"Ask me for strength and I will lend not only my hand, but also my heart."
~ Unknown

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Half Way!! Ultrasound Experience

Well at this point in my pregnancy I am 20 weeks and 1 day. At the half way mark!

My husband has been feeling the baby kick on a regular basis now and loves to poke my belly and wait and see if the baby responds. I am happy to feel some movement everyday. It's that one thing that I know will brighten my day.

Today I started my day by having some breakfast and then drinking a ton of water. I have no idea why they say you must drink that much water before an ultrasound but I must say it is crazy! It was extremely uncomfortable to sit with a full bladder and wait to get in for the ultrasound. At one point I looked at my husband and told him I couldn't wait any more and I just had to pee. My eyes started filling with tears as the cramping and pain felt unbearable. My husband hugged me and to help me keep my mind off of it played I spy. I know crazy game to play while waiting to see your baby for the first time on an ultrasound but it just helped me keep my mind off the fact that I was extremely uncomfortable.

Once the ultrasound technician came and got us the excitement once again took over. He could tell my bladder was really full so he just took the pictures that he needed to while my bladder was full. Then he let me empty my bladder and come back and enjoy the rest of the ultrasound.

We got to see everything! And according to the measurements our baby is 20 weeks and 2 days! Very close to what we initially thought. Our little one is weighing in at 12oz. The ultrasound technician told us that everything is looking good. Our baby was on the move the whole time throughout the ultrasound. Moving his/her hands and arms all the time. We saw our baby open it's hands and close it's hands and even put it's arm in front of it's face. We also saw the heart. It was very surreal to watch it beat, 144bpm.

I could have sat there for hours!! My husband and I walked out of there super excited. Seeing our little one on an ultrasound for the first time was amazing. There are no words to describe the feeling you get when you watch the little one inside of you moving about. Also a huge relief just to know that everything seems to be developing well.

We were hoping to find out the sex of our baby but the ultrasound technician would not tell us. So now it will be a long two days while we wait until Friday comes! On Friday we are expecting a call from our doctor to tell us what the gender is. At this point my husband is predicting boy, and as for me I am not really sure. Boy or girl it doesn't even matter. We will be thrilled with either. But we are excited to do some shopping on Friday before we head to Victoria on Saturday for our honeymoon!

Thanks for following this pregnancy journey with us! We are enjoying every minute of it. On Friday I will try to write a quick blog to let everyone know the gender of our baby and hopefully post an ultrasound picture. Although there is no way to predict for sure what the sex of our baby is it would be great to hear everyone's predictions! :)


Friday, June 18, 2010

Happy Father's Day

"Blessed indeed is the man who hears many gentle voices call him father!" ~ Lydia M. Child

To all of the wonderful fathers and loving partners we have been privileged to work with, as well as to our own very supportive husbands and partners, may you have a wonderful Happy Father's Day! You are loved and very appreciated!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

18 weeks! Babywearing on the mind.

I am now over 18 weeks pregnant!

My fiance and I had a prenatal checkup on Monday, June 14th. I went in so excited to hear the heartbeat and find out my weight gain so far. I stepped on the scale and found out I have gained about 5 pounds in total this pregnancy so far. That is hard for me to believe because my belly and boobs seem to have grown a ton! I guess it's just my body changing shape. The doctor started looking for the baby's heartbeat and panic set in when he couldn't find it. I have heard it cane difficult to find the heartbeat sometimes depending on ho the baby is laying and where he/she is; but I never knew how scared I would be if they couldn't find it. This was something I did not prepare for. But after a couple minutes and a lot of searching we finally found the baby's heartbeat. The baby was just laying low and sleeping. This was such a relief to my fiance and I.

We are now looking forward to our ultrasound on June 30th! We are hoping to be able to find out the sex of our baby. :)

I'm almost at the half way mark with this pregnancy and I'm starting to think more and more about what I should be purchasing. I have heard a lot about slings, wraps, and carriers but never realized how useful they will be. They are a great bonding experience for baby and his/her parents. I am posting a link about what babywearing can be used for and the many benefits it provides. I will most definitely be purchasing a sling. If you have any babywearing stories, or would like to share the benefits you experienced please feel free to comment.

"SLING TIP: The womb lasts eighteen months: Nine months inside mother, and nine months outside"

On a side note my fiance and I will be getting married on June 25th! A wedding that we have been planning for a year. On this day I will become Amanda McIvor. A couple days later we will see our baby for the first time on an ultrasound! I will let you all know how it goes. Thanks for reading.


Monday, June 14, 2010

Lamaze Healthy Birth Pratices - #3: Have Continuous Support

In this installment of our series on the Lamaze Healthy Birth Practices, we explore the need for continuous labour support.  Women who receive such support during labour are less likely to

  • have regional analgesia
  • have any analgesia/anesthesia 
  • give birth with vacuum extraction or forceps 
  • give birth by cesarean 
  • report dissatisfaction or a negative rating of their experience. 

Download the .pdf file Bring a Loved One, Friend, or Doula for Continuous Support.

~ Michelle

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Empowerment Recipe for Moms

It can seem like such a long wait when you are expecting the arrival of your new baby.  New motherhood can also be exhausting. Take some time out for yourself and follow this lovely Empowerment Recipe from Cindy Angell Keeling:

Empowerment Recipe for Moms
In a long day, mix:

  • A walk in the park
  • Ten minutes reading a positive book
  • Uplifting and relaxing music 
  • Some time spent on a hobby or personal project
  • A cup of tea in the afternoon
  • A little quiet time alone
  • A twenty-minute nap
  • An adult conversation with your spouse/partner
  • Lots of hugs and kisses.

Enjoy each moment with your little one, either under your heart or in your arms.  Time passes quickly so make some memories!

~ Michelle

Monday, June 7, 2010

My Pregnancy Journey - In the Beginning

My fiance and I found out I was pregnant on March 13. I found my self waking up with morning sickness a couples times a week. I soon figured out that "morning sickness" is actually all day sickness. I was sick up until about 12-13 weeks.

My belly started to grow at about 11 weeks. Between my 12th and 13th week my belly seemed to explode. I woke up one morning and looked in the mirror and was shocked! My belly literally grew over night. (Picture on the left is 12 weeks and picture on the right is 13 weeks) I remember thinking to my self "oh my gosh I look massive". Looking in the mirror made me a little upset that my belly growing was now a reality and I knew it was only going to get bigger. After the shock wore off I remember being extremely excited that my tiny little baby must be growing if my belly is. This thought is what makes the growing belly easier to deal with. At this point I am enjoying my growing belly. :)

On May 17 my fiance and I heard the baby's heart beat for the first time!! This was a moment full of emotion. I was laying on the bed with tears in my eyes trying not to let any fall. It was so great to look at my fiance and see his reaction to the heart beat. We were both in awe and the only thing I could say is "Wow! That's so cool." At this appointment I also asked the doctor if there could be more then one baby in there. He told me that the ultrasound will let us know for sure. I told him I felt my belly was huge for 14 weeks. He told me not to worry that everyone grows at different speeds and since I am small framed I might grow faster than others. I still am looking forward to the ultrasound to find out one way or another whether there's one or two babies in my belly.

I am extremely excited that I finally felt the baby move. For the past couples weeks I have been thinking to my self "Oh that could have been the baby moving"; but wasn't completely sure. But yesterday I felt it for sure! It is so exciting to have this experience. It makes my pregnancy feel so much more real. Now I am anxiously waiting to feel another movement. My fiance is hoping to be able to feel the baby sometime in the next couple weeks.

Thanks for reading. :)


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Hello Everyone :)

Hi Everyone,

I am Amanda Kleinsasser. I work with From Womb To Cradle as a doula in the Brooks, AB area.

I first became interested in becoming a doula when my mother in law mentioned to me that having a doula was the best decision she made while pregnant with her first born (my fiance). I looked into some courses and found the DONA doula course. I took this course in June 2009. It was an amazing course! At this course I learned more about labour and birth then I could have ever imagined. I attended my first birth in September 2009. This birth was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. It was at this time that I decided to pursue a career as a doula.

This past year has been extremely busy for me. Taking my first doula course, attended my first birth, and I also got engaged. My fiance David proposed on June 25, 2009 and we will be getting married on June 25, 2010. This year has been busy with wedding plans. To make our lives even more exciting I got pregnant in February!! I am pregnant with our first baby and I am currently at 16 weeks and 4 days.

I have decided to write a blog about my pregnancy journey. I will write about whatever I am feeling at the time or about questions that have been running through my mind. I will also post any information I find about pregnancy, labour, birth, and breastfeeding that I find helpful.

Hope everyone will enjoy reading about my pregnancy journey. I know many of you are currently or will be going through your own pregnancy journey so feel free to comment.


Friday, June 4, 2010

Lamaze Healthy Birth Practices - #2: Walk, Move, and Change Positions

Continuing our series on the Lamaze Healthy Birth Practices, here is practice #2: Walk, Move, and Change Positions.  Research shows that compared to those birthing in centres whose policies restrict movement during labor, women who are free to move and change positions throughout the birthing process are more apt to experience the following:

  • shorter labors
  • more efficient contractions
  • greater comfort, and
  • less need for pharmaceutical pain relief during labor

For more information, please download the pdf. file - Walk, Move, and Change Positions Throughout Labor

~ Michelle

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Moments to Cherish

As summer quickly approaches, I have found it increasingly difficult to get my children to sleep.  Of course, they are party animals anyhow, but they still maintain that if it is light outside, it cannot possibly be nighttime.  Facing the prospect of another late night, I began to think back to my children's infancy.  It was much easier back then to put them to sleep.  I know, many parents may disagree, but for us it was only a matter of when and where they would go to sleep and never how.  You see, we didn't plan it, but we were a co-sleeping family.

My daughter, our first-born, arrived in 2003 after a traumatic birth.  Due to an injury to her scalp from vacuum-assisted delivery and aggressive suctioning, my daughter screamed at every attempt to breastfeed.  She never did latch on.  I was distraught.  I did not know if I would be able to bond with her in the way I had wanted to.  I had done research and knew the benefits of breastfeeding were more extensive than the obvious nutrition.  Because of the trauma I, too, experienced, I also developed postpartum depression, which left me disconnected from my baby girl.  Fortunately, I began treatment quickly and by the time my daughter was one month old I had begun feeling better.  Still, we worked on developing attachment.  It was about this time that my daughter caught her first cold.  Concerned about her breathing one night, I brought her into our bed.  Following the sleep safety tips I had read in Dr. William Sears' The Baby Book, we continued co-sleeping until the birth of our second child.

My husband and I found out we were expecting our son shortly after our daughter turned a year old.  Though she was walking and talking up a storm, she was still very much a baby.  I cherished our nap time and nighttime cuddles, knowing that soon there would be another little one next to me.  I worried that I may not have as much love for another one or that my daughter may not receive enough of my attention and love and miss out.  Little did I know that these moments spent together were building her confidence and our attachment to one another in a beautiful way!

When my son was born, following an amazingly peaceful birth, he immediately took to nursing.  I was overjoyed!  This meant, however, that we were presented with a new set of challenges.  How to nurse the baby while still providing continuity for our toddler.  My husband and I had purchased an infant co-sleeper that fit in our bed, which was fantastic.  Still, our 22-month-old was missing out on mama cuddles and needed some extra attention.  So, we laid a mattress on the floor of her room and she cuddled with my mom while she was visiting us after our son's birth.  It worked out quite nicely.  Once our son was older, we welcomed our daughter back for cuddles in the early morning hours.  I'd often feel a little hand on my cheek or a tiny arm wrapped tightly around my neck.  What lovely cozy mornings we spent together!

As time went by, of course, our children had their own "big kid" beds and rooms all their own.  They slept in their beds all night long, but when morning arrived should one have looked in our room one would have found four in the bed!  Our morning ritual has continued over the years, though it has become less and less frequent. Some days I long to look over and find a soft dark blond head snuggled next to mine...

This brings me back to this evening... "Yes," I thought, "How much easier it was when we were co-sleeping!" The cuddles through the night and the soft sweet breath of my babies peppered our dreams.  My instinct this evening was to somehow go back to that time.  Of course, I know that children must grow and change as years go by, but the memories of those moments are so precious.  It was more than cuddling a babe to sleep or being nearby for that 3 a.m. feeding... it was about creating a bond between my children, my husband and I...about fostering security so that one day when things get tough for our girl and our boy, they will come to us knowing that we will always be there for them.

So, what did I do tonight when that thought crossed my mind?  I went into my 7 year old's room, then into my 5 year old's room... and I held them tight.

~ Michelle