16 weeks and an interesting article...

So we are finally 16 weeks! I always thought it would be more "real" here but it still feels the same, LOL! Maybe at 20... :-).

My belly...

The baby...

From Babycenter.com, "Your baby is now about the size of an avocado (about 5 inches / 11.6 centimetres long from crown to rump and weighing approximately 4 ounces / 100 grams). In the next three weeks he'll go through a tremendous growth spurt, doubling his weight and adding inches to his length.

In or out of the womb, babies are playful creatures. Yours may already have discovered his first toy -- the umbilical cord -- which he'll enjoy pulling and grabbing. Sometimes he may even clutch it so tight that less oxygen gets through, but don't worry -- he doesn't hold onto it long enough to harm himself. The circulatory system and urinary tract are in full working order, and he's inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid through his lungs.

Sometimes, when you move suddenly, you may a feel a slight pain in your sides. Ligaments on each side of your uterus and pelvic walls are stretching as your baby grows. It's normal to feel some pain, but if it continues for a few days or escalates, talk to your doctor."

Yum...I LOVE avocados :-).  

SO when I was looking for images of a 16 week baby...I came across this...creepy, LOL!

In other EXCITING news...Andrew and Theresa had their baby boy on Tuesday! I just can't believe he is finally here! We are going to see him Friday and I am already dying, LOL! Congrats Lichter family..."Baby Boy" Lichter (as his name isn't set yet and this is what we call babies in the NICU) is absolutely precious!

Here is the interesting article I was talking about...Meg sent it to me. Let me know what you think!

Birth plan? Doula? Natural birth? Not here you don't.

A sign posted at the Aspen OB/GYN Women's Center in Provo, Utah has many women up in arms. What's so offensive? Read for yourself.
The sign reads as follows:
Because the Physicians at Aspen Women’s Center care about the quality of their patient’s deliveries and are very concerned about the welfare and health of your unborn child, we will not participate in a “Birth Contract”, a Doulah Assisted, or a Bradley Method delivery. For those patients who are interested in such methods, please notify the nurse so we may arrange transfer of your care.

I first learned of this sign from Naomi, the Denver Doula, who posted it on Facebook. Being a doula (which is misspelled on the sign) herself, she took a particular interest in it. When she called the Center and inquired with the receptionist as to why the sign was posted she was told, "in case there is an emergency we don't want anyone to get in the way of the doctor doing what he has to do."
Annie from PhD in Parenting was inspired by the sign to write How Not To Have a Natural Birth and believes the center might as well have said:
Because Physicians at Aspen Women’s Center care only about doing things their own way and making as much money as possible from unnecessary birth interventions, even if it poses greater risks to the welfare and health your baby, we will not participate in a “Birth Contract”, a doula-assisted, or a Bradley Method delivery. For all patients who have done any research into having the safest birth possible, please notify the nurse so that we can transfer you to a facility that cares less about control and money.
Annie added, "I guess we can at least credit them with warning women in advance. Many hospitals with the same attitude don’t have a sign hanging out front."
Amber responded, "I always thought the big ‘trust birth’ poster in my midwives office was a little cheesy. Now that I’ve seen the alternative, I think it’s truly marvelous. Really."
Miriam Zoila PĂ©rez of Radical Doula wrote a post called Signs You Don't Want to See at Your OB-GYN's Office. She believes the sign could be translated to say:
We don’t care at all what you want as a parent, or a person in labor. We want a patient who will sit quiet and do what we say–no matter what. Oh and if you have a partner you want involved, tough. Your desires don’t matter.
Miriam adds, "They should change the name of the center to the 'Unborn Children Center' since they don’t seem to care too much about the women involved."
A commenter named Janna responded saying, "That’s what bothered me most about this hateful little sign–not once is the “welfare and health” of the MOTHER mentioned, just the “welfare and health” of the “unborn child” and the “quality” of the “deliveries.” Who would want to give birth in a place where they’re the lowest priority on their caregiver’s list? I hope women in this area have other options and the opportunity to have safe, healthy, supportive births."
Does no doula, Bradley Method birth or birth "contract" equal no women's rights?

Summer who writes at Wired for Noise says signs like this one and stories like the lack of choice with regard to our reproductive health and doctors' personal "birth plans" make her sometimes think Doctors Hate Women.
What does it say when women have to escape, have to run away in order to do something as normal as give birth? What does it say when women are treated like children, talked down to, insulted, lied to, and handed letters telling them what the god-head doctor will allow or not allow. When all you want to do is give birth and you’re doctor is more concerned with telling you to sit down and shut up, what is that if not hatred?
I have to agree with Annie that at least some doctors are upfront with what they will and won't "allow" as part of their practice. Kudos to them for being honest. Hopefully that will allow women to look for another care provider while she's still early in her pregnancy.
Rest assured if the OB/GYN I had at my daughter's birth would have given me a piece of paper with her "rules" or had a sign posted like that at the Aspen Women's Clinic, I would have found another care provider pronto. Instead, however, she paid me lip service and acted like she cared about my birth plan (though she didn't act very well and that should have been a big clue for me) and said we could "try" Hypnobirthing, etc. However, when push came to shove (no pun intended), it was her way or the highway. I had my healthy baby girl at the end of it and for that I am truly thankful, but I also got a lot more than I bargained for (and not in a good way). Then again it was that experience lead me to pursue a home birth for my second child and become a home birth advocate.
Although I admire the Aspen Women's Center's honesty, I find it truly offensive that they imply that if a woman wants a doula, natural birth, or has a birth plan, she is not concerned with the welfare and health of her baby (so much more personal than "unborn child" don't you think?) or is even putting her baby's life at risk. Studies have shown that when doulas attend birth, labors are shorter with fewer complications, babies are healthier and they breastfeed more easily. And how exactly is choosing a Bradley birth not good for the health or welfare of the baby? "Bradley® classes teach families how to have natural births. The techniques are simple and effective. They are based on information about how the human body works during labor. Couples are taught how they can work with their bodies to reduce pain and make their labors more efficient." What about a birth plan or "contract?" Is that harmful to the "unborn child?" The American Pregnancy Association suggests, "Creating a birth plan can help you have a more positive birth experience."
There are other things I find offensive as well, like Janna mentioned above, the mother does not seem to be included in the equation at all. Is there any concern for her "welfare and health?"
Who's time money welfare are they really concerned with? I'll let you draw your own conclusions. I've obviously already drawn mine.
Contributing editor Amy Gates blogs about green living, attachment parenting, activism and life with an anxiety disorder at Crunchy Domestic Goddess.


15 weeks and Life...

Well I can't believe that we are now 15 weeks! From the beginning I have said..."When I am 16 weeks that will be weird and seems so far away"...well 16 weeks is just NEXT week now! This also means 5 weeks or less until we find out the big ?...BOY or GIRL! Pregnancy really does fly by. Maybe the fact that I am at my new job and it consumes a lot of my time plus doing photo shoots almost every weekend is making time go faster. I really am trying to enjoy each and every moment of this pregnancy, though. I am in no rush for it to be over. Well enough rambling...here is baby A this week...

We've got an orange!

The belly...pretty much the same as last week.
I thought this one was really neat...you can actually see how the baby is in proportion to me...
Actual 15 week fetus... a little blurry but still cool! Almost everything is done forming in the baby...he/she is now working on growing and becoming a chunky cute baby :-).
My posts lately have been consumed by baby...understandably but I thought I would share everything else going on in our life! For me...work is...amazing. I never thought I could love a job so much...maybe because it's a career and not a job.  There are times when I am definitely sleepy and want to be in bed or don't want to get out of bed at 5:30 am but I LOVE being there. I really hope this continues. I guess the fact that the NICU has a very low turn over rate and many of the nurses are much older is good news for me. For the most part there are a lot of happy times in there...miracle babies doing things they never should have been able to do but  even in the few short weeks I've been there we've had some sad/hard times. I've actually just had to laugh lately when I've seen people complaining about homework, the president, healthcare...once you've been in the NICU and seen a family going through something they should never have to...nothing else seems like a big enough deal to complain about. Life is definitely put into perspective. Anyways...each day I am able to do more advanced procedures and take care of higher acuity babies...it's very exciting! I was even able to go to a high risk C-Section  the other day. That's where I realized I definitely DO NOT want a C-Section, LOL! If the medical need arises then of course I wouldn't think twice but they are a little rougher than I would like :-).

Other than nursing, Elyse Renee Photography has really taken off! Meg and I are very excited for this year. Through lots of prayer and really taking our time with everything, we feel we are right where we want to be. Having wonderful husbands that can handle the business and design side is also very helpful! It's definitely going to get harder to shoot has my belly gets bigger but Meg's will be getting smaller as Mr. M arrives in May so we will be able to switch off duties, LOL!

As for Brant...he is going to be a college graduate in less than two months! He has been working for hours and hours....too many to count...on his final project and I am SO incredibly proud of him. I just need to take his senior photos and work on his announcements....May 15th will be here before we know it!

Well I hope you enjoyed the update...Karla and Meg I know you were in desperate need ;-)!


Lemon Baby

14 weeks and it's a lemon!

The belly is really starting to show now! It still goes back and forth, though...small in the morning and big at night. Soon I know it will be there to stay, LOL!

The baby's head still makes up more than half of it's body but it's still cute :-).


13 Weeks!

We've got a...


I can't get over how much it looks like a REAL baby, LOL!


Well nothing too exciting this week. Just that much closer to being in the second trimester...one more week! Work is going great. Luckily I get to sit a lot for charting and in between cares but standing next to an incubator for long periods of time (or when another nurse steals your chair!) starts to hurt! I'll definitely need a maternity belt of some sort once this belly actually gets big enough to weigh me down, LOL! Right now I don't have trouble falling asleep but I am starting to notice that I toss and turn quite a bit and wake up when I accidentally roll to my back or tummy so I got a pregnancy pillow! It's a Snoogle and very comfy! You can use it many different ways so it won't be a waste after the baby comes. I also got an "I Love My Bump" shirt the other day HAHA! Brant hates when shirts say things like that but I think it's cute...can't wait to actually have a "bump" to wear it with ;-).

Last night I was watching 19 Kids and Counting and Michelle was able to hold Josie for the first time. I cried like a baby the whole time, LOL! Not only am I emotional now but seeing parents in the NICU each day just gives me a new perspective on the little things in life.

PS...I kind of went crazy with the pics this post but I really like it...it's fun to look at :-).


Baby Arnold

As many of you already know...Brant and I are expecting our first little one September 15th, 2010!!! We are now 12 weeks and 2 days! We found out at 12:45 am on January 7th and have been SO excited ever since. We have chosen to go to a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) instead of an OB/GYN and will be delivering at The Birth and Women's Health Center here in Tucson. After going through our L&D rotation in nursing school, I knew exactly what I wanted my pregnancy and childbirth experience to be. I do not feel that I am sick and need a Dr., so a midwife was really the best choice for us. Brant was a little leery at first and really wanted me to be in a hospital. You can deliver at the hospital (TMC) with a midwife but I felt I would be at a much greater risk of having unnecessary interventions done. Now that we have met two out of the five midwives in the practice...Brant feels much more comfortable and is very excited! We chose to wait and announce it to the world mostly because I know too much for my own good and was worried, LOL! But now that we have seen the baby and heard the heartbeat I feel a lot better!
At our first appt. we were able to get a quick peek of the baby on an ultrasound. They normally don't do this but because it was too early (7w 5d) for a heartbeat to be heard through the doppler, she did a quick scan for us. I cried, LOL! The baby was so tiny but you could see the umbilical cord and our little one just floating around. At this appt. (12w 2d) we were able to hear the heartbeat just for a quick second. She said it was definitely there and sounded good! The baby is still low and was apparently hiding out behind my artery so it was a little tough, LOL! It is truly amazing to know something so tiny is actually growing inside of me :-)! Brant is handling everything so well and has been pretty amazing I must say! He has been doing so much around the house (especially now that I'm working) and gets so excited even over the little things. Since 4 weeks he has been rubbing lotion on my belly...not sure if he's being sweet or just trying to make sure I don't get stretch marks, LOL!
As far as how I have felt...not too bad! I had all day nausea starting just before 6 weeks and lasted until 9 weeks. I will take nausea over throwing up any day. I haven't been too tired...during the time when I would have been most exhausted I was sitting around at home, LOL, so I didn't really notice. My body has actually been surprising me. I thought for sure by now I would be completely showing and need my maternity clothes, LOL! But some how I actually lost about 7 lbs from the nausea. I now have gained almost 2 lbs back which the midwives are very happy about. They don't really like to see wt loss especially when you didn't start out over wt to begin with. While my belly is just starting to show I don't really need my maternity clothes just yet but they are just so darn comfortable that I wear them when I can HAHA!
Being pg at work is actually going quite well. My manager took the news very well and I can have 3 months off if I want! There are 5 of us pg right now so she deals with this a lot, LOL! My preceptor just came back from maternity leave so she knows exactly what I am going through.

Well enough of my blabbing...here are some pics!

The night we found out!

Second test...I took about 6 or 7, LOL!

4 weeks

5 weeks

6 weeks

7 weeks

8 weeks

9 weeks

10 weeks

11 weeks

12 weeks