Mama Duck
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Thursday, May 29, 2003

Maternity clothes

I am a very lucky woman. I've mentioned this before, but when I found out I was pregnant, a good friend of mine who had just had her second child shipped me her entire maternity wardrobe. In addition to the fact that she is similarly sized (though smaller) than me, she has similar coloring plus fabulous taste. So I had a ready-made maternity wardrobe, with lots of dresses and suits that I could wear to work. The only thing I needed to get were a few casual clothes and shoes nice enough to match the clothes.

My husband is perhaps even more grateful than I am. Maternity clothes are not only of limited duration--most can be worn for 2-3 months at most before one needs the next belly style up--but they're also expensive and they don't go on sale--they only get marked down when the seasons change. And given all the body morphing that's going on, it's pretty important to feel good about how one looks, so the maternity designers have it made. Yes, stores like Target are carrying more fashion-forward, lower-priced maternity fashion, but I've found it's good for basics, but not for when I want to like how I look.

And that is when my husband has moments when he's less than grateful about the wardrobe. I think I take more care than I have ever done to pick outfits and accessorize them. I have more of a stake in trying to look good, since it would be very easy to look frumpy and bad. So when I vacillate between two or three outfits on some (rare) mornings, he's not that patient. But since he's not the one who's gained twenty pounds and lost his waistline, I tolerate his grumpiness but don't succumb to it.

posted by Mama Duck5:32 PM


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Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Gymnastics on my internal organs

The duck is moving around a lot nowadays. It is still not painful, but it is becoming disconcerting. I will be in a meeting at work and suddenly jerk to attention as I feel a well-placed kick to my upper-right ribcage, which seems to be a favored spot. I'll look down, and see my tummy undulating and wonder if anyone else notices. Aside from the alien tummy, I'm sure I have a look of surprise during some of the more active sequences. My personal theory is that he feels my uterus is just a bit too small, so he's doing the fetal equivalent of knocking down walls--he's kicking out the boundaries of his space till he feels more comfortable. I just wish he'd do it when I'm in my office alone, and not in a meeting with my boss and colleagues.

posted by Mama Duck7:00 PM


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Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Yoga blues

Prior to and throughout my pregnancy, I've been attending power yoga classes, making modifications to the poses as I've progressed. Now, though, I may have to stop attending classes. For the past few classes, even when I do modified poses and rest I'm developing round ligament pain fairly frequently. Round ligament pain is that ache along the bikini line that occurs with sudden movement.

I could only do about twenty minutes today, as compared to my previous 45. I will attend Thursday's class and see if a different instructor makes a difference.

I've explored taking prenatal classes, but have found that the local studios and gyms either don't offer them, offer them at night far away, or during the day when I work. Why they don't have a Saturday or Sunday daytime option I don't know, unless they're purposely trying to annoy the crap out of me and ensure that I don't take a class.

I do have Shiva Rea's Prenatal Yoga video, which is pretty good, but I like the classes I'm taking and worry that if I stop, I'll not start back up again. So I'll see how Thursday goes. If I'm still having ligament trouble, I'll see if I can take a leave of absence from the gym.

posted by Mama Duck4:40 PM


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Monday, May 26, 2003

Week 27

Car and registration

My husband and I are now the proud owners of a used Nissan Maxima. It is supposed to be a safe, reliable car with plenty of room in the back for a child seat, unlike the car we traded in, a two-door Toyota Celica. We looked at Subarus, Hondas and Toyotas, but liked the Maxima best.

My sister visited for the weekend and helped us with the car shopping, as well as registering for the baby. Before shopping, I was unable to find a good list of the basics recommended for a baby--how many onesies, how many blankies, etc. And upon entering Target, armed with the registration gun, I went all deer-in-the-headlights. My ideal of Zen Mom evaporated quickly. Do we need a bouncer and a swing? A diaper genie? A baby tub? How many outfits? How many things with cute duckies on them? Pacifiers? Breast pads? Argh.

I did pick up a copy of Ann Douglas's The Mother of All Baby Books which has a practical-looking list that I'll use to edit the list. The Target suggested list was on the ridiculous side, recommending things such as relaxation cds. Instead, my sister recommended Audioslave and Evanescence.

Nonetheless, we did start the registration, and signed up for a car seat and stroller. We also got the car to put them in eventually, so I think we're off to a reasonable start.

posted by Mama Duck7:34 PM


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Thursday, May 22, 2003

Daycare decision: done!

My husband and I looked at the five daycare centers nearest to where we live. The one closest to us--across the street--was the one we visited first. It seemed fine at the time. I wasn't horrified by it or anything. But as we looked at the four other centers in our area, it wasn't at the top of our list, despite being the only one that offered a discount because of where I worked, plus flexible billing if we didn't do full-time care.

After our five visits, one center stood out as the most likely candidate. It wasn't the nicest one--that one cost $1750+ per month for 4 days per week. We weren't ready to be paying more than our mortgage for child care, no matter how nice the facility. Three cost about the same, and the place across the street was the least expensive. I noticed the babies looked pretty happy at all the centers, so the one that seemed best was the one that was the cleanest and had friendly, experienced staff in the baby rooms. Other places we visited weren't that clean, had staff that had been there under a year, or staff that barely acknowledged us as we did the tour.

We visited our most likely choice a second time, unannounced one day, and afterward felt pretty good. The director told us that a spot had opened up for when we'd be needing care, so we put down a deposit. I still felt, though, that the decision wasn't final. I wanted to check out the place across the street one more time, just to make sure, given the factors in its favor.

We visited this morning. I called yesterday morning to try to reschedule our appointment, and didn't get a call back till this morning. The center smelled less than clean and overall there were several things that just didn't feel right. I wish that the center across the street hadn't been too good to be true, but it was. We're going with the place we made the deposit, and I'm feeling good about the decision.

posted by Mama Duck4:44 PM


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Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Warning: woman-only entry on yeast infections

This entry is going to be gyno-centric, so in the interest of keeping the peace between the sexes, I can assure any male readers with relative certainty that you don't want to read what I've got to write about yeast infections.

In most of the pregnancy literature I've read, there's a mention of yeast infections as a common occurrence, especially during the second trimester. Years ago, I had trouble with recurring infections and tried just about every remedy, both natural and medical: unsweetened cranberry juice, all cotton underwear, loose pants, acidophilus, yogurt, creams, oral pills, suppositories, you name it. Nothing worked.

That is, until I consulted Our Bodies, Ourselves at the advice of a gynecologist. The book recommended the remedy that worked then and has continued to work over the years, where all others have failed.


Simply peel a small clove of garlic, being careful not to smash or nick it. Wrap it in gauze, tying with plain dental floss if you prefer a tampon-like string, then insert it up a bit into the affected area. (I don't have to spell that out, do I?)

Leave in for up to eight hours. Repeat as necessary until symptoms are gone.

No the clove won't disintegrate, and no, you won't smell like garlic. The clove will just restore the pH balance of your nether regions to what it's supposed to be.

I can't say enough good things about this home remedy. But this is my personal testimony and I am not a doctor or health professional. Don't do anything without consulting your own healthcare provider.

posted by Mama Duck4:26 PM


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Monday, May 19, 2003

A few good things

For itchy tummy, a friend sent me The Body Shop's cocoa butter stick. It is easy (and kinda fun) to use, smells good and stops the itching.

For heartburn, I like Altoids new sour candies in Citrus and Tangerine.

For quick snacks, I like string cheese, roasted almonds and baby carrots.

posted by Mama Duck4:19 PM


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Sunday, May 18, 2003

Week 26

Went for a massage today for further help in the hip area. I do feel better, but now, instead of the long list of things I wanted to accomplish tonight, all I want to do is read or sleep.

posted by Mama Duck5:29 PM


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Thursday, May 15, 2003

Good news

Here's the news from today's visit to the nurse-midwife.

My uterus is exactly the size it should be, my blood pressure is great, my weight gain is good (though I'm a little grumbly that it's not "great") and the duck's heartbeat is in the 140's. Also, I don't have to sleep on my side--I can sleep sort of on my back, propped up with pillows.

I think all the gunfighting in the Matrix Reloaded might have scared him, though. I think he liked the martial arts scenes better.

posted by Mama Duck9:07 PM


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Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Reading material

In one of the many pregnancy articles or online sites, I read that the duck was capable of hearing us at about 18 weeks. So I started to read to him before I went to bed each night. Then I read something else that said that the father's voice is best, since it's deeper and carries more. So I asked my husband to read, and he agreed.

At first I just read single story books, like some of the Francis books by Russell Hoban, and the George and Martha books by the late, great James Marshall. But since these were very much picture books, I wondered if I might find a better choice. Then I was reminded of the A. A. Milne Pooh books. I'd read them for the first time a few years ago and marvelled at how lovely and sweet they were, and regretted that they'd never been read aloud to me, since they were so clearly suited to that. Yes, there are wonderful pictures, but the stories speak for themselves, plus include many characters and rhymes and songs and such. So we have just finished Winnie the Pooh and will be starting The House at Pooh Corner.

The duck jumps and wriggles while my husband is reading, but I can still fall asleep soon after (or once during) the reading. So it's a nice bedtime ritual for all of us.

posted by Mama Duck4:11 PM


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Tuesday, May 13, 2003


A good friend of mine just had her second child and sent me her entire maternity wardrobe. She and I are similar in size and have the same coloring, plus she has great taste. I am a very lucky woman--I've been relieved of the burden of having to spend scads of money on unflattering outfits that only fit for a few months. I've only had to pick up a few things--maternity pantyhose, a couple casual shirts from Target, a pair of jeans and shoes to match the rest of the clothes that my friend sent.

Dressing well during pregnancy has been a huge esteem boost. It's as if I get extra bonus points for difficulty for dressing nicely when my body is morphing and expanding daily--people have been enthusiastic and profuse in their compliments. I feel good when I pull off a well-coordinated look, as I did last week with a cute little black dress with red heels and red Marc-Jacobs-esque bag.

Today, however, was not one of those days. In general, I've found that my day goes better if I was able to pick out an outfit the night before--it's one fewer decision to make as I'm trying to get out the door. Again, today was not one of those days. Faced with too many choices and far too little discernment, I chose a long, loose black skirt from Eileen Fisher. I had a few all-black outfits, but I work in an advertising department, so I was feeling a little too saturated with black and wanted to add color, so I paired it with a long-sleeved, Pucci-print top. As for shoes, I knew I'd be doing a lot of walking so I wanted to go with flats. The resulting outfit certainly had color from the top but the end result was dumpy, which didn't help a drab day at work.

It did, though, lead me to a fashion light-bulb moment. My problem with the outfit was it was unbalanced--I had long, loose skirt with long-sleeved top with flats. Instead, I should have had a short, tight skirt, which would have balanced the other two more conservative elements. Or I could have had a sleeveless or short-sleeved fitted top to balance out the skirt and flats. Or I could've worn heels and taken flats to change into as needed for walking, but would have still needed to vary either the top or the skirt.

The solution is simple: long loose skirt goes with short-sleeved/tight top; short skirt can go with long-sleeved or looser top. Add heels as needed to make things more fashionable.

It's rather pathetic that it's taken me 35 years and nearly six months of pregnancy to arrive at this basic fashion tenet. Sometimes, I'm a little slow.

posted by Mama Duck5:00 PM


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Monday, May 12, 2003

Week 25

I still haven't had my 24 week appointment. I keep having to reschedule. Soon I might as well wait till my 28 week.

Go check out
Jennifer Weiner's blog. Yay! She finally had her baby.

Also, one of my favorite authors, Francesca Lia Block, has a new book out, non-fiction, on being a mother. It looks fabulous. Why did no one buy this for me, dammit?

Finally, the hip continues to trouble. Over the weekend, we stayed in a full bed at my husband's parents' house. Note to self: full beds have exactly enough room for two people--not two people and a grooving fetus and a hip problem. Sleep was a problem, and the partially inflated neck pillow didn't help at all. One reader advised massage for hip relief, so I'm going to give that a try soon. I also read about egg-crate foam for a mattress pad, so that's tonight's experiment. Whee!

posted by Mama Duck7:39 PM


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Thursday, May 08, 2003

Weird cravings

Several people have asked my husband and me if I've had any weird food cravings now that I'm pregnant. We're read others accounts of husbands going across town to get a particular kind of take-out that the pregnant woman is pining for, but we haven't experienced this ourselves. This is really strange. Why? Because prior to pregnancy, I would experience the exact type of irrational, must-have fixation on certain foods that is the stereotype. I would suddenly demand udon noodles with tempura shrimp. Or pad thai. Or sushi. Or hamburgers from a favorite place. So it is rather strange, I think, that I'm inching up on 25 weeks of pregnancy and have rarely had any strong cravings.

It's not to say, though, that things have been as normal. The lack of food cravings is actually notable. But I've begun to like cold beverages. I never used to have drinks with ice, and I would not refrigerate bottled water. In recent weeks, though I've actually begun using ice cubes. My husband is astonished.

Also, I'm listening to different music. I recently bought the new Queens of the Stone Age cd, as well as the Foo Fighters and the Transplants, among others. This is rather more hardcore than the alt-country and adult contemporary that I usually gravitate to. So while the food I'm eating is pretty normal, there have been some changes in the status quo.

posted by Mama Duck5:37 PM


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Wednesday, May 07, 2003

hip: the end, I hope

Chickened out on the back sleeping. Lay on my back for a bit and felt my pulse thundering through my body. I let some air out of the inflatable neck pillow and did pretty well on my left side last night.

another link

This is the blog of Dahlia Lithwick, the legal correstpondent for Slate. She's smart, funny and fabulous. She was pregnant and blogging about it

posted by Mama Duck6:28 PM


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Tuesday, May 06, 2003

Hip update

I tried sleeping with the inflatable neck pillow under my hip last night to stop the aching. It stopped the hip ache, but I still didn't sleep very well. With one pillow under my hip and another between my legs, I just can't get comfortable. And not sleeping during the second trimester, when things are supposed to be good, worries me because from everything I've read, the third semester is no picnic and all bets are off once the duck arrives.

I did some further research today and found that sleeping on my back seems to be bad for me, not the duck. Therefore, I'm going to give it a try tonight and see if I can get some sleep. If I cut off the blood supply to my legs, it's only for eight hours, right?

posted by Mama Duck4:44 PM


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Monday, May 05, 2003
Hip advice

My sister, a physical therapist, says that lying on one's side puts pressure on the place where the ligament joins the femur at a place called the greater trochanter (please excuse me if I've botched some of the details) and that if I fashion a donut-shaped cushion for my hip that should help.

I'm going to try to inflatable neck pillow I use on planes. I read about using egg-crate foam, but that doesn't seem like it would be hip specific enough.

She did also assure me that keeping a pillow between the legs was good, because women's hips are normally wider than men's and they widen further during pregnancy, so a pillow helps bridge that distance and reduce strain, if not in the hip area that's causing me the most discomfort.

I believe I'm going to pass on a full body pillow for now. I just can't figure out where to put the bottom arm. It doesn't seem like it would go under the pillow, and all the models in the photos look happy, but the position of the bottom arm isn't shown. I'm suspicious.

When I was talking to my mom about how I'm not supposed to sleep on my back, though, she was surprised. She'd never heard such a thing before and was certain that she'd slept on her back through the pregnancies for me and my sisters. While I'm still going to avoid sleeping on my back, it's always nice to hear these little reminders that the mis-steps I'm sure I'm making probably won't cause the duckie irreparable harm.

posted by Mama Duck4:39 PM


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Sunday, May 04, 2003

Week 24

Hip hell

One of the strange things about being pregnant is that when people ask me how I'm doing, they expect a serious answer now. They're not just saying the polite "Hi, howareya?"--they ask specifically "How are you feeling?"

For the most part, I'm great. My second trimester is breezing along, the duckie is moving and grooving but causing me no discomfort, and thanks to a very generous friend, I have nice maternity clothes to wear. The one thing, though, is that I still feel tired.

"Really?" ask other pregnant women, surprise in their voices. (There are a slew of them at work.) "Not me! I stopped feeling tired at the end of the first trimester."

Thanks. That really helps me.

The funny thing is, that fatigue didn't bother me much the first trimester. I had more trouble with the all-day-every-day nausea. I think, though, that I've discovered the culprit.

I used to be a back sleeper. I might toss and turn on my side or stomach as I tried to get to sleep, but I always ended up on my back. I started sleeping on my side during the first trimester, though, because I knew I'd have to give it up once I got to the second, so I figured I should start getting used to it. For the most part, I have done. The problem, though, is that I can only lie on one side for so long before the hip I'm lying on starts to ache. That wakes me, I flip over, (hitting the much-longed-for on-the-back position as I do, missing it terribly then moving on) and then fall asleep till the other hip aches. So I ache-wake-flip-sleep and repeat throughout the night. Doesn't take a genius to realize this might be why I'm so tired.

As soon as I finish writing this, I'm off in search of a full-body pillow that I've heard many people recommend. I'm wondering if this will take some pressure off my hip and let me sleep through the night. If it does, I hope to get in a few good nights before the duckie gets big enough to keep me awake on his own.

posted by Mama Duck6:17 PM


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Thursday, May 01, 2003

More advice I like

My geeky husband alerted me to
this discussion thread on impending parenthood at Slashdot.

posted by Mama Duck6:56 PM


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Looking pregnant

I must really look pregnant now--two women have asked me this week when I'm expecting. Most people I know have a horror story of some poor woman they asked if she was pregnant and either she wasn't, or she had already given birth. Thus most of us, spying a round tummy, will keep our suspicions to ourselves till it's obvious.

I guess I'm obvious now. Someone told me I looked glowing today. Hurrah!

posted by Mama Duck6:56 PM


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