have Coke, 7up, and pepsi. I hope that that helps, and good luck with the rest of your pregnancy!

Sarah

I've found no indication from medical sources that artificial sweeteners pose any known risk in pregnancy. Consider that unless you're eating completely organic unprocessed food, there's all sorts of other chemicals already in your food in the form of dyes and preservatives. On the other hand, as a chemist, I've got more of a cavalier attitude regarding chemicals than most. Splenda starts out its life as a sugar molecule, but it's chemically transformed such that it is really no more "natural" than aspartame.

On that same note, it's generally accepted that highlights are okay while pregnant. There's very little chemical to scalp contact with highlights. Root processing is a little more controversial.

Feeling the baby move? Early 2nd trimester. Felt like gas bubbles at first, then like butterflies, but really strong butterflies.

I show really early, so I was in the "too bloated for regular pants and maternity pants are silly with all their excess room stage" approximately 10 minutes after the positive pregnancy test. Passed the "is she pregnant or did she eat too many Twinkies" stage mid 2nd trimester. I know of women who were hard to guess up until month 8 though. It really depends on body shape and how you carry.

MrsSSG

I also drank about 1-2 cans of diet coke a day.....my doc had no problem with it -- Hair color: I foiled every 6-8 weeks and never found a good article/research not to. -- Baby moving is amazing, I think I felt the first bubbles around 18-20 weeks but it was questionable (gas bubbles or babe bubbles?) -- it is just like they say....flutters.

so excited for you!

Bethany

As an adoptee and an adoptive mother from Russia, this is a two part answer.

As far as my story. I've just always "known". It was never intoduced as a thing that was a big deal, just something that made me extra special.

What I'm doing with my son. Well, we talk about Russia around him, discuss his story with friends and family. When it comes time to really make him aware of it, he will already have heard the word "adoption" and "Russia". It wil be a slow revelation and awakening to the subject. We won't sit down and have an "official" conversation about it, but he will always know through our discussions that he can ask any question he wants and we will give him a truthful answer.

Please contact me if you want more details. I'm happy to share. I just don't want to write a novel here. :)

I'm so glad you're back blogging. I've really missed reading your writing.

jenn

I can't speak for any of the preganancy stuff, but I can tell you about my conversations with my son. (My daughter is only 1...)

I have explained adoption to our son and I still don't think he's grasped the whole concept yet. He's 5. At this point, he'll listen for a few minutes when I talk to him about it but he'll change the subject after 3 or 4 minutes. He went with us when we went to Guatemala to pick up his sister. It's almost like he completely understands Em's adoption but when it comes to his, it's almost like he doesn't want to talk about it yet. I don't want to push info on him, but I do want him to know that I/we will always be here to listen to him and answer any questions we can. Sam never grieved that I observed, but Em has. Em was seriously grieving for the first 4 months she was home. She rarely smiled and in the middle of the night, she would cry in this wounded way that would break my heart in a million pieces. That part of the grieving process seems to be over now, but we will be prepared (as best we can) when/if it happens in the future.

Julie

I think you are fine with the 1 soda a day and aspartame. I highlighted my hair regularly after 14 weeks - my Dr was fine with it. I felt my first move aroun 20-22 weeks, but possibly felt it before then, but just didn't know what it was. I think it feels like butterflies at first. When you get huge ans start to noticably feel and see elbows and feet, it's incredible and uncomfortable all at once. First pregnancy you won't "show" until about 6 months or so - unless you wear noticable maternity stuff to show it off. I felt like people could have mistaken me for eating an extra dessert every night rather than being pregnant, so I started wearing maternity clothes before I really needed to :).

OH - BTW - my older brother and sister were adopted and I was a surprise. I don't know how my parents told my brother and sister, but I do know that they always knew. I know my parents started telling them early. My siblings and I are very close (have a younger brother as well who was surprise #2) and while we don't look related by blood, I often forget that when filling out family history at the Dr office. Other than the fact that we don't look alike, there is nothing at all that would lead you to believe some of us were adopted and some of us weren't. When I was born, my older brother was 3 and my sister was 1.

Best of luck and congratulations! Enjoy your daughter and your pregnancy!

kari

i have no idea on soda, hair or adoption ... but i started to feel the baby move in my two pregnancies right around where you are now. it sort of feels like fluttering, and sometimes like gas bubbles. it seems like a few more weeks, maybe another month, before the movements become obviously not gas. which leads to poop. i know you said no comments, but i had on vaginal delivery and it did not happen to me. so there's hope!

Amy

Adoption: Sounds like you're doing all the right things to me. The only thing I have noticed with adopted children is; that parents tend to forget in a few years once they have passed the "always known" part. As they get to be teens it becomes important again. They are searching for their identity. Acknowledging that something (a like or dislike etc.) may have come from their first mother and their birth heritage is important then too.
I know a lot of parents socialize with other Chinese adoptees, keeping that up would be helpful too.

Annika

I have no clue about the aspertame, but I would avoid it because I err on the side of caution nutritionally even when I am not pregnant.

I never colored my hair while I was pregnant but I imagine it's fine with foils and ventilation.

I felt the baby (or at least my uterus) by about 10 weeks and felt definite movement at 19 weeks when I inadvertantly drank some caffeine for the first time in - er, I guess about 19 weeks. The first felt like... um, how do I say this without sounding like a gigantic hippie? It felt like a presence. And I could feel my uterus expanding, which sounds gross but I found really cool. The 19-week movement felt like THE ENTIRE CIRCUS WAS VISITING.

I think I showed for sure at about 15 weeks, though I'm sure some people weren't positive until 18-20 weeks.

Amy

Can only help you with #3 and #4 or the pregnancy questions! #3 - started to feel the baby move around 16 to 17 weeks with first pregnancy. If feels like gas bubbles or butterflies in your stomach at first. I became obviously preganant around 22 weeks. It seemed like overnight my stomach just popped.
As for #1 and #2, I would suggest you ask your ob. I drank about 1 diet soda per day and my doctor was aware of that and didn't object.

Pascha

I first felt my daughter move when I was around 16 weeks. It felt like I was being tickled from the inside. I was actually laughing out loud because it tickled so much. Everyone shows at different times. I'm 5'3, and was 130 when I got pregnant. (Long story short: horrible hyperemesis, lost 21 pounds between my 7th and 9th week of pregnancy, hospitalized for two weeks, and had a PICC line, TPN and lipids, and a zofran pump hooked up to me 24/7 until I was 6 months pregnant--talk about carrying a load around. That was when I was finally back up to my pre-pregnancy weight.) I started showing around 5 1/2-6 months.

Getting highlights are fine.

My doctor actually RECOMMENDED that I have at least 1-2 caffeine sodas per day while I was pregnant. I had horrible migraines and the medication I took for it wasn't safe during pregnancy. She said caffeine can help with the migraines since I couldn't take anything. During the last few weeks of my pregnancy, I just slowly cut back so she wouldn't have caffeine withdrawal. She's 5 1/2 months now, and totally fine. :)

I know you said to leave the poop part out, but you might WANT to hear this: I was TERRIFIED of pooping on the table. It mortified me to even think about it--and I can pee openly and even "toot" freely in front of my husband. And you know what? When I was pushing, it never once occurred to me that it might happen. Believe me, you'll be too busy doing other things for it to even occur to you.

Jenny

Soda - I had high blood pressure during my first pregnancy and the doc suggested I could take medicine or have one caffeinated beverage a day. Obviously, I chose the Coke. Since then I've switched to the caffeine-free version and that's what I'm drinking with my second.
Feeling the baby - first pregnancy was about 18-20 weeks, for the second one I started feeling the little twitters around 12 weeks.
Pooping – My husband was so impressed with watching me squeeze out a baby that I got a free pass on *all sorts* of things for quite a while afterwards. Maybe your free pass will include him telling you that you, amazingly, didn’t poop on the table.

Samantha

#2 - highlighting/dying your hair. Perfectly ok. It might not come out as you wanted, hormones can mess with hair dye, but it does no harm to the baby. My mom is a hairstylist, and I'm DYING for her to hit me up with some highlights in a week or so.

#3 - I felt the baby pretty early. It feels like little butterfly flutters or pops. It can also feel.. don't make too much fun of me, like a tick.. you know how you can have a tick in your eye or leg or something.. sometimes it felt like a tick in my tummy.

#4 - starting to show. I started showing, where people asked if I was preggo around 6 months. But I also wore maternity clothes at around 4, cause I wanted people to know I was pregnant, not eating too many donuts.

Orodemniades

I identified the kid moving for sure at 16w, but had felt the gas bubbles from, oh, week 11 or so. At 16w he was just kind of...I dunno, pokey? It felt like a muscle twitch, nothing that would make you sit up and think HEY THAT'S A BABY!

As for showing, I'm a fat chick, but I had a substantial bump by week 10, and now it's bigger, although I think most people just think I'm really fat now.

And diet soda? ew.

Woody's Girl

I have always loved Diet Coke (or Diet Pepsi... no particular allegiance), so faced a similar dilemma when I (finally!) became pregnant. A dear friend of mine - who is in the medical field - gave me her two cents: there are so many MORE harmful things you could do to your growing fetus, like crack for instance, that artificial sweeteners pale in comparison. Besides, no medical studies have PROVEN any ill effects. Everything in moderation, I say.

As to the adoption stuff... we were blessed with conception after 5+ years of IF treatments, concurrent with our second adoption. So yeah... I feel qualified to comment on those questions. Our daughters are now 6.75 yrs, 4.5 yrs and 4 yrs, respectively (youngest being our bio-daughter). They have "all" heard their various stories of how they came into our family. Both adoptions were "domestic, at birth," so slightly different than MP's, but same kettle of fish. My oldest daughter sometimes comments that she wishes she was born from my belly as opposed to S*, but I think that's really just her way of expressing how deeply she loves me. I am quick to point out that we were blessed EQUALLY with each of them... just via different avenues. And I also mention that they (oldest two girls) are very lucky to have EXTRA people who love them (meaning their families of birth, whether or not they are people with whom we actually have contact).

I have confidence that you will handle MP's eventual questions with finesse. Just be sure you KEEP TALKING about adoption, in language she can understand at the time. Elaborate with more details as she gets older. For instance, we homeschool now, and when we are working on geography, my girls are able to point out on a map where each was born. As soon as my oldest was able to grasp general family dynamics, I made sure to emphasize her BIRTH parents as being parallel to Mommy/Daddy, same for g'parents, etc. To me, the most important thing is to make sure you don't "wait" to tell your child their adoption story. That leaves the door open for them to worry that it's something about which to be ashamed, as if you "hid" it from them for years or something.

17 weeks already?!?! WOW! That's so awesome, Karen. You should definitely be feeling movement now... feels much like an eye twitch. Except in your stomach.

Amy

Before having baby #1 I too kept all bodily functions pretty private from hubby. Then we went to the hospital to have a baby! Although I told him not to watch the actual birth he HAD to, (I didn't). We both survived just fine, so will you two :)

It is an amazing experience. I envy you.

No assvice on adoption as I never have. I am sure with all the love and attention you give MP she will have no problem with the concept; she will know that she was VERY much wanted and that has to feel good.


Diana

Adoption:We met Ava when she was 23 months old (about a year and a half ago now). She's now three. We look at the pictures from the orphanage that were taken with the disposable cameras we took, and talk about her nannies all the time and how much they loved her and took care of her (I truly believe that based on video and pictures we've seen). We didn't get to visit the orphanage, but some incredibly kind person from our Yahoo email group sent us a video of the place so we watch that and talk about her "home" in China.

Ava now tells me how she "grew up a little bit in China", which sort of breaks my heart because she did. She also knows about 7 girls who are also adopted from China and she likes to say, "I born in China just like _________, _____________, and _______________." If we tell her something is from China, she says, "Yeah, just like me." No grief whatsoever at 3 years old, but a definite understanding that it is a different place. My friend's 4 year old always tells her that she missed her China mom. I'm not sure what I'll do with that. I'm not even sure we're doing the right thing, but I know MP is a little younger than Ava and you can probably expect this level of understanding at 3 or maybe even more.
Ava like to pretend to be my baby and I think that's really healthy since she missed out on that. I would "baby" MP when she needs it and encourage the "big girl" when appropriate, too.
Sorry for the rambling :)

Julia

This is a cute story that doesn't really answer your question, but my mom has 4 adopted daughters, who are currently 6, 5, 5 and 3. (The 5 year olds will be 6 in a couple weeks.)

The older ones have only recently really begun to talk about adoption, but have said the cutest things. My sister-in-law was nine months pregnant and miserable and one of the girls said, "When I grow up, I"m going to adopt, so I don't have to look like that."

And one of them was annoyed at the baby recently and instead of the normal "Why'd you even have her!" that kids love, she said "Why'd you even adopt her!"

I find it adorable.

But no grief yet.

Diana

Also sorry for all the grammatical errors above, geez.

Mia C.

You can tell Random for me (or don't) that with all the other stuff that will be coming out of you, it is more than likely HIM that will be freaked out- My water broke early, and every time they checked my cervix there was fluid and blood gushing out of me, freaking my husband out. Not that I could see and not that I could care, because you know, UNCOMFORTABLE. And the smells! HAHAHA! You will be too busy to notice, but he won't, because all the bodily fluids, they are not for the faint of heart. Don't worry, Random will get his!!!

JMW

1. I didn't drink diet soda because of the caffeine, my dr said it was bad for the baby, but I am sure one soda a day won't hurt.

2. Yes. Colour your hair.

3. I felt baby move at 23 weeks. It felt like gas!

4. People could tell I was pregnant by about 18 weeks because I have a short stubby body. Before that, I just looked like I suddenly had inexplicably enormous breasts.

Congratulations!

Lucky

RE: movement - it was around 16 weeks for me. It felt like butterflies.

RE: showing - I was SURE I would show early (mostly due to no sucking-it-in anymore) ... and while I hit the can't button-my-pants phase early I didn't truly show until I was around 28 weeks! It killed me! I wanted people giving up their seats to me on the bus and all. But no. I am only 5'3" but curvy - so maybe that's why.

P--p, bloody show ... wait 'til she hears about the mucous plug, people ...

Allison

I hope you don't poop on the table... I was petrified of that too, luckily I ended up having a c/s so it was a non-issue.

Anyhoo, my doc was perfectly fine w/ me drinking 1-2 cans of diet soda a day. I colored my hair all throughout my pregnancy with the blessing of my doc. I felt my first move around 23 weeks or so and I felt my second move around 20-21 weeks. Took FOREVER! I didn't get remarks until I was ready to pop... I think people were too polite to say anything... of course when they finally did start speaking up it was constant comments of "you sure you only have one in there?"

WKN

PG answers:
1. I drink regular soda and cut it out during my pgs. I think you're probably safe with diet.
2. I believe I read highlights are okay, dyes are not.
3. Hmmm, so long ago... At first it felt like little bubbles (16 weeks), then I felt the for-sure movement about 20 weeks.
4. 20 weeks

Adoption answers:
1. She's still too young (almost 2)
2. I don't know, I think it's when she's sleeping
3. I made her a ABC adoption book with pictures from our time China. She really doesn't understand yet, but she loves to look at the pictures and name everything.

Aurelia

Motherisk says that hair color whether it's highlights or root color is fine, no evidence of harm with normal commercially available stuff. Some of the "all-natural" stuff, especially the dark black colors has been found to contain lead, but that would be dangerous for you as well as the baby, so stick with the corporate stuff.
Aspartame, no issues, unless you are filling up on pop, and missing out on other stuff, like milk and juice. One a day is no biggie.

With a first pregnancy, I felt the baby move about 16-17 weeks if I was lying still and drank some juice. This time, it started about 12 weeks or so.

For showing, first pregnancy, I showed about 16-17 weeks. This time? 9 weeks.

I understand about the poo fear, but just tell your L&D nurse, and she'll either clear it away before you see or Random sees, or she'll make Random be absolutely silent on the subject. And after seeing you give birth? He'll be so in awe of it all, he'll be quiet forever. My husband used to be very very squeamish, but not anymore. Now, he's so kind about it he insists it's no big deal and is wonderful. And I'll bet Random will be kind too.

I'm adopted, so about those questions--keep telling her early and answer her questions as much as you can. She's going to be jealous of the new baby just as she would like an adopted sibling, but it may not be a big deal until she's 10 or 11, when other kids talk about it. Even then, as long as you keep saying that it's just two different ways to join a family and one way isn't better than the other way, it might help take the hot air out of the future sibling fights.

Just be open to hearing her grief, now, or in the teenage years, and make it clear that no matter what, it's okay to tell you how she feels. Some adoptive parents say they are okay to hearing it, but their faces show a different reaction. And so most adoptees learn like I did, that we have to cover up our feelings and be the "grateful adoptee". Which really sucks...it's a great gift to a child if they can tell their adoptive parent everything they think and know that they don't have to take care of the adoptive parents feelings, or worry about hurting them. Adoptee grief is the same as other kinds of grief, don't deny it, or minimize it, pretend it away.

Just abide with her.

illahee

1. i drank diet soda all through my pregnancies, everything seems normal so far.

2. probably ok to color your hair. i didn't do it, but that's because i was so busy all the time!

3. baby #1 felt like someone was poking my in the back, just above my right kidney, with their finger, at 18 weeks. felt kinda short-changed in that i didn't feel butterflies. babies #2 & #3 felt like butterflies in my lower abdomen at about 20 weeks.

4. i am super fat and many people didn't even know i was pregnant until about 35 weeks or so. *cries* i even had a couple of people give me the, 'i didn't know you were pregnant!' line after i gave birth to #2. *sigh*

Sarah

1. Diet soda. It was my personal choice not to drink this, but each to their own and limited quantities I think are fine
2. Hair Colour. Foils are fine, some say dye is fine too as the chemicals in them have changed since the days when they said not to, personal choice I guess again. Also is more important in the first trimester
3. When did you start to feel the baby move, and what did it feel like? I was about 18 weeks, the first movements were like a gentle tapping on my insides, or what I would liken to someone opening a diet coke inside me
4. When did you start to show so that other people noticed you were pregnant without you telling them or prompting them? I think I was around 20 weeks, but am a bigger girl so fat disguised the bump!

Elaine

This is total assvice on adoption, since I'm neither adopted nor have an adopted child (at this point), but it sounds as if you're doing the right thing. I always knew about sex because my parents explained it honestly, in age-comprehensible words, whenever I asked, and that's the way MP needs to grow up with her adoption, just as a matter of fact. Thank God people don't hide adoption the way they once did. I have a friend who found out as an adult that the man he'd thought was his bio father was actually his stepfather/adoptive father, and it was a shock that took years to get over.

As for sibling rivalry and the new baby, here's something my mother used: when she nursed my younger brother (we're 18 months apart), she'd do it in a big chair so I could snuggle in with her, and open a book on her lap. She'd read to me as she fed my brother, so his feedings were never a "separate" time for me. I imagine this worked at least partly because he was a second child and also an incredible feeder, but a variation might create some nice time for the THREE of you and help keep MP from feeling left out.

Chickenpig

I felt movement like bubbles under the skin at 15 weeks.

Diet soda isn't good for you, whether pregnant or not. When you're pregnant, though, it's putting empty calories into your body which you really don't need, especially as you get bigger and the room for food shrinks. I carried twin boys to 38 weeks, weighing in at 6 lbs 9 oz and 7 lbs 1 oz...without so much as a touch of diabetes or high blood pressure. You're better off reaching for a carbonated or mineral water, with or without natural flavoring when you have the urge.

I hear that the temporary colorings for your hair are pretty harmless, but if you can do it in a salon without a lot of other ppl getting treated or at home you're better off. The fumes in there aren't very good for you at peak times, even if not pregnant.

I was pregnant with twins, and I didn't look pregnant until the 5th month, and then I looked suddenly pregnant. I'm now 10 weeks pregnant with #3, and my pants are already too tight and I look bulgy already.

It's going to be hard row to hoe with the adoption and biological issue of your blended family. Not with you...but with everyone else. Your eldest will be asked why she doesn't look like your youngest, rude ppl will ask you, in public, in front of your children stupid, stupid cruel questions like "Do you feel more complete now that you've had one of your own" and "Doesn't it always work that way?You adopt and then get pregnant" or "Are they both yours?" My husband and I are not adoptive parents, but we've gotten a lot of weird questions because we have twins, and they don't look anything alike. Be prepared for the rudeness, and prepare MP for the questions that could hurt her feelings. I'm sure you'll get some doozies...ppl are idiots when it comes to this stuff.

Carol

Hi!

With DD, I felt first bubbles/butterflies at 15 weeks, but I'm very skinny and was told that this is a factor in feeling movement. With DS, not until about 18 weeks, I think? (He was much less wiggly overall, during the entire pregnancy, than she was). I read that 18-22 weeks is average for feeling first movement, so I'm surprised that so many people responding to this felt it several weeks earlier.

I recently read of a link between aspartame and brain tumors (sorry to sound alarmist, but I'm just the messenger.......) Just google "brain tumor aspartame" and there are several links that you can evaluate for their credibility.

No experience with adoption. Most of my adoption knowledge comes from having read your blog for so long!

Sarah

Make sure MP knows she grew in your heart for as long as you waited for her and she is the special child that made you a Mommy in the first place. New Baby is growing in your tummy AND new baby is growing in MP's heart, too.

MsPrufrock

This couldn't be more cliche if I tried, but trust me, you won't care about pooping on the table. I don't do bathroom activities other than bathing in front of my husband, plus my labour was straightforward, but I wouldn't have cared if my entire vagina fell off. My husband avoided the business end throughout the labour, and would have mocked me for years had I pooped. That's the main reason I'm glad I didn't.

In regard to movement, I felt my daughter at about 15 weeks. In fact, by week 17 I could feel her externally and not long after that actually see body parts poking. My midwife insisted that I was making that up, but my husband would regularly feel her kicking/elbowing/headbutting at that stage, and I can't imagine he would have been able to feel "bubbles". However, I, like some of the other commentors, was unsure at first whether I was feeling baby movement or just wind. I thought it felt like fluttering, perhaps similar to a slight nervous feeling in the pit of your stomach.

As far as showing, I had the unpleasant gut thing going on from about 11 weeks. I told my boss at 13 weeks, fearful that my secret was out anyway. However, she claimed not to notice. I think it wasn't until about 18-19 weeks that anyone who didn't know felt bold enough to say something.

I've just noticed the whole don't-talk-about-poop thing. Oops.

ladylivewire

2. From what I've read you're totally safe, but be warned: I highlighted my hair before I knew I was pregnant and it did not take. At all. I've never had that happen before, but I've heard your hormones can affect how the dye works on you. So now I am afraid to do anymore coloring, lest I end up with a funky shade of orange or something.

3. At about 16 or 17 weeks, I felt tiny bubbles. It wasn't until week 20 that I felt movement that I knew was it--it felt like a guppy flopping around. By 22 weeks it felt like a goldfish, at now at 17 weeks, it feels like a freakin' salmon flipping around in there.

4. I have a long torso, and apparently that helps hide the baby well. I was probably close to 23 or 24 weeks before strangers could tell I was pregnant. People who know me knew sooner, though.

ladylivewire

Edit to above: "now at 27 weeks," not 17.

Melissa

Hi Karen. I am a diet soda addict too. I changed to drinking "Diet Rite" when pg as it has no caffine, no aspartame, no sodium, no carbs etc etc etc. It does have splenda. It took maybe 2 cans to get used to the taste, but then I was lovin it. :)

I'm also very tall and long in the torso. It took until 20 wks to really feel the babies moving for sure. Before then it was little flutters that honestly just felt like gas. Oh the joys! :)

Judi

I cannot read all the other comments sorry if I repeat. Adopted two from S. Korea then had a bio. baby. My girl was around the same age as yours when the baby came. I wish you could see me at the hospital when they met the baby, my 5 year old was grouchy (he knew what it meant to have a sibling) my just turned 3 year old daughter was beaming, she was so happy to have a baby in the house! Reality struck soon after and the baby is now 14 months and she is still adjusting. She regresses to a baby all the time and does mean stuff to her baby brother. It is SOOO hard for her not to be the baby anymore. I can only imagine, I was an only child and not sure I would want to be a middle child of two brothers.

As for the adoption stuff. I try to talk about it all the time. My son doesn't seem to upset by the whole thing, my daughter seems to young to understand it all. I talk about it a lot so we acknowledge the whole thing and I want them to talk about their issues. At now 6 & 4 they still haven't had a huge crying melting down episode because they realize they are adopted. All children are different and as a parent you need to be prepared.

As for looking pregnant. NO ONE came up to me and said anything until the very very end. I guess no one wants to offend you in case you are just getting fat. :-)

lisa

Ooh, I love giving assvice when it's asked for.

1. I gave up Diet Coke until around 28 weeks, when I began to drink one every few days. Before that I drank a cup of coffee a day with Splenda. I wasn't told anything by my doctor but everything turned out okay so I would say you're fine.

2. Definitely safe to color your hair. I think any risk is in the first trimester.

3. I started to feel movement around 19-20 weeks, it felt like little gas bubbles. It's the weirdest feeling and you will probably wonder if you actually felt movement for awhile before you're certain. Real, definite movement was felt at 20-21 weeks.

4. The first stranger who congratulated me on my pregnancy without me telling them was around 21 weeks. I still just looked kinda fat so I think she was taking a risk but she said it definitely looked like pregnant belly.

Arwen

I don't think I had anyone notice or comment on my belly until about 25 weeks, and up until I gave birth at 38.5 weeks I constantly had people refusing to believe that I was as far along as I was. My guess is you might have the same experience. I'm tall (5'9") like you and I've noticed that tall women tend to show their pregnancies later and less. Maybe because the baby has more room to spread out or something?

kristylynne

Can't help you on the diet soda, except to say that I don't think any carbonated beverage that comes in a can can really be good for you. I don't like the stuff, personally, so I'm the wrong person to ask. Coffee is my poison, and I gave it up for infertility treatments and PG.

Hair color: I think if it's professionally done highlights, and they don't let any of the goo get on your scalp, you're OK.

Movement: I swear I started to feel it at 13 weeks, but I hear that's early. It felt like tickling from the inside. I was in maternity clothes by that time but not because I was "showing," but because I couldn't fit in anything else. I started looking PG to others probably around 4 months.

carole

i have avoided coloring my hair in my last three pregnancies and have now decided that was insane. i will be coloring my hair shortly (and hoping at the same time that my current kinda-pregnant state sticks).

as for showing: with pg #1 i was barely showing at 17 weeks (more to me than to anybody else). it showed in my breasts, and i when i went in to get a bra fitting (a TREMENDOUS LUXURY which i HIGHLY RECOMMEND!) the fitting woman chuckled at me when she commented that if i thought i was big it must be my first pregnancy. sadly, the baby was delivered less than a week later.

with pg #2 other pregnant women started referring to my baby bump around 16 weeks. i had lost a lot of weight after pg #1 and was 15 pounds thinner than usual, so my tummy poofed out quickly relative to the rest of me. it just got bigger from there and i was bullet-shaped by the end.

with pg #3 somebody at work asked me -- out loud and in front of other people -- whether i was pregnant at 13 weeks. ACK! so i guess i was showing enough to raise people's suspicions, even though i wasn't yet wearing maternity clothes.

from all of these experiences i would say that my body shape has a lot to do with it. i'm tall and pretty thin, and when i'm especially thin the tummy is more obvious, earlier on.

i never felt baby #1 move until i delivered her. with baby #2 i recognized movement around week 20, but the sensations were the same as i'd been having for about 2 weeks, i just identified them as digestion. i felt baby #3 move at about 16 weeks. and baby #4? i was in bed last night and felt a funny feeling and thought omg! it's the baby! and then had to remind myself that i'm roughly 4w3d and if it was the baby i'm in big, big trouble.

hope you love that growing little bump.

--c.

ps--i agree that you should baby mp as much as she asks for it, and treat her like a big girl when she's in that mood. i don't know this from personal experience, but so many moms talk about older sibs regressing when a new baby comes home; i guess there's a chance that mp, being "babied" now, might feel more secure and able to shift between her old role and her new role when the baby comes if you help her feel ok with both roles now. but what the hell do i know.

Tine

I'm neither a midwife nor a doc, nor a soda addict, nor a hair-colorer. But...I've done TONS of research on stuff like this, thanks to editing dozens of pregnancy books during my career. Based on my reading, I'd say:

1.1 can of diet soda per day is probably fine.
2. Yes.

And from my own PG experiences:
3. Around 17 wks. w/ kid#1. Around 20 wks. w/ kid#2 (anterior placenta...harder to detect movement).
4. Around 20 wks. w/ both kids. (I lost many pounds and looked like death at the beginning of both PGs, so people were more likely to think my problem was cancer or some other horrible thing, not pregnancy.)

libby

Like the others - yay! Assvice!

Everything in moderation. A diet soda a day is fine, I'm sure. I drank one cup of coffee a day until my 2nd trimester, when I inexplicably [and sadly] lost my taste for it. I know it didn't have aspertame in it, but plenty of stuff I ate did have it.

I highlighted right through the pregnancy. My dr said it was fine, and my stylist pointed out that all the women in the salon were mothers, and they had to handle the product all day long, as well as breathe the fumes.

Felt movement pretty early - 16-17 weeks had the little bubbles. However, didn't LOOK pregnant until I was like 8 months. I'm not kidding. I'm tall, and not skinny [not fat either, but no rail here.] and have that 'apple' shape that is all the rage in the cardiac ward, so unless I wore my knocked up tee, everyone just assumed I had gained some weight and thickened up. I finally started only wearing empire tops and talked very loudly about the baby. That seemed to clue people in.

beverly

I have talked to Glenys from day one. We read books about adoption and everything. She knows where she came from and that she has a foster mom in China and a daddy in China. She doesn't understand the whole birth mom thing yet but I am not pregnant nor do I plan to be. What you describe keeps me from getting there. I learned in 11th grade human phys I didn't ever want to go through it. Congrats! on the new birth.

Beverly

J

I stayed away from soda when I was pregnant. Not on the advice of a doctor or anything, just because it didn't seem right. I still drank coffee, but made it half-caff. I still craved bubbles, but I got myself addicted to San Pellegrino Limonata when I was pg, so getting my bubbles while avoiding soda was easy.

My OB told me that hair coloring was no longer considered dangerous in pregnancy, and I most definitely acted on that one. If my face had to be bloated up to the size and shape of a basketball, it was at least going to be framed by lovely, gray-free hair, thankyouverymuch.

I hit a point right around the middle of my pregnancy -- about 5 months -- where I started looking like I had a beer belly. It was horrible. I didn't look pregnant at all, just fat. Maternity clothes were still ridiculously big & baggy on me, but my regular clothes didn't fit anymore. I had a skirt with a drawstring waist and a pair of elastic pants, and I wore those suckers with a maternity t-shirt every day for about a month before I actually started looking pregnant.

I really don't remember when I started feeling kicks. I do remember it felt like gas at first. Bubbly sort of. By the last month or so though, you could actually see the little monkey's foot poking out in my belly when he kicked me. It was a really weird feeling that I never got used to.

Kristy

1. I drank diet soda while PG. My Dr. said you would have to drink 20+ cases a day to have any damage to the baby. She did the research in college apparently. She said if my heart starts racing or I feel jittery to cut back. Otherwise it is fiiiiine.

2.My best friend is my beautician and was pg at the same time I was. Ours boys were born 2 days appart. She said as long as you are not doing all over color, you're fine. Highlights/touch-up are ok because not too much touches your scalp.

3.I felt definate movement at about 19 weeks. I was sitting in the tub and felt these weird worm type movements. Really hard to explain it. It wasn't a kick, just a wriggly type feeling. Almost like gas bubbles.

4.I think I was about 16 weeks when people noticed without my prompting. It really depended on the shirt I wore.

Michelle

Just a quick comment - I disagree with the person who said you won't care about pooping. I was SO worried about it that I seriously think it made my labor last longer because I didn't push as hard as I should have. If you do find a way not to worry about it, that would be great, but I have no idea how you make yourself stop thinking about it.

Oh, and color your hair. I truly believe that there are certain people who create things for pregnant women to worry about - including hair color, a little caffiene, and occasional sushi, none of which are big deals IMO.

S.

As a former Diet Pepsi addict, I quit with my first pregnancy because it was really adding to the nausea and eventually the heartburn. Not sure if you are still dealing with the nausea, but quitting may help.

By the way, I never drank the diet stuff again. I do have a regular soda every once in a while. Whether proven or not, my assvice would be to give it up -- the aspartame cannot be good for you or your baby.


Steph

Diet Soda/Asking Doctor: I took the "don't ask, don't tell" route. I had my one diet soda a day and didn't worry about it. So far only 3 out of my four kids are developmentally delayed. Just kidding.

Hair: Had it done once during pregnancy. Did actually ask. My doc didn't think it was a big deal.

Movement: Varied with each kid. Actually felt the first one earliest.. about 14 weeks. The others between 17-20 weeks.

Unmistakably pregnant: After 25 weeks. Prior to that I could've (and probably did) pass for extra chubby.

One more potty thing: Way worse than pooping on the table was the nurses' *insistence* that they be in the bathroom with me for my first few post-delivery pees. That really irked me. I mean, I get it.. they want to make sure I didn't bleed out or fall and clunk my head on the toilet while still unsteady after childbirth. But I get some serious stage fright when asked to urinate with an audience. By kid number three, I went rebel and just declined to page the nurses when I had to go potty. Bleeding out be damned.

OmegaMom

No assvice on the pregnancy side, but plenty on the adoption side!

When did your child begin to understand what adoption was and what it meant? - I'd say she was around 4 when it really sunk in. I had written a very basic "lifebook" for her, telling her story, and made sure I had the difference between "born to" and "adopted" nailed down. The unexpected side effect was that or weeks, she'd squat, screech, and then stand up happily going, "Here's my baby! Isn't she great?!" But she still assumes that kids join families via adoption, rather than birth.

Did your child feel grief? If so, when did that begin? - No real "grief" yet, but definitely an "I miss my birthmother" stage started when she was about 5. From what I've heard, the actual realization that "being adopted means someone gave me up" starts around 7 years old, which is when anger/grief/etc. get all mixed up.

How do you address the adoption story? - I started telling her adoption story from the day we brought her home. I felt it would make it easier for me to talk about her birthfamily, and it has. As she grew and matured, I'd add more and more to the story--fewer sing-songy details, more details on China, the orphanage, her birthmother, etc. She's at a stage where we're now talking about *why* her birth family might have left her, and about the one-child rule, which is very difficult for her to comprehend or think is very fair.

Anyway, the main thing is to be there, to tell the story early and often in an age-appropriate manner, and to be open (really open!) to talk about birth family.

Andrea

I feel like I'm full of information on how to make labor more diginified. Again, I know some people don't care, but if you do... here is another tip. Of course they have you in some nasty hospital gown during labor that someone else has birthed in. Unless you go butt nekkid during labor, which I know some women do. "More comfy" they say. Not for me! I recently read a review on a trashy celeb site about these pretty hospital gowns you can buy (in a choice of patterns!) then you will have your own personal pretty, clean, modest hospital gown (modest for when you are walking around). They even have matching robes!

Here is the website:

http://www.dearjohnnies.com/products.php

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