Preggo Reads.

Pregnancy Reads

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When I found out I was pregnant with Eleanor, I couldn’t wait to get reading on all things pregnancy, birth and babies. BUT… I was scared that I was going to jinx things by delving too far into believing I was pregnant. It’s crazy, but it’s true. I had serious pregnancy anxiety!

Over the course of my pregnancy (especially once I could feel her kick) my fears subsided and I dove head first into any and all reading material I could get my hands on. This list contains some of my favorite pregnancy related reads!

Lucie’s List – You guys, this site and the email newsletter (based on where you are in pregnancy/postpartum) rocked my socks. I was on here all the time and actually looked forward to every email I received — which is not something I can say about pretty much any other newsletter I get. There is a wealth of information here on anything and everything pregnancy/baby/birth. (Just a note: the newsletter gets EVEN BETTER during postpartum. She’s got tips, notes on baby milestones and all sorts of other good stuff to help you feel like you’re on the right parenting path.)

The Wise Baby – As much as I loved the newsletter from Lucie’s List, my all-time favorite site was The Wise Baby. I was on this page multiple times per week looking at product reviews and absorbing the new mom favorites post. They took a bit of a hiatus over the winter, but they’re starting to post again. If you do only two things it’s look at this site and sign up for the Lucie’s List newsletter.

Bringing Up Bebe – This was one of the first books I read because I could rationalize that it wasn’t totally a pregnancy/baby book. I love reading about the way different people/cultures do things and this book was no different. The author was very relatable and did an excellent job comparing and contrasting pregnancy, birth and child rearing in the US vs. France. I liked this book so much that I had a hard time putting it down and it made me want to move to France for reasons other than croissants. It had a lot of good information on parenting in general with more philosophies to remember than hard and fast rules to follow. Read this, I promise you won’t be disappointed.

The Pregnancy Bible – I ordered this book from Amazon after seeing it on a list of “best pregnancy books”. It’s really comprehensive and covers just about anything you’d want to know about pregnancy as well as what comes after. It was really interesting to see/read about how the body changes as well as go in depth about what is happening at each step along the way. My only critique of this book is that it didn’t go as deep into some topics as I would have liked. Overall, it was just a great general guide.

Natural Hospital Birth – I was hoping to have a natural birth, in a hospital… hence the purchase of this book. I really like the approach the author took in respecting the expertise of the medical staff, but also trusting in your body and standing up for what you want. It was the perfect mix for me since I’m neither 100% crunchy mama nor 100% I believe medicine is king. There were some really great helpful tips as well as practical applications to help make a natural hospital birth a reality. I would definitely recommend this if that’s the approach you’re wanting to take.

Ina May’s Guild To Childbirth – This is the quintessential natural child birth book. Ina May is the country’s most renowned midwife and this books spares no detail in what natural child birth looks like — however, it does it in an empowering way. I think you’d be hard pressed not to believe you’re capable of natural labor after reading this book, though being capable and willing are different things entirely! If natural childbirth is the path you’re planning to take this book is a MUST READ.

During the course of my pregnancy, I also read Birthing From Within. It was WAY too crunchy mama for me and I ended up scanning the pages and wishing I hadn’t spent the money on it. I can definitely see how some people would enjoy this approach, but it wasn’t for me. To each their own.

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Introducing…

I suppose the three month mark is an appropriate time to introduce our newest addition. I’m not terribly on top of my timing here, but before I launch further into her birth story and more of my favorites, I thought it best to showcase the newest member of our family.

Eleanor Anne.jpg

She’s even better than anything we could have ever dreamed up and we feel so blessed to call her ours.

Finally Friday.

Ollie on Halloween

(because how cute is this little Ollie dog in his hot dog Halloween costume?)

It looks like October was a blur… mostly because it was. A great, vivid blur. Now, we’re into November and if I didn’t know that I was completely off base, I would declare that yesterday was Monday. Clearly, time is just flying by. 

This week was a good one, albeit a speedy one. There was yoga, some time spent with Jillian Michaels yelling at me from the TV, a Nuggets game and a most delicious dinner of short ribs. I, also, managed to finish all the Orange Is The New Black episodes on Netflix and am now anxiously anticipating the next season. Seriously… I need to know what happens. Anyone else on the OITNB bandwagon?

This is, hopefully, going to be one of the more low-key weekends we’ve had in several weeks. We’ve got plans to see the new Thor movie, spend the evening with friends from our marriage class doing Dinners For 8 (or in our case, 6) and then help my Mom with raking all the leaves in her enormous backyard on Sunday. I may, or may not try to sneak in some nephew snuggles as well. I’ve been missing those chubby, drooly little cheeks.

Here are my finds from around the interwebs this week lately-ish:

If I read a recipe with the words “crock pot” or “slow cooker” in the title — I *have* to click on it. Anything that makes my life and nights easier is a complete win in my book. This recipe for chili verde chicken is totally going on the menu plan for next week.

I’ve written about friendship before, both the good and the bad… and about how hard it is to make friends as an adult. No matter what phase you’re in… these things real friends do for you was great! And, I totally agree… tell me if I have spinach (or corn chips) in my teeth, check on me after the statute of limitations has passed, show up early to parties (to help!) and tell me if I’m acting shady (or if others are). What do you think?  — also, loved this post on friendship truths.

Each Sunday morning I have a little debate in my head about whether or not I want to get up for church. I inevitably do pry myself from bed… but it’s not easy — I’ve never claimed to be a morning person. This post on replacing Sunday mornings struck a chord with me… especially how I felt in my early 20’s. Just like the author, I too am finding my way back.

This girl hit the nail on the head. She nails what it can sometimes be like to be a girl, a woman, a mom. And the habits that we, sometimes, unwillingly inherit.

Finding people who are authentically themselves and are willing to share their day-to-day realities is rare. We’re all guarded and boarded up in some way or another. Reading this post and watching these videos that Jacob Sokol posted after his article went viral on the Huffington Post was both inspirational and refreshing. There’s always so much more that goes on behind closed doors.

Cookies are delicious. So are cupcakes, scotcheroos, milkshakes and slices of key lime pie. Sugar is delicious and toxic in high doses. This post on sugar, fructose and replacements really lays it all out there – turns out she wasn’t wrong about sugar.

I’m such a sucker for a good love story. Sarah Ann Noel’s post on her 5 year anniversary and then the link to she and her husband’s love story sucked me in. I read every, single word and then cheered them on from my desk chair. If you like love, marriage and all that great mushy stuff — read it. You won’t regret it.

And, lastly… in case you’re a sucker for birth stories (re: baby fever) like I am, Emily’s birth story from Daily Garnish was just perfect! I’ve read her blog for several years and love following along with her sweet family. As a bonus, she has great recipes, too!

Pulling The Wool Over Our Eyes.

*Warning, this post contains some thoughts on birth that may be hard to swallow. Read at your own risk.

You know the mark of a good friend? A truly good friend? A friend you can tell anything to and have them understand, empathize and commiserate with your life issues? The ability to talk about episiotomies and vaginal tearing. Drop those two phrases in a conversation and you’ll be able to weed people out from the very start. “Hi, my name is Megan and I have a fear of vaginal tearing.” The ones that stick around will be the ones you want to keep around. And if you can’t talk about these woman fears with your closest friends, then really you ought to consider yourself alone in this world.

I’m not married and if you just met me you would probably believe that I’m not a fan of children. I like kids, just not any that would be coming out of my body in the next few years. And, the more I hear about child rearing, pregnancy, and birth the more convinced I become that this whole “wondrous bringing of life” is a big sham.

See this picture, the one right below this line? The one of the sweet, adorable baby. Yeah, that one.

It’s precious, darling and reeks of that “baby smell” that causes grandparents and strangers alike to flock and glue their noses to the top of the baby’s head. You can picture it, because that’s exactly how it happens. There truly is something about babies. BUT, what I feel many conveniently forget to mention is that having babies is anything but cute, darling or precious. I think that people omit all the gory details, because if we as women (if you’re anything like me) fully understood what it took, we’d never have kids. Therefore leaving grandparents lost and confused without any children to smell and spoil and leaving strangers without any large, pregnant bellies to grab.

Pregnancy is rough, or so I hear. There’s a little human encroaching on your lung capacity, your body swells and stretches in ways you never thought possible and your feet have the potential to grow out of all the wonderful shoes you’ve collected up to that point. Sigh. And, you know what really scares me? Stretch marks. I’ve seen the devastation and truly I don’t want an abdomen that resembles a bagel 2 years after I’m done with the whole ordeal. Oh, and a horror story frequenting my house has people growing third nipples… dude, I don’t want a third nipple. Two is more than enough for this gal.

Ok, ok, I know I being highly insensitive and terrible. But it doesn’t stop here.

The thought of birth makes me shiver and feel the urge to vomit all at the same time (gag reflex).  And who decided on the word birth. It just sounds gross. There is something about “snip”, “tear”, “spinal tap”, “mucus plug” and “catheter” that really just has me running in the opposite direction. I don’t understand how people refer to this whole disgusting process as “beautiful”. Yeah, yeah the bringing of life is pretty amazing, but let’s not over glamorize how that life gets out exactly.

I’ve had a couple friends that have had children, they’re the type of friends that shared ALL the gory details. Every single one and then more. I know more about their pregnancies and births than I’ll probably know about my own. EVER. Because now I’m going to have to adopt, or be on Valium for 9 months (except really isn’t it more like 10 months?). One of the two.