Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel Confirm They Are Having a BABY!

Justin Timberlake posted the sweet picture of Jessica Biel’s pregnant belly with the caption “Thank you EVERYONE for the Bday wishes! This year, I’m getting the GREATEST GIFT EVER. CAN’T WAIT,” confirming the speculations that they are expecting. That’s going to be one good looking kid ;-).


Is Nail Polish Safe During Pregnancy?

Yesterday, one of my pregnant patients was asking me about getting a manicure while pregnant and whether the toxins in nail polish and nail salons can harm her baby. So the big question is “is it safe to get a mani pedi (or simply wear nail polish) while pregnant?” The answer is yes, but with some exceptions of course. Obviously no nail polish, no hair color, no harmful products…all natural is the best way to go, but it is not the most realistic. Whether you are the type of gal that likes to get a mani pedi at the salon or do your own nails at home, make sure to check the ingredients in your nail polish. Confirm that the nail polish you are using is free of these three toxic chemicals: DBP (dibutyl phthalate), toluene and formaldehyde. The good news is, most of our favorite nail polish brands including OPI, Sally Hansen, Avon and Zoya are free from these toxins. Just make sure to check the label on your polish or the website distributing the polish with brand information.

If you are going to the salon, consider taking your own polish and instruments. Then you do not have to be concerned about what the contents of the polish they are using is. If you do not want to take your own instruments, make sure that the instruments your aesthetician is using are sterilized. Try to stay clear of intense cuticle cutting or toenail digging, as these can increase your risk of having an open wound and introducing bacteria into your skin. Lastly, if you go to a salon, make sure that it is well ventilated so that you are not inhaling any nasty fumes. I’ve had some patients tell me that they wear a surgical mask when they go, but more often than not, that just protects you more from the smell rather the effects of the fumes which can penetrate through a simple surgical mask.

With all this being said, you must embrace your pregnancy and all that comes with it…including your longer stronger nails thanks to your hormones and vitamins (that you should be taking everyday ;-)). Just make sure to double check all the products you introduce to your body.

Top Questions to Ask When Interviewing Pediatricians

stethoscope-879205-mFinding the right pediatrician is a crucial decision…this doctor could potentially take care of your little one until he/she is 18 years old. With that being said, don’t stress…there are hundreds of options to choose from. The best way to start your hunt is to ask friends, family and colleagues if they have any recommendations. It’s always nice to have personal referrals. After you have at least 2-3 docs on your list, go to their office to get a sense of the environment and staff. A lot of pediatric offices will allow for a free consultation so that you can interview the actual doctor.

Keep in mind that it is important that the doctors office is close to your home…10-15 minute drive max. Don’t forget, you will be visiting this doctor frequently the first several months for well child checks as well as when your baby is sick so you do not want your commute to be too long.

Some questions you may want to consider when you pay a visit to the practice. Don’t feel that you have to ask every single question or any specific questions at all.

Questions to ask the doctor:

1.     Does the practice accept my insurance?

2.     Is this a solo or group practice?

a.     If solo, who covers when you are not available?

b.     If a group practice, how often will we see the other doctors in the practice?

3.     How long have you been practicing?

4.     Do you have any subspecialties?

5.     What are the general office hours?

6.     What are the weekend and evening hours?

7.     Do you offer same-day sick appointments?

8.     In general, however far in advance do I need to make an appointment?

9.     Do you accept routine or non-emergent questions? Do you respond to emails?

10. How will we reach you if my child gets sick after hours?

11.  Who covers you when you are not on call?

12.  Which hospital(s) are you affiliated with?

13.  Will your first visit with my baby be at the hospital or at our first check-up?

14.  Billing policies: Policies for insurance claims, labs, payments and billing?

15.  What tests are done at the clinic?

16.  Do you use electronic medical records? (This is important because it can reduce errors or loss of information)

Optional personal questions to ask the doctor:

1.     What do you like best about your job?

2.     Will you be available to discuss behavioral developments?

3.     What are your views on:

a.     Breast versus bottle-feeding?

b.     Circumcision?

c.      Antibiotics?

d.     Immunizations?

e.     Sleep training?

f.      Parenting methods?

g.     Alternative medicine?

Questions to ask yourself?
1. Was everything clean?

2. Was there a separate sick and well waiting room?

3. Were there toys and books to keep the kids occupied?

4. Was the staff and nurses helpful and patient?

5. How long did you have to wait?

6. Did the doctor seem to welcome questions?

7. Did you feel comfortable with the doctor?



Picking a Baby Shower Date

babyshower(The candy table at my shower)

I remember that trying to plan the perfect date for a baby shower was a bit difficult at first. Coordinating my work schedule with my friends/family schedule was nearly impossible. I finally just decided on a date and hoped all my closest family and friends could make it!

It is hard to anticipate if your baby will be full-term or early, so I did a lot of research on when is the perfect time to plan for a baby shower. The general consensus is to have your shower about 4 to 8 weeks before your due date or around the 8 month mark. This way you are not too big to be uncomfortable all day during the shower and if your bundle decides to comes early, you still have a chance to have a shower before the arrival.  Also having your baby shower a bit earlier gives you a chance to go through all of your gifts, set up the rest of your nursery and buy anything you are still missing. Most stores that you register with will give you a 30 day window either after your shower date or due date to come back and buy anything else left on your registry at a discounted rate. Make sure to ask for any registration specials when you are registering!!! Happy baby shower planning!

She’s Finally Here!!!

layla1Our love bug is finally here! I can’t believe it after 10 months of having her inside me she is now in my arms. It has truly been a surreal experience. Our little one caught us by a small surprise and decided to arrive one day prior to my scheduled C-section. On Sunday night (38 4/7 weeks), I started feeling a bit more uncomfortable, having menstrual like cramps and nausea, but didn’t think much of it.  The following morning, at 38 5/7 weeks, I went to my fetal monitoring appointment. During the monitoring I was having some frequent contractions, but they were not painful, just uncomfortable. The nurse checked my amniotic fluid index (fluid around the baby) and it was lower than it had been last week, however, given I was scheduled for a C-section in two days, the nurse told me to go home, rest and to drink plenty of fluids. If my contractions got stronger, I needed to go to the hospital. I knew I had to rest, but I also had a million errands to finish so I had my mom pick me up and we went to the mall to get some last minute things (ie a nursing bra) and then I was supposed to meet my friend at the nail salon at 6PM to get my nails done (a girl has to have nice nails when her baby is born :-)). At 5PM while walking in the mall, the doctor from fetal monitoring called saying that I need to go to the hospital tonight. He had looked over the fetal heart strip and noted that my babies heart rate was varying too much with my contractions and my contractions were quite frequent so I needed to have further monitoring and possibly deliver the baby that evening. After some conversation back and forth with the physician, I bought myself 3 hours before having to go to the hospital. So what did I do….I went to the nail salon. It may sound stupid to most, but I know my body and knew that my contractions were not strong enough yet to risk having the baby soon. I met my friend a little earlier at the salon, frantically got my nails done, ran home and packed the last few things of the hospital bags and headed to the hospital. My parents and some of our closest friends met us at the hospital. They hooked me up to the monitor and we spent the night with close monitoring of our babies heart with my contractions. I really wanted to make it through the night without delivering her because my doctor was not on call until the following morning. Thankfully my contractions stayed well spaced out and our babies heart rate was not effected with the contractions overnight.  First thing in the morning my doctor came and we were off to deliver our little one. The actual c-section went by super fast and before we knew it we had our little Layla in our arms. Holding her for the first time was the most unbelievable feeling. I just remember thinking to myself I can’t believe she is finally here. After 10 months of wondering what she will look like, how she will smell and feel, she was finally in our arms and absolutely perfect! I cannot wait to continue to share my journey of motherhood with you all and I’ll be referring back a lot to my pregnancy and putting up more posts now that I am on maternity leave for 3 months!!!

38 Weeks Pregos!

How far along?
38 and 3/7

Total weight gain/loss: 30 gained ;-) (technically gained 22 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight because of the 8 pounds I lost in the first trimester)
Maternity clothes? I didn’t buy anymore maternity clothes and given my pregnancy is basically over I will not be making any purchases
Sleep: Now that my stomach feels like its about to explode, sleeping has become more uncomfortable. I am trying my hardest to sleep leaning on my left because that optimizes the circulation of blood and nutrients to the baby but it’s not easy
Best moment this week: Completing the nursery, installing the car seat and putting her bassinet out. Her arrival is becoming so real
Miss Anything? A full night of sleep without getting up several times to use the restroom
Food cravings: Still nothing specifically but taking advantage of all the sweets and unnecessary calories I can get :-)
Symptoms: Over the last two weeks as I’ve grow exponentially, I have been having a lot more lower back pain and get tired so easily.
Looking forward to: Her arrival!!!! We’ll get to meet her in 4 days…OMG!

KRAOUFI-20131117-00230 KRAOUFI-20131117-00237 KRAOUFI-20131117-00244

At 38 weeks, I’m almost there!!! I’ve been super busy just trying to make all my doctors appointments and getting last minute errands finished up before our little one arrives. As I mentioned in my last post, the bubs is still in the breech position, which basically means she is butt down instead of head down. We’ve continued to try the more holistic approaches to having her turn, but at this point she is so big and her space is limited so I do no’t think she is going to be turning on her own. My husband and I debated long and hard about having her externally rotated by an external cephalic version, but ultimately last night decided not to do it. We spoke in detail with my OB and given that her space is so small, she is big, my fluid levels are not that high, it is safest to let her be and do a cesarean section. As much as I want to experience a vaginal natural birth, my babies health is my primary concern and I do not want to risk inducing stress on her with the version. So we are officially scheduled for a c-section at 39 weeks which means before we know it she’ll be here!
My hospital bag is almost packed…just a few last minute things to include. I will write a post about what to pack for the hospital and what I actually end up using as soon as I know!


36 Weeks Pregos!


I can’t believe it but we are almost full-term…1 more day until I’m 37 weeks which is officially considered full term!!! I know I’ve been super behind on posting updates the last several weeks. We’ve just been trying to get some last minute stuff together, but also nothing crazy has happened (knock on wood). I officially started my maternity leave this week! I ended up leaving work one week earlier than planned because I was having frequent premature contractions (aka Braxton Hicks) and my doctor wanted me to take it easy so I do not go into early labor. Honestly had I not started my maternity leave this week, I would have been missing a lot of work anyways with all the doctor appointments I’ve been having. After 35 weeks, you have to see your OB/Gyn once a week. Also because of my atrial fibrillation (the heart arrhythmia I have that I talked about in earlier posts) I have to have fetal monitoring with biophysical profiles (BPP) twice per week. In conjunction with seeing the high risk doc and my cardiologist, going to these doctors appointments is like a part-time job! Every time I’m stuck in a waiting room I feel for my patients realizing how annoying it is to be on the other side waiting for your doctor! So far all my appointments have gone well! Our little booger is growing healthy and strong except she is one stubborn one and is still in the breech position which unfortunately means if she does not turn soon I will have to do a cesarean section. Since last week, I’ve been frantically searching natural ways to get this little one to turn and so far she seems not to want to budge. I started moxibustion which in short is a practice in Chinese Medicine that helps improve circulation to your pelvis and lower uterus and has been used to get breech babies to turn. I’ve also been trying the pelvic tilt exercises, shining a light and playing music around my lower pelvis where I want the baby to move towards…but so far no luck! We are considering doing external cephalic version where basically your doctor externally tries to turn the baby manually, however there are a lot of pros and cons to this procedure so it is still up for debate! I’ll keep you posted on what we finally decide.

At 36 weeks, our little one is estimated to be about 17.5 inches long and 5.5 lbs, about the size of a honeydew melon.

How far along? 36 weeks and 6 days.
Total weight gain/loss: 29 pounds (technically 20 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight but because of the 8 pounds I lost in the first trimester)
Maternity clothes? Haven’t bought anymore…the end is near so I figured it’s not worth spending the money. I did buy a lot of clothes for the baby and some PJ’s for the hospital for myself :-)
Sleep: Same…sleeping well but getting up a few times per night for pee breaks!
Best moment this week: Starting maternity leave! Lets be honest…now I finally have time to be a normal pregers person and get ready for this baby to come!
Miss Anything? Sleeping on my stomach. Soon it will happen again
Food cravings: Sweets addiction continues
Symptoms: I feel like I’m getting heavier everyday and I’m really starting to feel it in my lower back especially at night after a long day but overall not too bad
Looking forward to: We have an appointment with the high risk doctors this week which means the really good ultrasound so hopefully we’ll get to see that little face!

Some pictures from the last few weeks:
We went to the pumpkin patch with my brother who took some cute Fall pictures of us. In the pics I’m 34 weeks and 5 days.34weekskeyvan 34weeks
Last minute Halloween outfit we put together. I’m 35 weeks and 4 days in this pic. 35weeks

My amazing co-worker threw me a surprise baby shower! Isn’t this cake to die for!?!? cake

Baby Shower

Thank you to all my family and friends for the most amazing baby shower! Can’t wait until our precious baby girl is here. Ellika_064Ellika_042Ellika_150Ellika_009Ellika_013Ellika_004

32 weeks pregos!


How far along? 32 weeks and 6 days.
Total weight gain/loss: 24 pounds and going strong ;-) (technically I’ve gained 16 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight but because of the 8 pounds I lost in the first trimester its a total of 24).
Maternity clothes? I finally bought some maternity pants! I got a pair of jeans and shorts! Now that the summer seems to be officially over, I think I am going to have to buy a few more pairs of pants because squeezing in to dresses is not going to work anymore and I can use the pants post-pregnancy the first few months.
Sleep: About the same…sleeping well but getting up a few times per night for pee breaks!
Best moment this week: OMG so much has happened since my last post but best part of this week was working on the nursery! It’s slowly coming together. Also my husband and I took an infant car seat safety class which was really fun! There were so many other clueless couples…who ever knew there were so many details that go in to installing your car seat properly.
Miss Anything? Probably being able to comfortably wear heels. I wore some heels this weekend to a party and after a few hours my feet were not happy with me.
Food cravings: Nothing specific, but if someone mentions something yummy that’s all I think about until I can get some! O and the sweets addiction still persists and having Halloween candy laying around everywhere isn’t helping the situation! (but I passed my glucose tolerance test so I can have all the candy I want :-)).
Symptoms: Still can’t get enough of all of her wiggles and jabs. As I am getting further along and bigger, I’m starting to feel the pressure a lot more in my lower abdomen and back and especially my legs at night after work. But I am trying to stay as active as I can.
Looking forward to: This week we have an ultrasound so I can’t wait to see her little face again! But just everyday as it’s getting closer and closer to my due date, we can’t wait for her arrival. 32pic2

At 32 weeks, our little one is about 3.5 pounds and 16.5 inches long, approximately the size of a pineapple! Around this time is when she is supposed to move to the head down position getting ready for her journey in to the world. We’ll be able to confirm her position this week at our ultrasound. Fingers crossed she is head down already. 32pic1

These past several weeks have been super busy; I feel like this post is a recap of so many events that happened over the last several weeks since my last post at 27 weeks. I promise to touch up in detail about the special events over the last several weeks in separate posts. Some updates since my 27 week post are…my glucose tolerance test was negative so I can still binge on all the sweets I want ;-).
Nothing too exciting happened at 28 weeks…except busy at work! 28week28weekpic2
The greatest part of 29 weeks was being able to get the day off to go to my cousins baby shower! My cousin and I are 4 weeks apart and our little ones are due 3 weeks apart! Though we don’t get to see each other a lot because of my crazy schedule, its so fun being pregs together. We are constantly texting back and forth about things not to forget to do and updates! I can’t wait til our bundles are born and get to grow up together like we did.sana

The best part of 30 weeks was our maternity pictures. For our engagement, we did not do a professional engagement session so we really wanted to do something special for the pregnancy. We had such a great time taking our maternity pics and to top it off they turned out so cute! I can’t wait to share them with you.maternityphoto
The highlight of 31 weeks was my baby shower! It was perfect and so amazing to see all of my family and friends! I will post some pics and details about the shower planning ASAP.babyshower

Now that my work schedule has finally calmed down a bit, have a lot more time to prep for our little one and take it easy. This last weekend my husband and I went through our registries bought everything that was not purchased so we are basically set (I’m sure I am still missing a lot)! We assembled our stroller which is now waiting sitting in our living room waiting for our little one! We haven’t tried installing the car seat yet even though we took the class this week. We still have 8 more weeks! Right now the nursery progress is our biggest focus. It’s coming along piece by piece! Working on the nursery makes her pending arrival that much more real. I’ll post some pics as soon as its done!

Things to do: With only 8 weeks to go (it sounds like a long time but it’s sure flying by) we are in the process of looking for a pediatrician in our area. It’s important to find a few pediatricians you would consider and then narrow them down based on recommendations and interviews. I will write a specific post about what to consider when looking for the right doctor. Also at this point, if you haven’t done so, its a good time to take an infant CPR class and some sort of birthing class. My husband and I are taking CPR next week with my parents because I know they will be babysitting a lot. Also in two weeks we are going to take a birthing/baby prep class. Given our schedules we signed up for a one day expedited class. I’ll let you know how it goes!