39 Weeks and 4 Days (Still) Pregnant

belly shot 7 11 13

Why is it so shiny?

*So I had acupuncture for the pubic bone pain, worked wonders! And I had a massage where the therapist did a pelvic floor release. I highly recommend it if you’re in the same boat. Let me now if you need recommendations!

*Also had acupuncture yesterday for induction purposes…still here!

*My parents have swooped in to Austin to help Jeremy and me with Sugarpie, THANK YOU! That means that I can nap at will AND Jeremy can continue to work at full capacity. I just can’t do very much these days without completely wearing myself out. Also means that when I go into labor, she will have caretakers that she’s completely comfortable with.

*Been using evening primrose oil to “get things ready.” Anyone else tried this?

*Since her due date isn’t until Monday, I’m not trying to rush things. I just want to make sure that we don’t go over 1 week because that means induction. Pitocin contractions typically equal epidural and, as you remember, there is no bag of diamonds that comes with that $2800 dollar needle stick.

*That’s it! Maybe Baby Girl #2 will show up this weekend…? Her Daddy’s birthday is Sunday, but I’m sure he’s happy to share.

38 weeks Pregnant and Sugarpie is working a shiny new Toddlertude

web ready belly shot 7 2 13

The space in that belly has quickly become prime real estate.

Bullet pointing, again:

*We are 2 cm dilated and 60% effaced. (I guess pregnancy is the only time in which it is acceptable to speak so openly about one’s cervix, no?)

*Baby has lowered down into my pelvis (at about -2), which means she is enjoying rolling her little head around on my bladder. It also means that my discomfort has ratcheted up a bit. Lower back pain, mid-back fatigue, feeling like my hips are unhinged, etc…I guess this is good because I would have been happy up to this point being pregnant much longer.

* Speaking of unhinged, Sugarpie is reveling in her show of 18 month old will. Her new and (not-so) improved toddlertude is on full display.

*HELLO pubic bone pain and general pelvic discomfort, ugh. It’s getting worse and I can barely walk. Putting my pants on is enough to make me want an epidural. Up to last week I could keep myself from waddling with some concentration. That is over.

*Sugarpie has been going through something (see above), so I’ve been relaxing my we-only-nurse-at-bedtime rule. It always works, I’m so glad that I decided to continue rather than weaning. It was the right decision for us. The upside (at this point in pregnancy) is that for the last week it has induced some pretty intense Braxton-Hicks contractions. Any bit of dilation I can achieve before actual labor begins is welcome!

*I am so over trying not to surpass my first pregnancy weight gain. In celebration, I have put on a good pound per week since 36 weeks…since I can’t eat very much, I am assuming that Baby Girl #2 is getting nice and fat!

*We are paying out-of-pocket for maternity care (will post on this in the future) because you can’t buy an individual plan with maternity coverage in Texas. This will change in 2014 when the Affordable Care Act will require insurance to provide coverage. Doesn’t help us now, but hopefully others like us will benefit! So we will try to forgo the epidural which will to cost nearly $3000. Yes, I meant to put 3 zeros. Can you believe that?! Can you just believe it?

*Sugarpie came 9 days early, so I am assuming this one might not want to wait either. We’ll see! I am trying not to be in a hurry.

Please read this article in the New York Times about the cost of having a baby in America. Very interesting stuff and it paints a great picture of what we’re dealing with.

Any day now!

Turning a Breech Baby? It Worked for Me


breech-tilt Alternative health solutions of nj

Is it possible?

At 34 weeks, the doctor told me that baby girl was heads-up. This wasn’t a surprise because I can feel her episodes of hiccups down low, up high and on the side. She is a little small, so I guess she still has room for all of these gymnastic feats.

What was unwelcome was the suggestion that very soon (usually by 36 weeks), the baby settles into its delivery position and we would need to talk c-section schedules. Vaginal breech birth is no longer regularly practiced by OBGYNs, nor taught in medical school. The possible complications are numerous (shoulder dystocia, vaginal tearing, placental abruption, cord prolapse, and on and on). The first two are not as serious, while the latter can lead to maternal hemorrhaging  and oxygen deprivation for the baby.

There is a movement among midwives to bring vaginal breech birth back into practice, however. I think it is noble, but for me, labor is scary enough without all of the extra worry.

So, I set about researching ways to get this girl into position. There are two paths that these natural remedies take. They are uterine relaxation (to give baby room to turn) and gravity. The general list is as follows:

Webster Technique: This is a chiropractic maneuver that helps loosen the uterus.

Breech Tilt (I was able to skip this one, thankfully.)

Side-lying release

Acupuncture/Moxibustion (This can get expensive as multiple sessions are required.)

Forward-leaning inversion

Craniosacral Therapy

External Cephalic Version, ECV (This is probably a last resort as it is not 100% effective and can be painful.)

There are others, but these seem to be the most common ones. I tried to two easiest first: the side-lying release and the forward-leaning inversion. Luckily, they worked and I didn’t need to go beyond these two free and at-home techniques. Don’t get me wrong, hanging upside-down from the couch with constant pregnancy reflux even for 3 minutes is no picnic, but it sure beats the alternative!

SpinningBabies.com is an incredible resource for all sorts of natural and at-home techniques for getting your fetus to cooperate. Check it out.

In the weeks since, Baby Girl has remained head down and I have been lucky to remain head-up. Now I’ll just keep my fingers crossed that she stays in position. Good luck out there!

(Website for the illustration is http://alternativehealthsolutionsofnj.blogspot.com/)

Happy Father’s Day, These Ladies Adore You


Dear husband/Daddy,

Happy Father’s Day! It’s such a pleasure to be able to celebrate the most important man in our lives. You and Sugarpie have such a strong bond that you continue to conscientiously cultivate with dedication and deep love every single day.

You are already taking care of Baby P#2 by taking such good care of me. You get up with Georgia every morning and let me get my much-needed 10 hours of sleep. You cook dinner every night AND clean up even though you are exhausted from a long and very intense work day.

Sugarpie’s favorite place to be in our house is in your office/studio. She loves your guitars, your keyboard, and your desk drawer full of odds and ends. You treat her with such tenderness and love when she explores your work environment with wonder, that it makes me love you even more for loving her so much.

The best part of it all is that you work so hard so that I can be home with our sweetest, dearest little girl. I treasure every moment of being a stay-at-home mom. I get to do this only because of you.

The most incredible part of seeing you grow into your role as a father is knowing that you had no direction from your own in how to be one. You have created your role out of your heart, your goodness and your instincts.

I am so happy that men like you exist in this world to show our daughters as they grow how valuable a role men play in the lives of the women they care for and love.

Happy Father’s Day 🙂

With much love,

your two three Parzen ladies

35 Weeks Pregnant: “Still” Breastfeeding, Getting Close, Advice Welcome

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Well here we go again, TMI Tuesday.

Bullet point blogging:

*As of last week, I am officially already at the weight I was when Georgia was born. Oops!

*I thought I had life-threatening tumors in my thighs, but it turns out they are just varicose veins that you can’t see yet. Yay.

*Sugarpie will be 18 months old tomorrow, and yes I am “still” breastfeeding.

*Baby Girl #2 is a little over 5 pounds right now. This is smallish, but not worrisome.

*I have a few of glasses of wine a week. (No more than one in a day, people) Yes, it IS ok.

*Baby Girl #2 is stubbornly in a breech position one minute and transverse in the next. She flip-flops A LOT. I have been doing all kinds of weird things to get her to turn. (Will elaborate later) Mamma don’t want no c-section!


Can you make out the sweet baby face? She’s sticking her tongue out.

*UPDATE: At our ultrasound yesterday, she had turned head-down and seems to be there still today! What worked? All of that hanging upside down from the couch?

*I am almost a centimeter dilated. Nice to arrive at the party prepared, no?

*I am now taking advice on how to keep a 19 month-old from wanting to banish her newborn sister from her kingdom.

And the gender goes to…

Baby Girl apparently was not camera-ready

Baby Girl apparently was not camera-ready

It’s official, Sugarpie’s Daddy is going to be outnumbered. We’re having another baby girl! I am beyond thrilled as I’ve always seen myself as a girl Mommy. We tend to gravitate toward the familiar, I know, but I have so many girl clothes already…

They will be so close in age (19 months) and only one grade apart in school, so I have high hopes that they will be BFFs, at least most of the time.

tracie p belly feb 26 2013

Growing belly, scary veins. There’s a baby in there!

But, before we get ahead of ourselves, I have 20 more weeks to cook this sweet thing. We will be traveling internationally once more and I will be giving birth in the festering, hallucination-inducing heat of the Central Texas summer. I guess these will be the challenges — at least I hope these are the toughest bits (besides actually giving birth, you know)!

ob gyn 2

Anyway, we couldn’t be happier! We love our little Sugarpie SO much, I can’t wait to see her grow into her role as big sister. But I can wait, ’cause one baby inside and one outside is a lot easier than having two keeping me up at night.


Sugarpie’s gonna be a big sister!

See, she loves it already!

See, she loves it already! And I am already showing.

Well that was a long break. I guess I’ve been procrastinating posting because I am not good at keeping my own secrets.

And Sugarpie is just dying for me to tell y’all that she is going to be a big sister! We are thrilled (and a little anxious, naturally). Sugarpie has brought so much joy and love into our lives that we cannot imagine how making our family bigger could be anything but a blessing.

We are due in mid-July and are looking forward to raising our family with two children so close in age. (Once we get at least one out of diapers, I’m sure life will be much more pleasant.) We don’t know what we’re having yet (only at 13 weeks now), though we do have confirmation that it is a baby.

Much more to come!

Letter for My Sugarpie, 1 Year!

My beautiful little girl!

My beautiful little girl!

Dear Sugarpie,

Oh my goodness, baby girl, you are ONE WHOLE YEAR OLD today!! I simply cannot believe it. Our 68 hour labor seems like yesterday, but some of it seems light years ago.

You have turned into such a beautiful little human being. I am amazed to see your little (big) personality unfolding as you find new ways to express that little sassafrass who lives inside of you. I am overwhelmed every day with how much I love you and I am flattered that you love me too! You and I are constant companions and total BFFs.

I was born with so much hair, just like my Mommy.

I was born with so much hair, just like my Mommy.

I never could have imagined the child that was waiting to greet me when you were break dancing in my belly. I never thought you would have two eyes that I never tired of gazing at. I never knew how much I could obsess over a pair of tiny feet. I never imagined what it would be like fall in love with you every time you nursed. I just didn’t know. I did not know what an amazing and sweet child that was waiting for me. How could I?

Hug the mouse, Mommy! Hug it now! That's what she was so emphatically communicating.

Hug the mouse, Mommy! Hug it now!

And now you are one. No longer a baby, but officially a toddler…even though you aren’t toddling yet. You’re still so tiny! You’re still my baby 🙂 You’re so happy, it makes Mommy happy. You love people and love being out and about right next to me. And I love it too!

Oldie but goodie. You were so tiny! This is one of my all-time favorite pics of you. Our friend Jennifer took it.

Oldie but goodie. You were so tiny! This is one of my all-time favorite pics of you. Our friend Jennifer took it.

You have amassed a vocabulary of 5 words, and you use them with a purpose. You say Mama, and Daddy

(Dah-dee!), you say bye bye and you say hi. It’s very clipped and has no h. It reminds me of Ozzy Osborne at the beginning of Crazy Train, so cute!

You’re so affectionate! Mommy gets lots of unsolicited hugs

and kisses…it’s the best thing ever.

You love to say hi to everyone at the store. Sometimes when I’m buckling you into your car seat, you’ll start saying hi and I’ll look to see someone passing by!

And you say milk. All of the time, you ask for milk. It sounds like mee-il mee-il mee-il and you never just say it once. I tried to teach it to you in sign language, but who needs that when you have a word, right?

Blueberry pancakes! Birthday eve breakfast

Blueberry pancakes! Birthday breakfast

You also have an incredible repertoire of scat. Here are your faves: dooweedooweedooweedooweedoo, bee-yo-beeyobeeyobeeyo, gully gullygullygully, doi doi doi, and zoo-buh zoo-buh zoo-buh. Ella Fitzgerald would be jealous. The last few days have seen a lot oh-hohohoho, and oooooooooooh. You purse your tiny lips and my heart melts. It’s so funny!

You’ve started to reach up your arms when you want to be picked up. I cannot resist when that is accompanied by Mama.

Oh and Sugarpie, you LOVE YOUR DADDY. You have started to shower us equally with your baby obsession. You and Daddy spend lots of time together on weekend mornings while Mommy sleeps, that’s your special time together. You even cried when he had to go out-of-town last month — heart breaking! Your enthusiasm for him makes me SO happy and it makes me love you both even more.

My two loves!

My two loves!

How many songs have you and Daddy written together? Tons! And that’s a lot. I hope you’re lucky enough to inherit his extreme creativity, I think you will. Here’s a song with a slideshow that you and Daddy wrote on way back from Italy.

We’re planning a little party for you with our family. You’ll have cake! For the first time, you will have Mommy’s favorite dessert. All of your grandparents will be here and some of our closest friends too.

Today Mommy made you a new batch of blueberry pancakes and scrambled eggs — two of your fave things! (Yes, eggs have finally made their way back into your good graces.)

You still love nursing, I’m so proud of us that we made it a year! There were times in the beginning that I didn’t think we’d make it at all, Sugarpie. But we did it 🙂 And hopefully we can keep going for a little longer, I know you’re not ready to stop! You must be growing because between nursing and eating solids like a horse these last few days, you might put a teenage boy to shame.

Squeezing the mouse

Squeezing the mouse

But my sweet girl, all I want to do today is squeeze your baby sweetness and smell your hair and try to remember every minute of who you are right now. I’ve seen how times flies and I know that tomorrow you will be just a little older, today you are just a little bigger than you were yesterday, and on it goes.

Here’s to many more happy years, Sugarpie!

I love you forever and ever ,

xoxo Mommy

ps–Wordpress said I can’t make a slide show right now 😦 I had one picture picked out from every month of your life! We’ll just have to make that a separate post.

Great Stuff: Personalized Baby Stool


best wooden toy austin

I’ll let you in on a secret if you promise not to tell Sugarpie! For her birthday (coming up Dec 12th) we bought her a little stool with her name on it.

I’ve been buying these for almost 15 years from a wonderful little wooden toy store here in Austin called Rootin’ Ridge Toymakers. The first one I purchased was for my niece for her first birthday, she’s a sophomore in high school now…ouch. That stool is still alive and well and has been used by her two little brothers over the years. It’s worn in the best way and still sits around their house like an old family pet.


The craftmanship is perfect. No rough edges here!

Georgean and Paul Kyle (she’s a kind of Georgia Ann too!) have been making toys in the 26 doors shopping center since 1975 (the year I was born). They carry Plan Toys, Melissa and Doug, and others but most of what they have is made right there in their in-store wood shop. One of my other faves is the large push rattle (looks like an old-fashioned lawn-mower).

They make puzzles and so many other great things, but I cannot live without the stool. I’m so excited finally to buy one for my own little Sugarpie! I know it will be around for her sugarpies too when she has them.

And it’s wonderful to support a local business where good people make things with their own hands. While we have our share of plastic toys in our home, you just can’t beat the quality and durability (not to mention safety) of these high-quality toys.

I highly recommend a visit! But don’t tell Sugarpie…