Tag Archives: Pregnant in Peru

Pregnancy Update: Week 32

This week included me becoming slower in moving around and feeling the swell in my feet at the end of the day. Thank goodness for foot massage exchanges with hubby.

week 32

Comment/Event of the week: I had a 4D sonogram done on Monday and the results of the regular sonogram were fantastic. Leah is measuring two weeks larger than she is and she is physically perfect. She is healthy and in position with her head down. It made it somewhat difficult to take the pictures for the 4D but we will see what the results show. She has super big cheeks which doesn’t surprise me because I had huge cheeks too. At this rate she could easily come at the end of November or beginning of December. I have a feeling she will not be born on her expected due date (December 18th).

Sleep: I have this great long pillow in the form of a Dachshund (wiener dog) from Casa & Ideas that my husband bought for me a while back and he is really being put to good use now as a knee, belly, and head pillow. Gravity is being felt in full force with every movement I make at night. Bathroom trips happen between 2 and 5 times a night. Just getting the body ready to be woken up at all hours right?

Cravings: I am drinking a lot of milk. I wouldn’t say it is too much but I can always go for a glass of milk or milk with my oatmeal/coffee/vitamin mix in the morning. (Don’t worry, they are aren’t all mixed together!) I am relishing it because I know that you aren’t supposed to drink or eat lots of dairy when breast-feeding because sit interferes with human breast milk. I was given the recommendation of drinking cacao skin tea with a bit of coconut water mixed in during lactation. That sounds delicious to me!

Pre-natal class: This week was really fantastic in class. We were separated from the men and discussed our concerns about how our relationships will change after baby comes along. It was really nice to talk about it because the focus of the pre-natal classes is all about the relationship with the baby but the relationship between the partners is super important too. Some of the women expressed concerns with sex and how there won’t be as much of it after baby comes and while that might be true, I don’t think it is something that can’t be discussed and communicated to the partner. Everyone agreed that the continued success of any relationship is being communicative with one another. Most people can’t read each other’s minds so if we don’t talk we quickly lose a productive relationship. My husband told me that the men expressed their frustrations with their partners and how they have been difficult to deal with etc. and his response was that we decided that we are going to be happy and enjoy everything as much as possible even if it isn’t super fun. I love my husband. What a great attitude. It’s true though. We don’t expect things to be easy all the time but we keep gratitude with us all the time so whatever the situation we are able to come out positively. I feel like that will keep us from letting the frustrations of raising kids get to us.

Reading: This book has nothing to do with child-rearing but it is super interesting. It is called God and the New Physics by Paul Davies. It addresses all the metaphysical questions we have about life and tries to take a physics stance on questions that are often answered by theologians. It was written in 1983 but remains prevalent today.

Nesting: I don’t know if you noticed the pack n play covered by a sheet in the background of the belly photo but we are ready to go with our crib in our room.

 BabyFruit Ticker

Pregnancy Update: Week 31

Today I am putting up a little bit different photo to show my progress. My husband and I went to a wedding this past weekend and we had a blast. We danced up a storm and there was a waitress who could not wipe the huge smile from her face while watching us. It was great. I found a cute dress in Miraflores from a dress store across the street from Kennedy Park (next to Ripley) for under $100 which isn’t bad especially because I will be able to use the dress again when I am not pregnant. Thank goodness for nice flowing dresses.

week 31

Cravings: Meat. Specifically red meat. I have no reason why but maybe I am craving the iron or protein. I had a delicious hamburger the other day and I cannot get enough of lomo saltado (a stir fry dish with fries, onions, tomatoes and red meat strips).

Reading: I was just sent this article from a friend about dreams. I have had my fair share of dreams but they are pretty much just dreams that make no sense. I don’t give a lot of thought to my dreams because who knows what they really mean. Fortunately, I have not had nightmares or anything related to not being able to get to my baby or there being imminent danger. I did have a few dreams about my baby being a girl with curly hair though. 🙂

Pre-Natal Class: This week we had a good discussion about what contractions will feel like and how we will know if labor has started. I am positive that I have experienced braxton-hicks contractions because occasionally the bottom part of my uterus will tighten but it doesn’t last long and it’s not unbearable. I usually take it as a sign that I need to drink more water and I do. We did physical exercises and we did my favorite which is the middle school slow dance moving my hips in circles. I know that one is going to be clutch when labor comes along. My husband also met Sarah this week. She is headed to England to visit her son but she will be back in November so we will set up a time to have a more extensive chat with her.

Nesting: I met up with my wonderful girlfriend E this week since she was in Lima visiting from Cusco and getting errands done. She just had a baby boy this past July. We had a wonderful time catching up and bonding. There is nothing like having a girlfriend who knows exactly what I have gone through in terms of adjusting to life in Peru and coming to grips with things. We are both expats married to Peruvians and we will both soon have little bitties that we will be able to commiserate over. She and her husband gave us a set of three long-sleeved onesies with footy pants and I gave her a cute boys top and a pacifier. It was super nice. The clothes will be going in a dresser soon. We have yet to get one for the room but it is high on the priority list since we are gathering clothes and it is all in bags right now.

Comment/Event of the week: We went to get our licenses this week on Wednesday and while we were there the proctor of the theoretical exam was super chatty and at one point stuck his hand out and patted my tummy. It caught me off guard but afterward I asked my friend if she thought that was weird. She thought it was totally weird. He was nice and friendly and I definitely did not get a bad/harmful vibe from him but seriously dude, I don’t know you. I had read various people’s posts about this kind of thing happening but I had yet to experience it myself. I have no problem if you want to feel my tummy because it is pretty freaking cool that a little baby is swimming around in there but don’t just reach out and touch. I found the situation more amusing than anything.

Pregnancy Update: Week 30

Note: Oops! I am still a week behind. I have to get up to speed. This entry pertains to the week of the 2nd through the 10th of October. 

week 30

I had an excellent week. I think it had a lot to do with having a very easy week at school. On Monday we got to dress down and I wore the most comfortable maternity jeans. We had Olympics with the girls and enjoyed lots of games. On Tuesday we headed to El Arriero in Pachacamac. It is an interactive petting zoo and it was great. The students had a blast and we were able to pet and feed lots of animals. I will most likely put up posts about things to do in Lima shortly and start a list so people can find it on here when they search. I feel like there is a thread that goes around every month of so with someone new asking about what to do with kids in Lima. I am sure I will be on that much more when I need to find some good weekend activities.

Cravings: I have really been enjoying the breads lately and I know that white flours don’t do much for me other than pack on the pounds a bit. I have a delicious multi-cereal bread that I like though but sometimes it is really hard to pass up freshly baked bread that comes from Deli-Bakery. Something I really love about Peru is how bread is brought to your door on a daily basis. There is a specific horn that is blown to let people know that the bread guy is nearby. It’s awesome. 5 pieces of ciabatta bread for less than a dollar. Can’t beat that!

Currently Reading: Still working on The Doula Book but it has me convinced already that I want one during the birth.

Mental State: Super excited and relaxed because this week I have vacation from work and I have lots of things that I will be able to get done that have to get done before baby comes.

Pre-Natal Class: We didn’t go to class this week because my husband was busy with work but I did have my monthly control with Margot, my obstetrician. It all went really well and the baby was in position with her head down. Granted, she still has some more time before she won’t be able to flip herself around anymore but it is a good sign that she is getting ready for her grand entrance. I gained 2 kilos since last month but it’s all good because I am still in the average range of weight gain. I started at 79 kilos (160 lbs or so) and I am up to 87 kilos (174 lbs). I have only gained 8 kilos (16 lbs) so far and I have a feeling it will probably be around 12-13 kilos in total if I stay on track. My midwife told me that a woman should really only gain around 9 kilos (18 lbs). I am sorry, but that seems more on the light side. I have read that the average woman gains between 25 to 30 lbs (12-14 kilos) during pregnancy. I am down with that.

I also met a wonderful woman named Sarah Windle who is a certified midwife and obstetrician from the UK but studied in Australia. She offers her services as a doula. Perfect right? She accompanied me in my appointment and she took my blood pressure and found the baby’s heartbeat immediately with the doppler. Last time it took a good 5 minutes to find her heartbeat. I am so impressed with Margot and Sarah’s ability to determine what position the baby is in by feeling and massaging my belly. It’s so cool. I try and do it myself but I honestly can’t tell when she is head up or head down. All I know if that I feel kicks and punches all over the place. Anyway, I think I am going to request Sarah’s services. She said she is available for the predicted birth date and she will be a great support to have around. She gives off a great vibe.

Nesting: I am super lucky to get to hang out with a 3-year-old girl who is the daughter of a French woman and a Peruvian man. We speak English and play together. Since mom has two girls she has lots of newborn to 18 month clothes for girls. She offered doing an exchange. In exchange for my hour of playtime in English with her daughter she is giving me some clothing. This is fantastic! We will be set for at least the first year when it comes to clothing, especially since my mom is also bringing a lot of clothes from the States.

Pregnancy Update: Week 29

Note: Sorry this is a week late. I have had no internet at home for the past week so things have gotten a bit behind. 

This week has been nice and busy and I am feeling good, other than having sneezed half the day away. I have had bouts of what seems like allergies throughout this pregnancy and I have no idea if it is because I may be somewhat allergic to being pregnant or the weekends have more dust in them. Oh well. A tissue is always a grab away.

week 29

Cravings: I am enjoying a bit more salt on things but other than that I am managing well. I have yet to eat ice cream since returning from our vacation in August. Go me!

Reading: The Doula Book

Nesting: We bought three packs of Pampers diapers today. Part of me wants to go the ecological route and use the cloth diapers and another (wasteful) part of me doesn’t want to deal with the washings. At most I would be able to use them until the three-month mark when baby goes to the nursery. We took advantage of the sale at Metro today though. We saved 45 soles in buying three packs of 54-70 diapers. I figure, it won’t hurt as much psychologically if we buy diapers little by little over the next few months. That way we will be more than ready when the baby gets here.

New Discovery: I bought these adorable children’s hangers at Plaza Vea this week. I figure we could use these until the kids are at least 6 or 7 years old when their clothes finally get to big for the hangers. I also saw this awesome pin on pinterest about separating the clothing by size with hangers. We will see if I can stay that organized. I also bought a tie hanger for my husband and a strap that goes on the back of a door to hang bags, purses, and hats. I am on an organization kick right now if you didn’t notice.

Pre-Natal Class: Check out the previous post to see what this past week’s pre-natal class consisted of. I am happy to say that we did some physical partner activity this week. Slow dancing is a great technique to loosen up the hips and lower back. Who knew?

Mental State: Relaxed. Vacation is coming up and this week is super easy in terms of work so I am super happy. I get to wear street clothes to work tomorrow to! Time to bust out the one pair of maternity jeans I bought on vacation!

Comment of the week: “Estas enorme!” (aka “You’re huge!”) Haha! Thanks! I know. I am only going to get bigger too. I have to take it in stride because I know no one is saying it to make me feel bad. They tend to be just as excited if not more so about the growth. I am embracing it!

 BabyFruit Ticker

Pregnancy Update: Week 28

I really feel like I have popped. I know I was already showing but I am really feeling it now with my inability to reach down and grab things. I have to squat now which is fine since I want to keep my leg muscles nice and in shape for birth. I have relinquished my ability to squeeze into tight places (like into a car when there is another one parked right next to it) and passing by people (like my husband in the bathroom. I still underestimate how much room I actually need to get by him in the morning.)

28 weeks edited

Cravings: salads. Crunchy yummy greens.

Sleep: This is getting more difficult and not because I am uncomfortable. For some reason I am waking up even when it isn’t to go to the bathroom. Hmm. This doesn’t bode well for working through until I go into labor.

New Discovery: I found out that maternity leave starts as soon as a woman takes off from work even if the doctor puts her on bed rest. That means that any time I take off from work before the baby is born will be taken away from the 90 days I have after she is born. I don’t want that at all if I can avoid it. I will work through until labor starts. No problem (hopefully). The great thing is that Pakarii is three blocks from work so if I do go into labor at work, I am a hop skip and a jump from the birthing center.

Pre-natal Class: My husband and I started pre-natal classes last week at Pakarii and unfortunately, we weren’t too impressed. It ended up being an hour and a half of people introducing themselves and asking questions that could have been asked in a consultation. I did learn a few things about vaccinations (Tuberculosis vaccinations are given to babies within their first 30 days of life if the parents want it. Given that TB rates are higher here, I think we are going to opt for it even if we aren’t going to be riding in combis during my baby’s first month.) and at the end we had a nice meditation session but overall I didn’t get too much out of the class. Marco was hoping to learn some moves or techniques. The other issue is that some of the couples were on their fifth session and some on their first like us so it was a mixed class. I don’t really get how that works without people just repeating things over and over again. I really hope that this week is better and more structured. We will see!

Nesting: I picked up the pack n play. We have yet to put it together but I think we are going to wait a little while longer since there is no reason to put it up for it to get dusty when we still have a good 80 days to go.

Mental state: Anxious but in a good way. I am at the point of feeling like I have been pregnant a really long time and I still have a way to go but in reality 10-12 weeks is a very short amount of time.

Reading: The Secret of Happy Children by Steve Biddulph. I have actually finished it but I want to write some notes down because it is full of really great tips.

Finally, the baby is the size of an eggplant! Mmm, an eggplant parmesan sounds like a fantastic thing to make tonight. We’ll see if I have the energy.

 

 BabyFruit Ticker

Pregnancy Update: Week 27

I was searching the internet to see what kinds of templates are out there in terms of giving weekly updates. I think they are a fun way to track the progress and I started sending my mom belly pics around week 18. There really wasn’t too much change before that.  I didn’t and don’t want to be that mom-to-be on Facebook posting my belly pic every week since it can get really annoying to others. I personally love seeing my friends’ belly pics but I think I am in the minority since I have an obvious interest in the subject going through it myself.

So here we go! Here is week 27! I think I will try to wear the same shirt every week. It is my only maternity shirt that isn’t a work shirt.

week 27

Cravings: none in particular

Sleep: I have been sleeping through the night without having to get up to go to the bathroom but I know that won’t last too much longer. I am also having intense dreams that are either frustrating or terrifying. I hope those go away soon too.

Nesting: working on a binder to put baby info in for future caretakers and family members. I also bought a Graco Pack n play from a website called Baby Cuy here in Lima. Pack n plays are super expensive here (double what they are in the States!)  I was planning on just sucking it up and buying anyway but then they dropped the price by 400 soles! Sold! Pack n plays are great because they are utilitarian and I am all about very functional things. If it doesn’t have more than one function I will most likely pass. There is this awesome high chair that converts into a table and a chair for a toddler after they get big enough on the same website and even though it is neon green, I am really tempted to get it!

Mental state: Relaxed and excited at the same time.

Currently reading: The Happiest Baby on the Block by Dr. Harvey Karp

Finally, I have to put this ticker in because a few of us were discussing how many websites that do week by week updates for pregnancy compare your baby to a fruit or vegetable. The funny thing is that fruit size in the states is definitely different from here. A papaya can be a good 4 kilos and enormous here but on this ticker I think they consider the baby to be the size of a papaya around week 30 or so. Haha! I sure hope my baby isn’t 4 kilos at 30 weeks.

 BabyFruit Ticker

 

Also, I have no idea what a rutabaga’s size is and this picture does no justice.  I think weight and measurement help me the most. One update I get said to think of my baby as a 2 pound 15 inch gummy bear. Mmm gummy bears.

Expats Giving Birth in Peru

Last night I had the pleasure of going to a meeting of future moms who are going to give birth in Peru and moms who gave birth here. It was coordinated by a wonderful expat group that I am a part of made up of expat moms. I am a part of various expat groups and I am really happy to have been able to join this one. It has already proved itself to be a wonderful network of resources and connection. Not only is it nice to be able to connect with other expat moms, it will be great when my baby is old enough for play dates and has the opportunity to hang out with other English-speaking kids.

Anyway, the chat was held at one future mother’s apartment in San Isidro and in total there were 7 expecting moms and 2 moms who participated. We all shared how far along we were, what clinic we are planning on using, fears and expectations, and general information.

The majority of us are in our second or third trimester with one at 11 weeks and something I keep reminding myself is that every woman’s body is different so 27 weeks for one person may look like 20 on one person and 35 on another. I feel like I look like I am 8 months pregnant some days and other days I feel like I am at 6 but comparing really doesn’t do any good. The most important thing is that the woman feels healthy right?

In terms of clinics it was really interesting hearing where everyone was planning their birth and how their doctors have attended to them so far. The clinics that the women are using are San Felipe, Monte Sur, Americana and Good Hope. I am the only one planning on using Pakarii, or a birthing center that isn’t a clinic. One of the mom’s who gave birth here used Pakarii for her first birth but opted for a c-section the second time around because of complications from the first. Respect.

For some reason I thought that clinics didn’t take the baby away right away after being born but that is standard protocol here. I thought it was more like that in the States but from what the other women said it is not. I was also surprised to hear that episiotomies are pretty routine here as well. (C-sections are also at 80% in clinics here which is insane!) One expecting mom expressed her concern that her doctor would perform one unnecessarily on her against her wishes. I sure hope not. I hope her husband and her doula stand up for her and her wishes. Another woman said she heard that there is hair stylist and nail specialist for the mothers at Clinica Monte Sur. That cracked us up. Of course every woman has got to look fabulous when leaving the clinic with her newborn. 🙂

One of the best things that the moms who gave birth here said was how the husbands or partners should be on the same page as you and that when push comes to shove, stand up for the decisions that the mom made and wants to stick by. Sure, there are always exceptions but in general I totally agree. I think that the more informed the dad or partner is, the better. Who knows what kind of mental state I will be in when things start to hurt a lot. I am comforted by the fact that my husband will be there the entire time ready to do whatever necessary. We have had lots of discussions about possibly scenarios but in the end we have no idea what could possibly or possibly not happen and for that reason we are pretty relaxed. We will worry about things as they come.

Another thing that I didn’t think about was a pediatrician. In the clinics the doctor is only there to help with the birth of the child and then after that a pediatrician takes over and is in charge of the baby after it is born. One of the daughters of a mom was born 6 weeks early so she was taken to the neonatal intensive care at the clinic Monte Sur and she said was very happy with the care that her daughter received. I hope that all goes well and that I am able to give birth naturally and at the birthing center instead of having to deal with neonatal care and clinics but if it comes to it, I know that the EsSalud hospital Rebagliati has excellent services.

I have to admit that I have been pretty relaxed about my pregnancy and I haven’t stressed too much about all the possible problems that could arise. I believe the more one worries and thinks about that kind of stuff, the more one is attracting it. If I stress out about all the things that could go wrong I would definitely cause my body to stress out and that surely isn’t good for my baby. While listening to other’s birth stories or worries I just kept in mind that it is not something that I have to take on as a worry unless I want to and everyone is entitled to have their worries and fears about birth and raising kids. That is completely normal and makes us human. I am super grateful to have found this group of ladies and know that we are all in the same boat. It is so exciting!