bemybabynow

Archive for September 2011

I love the wisdom of the ages. Inevitably every pregnancy site has a question posted from an anonymous mother to be about her cat and the deadly teratogen that her furry friend is carrying.

Question:

“Do I need to give away my cat now that I’m pregnant?”

Answer:

“No, dear! Just be sure that you don’t get any new cats now that you’re expecting. And absolutely don’t change/clean your cat’s litter box, inhale in that room or even go in it’s general direction. You could come in contact with toxoplasmosa, a parasite that cats can carry and harbor. This parasite can cause great complications to your fetus, so it’s best that you don’t come in contact with cat feces, where the eggs of toxoplasma can be present.”

Here’s some information that is actually enlightening from Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine (you know, like the best vet school in the U.S. besides may be Michigan State):

The life cycle of Toxoplasma gondii is complex and involves two types of host-definitive and intermediate. Cats, both wild and domestic, are the only definitive hosts for Toxoplasma gondii. This means that the parasite can only produce oocysts (eggs) when infecting a cat. When a cat ingests an infected prey (or other infected raw meat) the parasite is released into the cat’s digestive tract.

So your cat either has to eat a wild animal or be fed raw meat. I have a strictly indoor cat. I do not feed her raw meat. The chances of her getting infected are like one in a billion (pure estimate there). How would she eat anything infected?

Because cats only shed the organism for a few days in their entire life, the chance of human exposure is small. Owning a cat does not mean you will be infected with the disease. It is unlikely that you would be exposed to the parasite by touching an infected cat, because cats usually do not carry the parasite on their fur. It is also unlikely that you can become infected through cat bites or scratches. In addition, cats kept indoors that do not hunt prey or are not fed raw meat are not likely to be infected with T. gondii.

In the United States, people are much more likely to become infected through eating raw meat and unwashed fruits and vegetables than from handling cat feces.

The animal, if infected, can only shed toxoplasma for a few days in their ENTIRE LIFE. This means that the chances are your cat, if hunting outdoors and eating prey, has already been exposed to this parasite. And again, if your cat doesn’t go outside they are not going to get it.

Then there’s the real truth of how someone might actually contract this parasite (food, produce), but it’s boring and would require our government to stop looking the other way at how filthy our food and food facilities are and stop taking campaign funds from Archer Daniels Midland, Cargill, etc…

Besides, isn’t cat hating more fun for everybody? No one says to give away your dog when it threatens to knock over your baby/bite her in the face/lick her mouth/hands/whatever. News flash-dog’s mouths aren’t clean. Neither are cats. They lick their asses. And I’ve seen dogs eat their own crap/vomit/any stray garbage anywhere. Wise up.

Are these pregnancy sites for idiots? Doesn’t anyone get tired of being given a one paragraph explanation that seems geared toward your average third grader? I would say fourth grader but most average fourth graders here on Long Island are smarter than the average person in this country.

Please tell us the actual facts. Please. I can handle it.

M

So we had a lovely fall like weekend on Long Island. On Saturday my husband decided he wanted to go into town to get a haircut. I thought I’d go browse around while he had his appointment. The fresh air would do me some good since I slept not one wink Friday night. For some reason even though I’m not showing at all and I haven’t gained a pound I cannot find a comfortable position to sleep in. Oh, and DH has been snoring like a Boeing 747. Did I mention that? I’m sure this question has been asked and answered a million times but how the hell does he not wake himself up? But if I shush him he wakes up. And offended I may add.

“Why are you shushing me? It’s rude.”

Um-I CAN’T SLEEP! I AM PREGNANT! I AM EXHAUSTED!

Anyhoo, into town. I walked into our local independent book retailer (yes we still have one of those, our town is awesome) and poked about. I picked up a book about lobsters called, “The Secret Life of Lobsters”. I thought it looked interesting. I just finished “Tomatoland” and before that “The Omnivore’s Dilemma”, so I figured I’d like it.

Then I decided to amble over to the pregnancy books. I had looked a few weeks ago at a Border’s-all the merchandise was discounted since they are going out of business. I ended up with a baby naming book. Naming this kid is giving me palpitations.

But the rest of the lit-kinda lame. I thought I’d give it another try. I picked up a book called something like Your Pregnancy Week by Week or whatever. I flipped to week 12 and read along. Your baby is the size of a plum! Aww…cute (I guess). You may need maternity clothes. Uh, not really, but whatever. What to eat, other symptoms, blah, blah, blah. Then the last paragraph of week 12 had some handy advice about exercise:

(I’m paraphrasing here)

Some women belong to Curves, the women’s fitness club. They wonder if they can continue their workout routine while pregnant. Why yes-you certainly can! Just don’t overdo it/breathe naturally/sit down during the whole routine/do it for ten minutes etc, etc…

Um, excuse me, but who belongs to Curves that’s under 50? And are these women pregnant? What a miracle! The genetic counselor looked at me like I was a fossil, so I’d like to round up some of these Curves-going pregnant women and trot them into her office. Hah! You think I’m old? I’m of “Advanced Maternal Age”? Check out these broads! Later they’re going to jazzercise!

And another thing. Enough of this “Swimming and water aerobics are great for pregnant women”. Yes, getting to a swimming pool is way convenient for so many people. And I’ve got water aerobics right after canasta at the Boca Raton senior center. I’m going with Gertie and Ruth.

I did see a book worthy of any mother with a sense of humor. “Let’s Panic About Babies!” is freaking hilarious. It also reassured me that I didn’t have to lose 50 I.Q. points and morph into a humorless, sofa shaped human being with a conveyor belt of Haagen Daaz leading to my mouth that should be in a perpetual smile of pregnant bliss.

Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy.

Yes! Off the hook for making dinner tonight. Monday night Giants game and DH is bringing home a pizza. Awesome.

We just hammered out the details of telling my inlaws. Friday at a nice lunch. God this is when I miss binge drinking. My MIL’s idea of a nice lunch is going to TGI Friday’s and ordering an appetizer and an entree. Yikes. She’s going to feel like an a-hole when we tell her and she’s been bitching in her head about the restaurant we picked the whole time. I love how this joyous announcement is tinged with spite and shaming. Is this why parents feel superior? I like it.

Next after that will be my parents. But they may already suspect something’s up since I wasn’t mainlining champagne at out last family dinner.

M

So I was up last night trying to figure out if the 12 week mark is the start of the second trimester. Even though I have taken calculus, it was a little mind numbing trying to divide 40 weeks by three. but that could also be because I have not gotten 4 consecutive hours of sleep in quite some time due to the fact that I wake up to pee 14 times a night.

Anyhow, I’m saying end of first trimester. Which is great. Now we just have the little issue of telling everyone.

These last few weeks of peace will be a fond memory.

My brother in law is coming up from Jacksonville, FL next week, so we’ve decided that we’ll break the news to him and my husband’s parents then. Only issue is that he’s bringing his new girlfriend with him who I’ve never met, and will probably be a memory before year’s end (they usually don’t last long, but he swears each time he’s “in love”). I’m not sure if I’m overjoyed about sharing this personal news with her there. I’ve never met her, and she could be perfectly nice, but…it would be nice to tell my in laws about their first grandchild, um,  without strangers there.

I backed up a bit and thought maybe I’m making too much of this, but honestly I’ve been a pretty well behaved pregnant woman lately. Don’t I have the right to claim “hormone irrationality” or something? Or is this even irrational? I’m thinking this is a pretty normal reaction.

Of course we could wait for another time. Just that it would be nice for hubby to tell his brother face to face. And honestly it may be hard to explain why I’m not enjoying vodka tonics and some chocolate cake shots (I know it seems weird but trust me it’s psychotically good). So there we are. (More on drinking and pregnancy in another post.)

Then the next weekend it’ll be onto my parents. Or sooner, since I want to tell my sister. It’ll be great to share the news, and also get some hand me downs from my nephews. Her youngest is three and she’s closed up shop, so there’s some great stuff to be had!

Not sure how we’re going to tell everyone. Hubby and I aren’t exactly a “flavored coffee moment” kind of couple. We were thinking of getting one of those cans of peanut brittle with the snakes that pop out and put a sonogram picture on the end of the snakes. “Surprise!” No, but it was a fun thought.

We’ll think of something.

M

So you want a baby, huh? Just like generations of women before you, now you are pregnant. A natural, biological process that has been going on since humans in their modern form first walked this Earth some 500, 000 years ago.

Sounds like your body was meant to do this, right? And since there are almost 7 billion people on this planet now inhabiting all manner of locations and conditions,  your instincts and some common sense should be all one needs in a modern, controlled environment of Western Civilization, right?

Wrong!

Things that you used to eat, tasks you performed without a second thought could cause you imminent danger. You are given a list of foods not to eat, substances to stay away from, and pretty much no reasons why or any real facts about what the cause and effect are.

Why? Because you should just do what you’re told. If you get a chance to think for yourself, you will always make the wrong decision. And since you’ve got another person inside you that can’t choose for themselves, you will not be given the chance to weigh your risks by being given any accurate, factual information.

We are told to stay away from deli meats and soft cheeses. This is because these foods may harbor listeria, a bacteria that can cause serious complications in a pregnancy. Pregnant women are more likely than the population at large to come down with listeriosis, so it is even more important that they avoid this bacteria.

Here’s the problem: listeria can be found in a lot of foods. Especially prepackaged foods. It was just found in melons this August (melon outbreak). Raw vegetables, bagged salads, raw meats, raw, unaged cheese, (listeria outbreaks) these can all be carriers. Even frozen waffles were implicated (waffle outbreak).

Where’s the lunch meat? And all the cheese? Well, there was an outbreak from turkey deli meat in 2002. And there were listeria infections that resulted from eating homemade and/or unregulated Mexican style fresh cheese. This cheese is unaged and not monitored (not that I’m saying the government is the answer, believe me. What they find to be acceptable food standards can be horrifying).

But since I was going down this road of no Boar’s Head sandwiches, no feta cheese, no soft unpasteurized French cheeses, I decided to do a little investigation. Do you know how hard it is to find an unpasteurized, unaged cheese for sale at any type of market or on any menu? It is against the law in the US to sell or serve an unpasteurized cheese that hasn’t been aged for at least 60 days (the aging kills the listeria). And any food person will tell you that foreign or foreign style cheese sold in the US, even at upper end retailers (Whole Foods, Fairway) are pasteurized and if not, aged at least 60 days. So I’m thinking that my local Greek place isn’t serving some exotic feta, it’s pasteurized just like all the others I found in my deli case at the local market.

Deli meat outbreaks have been very few. A lot of these products (including the ones listed before) are prepackaged and highly handled in factories that are of questionable cleanliness (even if monitored by the FDA-hah). Here’s the thing: more handling and processing=more surface area exposure. Which means a bacteria frenzy waiting to happen. That’s what happens with ground meat. And precut vegetables, bagged salads, other processed foods. You’re relying on the cleanliness of everything that food touches along it’s processing path. A package of pre cut lunch meats sitting in a cold food case is bacteria heaven. Wash whatever you can, and heat things you’re unsure of. Of course with the waffle situation, I’m not sure who’s eating waffles without toasting them. The heat kills the bacteria, so unless you’re eating a frozen Eggo, you’re okay I would think.

I’m not denying the reality of these infections. And I know there have been women that have lost their children due to this horrible infection. But let’s get real, here? What are the risks? How do these infections really happen? Instead of making us crazy, give pregnant women (and everyone else for that matter) some real facts.

I’m thinking the powers that be avoid giving out facts partly because they don’t trust women to make the right choices. But partly because they do know some of us will make the right choices given the proper information. And we as women and mothers may be outraged at how our government is really overseeing our food cleanliness. We may start asking questions. We may stop buying crap. We may force a change for the better that won’t allow for sloppiness, kickbacks and a food system that reduces the overall health of our citizens.

As for me, I ate a Greek salad this week. I had a sandwich today (from freshly sliced meat). And I may even have some cheese this weekend.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

M

So a few things about me. I have always been active, and going to the gym is practically a daily thing. Especially when I hit my thirties and those happy hour margaritas and chips didn’t just burn off like they used to. You hit a certain point where you realize you need to move more and eat less. A lot less.

So I’ve never been a mindless eater, I don’t eat junk, fast food, etc…I also work out hard. So when I get these emails from pregnancy boards about what to eat and how to exercise I want to put my fist through the computer. A few gems word for word:

1. Exercise at least three times a week for no more than 30 minutes at a time.

Go over thirty minutes and then what? Ever taken a spin class, idiots? What fate has befallen all the pregnant women that have been in my classes?

2. Limit aerobic activity to the low-impact variety, like brisk walking, swimming, or riding a stationary bicycle.

Sooo…no running. Just sit and be fit. Yeah right. Yay Richard Simmons!

3. Measure your heart rate at peak activity to be sure you’re not exceeding 140 beats per minute.

Who the hell came up with this arbitrary number? Um, the fitter you are, the easier it will be for your heart rate to recover. Did you ever think of factoring that in?

I can’t imagine just starting a workout regimen when one finds out they are pregnant. If you’ve gone your whole life without a lick of exercise then you’re going to have issues. And I guess these rules would apply then. But how about getting real, people? Are they really trying to tell us that these guidelines apply to women that have been active and in shape?

Recently there has been talk about running while pregnant, and of course it sparked some controversy. I’m not advocating starting up running if you’ve never run before, and of course there may come a time in your pregnancy where running is not going to be comfortable. But if it’s been part of your routine, I don’t understand why you shouldn’t be able to keep it up. Fit women know their own bodies, and they know when to stop and;or adjust when it doesn’t feel right.

Then there were comments about women who were fit and didn’t gain excessive amounts of weight while pregnant. A commenter (a man of course) vilified women who kept fit saying they were starving their babies for vanity and implying they should become sofa sized instead.

Yeah, that would be great for everyone. Excessive weight doesn’t help your baby. You will have one hell of a time losing it after birth. Your self esteem and energy will plummet. And your husband will probably not look at you with the same adoration when you’re permanently 60 pounds overweight, but he may shoot those glances elsewhere (I know that means he’s probably a dick, but that’s reality people, so stop hiring hot nannies. Hell they don’t even need to be hot). That all adds up to a great recipe for your little family.

Today, at 11 weeks 5 days, I am tired. And dizzy. And short of breath. My workouts have not been as frequent, and I am looking forward to this second trimester energy spike I’ve been hearing about. Getting up to pee 4 times a night isn’t helping, and I’m not sure if it’s anxiety or what that’s keeping me up the rest of the time. Maybe I’m just afraid I’ll wet the bed.

M

P.S. Here’s a link with some real advice about working out while pregnant:

http://www.ideafit.com/fitness-library/the-pregnant-athlete

Well, I should have started this blog a few months ago I suppose. Earlier this year, my husband and I decided that now was the time to start our family. We always knew we wanted a family, but had not been sure about the timing.

Of course there is never a perfect time, as of course nothing is ever perfect. But we felt we were close enough.

It’s weird to go from avoiding pregnancy to trying to achieve it. I wasn’t going to become one of those women who turned sex into a job or a means to an end. I fully felt that it would happen when it was meant to happen. But there was this little, nagging voice in the back of my head. You see, I turned 38 this August, and as most of you know, women fall off a cliff and hit a brick wall simultaneously at 65 MPH after 35. Being in denial of my age, though, I moved bravely forward. And in my second month off of the pill, I was late.

One week late, then into the next, I told my husband that it was time to take a test. We waited until a Sunday morning. I entered the bathroom, did my thing and expected to have to wait the obligatory three minutes as stated on the box. But immediately two lines popped up, saying “Uh, hello, you’re pregnant”.

So here we are, at 11 weeks 4 days. I’ve already been to three prenatal visits (with a midwife) the first of which I was only 7 weeks 3 days. I’ve also had a nuchal translucency ultrasound and the first round of blood tests. The ultrasound looked great; we’re still waiting for the blood results.

My hope with this blog is to share my experience as a mom over 35 going through a real pregnancy. Real details, experiences, no voodoo. The information out there scaring pregnant women is overwhelming. What you can eat, what you can’t, chemicals, hair dye, exercise. I’m sick of the scare tactics, I’m tired of how women are patronized in terms of their health care and especially during pregnancy. Feel free to share your experiences here, the dirty looks you got ordering a glass of wine, the “tsks” over a spoonful of feta, a runny egg or this all out blitz over lunch meat. All the while trying to figure out what to eat that day that won’t make you barf.

More to come,

M



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  • babyforbutton: Congrats on Naomi! My baby was born March 15th! Amazing how fast the year has gone by!
  • babyforbutton: update please!! :)
  • reilly873: I've somehow managed to ease the pain the past few nights, but only with some serious, ridiculous pillow arranging. Which is a royal pain in the ass w