January 29, 2009

At the top of the "don't worry about it" list

Thanks to Wake county's wonderful library request system, I was able to pick up a whole stack of books about babies, baby gear and many other pertinent topics.

The most useful so far has been The Girlfriend's Guide to Baby Gear: What to Buy, What to Borrow and What to Blow Off. This book is written by a group of Moms who have tried all of these products and are now sharing their wealth of knowledge with the rest of us. My shopping list is definitely shorter than it would have been if I listened to some of the other books.

The least useful by far has been the Somethingorother Guide to Natural Baby Care. I'm mad at it, so I don't even care what the actual title is. I was hoping for maybe info about cloth diapering or how to produce less waste with a baby in the house. You know, normal human-type stuff. Instead, within the first few pages, I realize that this is more like The Psycho Alarmist's Guide to Raising Your Baby to be a Weirdo.

These people would have you tearing out the carpet in your nursery and installing hardwoods to avoid the VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) that are emitted by the carpet. This also means no plastic in the nursery and a huge list of extremely common things to avoid. Now, I agree that you should avoid secondhand smoke and creepy chemicals like formaldehyde and tolulene. But there has to be a limit.

I spent about 30 minutes Googling VOCs and all I could find were similar pages of people freaking out about VOCs. I found no real information about anything. No amounts of VOCs emitted by the plastics and no limits of safe or unsafe exposure. We are surrounded by plastics and other apparently evil materials and have been for years. You can't just run around spouting the horrors of something you don't define. It just creates panic and fear of the unknown. I mean, trees emit VOCs. How is that wood floor now? And by the way, what kind of finish is on that?

Bottom line: not going to worry about it.

This lead me to another topic that bothers me: BPA. There are plenty of BPA-free products available now, so by all means use them, but I was curious as to how much BPA you are actually exposed to from a water bottle. Happily, I could actually find numbers for this one.

Just some quick background:
  • BPA = bisphenol A
  • it is bad because it has estrogen-like effects while in the body
  • BPA does not accumulate in the body, it is processed and excreted in urine
  • We are exposed to tons of hormone and hormone-like substances every day, BPA was just one that made it into the spotlight

The facts:

  • The EPA has set the TDI (Tolerable Daily Intake) of BPA at 0.05 mg per kg of body weight per day.
  • The TDI is 100 times less than the "no observable adverse effect level" (NOAEL) established in testing of lab rats
  • The EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) published data that all tested cases were less than 30% of the TDI.
  • The CDC (Center for Disease Control) tested 2000 people from age 6 to 85 and the average BPA amount was 0.0000027 mg per mL of urine. This is equivalent to 0.00005 mg BPA per kg body weight, 1000 times less than the TDI.
  • In testing of baby bottles, the maximum amount of BPA leached from any bottle was 0.000008 mg per mL of liquid in the bottle. If a 5 kg baby drinks a liter of liquid from this bottle in a day, they will ingest 0.0016 mg of BPA per kg body weight, about 3% of the TDI.

Bottom line: buy BPA-free bottles because they are now widely available, don't put boiling water in plastic that isn't BPA-free (it increases the rate of leaching), and don't microwave food in plastic containers. But overall, don't worry about it.

Remember folks, we had lead paint, asbestos, and toys with strings and small parts. We played with the mercury from broken thermometers and rode our bikes without helmets for years. EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY!

January 27, 2009

Our First Visit to the Doctor

Sorry, but this one isn't quite as entertaining as some of the other posts, but it is what really happened.

Way back before Christmas I got a call from our family doctor's office saying that they had sent my info to the Atrium OB/Gyn and I should hear from them soon to schedule my appointment. So I figure I'll give them about a week, I didn't want to be that patient. Then it was the holidays and I figured they were just going to wait until after the new year or something. Then I finally got mad when I realized that I was 12 weeks pregnant and apparently no one cared. So I called on January 2, and they had never heard of me. Turns out the fax had never made it.

I have to say they took care of things very quickly. I went in that day for the medical history and we got scheduled on the 5th to meet the doctor and have an ultrasound. By this point the whole thing is very surreal and I'm becoming convinced that I'm going to go in to the appointment and they would say, "you moron, it's just gas. Stop wasting our time." Then we get there and they're all concerned because my blood pressure is high and I keep telling them to wait until after the ultrasound.

My stress wasn't helped by the fact that it seemed like they were doubting me. As it turns out, I think they were trying to make me be less pregnant than I really was because they usually do this appointment at 8-10 weeks and I was at 13 weeks. So she asks if I'm sure about the date of my last period and if I've been having any symptoms of pregnancy and I'm like, "crap, I knew it. They don't believe me either."

We finally get in to do the ultrasound and I think when she saw my belly she finally believed that I was at 13 weeks. The Little Bug popped right up on the screen and I had the hugest feeling of relief, I almost burst into tears right there on the exam table. I have the picture hanging beside my desk at work so I can look at it every day and remind myself that it is real.

In newer news, I got to hear the heartbeat again yesterday, which is very reassuring. I know you can buy one of those Doppler things, but I think I would abuse it and just walk around listening to the heartbeat all the time. Maybe you can use headphones...

Anyway, the next ultrasound is scheduled for February 12th when we will count limbs and hopefully be able to tell if it is a boy bug or a girl bug. I'll keep you posted!

January 14, 2009

Hormones, cravings and moisturizers

Let's see if I can knock out a few short topics in one post.

Fun with Hormones!
  • Let's see, I think the first noticeable effect was that the "global endowments" got more, well, global. Like a full cup size.
  • I definitely tear up more easily. Now, as a Pisces I am fairly weepy anyway. Brian (older brother for those outside of the fam) used to make me cry just by pointing at me. It sounds silly, but it really was quite menacing. I seem to be more prone to weeping in the morning: a song, a Christmas card, Coach K calling in to 101.5 on Sheri's (formerly of Bill & Sheri) last day. TV commercials get me in the evenings sometimes, but later in the day I'm usually more prone to...
  • getting mad about something dumb or something that I just completely misunderstand.
  • I can't seem to express myself clearly and spend a lot of time trying to clarify what I mean.
  • I definitely am a lot more spacey than I used to be. I have, as Parker calls it, "baby brain" or "the baby stole my brain" as another pregnant lady put it. The most interesting manifestation of this is that I keep putting my clothes on backwards. I bought some maternity pants (a bit early, but they were on sale) and when I tried them on I just went by the tag that they fold over the waistband. You know, the one on jeans that is always on the back left? So, they feel kinda weird and the satiny stuff goes down way too far in the back. I finally look down and see that there are pockets on the pants and I say, "these look like back pockets! What is wrong with these pants?!?" Then I realize they are back pockets! I am happy to say that the pants fit perfectly when they are pointed in the right direction. So there's at least one aspect of my body that I can feel good about.
  • Finally, see Cravings.
  • Oddly, I don't seem to want sweet things as much as I used to. Quite often they don't even taste good to me. I hardly had any of Mom's famous and amazing Christmas cookies this year. Ice cream seems to have made the cut and I am enjoying it very much.
  • I tend to want salty and savory things. I hear the salt craving is an indication of a boy.
  • Nachos
  • Potato chips with Dean's French onion dip (sound familiar, Mom?)
  • Fortunately this kid want fruits and vegetables pretty often.
  • Pickles. What is it with pregnant women and pickles? Is there scientific reasoning behind this?
  • I've eaten quite a few grilled cheese sandwiches (with bread and butter pickles, of course).
  • Right before Christmas I absolutely had to have pink grapefruit juice.
  • I have to have orange juice everyday.
  • I don't like water as much, I want beverages with flavor. Which also means calories since I'm trying to avoid artificial sweeteners.
  • Finally, ethnic food. I've had Vietnamese, Thai, Mexican, Italian, Chinese and Japanese that I can think of. I'm having Dim Sum on Saturday. I still haven't managed to get my Indian food. And I think I had a dream about the pork carnitas tacos from Alejandro's in Roanoke, which are totally amazing.
I'm sure most of us experience the lovely skin drying effects of cold weather and running the heat in the house. I've actually been remembering to use lotion in the mornings so as to not have the creepy-crawlies later in the day. I found a great lotion at Ulta that is Lemon Sugar flavor. It came in a great big bottle with a pump which is a definite plus. I also put cocoa butter on my belly which has it's own distinct scent. These two combine to make an interesting aroma. So if I smell funny, it's because I'm mixing scented moisturizers and I don't care!

I guess this didn't end up being very short. Oh, well. Until next time... :)

January 13, 2009

How we found out

So, the day we actually found out that I had a buttermilk biscuit in the oven was Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2008.

We had taken Monday off to extend Doug's birthday weekend and that was when I really started to suspect that something was up. I realized that my PMS that month was "different," mostly because I hadn't gotten mad at Doug about something stupid like I usually do. Additionally, I really thought Aunt Flo should have arrived by then. I remember walking into the bathroom right before bed and feeling pretty convinced that I was late and I thought, "Oh no! I said I was ready, but I'm not ready!" See, we had just recently discussed that we would wait about a year before I got pregnant and I was a little unhappy about waiting, but I could see the logic. Then I thought, "no, just wait until you get to work and check your calendar before you freak out."

So I went to work and checked my calendar. 32 days. 32 days!!! I counted again, still 32. I don't know how many times I doubted and counted, but it was always 32. OK, this has never happened before, now what. Fortunately, Lindsay hadn't moved to her new office yet so she was still next to me and available to help me and do the logical thinking.

We went out to lunch that day in Louisburg and made a pit stop by the Walgreen's. I am embarrassed to admit that I took the test in the bathroom at work (with a lab timer for accuracy) but I had to know. I really don't think I could have waited. So, really, really long 3 minutes.... Positive. Refer back to the directions. Definitely positive. Oh boy (or girl!).

I make it back to my desk without my head exploding or anybody finding out, because you know everyone can tell just by looking at you. Lindsay was the first to know, and she tried to help me figure out how to tell Doug. I decided to make him Southwestern eggrolls since he complains that I never make them. I hoped he would ask me what was going on so I could say, "well, now that you ask..." He got home while I was still cooking and could tell something was up, so we didn't get to eat first like I had planned. Obviously none of my plans were working out at the time ;)

I don't remember exactly what I said. Something like, "well, my calendar said I was a few days late. So I took a test."
Doug: "And it was positive."
Christie: "Yep."
Doug: "I feel sick."

So, after the initial shock and a few sleepless nights, here we are happy and getting ready for our Little Bug. I am so grateful for every one's joy and excitement for us. I also appreciate those that have expressed confidence in our parenting capabilities, because sometimes I am in doubt! In some ways I feel like it is the most important job we will ever do, and I just hope we can give him (or her) a good life. It should be easy with great people like all of you around.
Love you!

January 10, 2009

Hello Friends and Family!

I have taken inspiration from a good friend and recent new Mommy to create a blog so all of you can share this amazing experience with us. Thank you, Parker!

I will try to post updates here as time goes by and I may even go back a little to talk about when we found out and other early experiences. For now, here is our first picture. As of 1/8/2009 I am 13 weeks pregnant with a due date in the 3rd week of July. The Bug is 7.46 cm long from head to heiney and the heart rate was 156 bpm. All was good and we'll try to find out if it is a boy or girl in 5 weeks.