Friday, October 17, 2008

Baby Stuff

So, I'm 24 weeks pregnant, feeling great, and finally showing a positively pregnant belly (although ladies at church have been rubbing my midsection since August). I've received no comments from strangers yet (a suggestive smile was the closest I got), but as I wear more maternity clothes, maybe that will change. If I get desperate, maybe I'll buy one of those shirts that says "Baby" with a big arrow. I'm personally amazed at how long I've been able to creatively wear my skirts, jumpers, dresses, and tops since my in-laws were suggesting that I'd need a new wardrobe soon in my second month! But since I'm not petite and skinny, maybe the baby doesn't need to push out as fast. I'm sure I'll be plenty big enough in a few months to leave no one in doubt!

I don't blame friends for rubbing my tummy when I can't help but rub it myself. Especially when the baby is kicking or fluttering against me, I feel a surge of maternal connection and rub my belly, or even rock, and coo to my little one. It's so amazing to be two people at once. Voting in the primaries, I told my baby to appreciate it, because this November would be the last time they'd get to vote for the next 18 years! Most days sitting at work, I smile to think that I get to bring my child along with me each day. It's something like having an invisible friend. I'm a mother hen. I remember cold nights as a child when I'd get out of my warm bed to gather all of my dolls and stuffed animals to tuck into bed next to me. My favorite pretend games involved small, tented spaces where I played mommy and cuddled my dolls in safety pretending to be in a cabin, wagon train, boat, etc. I feel something like that now. As much as I look forward to the day when I can see my child's face, I feel content having my little one close by ALL the time.

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I have been so thankful for the internet this pregnancy! From googling "early pregnancy symptoms" (from back when James was more clued in than I to what might be happening) to determining the estimated due date of the baby to dealing with uncomfortable symptoms, researching pregnancy and baby gear, and communicating with other expectant women--the internet has been a valuable tool for me.

Here are just a few sites I have found fun and helpful over the past five months:

A great site with real pictures of baby's development from conception to birth.

An interesting comparison of fruit to baby's developmetal size (goofy, but helpful).

A huge reference site for home birth. Reading people's home birth stories all over the net has been great therapy for me.

A friend brought me to the Mothering community. Although I do not agree with everything, it is a wonderful resource for natural birth and parenting and has an extensive online forum.

Speaking of natural, The Soft Landing is a terrific resource for "safe" plastics in the baby world. This blogger has done extensive research on everything from bottles to bibs.

There is also a cute meter at the bottom of this blog that you can check out to see how far along the baby is.

Anyway, that's just a start. Please feel free to share with me any great online pregnancy resources that you like.

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One more quick thing-

I want to share something with all of you pregnant ladies and new mommies. I think this is worth paying attention to.

A couple of months ago I ran across an article very similar to this one, this one, and this one. In my mind, linking fire retardant chemicals in mattresses to SIDS makes a lot of sense. I strongly suggest that you read the articles above and think about it. I don't know why this information isn't more widely spread. I'm not a conspiracy therorist, but I have to believe that it must not be profitable to someone for this information to be shared. Unfortunately, not only baby mattresses have these chemicals, but they are in all mattresses and some pillows and bedding as well which makes it challenging for the co-sleeping parent.

Thankfully, in New Zealand parents have effectively been wrapping their baby mattresses in polyethylene (polythene) sheeting (NOT PVC plastic!) and using pure cotton bedding with the result of 100% SIDS prevention rate among mattress wrappers! There are instructions for doing this here. There is also a NZ manufacturer that sells rather reasonably priced baby mattress covers. These are available all over the net and have an extremely high rating of success.

Another thing that's important is to keep synthetic materials out of the crib and off of the baby while sleeping. No fleece blankets on top or plastic pads underneath as they too have chemicals in them. I obviously haven't done this yet and don't know how hard it will be to find natural fiber pajamas, but I do know that children's sleepwear also has fire retardant chemicals in them. Grr! One of the things that makes this so much more dangerous for babies is that they are not able to get up and move when the fumes develop.
Being a natural mama in this world where everything is chemically tampered with is not going to be easy, but I want to try my hardest to keep things simple, old fashioned, and safe for my children.


  1. Congratulations on your pregnancy! is also a great resource, lots of the women there have had home births, if that is what you are interested in. Plus plenty of regular births also.

    from one Alaskan to another...
    Laura in North Pole

  2. Another site that is pretty good is That's what I used with both Michael and Mason.

  3. Congratulations on the pregnancy! Thanks for the information, I hadn't seen it before. My girls are past the age of cribs, but I'm interested in reading the information they have. And Lord willing, we will be able to adopt again and I will definitely want to order the bassinett and crib covers.

  4. congratulations james and andrea. we are really excited for you!!

  5. I'm sure I'll make it to all your links later. Having one of those sad days though, ya know? Good to hear an update. Love ya.

  6. Wow, the connection between SIDS and mattresses is sobering.

  7. I don't know if you do tags, but tag!

  8. Hi!

    Just came across your blog via Passionate Homemaking today . . . I grew up in Kenai and then lived in Anchorage for a few years so had to pop over when I saw Alaska in your name!

    Anyway, just wanted to let you know that you can easily stay away from flame retardant pyjamas for your new little one . . . my little guy is 20 months old now and he's never once slept in any and all of ours are store bought.

    Between 0-12 months you can buy what is called "Sleep and Play" outfits, mostly footed pyjama styles or top and bottom styles. Because they use the term "play" and don't market them as only sleep pyjamas, manufacturers can get away from the flame retardant requirements for children's sleepwear. Carter's, in my opinion, has some of the best quality Sleep and Play's but you can also find Gerber and other brands (though I found Gerber to be always a bit small to size, as well as thinner fabric and cheaper snaps. Just an FYI). Carter's also sells flame-retardant-free PJ's. They are sometimes hard to find, but they always have a big yellow tag hanging off of them "warning" you that they are not flame retardant. Keep your eye out!

    As my little guy passed the 12 month mark, it got a bit harder to find "Sleep and Play" styled pyjamas, but I began to find more top and bottom sets that I could use (less so the cute, fleece-style footed pyjamas, but that was okay because he has an extra long torso and always grew out of the all in one's earlier than the two-piece sets) You ARE going to be limited to 100% cotton pyjamas if you go the non flame retardant route, I've never found a fleece-style pj that is not flame retardant, but I'm perfectly happy with that!

    I hope this information helps and encourages you! BTW, thanks for the link regarding sheeting an adult bed. We have a new mattress and will be expecting a new little guy in May and co-sleep for the first few months, so this will be very helpful!



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