One of the strangest aspects of pregnancy has been how much my body has changed but how little I notice the different on a day-to-day basis.  I guess the growth happens so slowly that I haven’t really noticed it… until I look at the belly shots, of course.

10 weeks3 IMG_7366 

Whoa, momma!  Week 25, and I am really and truly preggers.  Hah.  Well – you know what I mean.  Been pregnant for a while, but only really starting to feel that way now.




The kicks come hard and fast all day long now.  I can see my belly moving from the outside, too, which is a brand-new development. 


Here’s what BabyHTP is doing this week:  Baby is now 13.5 inches long and weighs about a pound and half.  And she (or he) has HAIR.  I am dying to know the hair color.  I’m pulling for a redhead.  Vocal cords are forming.  Air sacs are developing in the lungs. And Baby has established regular sleeping and playing cycles, which I can anticipate.  She wakes up in the morning, at lunch, and right before bedtime.


So, just like last week’s update, today’s post is going to be more of a baby brain dump than a post on a specific topic.  Life is a bit crazy this week with travel and work – I can barely collect my breath, let alone my thoughts!


  • We finally bit the bullet and purchased a stroller and a car seat.  I feel quite accomplished.  I wrote about our specific purchases over on (We Bought a Stroller! and We Bought a Car Seat!).  We’re very excited to put the baby in the stroller and walk him around!


  • One thing we cannot figure out is the glider / rocker / nursing chair (We Did NOT Buy a Glider!).  MomHTP is gifting us a glider for our baby present, but I can’t find one that fits our requirements (comfy, pretty, not insanely expensive).  I’m scouring Craigslist – you guys know I love a good deal… especially if someone else is paying!


  • This week, we started Bradley Method classes.  Bradley Method is basically a 10 – 12 week program that prepares you for natural, non-medicated, husband-coached childbirth.  There are some things that I can tell I’m really going to like about the program.  But one thing that I didn’t love was the exclusive focus on breastfeeding.  My goal is to breastfeed for at least six months, but I also know that it’s not always physically possible for the mother or the baby, no matter how badly you want it.  So I want to educate myself on other options, too, just so I am prepared either way – guess I’ll have to do my own research!  That being said, I know there’s a strong link between ‘exposing’ mothers to formula informational brochures or samples and a reduction in the duration of breastfeeding time, so maybe Bradley is onto something…


  • On a similar note, I really feel like I need to read a pro-natural childbirth book that doesn’t freak me out about delivering in a hospital.  As you all know, we’re a rather ‘holistic’ family and usually choose natural/alternative medical options.  We considered a birthing center, but I decided against it because they have a 25% first-time mom transfer rate, and then we’d be stuck with the birth center bill and the hospital bill.  I was also concerned about what would happen if there was a rare but serious emergency at birth since they don’t have the same equipment as a hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit.  So I chose to deliver in the ‘friendliest’ hospital in our area with a midwife.  However, so many of the books and movies that I’ve been watching about natural childbirth are scaring me about the hospital setting…. that I’ll be pressured to take certain medications, that my labor will be ‘timed,’ and that I won’t be able to do certain things.  Either what I’m reading is insanely biased or insanely true – or a bit of both, I guess.  I’m thinking that writing a birth plan for my midwife will help reduce my concerns.  I’ve began to pen one on my iPhone and feel like I’m writing a lot of “Please do not…” sentences.  But, like I said, I would really love to read a “hospitals aren’t horrible” natural childbirth book.  Or hear stories from women who had happy natural births in a hospital setting.  Or stories from hospital nurses!  Any book suggestions or stories to share?


  • File this one under “awkward encounters:”  A women in the airport asked me if I knew the baby’s sex.  I said we were going to wait.  She replied, “Well, do you want it to be a boy or a girl?”  I wasn’t sure what to say back, so I said, “Well, we’re not going to find out until birth!”  And she pressed back, “I know, but what do you WANT it to be?!”  I had no idea what to say to that.  I felt like I was potentially betraying BabyHTP.  What if I said girl and the baby is a boy?!  Or I said boy and the little person thumping around in my belly is a girl?  It seriously gave me anxiety.  


  • And last, but not least, we are going on our BABYMOON this weekend!  Well, it’s not really a true babymoon because it’s also a work trip.  I’m speaking at the University of Miami on Monday, and we’re flying down a few days early for some South Beach time.  Working or not, I cannot wait to get back to my hometown!


Some other Week 25 factoids:


  • Total Weight Gained: 17.5 pounds. 
  • Weeks Until The Third Trimester: ONLY TWO!  Ahhhhhh.
  • Workouts:  Much better this week.  I swam 750 meters, went on three long walks, and hit the elliptical up for 20 minutes for a total of four workouts.
  • Exciting Happenings:  DadHTP (soon-to-be GrandpaHTP) is moving to Charlotte TOMORROW!
  • Number of Pants that Fit:  Two jeans, one nice pair of dressy pants, and one pair of sweatpants (all maternity).


And now, it’s time to get this pregnant booty in bed!



  • Stephanie @ Legally Blinde February 29, 2012, 8:43 pm

    That’s really neat that you can tell when the baby is sleeping and when he/she wakes up. I’m surprised it’s so regular! Nice job on all of your workouts, especially since you’ve been traveling and so busy! That’s exciting that you’re going on a babymoon of sorts; I hope you’ll get time to relax and recuperate after all of your work trips.

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey February 29, 2012, 8:45 pm

    You’re positively glowing! Your bump is absolutely adorable. I think I would have gotten the same kind of anxious feeling if someone had asked me that question too – although I am definitely going to find out what I”m having when I’m pregnant. I’m too impatient!

  • Anna February 29, 2012, 8:48 pm

    Well I don’t have any personal pregnancy stories yet, but my mom delivered me and my three siblings with no drugs ever in a typical hospital setting (ranging from 1987 to 2001 so quite the timespan for changes in fad methods!) and she had no bad things to say about any of the births (ROCKSTAR I know). She took 80’s style Lamaze classes for me and ended up with her OB/GYN working the hospital shift when I popped out so she was thrilled about that. For my next sister, she didn’t realize she was in labor all day, had a small glass of wine with dinner, went grocery shopping, and then delivered her within 20 mins of hospital arrival by an intern b/c the doctor didn’t even have a chance to get there. My other 2 siblings went normally I guess. Anyway, just wanted to say that there is lots of potential variation in birth experiences but it’s definitely possible to have a natural birth in a hospital. Best of both worlds IMO. If you get to know and trust your midwife really well it seems like that will help a ton!

  • Dominique February 29, 2012, 8:51 pm

    First off, I think it’s great that your dad is moving to Charlotte. Nothing’s better than having family around–especially when you have a little one on the way.

    If I were waiting until birth to find out what the sex of my baby was and someone asked me what I WANTED it to be, I’d just say that it didn’t matter as long as it was healthy. I think that’s really ask we can ask for. With all the pregnancies on the various blogs I read, I thinking I’m getting the baby bug!

  • Christin February 29, 2012, 8:53 pm

    Caitlin, my best friend bought a big, squishy recliner for to use as a nursing/rocking chair. It is big and cushy for her to curl up in with her little boy, and even sleep in if she needed to. I’m totally copying that idea when I become a Mom. 🙂

  • Kristin February 29, 2012, 9:04 pm

    okay you seriously look GORGEOUS!!!! and ur bump is precious! i am JEALOUSSS hahah

  • JenATX February 29, 2012, 9:07 pm

    Caitlin, I can always count on you to “go there” and be real on your blog… So I have a question, which you don’t have to answer! Is sex whilst pregnant weird/nice/just different? Please feel free to ignore this if its too personal, I’m just so curious! I keep picturing that scene from Knocked Up… anyway, I only thought of this because you mentioned the Baby Moon… hehe

    • Caitlin February 29, 2012, 9:09 pm

      Hahah good question 🙂 It’s just different. It’s not as… aerobatic. Hah. You can’t do the same positions (i.e. missionary doesn’t work anymore). But actually, on a super personal note, some – ahem – sensations are stronger because of increased blood flow to the lady bits. Something to look forward to, right?

      • shelly March 1, 2012, 8:29 am

        My mom was responsible for teaching sex ed when I was in high school (she was the science teacher). Her philosophy was that no respectful question was off limits so she got the “how do you do it during pregnancy?” question as well. Fortunately, that question came the year before I was in her class! I’m told her answer was similar to yours. 🙂

      • JenATX March 3, 2012, 11:31 pm

        interesting…. Thanks for the insight!

  • Maria February 29, 2012, 9:12 pm

    I recently found your blog after reading about you on Kath’s blog. This is my first time commenting… Hi!

    I had very similar concerns about birthing my son in a hospital setting and did look into using a birth center. Ultimately, I did decide to give birth at what was rated as the most natural birth friendly hospital in my area with a midwife. I was very pleasantly surprised by the hospital staff’s respect for my desire to have a natural, unmedicated birth. We were deinfitely able to call the shots and my birth plan was read and respected.

    I reposted my son’s full birth story on my blog last year in honor of his 1st birth day. Let me preface posting the link by saying that it was a happy, beautiful birth. 🙂

  • Morgan February 29, 2012, 9:12 pm

    First great choice one the stroller and car seat! We have the same ones and LOVE them:)

    Second, I had a natural hospital birth in Mississippi of all places (not the most progressive area)and had no issues. They let me push when I wanted and I did not even have an IV. Now, my labor was VERY fast so I think that is how I got away with no IV (I was group b strep+ so I should have had one). But, when I showed up it was already time to push and the doctor just told me to go with what felt natural. They did have to coax me to push a little harder because I had not planned a natural birth and I was petrified of how it was going to feel so I did not push very hard, but I never felt any pressure to do anything. If I had been there all day before my daughter was born it may have been different, but my 15 minutes in the hospital were very supportive.

    Just be clear in what you want when you talk to your midwife beforehand. I think part of the reason things went so smoothly for me was that I had such a good relationship with my doctor.

    • Morgan February 29, 2012, 11:18 pm

      I forgot to add, when it comes to breastfeeding support is key when you get home. My daughter and I had a very rough start to nursing, but we ultimately made it to 15 months. My mom breastfed all of her kids for a year so she really forced me to do it when I wanted to give up. Without her and a couple of close friends who had nursed their babies I would have quit. Buy a month in it was not hard at all.

      People told me not to have formula in the house because it would set us up for failure. Not having formula made every feeding session feel like a do or die proposition. Ultimately my husband had to go buy a can of emergency formula and some bottles at 3am the night we got home because I was hysterically sobbing. We never used the formula, but having it there gave me peace of mind that the baby was not going to starve, and I relaxed enough to finally feed her. So I always recommend having some reassurance formula on hand. Hopefully yours expires the way mine did.

  • Julie February 29, 2012, 9:14 pm

    I saw The Business of Being Born this past weekend… It freaked me out & made me really wonder about hospital births & I’m not even pregnant!

  • Catalina @ Cake with Love February 29, 2012, 9:16 pm

    You look great can’t even tell that the baby weight you gain is 17.5pounds! Congrats on the purchases, I think it is really exciting to get them, makes it feel real, no? I am happy for your babymoon hope you will have a nice time;)

  • Jenny February 29, 2012, 9:22 pm

    I was my best friend’s doula and she had a natural birth (despite a Pitocin drip) in a hospital with a midwife. It was a great birth with incredible nurses–who DO read your birth plan and try very hard to stick to it. The only reason she was on a “timetable” was because of the Pitocin (baby had to be out w/in 18 hrs). And if you’re able to do the majority of your laboring at home, then you won’t have to worry about any pressures from the hospital staff. The book I would recommend is actually for Kristien. It’s “The Birth Partner” by Penny Simkin. You might actually enjoy it too, but SKIP THE CHAPTER ON COMPLICATIONS!! Mamas-to-be do not need that stress. But, it has great questions to ask caregivers about interventions and tests and is a really great prep book for how to deal with normal and not-so-normal pregnancy and labor. I read it when going through my doula certification and recommend it to all significant others. It focuses on natural childbirth but addresses medical interventions and pain meds if the need should arise. Anyway, hope this helps! And your midwife should also be able to help your craft a birth plan to give to the nurses so that your needs and desires are clearly understood. 🙂

  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats February 29, 2012, 9:22 pm

    You look so cute in those pictures! And 2 weeks until the third trimester!?!? So soon! Haha I feel like we just found out you were pregnant!

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) February 29, 2012, 9:24 pm

    Dang that was weird at the airport! Why can’t we just be happy with having a healthy baby? Crazy. Besides, a stranger pressuring you to answer is just weird. As for the breast feeding, I’m sure they want you to focus on being able to breast feed and not on not being able to. I had the 6 month goal too. I really wanted to make it that far. I worked full time while my husband worked from home watching out oldest son and pumped twice a day to leave milk for him for the next day. Once I made it to 6 months, it was too easy and cheap not to keep doing it. Seriously, I have friends that spent so much money on formula. I feel so lucky to not have to do formula, but in hindsight, I should have been saving money to feed them now. At 11 and 13 1/2, I can’t keep enough food in the house to make them full!

    You look beautiful Caitlin!

  • Katie @ Katie Without Restrictions February 29, 2012, 9:27 pm

    Ahh I would love to have a redheaded baby!!! Neither one of us has red hair in our families, though, so… not very likely! 😉 Also, you are a stunning pregnant woman!

  • Lee February 29, 2012, 9:30 pm

    You look great. And where did you get those boots? I’ve been on the lookout (apparently way too late in the year) for a pair of boots that color and cannot find any on the entire internet. For reals.

  • Ciarra February 29, 2012, 9:33 pm

    Really try to breastfeed for a least a year if you can, it’s SO vital for the baby and sets them up for heathly intestinal flora for life, as well as, many other positive health benefits!! As a soon-to-be RD, I cannot tell you how many children and young adults I’ve seen with food sensitivities, weight issues, diabetes, etc. that were never breastfed or breastfed for a limited time and the correlation b/w breastfeeding (or should I say, not BF) and health issues down the line is shocking. Of course it’s a personal choice, but I’ve been researching this for awhile and def feel strongly about BF’ing for your child’s health 🙂

    Good Luck!!

    • Jessica February 29, 2012, 10:23 pm

      I totally agree here, also research what formula does to poor babies insides (re: bleeding). MOST women can successfully breastfeed if they’re willing to work at it. I had cracked nipples for 12 weeks, but now 9 months in, I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

      • Jill March 1, 2012, 11:00 am

        I don’t think cracked nipples are the reason MOST women who want to breastfeed cannot do so. Formula is actually and literally a LIFESAVER if you cannot sustain your infant with breast milk.

        • Laura WL March 1, 2012, 2:26 pm

          Very much agree. I feel really strongly that we shouldn’t SHAME women for not breastfeeding. I know lots of people who were formula fed and have zero complications because of it. My s-i-l had breast reduction surgery and was unable to breastfeed any of her children and they are JUST FINE. In fact, I think it made it easier for their father to bond with them bc he did half the feedings. My $0.02.

          • leslie March 5, 2012, 4:32 pm

            I delivered both of my girls sans drugs, very glad I did. Both were in a hospital setting (two different hospitals 3 years apart) and happy to report that both experiences were totally positive.

            On the flip side, I could not breastfeed with either daughter. It was very disappointing, but even with near-perfect nutrition I did not produce enough milk. Please be very careful to NOT judge non-nursing mamas… I felt (and feel) strongly that breastfeeding is best but unfortunately it doesn’t always work out that way.

  • Claire February 29, 2012, 9:35 pm

    Hi Caitlin, firstly I’d like to say that it doesn’t matter how a baby gets out as long as everyone is healthy. Having said that, I just wanted to let you know that I gave birth to all three of my kids naturally in a hospital setting with midwife lead care. All three were completely unmedicated (not even paracetamol), two were in the shower and one was in the bath. Hot water is amazing in labor. The midwives were very happy to leave me and my husband be, if fact in one of the deliveries, they never even did an internal exam, they just let me go with pushing when I felt ready. I think the key is to do as much laboring as possible at home before coming into the hospital. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know it is entirely possible to have great birth experiences in hospital. Obviously every pregnancy and delivery is different, and ultimately all any of us want is a healthy baby, but you shouldn’t feel like hospitals are not supportive of natural childbirth. Although I am from Australia and I guess things could be different in the US. Best of luck with it all.

    • Mish February 29, 2012, 9:39 pm

      midwives have SO much more power and control in the birth of babies in Australia. Most babies are born in Hospitals…and I do think that having midwives is a huge key factor in it being a much more pleasant experience. They also let you stay in hospital for up to a week if you have private health insurance.

      • Claire February 29, 2012, 10:05 pm

        I went public and didn’t pay a cent for anything. Love the public system in Australia. I have to say I don’t get the whole wanting to stay in for ages after the birth. I stayed 4 days after my first only due to difficulties establishing breastfeeding (it took six weeks to get it going, then fed with no probs until 13 months). I stayed 1 night with number 2 and about 4 hours with number 3. I couldn’t wait to get home and have our whole family under one roof, so special!

  • Mish February 29, 2012, 9:38 pm

    There are links between big formula companies and babies becoming malnourished. The companies go into impoverished nations, drop off enough formula to start a baby which..which leaves the mothers dry. When the supplies dry up from the mother, the babies become malnourished due to the mothers not being able to afford formula and not having milk. Further contaminated water.

    You have to do what is right for you at the end of the day. Six months is FAR more than most American women. It’s interesting though that almost 90% of women in some Scandinavian countries breast feed for at least six months. Do they have different babies? More support? pressure? It’s interesting. In East Timor you knew that a baby was being breastfed, because it was healthy. They breastfed for at least 2 years, because that was the only really reliable source of nutrition.

    • Jessica February 29, 2012, 10:35 pm

      I would wager that they definitely have more support. It’s sad that breastfeeding is still rather “taboo” in the US and a lot of breastfeeding moms do not receive the support that is needed to be successful.

      • Laura WL March 1, 2012, 2:34 pm

        I STRONGLY disagree. How is breastfeeding taboo in America? From my experience that is just not true. Is it bc it’s controversial for women to breastfeed uncovered in public or post uncovered breastfeeding photos to Facebook? Bc that doesn’t make it “taboo.” I am a thirty something in a large urban area and have dozens of acquaintances and friends who have given birth in the past 10 years. All of them have been overwhelmingly encouraged to breastfeed. I don’t know of a single woman who didn’t have a lactation consultation after she gave birth.

        • Julie D. March 1, 2012, 9:56 pm

          I do think breastfeeding is still sort of taboo in America or at least it makes most people uncomfortable when you bring it up. I breastfed my son for 6 months and when I went back to work at one of the top 10 hospitals in the country I struggled and struggled to get the support I needed from my employer to be able to continue breastfeeding. It took over a month for me to even get access to the lactation room. I had very few coworkers who were willing to listen out for my patients so I could go pump and pumping once in a 14 hour work day doesn’t really leave you with much milk. People at work were very weird when the topic came up and it seemed to make people uncomfortable.. umm we’re nurses! We deal with naked, sick people all the time.. we shouldn’t be uncomfortable talking about the fact that I need time to go pump milk for my baby. My son is on formula now and he is happy and healthy, but when I have another baby I won’t be going back to work for a year so I can breastfeed longer.

  • Katie @ Talk Less, Say More February 29, 2012, 9:39 pm

    You’re such a pretty and stylish mamma-to-be! 🙂

  • Sarah February 29, 2012, 9:43 pm

    It sounds like you’re doing your due diligence in researching all your options. If you’re thinking hospital, do look to see how many (if any) midwives and the hospital has on their LD floor (and NPs in the hospital). That will likely be a strong indicator of the hospital’s (the healthcare providers, policies, and culture) willingness to accommodate your specific needs and wishes. From a nursing perspective, I’ve heard that hospitals that employ midwives are way better for nurses to work on than ones that employ only MDs for the LD floor. And happy nurses = happy mamas. The nurses will be your advocates, and that’s critical to getting what you want and need. And above all else, don’t forget that they can’t do anything without your consent. I guess the risk is an emergent situation, which would likely be considered “implicit consent” and you might be given drugs or interventions you don’t want….but then again, that could happen regardless of setting, if it’s an emergent situation (knock wood).

  • Ellen February 29, 2012, 9:46 pm

    My sister had planned on giving birth at a birth center 2 blocks from her house. But after THREE DAYS of labor and still being dilated only 1-2 cm, they made the decision to transfer to a hospital to get some relief. Instead of going to the hospital 5 minutes away, they decided to go to one 30 min away that is more natural birth and midwife-friendly. It ended up being a fantastic decision. The hospital provided a midwife and they had their birth center midwife there too. The hospital staff was very respectful of their choices and only did interventions when requested. The midwife was very skilled and even nudged the baby out so there would be no tearing. It was the best decision all around.

    Unfortunately, they found out after the fact that they would have to pay for two births. Their insurance gave them (and continues to give them) a really hard time about it. I think you will have no problem at a hospital as long as your midwife is on the same page as you and you feel comfortable.

    • Ellen February 29, 2012, 9:48 pm

      Oh, forgot to add, my sister has said that she plans on going with the hospital right off the bat next time. They didn’t feel they were lacking anything at the hospital that the birth center provided, and they had the benefit of being in a hospital too.

  • JessicaE February 29, 2012, 9:48 pm

    I am currently reading ‘Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth’. Its basically just birth stories that were done naturally and for the most part at home or on Ina May’s farm.

    • Alicia @ CulinaryBliss February 29, 2012, 10:13 pm

      this book really got me feeling great about natural birth! Just the first half. It’s a great read and helps you visualize the ins and outs of labor.

  • Sharon February 29, 2012, 9:50 pm

    A great reply to that lady in the airport and anyone else that asks you what you want is healthy…because when it comes down to it that is really want you want…a healthy baby.

  • Kate February 29, 2012, 9:51 pm

    I commend you on wanting to learn about all your options for feeding your baby. When my daughter was two weeks old I had to give her formula (she is a very poor nurser and was still losing weight at two weeks) and I bawled when my lactation consultant told me that it had become critical to my daughter’s health for her to get nutrition from formula since she couldn’t get enough breast milk (my supply had dropped due to her poor nursing). And guess what…the world didn’t end! She’s now 4 months old, gets one bottle of formula a day and pumped milk in a bottle the rest of the day and is thriving. I think there is a lot of pressure on moms to exclusively breastfeed and yes, while it is normally best, it doesn’t work in all situations and moms shouldnt have to feel guilty if you’ve tried all you can and it still doesn’t work out.

    • Lori February 29, 2012, 10:56 pm

      I had a similar experience nursing my twin girls. I tried so hard – nursing two babies, hospital pump, lactation consultants, supplements – and still never made more than 50% of the milk for one baby (so 25% when shared between them). I think there is actually more stigma today in the US about NOT breastfeeding – I felt so guilty about it, even though I tried my hardest for 3 months.

      • Vikki February 29, 2012, 11:28 pm

        Reading these blogs make me realize how big of a stigma it is. I have a close friend that tried so hard to breastfeed and couldn’t. She talked to the best lactation consultants in the area and nothing worked. She’s a great mom. She loves her daughter dearly. I don’t think people should think less of non-breastfeeding moms. They don’t know their stories. It isn’t always because they’re doing it for convenience.

  • Ali February 29, 2012, 9:53 pm

    The hospital is not as scary as it seems. I’m a total earth mama type (breastfed for 2 years and was training to be a midwife for awhile) and I delivered in the hospital with an OBGYN (I had pregnancy-induced high Bp). In my experience the hospital just goes with what you want to do. If you don’t want drugs, they don’t offer but if you do want some pain relief, they will give you the options they have available. I had an amazing nurse who was more like a doula. She was an excellent birth coach because (big surprise) she had a lot of experience! And I ended up loving the post-partum time in the hospital because they brought me food, cleaned up after me, and they took the baby to the nursery if I needed a rest. I wish life had been like that when I was back at home 🙂 And I felt comforted that I was in a building full of people who’d seen it all. That being said, I’d still love to try to do a home birth with baby #2!
    You can try to plan all you want, but your birth story will be uniquely yours and it will unfold based on what you need at the time….something that you can’t (unfortunately!) predict in advance.

  • Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) February 29, 2012, 9:53 pm

    I know what you mean about your tummy growing… I never notice the big difference until I look back on photos. It’s like I don’t remember the progression day to day by just seeing myself in the mirror. Glad you get a fun trip this weekend… Enjoy it!

  • K February 29, 2012, 9:54 pm

    “Natural Hospital Birth” by Cynthia Gabriel
    “The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth” by Henci Goer
    “The Birth Partner” by Penny Simkin

    • crystal February 29, 2012, 10:32 pm

      I second these! Ask your Bradley teacher too. Ours had a huge lending library.

      • Robyn March 1, 2012, 9:59 am

        My partner and I are reading The Birth Partner and so far so good…haven’t been freaked out just yet!!!

  • Mal February 29, 2012, 9:55 pm

    Are you or have you thought about having a doula with you at the hospital? I think that might help…

  • Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) February 29, 2012, 9:59 pm

    I’m all about the red apples! Not a fan of green at all.

    I had teriyaki steak with white rice, mushrooms and grilled onions for dinner. Most delicious eats all day. This pregnancy has me totally preferring red meat over other meat options.

  • Alicia @ CulinaryBliss February 29, 2012, 10:02 pm

    We were a Bradley couple, too 🙂 The relaxation training was most helpful. You’ll probably write a birth plan in your class!
    Here’s my birth story in a hospital with nurse midwives.

  • Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) February 29, 2012, 10:02 pm

    I also wanted to link up to this post…. had some good info for me to consider all options for childbirth.

  • Aimee February 29, 2012, 10:02 pm

    I understand your concerns about being able to deliver as naturally as possible. I think communication with your midwife and with the hospital staff is crucial both before and during the actual labor and delivery. I also think that having a written birthing plan will be helpful to everyone involved when the day finally arrives. Don’t be afraid to speak up. Ask questions, lots of them.

    I am a nurse Caitlin, though not a labor and delivery nurse. I am also a mom. I gave birth to my son 5 years ago via emergency C-section. I tell you this not to increase your anxiety. I never imagined that I would deliver my child this way, but circumstances beyond my control dictated the way things happened. I gave birth to an extremely healthy baby boy. I, in turn, had a very smooth recovery. However, breastfeeding was a disaster for us and I had to stop after a week. Despite all of this my son has been to the pediatrician for his annual check ups and one sick visit at age 1 (yes I am knocking furiously on wood right now). He is healthy, growing as expected and on target with all developmental milestones.

    Whenever people asked whether we wanted a boy or a girl my standard answer was that we just wanted a healthy baby. We also chose not to learn the sex of the baby until birth. Ultimately with your birthing plan the number one goal should simply be a healthy baby and a healthy mom. I wish you all the best. You look amazing!

  • Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) February 29, 2012, 10:03 pm

    Was not sure if my second comment posted but I wanted to link to the following post regarding birth options.

  • Kristen @ The Concrete Runnee February 29, 2012, 10:03 pm

    My BFF just had a baby in January – in a hospital, with a midwife, and completely naturally. Here’s a link to her guest post:

    I loved the Bradley book I read and wish I could’ve used the practice. (I had a C-section – she was coming out nose first!) I really hope you are able to breastfeed 6 months exclusively. That was my goal, but working away from home and pumping, I just couldn’t keep up. I’m still devastated about it but I just keep reminding myself that it’s only 1 bottle a day and I am breast feeding the rest of the time. I am hoping she will continue to breastfeed until 1 year!

  • Alex @ Raw Recovery February 29, 2012, 10:09 pm

    It seems like you just wrote your announcement post! Does time feel like it’s going by fast for you?

  • Nicole M. February 29, 2012, 10:20 pm

    I get so excited for your baby updates! I already have a little girl but I miss being pregnant so I live vicariously through your weekly updates 🙂 Anyways, I can’t think of any books to recommend for you, however I wanted to point out some things from my personal experience. There were a lot of things I wanted and didn’t want in my birth experience but also opted for a hospital birth. (If there was a second time, I’d go home birth but I know NC is different). I felt very betrayed by my hospital because some of the policies they use were never told to me beforehand. I felt like in a way, they hid those tidbits until I was past the point of no return. I don’t want to discourage you but maybe do some research on your hospitals policies so you’ll know what they can and can’t do for certain. A birth plan could be useless if it goes against hospital policies and you’ll want written facts, rather than hear-say from a nurse.

    Also, something to consider on breastfeeding… if for some reason you aren’t able to breastfeed, consider pumping so that you can still feed BabyHTP breastmilk from a bottle. Or if you can breastfeed, constantly work to build a freezer supply so that if you’re not there for some reason or you decide to quit breastfeeding, you’ll still have some supply to supplement the formula with.

  • Liz @ Tip Top Shape February 29, 2012, 10:23 pm

    I can’t believe it’s been 25 weeks already!! Sort of crazy!

  • Jen February 29, 2012, 10:25 pm

    You are looking really good!

    As to the lady that asked you what you WANTED – all you have to say is that you don’t care – as long as it’s healthy…right? No need for anxiety girl! Don’t stress 🙂

  • Shelley February 29, 2012, 10:25 pm

    We bought a super comfy rocker recliner for our nursery when our son was born. One of the best investments we made. There were so many nights when I was up nursing and that chair was more comfortable than a regular rocker would have been. I definitely dozed off many nights in that chair! Now that our kids are older (3 and 6) it’s a perfect chair to curl up and read with them.

    • Carrie March 1, 2012, 12:33 am

      Agreed!! Comfy recliners are the best. 🙂

  • Katie of Cabbage Ranch February 29, 2012, 10:27 pm

    Caitlin, I’ve made this comment before so forgive the repeat- but it sounds like you could use the encouragement! I had a fabulous experience giving birth in a traditional hospital. We had incredible nurses, great doctors, and felt cared for and truly respected every. single. step. And when our baby needed extra care after birth, she had nothing but the very best. She was fine, so was I, and we loved our hospital so much we’ve taken the baby back to visit the incredible staff! The best of both worlds can really happen. 🙂

  • Jessica February 29, 2012, 10:30 pm

    I delivered in a hospital and while I had an epidural I never felt pressured to at all. I was in labor for 36ish hours and didn’t feel “timed” or pressured at all to get drugs/the epidural. I think you just need to know what you want, but still go in with an open mind.

    Also, re: feeding the baby, I don’t know what research to do regarding formula feeding your baby, but I would try to go in to breastfeeding as committed as possible. It’s hard, sometimes REALLY hard, and if you have that “out” in the back of your head, it’s sometimes easier to let yourself give up.

  • crystal February 29, 2012, 10:30 pm

    I would talk over your hospital concerns w/your doctor. With my first the hospital had a bunch of stupid rules, but I had talked them over with my doctor and she said she’d sign off on my birth plan so I could get around them (they can’t make you do anything anyway, but it’d prevent the fight). The minute I said “well my doctor said I don’t need to do X” every one was like well ok if your doctor said no let’s forget it and just moved on. My birth was pretty ok. Not great, but way better than what I had heard and I credit a lot of that to my doctor.

  • Kerry February 29, 2012, 10:44 pm

    First kid August 2011, no drugs, walked up to my recovery room in one of the most pretigious Boston Academic Medical Centers. It can be done, however follow your body and your labor. If I struggled or my Doc advised another route I would have listened. Be your own advocate and trust your gut through the process.

  • Kari @ human, MD February 29, 2012, 10:45 pm

    I’ve never had a baby, but I do work at a regular hospital with a labor and delivery floor that delivers an average of 250-300 babies a month. They are receptive to the type of delivery you want, especially if you know coming in. The midwives generally are a little more relaxed about things that the OBs, which I think comes from the types of patients they usually take care of. Generally healthy people are the ones seeing midwives, and are more likely to have uncomplicated deliveries. If you look at c-section, complication, and operative delivery rates in hospitals versus birthing centers outside hospitals, they will be higher, mostly because birthing centers tend to self-select lower risk patients. I think that by being proactive you can have the type of delivery experience you want. Personally, obstetrics is the field that has the highest highs, but the lowest lows. When things go wrong, they can go very very wrong, and you don’t have much time to fix it. If you aren’t in a place that can handle it, there may not be time to get to one. I personally will deliver in a hospital when I have a kiddo, simply because being pregnant is only about having a healthy baby at the end and I want to do everything possible to make that happen!

  • Lori February 29, 2012, 10:47 pm

    I just wanted to say good for you for researching options other than breastfeeding. I was planning on exclusively breastfeeding my twin girls for at least 6 months and everything I had read and heard made me assume that I would have absolutely no problem doing that, after all it’s what our bodies are supposed to do. I even took a breastfeeding for multiples class which made it seem like my body would just naturally make more, all about the law of supply and demand.

    Unfortunately, my body did not cooperate – despite two babies nursing, hospital grade pumping,and supplements my body only made about 50% of what one baby would need – so each baby only got about 25% breast milk. I was totally unprepared. Not only had I not researched alternative feeding options/formulas, but I was mentally so distraught about the situation. I feel like if I had at least considered that breastfeeding may not come easily I would have been in much better shape. I stressed so much those first weeks about feeding and not being able to provide breastmilk for my girls (which I totally believe is ideal and was really wanting to do).

    I continued to breastfeed what I could until about 3 months, when due between going back to work and frustration from the babies about not being able to get enough from me, we decided it was time to switch to full formula. My 8 month old girls have done great on formula and while I know it’s not optimal and not what I had hoped, stopping breastfeeding actually worked best for our family. I’m glad I gave it my best try and don’t regret doing it for the time that I did, but there was definitely a lot of anxiety associated with it as well.

    I hope the best for you – I know lots of moms have no issues at all, but I think it’s so smart of you to be more prepared. And for what it’s worth, we use similac advanced organic, which does not have brown rice syrup like some other organic formulas that were recently in the news due to arsenic problems.

    • Carrie March 1, 2012, 12:32 am

      I agree!! Based on what I’ve seen, it seems almost like there is pressure to breastfeed. I know it is wonderful and great for the baby, but it isn’t for everyone (moms and babies alike). Many babies are bottle fed and very healthy. I think it is refreshing to see Caitlin exploring her options and sharing that here!

      Lori~ That sounds very challenging! I had issues breastfeeding my daughter as well. I was so sad when I couldn’t continue, but realized that she was benefitting from my greatly reduced stress after I stopped. Overall we were both happier (and both better rested).

  • Megan February 29, 2012, 10:49 pm

    Don’t have any first hand knowledge as I was the one coming down the chute, but my mom had natural childbirths in a hospital 3 times with all of us and she didn’t have any complaints.

  • Carrie February 29, 2012, 10:51 pm

    Whenever someone asked me what sex I hoped the baby to be I would give them “HEALTHY.” with a firm look not to push it further. Sometimes I used to say “A sheep.” or “Raptor.” if anyone asked about what the baby was going to be. To see the looks on people’s faces was priceless.

    I had a healthy baby boy (who is turning 10 this summer! OMG) via emergency C-Section. I ended up getting sick, thanks to a heat wave, and it affected not only my heart rate but the babe’s. The staff at the hospital were amazing and funny enough, baby was very popular with the nurses thanks to his red hair. They kept taking him away for cuddles!

  • Holli February 29, 2012, 11:01 pm
  • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed February 29, 2012, 11:02 pm

    I love these updates! And yes, I love me some red hair 🙂 You look amazing (I think I say this every week hehe) and I’m so jealous that you’re chilling in a tank top in Feb! Yay for your babymoon!

  • Marlène February 29, 2012, 11:06 pm

    My experience giving birth in a hospital really reiterated the fact that women can still retain control of the decisions regarding their labour and delivery even in a hospital setting.

    I went 10 days overdue (the longest 10 days ever, by the way – just a fair warning) and the doctors wanted to induce.

    I wanted as little intervention as possible, of course, so I asked questions and vocalized my concerns and wishes throughout the whole process. And with every new development, the doctors and I were able to come to an agreement on the next step to take. I felt like I was driving the show the whole time (except of course when it was the baby calling the shots there at the end!!)

    If you want to read my birth story, it’s here:

    I think taking classes and reading up on your options are your best tools for having the birth that you want. For example, before I took the classes I had no idea about nitrous oxide for pain management. It was something I felt comfortable with, but if we hadn’t asked for it during the labour, we never would have been offered it (it’s not as famous as the epidural).

    You really are doing all that you can! Good luck!!!

  • Tanner February 29, 2012, 11:20 pm

    I delivered in a hospital with an OBGYN and had a great experience. I was able to do a drug-free/intervention-free birth, and it was wonderful…definitely the most painful thing I’ve ever been through, but I can’t wait to do it again!! My nurse asked me only ONE time if I wanted an epidural and, when I declined and told her I wanted to do it naturally, she never asked me again. She was AMAZING, and basically coached me through it all (while my husband sat there with his eyes big as saucers, LOL!) I breastfed my son exclusively for 8 months, and continued to nurse him until he was 15 months. Breastfeeding is HARD, but totally worth it if you are able to. At 16 months, he has been sick one time and it was just a cold. He was preemie, so I actually had to pump exclusively for the first 3 weeks and then was able to start breastfeeding him. I’m so glad I stuck it out through the highs and lows of breastfeeding…what a great bonding experience.

  • Rachael February 29, 2012, 11:22 pm

    I’m 27+ weeks and also waiting to find out the baby’s gender. I’ve gotten similar comments from people basically demanding to know what “kind” of baby I want. When someone keeps asking me what we’re having, I simply respond “Well, we’re expecting a baby. But secretly I’m hoping for a pony.” Job done.

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie February 29, 2012, 11:46 pm

    Oh I DO hope you decide to breastfeed longer than six months!! It’s so incredibly important. I know some women have trouble but I truly believe that the majority of women can breastfeed successfully. especially with the right support.

    • Marissa C March 1, 2012, 11:40 am

      Yes this! It really takes a lot of help and support. I was pretty prepared and I considered quitting in the first month. Now at 3 months it is awesome! It’s so nice to bond with her when I get home from work–she knows I mean milk and she definitely prefers me…that helps a lot when I worry about leaving her every day.

      Plus laying down feeding at night is awesome. I didn’t really have to wake up anymore after 2 months. I pick her up out of her co-sleeper when she cries, put her on, and we both go back to sleep.

  • gina (fitnessista) February 29, 2012, 11:50 pm

    hey girl,
    i had a bradley-coached birth in a hospital setting- let me know if you have any questions!
    you look amazing.

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing February 29, 2012, 11:53 pm

    Your baby bump is SO CUTE!!!I felt someone I work with’s baby move through her belly the other day and it was my first time feeling that and it was.. incredible. I almost cried.

  • Claire February 29, 2012, 11:54 pm

    a) Your hair looks so cute!
    b) I know this isn’t what you asked for for the stories, but I was an emergency C section. My mom tried for a natural birth but was obviously planning to do what was best for both of us in the situation. Had she not been in a hospital, the transfer and associated stress would NOT have been good for either of us. So, not trying to freak you out (I turned out great!) but I think that the best way to calm your nerves about your choice to go to a hospital is to just think about the fact that in a hospital, you have the choice of a natural birth OR emergency services if you need them. In a birthing center you only have one of those things, and not having the second might be a big risk.

    Also, keep in mind that people who are offering you cautionary tales about how the hospital interfered with their natural birth more than likely didn’t do as much research as you beforehand. So, while I’m sure it’s easy to let the hospital take over if you want a natural birth but are fuzzy on the details, I think you’re prepared enough that it won’t be a problem.

    Also LOL at the “secretly hoping for a pony” comment. I like that. What are people thinking when they ask such questions?

    • Vikki March 1, 2012, 9:16 am

      This comment exactly. I was also an emergency C-section. I went into fetal distress and both my mom and I would have died without it. So, hospitals are good places to have a baby and most L&D people aren’t going to make you have any kind of medical treatment that you don’t want.

  • Amanda @ Diary of a Semi-Health Nut March 1, 2012, 12:03 am

    You look awesome! I hope I look that way when I get preggers! And good for you for continuing to workout! I’ve heard it makes birth much easier.

    I love following baby stories (well this is a before baby story) because I want to learn all I can before it’s my time…so keep sharing!! 🙂

  • Khushboo Thadani March 1, 2012, 12:19 am

    That’s exciting about Grandpa moving to town- do I hear babysitter ;)!

  • Carrie March 1, 2012, 12:24 am

    You look great!! 🙂

    One note on the glider- we looked into so many options. They were cheap and expensive, not to mention not so comfortable. We ended up with a lazyboy rocker/ecliner. It wasn’t the best looking chair, but it was so comfortable for the baby and I! One of the best purchases we made (got a good sale price). I loved how cozy it is. The best part was that if she fell asleep on me, I could recline and be so comfy. It was heaven!!

  • Sarah@WilliamsburgBaby March 1, 2012, 1:04 am

    I’m also nervous about being steamrollered at the hospital, which is why we are going for a doula. I just think it will be great to have an advocate who is not as close to the situation emotionally as we are sure to be in the moment.

    On the gender topic, when you find out you may well be surprised at your own reaction. I had always ‘pictured’ a girl, because it would be like a look back on my own childhood in some ways, but now I know that we’re having a boy I can’t imagine it any other way. Having a slight preference isn’t being disloyal…it’s just a quirk of life.

  • Katie @ Soulshine and Sassafras March 1, 2012, 1:32 am

    You look so damn cute! This blog is giving me baby fever…. and I don’t even have a boyfriend, hah.

  • Lauren M March 1, 2012, 2:34 am

    Hi Caitlin,

    I had my second baby two weeks ago and both my births have been natural, drug-free, and in a private hospital. It’s definitely possible! And while you’re going through it you’ll wonder why on earth you wanted to do it drug free (:)) it’s fantastic afterwards, the endorphin rush is unlike anything else.

    Lauren (from Australia)

  • Sarah March 1, 2012, 3:33 am

    I’m another who had two natural births in a hospital with a VERY high C-section rate. Never was I pressured. At one point they wanted to insert a drip in my arm so they could give me syntocin the following morning if I hadn’t started labouring (my waters broke with meconium in them) and I refused – and they were fine.
    My first I ended up having an epidural (cos it IS really flipping painful – you just have no idea till it hits you). I was pretty upset with myself but that moment that drug hit still rates as one of THE biggest reliefs of my life.
    My second birth was FABULOUS. Loved every second – it was short and sweet and amazing and joyful.
    And anyway…. how you give birth is only a few hours in the rest of your life as a parent. Whatever happens will very very soon be in the past and you’ll get on with the real deal.
    I can’t see why any doctor would want their patient to have anything other than a straightforward natural birth.

  • Heather March 1, 2012, 3:57 am

    I had a natural birth in a hospital and it was great. I would have loved a birth center but don’t have access to one. Educating myself was my only option and it ended up being a wonderful experience, so don’t et yourself freaked out by the books. 😉

  • Cindy March 1, 2012, 5:01 am

    I have a 10 week old and have the same stroller/car seat combo you picked out. I can’t say enough good things about both! You will love how easy they are to use!!

  • Charity March 1, 2012, 6:13 am

    People ask me all the time what I want my baby to be.. I tell them with 100% honesty “I really truely do not care what I have, I just want it to be healthy!”
    But I’m also the most impatient person in the world, and will be finding out next week at our 20 week ultrasound 🙂 Mainly so I can start buying things. Being on a timed budget creates intresting shopping stratigies.

  • Heidi March 1, 2012, 7:00 am

    It’s great that you are opening yourself up to the possibility that breast feeding isn’t always possible. I had my heart set on breast feeding my first baby, but due to some health issues on my part and some latching issues on my daughter’s end, it only lasted two weeks. I really beat myself up over this and I wish I’d realized that it may not work out for me and that was okay.

    • Heidi March 1, 2012, 7:09 am

      Oh-and my daughter is now 4 and a half years old and healthy as can be!!! 🙂

  • Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy March 1, 2012, 7:07 am

    You look so good! I think I’d like to read books when I am pregnant too. I’d love to have a big family someday, but the actual birthing part is my biggest fear! My mom delivered all three of her kids naturally, though, so it’s possible!

  • Mel March 1, 2012, 7:20 am

    you are so cute!!

  • Stacy March 1, 2012, 7:25 am

    A few things. Don’t mess with the glider. It is so important. We bought a stylish rocker from Urban Outfitters and ended up spending the first 8 months of my son’s life soothing him by bouncing on an exercise ball. We finally got the most amazing, comfy glider from Wal Mart. It’s not stylish, but I would marry it if it were legal. I think it was the Enchanted line, which is actually made by the same company that makes more expensive chairs sold at the baby stores.

    The trick to avoiding hospital interventions is to labor at home as long as possible. I know that’s easier said than done, but you can do it! It’s a long story, but we arrived at the hospital when I was 10cm and I just had to push. My water didn’t break until we arrived. The doulas who taught my child birth class recommended that we get lots of vitamin C to keep the bag of waters from breaking too early. I like to think it worked for me, so eat lots of oranges!

  • Linz @ Itz Linz March 1, 2012, 7:42 am

    You’re so adorable! Next time just respond with, “I want a healthy and happy baby!” Nobody can really say anything after that! 🙂 🙂

  • Amy March 1, 2012, 8:10 am

    I had a CSection with my first baby (breech) but a VBAC with my second and I can honestly say that the hospital birth (Presbyterian in Charlotte) for my second was a wonderful experience. I wasn’t that committed to natural birth and ended up choosing an epidural, but in every way I felt like that was my choice, not something I was convinced to do either overtly or by the circumstances of the birthing environment. I can’t say enough good things about the doctor or the nurse that were there for the delivery. Oh and for the glider/rocker we got a wonderful slipcovered one cheap at the Pottery Barn Outlet in Gaffney. I like that it doesn’t have that traditional baby glider look and its bigger and more comfy for reading with a toddler.

  • Christina March 1, 2012, 8:25 am

    Where did you buy those jeans? They’re very cute! I’m having a very hard time finding cute maternity jeans.

  • Rebecca March 1, 2012, 8:37 am

    I hear ya on books and documentaries freaking you out about giving birth in a hospital. I am also planning to deliver in a hospital but hopefully intervention free. Just remember those books and movies definitely have agendas – they are intended to freak you out. I finally just stopped reading and watching. I know what my body can do and my Dr. is 100% supportive of my natural birth. I just plan to trust myself and my Dr… and God forbid something does go wrong, I’ll have piece of mind delivering in the hospital. Good luck! Just remember however you have a baby it will be the most “natural” thing you’ve ever done – medicated or not.

  • Molly @ RDexposed March 1, 2012, 8:46 am

    Those boots! Details, please! I can never find a pair of brown boots when I go shopping.

  • Stellina @ My Yogurt Addiction March 1, 2012, 9:12 am

    You look great! You are carrying so nicely. That’s funny about the lady at the airport. I think you should just say that you want a healthy baby, no matter what the sex!

  • Kattrina March 1, 2012, 9:13 am

    I am glad to hear that your clothes are maternity clothes! I’m only three months pregnant and I’m already in maternity pants. Everyone seems to like to tell me how they fit in their regular clothes until four months or longer. Thanks – just what I wanted to hear! I don’t own a scale and it never bothered me but now I constantly want to weigh myself to see how much weight I’ve gained. It’s annoying and makes me very anxious.

    I know lots of people who’ve had great natural hospital births. Maybe you should get a doula (although that’s an extra expense), they are great at patient advocacy. A birth plan is a great idea and you should get a feel for whether the hospital will honor the birth plan or not. Does your midwife deliver a lot of babies there? Can she tell you about other patients that have had natural births or how well the hospital follows birth plans?

    Good luck! Having a baby is no joke!!!

  • m March 1, 2012, 9:24 am

    I really feel that if you discuss your plans with your midwife, she will respect your wishes and try the best to meet them given everything goes smoothly. The vast majority of women in the US give birth in a hospital and while everyone has different experiences, I am sure most are happy with the end result. I just think the key is to go in with a plan, but no matter what happens to make sure you don’t make yourself guilty. I too hope to have a natural birth (only 10 weeks along), but realize that my ultimate goal will to be deliver a healthy baby and should a worst-case scenario arise, I don’t want to start motherhood feeling guilty about any medical interventions necessary to achieve that. So, have faith in you midwife that she will listen to your plan, but also be open to the fact that child birth can go any which way and you shouldn’t feel pressure or guilty if things don’t go exactly as planned.

  • Nicole N. March 1, 2012, 9:27 am

    You look adorable! I am curious about your stroller choice, the City Mini is a great stroller but my understanding is it its not intended for use as a jogging stroller so I was kind of surprised by your decision. Was there a reason you steered clear of that option?

  • HTPDad March 1, 2012, 9:38 am

    for the rude lady – “why do you think it’s your business?”: or nicer, “just a healthy one” or go into a long rap about being abducted by aliens, so you REALLY don’t know, and see how fast she runs.

  • Katy @ HaveYouHurd March 1, 2012, 9:39 am

    A gillion (that’s a real stat) babies get delivered in hospitals all the time and turn out fine! I’m not knocking anyone’s birthing method but I’m sure as long as you’re open and honest with your midwife and doctor’s everything will be fine!

    Also, if someone asks you what you “want” your baby to be, just reply “healthy” with an optional “now get the eff outta my face weirdo” 🙂

  • colleen March 1, 2012, 9:48 am

    You are looking amazing. Bump is getting bigger slowly – co cute. Enjoy your babymoon. Those short getaways are sometimes better than longer ones. I would have been confused if a stranger asked that question. Who cares if it is a boy or girl as long as he/she is healthy.

  • Sara March 1, 2012, 10:02 am

    I love your baby posts! I have baby fever (bad) but can’t really do anything about it at the moment, so I enjoy reading your posts and Kath’s! I was a formula milk baby and I’m healthy! So don’t worry. My mother thinks it’s kind of odd I want to breastfeed because I work. But that’s my plan. It’s just more cost-effective and better for the baby, from what I’ve read and heard. Maybe in the 80s it wasn’t as popular among working moms?

  • Poptartyogini March 1, 2012, 10:17 am

    Maybe say ‘I want a healthy baby’. The rest is just details. I would not worry about the hospital horror stories. Most people and turn out just fine.

  • Kath March 1, 2012, 10:26 am


  • Natasha March 1, 2012, 10:40 am

    Two of my BFF gave birth 100% naturally in a hospital. There may be horror stories, but there are great stories as well! Your the patient and it’s your baby. Ultimately you are in charge unless it’s an emergency situation, which at that point it won’t matter! You’ll do wonderful 🙂

  • Stefanie March 1, 2012, 10:40 am

    I’m 33 weeks and I am also planning on (hopefully!) having a natural birth in a hospital setting. I’ve been reading the book Natural Hospital Birth and so far it’s been great and really helpful!

  • Erin March 1, 2012, 10:56 am

    Why do people ask pregnant women such personal questions?! I am only at 22 weeks, but I have yet to come up with a good response for people when they ask me if I plan on breastfeeding or if I want an epidural. Like it is any of their business!

  • Ashley March 1, 2012, 11:09 am

    You’re so pretty and glowing! I just love seeing happy pregnant women like you. I can’t wait until I’m pregnant.

  • Liz March 1, 2012, 11:21 am

    I had a similar “awkward encounter” recently, but mine was with a woman at work. I am 18 weeks and we are finding out the sex (next week!!!). But she came up to me and asked what I wanted and I tried, 3 times, to say I just wanted a healthy baby. She just kept saying, that’s just something you say to be nice, you HAVE to want one over the other. I had to idea what to reply. I like the above commenter, I’m hoping for a pony!

    People lose their social rules and niceties when they’re dealing with someone pregnant, it’s so bizarre.

  • Kim @ Spoonful Of Sass March 1, 2012, 11:25 am

    Please post if you find a “hospital friendly” natural childbirth book. Due to alternatives to a hospital being limited, I think a lot of women are in your same boat. Although I’m not a mother, I’m thinking it will be me someday too. I love to arm myself with knowledge for the future…

  • Marissa C March 1, 2012, 11:31 am

    1. We sprung for a BOB and wish we had bought a City Mini. Not that the BOB is bad (it’s awesome), but it is bulky and twice the price…I think we would have been happy with the City Mini.

    2. And here’s a happy hospital birth story for you:

    I gave birth Dec. 6th with a hospital based midwife at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. The experience was awesome. They followed the birth plan to a T. I did end up having an epidural at 9 cm (I intended to go natural), but it was completely my choice and wasn’t pushed on me at all. In fact, my husband and midwife helped me get to a 9 after a 27 hour labor. I was able to labor wherever I wanted (even in the shower) until I had the epidural.

    My baby was placed on my chest immediately even though she quickly had to be suctioned for meconium and they gave her right back to me after. We were able to delay eye ointment until we had a chance to bond and breastfeed and declined a Hep B shot no questions asked. We wanted to delay cord clamping, but couldn’t because there was meconium when my water broke, but I was okay with that because it was explained to me in advance of her birth and they did everything they could to get her to me quickly. She roomed with us the entire time and I had good breastfeeding support (though I liked my independent lactation consultant better). It was an amazing experience and I hope that I can have all of our future babies there with the same midwife. My mom had 4 of us at home, so I get and desired natural birth.

    I wrote down her birth story with all the “gory” details here:

    • Marissa C March 1, 2012, 11:33 am

      Oh, and in regards to breastfeeding, I’m back at work and pumping…it’s totally doable. Noelle is almost 3 months and has only had breastmilk.

      Invest in a good pump (I love my medela Freestyle–I made banana bread last night while pumping) and check out the book Milk Memos. It made my first days back at work much more bearable and has some really good tips for working moms.

  • Kim T March 1, 2012, 11:39 am

    I delivered my girls 12 and 9.5 years ago respectively, so it’s possible things have changed. I also delivered them in two different states and two very different hospital systems. I wasn’t looking for the most natural experience possible. I was induced both times and received an epidural both times. However, in neither situation did I ever feel pressured to do anything. I felt like every decision was mine and my husband’s both times. That said I had very easy, uncomplicated short deliveries both times. While I was induced, I was never given pitocin. They inserted a prostagladin (a hormone meant to start contractions) near my cervix. That got things going enough both times. Anyway, my point is, I felt great about the team at both hospitals, from the doctor, the nurses, the anesthesiologist, etc. The baby nurses for the first baby were very helpful too. Not as much the second time, but it may be that I didn’t ask for their help so much then. The only thing that was annoying, was that they kept checking on me and the babies so much for the two days we were there. I know that’s their job, but after a while I just wanted to be left alone. No complaints about either birth though.

    • Marissa C March 1, 2012, 4:16 pm

      Oh, I agree with Kim’s last point…was it really necessary to wake the baby up at 1 am to check her bp? We actually left 1 night early because there was no reason to stay!

  • Sarah T. March 1, 2012, 11:40 am

    One piece of advice on the glider/rocker – get one that reclines back. There may be nights if the baby is fussy when you have to sleep in it! We learned that the hard way!
    On breastfeeding – I tried with our daughter and she would not latch. I then pumped for a month but it was so miserable. It made me hate being a mom for the first month and who wants that? So we switched to formula after 4 weeks and it made it so much easier on me. I know everyone pushes breastfeeding and obviously it’s the way to go if you can do it but it’s not the only way. Our daughter is perfectly healthy having used formula.

    • Marissa C March 1, 2012, 11:47 am

      Our baby wouldn’t either…they had me on a nipple shield in the hospital. I HATED that thing–trying to keep it clean for the endless feedings sucked. I lost it for a day when she didn’t gain enough weight at her 2 week appt. We worked through it, but dang it was hard. After some chiropractic therapy and a lot of work we were able to wean her off the nipple shield and she is latching fine on her own now. However, I don’t blame anyone for quitting.

  • Jen March 1, 2012, 11:49 am

    I think the key to having the birth that you want is to surround yourself with people who can think clearly and will follow your plan – I was in a hospital with a Midwife and my husband. You will NOT be thinking clearly and your husband will probably NOT be thinking clearly. At one point during my labor, I was puking and asking my husband to “please help me”. Before that day, he thought he was totally ready (Bradley class and he’s a chiropractor) but he was a little scared. My midwife looked at him and said “this is what labor is” At least for me…that was labor and it was natural. Some women have totally different experiences. And next time, maybe I won’t be begging for help during labor. But the key was my Midwife – she has been delivering babies naturally for 25 years – she’s like the Ina May in the Chicagoland area. She helped us have the natural birth that we wanted. Plans get thrown out the window…the people in the room help you create the birth that you want.

  • Lu March 1, 2012, 11:56 am

    The correct answer to the question “What do you want it to be?” is “Healthy”. People constantly asked me that while I was pregnant. I knew the sex of my son, but I didn’t particularly want to share that with random strangers. Hospitals aren’t all evil. I promise. I had to have an emergency c-section (as in, he has to come out NOW) so I was beyond relieved to have been in a hospital.

  • Brenda March 1, 2012, 11:58 am

    They focus on breastfeeding because it is so vital for the baby and mother (and family). Do some more research – only about 2% of people can truly NOT breastfeed. Breastfeeding is about supply and demand. Be prepared to be sitting a lot in the first few months just focusing on feeding your child. After about 8-12 weeks your body understands the demands of the baby for milk and will continue to produce as long as you continue to feed – not on a schedule, but when the baby is hungry or fussy or whatever.
    The AAP just put out new recommendations:

    Six months is an excellent goal – a year is best.

  • Anne Weber-Falk March 1, 2012, 12:04 pm

    A book I read while pregnant that really helped with labor and delivery is Mind Over Labor by Carl Jones. You can get it anywhere. I think you and the husband will get a lot from it. It helped me get through two babies 100% drug free.

  • Stacy March 1, 2012, 12:04 pm

    You are absolutely adorable! I LOVE these BabyHTP updates!

  • Tiff March 1, 2012, 12:05 pm

    That really is an awkward encounter. I’d get anxious and uncomfortable trying to think about that too. Lalalalalala, I’m not listening to you crazy question lady! haha

  • mrs. span March 1, 2012, 12:25 pm

    South Beach vacation and taking part in Naked Face project aka not shaving? You MUST post about this!!!

  • Jess March 1, 2012, 12:38 pm

    I had a wonderful NUCB in a hospital. My story is here:

    I think the key is having a natural birth friendly hospital and champions such as your midwife and husband. I discussed my ideal birth in length with my midwife, no IV, no epi (don’t even offer it, I’ll ask if I want it), no constant fetal monitoring, movement, snacks, bath, and multiple pishing options. I got exactly what I wanted and it was amazing.

    • Jess March 1, 2012, 12:41 pm

      Also, it is extremely rare that a woman cannot breastfeed. It’s hard, it can hurt and it takes A LOT of patience. I cried at the beginning because it was so hard, but my daughter has never had formula. I went back to work at 2 months pp and pump at work. Nearly 8 months later we’re still going strong and I actually dread the day she weans.

      KellyMom is a great breastfeeding resource.

  • healthy ashley March 1, 2012, 12:57 pm

    You are so beautiful pregnant! And I love that DadHTP is moving to Charlotte. That is going to be awesome for BabyHTP. xox

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife March 1, 2012, 12:58 pm

    LOVE your cute belly! You look so happy, by the way 🙂 And yes, that lady is crazy–what an awkward moment?! WHo do people think they are?! So sorry for some of the human race…… I just smile and say congrats to pregnant people (ONLY if I know they’re pregnant) and then move on my merry way. Hah 😉

  • Brittany @a healthy slice March 1, 2012, 1:41 pm

    You really do look pregnant now, and adorable! You’re all baby 🙂 even though I did get an epidural, I ne’er felt pressured in the slightest. The hospital staff was wonderful and happy to abide by my wishes. I feel like your pregnancy is flying by! So excited for you 🙂 have funon your babymoon!

  • ErikaMC March 1, 2012, 1:46 pm

    The baby moves more at those times because of your activity. When you are up moving around it’s like you are rocking your baby to sleep. So, when you stop moving the baby wakes up. You’ll also notice a more active time and once the baby is born it will more than likely have the same active time.

    I wanted an at-home birth but I let my husband talk me into a hospital birth. We had an amazing doctor that agreed to our birth plan, but in the end we had to have an emergency c-section and nothing on our birth plan happened but we were lucky to be in a hospital otherwise our little boy would not be with us today and I wouldn’t be either.

  • Sarah C. March 1, 2012, 1:57 pm

    Natural Hospital Birth by Cynthia Gabriel would be a good book to read. The forward is from the Chair of OB/GYN at the University of Michigan. It’s a totally positive and practical book. I teach a “natural” childbirth education series at the hospital I work for in the DC area and many parents have enjoyed this book.

  • erin @ small thigns March 1, 2012, 2:15 pm

    My favorite response to the “What do you want?” baby question is: I hope the baby is human.
    I have a friend whose child wasn’t born healthy and she seethes at that answer.

  • Becka March 1, 2012, 2:22 pm

    isn’t it fun when you really start to feel pregnant and people can tell you’re pregnant? that was my favorite part. 🙂

  • Kimberly (Sketch the Ebb and Flow) March 1, 2012, 2:36 pm

    I would be interested to hear your thoughts on pressure on pressure on pregnant women in our society. I’m taking a Child Development class right now, and I have to say…I’m now completely overwhelmed at the thought of having kids! There’s a lot of pressure to have a perfect, natural childbirth and do everything 100% right, but the reality is not everything has to be one certain way to have a healthy, beautiful baby (in my opinion).

  • Amber K March 1, 2012, 3:10 pm

    While I do want to find out the gender as soon as medically possible if I get pregnant I think I’d be taken aback by that woman’s questions! I do want a boy first, but in the end as long as the baby is healthy, I’m good.

  • Amy March 1, 2012, 3:11 pm

    I had both my kids at Duke University Hospital, which is well-known as a high-risk hospital, which according to some people makes them more likely to treat every patient as high-risk, pushing IVs and drugs because that’s what they’re used to doing. I had a great experience. No drugs, the doctors and nurses didn’t push me to do stuff I didn’t want to do.

    I made my birth plan very short because I thought they’d be more likely to honor it–please don’t offer me pain relief medications unless I ask for it. The second time I felt confident enough to not have anything written down and the one thing I asked for ended up not being possible. I wanted my son laid on my belly before the umbilical cord was cut, but it wasn’t long enough. Super short cord. Some things you have no control over.

  • Leah March 1, 2012, 3:11 pm

    Here in England it is the norm to have midwife care. I delivered my daughter in a hospital, with a midwife, med free. They were so supportive and we tried alternatives to medicine. I used a birthing ball for hours and I really credit this to helping Sophie move down and get ready for delivery. If you can get your hands on one (maybe they will have one at the hospital for you?) I really recommend it. Walk around as much as possible, laying down actually made the pain worse. Anyway, i’ll save the advice but just wanted to really say that you can most definitely deliver in a hospital and have your wishes listened to. Birth plans are great, but remember sometimes they may not go as planned.. keep an open mind I guess is what I am trying to say.

    I read your pregnancy weekly updates each week and I really look forward to them! By the way, your hair looks so beautiful in recent photos!

  • meagan March 1, 2012, 3:13 pm

    I didn’t read any of the other comments, but:

    I was a doula for my best friend. She and I had similar first-birth-stories in that we both started at a stand-alone birth center and had to be transferred. It sucked. Major. Especially the two bills.

    For her second, she went to our ‘friendly’ hospital, and it was AMAZING. She was under the care of a combo OB/MW practice. The nurses were very supportive–one stayed with us the whole time, coaching her, getting her a birth ball, a birthing bar, setting up a hot shower, etc. I mean…truly excellent care.

    When I transferred for my first, the hospital was very respectful of the fact that I had come from a birth center. They knew that meant they would take all my interventions slow, and they did. The nurses were very supportive and gentle. I was lucky because I didn’t transfer because of an emergency, but because of fatigue (birthing lasted over 60 hours for me). But it was a wonderful experience.

    For my second, I’m choosing a hospital. The ones here, at least, seem to be the best of both worlds.

  • katie March 1, 2012, 3:16 pm

    This is just so exciting! With the new baby coming I am wondering your stance on abortion…

  • Lauren March 1, 2012, 4:01 pm

    Just want to chime in and add that I had a great hospital birth experience. I did half of my labor at home (first kid, wasn’t 100% sure that I was in labor because my water didn’t break), so that might have made a slight difference because they didn’t need to rush me through the birth. My husband helped me stay calm and BREATHE, and I tried very hard to stay relaxed. The staff was amazing, I could not have been more pleased.

  • Marissa C March 1, 2012, 4:14 pm

    How funny–saw this pop up today:

    Please don’t take this as judging anyone…I honestly think Caitlin would be interested

  • Mary March 1, 2012, 4:16 pm

    My sister delivered naturally using the bradley method (twice) in a hospital. I was her and her husband’s birth partner during both the births. Everything was absolutely wonderful–your husband just has to be very clear with the staff. And honestly, if you are using a doula and/or midwife, they’ll be your best advocates. Don’t freak out…you know what you want and it will be fine! The only issue my sister ever had was when a resident came in to ask if she was breathing okay–wanted to check her throat—and she was mid contraction moaning, so yes, she was breathing fine!

  • Michelle S March 1, 2012, 4:23 pm

    I had a great hospital experience. Although, it didn’t go at all like I planned, it still went very well. I think having a birthing plan is key, as well as having a doctor that you trust. My doctor, my husband (just so he would be in the loop and would advocate for me in the event that I was unable to myself), and I discussed what I had in mind for labor. Since I hadn’t had kiddos yet, I really had no idea what the experience would be like. My doctor was open and really took to heart what my opinions were. However, it’s quite funny because everything I thought I would do ended up not working out in my situation. I ended up having to have labor induced. I had to switch from natural childbirth after about 9 hours of labor because of the stress my son was under. Plus, a few other unexpected changes.All of this is to say, it could have been a real nightmare, but because my doctor and I had discussed certain situations ahead of time, when he suggested certain changes I was willing to be flexible and trust his judgement because I felt he truly did have my best interests at heart. Blessings!

  • Claire Zulkey March 1, 2012, 5:17 pm

    Caitlin, just wondering why you’re waiting to find out. I wanted to wait too but I’m starting to waver now. I love the idea of the surprise but last night I was thinking about how not-pregnant I really feel and wonder if knowing the sex would change that. I feel like I’m losing willpower though! I sort of like delayed gratification but maybe that’s silly.

  • Denise March 1, 2012, 5:21 pm

    I am too much of a control-freak and impatient to wait to find out what the sex of my children were. I know my husband would have loved it if I could have had the willpower to wait and be surprised.

    That woman at the airport was too invested in a stranger’s baby. Next time someone asks you what you are hoping for you should say, “I’m hoping for a human, but we’re open to other options – bunny, kitten, puppy. As long as it is healthy.” Then walk away. Rudeness deserves blunt replies.

    By the way, I enjoy your blog and your Operation Beautiful mission. Will definately be purchasing the book for my daughter’s grade school library when it comes out in July.

  • Dee March 2, 2012, 7:10 am

    I dont have a great ‘natural childbirth’ in a hospital story for you but I di dwant to share 2 things. First– you read all the horror stories because thats what people talk about. Its the old, ‘have a good experience tell 2 people, have a bad one tell 10’. Oftentimes when things go smoothly or normally, n o one is shouting that from the rooftops. Second– my baby had other plans, so despite wanting to go natural I needed to pan a C section. Baby was transverse, breech at best, from 34 weeks on and didnt move a millimeter from that position. We tried a few option to encourage the flip but it wasnt in the cards for us. Never thought Id see my self with a C section, and leading up to it I felt a little disappointment, but i the end, I had a great experience and a happy healthy baby in my arms.

  • Kristin March 2, 2012, 11:15 am

    HI there! I literally just had (like actually a week ago today!) a natural child birth in a hospital. I am still writing about it on my blog. It was not my intention to have a natural child birth, I was open to options but that is the way it ended up. I too saw midwives throughout my pregnancy but it was really the labor and delivery nurses that go me through. If you don’t want to read my baby’s birth story I understand I just want you to know that it can be done! In fact the nurses and midwife were super proud and surprised that I did it without drugs! It kind of made me feel like a rock star!

  • Amanda Perry @ Sistas of Strength March 2, 2012, 4:30 pm

    You look great!!! I totally felt the same way…it’s crazy to look back at pics and not even realize just how different I looked month to month. We have that car seat (well my little one outgrew it recently)…but it was great. Good choice!

  • Monica March 4, 2012, 12:04 am

    Read The Big Book of Birth: I loved it because it explains all birth options without judgment and really educates you without scaring you.

    Also, The Birth Partner: My husband read this too. Informative but also not judgmental of what you end up choosing–or having–to do.

    I had a natural birth IN a hospital (zero drugs–and no one pushed me on that at all) and had a wonderful experience. I wanted to be in a hospital (at least for our first) in case anything happened. My dad is an anesthesiologist, so I felt more comfortable telling my family my plans included being in a hospital “just in case.”

    As long as you and your Dr. (or midwife) are on the same page, you’ll be good. And I found cheeriness goes a long way with the nursing staff. They work very, very hard and kindness can go a long way with them–they’ll bend over backwards to help you in return.

    Just keep telling yourself that you can do it! It will hurt like nothing else you can imagine, but it’s only for a small period of your life. I needed real information and wanted to know exactly what I was getting into because I knew that fear can get the best of me. Because of that, I felt scared while going through it and totally overwhelmed at its peak, but expected to feel that way–so I ended up getting what we wanted!

    Last thing: the most prevalent thought in my mind after pushing my baby out was that it didn’t matter how she got there. Yes, I had a natural birth and all–but that didn’t matter to me in that moment. I knew that even if I had gotten an epidural, c-section, whatever that no matter the method, every single birth is a miracle to behold. Be kind to yourself!

  • Emily March 5, 2012, 12:43 am

    Wow only two weeks till third tri!! You probably already know this but we’ve been learning in nursing that the baby gets it’s immune system and antibodies to fight infection from breast milk primarily in the first 6 months and breast milk is secreted by a hormone called prolactin which helps the mother bond with the baby – formula does not offer these two things.
    That being said it’s not the easiest skill to gain and the baby picks up on frustration which makes it more difficult.
    Patience and relaxation is the key and you have both of those so you should be fine=D

  • Tina March 5, 2012, 3:50 pm

    Had I developed a birth plan, I would have been disappointed and potentially resentful because my LABOR did not go to plan. My water broke on a Friday night and I was still just 2cm dilated 24 hours later–the point at which the risk of infection increases. I ended up needing pitocin, but the end result is that I was able to give birth vaginally AND had a gorgeous, healthy baby boy who ACED his Apgar and gives joy to us on a daily basis. I do credit my happy birth with having a midwife who new what we wanted and could guide us effectively when the interventions weren’t what we planned. My pit drip was very low and only gradually increased to prevent the nasty side effects I wanted to avoid and she regularly checked in with me to see what I wanted to do–each time explaining the pros and the cons of whatever option was on the table. That was probably more empowering than a birth plan could ever have been. Good luck with your decision!

  • Noelle March 12, 2012, 4:16 pm

    The most important birth plan you can have is your postpartum hospital recovery plan for your friends and family, at least you can control that one, that experience is whole lot more traumatizing than the birth part.

    DO NOT visit me unannounced
    DO NOT act overzealous around me and my new baby when I’m completely emotional and just want to punch you in the face
    DO NOT snap random photo’s of me when I haven’t showered or slept in 48 hours
    DO NOT pick up my baby without asking
    DO NOT walk around holding the baby
    DO NOT ignore my overly cautious instructions when handling my new baby.
    DO NOT overwhelm me with information and things I have to do
    DO NOT tell random people they can come see new baby in the hospital

    so much shenanigans goes on, its kind of a nightmare.

  • Lara April 23, 2012, 11:17 am

    I’m going back and reading these posts when I hit that week 😉 I’ll be 25 weeks on Wednesday!

    We’re going for the same…a natural childbirth with midwives in a hospital setting (it’s the birth center “wing,” but ultimately is still under all the same rules and regulation as the hospital). I’m a little nervous about being pressured to induce (which I am going to avoid like the plague!). I forget if you are hiring a doula but we have one who I LOVE and our plan is to labor at home as long as possible (until right before transition if possible…the hospital is right around the corner).

    We’re also doing Bradley (in our 6th week of classes) and I’m shooting for 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding, but hoping for longer.

    I know we can do it, Caitlin! 😀

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