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Baby Bump Photoshoot: 19 1/2 weeks

Brett and I went to a nearby park with our Canon Powershot and played model and photographer (since I finally have a bump to show off). It made for a really fun date. 

Here are the highlights, along with some of my favorite quotes about pregnancy.  

Before you were born I carried you under my heart. From the moment you arrived in this world until the moment I leave it, I will always carry you in my heart.
~ Mandy Harrison

I begin to love this creature,
and to anticipate her birth
as a fresh twist to a knot,
which I do not wish to untie.
~ Mary Wollstonecraft

A baby is something you carry inside you for nine months, 
in your arms for three years and in your heart till the day you die. ~ Mary Mason


Making a decision to have a child--it's momentous. 
It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.
~ Elizabeth Stone


 A great joy is coming.
~ Author Unknown

No language can express the power and beauty and heroism 
of a mother's love. ~ Edwin H. Chapin

 Life is always a rich and steady time when you
are waiting for something to happen or to hatch ~ E.B. White


Everything grows rounder and wider and weirder, 
and I sit here in the middle of it all and wonder 
who in the world you will turn out to be. 
~ Carrie Fisher


Pregnancy Questions, Thumper, and the Power of the Words "You Can't"

There are many things I don't miss about the first trimester of my pregnancy. I don't miss my sensitive gag reflex that glued me to the toilet for about ten weeks. I don't miss the fatigue that made it nearly impossible to get out of bed in the morning and nearly impossible to avoid my bed after 3:30pm. I don't miss my limited diet which blandly consisted of saltine crackers and popcicles.

But I do miss those 14 weeks before we shared the news, when Brett and I had this little sacred secret that was for only us to know. Now that my belly has grown, the secret is definitely out.

I'm happy to grow rounder and wider as the weeks pass. It is a visual reminder of the growth and actual presence of our baby. A reminder I need now that I'm no longer dealing with the daily symptoms of pregnancy I was so accustomed to.

It was hard at first to not share the news with the entire world, but now that it is fairly obvious there are moments I wish that my belly were still flat and the secret were not out.

When people find out women are pregnant they immediately start asking questions:

Most of them are innocent enough:
"When are you going to find out the gender?"
"When are you due?"
"Who's your doctor?"
"Have you had morning sickness?"

Some not so appropriate: 
"Are you coming back to work next year?"
"How much weight have you gained?"
"Have you been constipated?"
"Was your baby planned?" (No joke. I literally have been asked this one over fifteen times and I've realized there is no correct way to answer this question).
"Do you have any names picked out?" (Which is innocent enough, but it becomes inappropriate when they start bashing those names you love).
"Are you planning to get an epidural?"

Now I don't mind the questions. A pregnant belly is an instant conversation starter and I know that the majority of these people are just trying to show they are interested in the pregnancy. While all of the inappropriate questions do get annoying, the one that tops the charts of starting the most awkward conversations involves the last one on my list, "Are you planning to get an epidural?"

It's not the question that is so bad, it's the comments that I receive after I answer this question that is what makes it the most obnoxious. See, I am planning to have a natural childbirth (cue the laughing, scoffing, eye roll, and/or mumbled yeah right).  Which is why this question is my least favorite question.

Just today, I ended up having this discussion three times with three different women. After I said the dreaded words, "I'm planning to have a natural childbirth" these were the responses: 
One woman said, "That's a nice thought but it'll never happen." 
Another woman laughed out loud and bluntly responded, "No you won't." 
And the last said, "You can plan all you want but after one contraction you'll be begging for the drugs."

Now my favorite part about this is that I met two out of these three women for the first time today and this exchange occurred in our very first conversation. The other is an acquaintance from work who I've spoke to a handful of times. First, how do they know me well enough to make such a sudden determination of how I will handle the labor and delivery? Second, how do they have the nerve to so boldly shoot down my plans and desires when they barely know me? And last, what is so wrong with just saying, "That's great" or just nodding and changing the subject?

I find it very sad that some women feel they are entitled to tell women who are planning a natural childbirth that she can't do it, that it is not possible, or that she is out of her mind.

A little bunny once said, "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all." If you don't support a woman's decision to have a natural childbirth or if you think this woman isn't cut out for it then please don't share your opinion. There is nothing wrong with saying "Know that your plans may change. I had a hard time and ended up having an epidural." What is not okay is making a judgment of the pregnant woman by saying "You can't."

When it comes to natural childbirth, I wish women would help to empower other women. Whether or not you had an epidural or a natural childbirth you can help to empower and support a woman who has that as her goal. Why belittle a woman with good intentions going into her labor/delivery?  Just because one woman chose to have an epidural doesn't mean that another woman is completely incapable of doing it without. Instead of focusing on what a woman cannot do lets instead focus on what women can do. We are women. We are strong and capable. Our bodies are made for this. For some women giving birth naturally is the single most empowering moment of their lives. Why take that away from a woman by telling her she is incapable? That she is weak? That it is impossible?

I recognize that many women who plan to have a natural childbirth often change their plan and ask for the epidural. I know that this may even happen to me. However, I wonder if that number would change if women were more supportive of one another. One thing I learned in my life is the terrible strength of the words "you can't." Those negative words become negative thoughts and those thoughts lead to actions. I wonder how many more women would be successful in their natural childbirth plans if the other women in their lives would just say "you can." Those two words are a positive mantra that lead to success.

I'm sure that I will have this conversation another hundred or so times over the course of my pregnancy but I luckily do recognize that although these women are choosing to put me down instead of lifting me up, it will not affect my plan to have a natural delivery. I did not make this decision lightly. My decision will not change because of a stranger's opinion of what is possible or what I am capable of. 

"Attitudes are contagious.  Are yours worth catching?"  ~Dennis and Wendy Mannering

*** Edited to specify: This post is not meant to be pro natural childbirth or anti-epidural. What I wanted to focus on is the need for women to support other women in the choices they make. 


Plato's Closet and Finally Looking Pregnant

After months of definitely FEELING pregnant, it's about time I look pregnant. My bump decided to finally make an appearance last week and I decided it's high time I wear some clothes to show it off.

Over the weekend I went with my Mom and my friend Chelsey to Plato's Closet in Draper. Chelsey has been trying to get me to go with her to Plato's Closet for years, but we just never got around to it. Boy was I missing out. This is not your average second hand store. They have really cute clothes that are fashionable but still with the thrift store price tag. They had their Grab Bag sale on Saturday and we thought we'd try and score some clothes. Sadly, we got there after all their clearance items had been picked over, but we still decided we'd see what bargains we could get.

I ended up spending $70 and all together scored about eight different adorable outfits. Now, they aren't "maternity clothes" which is nice because I will actually be able to wear them after the baby. I bought some long jersey fabric shirts, flowy empire waist dresses, cardigans, and a few tight stretchy shirts with ruching on the sides. I've had so much fun wearing my outfits the last couple days because they really show off my new cute shape.

I am hoping that I won't have to buy a lot of legitimate maternity clothes. My goal is to only buy a few necessities like some nice maternity dress pants for work.

I've realized putting the word "maternity" in front of the word "clothes" is the equivalent of putting "wedding" in front of the word "dress". For some reason just the word "maternity" means adding an additional 50% to the price. I'm so happy I was able to buy adorable clothes for $5-$14 a piece that I'll be able to wear while pregnant and while I'm not.



Today the baby decided to show itself.

18 weeks and 5 days!