Archive for the ‘Bellies’ Category

Pregnancy Update from a Full Term Mama

Here I sit at 37 weeks and 3 days- big bellied and tight-skinned, hula-ing on my birth ball, having to pee, and grateful for a sleeping toddler.

Today, I am grateful to be full term with a baby safely growing in my belly. I am also grateful that my discomforts are relatively few. They are mostly limited to heartburn, hemorrhoids, and the natural challenges of carrying an extra load around. 🙂 The reminder that both I and the baby are healthy is often enough to dismiss the various complaints that come creeping into my mind.

The baby is beginning to slow down as he/she is running out of room in its home. (Don’t worry, still plenty of movement- just not as boisterous as before.) I pass the evening hour in bed belly-watching, observing the rolls and juts that disturb my taut baby bump. I remember doing this with my son, but now I know him. It seems so different somehow, to see a baby on the inside instead of the outside. I wonder who this second little one will be?

The baby is completely posterior now, so I’m trying to coax him/her to turn around to ease the labor process. So far, this little free spirit has not obliged. Hopefully this will change by the time Labor Day arrives.

I’m happy to be experiencing lots of strong Braxton-Hicks, with the occasional crampy bouts of pre-labor warm up. They are reminding me to breathe, to release and relax, to soften my brow and jaw- you know, all those good things I repeat to my clients during a birth. They really are good practice, even if they’re not as intense as the real thing.

I’m feeling much more at peace with both the approaching birth and the prospect of mothering another child. I came to the realization that I was allowing my fears to rule me, instead of trusting that God would provide the grace to deal with each situation as it comes.

As for now, I am trying to be regular in Scripture reading & prayer, and to begin seriously immersing myself in birth preparation while remembering that only God knows how all of this will play out. And I must trust Him in it- not my own strength or knowledge.

This passage popped into my mind the other day as I was thinking about surrendering my worries. I don’t think it is out of context to assume that it could apply to physical needs in birth and mothering just as much as the given examples of food and clothing. I hope it is just as helpful to some of you expectant mamas as it was to me.

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Matthew 6:25-34, copied from Bible Gateway.

It’s Been a While!

Hi folks,

For those of you who are regular readers, I’m sorry I dropped off the face of the earth for a while- we’ve had a lot going on though!

Here are a few updates of what’s been going on in our lives recently:

We bought a house! And though it’s got great bones, it needs some love as it’s a little rough around the edges. We’ve been sanding, spackling, priming, painting, putting up light fixtures, and trying to figure out where to put everything. It’s still a wreck, but we are accomplishing projects one by one.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…. and that means lots of traveling, singing, going to concerts, supporting friends at different events, figuring out how to gift everyone without breaking the bank or focusing too much on the materialistic version of Christmas.

And lastly…

I’m pregnant with baby #2! Some of you may know this already, but I’m making the news blog official. I am 14.5 weeks along now and almost entirely out of the sick stage of pregnancy. I’m also popping way sooner with this baby that my first:

belly comparison2

Baby is obviously not as high up yet this time, but that makes sense because my uterus isn’t that high up yet. But wow, I am certainly pre-stretched and ready to go! I may be quite the sight to see by the end of this pregnancy.

This is just a short post to give an update… I will get back to blogging as soon as time allows again! If I’m not on beforehand, Happy Christmas to you all, and have a very wonderful New Year! 🙂

Commemorate Your Belly with an Ultrasound Picture

Today’s post will feature my final idea for commemorating your belly: displaying your ultrasound pictures, if you have them. But wait, you say, that’s not really your belly! True- an ultrasound picture is not actually displaying or decorating your physical belly. However, it is displaying the most important part of your whole pregnancy- your baby!

Us being rather silly after our ultrasound…

It should be noted that just wanting a picture alone shouldn’t be considered a legitimate reason for an ultrasound. However, ultrasounds are typically routine (another debated topic!), and most women do end up with a print-out at the end, so it’s worth doing something special with it!

Many companies sell special ultrasound frames, or you could make your own frame for your picture.  You can find a variety of creative handmade frames pre-made for this very purpose. Some women might like to do a photo collage of their ultrasound picture alongside photos of their family. You could send your ultrasound picture to a company that turns photos into canvas artwork for a stunning nursery display. You can always tuck your prized original print into a journal or baby book to keep for years to come. Whatever you choose to do with the picture of your unborn baby, the memory you preserve will be truly priceless.

This idea for “belly commemoration” might be especially applicable for women who experienced preterm labor and didn’t have a huge belly to cast, paint, or photograph. It might also be a way for a mother who experienced a miscarriage to remember her child- only if it is helpful to her grieving and healing process, of course. Even in a full-term, healthy pregnancy, an ultrasound photo is a special memento.

I hope that this series has helped to give you a some ideas on how to commemorate that pregnant belly! Whether you implement them or not,  your little one is still worth more celebration than all the baby bumps in the world. Thanks for reading.

Commemorate Your Belly with Paint

Today, I will feature some fun ways to decorate your belly in all of its glory! Some of these are silly and goofy, others intricate and beautiful. While I probably wouldn’t personally paint scenes on my pregnant tummy, I think that deciding how to decorate your belly is all a matter of taste and style, so if you like it, go for it! I am still having trouble posting pictures (dang WordPress!), so you will be enjoying videos again.

Before I share these suggestions, I would like to stress that it is important to make sure that whatever you put on your belly during pregnancy (or any of your skin!) is absolutely safe for both you and the baby. Check with your care provider first if you have any doubt at all.

First off, there’s henna bellies. Henna painting can be done in a variety of lovely patterns and styles. Here is one example (not the most detailed work, but I just wanted to find a nice short video for you).

Here’s a more detailed henna belly:

Next is belly painting- again, make sure the paint is food-grade safe before smothering your belly in it! Here’s a whimsical example:

If you’re into the more hippie-style of belly painting, here’s an idea for you:

If you’re feeling particularly wacky, you can even turn your belly into your pregnant Halloween costume:

Silly or lovely, these are all ideas to spark your interest in commemorating your belly. Check back soon for the final installment of this series!

Get Your Groove On!

A brief interruption to the belly commemoration series for this super cute dancing pregnant mama! Enjoy.

 

Commemorate Your Belly with a Belly Cast

Ever wished you could preserve that big belly forever? Some women literally do with a belly cast made in the last weeks of pregnancy. A belly cast is just what it sounds like- a plaster cast of your pregnant belly. Some find these maternal sculptures bizarre; others find them a lovely way to remember their babies’ temporary homes.

Unfortunately, my blog host is, for some unknown reason, giving me great trouble in uploading pictures the past few days, so I will send you to source websites to view some belly casts yourself!

First off, here’s a good introduction to how the belly casting process works. You can buy kits to make your own belly casts at home, or you can hire someone like my doula friend in Lehigh Valley to come to your house and make a cast for you. Some women prefer their casts plain, some prefer them painted, some like mosaics and decoupage. This mama blogger even found a belly cast with “clothes” on! (I found hers to be one of the classiest.) The sky is the limit as far as designs go.

How can you use your belly cast? You can hang it by ribbon, display it on a shelf, or even flip it over to use it as a large bowl or mini-bassinet (if it doesn’t include your breasts). Many women incorporate their belly casts in their baby’s nurseries as artwork.

What’s your vote on belly casts- wacky or wonderful? If you could make any type of belly cast you wanted, what would you choose?