Quick post – no baby

I know there are quite a few of you regularly checking in, so this is just a quick post to say no baby. ;)
I did get a lot done today though and am feeling good. Ava and I baked oatmeal/chocolate chip cookies and a pumpkin pie (to freeze) for Thanksgiving. I did some laundry and cleaned a bathroom. And then my sister watched Ava for a bit so I could go get my haircut. :) I hadn’t had it cut since July – eep! – and it was definitely in need. It’s nothing fancy – a chin-length bob – but it feels good to have it “cleaned up” before baby boy gets here.
Oh, in other news, Ava has a cold now. Not good timing, but what can ya do? Hopefully she’ll be well before the boy is born (and I won’t catch it!).

Happy due date to me tomorrow. :-)

While I wait…

Things I’ve found to do while waiting for baby:

1. Paint my toenails. It had the added bonus of being like a little workout with all of that stretching trying to work around my big belly. ;)

2. Cook, bake and then cook some more. I’ve never had so many frozen casseroles in my freezer in my life.

3. Clean. I keep wondering how many times I’m going to have to clean the bathrooms, sweep the kitchen and vacuum the livingroom before the birth.

4. Enlist Jody’s help in cleaning out the closets. He managed to fill a large garbage bag full of his clothes to donate. Yay! That was long overdue!

5. Read positive, uplifting, amazing birth stories from women on the “Due Date Clubs” on Mothering.com.

6. Drive 20 miles to go out for a healthy dinner at Whole Foods. Yes, I know I said I have been doing lots of cooking, but that’s all getting frozen and then I don’t feel like cooking come dinner time. *shaking head*

7. Spend one-on-one time with my girl.

8. Relish the feelings of having a little one growing and moving inside of me.

9. Retail therapy. Jody got some new jeans (which were desperately needed) and baby boy got a few more “sleep ‘n play” outfits.

10. Walk laps at the mall or go for walks.

11. Go to play groups.

12. Examine my belly for new stretchmarks. (Haven’t gotten any with this pregnancy – knock wood!)

13. Do laundry.

14. Come up with new things to add to my list. ;)

The crazy thing is that I won’t even be 40 weeks until Thursday (11/16) and I’m already antsy about having this baby. It could still be a few more weeks! This pregnancy has flown by until the past few days. Now it seems like each day takes forever! I need to just relax and let it happen when it happens, but it’s easier said than done. **deep breaths**

By the way, Ava just said, “I want baby brother to sit in my lap.” Apparently someone needs to tell her to have some patience too. ;)

We are getting close!

Every time I head out to the grocery stores (Safeway or Vitamin Cottage) the past few weeks, I wonder if it’s going to be my last trip before baby. And because I’m in major nesting mode, I end up stocking up on more and more things each trip. If I end up going to 42 weeks before having this child, our house is going to be seriously bursting with food!

Today I decided to pick up an organic cake and frosting mix (never tried one of those before) to make while I’m in labor so we have a birthday cake for baby boy. Ava immediately told me that she will have a piece of it. ;) I think it will be something fun for us to do together in the early stages of labor and will be a nice way to celebrate the little one’s arrival. :) I wanted to get chocolate cake AND chocolate frosting, but settled on a marble cake mix with choco frosting, because I know not everyone (*ahem* – Jody) likes chocolate as much as Ava and me.

I also bought some things for our Thanksgiving dinner today, including stuffing mix, ingredients to make a pumpkin pie, and cool whip. I’m not exactly sure who’s going to be making our Thanksgiving dinner because my sister may well be flying back to MI to spend it with her boyfriend (provided that baby boy has made his grand entrance) and my parents will probably not be in town yet – so I’m thinking Jody it is (with me yelling instructions from the bed or couch – hee, hee). I plan on making the pie this weekend and freezing it and may end up making some side dishes that can be frozen if I have time next week.

My estimated due date is Nov. 16 – less than a week away. After today is done, I feel like I am OK to have this baby. The photographer who’s coming to photograph the birth had a wedding to shoot today, but after that her calendar can be easily freed up. So I think baby boy and I will have a talk tonight so that he knows that any time he’s ready to come now, we are ready to meet him. :)

I went for another acupuncture appointment on Wednesday. All is going well and the supervisor of the clinic I go to was very encouraged by my recent lab results. She mixed up a special blend of Chinese herbs for me (in addition to my usual “pregnancy” herbs) to be cooked up while I’m in labor and drank right after the baby is born to help prevent hemorrhaging (which was an issue with Ava because my platelet levels were so low). She also said to call her if I do have any bleeding and she will come to my house with other herbs that will help my recovery. So nice of her! But anyway, the way everything with this pregnancy has been so different (for the better) from my pregnancy with Ava, I feel like while it’s great that we have courses of action for “just in case” scenarios, everything is going to go so well with this birth that we won’t need any of it. :)

My midwife STRONGLY recommends that I take it very easy for the first two weeks after the birth, which will help significantly with my recovery. (She suggests this with all of her clients, I’m no exception.) In fact, for the first three days after he’s born, she wants me laying in bed with the baby, sleeping as much as possible (even though I may feel great). I have to admit, that part is rather appealing to me. Sure, I know I will have a baby pretty much attached to my breast the whole time, but just chillin’ with the little guy will be nice. After day 3, I can venture downstairs, but still need to stay off my feet and am NOT to do any cooking, laundry, picking up toddlers, etc. I think after a week I can start spending a little time on my feet (no more than 10 minutes at a time), but still should not be cooking or doing household chores. (Do you see why I’m not fighting this? *wink, wink*) Although I am sure that I will start getting a little stir crazy and will want to be getting back into the swing of things, which she says is fine by the time I am 2 weeks postpartum. So we’ll see how it goes. I think having the house well-stocked with food, organic fruits and veggies delivered to the house each Monday, as well as having our milk delivered, it should help Jody out a lot. Thankfully, he has two weeks paternity time off work to be here with us, and has some additional vacation time he may take later. After he goes back to work, my parents plan on coming from MI to help out with Ava for another week or so. I am sure all of this assistance will be very much welcome as we adjust to our new life.

So now, the waiting game begins. :)

By the way, the picture of the book above, “Welcome With Love,” is a wonderful children’s book about natural childbirth. In the book, Jack, his family and the midwife await the homebirth of his baby brother. There are beautiful pictures depicting the midwife preparing for the birth, mom in labor, the birth itself, the baby after he is born with the umbilical cord attached, and many lovely images of the family. Ava has greatly enjoyed reading this book in the last few months and I think it well prepares any child for the natural birth of a sibling, whether it be a homebirth or hospital birth.

Last big hurrah; midwife appt.; and my scary “duh” moment


I went out with a bunch of mommy friends tonight for what will probably be my last big hurrah (i.e. night out alone) before baby boy arrives. It wasn’t anything fancy – just a get-together at a local pizza place – but it was nice to be out alone, among other women. :)

Three of them brought me frozen meals for our family for after baby comes (yay!!), so I have more to add to my stash now.

I don’t think I mentioned it, but we bought a deep freezer a couple weekends ago and I’ve been slowly filling it up. In fact, just this weekend I made a lasagna and chicken & bean enchiladas to freeze.



I had my almost 39 week midwife appointment today (I’ll be 39 wks on 11/9). All continues to go well. She said the baby is measuring right at 39 weeks and feels to be about 7 1/2 lbs at this point. Ava was 8 lbs, 4 oz., so I’m expecting this lil guy to be at least 8 lbs as well. She said his head is down very low, though she can’t tell if he’s engaged without doing an internal exam. We may do one at my next week appointment if he isn’t born before then. Then I can get an idea if I’m dilated at all too. But I don’t see a point in finding that out before I’m nearly 40 weeks since I know lots of women go weeks dilated at 2-3 cm (or more) before baby is born. So no need to get my hopes up that this is happening anytime soon.

I haven’t had anything happen that makes me think labor is imminent at this point, just lots of toning (Braxton-Hicks) contractions. And I’ve been feeling a fair amount of pressure in my uterus when baby boy moves, but that’s because he’s running out of room. I told Jody last night that someone needs to post an eviction notice to him soon. ;) The fact that I can sometimes feel him above/over my ribs is a bit weird. Like how does the uterus go up that high?? My midwife said that by the time a baby is full-term, the uterus has expanded to 40 times it’s original size. Amazing.



After my midwife appointment today, Ava and I stopped at Walgreen’s to pick up a stethescope for her (Ava). She’s been fascinated by listening to baby brother’s heartbeat (as well as her own, her baby doll’s, and mine) at my midwife appointments for the past several months and I figured it’s about time I pay the $10 and get her a real stethescope of her own.

We went out to the car and I put her in her carseat, then opened up the stethescope box to give it to her to play with. Well, the darn thing needed to be assembled, so I told her I’d do it real quick, shut her door and took it into the front seat with me. I put it together and gave it to her and we were on our way to the Post Office, a few miles away.

We were driving down a side street, when I looked in the rearview mirror to see Ava’s carseat, but no Ava. Confused by what I was seeing, I turned around to see her trying to reach her baby off the seat and I realized – OH MY GOD, I NEVER BUCKLED HER INTO THE CARSEAT! Good lord. In the excitement of opening up and assembling the stethescope, I put her in her seat, but never fastened her in. GAH!!! I immediately pulled over and buckled her in, thanking my lucky stars that nothing had happened in the 2 miles or so we’d driven since Walgreen’s.

That’s something I’ve never done before and I hope I never do again. Scary.

The circumcision post

It’s amazing the number of things you never have to consider before becoming a parent – breastfeed or formula feed; cloth diapers or disposables; vaccinations; when to start solids; organic vs. conventional foods; public school, private school or homeschool; and, of course, if you are having a boy – whether or not to circumcise.

I hope to write about my feelings, opinions and choices regarding circumcision and my son, knowing full well that everyone who reads this blog will not agree with me. I think that anyone who has a son will have their list of reasons for why they decided for or against circumcision. I simply wish to share my reasons here (and some of the information I came across along the way) for deciding against it.

I hope that by including some links below to reputable sources, other parents who are trying to decide what is best for their son can make an informed decision – whether it be to circumcise or not.

I am not here to judge and it is my hope that any discussion that happens below in the comments remain civil and respectful, despite how strongly you may feel about this topic. I also ask that any “anonymous” posters please sign their posts with a name. Thank you.


The short and sweet answer as to why Jody and I are not having our son circumcised is that we can’t find a single reason to indicate that it is a necessary procedure.

I believe that the body we are born with, in its entirety, is that way for a reason. I think that each different part has a unique purpose for existing. If we didn’t need a certain part, I believe that over time we would evolve so that it no longer existed.

In doing my research on circumcision, I came across a lot of interesting information. Some of it has to do with the origins of circumcision in the United States, some about the actual procedure, some about the effects of circumcision and about the current rates of circumcision in the U.S. I read a lot more than I will blog about here, but these are some things I thought were worth mentioning.

“Circumcision started in America during the masturbation hysteria of the Victorian Era, when a few American doctors circumcised boys to punish them for masturbating. Victorian doctors knew very well that circumcision denudes, desensitizes, and disables the penis. Nevertheless, they were soon claiming that circumcision cured epilepsy, convulsions, paralysis, elephantiasis, tuberculosis, eczema, bed-wetting, hip-joint disease, fecal incontinence, rectal prolapse, wet dreams, hernia, headaches, nervousness, hysteria, poor eyesight, idiocy, mental retardation, and insanity. In fact, no procedure in the history of medicine has been claimed to cure and prevent more diseases than circumcision. As late as the 1970s, leading American medical textbooks still advocated routine circumcision as a way to prevent masturbation.” — Paul M. Fleiss, MD The Case Against Circumcision

Uh, I’m not a guy and no expert, but I am pretty sure that circumcision does NOT prevent masturbation.

“Today the reasons given for circumcision have been updated to play on contemporary fears and anxieties; but one day they, too, will be considered irrational. Now that such current excuses as the claim that this procedure prevents cancer and sexually transmitted diseases have been thoroughly discredited, circumcisers will undoubtedly invent new ones. But if circumcisers were really motivated by purely medical considerations, the procedure would have died out long ago, along with leeching, skull-drilling, and castration. The fact that it has not suggests that the compulsion to circumcise came first, the “reasons,” later.” — Fleiss

The fact that new reasons to continue the circumcision practice are being invented is rather disturbing if you ask me.

One website I came across in my research shows step-by-step (graphic) pictures of an actual circumcision of a newborn boy. What Happens During Circumcision There is also a video there, but the pictures alone were more than enough for me. I don’t think I could’ve stomached the video. I had never thought much about the actual procedure itself. I figured that the foreskin was clamped and removed without much effort and the baby was left to heal over the next week or whatever. I didn’t think about the baby needing to be restrained, whether or not any type of anesthesia is used, the foreskin needing to be pried apart from the penis, the amount of bleeding involved, the raw exposed penis, etc. Not to mention the child crying in pain. :( It was not easy to look at.

There’s a laundry list of “things” that are lost forever when a circumcision takes place. While all of these things in the list are noteworthy, I thought I would mention a few here that stood out to me:

“When a baby boy’s natural and intact penis is “circumcised,” this is what is lost forever:
** An estimated 240 feet of microscopic nerves, including branches of the dorsal nerve.
** Several feet of blood vessels, including the frenular artery and branches of the dorsal artery. The loss of this dense vascularity interrupts normal blood flow to the shaft and glans of the penis, obviously damaging its natural function and possibly stunting its complete and healthy development.
** The immunological defense system of the soft mucosa, which may produce antibacterial and antiviral proteins such as lysozyme, also found in mothers milk, and plasma cells, which secrete immunoglobulin antibodies.
** The essential “gliding” mechanism. If unfolded and spread out flat, the average adult foreskin measures about 15 square inches, the size of a postcard. This abundance of specialized, self-lubricating mobile skin gives the natural penis its unique hallmark ability to smoothly “glide” in and out within itself—permitting natural non-abrasive masturbation and intercourse, without drying out the vagina or requiring artificial lubricants.” — Gary L. Harryman – What is Lost to Circumcision

I know some parents may be concerned about whether or not an intact penis requires special care. Personally, having no experience with an uncircumcised penis in the past, I had no idea what the answer was before asking friends of mine who’s sons were left intact. FYI:

“The natural penis requires no special care. A child’s foreskin, like his eyelids, is self-cleansing. For the same reason it is inadvisable to lift the eyelids and wash the eyeballs, it is inadvisable to retract a child’s foreskin and wash the glans. Immersion in plain water during the bath is all that is needed to keep the intact penis clean.” — Fleiss

Also worth noting that the foreskin should never be forced to retract before it is ready.

“As noted, the foreskin and glans develop as one tissue. Separation will evolve over time. It should not be forced. When will separation occur? Each child is different. Separation may occur before birth; this is rare. It may take a few days, weeks, months, or even years. This is normal. Although many foreskins will retract by age 5, there is no need for concern even after a longer period. Some boys do not attain full retractability of the foreskin until adolescence.” — Newborns: Care of the Uncircumcised Penis

Regarding the rate of circumcision in the world and U.S.:

“Circumcision is almost unheard of in Europe, South America, and non-Muslim Asia. In fact, only 10 to 15 percent of men throughout the world are circumcised, the vast majority of whom are Muslim. The neonatal circumcision rate in the western U.S. has now fallen to 34.2 percent.” — Fleiss

“The nationwide circumcision rate had been fluctuating in the low 60 percent range for some years, but a decline in the percentage of boys circumcised started in 2002 and continued into 2003. From 2002 to 2003 declines occured in all four census regions. Non-circumcision has been the norm in the Western Region for more than a decade.” — U.S. Circumcision Incidence

I think it’s important to note that the circumcision rate is dropping in the United States because the old parental concern of not wanting a child to be teased because they look differently from the other boys will no longer be an issue if the ratio of circ’d boys to uncirc’d boys is approaching 50-50. I know in my own circle of friends, the ratio of circ’d boys to uncirc’d boys (babies and toddlers I mean) is probably more like 20 (circ’d) to 80 (uncirc’d) or even slightly higher in favor of the uncircumcised boys. Some parents I know (both in “real life” and on message boards) had their first son circumcised before they had done much research on the topic, and then, after learning more about the procedure, chose not to circumcise their second son.

(And now at the risk of sharing TMI…) Having never been with an uncircumcised man (yes, you can infer from that that Jody is circumcised), I was very interested to learn that not only is the pleasure of the male affected by circumcision, but also the pleasure of the female. (I mentioned a bit about this above as well.)

“One of the foreskin’s functions is to facilitate smooth, gentle movement between the mucosal surfaces of the two partners during intercourse. The foreskin enables the penis to slip in and out of the vagina nonabrasively inside its own slick sheath of self-lubricating, movable skin. The female is thus stimulated by moving pressure rather than by friction only, as when the male’s foreskin is missing.” — Fleiss

Like I said above, I couldn’t find a reason to convince me that circumcision is necessary for our son. I don’t feel the need to provide a list of all of the reasons against it. They are easy enough to find online. By reading through some of the links I provided below, you can read more information for yourself if you so desire.

I feel it is worth noting that I tried to find some pro-circumcision websites to include in my list (to keep it balanced), but 99% of the information I found “out there” is anti-circumcision. The one site (a members-only list serv “where circumcision is discussed and always supported”) I did find turned out to be centered around pornography associated with circumcision so I removed it from my list. The fact that it is a porn site is not apparent from anything posted on the public side of it.

In conclusion, I don’t feel that it is my right to make the decision to remove a part of my son’s anatomy without his consent. I believe that circumcision is a personal choice – one that should be made by the person who owns the penis. By leaving my son intact, he can always decide when he gets older that he wants to have a circumcision. If I were to circumcise him as a baby, he wouldn’t have the option of taking that back. I feel it is his body, his penis, and his choice.

National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers
Circumcision Resource Center
The Case Against Circumcision – an eye-opening, very informative (IMO) article By Paul M. Fleiss, MD, MPH (interesting to note that Fleiss is Jewish)
My Son: The Little Jew with a Foreskin – By Stacey Greenberg
The Case Against Circumcision Discussion Forum on Mothering.com
What Happens During Circumcision? – Graphic photos/video of the circumcision process on a newborn

Protect Your Uncircumcised Son: Expert Medical Advice for Parents
Circumcision Information and Resource Pages
Doctors Opposing Circumcision

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