November 02 2004 18:30 (+ 8 - 5 )
posted by (gen_here)

How your baby's growing: Your baby is really starting to fill up your uterus. This week he weighs almost 2 pounds and is about 14.4 inches long with his legs extended. He can now open and close his eyes, and he sleeps and wakes at regular intervals. He may suck his fingers, and although his lungs are still immature, they would be capable of functioning with assistance if he were to be born prematurely. Chalk up any rhythmic movement you may be feeling to a case of baby hiccups, which may be common from now on. Each episode usually lasts only a few moments, and isn't bothersome to him, so enjoy the tickle. With more brain tissue developing, your baby's brain is very active now. Wonder what he's thinking?

How your life's changing: Your body is gearing up for the final lap, so you may start noticing some new symptoms. Along with an aching back, for example, you may find that your leg muscles cramp up now and then. They're carrying extra weight, after all, and your uterus is putting extra demands on your circulation. (As your uterus expands, it puts pressure on the blood vessels that return blood from your legs to your heart and on the nerves leading from your trunk to your legs.) Unfortunately, the cramps are likely to get worse as your pregnancy progresses. Leg cramps are more common at night but can also happen during the day. Flexing your foot (by pointing your toes forward and then flexing them back toward your shins) stretches the calf and should give you some relief. Walking for a few minutes or massaging your calf sometimes helps, too.

Oh my! I'm telling you, this kid is growing like a weed. All the stretching and poking that s/he's doing... every day... I'm so sore! I'm convinced this kid will be about 3 feet tall at birth =)

But the good news is that I'm finding more and more moms around here that are like me. That's a lot harder than it sounds, believe me. I'm in an area that really, honestly, doesn't think twice about how they want to raise their kids. It's more like they do whatever their friends are doing, and if you decide to do something different, you're odd... or you "don't know what you're getting yourself into..." Well, back in April, I met my friend Heather. She's another pastor's wife - about 40 minutes from where we are, and I noticed her when I was admiring her beautiful little baby... and her cloth diaper. We got to talking, and found we had a lot in common. She's been a big help with the whole cloth diapering thing... where to find good deals, the best kind to invest in for long-term usage (more than one baby), etc. She's also another homeschooling proponent - so we have lots to talk about. It doesn't hurt that she also has 3 of the world's cutest little girls =)

Then I've been enjoying getting to know Karen, our Bradley coach. She's another babywearer (wearing baby in a sling rather than keeping baby in an infant car seat or stroller all the time). We've been sharing patterns for slings, as well as talking about cloth diapering (it's really almost a cult!). Obviously, we have a lot in common about how we think childbirth should (or in this case, shouldn't) be "managed" - I picked out the Bradley classes for a reason. I don't know that I would necessarily call her a friend - as in we hang out in free time, etc - but she's another like-minded person around here.

Well, last night, we had the welcome dinner for the newest pastor (and his wife) in the circuit. As we were leaving, I stopped to talk to her for a moment. One of the things I said to her was thanking her for breastfeeding her little girl - something you LITERALLY do NOT see around here - it's all formula feeders in this part (which surprises me since most of these people are farmers or grew up around farmers... they see mammal moms at work every day. But I'm getting off topic). Anyway, she just started getting so excited to find another person around her who is (or in my case will be) breastfeeding. I found out that she not only has breastfed her two children and will her third (she's due in the middle of April), she's also trained as a La Leche League leader. She has offered to be of any help she can to me as we (me and Wags) get breastfeeding established. We also follow the same style of parenting (attachment parenting - the biggest known name is Dr. William Sears) and other things. We were both really excited to find each other - poor Geof got to see me get all "hyper" - but he's a great sport about that kind of stuff! And Angie is only 12 miles from us - so we're close enough that we can get together from time to time, too.

So this has been a great few months for us here. Each of these women are married, and their husbands are men that Geof seems to get along with well, too. So it seems that even though it took us long enough (we've been here over 15 months), we're finally, FINALLY starting to make friends. It's a good feeling!

(I wish I didn't have to add this, but I guess that's part of the "joy" of keeping a baby journal online that others can read and comment on. Honestly, I don't care if you don't agree with the parenting choices that I talked about above. I don't tell you how to diaper, feed, or raise your children. Feel free to keep your negative opinions about the choices that Geof and I are making with regard to ours to yourself. This is, first and foremost, our record of this pregnancy for us and our child... something that we can look back on for years to come and someday share with Wags. We will print out everything once the baby is here and keep it as a scrapbook. This includes the comments - so only you get to decide how you want to appear to this baby.)

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