The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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Travel is expensive, especially around the holidays. And family festivities can be particularly draining when you’re pregnant. Avoid the hassles and enjoy some pre-baby alone time with your partner by booking a stay—even one night can do the trick—at a local hotel or resort that offers a “babymoon” (aka “last hurrah”) package. “This is your last time for spontaneous romance, without a baby in your arms or a child at your side,” says family therapist Gayle Peterson, LCSW, Ph.D., author of Making Healthy Families (Shadow and Light).
When my sister-in-law got pregnant about 5 months ago, I was shocked. "Another baby?!!?" I thought, "who does that?!" Then the woman we share a nanny with did it. Then a woman in playgroup, then every other lady in mom and tot yoga… Bellies are popping up everywhere I look and what I want to know is how these people find the time to make second babies. And where will they find the time to deliver them, breastfeed them, diaper them, rock them, feed them and raise them to adulthood?
Q: How does it feel to be going through pregnancy again after 5 years?
A: It’s not exactly the way we planned it, but various circumstances kept us from having a baby sooner. I actually think it’s a good thing considering we’re having twins, as it would be so much harder with a toddler than with an almost 6-year-old.
So many experts…so many opinions. Yet, women are individuals and every pregnancy is unique. So many women write in with concerns that their bodies are doing something the experts say they're not supposed to yet or ought to happen later. Women feel what they feel. Who says those flutters you feel at 12 weeks can’t be baby kicks yet? Oh right, experts. How about those cravings? Experts say there’s nothing to them, they’re just excuses to overeat. Yeah, right. Tell that to any pregnant woman who knows she’ll just die if she doesn’t have a Haagen Dazs Bar.
Nancy O'Dell, co-anchor of NBC's Access Hollywood, has had a busy year so far: Daughter Ashby (named after O'Dell's grandfather) turns 2 on June 11; O'Dell was scheduled to compete on Dancing With The Stars (DWTS) (and had to drop out due to a knee injury); and in April her first book - Full of Life: Mom to Mom Tips I Wish Someone Had Told Me When I Was Pregnant (Simon Spotlight Entertainment) comes out. She spoke with us one afternoon in March after taping Access.
Your first clue: Your menstrual period is late! (Dating a pregnancy actually starts from the first day of your last period, so by the time you miss your period you're considered four weeks pregnant.) You also may have swollen, tender breasts; up to 5 pounds of extra weight (much of it water); deep fatigue; mild to extreme nausea any time of the day or night (with or without vomiting); food cravings and aversions.
I am sitting in exactly the way I'm not supposed to for the baby's proper positioning--slouching back on the couch. And it feels so good. Just like the half-caf cup of coffee I have every morning, the sips of Aron's beer or wine, the bite of smoked whitefish on bagel. I am not an angel about pregnancy; I have friends who even foreswore chocolate when they were nursing, just in case it pumped too much of a jolt into the baby's bloodstream. Not me. Baby better just roll with the slightly caffeinated punches, is my outlook.
Bigger than an acorn. Smaller than a kiwi. At 10 weeks, a fetus is about an inch long, but makes itself known in larger-than-life ways. When I was pregnant with Sylvia, I spent a week on a college campus, and I have never known such love for a cafeteria. The food wasn't especially good, but there was always so much of it, so many different little bits of food, and they were already made. When I'm not feeling well, I cannot even fathom food preparation. If I'm hungry, I need the food now.
Next week my blog with Fit Pregnancy will officially come to an end. What a wonderful assignment this has been. To record my pregnancy from conception through birth and beyond has been immensely rewarding. What's more, my weekly blogs are now a narrative of David's entrance into this world. Years from now, I'm sure I will read through them and marvel at all of my thoughts and experiences.
One of my biggest challenges as a mom is staying fit and healthy. Eating well is extremely difficult with two picky eaters protesting half of what I put on the table. Take last night. I was craving Mexican food, so I decided to prepare Bean and Green Enchiladas from my new favorite cookbook Real Food for Healthy Kids by Tracey Seaman and Tanya Wenman Steel. I figured there was a good chance the girls would at least eat some of the meal. I chopped the spinach extra small so it was less conspicuous.
I'm so happy to have my appetite back. The other day I had the best "Baja fish burrito" for lunch at a local tex-mex cafe that I sometimes visit when I want to write. The whole experience was delightful. I set up my laptop along one of the counter tables facing to the outside. I grabbed my burrito, pomegranate juice, and decadent chocolate brownie and nestled into my spot to enjoy the kid-free time to get some work done. I savored every bit of that burrito. The crispy fish and zesty rice topped with shredded cheese, veggies, and spicy sauce was so good.
A Theory of Relativity
Making room for a new relationship in my life has changed my relationships to so many things. For one thing: my husband. I recently tried to express this for the first time (let's hope I didn't freak him out!) and it came out something like this:
Before, Aaron was the partner with whom I was building a home, a future. But very soon after I got pregnant, as though we had taken some new, deeper vow than we did when we got married in 2006, our relationship, our family, became my home and future.
Almost every other first pregnancy in our circle of friends and family has produced a girl. Somehow, though that wouldn't technically affect our odds, it just seemed more likely that there would finally be a boy on the way. And because we've watched so many people bring girls into the world, as soon as we found out we were pregnant we began studiously visualizing a boy just in case.