Keeping with the news

Thanks to Carpundit for pointing out this Herald story yesterday. Apparently the state Public Health Council has voted to end the practice of hospitals giving out free formula to new mothers. The story quotes sources saying the move will promote breast feeding among new mothers and will curb the influence of marketing materials by the formula-making companies. Interesting.

We plan to bottle feed. It’s a personal choice. That’s that. We can afford to buy formula, so free formula isn’t going to make a big difference. Actually Susan and I had no idea that hospitals give out free formula until I read this story and told her they weren’t going to do it anymore. She was no less than stunned that a state board can set such a rule.

The argument of the breast versus the bottle has been gaining steam in recent years. Women’s groups have advocated for laws that wouldn’t prevent them from nursing their babies in public places. I, for one, agree. I’m not opposed to breast feeding in public. I simply look away.

Since we have been pregnant we have been warned by other mothers that many people will try to “encourage” Susan to nurse. I put encourage in quotes because it will be less a suggestion and more an insistence. Susan doesn’t want to nurse, and I support her. Actually, bottle feeding will allow me to bond with my child, too. This new regulation is further “encouragement” towards breast feeding, and it is being done in the name of saving mothers from the nasty marketing materials. Gosh, free samples be damned!

But this isn’t solely about the free samples and the marketing materials. It’s an agenda to promote breast feeding. If the Public Health Council were so worried about free samples and their marketing influence, it wouldn’t allow doctors to hand out free samples of Viagra or Ortho Tri-Cyclen. Both can be said to promote sexual intercourse when abstinence is considered by some as sound as breast feeding is to the Public Health Council. Why stop there? Maybe doctors shouldn’t be allowed to hand out blood pressure medication or cholesterol lowering drugs and instead they should counsel their patients to eat a healthy diet and exercise.

Why don’t they do it? Because they know that some people simply can’t. Despite any attempts to control my diet and exercise, my cholesterol is very high. It is hereditary and I need medicine to control it. If someday I couldn’t afford it, I would hope that my doctor would be able to give me some free samples until I could afford it. And mothers should be allowed to have the formula samples. Most mothers know going into the delivery room whether they will be breast or bottle feeding. Those who nurse can politely decline the formula. More for us.

The Public Health Council should ban all free samples or none; not pick and choose to satisfy some advocacy.

Just Checking In… (by Sue)

Well the ultrasound is over, and the name is picked out. In some ways everyone tells me that I should just sit back and enjoy the rest of the ride, afterall, the hard part is over (well except for the actual delivery). Well as appealing as that sounds, I am anything but relaxed. Everyday I look into the current computer room and think that in short few months I will not be checking my email/paying bills, but instead changing diapers and feeding G. Somehow knowing the gender and having the name picked out makes this whole experience much more real. I frequently finding myself looking at the ultrasound picture and wondering just what he is going to be like. More importantly, who does he look like? I love my husband dearly, yet I am secretly hoping G looks like me. I wonder what he will look like with red hair or brown hair, whose eye color will he have, and whether he will have freckles like me or not. Yes, I have a little more than 4 months to contemplate all of this and it is absolutely killing me. In some regards I wish he would just hurry up and get here. Looking at his clothes, toys, and other accessories makes me yearn to play with him. That is another thing, whose temperment will he have? A year ago if anyone told me that I would be this into a baby I would have laughed. I admit my motherly insticts were not exactly well developed. As a teacher I love my students as if they were my own, yet they are teenagers and much more independent than a baby. A baby, still to this day I have no clue what to do with one. Yes, ignorant as I may sound I am excited to find out. I feel as though I am going on a long trip with no itinerary and no guide. Instead I have to find my own way and deal with obstacles as they arise. So again I contemplate, just how will my life change? I’m told drastically by all, and yet I am still excited. Am I nuts, sure but I still cannot wait!

Jiffy pop

Although Susan’s nearly five months along, she’s not quite showing yet. She can see it. I can see it, but others tell her she hasn’t “popped” yet. Perhaps she hasn’t, but I get a funny picture in my head when it’s mentioned. I get the image of Jiffy Pop. Remember that? The stovetop popcorn treat? Do they still make it?

All I remember as a kid was that it was a neat thing to do before watching a movie on TV (before VCRs were in every household — remember VCRs?). When I was little, usually the Sound of Music or Wizard of Oz would be coming on and we would cook up some Jiffy Pop to each while we watched. But it seemed like that stuff took forever even though it was faster and easier than popping in a real pan. We would put the foil pan on the burner and move it back and forth for what seemed like an eternity (and I bet it’s worse now thanks to microwave popcorn). Then suddenly there would be some popping noises even though you couldn’t see any changes in the pan’s shape right away. Ironically, Susan describes the feeling of the baby moving like popcorn popping.

So, I guess we are at that point where the kernels are popping but we don’t really notice a change. That’s good, because if memory serves, the top of the Jiffy Pop pan would start to expand pretty quickly until it made a neat silvery foil dome filled with popcorn. Of course, I always managed to over cook it and burn a few kernels, so it wasn’t perfect. But I wonder if the childish excitement I had over poking into that steaming dome will be anything like what I expect to experience in the delivery room. Only time will tell!

Boy or girl? (WARNING: Spoilers)

Today was the ultrasound. It was my first time going to any of Susan’s appointments as all of them up to this point haven’t been too critical. But how could I miss this one? We got there early, and were called early. Both of us were nervous. We were going into it blind, but knowing that one was going to be ecstatic and the other disappointed when we found out the gender.

Two people did separate ultrasounds, and the first said she couldn’t see because our baby was being modest. The second person was much more personable and talkative. We saw the head and body. The baby’s hands were at the face and its legs were crossed. With a little fancy maneuvering of the ultrasound wand, the tech was able to jiggle the legs apart and we got to see what our baby is.

The picture is at right. I turned the photo on its side when I scanned it so that it looks more like a profile than a baby in repose. There is clearly a head (thank God!) and the baby’s chest and left arm (there’s a right one, too).

Susan said she thought she could see hair when looking at the printout afterwards. Hair or not, the baby is healthy and developing normally. We also recently received the results of various blood tests that came back with positive results.

So that’s our baby. Happy Thanksgiving!

Oh wait. You all want to know. I almost forgot. His name is G.


Tomorrow is G-day; the day we find out the gender of our baby. It is really exciting. After tomorrow’s visit, we will really have to start picking out names. The boy name is easy. We’ve got that picked out. We’re hovering over a few girl names, none of which really excites me. A few that came to mind today really sounded good, but Susan vetoed them. I’m praying for a boy.

In other news, Susan’s appetite is back, for the time being. That’s a good sign, as I am told, because it means she’s settling into her second trimester. This is the time that is called the in some books as the calm between two storms. I hope that’s true. I have felt so bad for her having to go through all of the constant vomiting and nausea, and there was nothing I could do except tell her to put the toilet seat up. Also, to the trained eye, she is starting to show a bit. She says she can feel the occupant moving around, which is sometimes good and sometimes bad. A couple of times, the baby has also been active while I’m on the phone with her. That’s kind of neat.

Update tomorrow after the ultrasound! Those who don’t want to know should skip the blog for a few days. I have it set up that only three posts show at a time, so it might take awhile to get three up there to push it off the main page. I promise not to put the gender in the title, too.

No longer gender neutral

For the past month, I have been growing more concerned about the idea of having a girl. It’s very sexist, I know. Don’t ask why I want a boy so badly. I can’t explain it. Perhaps because I was so sure I would have a boy. Since the man’s part of the equation determines the baby’s gender, I was sure I was having a boy. My father had all boys. His brothers’, too. My father’s father did, too. Even my maternal uncle had three boys. All the male blood relatives had boys. I thought I was destined to have all boys, and I couldn’t wait.

But lately, Susan’s been having all the “symptoms” associated with a female pregnancy, so she says. I don’t usually buy into all that wive’s tale crap, but it’s beginning to add up to a girl, and that’s enough to make me wonder. Of course I will love a girl as much as a boy and all that. That goes without saying, even though I joke with Susan that we could find a family in the maternity ward that had a boy but wanted a girl and trade. It really is a joke, too. I wouldn’t trade my baby for any reason.

I just don’t know what to do with girls. I know what boys do. We play in the mud, handle slimy things and build stuff. What do girls do? Don’t they dress up their stuffed animals and have tea parties? I guess that can be fun, but where’s the exploration and discovery?

So, in case we are having a girl, I feel like I need time to get used to it, and I’ve decided to find out the gender when we go for our ultrasound next week. Stay tuned!

A kick or a cramp?

Susan’s starting to get over the sickness period. She’s not getting sick as often, and she’s figured out the foods she can’t eat. (Orange juice is one. Since my mom hasn’t been able to drink orange juice since she was pregnant with me, I’m wondering if it’s a Lavallee baby legacy.)

With the exception of a few physical changes, Susan’s not really showing just yet. There’s a slight change, but not something noticeable to those who wouldn’t know what to look for. So, we are still in at a point where no one knows unless we tell them. That’s good and bad. It’s good in that people aren’t staring at her as I predict they will when her belly starts to get bigger. It’s bad because even people who know forget she’s pregnant and are careless with their movements around her.

But most of all, it’s easy for both of us to forget there’s a baby growing inside of her from time to time. It’s not like it’s out of our minds completely. On the contrary, it’s always there in some way. But it takes some reminding for the things Susan’s doing.

One night recently she was exhausted. Nothing unusual there. This baby has done a number on her energy, which, aside from the sickness, has been the primary side effect of the pregnancy. There haven’t been any other signals really that anything is going in there. So it was a surprised when she plopped herself down on the bed one night like a rag doll sitting upright. As soon as she changed elevation, she grabbed her stomach and said, “Whoa! Was that a kick or a cramp?” Either way, I told her, she can’t go plopping herself down like that because the baby isn’t going to know what happened. If it wasn’t a kick, it might have been the baby itself not ready for the swift drop, like Disney’s Tower of Terror.

She couldn’t believe it it would be a kick because according to our countdown, she wasn’t far enough along to actually feel the baby. OR was she? We pored over a couple of books, and read that feeling the baby doesn’t usually happen until 16 weeks. Sickness doewsn’t usually end until 16 weeks, either. But this “kick” and her decreased frequency of vomiting would indicate she was closer to 16 weeks than we thought. This theory was reinforced a couple days later when she was driving along and talking to me on the phone. She suddenly felt something press inside of her. Was that a kick? Who knows? We’ll keep you posted.