Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Why a midwife?

I often get asked the question, "Why are we using a midwife?" The question is a great one because so many people have a mis-perception of what midwives do.

Recently a great article was published by Jennifer Block, (author of "Pushed: The Painful Truth About Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care") entitled Midwives Deliver. It goes beyond answering why I am using a midwife and answers the more broad question of why should ANYONE use a midwife. It also discusses why midwives are better for our nation as a whole with regards to healthcare costs.

* I highly recommend "Pushed" to anyone who is even thinking of having a child someday. It gives you an amazingly scary perspective on modern maternity care. As Jason says, I tend to rage against the machine - but considering we're talking about your body and your baby you better know your rights!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

another view of baby...

I know you were all excited to see the baby's ultrasound, but in case you wanted to see what the baby looks like from the outside, here is me at 19 1/2 weeks...

Monday, December 15, 2008


It might be easier to see the baby like this:

Imagine it's standing, looking slightly to the left, waving it's right hand! (the large black circle on the baby to the right of the screen is the stomach)

Although I am technically 19 weeks + 4 days, the baby is measuring at 20 weeks+ 2 days.

Words can't quite describe the pure excitement we felt today. We laughed and cried tears of joy as we took the first glimpse of Baby Meslin. What an amazing experience this was. I can't believe what technology can do! The technician could measure the length of baby's bones, size of the skull and size of its body; she could tell me that the kidneys and bladder were working; she could see all four chambers of the heart; she could even tell us that the baby weighed approximately 12 oz. - healthy and growing at a perfect pace.

To see it open its mouth or move its hands, was surreal - we didn't want to leave that office. If everything goes according to plan, we won't see the baby again until it officially arrives*!! For now I am looking forward to feeling more movements and watching my belly grow :)

*For those of you who don't know, Jason and I are planning to have a lo-tech pregnancy and birth. Our first step was choosing a midwife as opposed to a OBGYN, we've also chosen to have only one ultrasound, and no first trimester testing. We have done our research and know what is available to us, but we're opting out of things that we feel aren't necessary.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


During our Christmas shopping session we stopped at Panera Bread for lunch around the corner from our townhouse. Lo and behold, we had a celebrity siting: Andrew Shue. You may remember him for his role on Melrose Place or for being the brother of Elizabeth Shue (who replaced the original role of Jennifer in Back to the Future III, which I watched on cable Saturday morning). More recently (2007) they both starred in the film Gracie - a sweet feminist chick-flick about a female soccer player (loosely based on their own lives). Either way, he is a celebrity and he drank his fresh-squeezed lemonade about 2 feet from me.

One of the perks of living on the east coast.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Holiday is Upon Us

We caught the matinee of the American Repertory Ballet's Nutcracker today. They are a professional ballet company but they also run the Princeton Ballet School where I take classes.

The performance was wonderful and the costumes were AMAZING. The only thing that could have made it better was a live orchestra, but otherwise it was simply spectacular. The opening scene brought me to tears....I mean, I am a little emotional right now, but really, it was just that beautiful.

It reminded me of my younger days in dance. I remember seeing these beautiful ballerinas so poised yet flexible, strong yet delicate - they are the embodiment of femininity - real life princesses - disciplined and gorgeous. (Disclaimer: The feminist in me is well aware of the strict gender roles at play in ballet and the idea that it creates unrealistic expectations for little girls. This knowledge does not change my appreciation for ballet as an art)

We left the theatre and ventured across the Delaware into New Hope for an early dinner at Marsha Brown: Refined Creole Kitchen & Lounge. The service was fabulous and the food was even better. We tried the following: Crab Cheesecake appetizer, Seafood Gumbo, Crab & Lobster Bisque, Jambalaya, and Atlantic Salmon - all of which we recommend.

For those of you who do not live in the Greater Philadelphia area (ie: friends and family) please know that if you come to visit, this restaurant will be on our list of attractions.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A True Vacation

photo courtesy of Sean McClelland

What is the definition of vacation? "leisure time away from work devoted to rest or pleasure" - being home with my family for Thanksgiving was all of that and more. I got to see so many people I love and spend real quality time with them.

We celebrated Chase's 1st birthday with Dana's family and friends - I sometimes forget how long we've known each other and how well I know her family. They're kind-of like an extended family to me so it only made sense to spend part of my holiday with them too.

I visited all my old friends at Shelby Township and carved out a couple hours to spend at Ocean Breeze with my former-coworker, best-friend, and 2nd-mom, Sue B. It was great to catch up on local gossip and to be around people who know me, inside and out.

I got up early most mornings and drank coffee and chatted with mom; I got up waaaay early to re-learn how to make the fabulous stuffing my mother always makes for Thanksgiving dinner; I watched the Woodward Parade; I baked Christmas cookies with mom and Michelle all afternoon, searching for a recipe that came close to Grandma's (which we found); I got some chicken shawarma at Grape Leaves; My whole family sat down together to watch the Polar Express.

Now doesn't that just sound perfect? It was.