it’s a…


breastfeeding laws by state

I happened upon this compilation of breastfeeding laws by state and current as of June 2009 on Nursing Freedom’s site today. Check it out and see what the laws protecting you are where you live. I’m proud of Georgia’s laws (the first one below in particular — the “may” language in the second isn’t very helpful) and will be keeping a copy of them in my diaper bag should I ever need to make someone aware of them once the baby comes. Wow, and upon exploring their site further I just found that they sell laminated, state-specific cards for breastfeeding moms. I may just pick up one of those!

Ga. Code Ann. § 31-1-9 (Lexis 2009) provides that the breastfeeding of a baby is an important and basic act of nurture which should be encouraged in the interests of maternal and child health. A mother may breastfeed her baby in any location where the mother and baby are otherwise authorized to be.

Ga. Code Ann. § 34-1-6 (Lexis 2009) permits employers to provide reasonable, unpaid break time for employees to express breast milk and provides that employers may make reasonable efforts to provide a private location other than a toilet stall for an employee to express milk.

I am a pretty shy person in ways and will likely be pretty modest about breastfeeding in public, but I support a mom and baby’s right to nurse whenever and wherever they need to, and with whatever form of cover-up or NOT that they choose. (This is the cover up that, for now, I have chosen.) In my opinion, there is nothing lewd about public breastfeeding. We (myself included) have sexualized the breast and nipple because we’ve never or rarely been exposed to them in instances not related to sex. Well guess what? The breast’s number one purpose is to feed our babies.

16 weeks

As of yesterday and this photo, I am 16 weeks pregnant! Hurray hurrah!

16 weeks

My bump is definitely appearing. Here’s an interesting bare belly side-by-side that may make it even more apparent (or you may be thinking, girl, it’s already obvious you’re getting the belly!) 😉 Take a look at my 12-week and 16-week bare belly photos that I sent to my best friend (no, these bare belly shots did NOT make it on Facebook – ha!):

12 week vs 16 week

I am feeling really good. This week I am starting a water aerobics class through Oh Baby! Fitness, a metro Atlanta company that offers  both pregnancy and mom and baby workout classes. I hope Midz and I both like the class. Also, only TWO MORE DAYS — literally 48 hours from the time I am writing this post — until we will be going into our appointment to hopefully find out Baby Midz’s gender. I hope the ultrasound tech is able to tell and that we are able to announce it early to our family. They will be so surprised because they think we aren’t finding out for another 3.5 weeks.

Since our last appointment with the midwife group on Monday, I’ve also been researching the childbirth classes we are going to take. I have Hubby and I signed up for the water birth class at our hospital, which we need to do even if we decide to not to do a water birth — if I decide to even labor in the tub I need to have taken that class. We’re also going to a “meet the doulas” tea to just see if it’s something that makes sense for us. If we had stayed with my high-intervention OB group (eek!) I would have ABSOLUTELY hired a doula, but I’m not sure if we need one now. I feel very confident in my body’s abilities and in Bill being my support through labor. I am interested in learning more though and, alternatively, in considering not only a labor doula but a postpartum doula.

Finally, for the bulk of our childbirth classes I looked into several childbirth class options. In the end, we’ve decided to go with Confident Childbirth of Atlanta. I liked a couple things about their approach. First, part of their philosophy is that they approach childbirth and labor as a state of wellness, not something to fix or be corrected. They believe a woman’s body knows what to do, as do I. Second, they combine several different methods of coping techniques (Lamaze, Bradley method, and hypnobirthing, among others) so you learn several different methods and can find the combination that works for you. This makes sense to me because I believe people have all sorts of ways of learning, coping, and relaxing. What works for me may not work for you. So I’m glad to try several options as none of these has stood out to me in particular. What childbirth classes did you take or have you taken? Did you find that a particular method helped you during labor?

I will update you all this weekend….hopefully right after we find out whether BABY MIDZ IS A BOY OR GIRL! Any final guesses?!?? They started out leaning heavily toward the girl side…now opinions are very split!

Much love —

15 weeks, 2 days, and happy

As of a couple days ago, I am 15 weeks pregnant. Yay! Here are some things I am happy about this week:

  1. I finished reading Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding (this is after finishing Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth a week or two ago.) I highly recommend both of these books to anyone exploring their options for childbirth and/or who are interested in breastfeeding. Whether you want a natural childbirth like I do or not, I believe Ina May can truly help you feel like your body is strong and powerful, and not to be afraid of labor. I felt so empowered after reading these books. They are two of the best I have read so far during my pregnancy (particularly the childbirth book.)
  2. I am grateful that I was not raised to fear childbirth. This is something Ina May Gaskin mentions in the childbirth book I referenced above — the fact that we as a society, through stories from woman to woman as well as the media, have made childbirth out to be something we should be terrified of. I remember my mom used to tell me that childbirth is not like it is in the movies, with women screaming and writhing in agony. (Now I don’t mean to offend you if your experience was like this, and I know everyone is different.) But the point is that stuck with me, and I have never grown up being afraid of having a baby. All I felt was that sure, it will hurt, but the end result is amazing and so worth it. I am so grateful I was not raised to fear this experience.
  3. My husband and I are going on one of our twice-a-year shamanic/spiritual retreats this weekend. The location has been moved to one that’s only one hour away instead of about four, and that makes me very happy. I’m also looking forward to seeing some of my friends who are part of the group and spending a weekend that always leaves me feeling very grounded and refreshed.
  4. My husband and I are a unified team. We ran into some conflict this week with his sister, which I don’t want to get into on here. She is wonderful and I love her, but it was a rough day. I’m so grateful that my husband and I are consistently on the same page when it comes to the big things in life.
  5. I can feel my uterus. I just realized this last night. Up until then I’d been wondering, what the heck does a uterus feel like? Well, it feels firm. I started at my bellybutton, pushing down and feeling the softness of my flesh and the organs beneath. Then, continuing to poke and push, I moved my fingers down and down until they were three or four inches below my bellybutton. All of a sudden, the texture changed. It’s pretty amazing.
  6. We have our next appointment with the midwife group Monday morning at 8:30. I can’t wait! I hope we can hear the baby’s heartbeat on the Doppler for the first time that day; we should be able to.
  7. We made an appointment at one of those early gender-ID ultrasound places and are going next Saturday, August 28! We will be 16.5 weeks then. I hope they get the baby’s gender right, but we can definitely confirm at our 20-week anatomy scan ultrasound through the midwife group. Someone I work with recommended this ultrasound place to me, and they have a great accuracy rate and all their ultrasound techs have at least 10 years of experience. We can’t wait, because our family thinks we are not going to find out the gender until late September. Boy, are they in for a surprise on Saturday!
  8. Next Tuesday is my birthday! That’s right! I will be 28.
  9. September 6 is Hubby’s birthday! He will be 32.
  10. Just because I feel like I can’t stop at number nine, hmmm…well, I bought some monkey onesies at Target yesterday because I just couldn’t resist them! They are so tiny and cute.

Life is so good right now. I am so happy and thankful. I hope you are all having a great week.

14 weeks, 1 day…and planning

I’ve felt a serious lack of motivation lately when it comes to my blogging, and I know it’s showing. I’m sorry. I will try to do better. There is something in particular that I think will help, and it’s first on my list of things I want to have completed by the time the baby gets here in February. Here’s the short list (really in no particular order):

  1. Get a desktop computer and printer – Right now my husband and I each have a laptop, but they are always unplugged and tucked into a corner of our second bedroom in our small condo. The second bedroom is currently essentially the cat room. This makes me never want to pull out the laptop to the living room, where we get on the computer, because it involves dragging the laptop and multiple cords, hooking them in, yada yada yada. My Internet craving is appeased by the use of my iPhone, but it’s hard  to blog on there (typing with thumbs? Yeah, no matter how used to it I become, it’s still hard.) I want a desktop that can be permanently set up. I want to install my Adobe Creative Suites software on it so it’s easier to use (using that on a laptop with no mouse is also hard for me.) Finally, I want a printer at home so I’m not stuck wanting to print things once I’m home with the baby and not able to.
  2. Sell our condo – I will pee my pants, probably literally, if we sell our condo before the baby comes. This would be, like, the most amazing pre-baby present from the universe ever. Hubby and I want to be in a house so bad it almost hurts. If we sell our place before the baby comes, we will rent a place somewhere in Atlanta, probably for six months or so, and then get serious about making our move to Asheville.
  3. Trade in my car – Right now I drive a two-door, 2000 Toyota Solara. I am thinking leaning over into the backseat of a two-door car will not be very conducive to avoiding back injury as I put baby in and out of the carseat, so we are getting rid of the old gal. And I have decided I want a used Honda CRV. At first I thought I wanted a Sequoia or something ginormous, “with at least seven seatbelts,” I told hubby, “so we have room for all our kids AND their friends.” Hubby — ever the practical one, isn’t he?!? — reminded me that we will not be able to populate seven seatbelts anytime soon. Also, I have never driven a big car. So going with the small SUV makes sense to me. I have only ever owned a Toyota, but I would feel comfortable with a Honda as well. I’ve decided I want black and maybe a leather interior, just because I’ve never had leather in my car before. I want at least a 2007 because I believe that’s when the CRV started implementing the LATCH system in all its rear seats. I haven’t done much research about LATCH yet, but couldn’t hurt!
  4. Make all our “minimalist baby” purchases – Okay, don’t get me wrong. I am making NO claims to be a minimalist…but I like the idea, and I like leaning in that direction. Since hubby and I met, we’ve seriously cleaned out our lives. This has meant donating dozens and dozens of bags of clothing, household items, shoes, jewelry — you name it, really — to the Atlanta arm of a national organization we believe in called the IRC. (They’re awesome, check them out — they may be in the city where you live as well. They help refugee families relocate into the US, and become independent and self sufficient in their new homes.) Anyways, back to what I was saying. Now, when it comes to baby purchases, we’re going to be going fairly minimalist. I won’t say we’re truly going minimalist, because a true minimalist would laugh at the list of items I’ve come up with so far. But we’re trying to really think this through and not get things we don’t need. I’m coming up with what I think, for us, will be a really great list, and I enlisted the help of one of my best friends and my mom to help me think through our items. When I’m done, I’ll share it with you here.
  5. Create my home management binder – I got this idea from a blog I just started reading called Want What You Have. If you are a planner, check. out. her. blog. The tools she shares are, in my opinion, incredible. And the beauty of it is you can take what works for you and leave the rest. I was most impressed with her home management binder. If this is something that interests you, you can find all her posts on this topic by scrolling down her main blog page, and under “Blog Index” where it says “Select Label,” pick “Inside the Guide.” She has 26 posts on how to create this amazing home management binder that works for you and contains the things  that you need to keep your life in order. I think this could work for you whether you will be (or are) a stay-at-home mom or whether you juggle outside work and family. I am a huge list-making nerd, so I am looking forward to buying a three-ring binder and sheet protectors, and getting this party started!

I’ve had some fears about staying home after the baby comes. Oh, did I ever tell you that? Yes, I am staying home after baby comes. I am afraid I’ll be lonely, or bored. Or that I’ll slip into a funk and not get off the couch, shower, or do the things I need to do. To avoid this, I know I need the items I mentioned on my list above. I also need:

  1. To make friends and continue to enrich the friendships I currently have, including and most importantly the one I have with my husband (this includes the romance, too – bow chicka wow wow)
  2. To organize my life and create a work schedule, so I don’t feel either a) overwhelmed and like there’s too much on my plate so instead I’ll do nothing, or b) like my new existence at home is purposeless, thus also leading me to become a blob and do nothing
  3. To keep pursuing my current hobbies, explore new ones, and enjoy me time

So there you have it. My plan leading up to baby and my plan for post-baby sanity, in a nutshell. And how am I feeling at 14 weeks, 1 day? Wonderful. I hope this baby is feeling as good as I am. ❤

13 weeks, 1 day, and thankful

Yesterday I hit the lovely 13 weeks pregnant mark, and by just about any pregnancy calendar, that puts me in the second trimester. And that puts baby at the size of a peach or a medium-sized shrimp, about 3 inches long from head to little rump.

How do I feel?

Lately, thankful. So far this pregnancy has been a breeze, and I am grateful. My spirituality is a kind of unique thing in that I don’t believe in a supreme being, so sometimes when I say I’m grateful I wonder who I’m saying it to. Grateful to my body? The universe? This baby? I think I’m grateful to all of these things, just like when I eat I’m grateful to and thankful for the food itself that gave up its life for me, the soil it grew in, the sun that shone on it, the water that it drank from, the person who picked it, and all those other steps along the way that brought it to my table. The list could go on for a while.

So there’s my tangent on what being grateful and thankful means to me, which I didn’t mean to go off on but there you have it. And I’m it.

I have felt so good. I am truly enjoying being pregnant. My belly is starting to get fuller, which I like. I want it to be even more so. Right now it’s just that, “have you put on a few in the midsection or what?” kind of look going on. I am less tired than I was in the first trimester, although I’m still valuing my sleep and usually go to bed by ten every night for a solid nine hours of sleep.

My husband is the sweetest, most understanding person I have ever met. He not only tolerates but embraces my weekly crying meltdowns, whether they’re over the AT&T inauguration commercial or over the fact that he’s not ready to talk baby furniture yet — although he will talk baby and raising baby all day long.

We’re in a good place emotionally, financially, physically, spiritually, mentally…I feel really good. I hope baby is feeling good in my belly, too.