Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

To Cut or Not to Cut?

So, now that we know for sure that we are having one girl and one boy, DH (blogspeak for dear husband - barf, but it's effective I suppose) and I are starting to get serious about decisions like names, nursery themes, and....whether or not to circumcise.  If you'd asked me a year ago, I would have said it was a no-brainer. Isn't that what most people do?  Turns out, not so much anymore.  Rates have dropped to less than 1/3 nationwide (, although that is somewhat misleading since it doesn't include those snipped outside of the hospital setting. But it's fair to say the practice is definitely on the decline, and that less than half of boys these days are circ'd.

In light of new information and research, the AAP no longer recommends circumcision as a routine procedure (  So basically, they're saying it's up to you and your beliefs. DH and I are not religious, so that argument is out the window. However, DH is definitely more...traditional than I am. I can't just do things because they were done in the past (it took him 6 yrs to talk me into putting up a Christmas tree b/c I saw no purpose in it). Then again, I don't want my kid to be some badge of my progressiveness. So we find ourselves at a crossroads. I've basically just asked DH to do some reading on the subject so that we can make an educated decision. I have learned I need to pick my battles, so we'll see how it goes :)

For anyone who'd like more details, here's an excerpt from Lucie's List that I find to be informative and unbiased:
Studies that previously demonstrated medical benefits of circumcision - namely, reduced rates of HIV transmission--are now being reconsidered because they took place in sub-Saharan Africa. In that location, environmental circumstances, including poor sanitation and high rates of Chlamydia-caused open sores, invalidate the application of the results of these studies to first-world, western populations. Furthermore, any possible benefits received from the potential decreased risk of UTIs or yeast infections are essentially negated by the risk of surgical and post-surgical complications.
Background Info
Globally, circumcision is most prevalent in the Muslim world, Israel, Africa, the US, and South Korea. In contrast, it is fairly rare in Europe, Latin America, Southern Africa, and most of Asia.
In the US, less than 60% of all baby boys are still circumcised. But there are HUGE regional differences to point out: in the West, only about 34% of baby boys are circumcised, while in the Midwest, it's nearly 80% (per the CDC's National Hospital Discharge Survey).

The Argument For Circumcision
Urologist Anne-Marie Houle, MD, FRCSC, FAAP, who is pro-circumcision, argues:
The 8 reasons for routine newborn male circumcision ~

8. decreases the risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs)
7. reduces the risk of heterosexually acquired HIV infection in men.
6. lowers the risk of STDs.
5. protects against penile cancer.
4. reduces the risk of penile HPV infection and the risk of cervical cancer in female partners.
3. prevents chlamydia infections and subsequent pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy and infertility (in your partner).
2. decreases the risk of balanoposthitis and phimosis and the later need for postneonatal circumcision.
1. improves sexual function and creativity.
The Argument Against
Dr. Sears, a popular pediatrician, is adamantly against circumcision.

"1. Medical benefits - THERE ARE NONE! Do not circumcise your baby because you think there are some medical benefits. A recent review by the AAP looked at all the data from the past decades to see if there truly were any medical benefits. Their conclusion: NO. Here are a few benefits that we used to think were true, and now know are not:
  • Cleanliness - although it is true, a circumcised penis does not collect any white stuff underneath the foreskin like an intact penis does, THIS IS NOT A MEDICAL BENEFIT. It is really just one less area to wash in the shower.
  • Decreased risk of STD's - this was a myth that we now know is not true.
  • Decreased risk of penile cancer - it used to be thought that circumcised men had a much lower chance of cancer of the penis. We now know that this benefit is much smaller than previously thought. The AAP determined that this benefit is so tiny, it is not worth circumcising for this reason.
  • Avoiding infections in the foreskin - it is true, occasionally intact foreskins get irritated. This is easily treated with warms soaks and washing. Rarely, the irritated foreskin becomes infected. This requires antibiotics to clear up, but is easily treatable. Even if this does happen once or twice in a person's life, it is not a reason to circumcise at birth.
  • Avoiding the need to do it later on - very rarely, someone has a problem with recurrent infections in the foreskin that need antibiotic treatment. Some of these men then need to be circumcised in an operating room under general anesthesia. This is extremely rare, however, and is not a reason to circumcise everyone at birth.
  • Avoiding bladder infections - it used to thought that circumcised boys and men had a much lower chance of bladder infections. The AAP now knows that this benefit is very small, and is only true for the first few years of life. After that, there is no difference in the number of bladder infections. Again, not a reason to circumcise.
2. Don't want to be teased - while this may have been true in the U.S. decades ago, the truth is that your uncircumcised kids will be in good company in the locker room when they are teenagers. Less and less people in the U.S. are now circumcising their boys.
3. Too much trouble to take care of - some people think that an intact penis is too much trouble to pull back and clean, especially during childhood. Well, the truth is, you are not even supposed to pull back the foreskin until it naturally comes back on its own between age 3 years and adolescence. So there really isn't anything to even take care of until then.
4. Want your boy to look like dad - the main difference that your child will notice between him and dad is the hair. He won't even notice any difference in the penis until he is old enough that you can then explain to him the difference.
So, what are the reasons TO circumcise? Here is the list:
Religious reasons. That is all. There really is no good reason to circumcise other that personal preference and religious reasons.
Are there any reasons NOT to circumcise? Consider these:
1. Leave nature alone - whether you believe God created men with a foreskin, or nature simply evolved this way, there must be some reason men have foreskins. Why change something that God/nature has created?
2. Sensation and sexual pleasure - the foreskin is filled with nerves, and is therefore extremely sensitive to touch. This enhances sexual pleasure.
3. Protects the glans (head) of the penis - the glans is another highly sensitive area. The foreskin protects the glans from constant rubbing and chaffing against clothing that can desensitize it over the years. This preserves sexual pleasure.
4. Ethical issues - there are groups of people worldwide, including medical societies, that oppose routine circumcision because they feel it is unethical for a parent to decide to alter the penis of their child without the child's consent. Parents who are deciding whether or not to circumcise their son may wish to consider the impact this may have in the future if the child decides they wish they were not circumcised."
-- William Sears, MD

No pun intended, but there is no clear cut answer on this one, mommy.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Weekly Stats - Week 21

How far along: 21 weeks, 2 days (although I look about 35 weeks)
Weight gain/loss: Steadily gaining 2 lbs a week still. I am up from about 117 to 143!
Maternity clothes: Getting tired of wearing the same things over and over :(
Stretch marks: Still none.
Sleep: Sporadic.
Best moment this week: Seeing my babies on the ultrasound yesterday! They are getting so big, 1.2 lbs and 1.3 lbs! That is like the 90th percentile, but that's how they want multiples so great news! Food cravings: I am heading to my hometown this weekend, and can't stop thinking about hte Bojangles biscuits and sweet tea that await me there :)
Gender:  The ultrasound also confirmed that the girl really is a girl, so I am very relieved that we really are having one of each.
Belly button in or out?  Slowly flattening out.
Movement:  I can finally feel kicks and movement on a regular basis. I also can now tell where they are positioned.
What I miss:  Making it through the workday without a major backache.
What I'm looking forward to: Seeing my family this weekend :)
Milestones:  This was a big week! Knowing that the babies are already over a pound each makes me feel so much better - even if god forbid they were born in the next few weeks, they would have a fighting chance. But thankfully my cervix is measuring nice and long so hopefully they are not going anywhere anytime soon!  We also got some neat 4D shots from the ultrasound, and I am looking forward to sharing those with my family this weekend.  Tomorrow I'm having a little lunch/baby shower with family so that is exciting as well!

Friday, August 19, 2011

The official 20 week photo

Weekly Stats - Week 20

How far along: 20 weeks, 2 days (woohoo, over halfway there!)
Weight gain/loss: Another 2 lbs this week. Those Ensure protein shakes really work!Maternity clothes: Got some new ones this week! Some "skinny" jeans (haha) and some nursing bras.
Stretch marks: Still in the clear.
Sleep: Ugh. No longer coming easy. Between peeing 3-5 times a night, and being super-congested, I tend to wake up alot.
Best moment this week:  Baby Shower Invite going out!
Food cravings: yep...french fries.
Gender:  Next week's u/s will hopefully confirm the B/G.
Belly button in or out?  Still in - barely!
Movement:  They are definitely moving around. I don't feel kicks per se, but lots of rolling and shifting. I can feel this from the inside and out.
What I miss:  The cute fall clothes coming out are making me miss wearing form-fitting stuff like pencil skirts. Oh well.
What I'm looking forward to: Going home next weekend to see my family (and for them to see me in all my glory!)
Milestones:  Reaching the 20 week mark! It's amazing how quickly this pregnancy is going by, but at the same time I have a really hard time imagining it going on for 4 more months... I'm starting to get major back aches when I am at work; my supposedly ergonomic work chair is not cutting it. I got a back support pillow but that isn't helping either. I have a feeling I am going to have to start working from home at some point...

Friday, August 12, 2011

Weekly Stats - Week 19

How far along: 19 weeks, 2 day
Weight gain/loss: 2 lbs this week, 20 lbs total (!!)
Maternity clothes: Yup, still rocking them. And now I'm going to have to break down and get some new bras, the old ones just aren't cutting it anymore.
Stretch marks: Still in the clear.
Sleep: Sleeping pretty well still, although rolling over is getting harder. I got a Boppy Body Pillow but I haven't really figured out how to sleep with it yet.
Best moment this week:  Registering! And seeing my mom last weekend :)
Food cravings: Still fries. And sweets. Basically, things I normally like just amplified.
Gender:  Still boy and girl.
Belly button in or out?  Still in - barely!
Movement:  I think maybe I've started to feel something, but not sure...
What I miss:  Stamina. Went shopping last weekend and I just get tired so quickly! And my feet start to ache...
What I'm looking forward to: The next ultrasound in a couple of weeks.
Milestones:  Getting our registries started!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Grow Babies Grow!

One of the few good things about doing IVF is that you get ultrasounds early and often. We found out we were having twins at around 6 weeks.  Here's the photo journey thus far.

The little beans at 6 weeks:

At 8 weeks:
Hmm I have a 12 week photo but I can't seem to find it...

At 17 weeks. Now they are starting to look like babies :)

The boy is on the left and the girl is on the right:

Our next ultrasound is scheduled for August 25. I'll be 21 weeks at that point so I can't wait to see how much bigger they are (if my size is any indication, they should have grown alot!). I'm also looking forward to confirming the genders before I go out and buy anything too girly!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Weekly Stats - Week 18

I am totally going to copy one of the blogs I follow, who copied someone else's blog, and post these weekly stats.

How far along: 18 weeks, 2 day
Weight gain/loss:  2 lbs this week, 18 lbs total
Maternity clothes:  Fully wearing maternity clothes at this point, nothing from my old wardrobe fits anymore. Thank goodness for my friend Kelly who let me borrow her maternity wardrobe!Stretch marks: None yet! They say it's genetic and my mom says she didn't have any, so maybe I will get lucky. Fingers crossed... I am, however, very veiny.
Sleep: Still able to sleep pretty well. I get up to pee about twice a night, and switching sides is a tad uncomfortable, but not enough so to fight the exhuastion!
Best moment this week:  Ordering our nursery furniture!
Food cravings: French fries with ketchup. The ketchup is key. Nom nom.
Gender:  We found out last week that it's one of each! At least, that's what it seems like. Girls are tough to nail down 100%.
Belly button in or out?  Oh man, my deep belly button has almost entirely flattened out! It's bizarre.
Movement:  Not really feeling anything yet, although peopel keep asking me so I guess I should be. Trying not to be concerned about it.
What I miss:  Wine. And running. But mostly wine.
What I'm looking forward to: Registering adn figuring out nursery decor.
Milestones:  I guess getting our cribs ordered was the big thing this week.

Belly Progression

I wish I'd been better about making sure to wear the same thing for each photo, but when the time comes to take one, I am usually too lazy to change.

Better Late Than Never

That title refers to both my first blog post, and my pregnancy. Luckily, my husband and I are making up for lost time by having two at once! I am currently 18 weeks along, due sometime in mid-December.

I figured it would be nice to have some type of documentation of the process, in case I happen to forget all the fun I went through ;)