Friday, July 29, 2011

Rockabye Belly

Yesterday we finally got our Belly Buds in the mail! These things are awesome.

They are normal headphones with a safe adhesive that makes them stick to your belly. This way, you can play the baby music in utero :)  Another cool thing is that it comes with a splitter so that you too, can listen to your ipod while your baby does as well.

I made a little play list to play to Poppy and right when i put the headphones on my tummy Poppy started to kick and move a lot.  It was bananas. I have 42 songs on the play list but here are some highlights:

  • Neon Bible, Arcade Fire
  • Codex, Radiohead
  • Fade Into You, Mazzy Star
  • Hoppipolla, Sigur Ros
  • How Soon is Now?, the Smiths
  • Ocean of Noise, Arcade Fire
  • Pink Moon, Nick Drake
  • Saeglopur, Sigur Ros
  • Wild Horses, The Sundays
  • Comfortably Numb, Pink Floyd
Any recommendations for additions to Poppy's play list??  We are trying to stay away from anything too fast-paced or heavy.

*photo courtesy of

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Boob Tales

The topic of breastfeeding has become quite politicized over the years.  There's the camp of folks who view breastfeeding in public as a lewd act, and then there are the lactivists who fight for a woman's right to feed/pump in public as well as in the work place.  In the 2010 health reform bill, section 4207 requires employers to allow break time for an employee to express milk for up to one year after the birth of a child--it's my understanding that this was a big deal.

As recently as this past February the news was buzzing over a store in London that started selling breast milk ice cream. There are also breast milk banks for women to donate their excess milk to with the milk serving various malnourished infants or infants with mothers who are unable to breastfeed. 

I've always been interested in breastfeeding.  I remember sitting in my Global Feminism class and listening to my professor talk about how in the 70's Nestle went into Harlem and other poor urban areas mostly occupied by African Americans and convinced them that breastfeeding was bad and that they should use their food stamps for the Nestle infant formula.  Apparently Nestle has done the same in parts of Africa. Now, there are efforts to get black women and other minority women to embrace breastfeeding, trying to pose a counter to the uber-aggressive marketing by the billion dollar infant formula industry, which apparently has also convinced hospitals to hand out its samples for free. It always comes down to money doesn't it?  "Screw what is best for mom and baby! We've got to increase our profits!"

Looking back, it seems as though we have come a long way.  Breastfeeding is more common and less demonized or shunned by society, and there are laws in place that allow women to breastfeed in public and laws that require employers to be flexible.  But something is still missing.  All of a sudden (and maybe this coincides with the big organic and local foods movement?) women are demonized for choosing NOT to breastfeed or for being unable to breastfeed after a gallant.

And I will be the first to admit that for a while I resented my mom for choosing not to breastfeed my brother and I.  But as I grow as a person and have read more and had friends with babies, I've come to realize that it's not always possible for women to breast feed. 

Recently, there was a great article on Jezebel about the realities many breastfeeding women face. It's a good article. you should check it out.

Any thoughts to share on the subject?  I plan to try to breastfeed and I know I will be very disappointed if for some reason I can't.  I wonder what the judgy lactivist people will think....

Friday, July 22, 2011

Women's Bodies are SO COOL.

So, I open an email from the bump that describes what is happening with little poppy at 5 weeks. I then decide to share this crazy-sauce information with my co-worker, Eazy-E (not the rapper).

me: "right now, as we speak, I am making a heart, liver, circulatory system and digestive system."
Eazy-E: "ew! you don't know how to make a heart!"
me: "I know! It's bananas!"

So, obviously, Eazy-E makes a good point. I am not a biologist, chemist, or doctor. I'm not even a trained mechanic and yet my body is assembling all of these vital organs and systems necessary to support a future person. Think about it. It's bananas.

While I am: typing an email to our consultants. My body is: creating a heart.
While I am: editing a report. My body is: working on the embryo's liver.

No wonder mysoginist men hate women--our bodies are AWESOME!  It's actually quite baffling that we didn't turn out to be the dominate sex (wink.)

Women can make a person--assembly included: heart, hands, feet, brain, liver, lungs, hair, eyes, etc.
We can also feed said person with our boobs (really hilarious when you consider this).

Ok, obviously I am not actually promoting female domination--I'm  a feminist afterall, not a man-hater. But it really makes ya wonder....

Thursday, July 21, 2011

crazy shit your body does while making a human

This weekend I got to spend two wonderful days with my amazing DC feminist ladies.  Every year we spend a weekend in super neato cabins along the Shenandoah River.  First of all, I just want to point out how important it is for women to have a support network of awesome, like-minded friends. I couldn't get through life without them.

On these trips we talk about various feminist issues, share feelings and update eachother on recent happenings in our lives.  Of this group of friends I am the first one stepping into motherhood, so naturally they had a lot of questions.  Talking about the ups and downs of pregnancy made me realize that unless you talk to your doc/midwife every day or read a lot of pregnancy-related books, there are a lot of things that happen during pregnancy that you just don't know about.

So, here is my list of "crazy shit your body does while making a human":
1. your tail-bone curves out to balance the weight of your belly as it grows
2. you breathe up to 40% more oxygen than non-pregnant folks
3. morning sickness is a myth--it can last all damn day and start at any point in the day
4. the bones in your feet lengthen and spread out to balance your weight
5. around the second trimester your digestion slows down to allow the baby to get more nutrients from your food. this means you can get constipated, resulting in feelings of utter joy when you finally do poop.
6. your nipples get bigger and darker
7. your blood vessels wide and thicken to bring blood away from your brain and down toward your uterus resulting in light-headedness and dizziness
8. you produce 3 to 4 extra pounds of blood
9. because of the extra blood production, your kidneys work harder and you pee a lot more (you also pee even more as the baby gets bigger because they put pressure on your bladder)
10. you produce more mucus--everywhere from your nose to your vagina. fun.
11. the circumference of your rib cage expands by 2 to 4 inches to accomodate your lung expansion.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Not fooled by the garden burger

For lunch today all I wanted was some meat covered in grease with more meat and maybe some potatoes. My bizarre pregnancy cravings are in full swing so I've been chowing down on ice cream, bbq, and other no-so-healthy food items.

BUT, today I decided to try and resist the prego tummy and be healthy.  I went next door to Java Green where the food is organic, vegetarian/vegan, local and sustainable.  Right up my ally!

I was wrong.  I got a garden burger--probably one of the best I've ever had, but Poppy wasn't fooled.  So now I am sitting here still hungry and craving real meat.

I totally identify with a recent story posted on Jezebel .  As I have mentioned, in my first trimester I lost weight and my doctors told me I need to start trying to eat to gain weight.  Now that my appetite has come back and the nausea is gone, I'm on my way to getting some resemblance of a baby bump, even though I haven't gained back all of what I had lost.

The other part of this story is that because of my build I am most certainly going to go past the 200lbs mark, which in the article is referred to as "pulling a deuce".  This totally freaked me out when I realized it, but I can't just not eat. At 19 weeks I don't think I look like a heifer but maybe I am wrong.  But then again, who cares?

Although I know that the "healthy" weight gain for pregnancy is 25-35lbs, it's hard to tell myself that when I'm in the middle of my passionate love affair with my bowl of ice cream. As the author of the article says

"Nowhere did it report, for instance, the truth — that I'd been taken hostage by a food beast. That my hunger would, at times, make me cartoonishly ravenous."

I figure as long as I keep taking long walks for exercise and semi-limit my sugar intake, I should be ok and will hopefully and most likely steer clear of gestational diabetes and other weight-related complications.

But I will be "dropping a deuce" I'm tall and a large woman....what's a gal to do?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Women + Less Education = More Children?

We've known for a while that women with more education have less children.  However, a recent article in Time magazine online puts a new spin on the fact based on a recent study: having children can affect a woman's access to education in the first place.

I often think about the South and how many of my friends began popping kids out in their late teens and early twenties--either before even going to college at all or right smack in the middle of their college years.  At first it really bothered me since I was on a set track to avoid childbearing until I had an established career.  Now I understand that for various reasons some women just want to get their childbearing over with at an earlier age. And they should have the right to do so without critique or ridicule. 

Unfortunately, we live in a society where the education track of young fathers isn't nearly as effected by children as that of young mothers.  Just watch an episode of Teen Mom for a nice pop-culture reference.

What would remedy this situation? Quality, affordable childcare for one, and access to affordable education as well. One day I hope this country will shift towards actually putting our money towards our touted "family values" and build and expand programs to allow women and children to thrive.

My partner and I are well-educated and have good paying jobs and I am still freaking out about the cost and availability (hello, wait-lists) of childcare. It's absolutely insane--yet we live in an economy that makes it almost impossible for a parent to stay home full-time to rear children. Also--my husband is working on his third degree (law school at night) and I have to say that I am wondering how having a new baby will affect his academic performance.  I know for sure that there is no way that I will be going back to school for a Master's Degree anytime soon. No way.  There are many moms out there that would love to go back to school but can't due to the financial burden (tuition and daycare) it would impose on their families.  It would be interesting to see a study that compares the level of education of young fathers--especially those that are able to continue going to school or even go back to school for higher degrees. I bet the data would be astonishing.

When will we live in a society that supports women to be able to attain an education while also mothering?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Moms Take Action

I'm on the list-serve for MomsRising, and got an alarming email today:

"6 months ago, a dangerous ingredient got added to the production chain of this previously nutritious and delicious warm weather snack: Methyl iodide. 
Methyl iodide is a cancer causing chemical that was approved for use in California agriculture. Already banned in New York and Washington, this chemical is linked to cancer, thyroid toxicity, and miscarriages. It’s time to take methyl iodide out of CA farms, before any more of this  dangerous chemical is used. Tell Governor Brown that we want safer strawberries for our families!"

Please take a moment and go here to tell the California Governor that we want safer produce!

Conversations with Poppy

Last night hubby and I settled into bed and I asked him to talk to Poppy.  Hubby leans over to my belly and says

"Poppy, I wish you weren't so close to mommy's yummy parts because when I come down here to talk to you I get distracted."

This wass of course followed by me laughing heartily for the next minute. :)  Hubby then proceeded to talk to Poppy about the events of the day and how we are so excited to move into our new home.

I love that man.