Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A new journey

Dear friends,

I have been holding this back for what seems like a long, long, long time, but now I can finally share our exciting news with you:

My husband and I are expecting our first child - our first little darling, who is supposed to enter this world and be in our arms sometime around mid-January!

I'm currently in my 15-th week, which means that the first trimester is behind me. I'm thankful to report that I'm feeling much, much better now than I did in the first two months, when nausea and fatigue got the better of me. I have been able to eat enough, mostly, but for a few weeks I had to make some drastic adjustments in my meal patterns. Also, this is a time when I'm especially thankful for the opportunity to be home and lift my feet up and rest whenever I need it, as well as take a nap after lunch.

Frankly, I don't know how I would have done this if it weren't for my wonderful husband, who rolled up his sleeves and cleaned, cooked and washed the dishes without any complaint, accepting the fact that his wife may run to the bathroom with her hand over her mouth simply because she saw a couple of dirty dishes in the sink... my husband has been so tremendously supportive during this period, and I truly feel what a blessed woman I am!

This time taught me a lot of humility. I had to accept that my energy levels are low, and I'm simply unable to be as efficient, and accomplish as much as I'm used to. I had to learn to accept my present limitations with a grateful heart.

Right now I'm feeling remarkably well, except for a fainting episode that unexpectedly happened last week. I'm still careful not to overstress myself, but I feel I'm back in the swing of things, and ready to prepare for moving - which we'll do in the next couple of months. I gained very little weight so far, but those who know me and pay attention have already noticed the changes in my shape.

As you can imagine, this is a very exciting time for us. Still practically newlyweds, we are already preparing for the arrival of a new baby, and moving to a new cozy home which we'll have to adjust to the needs of our growing family. I hope that in the future, we'll look upon this period with joyful memories.

I can't wait to feel and see this little one grow, first inside me, and then out in this great big world, drinking in the beauty and love of God. I pray as I move forward on the journey to motherhood, cherishing this most precious gift from the Lord.

"And the fruit of the womb is His reward" - Psalm 127

*~*~*~*~*

Now, I have a question for all you more experienced ladies: I know I have a tendency towards stretch marks, because I still have quite a lot of them since adolescence. I think I might have a lot more in a few months! I would like to prevent this, and will appreciate any suggestions, preferably using natural methods. If you know how to treat stretch marks once they already appear, you are more than welcome to add your two cents as well.

168 comments:

princess said...

hi anna! i've been reading your blog for a long time now but have not put a comment. i feel compelled now to express my happiness for you and your husband. i already had a feeling that you are on the family way weeks before this post. i am so glad my hunch is correct.

Kim said...

Anna,
Congratulations!!!!. A honeymoon baby? That is wonderful. God Bless you all. Look after yourself & get plenty of rest. You need to pace yourself. Just remember the housework will always be there.

With strech marks, I have several which aren't very noticable because I used baby oil or a vitamin E cream whilst I was pregnant & I feel they would have been worse if Ihadn't.


Bless you

KIm. Hereford

compactmanifold said...

I'm so happy for you and your husband! I hope that you continue to feel better as time goes by, and that the stretch marks stay to a minimum ;)

Are you going to find out if you're having a boy or a girl? Have you started on the baby crafts?

Diana said...

Hi Anna!
I have also been avidly reading your blog and I have to say...I knew it!!!! I am also pregnant about 13-14 weeks with my second child so we will both be due in January. Congratulations! I don't have any suggestions about preventing stretch marks because I never tried anything and I am very proud of the ones I have! If you do get them they fade over time and trust me when you hold that darling child of yours you won't care if you have them or not.
Again congrats and I love your blog because I have finally found someone who thinks the same way I do about many things.
Diana

Mrs. Anna T said...

Compactmanifold: yes, we're going to find out whether it's a boy or a girl as soon as possible! We're too curious to leave it as a surprise. :-)

So far I was busy crafting for my s-i-l's baby. Now I think I'll start making things for this wee little one.

Diana: I realize stretch marks are a minor issue. I also realize pregnancy changes our body, and I'm fine with it - I'm not biting my nails over it. :-) However I would still like to prevent stretch marks if I can, as well as stay fit and attractive for my husband.

Laura said...

I am so excited for you and your husband, it is so much fun following the events of your life. Good luck!

Liedeke said...

Hi Anna,

Congratulations on your wonderful news! Oh, I feel so excited for you and all your family.

As for stretch marks... I haven't heard of any reliable preventative, but most of the methods mentioned here and all over the internet are quite harmless :-).

On the bright side - you may not get any. During adolescence my upper legs and some other body parts were striped bright purple, but neither of my pregnancies left me with any more stretch marks.

Enjoy this child!

♪ Liedeke

UvA said...

Hi Anna,

I have heard that drinking lots of water can help against strech marks.

Congratulations !

Green Eyes said...

Congratulations! Like Diana, I KNEW it!! I just *knew*, as surely as I know my name. I've been eagerly waiting for you to announce it... just to be sure. ;)

On stretch marks... I have no firsthand experience, but I hear cocoa butter applied liberally throughout pregnancy helps prevent them.

Sarah R said...

I'm with the other poster...I thought you might be about 6 weeks or so ago. I am so happy for you and your husband! What an exciting time for you both.
As for stretch marks, I'm afraid I'm loaded with them. You don't want advice from me on that front!

Terry said...

Congratulations Anna! I'm thrilled for you and your husband. Blessings to you.

Tamsen said...

Congratulations Anna, your child is blessed to have you and your husband as parents. I'm 31 weeks now with my second, just continue to take it easy whenever possible. I am one of those who likes to push myself too hard, and ends up sore and tired.. I have nothing to offer on the stretch marks, but I am sure some of these helpful ladies will have great ideas.
-Tamsen

Jimena said...

Congratulations Anna, just like some of your readers here I too thought you were pregnant and was waiting for the announcement. Something about reading between the lines. May the Lord bless you and your child and your husband. What wonderful news. Psalm 139:13

Rosemary said...

Congratulations Anna! I just knew you were expecting. My first grandchild is due in December, so we will share a journey together.

I have also heard about applying vitamin E or cocoa butter to help prevent stretch marks, but I have no experience with either. I hope you find something that works for you!

Jaime said...

Congratulations!!

I was wondering if that's why you were tired all the time!!

As far as stretch marks go... there's not much you can do about them. Lotions with cocoa butter and vitamin E (sometimes aloe as well) can help, but if you're going to get them, there's really not anything that will stop it.

However, in the months after the baby is born, they will start to fade to a silvery color that is hardly noticeable. It can take some time; after my second it took closer to a year (maybe more) before they all faded.

I think staying fit is far easier; make sure to talk to your doctor about mild exercises you can still do while you are pregnant; there are plenty.

Anyhow, congrats again, and enjoy your pregnancy! Can't wait to hear what you are having!

Cindi said...

Oh Anna, I am so happy for you. I wondered when you posted once about your husband wanting you to have more rest. I got suspicious, but I thought you would tell when you felt the time was right.

Lady-in-the-Making said...

OH ANNA! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!

I'm so thrilled for you. What a blessing!

The best, best, best thing for stretch marks is a cocoa butter creme called "Tummy Butter". It's fabulous. A little thick but it will keep the stretch marks away.

Hugs to you!

Tamsin said...

Oh, how wonderful! What lovely news - many congratulations!

God bless you,
Tamsin

andrea said...

Congratulations! What an exciting time!

Mrs W said...

Yep was just waiting for you to actually come right out and TELL us you were pregnant, although it was easy to tell. Congratulations. I'm due to give birth to my second any day now.

About stretch marks...I always joked to my husband about the fact that he could use my belly and legs as a road map all the way to Florida. I had so many it wasn't funny and they were bright purple. But the weird thing is, and I think it will be the same for you...is that my husband thought they were beautiful and sexy because he said that they were "trophies" of his child.

Erica said...

I suspected as much! Congratulations! I am very excited for you and your husband! Little ones are indeed are a blessing from the Lord!

Mrs. Anna T said...

Hmm I guess I must have been really obvious. :-)

Suzanne said...

Congratulations!! I suspected, too. :) I'm excited for you and your husband!

You might try cocoa butter for stretch marks--at the very least it can't hurt and it smells good!

Beautifuly Created said...

Congradulations!!!

Beautifuly Created said...

Congradulations!!!

Susan said...

Don't worry...you were discreet. It is just that once you've been there yourself, you mama-sense picks up on these things! I'm due in December and realized that your symptoms seemed to mirror my own.

My dermatologist, who is also my Mom, says that there is no sure-fire way to prevent stretch marks since a genetic predisposition is the biggest indicator. The above-mentioned cures can't hurt. The best thing is to try for a slow and steady weight gain by eating well and exercising...both of which you already do.

Mrs. Anna T said...

Actually, Susan, I haven't done much exercise - except walking - lately. I was fatigued, and out of breath whenever I needed to walk uphill. In addition I had some symptoms at first which indicated need for plenty of rest, and my doctor told me not to introduce any exercise I don't regularly do, until I'm about 18 weeks. Now that first trimester is over I can perhaps incorporate more exercise, though with all the work we need to do at our new home it will happen naturally I think.

tales_from_the_crib said...

Anna-Congratulations! We'll be having our second child January 11 plus or minus a week or so, as well, so that's neat that we're all having children together.
As to stretch marks-keeping your weight gain even especially acrossed the latter parts of pregnancy by reasonable, nutritious and even eating instead of the crazy bingeing many pregnant women do (eating three cheeseburgers for a snack because they're eating for two) helps. As well as proper hydration, which is quite difficult when you are feeling nauseous all the time. That being said, I don't think anything actually "works" 100% of the time.
Hugs and congratulations!

Gothelittle Rose said...

I suspected it when you started suddenly blogging all about homeschooling. :) Certain things turn a woman's mind towards babies, and either having or trying to usually does the trick!

I'm still in the second category... trying. Been almost a year. Any prayers appreciated...

I'm with Mrs. W btw. I stretchmarked incredibly, being a short little person having a very large baby. I used creams and lotions, but from belly button.. *ahem*.. down.. does look like a burn scar or something.

My husband thinks it's incredibly attractive. He says it's because it came from having his baby. Men like that. I think husbands see their wives' stretch-marks as the identification of the women who in love and faithfulness bore their children.

Kathryn said...

I am so happy for you! We found out that our little Anna was on the way after we had been married for 4 months. It has been a blessing!

Mrs Slaq said...

Wooohooo! What great news, Anna! We're expecting our first at the end of December, so if you ever want to compare notes or anything, just give me a yell! I'm so happy for you!

Sarah said...

I will tell you what my doctor told me about pregnancy stretch marks. Don't use the "stretch mark" lotions you can get at the pharmacy or grocery store. They have ingredients that can actually make the itching worse, which makes you scratch more, and that causes the stretch marks to be worse. Drink tons of water. That is really the only thing you can do. Stretch marks are primarily determined by your family history and there isn't much you can do about it except drink lots of water and maybe using a basic lotion.

Joy of Frugal Living said...

Congratulations Anna! What wonderful news. :)

Jennifer

erica said...

congratulations Anne! What a wonderful time for you and your husband! I am praising God for you!

Sammybunny said...

CONGRATULATIONS, Anna! I am so excited for you both! I, too, suffer from stretch marks (not from pregnancy yet) and I have found that Shea Butter/Cocoa butter work WONDERS for helping the skin to heal and be smooth from stretching. Also I second the vitamin E thing. VERY good for the skin. :o)

yoshi3329 said...

I'm so happy for you Anna congrats! You having a baby explains why you were so sick in the past.

http://adlynmorrison.blogspot.com/

Jeannine said...

Congratulations, Anna! I am SO happy for you :). I've been wondering over the last weeks and waiting for this announcement.
I'll pray for you!

We had our church wedding three weeks ago and I'd love to have a similar announcement soon :). We'll see what God's plan is for us.

Hugs from Germany

Jera said...

Many congratulations!

I agree with the previous posters - in my first pregnancy I used baby oil to lotion my stomach every night, and I didn't get any stretch marks. In my second pregnancy I got lazy and heard the baby oil didn't work, it was all genetics. Lo and behold, I got quite a few stretch marks! The magic is definitely in the oil IMO.

Mrs. June Fuentes said...

You are BLESSED to enter the high calling of motherhood!

Congratulations!

Many blessings...

Michele said...

Many Many blessings and congratulations!

As for the stretch marks... it is said that if you have a genetic preponderance for them, it's kind of a given. However, you can try cocoa butter on the areas (usually breasts, tummy, and hips) morning and evening. It helps to keep the skin elastic.

Lady of the House said...

Best wishes, Mrs. Anna! My stretchmarks have just kind of disappeared after 3 years post partum. During pregnancy it was pretty scary looking at those things and I wondered what I'd look like when it was all over. My cousin recommended cocoa butter during and after, but I quit using it a few months after the baby arrived. Maybe it's just luck, but mine are flesh colored now and not even noticeable to anyone else but me.

Again, best wishes!

Mrs. Maybrook

Rachel said...

I have some crazy stretch marks, even going all the way down my legs to about mid-calf. I think the most important thing is not to gain too much weight....I gained about 60 pounds when I was pregnant.

Congrats on your baby! All the crying is worth it when you see the first smile!

Kelly said...

Congratulations Anna!! The second trimester is much better than the first, so you have much to look forward to. I'm presently waddling through my last four weeks, and while the fatigue comes back a bit during the third, it hasn't been anywhere near like it was at the beginning. As far as stretch marks go, one's tendency to get them or not is strictly hereditary. If your mom got them, it's possible or likely that you would too. I have them from the teenage years, but so far have escaped any due to baby. If you wanted to soothe the skin though, you could mix some of your favorite essential oil (like lavender for instance) in a base of either olive oil or sweet almond oil. Both are good for the skin and don't have any chemicals to be absorbed. Best wishes for your new little family!

Canadian said...

Congratulations!

Anonymous said...

Yeah Anna! I am so happy for you both!! Can't wait to meet this little person that will be raised with such love!
Cheryl

Beth said...

I'll agree with the others who said there aren't any tried and true stretch mark remedies that always work, but none of the ones recommended will hurt, either. I'll also add myself to the list of those who strongly suspected your news ahead of time. :) Once you've been there you recognize the signs. :)

I would suggest you mention your fatigue to your doctor soon, particularly the part about being out of breath. Since you are young and in good shape already, being out of breath could be a sign of anemia. You may need to add some vegetarian forms of iron or an iron supplement to your diet. Or it may just be that you're adjusting to breathing for two and it will get better with time.

Tracy said...

Congratulations, Anna! I suspected as much.

About the stretch marks, I've had them since puberty too. And yes, I got MANY more with pregnancy. You know what though? They bother me much more than my husband. He says proudly, "I made you pregnant, so they are my fault, not yours."
I think you either get them or you don't depending on the natural elasticity of your skin. Lotions may sooth itching but won't prevent a thing.

Anonymous said...

Anna and her dear husband,
Congratulations! Our family is so happy for you! What joy it is to experience your first pregnancy! Stretch marks seem to me to be mostly hereditary, however, rapid weight gain does seem to play a part. I managed to escape 2 of 3 pregnancies without stretch marks. The third, I grew so fast there wasn't much hope ;) Fortunately, in the grand scheme of things it doesn't matter much and they fade over time. Eat healthfully for you and the baby and avoid excess....
Congratulations!
Jen in OK

Anonymous said...

Oh Anna! How wonderful! Congrats to you and your husband. Prepare to be happier (and more exhausted) than you have ever been in your life, and to feel like your heart might burst right out of your chest.

I wish I could help you with the stretch marks. I, too, am prone to them, and having four children has turned me into a road map. I like to think of them lovingly, though. My body gave my four beauties, and the most I could do is stretch to make some room.

What happy happy news!
Linsey

Mika said...

Congratulations Anna! Put me in the "Oh I knew it!" camp, I was wondering if we'd get an announcement once you hit the second trimester! I'm due with baby #5 in January as well, seems to be alot of us! Vitamin e oil is good for stretch marks from what I hear, I've never bothered and honestly I don't think my husband even notices my stretch marks lol. Good luck dear and congrats again!

Thia said...

CONGRATULATIONS!! Anna, I don't think you fooled many of us. I suspected. I am very excited for you.
About the stretch marks...sorry to say I have no advice other than to keep yourself well hydrated. With my first, I didn't get them until the last month. With each pregnancy after, they show up a bit earlier. Honestly, I can't see them much unless I look in the mirror b/c they're on the underside of my belly.
Just remember, your body is designed for this work and can handle it!

Michelle said...

Congratulations! I was wondering : D

As for stretch marks, hate to break it to you sweetie but they're genetic, no cream, lotion, oil or potion will prevent them or decrease their appearance.

I've grown to think of mine as rewards - battle scars - trophies!

Oh, and when you get them from pregnancy, subsequent pregnancies give you MORE (you'd think the belly would just make use of the old one's but, no, you get more) LOL!

lady jane said...

Oh, dear sweet Anna, I'm so very happy for you and your husband!

(*(*( tender embrace )*)*)

About a month ago I suspected you were pregnant but didn't say anything. Maybe it's a motherly sense?

Getting ready for this wee one is an exciting opportunity for sewing and knitting and preparing one's heart before God for such a precious gift.

You will be a wonderful mother!

Bless you!

Amanda said...

Congratulations! I wondered if you might be when you were talking about being tired and ill.

Hil The Thrill said...

Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Anna! :) Hooray! Hooray!

I'm a short little person and my first baby was nine and a half lbs. I have lots of stretchmarks that all appeared in the last month or so of pregnancy. I think my body was saying,"We were all set for an eight lb baby! 9.5 is more than we are set up for...
Time for renovations!"

I was very sad that my stomach would never be the same, and my abusive ex husband told me that no one would want me because of them. Even my doctor looked at them and clucked,"What a shame." I felt humiliated.

Now, my oldest is 7, the stretchmarks are nearly invisible, and I am fiercely proud of those silvery lines. They are my "racing stripes". I honestly LOVE that part of myself.

Don't miss out on stretchmarks, Mama. They are part of the journey from focusing on ourselves, to shifting that focus outward to our children.

Mrs. Mordecai said...

Congratulations, I'm so happy for you!

My doctor told me that there is nothing that you can do to prevent stretch marks, so not to bother buying expensive creams and such. My son is two now, and I hardly notice them anymore, they have faded so much. Just enjoy them as a badge of honor!

Milena said...

How exciting! I'm a new reader to your blog, so I didn't catch any hints...but that is wonderful news. I will be reading to see how things go, and wish you and your new family the best!

Anna said...

Congratulations! I'm so happy for you! I sort of guessed this was coming, from reading your blog recently. =)
I don't have any children yet (we're hoping, but it hasn't happened so far), but my mom had five and she swears by cocoa butter for stretch marks. Good luck!

Anna

Erin said...

Congratulations to you and your husband!

Anonymous said...

Oh, Anna darling, I suspected from the moment when you talked about how it's custom for a Jewish woman not to reveal her pregnancy for the first few months...but I didn't know for sure until now! May you have a happy and healthy remaining six months or so. Can't wait to find out whether it will be a boy or a girl - I'm sure you feel the same way, if much more strongly!

Beshaah tovah!

Anonymous said...

As I suspected! I'm in my 15th week as well, and due Jan. 4th 2009. Congratulations!
For stretch marks with my last pregnancy I used a little olive oil mixed with lemon juice, and it worked wonders. Just keep it in a jar in the fridge to keep it cold.
Best of luck with the rest of your pregnancy!

Emmy

Melisa said...

Congratulations! I had been wondering about that - too many posts that hinted (unintentionally, I assume) that direction. I am almost 28 weeks and thus, my mindset was already in that direction as I read.



My husband is also a gem in the helping out area. He really had to step up to the plate with this one. I had morning (all day/night) nausea with all 3 children for more than what most consider normal - 5 mos with each. I found out last night that I still have to watch out for the smell of raw meat - ugh!



As far as the stretch marks, yes, you will probably get them. Not much you can do about them - they are a genetic factor. Biggest thing you can do to avoid excessive amounts of them is to avoid gaining excessive weight (easy to avoid in the first part of the pregnancy if you have morning sickness!). But trust me - your husband will not think or worry about your stretch marks. They are the last thing on my husband's mind and we have been married over 12 years. He loves me (all parts!) to distraction - he could care less about the stretch marks - they are part of me and once he said that there was no way he could consider those as a detractor since he was "at fault".



Again, Congratulations! I am so very excited for you!

USAincognito said...

Congrats on expecting your first child!! So happy for you and will be praying for you and the baby's health! :)

Amanda said...

Congratulations!! :D

Anonymous said...

Dear Anna,

CONGRATULATIONS! What exciting news. Hope you're enjoying pregnancy! You are indeed lucky to have been blessed with a kind and loving husband.

Praise the Lord for this news.

W

Rachelle said...

Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so happy for you and your husband. God blessings be upon this precious little one!

thecurryseven said...

I'm taking off my lurker hat to say Congratulations!! I'm so happy and excited for you.

Kari said...

Congratulations to you and your husband, Anna! What a wonderfully exciting time - this new little person is going to change your life more than you can possible imagine!:)

As for stretch marks, mine mostly faded a few months after my daughter was born, but I didn't take any huge steps to get rid of them because we're 6.5 months along now with baby #2! I've heard rumours that keeping yourself and your skin well-hydrated can help a bit with elasticity. As well, my uncle (who used to lift weights A LOT) said that breaking open vitamin E capsules and rubbing it directly on the stretch marks can do wonders (he said it helped to fade marks on his chest and shoulders to barely visible). I'm going to give it a shot when blessing #2 makes his/her appearance! Enjoy every moment of this pregnancy (when you're not throwing up!!), and each little movement you get to experience - there's nothing quite like it!

Anonymous said...

Many, many congratulations to you & your husband, Anna! I am sooo happy for you!

As to the stretch marks: I have them, & wish I had taken steps to care better for my skin during my pregnancies. Somebody mentioned Vitamin E oil. I believe that would be good. As well, there is product, called Stri-vectin I think, that supposedly reduces the appearance of existing stretch marks.

Be good to yourself, Anna.

((hugs))
Brenda

Michelle said...

Congratulations!!!!!

A Wonderful Life! said...

Congrats. I knew it by the way you were speaking a couple of weeks ago. Great for you. COCo Butter is the best way to go twice a day on your tummy starting now. God Bless. Stephanie

KTHunter said...

That is such wonderful news. Congratulations!

Becky said...

Anna,
Congratulations to you and your husband! How exciting for you both. You are truly blessed. Any names picked out yet? I am glad to hear that the sickness has started to subside. Be sure to take it easy and relax as much as you can. Again I am so happy for you!!

I have not been pregnant yet so I don't have any time-tested remedies for stretch marks but I have heard that cocoa butter helps. Definitely let me know what you find that works! God Bless you both and your new miracle!

Julia said...

Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!

If you do end up with stretch marks like I did they will probably be purple and very noticeable at first. Gradually they should fade to skin color, but a little shiney and it's not so bad.

Mrs. Anna T said...

Becky: in my husband's family, it's traditional to name the first son and daughter after the husband's parents. So we don't even have to think about a name, it's kind of decided already. :-)

Heather said...

Anna- Congrats!! I hope your pregnancy goes smoothly here on out. Motherhood is a joy and a blessing and I am sure you will be a wonderful mother.

As for stretch marks there is really nothing that will help if you already have them then you will probably get them. I used coco butter, and it helped with the iching. Mine were never really bad they never were red or purple just little silvery lines. I would prefer not to have them but at the same time they are a reminder to me that I have my three boys, and just how wonderful my children are.

God Bless
Heather

Anonymous said...

Such wonderful news! Congrats!

Candy said...

Anna!!!!
Wow, this is awesome news!!!
Aww, Im so happy for you!!! :) :)
And tomorrow is a special day too ;) :)
This is so wonderful.
Big hugs,
Candy

PamelaK said...

Anna -
Congratulations! I will be praying for you and your baby, dear!!
As for the stretch marks, I ended up with a million, after trying almond oil. But from what I have learned since then, applying topical royal jelly may help.

Ladycelt said...

First time commenter here...
A lady in my church once told me that with each pregnancy she rubbed olive oil into her skin every day and still has not a single stretch mark. Now if only I had done the same. :P Anyway, congrats on your first blessing!

Suzanne said...

Just wanted to mention something about exercise, Anna. I am an exercise physiologist and I was so exhausted during my first trimester that I didn't exercise *at all.* I barely got off the couch! (I had to quit my job, but I was going to quit anyway once the baby came.) I did do mild, easy walking and stretching during the rest of my pregnancy. I, too, was very out of breath at first. So don't worry about that; just do what feels right to you. It will not hinder you in getting back in shape or in preparing for labor! You'll be fine! Be sure to drink plenty of water; it's very easy to get dehydrated.
Congrats again!

Serena said...

Congratulations to you and your husband, Anna! I've been wondering for some time... ;)

I hope you feel much better soon! I know how hard those first few months can be.

As for stretch marks...I haven't read the other comments yet, but I'm sure you've gotten tons of advice. I did nothing to prevent them, since I don't really think you CAN do much. I got stretch marks on my thighs and hips, where I already had some, but none on my belly. Oh, and my, ahem, breasts got stretch marks, too, which surprised me, since I'm small-busted and had never had them there before! I would say just to stay hydrated, and, of course, don't use this as an excuse to be a glutton, which I can't see you doing at all.

Anyway, I'll stop with my useless advice now. Congratulations! I can't wait to see your baby bump!

Kelly said...

Congrats Anna!!!!! Yea!!!!! I'm so happy for both of you. Enjoy this time once that baby is born you will look back on the peace and quiet. LOL
I think anything that helps retain moisture in the skin works great you just have to put it on a lot. I used cocoa butter, vitamin E lotion and I used both several times a day. And I still got stretch marks but they faded away a few months after the birth. Remember to put the lotion on after you give birth to as the skin is trying to heal and tighten up.
God Bless,
Kelly

Bethany Hudson said...

Congratulations, Anna, and many blessings on your pregnancy!!!

I'm so excited for you...and I'd wondered with all the posts about morning sickness and homeschooling if that wasn't the case :)

~Bethany

HisBeloved said...

Congratulations! I'm so happy for you. My own sweet baby will be 1 in January and these past 5 months are some of the best in my life. (The only possibly better months are the ones I have spent married to my dear husband.)

I am also glad to hear you are feeling better now. I will keep you in my prayers.

Sarah K said...

Oh, many, many congratulations. I had my suspicions (as I am sure many did) when you talked of feeling unwell a little while ago, because it sounded so similar to the experiences of my cousin who is expecting her first child in the next couple of weeks.

For stretch marks, a friend who has two children says that she massaged her stomach with olive oil from the early days of pregnancy. She believes that keeping the skin very supple and moisturised with the oil meant that she did not mark very much. She also found the smell very soothing, when there were many odours she could not bear.

I am so happy for you and your husband as you travel towards this new adventure together.

Laura Leigh said...

Anna:
Many many congratulations! What wonderful news! I am so happy for you and your husband. Take care of yourself and baby and keep us posted on how your pregnancy is progressing.

Samara said...

Congratulations to you and yours! Put me in the "I knew" camp- but I did not want to say anything just in case of tragedy, as you mentioned in a previous post. My husband and I were so private about it that we did not tell most friends or people we worked with until almost 5 months along, when it became a little obvious and folks started to confront me with questions :)

For exercise, I found 2 things extremely beneficial: prenatal yoga, and lessons from our hospital's physical therapist. The PT taught a class on posture, footwear and pain management that was very informative- for instance, that wearing flat sandals or flip flops was detrimental to the foot during pregnancy and nursing. She taught us a lot of stress-relieving stretches and massage techniques as well, plus exercises to enhance post-birth recovery. Yoga was wonderful in teaching me how to breathe evenly and have proper posture, as well as being relaxing and good low-impact exercise. I credit it with my not needing pain meds during a difficult labor.

Oh, I am so happy for you both. You've been blessed to carry new life! As much as you already look forward to becoming parents, it's such a profound and life-changing experience in unexpected ways- much like marriage- and having faith. Many congratulations!

TheRetroHousewife said...

Anna

Saw your comment about staying fit and attractive for your hubby! Do yourself a favor and workout now while you are pregnant. You can't, of course, do super intense workouts but you can walk and do light light weights. (of course ask your doc first) but if you work out now not only will it help with your endurance during labor but it will also get you back into shape faster!

Jenny

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, what wonderful news! The only thing I can tell you about stretch marks is that I didn't get them on my belly, but I can't say that for the rest of me! I didn't get one during puberty, but due to gaining lots of weight with my first baby, I got them down my legs, even some on my calves! I am of a slim build and always lose the weight after pregnancy, but I can really pack it on in the last trimester. They were red at first, now totally faded and not a big deal. But I can remember feeling differently at first. I can say that for me and many others I have spoken to in their 30's, you will find that as you leave your 20's behind you will leave a lot of youthful cares and anxieties that just won't afflict you as you mature. The "mellowing out" is a wonderful part of aging. In light of the trials and joys that only loving a child can bring, stretch marks will fade from your awareness if not from your belly!

Beth

Liz said...

Wow, you already have so many comments...you have a lot of readers! My name is Liz and I have been reading your blog of late (I found it through littlejennywren), as I think your description of your faith is fasinating. I am a devout Catholic, but I have so much respect for anyone who follows their religion so devoutly, as you do.
I also had a feeling that you were expecting after reading your blog over the past few weeks. Congratulations! My husband and I are hoping to be expecting our 5th child soon. I don't have any advice about stretchmarks, but I do homeschool and have had the last two children naturally, so if you need any advice or encouragement about either of those things, please let me know...
Being pregnant is such pure joy...enjoy it!
Liz
http://elizsan.blogspot.com

All things bright & beautiful... said...

Many congratulations - I have come here every day just waiting for your news to be made official! Isn't it strange how many of us suspected - your posts just seemed to have a new perspective.
Enjoy this glorious time!

Naomi O'Donovan said...

Congratulations! Wonderful news.

:D

Heartathome said...

Congratulations! A new life is always worth a celebration!!

Anonymous said...

Be'shaa Tova. Wishing you a healthy, easy birth and much happiness!!

It's interesting that in your husband's family the tradition is to name both girls and boys after the husband's parents. I know of many sephardic families where they traditionally name one of the boys after either the husband or wife's father, but I've never come across a case where the daughter was named after her living grandmother. I thought it was more of a patriarchal thing.

We honoured my husband's (sephardic) father by giving our first born son his name as a middle name. DH's siblings did the same ('named' their boys after their father via the middle name). It's actually a very nice name, but we just didn't want it as a first name. His dad was more than happy with our decision.

Using my parents' names was never an issue as I'm ashkenazi and we traditionally don't name babies after living people.
Tammy

Laura Brown said...

Congratulations, Anna! I wish you and your child health and happiness.

Rachele said...

Dear Anna,

Like most of the regular readers I suspected you were with child, what a joyous time for you and your husband. Blessings for a healthy pregnancy and uneventful delivery. I can't wait to read about your reflections on motherhood.

Peace,
Rachele

Kate said...

Dear Anna,

How Wonderful!!

But want to know a secret? Your very happy news wasn't really a secret to those of us who love you and know you through your beautiful writings!! ;-)

I was terribly morning sick with my first child/only son--maybe its a Boy!

Love,

Kate.

Mrs. V. said...

Congratulations! I'm so happy for you ~ carrying your first is such a happy time. I haven't been through all the comments, but vitamin E supposedly works wonders. Some women purchase the gel capsules and cut them open and rub the contents directly onto their skin. I, unfortunatly, did not find out this little bit of information until *after* my pregnancies! But yes, they do fade after a few years.

Mrs. Rabe said...

Anna,

My friend and I who both read your blog wondered if you might not be expecting! How wonderful!

God's blessings!

Kate said...

Anna, dear--

One more comment.

One night when I was pregnant, my husband and I had just gotten into bed, he leaned over to kiss me good-night and the smell of his breath forced me to jump up and race to the bathroom!!

Hoping your tummy settles down soon!

Love,

Kate.

Lillian the Ponderer said...

Congratulations to both you and your husband, may God bless you both in this walk towards parenthood. It is clear that you both have the same values and goals for parenting which I'm sure will help greatly in raising your children, - especially important if you will be making "unusual" descisions like homeschooling etc. This is a decision I had made years ago my husband and I are in agreement about it but I know that many family members will think it is a crazy idea to say the least (my grandmother expressed horror when I mentioned the subject in passing) and I am sure you will find many of the classic comments to be multiplied in a culture where home education is all but unheard of. This is where the strength of your unity with your husband will be very important. I pray for you and your growing family. Blessings

Mrs Marcos said...

Just wanted to wish you and your husband congratulations. Such happy news! :)

Zeljka said...

Beautifull news! I am glad sickness are behind you! Enjoy! I am looking forward to new episodes of your blogging in this very special period of your life! And also episodes of Domestic Felicity with little ones with you.
BTW I read russian so if you don't mind write the name of sewing book for me! Tnx!

Zeljka

Bridget said...

Congratulations Anna! Besides your marriage, this is the best news! Many, many blessings on you and your growing family.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Anna.
We didn't get pregnant for 5 years after we got married and then we had 3 years wait for our second, then 14 months, then 22 months for our 4th and final. You are entering a fantastic time! Stretch marks....go with the advice told...I was told to put cream on them because that would decrease the itchiness and I was told not to scratch them. What surprised me was that I got so many on my breasts when my milk came in when I had had none in my developing years. You get what you get! Don't worry, they fade and are hardly noticeable at all. The stretch marks should not bother your husband. I would be more worried about working sensibly to get the baby weight off after the birth of each child, so that you can maintain your weight at a reasonable level and it doesn't creep up on you. I had some trouble with that. Wish I would have worked on that more diligently.
Ruthie from california

Anonymous said...

Congratulations!!!!

S

elena rulli said...

Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. T!!!
Rest a lot and enjoy every moment of this beautiful and, hopefully, first of a happy series of preganancies and joys! Being able to be at home is a good thing, I can tell from the difference in attitude between you and a friend of mine, who had to work hard out of home (she's and architct and had to supervise building places and so on!) until she was almost due! Watching her suffer for the lack of rest taught me a hard lesson.
Blessings and love to the three of you!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Anna!!
I too have been a reader though not posting. I found your blog through the LAF site and really enjoy your blog. I had been praying that God would bless you with a little one soon, and now He has! CONGRATULATIONS!

As for stretch marks, well, I have no help for you there. Sorry.
~Evelyn Mae

Z said...

Hi Anna,

I've read your lovely blog for a while now, but this is my first comment. I just had to say congratulations to you and your husband!!! I am so excited for you!

~Zipporah

AHighandNobleCalling said...

I KNEW you were pregnant! Congratulations!

I never did prevent stretchmarks, so I can't help you there!

I pray you continue to feel well throughout your whole pregnancy!

Tammy said...

Oh, how exciting!! Congratulations, Anna and hubby!

...and now they are three :o)

weinstock4jc said...

Praise the Lord for His grace and His mercy.

Rose said...

Anna, I am overjoyed for you and Mr T. My love to you all.

jen said...

congratulations!!!

Jan Hatchett said...

Oh Anna,
I am so thrilled for you and your husband! Children are a blessing (sometimes a frustrating, messy blessing, but a blessing nonetheless).

As for stretch marks, I have been told that keep the skin moisturized. I used vitamin E and pure lanolin. Of course, stretch marks are worst on very fair people and I am very fair, but it did minimize them.

Best wishes!
Jan

Judy said...

Congratulations! How exciting! As for stretchmarks and wanting to stay attractive for you dh... well a real man, like my dh and like yours sounds, doesn't find that stretchmarks mar his wife's beauty, but instead enhance it as a visible sign of her love both for him and their child(ren).

Mazel Tov!! (sp?)

Anonymous said...

I seem to have made it through adolesence without stretch marks. In my 20s at some point suddenly I got them.....got more.....got more. A few years later they are still coming. I know sometimes my weight changes in tiny spurts, but I don't think it changes that drastically, or more drastically than it did before the marks. I weigh less than two pounds for every inch of my height. I have mentioned them to 6 or 7 doctors during visits for other things. The dermatologist (who thought mine were from hormonal fluctuations)recently told me I could try vitamin E and coco butter. He said that many women swore by them and it at least wouldn't hurt to try them. He said not to try things promising stretch mark help because they won't work. Vitamin-A cream can help dimish marks if applied while the marks are still colorful, but this cannot be use when pregnant. He said a laser wouldn't even help my (very thin and silvery) marks.

Just seeing all these people here have stretch marks makes me feel a bit more at ease with mine (though not knowing when they end while getting them while being single at times really distresses me - when I first let myself survey the damage I burst into tears thinking I must be unlovable to men and better never marry).

Anonymous said...

Ah-ha---I KNEW IT from all those other posts!! Congratulations and take very good care of yourself and that precious little gift from God. You will be a wonderful mother!

Sherry said...

Congratulations many times over! But I'm not surprised. ;-) I was sick with all 5 of mine--8 months with the first one. Yech! May God bless you with a healthy pregnancy.

wendybirde said...

Congratulations Anna, such precious news! : )

Misty said...

Praise G-d for your new little one. May He bless you with many more.

Asia said...

congrats to you. i am so happy, all smiles from me

More Elinor than Marianne said...

Congratulations to you both. However, I must admit, I highly suspected this for several weeks now. (Grins) Call it a "mother's instinct"...

As for stretch marks, what worked really well for me was slathering my body down with pure Vitamin E oil or was an oil called "Mother's Special Blend". I don't know if it's available in Israel or not, but I'm sure you can probably find it online. It's an all natural blend of oils that many women--myself and several friends included--found to work wonders.

Blessings to you, your husband, and the sweet babe in your womb!

Susan B said...

Anna,

Congratulations!!! How exciting for you and your husband. I had wondered if that was the case when you had said you were ill. I'm glad you are feeling better. Just keep taking care of yourself, rest and sleep when you need it. You are blessed to have such a wonderful husband.

God bless you!!

E03 said...

congratulations from another lurker

Meghann said...

Congratulations Anna! This is going to be such a wonderful season of you and your husbands life!

One thing about stretch marks...I have never "tried" to not get them, so I have (not many, but they are definitely there). I now tell my older daughter that they are called my "beauty marks", as I received a beautiful child with each one! I just don't want my children to dread getting them as they are not a curse or a problem at all, unlike how many in the world sees them!

Anyways, my two cents about stretch marks! Not that you are wrong doing your best to prevent them...

Kristi said...

Congratulations to you and your husband! This is a wonderful time of life. I guessed from earlier posts that you might be expecting, and since I was just there (our daughter was born June 17) those memories are still quite fresh. It's a time of wonder and joy. Just keep taking care of yourself and your baby.

I tend to gain around 40-45 pounds with each baby, and have a few stretch marks. I used body butter on them and it seems to have helped, because the marks are not very noticeable.

Amity said...

Congratulations!!! How excited I am for you to be expecting your first blessing!!
As far as stretch marks go..I have heard that unrefined coconut oil helps..I have 4 wonderfu blessings butno stretch marks (I think it is just good genes..my mom had 7 children and doesn't have one stretch mark either)

Courtney said...

CONGRATS ANNA!! I am so happy for you! You are going to love it... especially homeschooling the little one... or two... or ten.. :)

any thoughts on names?

Kristi said...

By the way, the body butter was shea and cocoa butter, plus a little coconut oil I think. I don't have the container here to check, but it was scented with coconut and lime and I really like that. My husband likes the scent of it too.

Kalianne@BygoneBeauty said...

Dear Anna

What happy news! Congratulations to you and your husband. I am so excited for you. May God richly bless you both and your little family! What joy!

~Kalianne

Natali said...

Congrats!! :)

Anonymous said...

C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S !!!!!!

I am SO SO happy for you !!!!!!!!!

Words can't say enough !

WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW !

Sincerely
Cristina

Anonymous said...

Anna,

I must be the only one that didn't suspect anything - I feel so daft ! I just thought you had a cold when you said you weren't well LOL.

Re exercise. The "rule of thumb" in fitness in Australia is that a woman should not exercise above 140 heart beats per minute when pregnant. So I exercised with a heart rate monitor. I soon discovered that (1) with hardly any effort my heart soared to 140 bpm, and (2) at 140 bpm I was overheating !! So easy walking is really the only way to go in my opinion. And eating foods in their natural state to provide maximum vitamins, and I didn't do this, but I recommend no junk food at all because it provides weight gain for no good reason (I learned the hard way). I knew better, but I just couldn't resist. I think it was because I was working full time and food was a release from my frustration of being overtired.

Love and hugs

CONGRATULATIONS AGAIN ! :-)

Sincerely
Cristina

Andrea said...

Anna,

what simply fantastic news! I am so excited for both of you, and you can add me to the "I was wondering about that!" camp!

Your mention of the tradition to name the baby after the husband's parents caught my eye and I just had to grin and wonder what sort of a tizzy it might cause if you had twins of the same gender . . . but then I expect you'll have time to prepare for that eventuality :P Meantime, I have been told by doctors and women in my family alike that stretch marks are both genetic and quick-fading. My mother got them when she carried my sister and me both, and now they are just the faintest lines on her stomach. I have some myself from rapid weight gain a few years ago and the only time I notice them now is when I am underwater and the silvery lines stand out very clearly.

As many women have noted, drinking water will help increase your skin's elasticity and may reduce the number that you do get, but likely won't eliminate them completely. It's mostly dependant on genetics and the rate at which your baby grows. If it reassures you are all, I trust Mr T will both appreciate your efforts to keep fit for him and also, judging by the glowing descriptions you have already given of his support for you, treasure each and every visible reminder that you have worked so hard to bring this baby into the world.

Blessings on all three of you! :)

Mrs Amy said...

Congratualtions!! What a wonderful time for you both!!
I must admitt I thought you were expecting cause all you have been discribing with being tired and behind is what I felt for the first 12 weeks of my pregnancy! And I am back to feeling that way now I am in the last strech!
Much prayers for you all
Blessings

Anya said...

lovely news, Anna. My heart and prayers are with you, your husband and your little treasure.

Titus2Grandma said...

Oh Anna,

I am so happy for you and your husband. What a blessing to have conceived so soon. May G-d bless the two of you and your new little darling.
I enjoy your blog very much and read it every day.

Blessings,

Mary L - Mom to 6, Grandmother to 31 and Great grandma to 6 with one more due in Dec. :-)

Mrs. Anna T said...

Thank you, dear friends, for all your sweet wishes! I wonder if now I will be able to recognize when other women are pregnant as well. :-)

Mrs. Anna T said...

Also, today is my 23-rd birthday by the world's calendar. My Jewish calendar birthday is 28-th of Tammuz, which this year falls on July 31-st. Wow, my life certainly changed a lot in the past year! A year ago, I didn't know my husband, and now I'm married and with a baby on the way.

A Marriage After His Heart said...

I KNEW IT!!!! PRAISE GOD! I just knew when you were saying you were not feeling well, that you were expecting. I am so happy for you as a member of the newly wed club myself I am anxiously awaiting the time when I can announce news to the world. Hopefully it will be real soon!

As far as stretch marks, pure aloe vera extract is what I used. You can buy the plant and use the extract from the stems, or you can go to the health store and purchase it. Make sure it is the pure slimy extract. I had both of my daughters and I don't have a single stretch mark to show. Again, I am so happy for you!

mrs. thomas formaly known as singlemomforgod!

~ Jenifer said...

Congratulations Mr and Mrs. T!
I've been a "lurker" for quite a while, and am so glad to hear the happy news. What a privledge and blessing!

I live in Brazil where all the women faithfully use and advocate almond oil for stretch marks. They (like me) are more dark-skinned so they worry alot about it! I am single but have some from my teenage years which I can do nothing about except for trying to keep my skin hydrated and conditioned.

God Bless you on this new journey of motherhood!
Jenifer

Mrs. Anna T said...

Oh and just to clarify: I don't think my husband will be very upset if I do get stretch marks. As I mentioned I have some from adolescence and he doesn't seem to mind them.

Joslyn said...

Congratulations Anna! I think I stumbled across your blog when I was googling stay-at-home wife (you weren't a wife then, but you must have written about that and it came up on google or something). Anyway, from reading your old posts about the heartbreaks of your single years of "wordly" dating, to the joy of your courtship and marriage, and now this...it's such a fairy tale! (And yet, a simple fairy tale, without cleavage and special effects, LOL! Just simple, Godly living)

I've never been pregnant, so no advice there, but I said a little prayer that your baby will grow healthy and strong inside you and that you will feel as well as can be expected.

And kudos to your hubby! When a wife is feeling unwell for whatever reason, and a husband steps up to help...that's when he seems more manly than ever. It's hard to explain isn't it, but it's so amazing when you see someone who is a great provider and a strong person gently step down to more humble tasks to serve his wife.

I wish more men realized how very attractive they are when they are both strong and serving!

Will be praying for you...

Sydney said...

OH, CONGRATULATIONS ANNA!!!! Same to your beloved! :-) I was SOOO excited to see your happy, happy news. May God continue to bless you and your growing family immensely! :-) I was kind of wondering if you were pregnant yet, by how you talked...and you were! I'll be praying for you!

Shalom,

Sydney :-)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! I don't think I've ever commented before but I enjoy reading your blog and I'm so happy for you!

And yeah, I had a feeling it was gonna happen as well...

Kat with a K said...

Congratulations! I'm so excited for you!

Neuropoet said...

Oh Anna - congratulations!!!! :) I've been away from the blog-o-sphere for a couple of days, and I missed your big announcement - the one I've been hoping for for awhile now! :) I can't tell you how happy I am for you and your husband! What an immense blessing...

Peace be with you,
~Jenny

ruizbe82 said...

Congratulations! I think we all had a hunch... ;)

Elizabeth said...

*Hug!* You already know I'm THRILLED for you and Mr T, but I'll say it again ... I'm SO happy and excited for you both! :) Have a lovely day! :)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations and Many Blessings ! I.. thought so...just had this inkling.

How exciting. Enjoy this first pregnancy because there will never be a one like it again if you are blessed with more. You can rest when you want to, be pampered, spend time with your honey. Dream, pray. Oh, enjoy!

Many Blessing, you are in my prayers for a safe and blessed pregnancy and birth.

Ace

Linda Marie said...

Oh! Congratulations! How wonderful! I'm so happy for you!
Blessings,
Linda Marie
Sweden

AnneK said...

Congrats Anna, I knew it too. You were sick and you were having post after post about homeschooling, kids etc. :) It wasn't too hard to guess.

Take care of yourself.

Annie

Jenny said...

Congratulations to both of you Anna. Have a wonderful time.

Anonymous said...

!!! Congratulations!!

Kaeus said...

congratulations!!! a baby is such a blessing!

as far as stretch marks, sometimes we just have to live with them. i scar easily and do not heal well, and when i ahd my son at 22, some of the stretch marks i developed at puperty some 10 years prior were still pink - and some of the new ones are still pink now, 4 years later.

vitamin E cream seems to work a bit, but honestly, anything that stops them itching, if thats a proplem, is really all you need. only doctors, your husband, and babies will see them, and they are proof of your motherhood.

Karen said...

Wow you have a record number of comments here! It seems I have gotten behind and am the last to know! Congratulations!!! You are only a month or so behind me! How exciting!

Nanny Y. said...

Congratulations!! Wonderful news, I'm so glad you shared it :)

MarkyMark said...

Anna,

Congratulations!!! I'm happy for you and your husband; I'm also happy for your child. You & Yitzhak will give your children the most PRECIOUS gift of all: a healthy, LOVING relationship! Some years ago, I read a book on relationships by a woman who'd been happily married for 30 years, and she said that this is the most important thing parents can give their children. I agree; as one who did NOT get this, it has affected me all of my life. That author, whose name escapes me at the moment, is SO RIGHT about that! You and your husband are off to a great start, and I'm happy for you-all of you...

In any case, I wish you well, and I look forward to hearing about this new, exciting, and challenging chapter of your life...

MarkyMark

Coffee Catholic said...

Stretch marks are something that you should wear with PRIDE! It's the #1 physical sign of motherhood that you can carry proudly through your entire life hehehehe! I love my stretch marks ~ the more that arrive, the more I rejoice in my little red "badges of honor."

You wrote: "This time taught me a lot of humility. I had to accept that my energy levels are low, and I'm simply unable to be as efficient, and accomplish as much as I'm used to. I had to learn to accept my present limitations with a grateful heart."

I KNOW EXACTLY HOW YOU FEEL!!!! I've been totally humbled by my pregnancy. And here I thought I was so tough and so ... well, being pregnant has shown me exactly how wekk I can be! I can't even make it through an hour of church without fainting from the heat. WHAT HEAT?! It's not even hot but I've become sooooo sensative to heat that the slightest amount causes me to swoon!

I posted a picture of me 5 and 1/2 months pregnant on my www.coffeecatholic.blogspot.com blog! I'm so glad you've announced the good news! GOD BLESS!!

Your fellow pregnant friend!!

Julie said...

Congratulations!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Anna! I admit, since you've often mentioned in your blog that you didn't feel well I was wondering if this might be the reason =) Many, many blessings to you, your husband and the new life growing inside you.

Susan

Bonnie S said...

Hmm, I was thinking I might see an announcement like this soon! :-)

Congratulations to you and your husband!! How exciting!! :D :D

God bless!

Betsy said...

Congratulations!

I've read your blog for several months now and find it very insightful.

I was in exactly the same place you are now with my first pregnancy (I'm a mother of two now). I thought the hospital, drugs, doctors, etc were all essential until I found myself pregnant, reading, and growing to appreciate that God is the one who created motherhood and had been preparing my womanly body for it for many years. I began to see that all those drugs and interventions carried serious risks and that I didn't see any wisdom or good medicine in exposing a woman and a fragile newborn to unnecessary risk, even if it happens all the time in many hospitals all over the world. Also, like you, my husband seemed to know more about it all than me, and I was nervous about being away from a hospital in case of an emergency during birth.

I HIGHLY recommend you read Husband Coached Childbirth by Dr. Robert Bradley and if you like what you find there, read Natural Birth the Bradley Way by Susan McCutcheon and look into if they have Bradley-birthing classes in Israel. Husband Coached Childbirth set me on a course of study that changed my thinking entirely. I've had two natural births now, the second at home and the first in a birthing center similar to what you described. I didn't feel quite ready delivering at home until I was sure I could really handle a natural birth because I'd done it before. I must say the home birth was by far the more pleasant and pressure-free of the two. The Bradley method teaches women to work with their body's natural system and urges and to understand and embrace instead of fear and fight the stages of labor. Relaxtion to reduce tension and thus excessive pain is key, and I found that it really does work. I used a warm birthing tub both times and when I was really in the midst of strong contractions, I sank into the warm water, relaxed, and without exaggeration 95% of the pain dissapeared. I only wish both times that I had gotten into the water sooner! Supposedly 90-95% of couples (yes, you will need your husband, he is essential) who apply what Dr. Bradely says come through labor naturally, without medication, and without intervention. The other 5-10% are the rare cases where something truly did go wrong and some medical intervention, whatever level of it, was needed. Basically if you study the method, you will know your body and the stages of labor inside out, what nutrition is necessary to prevent problems, many different relaxtion techniques, and how to communicate your desires firmly and politely with hospital staff. Labor is called labor because it is intense hard work and as the mother your physical and hormonal demands will command your entire attention and mental abilities, so leaving anything to decide at the birth is a very bad idea. Your mind will just not be capable and your dear husband will need to be your support and protector. I thought of labor like running a marathon with the steepest hill at the end, only in this case you have no control over the rest breaks as your body will decide when each contraction starts and finishes for you. I also thought of each contraction like running up and down a hill (I used to be a track athlete, can you tell?). The contraction started out mild, grew in intensity, peaked, and then would ebb away and then I got a rest to prepare for the next contraction. I found that just taking one at a time was so helpful. I didn't fight the contraction, just tried to relax through it and rest in between. Labor is far too much to try to tackle in one big gulp, it's too hard for that. But break it up and take it one by one and it's much more managable. Actually I had conversations with family between contractions right up until I started pushing. A funny story is that with our first child, at one point I just sort of dropped and completely relaxed and although I was fine it scared my husband so much he nearly fainted and the nurse made him go lie down and eat a sandwhich! Ha ha. Of course, he also blacked out momentarily out of nervousness or excitement or whatever when he asked me to marry him too. I'm looking forward to more children if we are so blessed and can say with full confidence, of course I would do a natural birth again. Unless a rare complication happens which is no one's fault, you will be doing what nearly every woman back to Eve did and is still doing every day. Do not fear what God created your body to do. It will be hard, God said it is painful and it is, but He did not say impossible or unbearable or deadly and you have the knowledge and a society with medical backup to expect a healthy child and mother when it's all over.

So there's my two cents, or considering how long my post is, my two hundred cents, on birth. It's hard like many things in life are hard. But with education, nutrition, and preparation, birth doesn't have to be dangerous or miserable, but is a natural process to be honored and understood.

Oh and stretch marks? I got some and was concerned until I began to think of them as Mommy marks instead. They are reminders to my husband that I carried and bore him his beloved children. He also finds my more mature figure since children very attractive. I'm 40 pounds heavier than when we met (six years and two babies in 18 months will do that and the weight comes off slowly on me), but he loves the way I feel when he touches me. Be proud of your mother's figure. Despite the popularity of the "barren" figure in the culture at large, women who have borne children as they were designed to do are more curvy and solid than unmarried maidens. Besides, what child wants to run up and hug and snuggle with an all bones, stiff, and angular mommy? I may not be the "beautiful" (according to society) and very thin girl I was, but no one can deny that I have two truly and in every sense of the word beautiful baby girls who fill my life and my husband's life with joy.

Melian said...

I'm awfully late in writing, but I wanted to add my congratulations to you and your husband! Regarding stretch marks: You probably have already gotten all of this advice, but I haven't read through all 165 lovely comments! First of all, hydration is crucial. Drink PLENTY of water! (I'm sure you're aware of this!) Protect your skin from the sun, and I highly recommend cocoa butter or shea butter. A friend rubbed plain olive oil into her skin twice daily with good results. If all else fails, wear your stretch marks proudly as proof that your body created life! (I know, easier said than done!)

His Wife and Their Mommy said...

just keep your tummy mosterized several times thru the day and that will keep ur skin elasticity, which prevents stretch marks.. Congrats on the bun in the oven. I am so happy for you and your hubby.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Anna! I moved about 10 days ago, and have just now had access to the internet again. What exciting news! I have wondered for quite some time if you were expecting, due to some of your posts. (I'm currently at 18 weeks with my 3rd, so I recognized some symptoms!) Best wishes for a happy and healthy pregnancy!
-My Dollies' Mama