Wednesday Randomness & My Favorite Pregnancy and Motherhood books!

Hey everyone! Happy Wednesday! I wanted to share with you a random Wednesday around here in our teeny Dutch apartment. We are planning on moving to the UK soon, and I wanted to share with you a little glimpse of what our life is like here in Holland before we make the big move.

This morning started out pretty lazy (most mornings do). Fé slept for a whole seven hours straight! Isn’t that amazing?! She has been sleeping for longer stretches of time (usually around 6 hours) and last night she surprised us by sleeping a whopping seven hours. We normally put her down for the final time around 11pm (last night was more like 12am) and today she didn’t wake up until 7am! I was shocked, I woke up around 6am surprised that she hadn’t yet woken us up to feed.

Pregnancy Books

Anyway, we ended up dozing a little bit more after she woke up at seven and finally got up again around 9:30 when Fé wanted a second breakfast. Daniël loves cuddling with Fé in the mornings before he starts working on his thesis so he cuddled with her in bed a while, while I made a big pot of coffee. My morning coffee is honestly one of my favorite things in the whole world! I stopped drinking coffee during my pregnancy and while I was breastfeeding, but since I have stopped breastfeeding (read more about that in Fé’s two month update) I have started drinking coffee again and let me tell you, I really missed it. I think I am one of those people who just needs coffee in their life so going back to my morning cup of joe has made me a much more pleasant person!

Pregnancy Books

After I made some coffee we got our day started. I did some housework while Daniël worked on his thesis and Fé played with her new foot finders and wrist rattles!

Pregnancy Books

After getting some housework done I ate a big bowl of oatmeal with raisins and dried apricots (yummy!). I am trying to lose my baby weight (check out my weight loss tips here) so I have been using MyFitnessPal to count calories and it is really working. I have lost a couple of kilograms since I started counting calories just about two weeks ago!

After lunch/breakfast we tried to take Fé on a walk in our Ergobaby baby carrier but when we got about 15 minutes away from our house, the wind really picked up and Fé just wasn’t having it. She started howling and crying so we just decided to come back to the house.

Afterwards, I decided to continue packing up some things for our big move to England in a couple of weeks. As I was going through some old books I found some of the books that got me through my pregnancy and helped prepare me for motherhood (although nothing can truly prep you to be a mother!)

Pregnancy Books

I wanted to share with our my favorite pregnancy and motherhood books that I think every mama-to-be should read 😉

10 Pregnancy and Motherhood Books

1. What to Expect When Your Expecting by Heidi Murkoff

This book was easily one of my favorite books during my pregnancy. It became my go to pregnancy bible. I outlines every single month of your pregnancy and tells you what to expect to feel, doctors visits, how your baby is growing and so much more. It really gives you all the information you need to get you through your pregnancy and labor and delivery!

2. Eating Well When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff

Another AMAZING book from the What to Expect series. This books gives you a TON of information about how to stay healthy when you are pregnant. It really shows how the food you consume impacts your baby’s development and encourages you to eat as healthy as possible, not only for you but also for your baby. It shows you how to eat well plus there are a ton of great recipes to try in the back of the book.You cant really see from the picture above but I have filled this book with sticky notes so I can flip to my favorite recipes or other important pages of this book. Check out my pregnancy nutrition post for some insight into what this book has to offer.

3. Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy

This book is also awesome. From the Mayo Clinic it provides you with great information about your pregnancy and your babies weekly development. It also includes a 40 week pregnancy calendar and outlines some of the important decisions you need to make as expecting parents (like different pre-natal tests and things like that!)

4. Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Glaskin

I mentioned this book before in my Guide to a Natural Childbirth. This book is an amazing resource if you are planning a natural childbirth. Ina May, one of the most reputable midwives, provides you with everything you need to know in order to have the best birth experience. My natural birth experience was truly amazing and Ina May shows women how to have their own wonderful birth experience. Whether you are planning on having a natural childbirth or not, I seriously recommend this book!

5. Your Best Birth: Know All Your Options, Discover the Natural Choices, and Take Back the Birth Experience by Ricky Lake

Another great book to help you prepare for childbirth (whether natural or not). This book outlines all your options so you can choose the birth that is right for you!

6. When We Became Three Memory Book

This isn’t technically a book for reading but a memory book for you to fill out during your pregnancy. My friend sent me this book and I had so much fun filling it with pictures and memories of my pregnancy!

7. The Shit No one Tells You by Dawn Dais

I LOVE this book! Its hilarious and so true. My friend send me this book and I read it in about two days! Real moms tell real stories of pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood. This hilariously honest book is a total must have (in my opinion) for any mama to be! It also makes an awesome gift for any pregnant friends you may have 😉

8. What to Expect the First Year by Heidi Murkoff

If you couldn’t tell, I am a huge fan of the What to Expect Series! This is another one of their awesome books that provides you with a ton of information about your baby’s first year! As new parents, Daniël and I constantly have questions and this go-to book clears up so many baby confusions! It is truly a life saver!

9. The Wonder Weeks by Frans Plooij

Okay so I don’t actually own this book, but I really really want it! I outlines all of your babies different developmental phases, known as the wonder weeks. It also provides information on how to stimulate your baby and encourage their development. The wonder weeks also has a journal (sold separately) to track your baby’s developmental milestones!

10. The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp

This book is an awesome parenting resource for all first-time (and second and third-time) parents. It helps parents understand their crying babies, teaches them soothing techniques, and helps get their babies to sleep. What parent doesn’t want that!

I hope this list helps some of you mamas-to-be prepare for your little bundle of joy to arrive. I know these books helped me so much throughout my pregnancy and they still provide such a great resource for all my parenting questions!

I would love to hear any more of your baby book suggestions if you have any. Feel free to comment below. Until next time, have a happy Wednesday!

Pregnancy and Motherhood Books

Early Signs of Labor! What you need to know!

Early Signs of LaborHey Everyone! So as many of you hopefully know I am very very pregnant! Today I am 38 weeks and 4 days!! This means that I am oh so close to giving birth! (Have you read about my decision to have a Natural Childbirth?) Regardless, this pregnancy seems to drag on and on and on!

I had my 38 week midwife appointment today and she said the baby has dropped, which explains why the top of my belly seems to be squishier than normal and the increased pain in my cervix! She said. however that the baby will probably not come until around 40 weeks! It is true that most babies come at the 40 week mark (that’s why its your DUE DATE) but I can’t believe I still have to wait 2 more weeks.

As soon as I got home I went straight for my Pregnancy Bible What to Expect When You’re Expecting to learn more about early labor signs! Every little pain or cramp that I have I think, MAYBEEEEE this is it! But so far, a big fat nothing.

Anyway, after reading through my favorite pregnancy book (once again) I decided to share with you some information on the early signs of labor! So without further adieu, here are all the labor signs you shouldn’t ignore!

Pre-Labor (1-4 weeks before labor)

  1. The Baby “Drops:” we have all probably heard a little something about the baby dropping. But what does that mean exactly? It means that the baby is fully engaged and has settled into its final position before birth! For first time mothers this can happen as soon as 4 weeks before birth, but for women with previous childbirth experience it doesn’t usually happen until you are actually in labor! At this point you may feel a sense of lightning in your tummy, which can give you a little bit more room to breath, eat, and will hopefully relieve some of that heartburn (mine is still going strong unfortunately!) You may also feel yourself waddling more as the baby is settled very low in your pelvis! You may also have more of those lightning pains in your cervix and an increased need to pee!
  2. Your Cervix Dilates: As your labor nears, your cervix will start to soften and ripen to prepare for labor. Your midwife or doctor may check how dilated you are in the final weeks of your pregnancy (Although mine does not!). Eating 6 dates a day starting a few weeks before can drastically help ripen your cervix to prepare for labor! (Read The Magic of Dates for more information)
  3. Increased back pain and more cramps: as your muscles and ligaments prepare for labor you will probably feel some pain in your lower back as well as some more cramps in your uterus and groin area. If you are feeling Braxton Hicks cramps you will probably start to feel a lot more around this time!
  4. Loose Bowel Movements: As all your muscles start to relax in preparation for labor so does your rectum! You may start to experience loose bowel movements as you get closer to labor. Which might be a relief if you have suffered from constipation and hemorrhoids throughout your pregnancy.
  5. Fatigue or a burst of energy: You may feel extra sleepy in the last few weeks of your pregnancy! All that work your body is doing to prepare for labor can be pretty exhausting! You may, however, be feeling the opposite as your nesting instinct kicks in and you feel a burst of energy! You may feel the urge to clean the house or make all your last-minute baby preparations. Whichever way you are feeling, make sure to take it easy and rest up as much as you can to prepare for your big day!
Think your in Labor? Check out these early signs of labor! Click To Tweet

Early Labor (The hours before labor begins)Signs of Labor

 

  1. Loss of the Mucous Plug: The Mucous plug is what seals off your cervix and keeps your baby safe inside your uterus, but as your cervix starts dilating the plug falls away. It can come out in one large chunk or can come our slowly. You may see an increase in mucous-y vaginal discharge that may even be spotted red or pink. This is called your bloody show and usually happens when you lose your mucous plug.
  2. Stronger more frequent contractions: You will start to feel more contractions that just don’t let up. “Fake”or “Braxton Hicks”contractions usually let up when you change position or move but these contractions do not! Instead they keep feeling stronger, more frequent, and more painful!
  3. Your Water Breaks: One of the final signs of labor is your water breaking. When you feel your water break you should give birth within 24 hours to prevent infection. Your water breaking, however, generally doesn’t happen until you are already fully aware that you are in labor!

If you experience these signs before you are 37 weeks pregnant be sure to call your doctor immediately! You could be going into Pre-Term labor!

When to call?

Every midwife or doctor has different protocols, but generally you should call when:

  • You are experiencing contractions that last for 1 minute
  • Contractions are about 3-5 Minutes apart
  • You experience this for about an hour

You should also always call your midwife if:

  • Your water breaks and it looks green or brown. This is an indication that the baby has had its first bowel movement and can pose risks to both you and your baby!

I don’t know about you but I am DYING to get my labor started and meet my baby! I am experiencing some of these signs, but that could still mean that labor is a few weeks away! There are some ways to help induce labor naturally, that have actually been proven to work so I urge some of you to try them (myself included!)

Wish me luck as I hope this baby comes as soon as possible! And as always, thank you for reading =)