My Baby Is Born!

Um, yea, I know… it was a year ago.  I’ve been a little busy apparently!  So, in IMG_4739honor of Eliana’s 1st birthday, I thought I’d finally finish the blog post about her birth that I started almost a year ago.  But before I do, just a quick jump to the present day. Having Eliana in my life, has been such a joy. It’s been the best thing that has happened to me.  I love being a Mom, and I couldn’t be happier with the choice I made to go ahead and do this on my own. It’s not easy, but it’s SO worth it. I feel so lucky and blessed that I went forward with it, and have such a gift in my life. Here’s a pic of her from her birthday party the other day.

And, here goes the birth blog post…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I had a baby!  My baby girl, finally named Eliana Rose, was born on May 6th at 2:02pm at 7 pounds 15 ounces, 19 1/2″ long.  She’s the love of my life.  Now I finally AM Me-Plus-Baby.  I can’t believe she’s mine!  She’s beautiful, and such a miracle. Eliana Rose At her Jewish baby naming ceremony last week, here’s what I said about her name:

Up until the Doctor said “It’s a girl!”, I was really convinced I was having a baby boy. I had my short list of boy names picked out, but I had been struggling with the girl names. In the hospital I had 3 days to decide on a name, and I wanted something that had Jewish or Hebrew origins, and was as beautiful as my new baby girl.  The name Eliana had been on my list for a while, but when I realized that it meant “G-d has answered me”, it had extra special meaning to me.  As a single woman, and as an older woman, getting pregnant is not necessarily an easy task.  She is such a gift to me, and I feel so blessed to have her in my life.  I went through a lot to make my dream of having a baby come true.  So, the name Eliana, “G-d has answered me” seemed perfectly fitting for my miracle of a baby girl.

So, here’s the birth story in the speed version: water broke, got induced, was hyper-sensitive to pitocin so dilated quickly, baby didn’t fit through pelvis, had a C-section.  And, here’s the more detailed version 🙂

My water broke at 6pm (on Sunday 5/5) while I was at my parent’s house. Even though I thought it was funny when other people told me they thought they were peeing when their water broke, I thought the exact same thing! I stood in a pool of water in the kitchen, convinced that I was just peeing 🙂  Once my mother convinced me that I wasn’t, I called the doctor, and she said to just hang tight until I started having contractions.  A couple hours later, I called back and spoke to the new doctor on call, and this time, she told me to come in right away to get checked, and that I’d probably be back home in a couple hours.

When I got to the hospital, I realized that the water had meconium in it, which apparently means you can’t leave the hospital. So I was there for the duration.  Since I was going to be there a while until I started having contractions, once I got settled in the room, my Dad left to go home.

At 1am, the nurse said that since I hadn’t started having any contractions, that they were going to start inducing me.  It would take 12-24 hours to get fully dilated after starting the pitocin.  So I texted my Mom and friend Fawn and told them that it was going to be a while.

After a couple of hours, I started having some pain that felt like period cramps.  It was getting really bad, so I called for the nurse. She was surprised I was feeling any pain because the monitor wasn’t showing any contractions. And she kept saying, “are you really feeling pain??”. She made me feel like I had no tolerance for pain! I was also feeling sick, so got sick in the bathroom a few times.  I asked for an epidural, and the nurse said it was a bit early because I wasn’t even having contractions (according to her, but this whole thing was just ridiculous). But, that we could do narcotics.  I couldn’t remember why, but know that I had decided I didn’t want to have narcotics. But given the pain I was in, I decided to go ahead with it.

Needless to say, the narcotics didn’t end up helping at all. So finally, they decided to do the epidural.  Meanwhile, I was still by myself a the hospital because they said it was going to be a while for me to progress, and I didn’t want my Mom and Fawn to come too early, and then sit around and wait forever. It was hard to go through this alone, and I regretted not calling them earlier.

At some point around 6am, the Doctor came to check my dilation, and I was 9cm dilated. Apparently that was really fast, as the hospital staff kept talking about how fast it was since my last check (BTW, the dilation checks hurt like hell!).  They said I should tell my Mom and Fawn to start making their way to the hospital.  I texted them and let them know to come, but not rush.  Then the nurse checked me again only a bit later, and I was already at 10cm, so I started texting my Mom and Fawn to hurry up because it was really getting close!

They got there around 7ish, so all was well! 🙂

Since I decided I wanted to “labor down” (meaning that I only would start pushing when I feel the need to push, not necessarily just because I’m 10cm dilated), then it was back to waiting again until I felt the need to push!  Well, we waited and waited… just chit chatting and sleeping on and off for a couple of hours.  Finally, the nurse told me it was time to push because it had been a long time.

Right then, I heard a woman screaming bloody murder in the next room. The nurse said that was an example of someone not having an epidural!  I immediately asked Fawn to turn my music louder!  I didn’t want to hear the noise!

Pushing was not bad at all!  Seriously, I’m not kidding.  I barely even knew I was having contractions!  The nurse either had to tell me, or I’d say, “I think I’m having a contraction.”  Apparently the epidural worked well!  It wasn’t at all like what I saw in the movies, with women screaming, and the room being really hectic. It was just me, Fawn, my Mom and a nurse. I’d push for a couple minutes, and then we’d just sit there an talk until the next contraction. It was all very peaceful. 🙂

After a while of pushing, all of a sudden, extra people came in the room, and my Mom and Fawn floated into the background. They told me to get on my hands and knees and to stop pushing. Apparently I was having too many contractions, so the baby’s heartbeat started to drop, so they needed me to stop. That was a really scary moment. But after a while  of waiting, I went back to pushing.

Finally, they told me that the baby just wasn’t progressing down the birth canal any more.  The baby’s head and shoulders were just too big to fit through my pelvis, so more pushing wasn’t doing any good.  The recommended a C-section. That was really upsetting to me… not only because I wanted to give birth vaginally, but because I was scared of how the recovery would be as a single mom trying to take care of her.  But, it just didn’t seem like I had a choice at that point.  My theory was that the pitocin pushed me along so fast, that my body didn’t have time to catch up, and open enough for the baby to go through. Too much intervention 🙁

So, they prepped me for surgery, and off we went!  I was only allowed one person with me, so my Mom came.  I was awake the whole time — I couldn’t see what was happening but I could hear.  I remember at one point, I was being pushed and pulled, and

The first moment I saw her

The first moment I saw her

asked “what are they doing?”, and they said “we’re pulling the baby out!” I couldn’t believe it, because I didn’t even know they had made an incision yet.  And, then next thing I know, they had her out, and the Doctor said “It’s a girl!”.  Wow!  2:02pm.

My Mom got to hold her first, and then she handed her to me, and I was looking at my little baby. Such a miracle.  So happy. No words.

My Birth Plan

Having a birth plan that can be referenced by your labor coaches and hospital staff is important in ensuring your needs and wants are known.  I’m writing this post after my baby was born, and I’m really glad I put a lot of thought into mine and brought it Birth Planwith me to the hopsital. The nurses referenced it multiple times throughout my hospital stay, even quoting from it “I know skin-to-skin is really important to you…” “I know you wanted to do everything you could to avoid a c-section…”. So, here’s my plan:

Rachel’s Birth Plan

I thought I’d write down some thoughts of things I’d like to happen during the birth, so you can help me advocate to get them!  Apparently some of this stuff is standard at Beth Israel (BI), but just in case it doesn’t happen automatically, I’m putting it down.

Labor

  • Absolutely no pain. Can you make that happen?  K Thanks. 🙂
  • Epidural
    • I want one as soon as I start feeling a lot of pain (my Doctor said waiting until 5cm is not necessary)
    • Turn it down a bit when it’s time to push (shortens pushing time)
    • Music – Shelly is making me 2 playlists – one fast and one slow. I’m going to try to get a docking station so I can listen to some music, depending on how I feel (BI is fine if you play the music out loud)
    • Positions
      • Rotisserie (flip side to side, and straight up with legs in frog position)

positions for labor

Delivery

  • Pushing
    • I like the idea of laboring down (where I only push when I feel the need), and my Doctor is on board as well.
    • I’d like to avoid forceps, vacuum and episiotomy, if possible
    • F-bomb – The f-bomb makes things feel less painful, so I will be employing that method of pain relief
    • C-section
      • Avoid if at all possible!
      • I’d like the screen lowered, so I can watch the baby be born
      • I’d like to do skin-to-skin and breast feed as soon as possible after the birth
      • I can only have 1 person in the OR, unfortunately.  I’d like that to be my mother. Sorry Kim 🙁
      • Residents/Students/Interns
        • BI is a teaching hospital. I’m ok with Residents there (basically doctors!), but not students or interns. I don’t want to feel like I’m on show

Post-Delivery

  • Screening – There are mandatory and optional screening tests they’ll do on the baby. I’m ok with all of it.
    • I will be calling the pediatrician to see if the Hepatitis B vaccine is necessary now. (Blog post coming soon on this)
    • Skin-to-skin
      • Having as much skin-to-skin contact with the baby in the first 2 hours is really important (standard at BI).  Hopefully they can just quickly wipe the baby down and give him/her to me.
      • I’d like to delay as many tests as possible to make that happen.  The vitamin K shot, some blood tests and eye drops can wait until after the 2 hours, or be done while the baby is with me. The APGAR is necessary to do right away, but some of it they can do while I’m holding the baby.
      • If by chance, I have a C-section, they say it even helps for someone to put their hand into the NICU crib so the baby can hold onto your finger.  Please do that if possible!
      • Cutting the cord – the Doctor can do it (unless one of you wants to??)
      • Cord blood – I don’t want to bank the cord blood (for me or others)
      • Don’t fully wash the baby’s hands after the birth – apparently it helps with breastfeeding (smells like the amniotic fluid) – actually it’s best to avoid a bath overall (better for skin and keeps them warm)
      • Visitors
        • No other visitors until after the first 2 hours, when I’ll be down in a regular room, and out of Labor & Delivery
        • Circumcision – don’t do it! Need to wait until the bris!
        • No formula, bottles, or pacifier
        • Rooming in – I want to have the baby stay in the room with me (standard at BI)

All this being said, I know that it may not all go as planned! 🙂 But thanks for trying to make it happen!

-Rachel- (and Greenbean)

Apparently the nurses thought my birth plan was hysterical (I don’t know why!).  Maybe it was this? ” F-bomb – The f-bomb makes things feel less painful, so I will be employing that method of pain relief!” One even came to my room specifically to meet the woman behind the plan. Ha!

Anyway, I’d highly recommend writing a plan, sharing it with your labor coaches, and bringing it with you to the hospital.

Ways to Induce Labor — Do They Work?

I’m starting to dilate — 1/2 cm last Monday, and we’ll see where I am today at my appointment! The one time issue I have is that my friend who is going to be in the delivery room with me (and my Mom), will be out of town from May 1st through May 6th, and my due date is May 4th!  I do have a backup friend, and I know she’ll be awesome also, but the friend who is supposed to be there with me came to my birth class, was at my 1st IUI, and at my 1st ultrasound.  So, I really want her to be at the birth!  So, I’m starting to think of ways to get my labor moving! Here are 2 things I’ve done:

Acupuncture

I remembered my acupuncturist telling me that acupuncture has a proven track record of inducing labor. So, I checked with him, and here’s what he said “Acupuncture can be used to induce labor and speed up the process. The response is pretty individualized, but I have seen a single treatment make a difference. The fact that you’re already dilating leads me to think that you would not need much.”  So, I made an appointment and went in on Friday.  He put a lot of needles in my back, hands, and feet, but also hooked the needles up to a stimulator machine. So, we’ll see how it works!

Eggplant Parmesan

At my birth class, the Doula running the class told us about a restaurant in the Atlanta area, called Scalini’s, that makes Eggplant Parmesan that is known to induce labor. Apparently over 300 customers who have ordered the eggplant parmesan gave birth within 48 hours of eating it!  They have photos of many of the babies on their website. And, they even provide the recipe on their site.

Eggplant Parmesan that induces labor

Even though I was so exhausted today, and don’t tend to cook a lot, I decided I really wanted to make this today.  So, I made it and ate it. Well, it seems like the baby liked the labor-inducing eggplant parmesan. Now we’ll see if it inspires him/her to want to evacuate!

Cookies

Someone posted a recipe on my Facebook page for “Jump Start Your Labor Cookies“. I have yet to try these, but may at some point!

So, we’ll see what happens with this!  I know I can’t control this, but if there’s any truth to any of this, maybe I can influence it a BIT! 🙂

T Minus 2 Weeks and 2 Days!

2 weeks and 2 days until my official due date!  I can’t believe it.  In many ways it’s gone so slow… counting the weeks one by one. But in many ways, it’s gone so fast — 1 year ago I hadn’t even started trying to get pregnant yet!  My life has turned upside down in the past year, and I know this past year is nothing compared to what I’m about to face.

Am I feeling nervous?  Yes, but it’s mostly focused on handling having a child on my own going forward, as opposed to childbirth or handling a newborn baby.  Yes, I’m a bit apprehensive about childbirth itself, only because it’s not even close to anything I’ve ever experienced before. Sure, I haven’t experienced everything in life, but many things are gradual (i.e. aging), or I’ve had similar experiences (I haven’t been to Africa, but I have traveled a lot, so I sort of know what it might be like).  Childbirth is something so far from anything I’ve experienced.  So, I wouldn’t say I’m nervous about it — it’s just that I have NO idea how it’s going to be for me.  And, yes, I know handing a newborn on my own will be tough. But I feel confident that I’ll get through those first few months OK.  What makes me most nervous, is going forward…. years of handling a baby on my own: emotionally, financially and physically.  It’s not going to be easy!  I know I tend to take what life throws at me pretty well, but I think this is in a completely different league that what I’ve faced before!Evict the baby

Am I dying to evict this alien inside me?  Not really!  Yes, it’s getting a bit uncomfortable being this big.  Yes, I’m a bit tired of the heartburn and swollen feet.  But, I’m having fun being pregnant, and am not yet at the point where I’m dying to get this kid out!  And, maybe it’s just a bit about avoiding the fears I have about what’s to come 🙂

Am I ready?  I know, everyone says “You’ll never really be ready”, and I agree with that!  But there are certain practical things I’m trying to get done before the baby arrives. I just finished my Will (and related documents) today — woohoo!  The life insurance approval is taking forever, so that’s making me nervous.  The house isn’t 100% ready in terms of my move and construction, but it’s almost there, so if the baby were to come early, I’d be OK with how the house is now! My hospital bag is packed, the plan is set for who needs to bring stuff to my house while I’m in the hospital, and I have all the practical things I need for the baby’s arrival.

Am I excited?  Yes!  I can’t wait to see this little thing that’s been growing inside me for 9 months! I cant wait to see if it’s going to be a boy or a girl.  I can’t wait to kiss the big cheeks I’ve been seeing on the ultrasounds. And, I can’t wait to be a Mom!

Well, this may be my last post before the baby comes, which means it may be the last post for a while, as I get a handle on being a new Mom.  I’ll take any last minute advice you have below!

Packing my Hospital Bag

I packed my bag for the hospital bag today! Wow, that really felt like a big milestone…. I’m ready to go! When I was at my hospital tour, they said you truly don’t need to bring anything with you, because they have everything there for you at the hospital. But, that you may be happier to have some of your own comforts from home — clothes, toothbrush, etc.  They also recommended having 2 separate bags: 1 for labor and delivery, and 1 for recovery, so they’re seperate. I ended up just packing one bag inside the other.  So, here’s what I packed:

Labor & Delivery

  • Birth plan
  • Chapstick
  • Hair bandpregnant woman with suitcase
  • Nightgown
  • Slippers
  • Sweatshirt
  • Lozenges
  • Advil (for birth partners — they can’t get medication in the hospital)
  • Balance bars
  • Camera and charger
  • Docking station to play music
  • Tennis balls in tube sock for massage
  • Water bottle (I love my water bottle)
  • Phone charger
  • Handheld fan (I’ve heard this is amazing during delivery)
  • Fuzzy socks

Recovery

  • Computer (and charger)
  • Bath towel (better than the postage stamp ones at hospital)
  • Sanitary pads (hospital ones are apparently uncomfortable)
  • Magazines
  • Dollar bills (for food machines)
  • Tank top (nursing type)
  • Ear plugs
  • Eye mask
  • Flip flops
  • Underwear
  • Toilet Paper (again, bad at hospital, and it’s not a time when you want to use sandpaper)
  • Makeup
  • Bras
  • Sweatpants
  • Pillow
  • Baby outfit
  • Baby blanket

Is there anything I’m missing? Let me know!

Getting My Ducks in a Row Before the Baby Arrives

 

I’ve been keeping a list for a while of all the things I’m trying to get done before the baby arrives.  I know I’ll never be even close to fully prepared for what I’m about to face, but there are certain things I can do to “get my ducks in a row” that will help!Ducks in a Row

First, a quick update on me…. I’m 32 weeks now, and am doing really well!  I had really bad heartburn for a couple of months, and went from Tums to Zantac, and finally now have relief with Prilosec. I had a little scare last week when the baby wasn’t moving as much as normal for a few days.  I got checked out — apparently it’s totally normal for many woman — and now the baby has been ridiculously active this week! 🙂 It’s been really fun.  I’m moving into my new house this week, so will be able to feel even more settled and ready!

Here’s the list I’m working through:

  • Get baby furniture
  • Sign up for classes
  • Sign my parents up for a Grandparents class
  • Find a Pediatrician
  • Find a daycare center
  • Register (Read Baby Bargains)
  • Figure out how much time to take off from work
  • Pack hospital bag (a few articles here)
  • Install carseat (and get it checked at Police station)
  • Do a hospital tour
  • Buy everything I need for the 1st month and store at a friend’s house (I’m following the Jewish tradition of not having baby items in my home or having my baby shower before the baby is born)
  • Make a short list of baby names
  • Decide if I want an epidural (that’s a definite YES)
  • Make an email list for baby announcement
  • Decide who will be in the delivery room (friend, family, doula)
  • Get in touch with a Night Nurse in case I need it
  • Get in touch with a Moyel (for a bris) and Rabbi (for a baby naming)
  • Create a living will (5 Wishes)
  • Get Life Insurance (best to do this before you start gaining pregnancy weight, trust me!)
  • Work with a lawyer on a Will, Trust, Guardianship, healthcare proxy, power of attorney (blog post coming soon with more info on this)
  • Put together a document for family with all my important financial info and passwords in one place
  • Put together a birth plan (a few articles here)
  • Stock freezer with home cooked meals
  • Watch Happiest Baby on the Block
  • Find out medical coverage for breast pump, prenatal classes, lactation support
  • Line up some support for the couple weeks after I give birth

The Boston Globe had a great article just this week with some more info on some of these items.

I hope this list helps!  Have I missed anything? I still have some time!

 

Facebook Post About Choosing Single Motherhood?

 

I recently saw a post on Facebook by BabyCenter.com about making the choice to become a single mother. Actually, the article posted was a bit ridiculous — it was all about celebrities becoming Single Mothers and asking “would you consider it?”, which I think is a completely different question than “regular people” becoming single mothers due to financial means, full time assistance, etc.  But, the 245 comments that followed about single motherhood were very interesting, so I thought I’d give my thoughts on some of them).


sandra bullock

“I’m a single mom, I didn’t chose it. I don’t think anyone in their right mind would actually chose it over a 2 parent family. Unless they are totally insane and live off of copious amounts of stress and frustration…”

Um, OK then!  So, did I choose this?  Yes, absolutely.  Would I have preferred to have a 2 parent family?  Absolutely. But, would I regret waiting until the “man of my dreams” came along, only to find out that it was too late for me to have a child?  Absolutely.  Might I be insane?  Absolutely! 🙂

“I don’t think I would choose to be a single parent. It’s difficult enough with me and my husband… Plus I truly believe children need a mother AND a father. I can’t imagine not having a dad.”

I agree completely that children need male and female role models. (see my post The Importance of a Father Influence). Whether it’s a boy or a girl, both influences are important.  For me, I DO plan on getting married, and hope it won’t be too long before that happens!  But in the meantime, I will need to find a plan to ensure that my child has enough male influence in his/her life.

“If the choice was to have a child as a single mother or not at all, then OF COURSE I WOULD! Couldn’t even imagine not being a mommy!! It’s such a blessing and unbelievable experience that nothing can replace!!”

Well said!!

“Being in a relationship where your significant other is not around much physically is not the same as choosing to be a single mom. My ex and I have a good relationship and our son is great, but looking back, I’m sorry for all the times he asked why daddy wasn’t home. I don’t mean to offend anyone who made the choice have a child as a single mom, but I believe it’s selfish to knowingly do that to a child.”

“You’re making a choice for the child. every child needs both parents for their development and self esteem. I grew up with mom and no dad, I wished my dad would have been there more!”

Divorce is VERY tough on children, and even tougher when one of the parents is not reliable.  I think this creates trust issues in relationships. So in an SMC family, while it’s not ideal to not have a father figure around on a regular basis, I do believe it is less harmful to children because they KNOW there is no father, rather than being disappointed when he may be unreliable or not around a lot.

Selfish?  I’ll go back to that in a second. But, technically divorce was ALSO a choice!  But, selfish, really?  I’m going to be doing so much for my baby, physically, emotionally, financially, etc., that I don’t even understand know it can be perceived as selfish.  The woman below said it well actually.

“I conceived my son with a donor after a year of trying because being mama was so important to me. So it’s selfish of me that I chose to devote my entire life to being the sole provider for my son? Is it selfish of me that I happily gave up some of the activities and lifestyle I had before pregnancy to be a loving mom to my son? Is it selfish of me that whatever I need or want either comes last or not at all because my son’s needs and wants come first? Is it selfish when I am up at 4 a.m. feeding and playing with him when I know I have to get up soon to start our day? I think a woman who chooses to build a family without a partner is FAR from being selfish.”

Again, well said!

“Statistics prove that without a father in the life of a child, children are more likely to not graduate, get pregnant, have low self-esteem, and even have higher suicide rates. What good mother would choose that for their child?”

Again, this is another arguement I hear a lot. But those numbers are for divorced parents!  There aren’t enough SMCs to affect that data yet, and no SMC-only studies have been done to my knowledge.  I don’t see how a woman who makes such a major life choice to become an SMC is going to allow those things to happen to her child (yes, we can’t control everything, but I just don’t see it happening more than in the general population!).

“Becky, those stats do not account or disseminate for those children raised by CHOICE by a single mother who was situationally able to do so and those raised by a single mother who was abandoned by the father-often times unable to provide for the needs of her child. I think there is a huge difference. I almost made the choice myself: 35 years old, unmarried, career in place, head on straight, supportive family, and stable home. Women are told that our “choice” to have children later in life is irresponsible (due to possible health issues for mother and child). But, if we don’t have a proper partner in our life at the time, does that mean we should remain motherless? Relationships can come at any time, the window to have a child is so much smaller.”

Agree!

“Even though I am married, I feel like [a single mom]. Work full time, do all the house work and all of the cooking. Nothing would change – except I could have cereal dinner every night and no one would complain that there wasn’t a hot meal.”

I’ve heard a lot of people say this to me.  Not that I think it’s incredibly common that the husband does NOTHING to help (including financially), it IS a possibility.

 

So what are your thoughts on the above? I know I’ve expressed some opinions that not everyone will agree with!

 

Pregnancy and Kid Books I’ve Read Lately

 

I haven’t read a ton of books since I got pregnant, but there are a few that have been invaluable up until this point, and a few that seem really great that I purchased already. I thought I’d share. Oh, and a quick update on me — I’m doing great!  The baby is very active kicking, so it’s feeling VERY real.  I’m 27 weeks now, so next weeks marks my 3rd trimester!

Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy

mayo clinicThis book is a great overview of pregnancy. It goes month by month so you know what to expect, and what’s normal. Very helpful. Just don’t read it before you go to bed — it may stress you out 🙂

“Women looking for authoritative, accurate information from a reputable source will appreciate this pregnancy book from the world-class Mayo Clinic. It provides hundreds ofpages of helpful information parents can use. Features include week-by-week updates on baby’s growth and month-by-month changes for mom, a 40-week pregnancy calendar, a symptoms guide, and a review of important pregnancy decisions. In this illustrated book you’ll also receive advice on how to get pregnant, meal planning, exercise, medication use and parenthood. Plus, you’ll find answers to difficult or embarrassing questions. This pregnancy book is the work of a team of pregnancy experts who find nothing in medicine more exciting and satisfying to experience than the birth of a child. Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy is an essential pregnancyresource for parents-to-be.”

And, here’s the Kindle Version, if you’re interested in that.

Baby Bargains

baby bargainsThis book has been a MAJOR lifesaver!  It goes through all major baby product purchases, and explains safety considerations, specific brands and products. They’re price conscious, so they don’t just recommend the most expensive product. Even if you’re planning on getting a lot of things used from friends, like I have, you should read this book to learn about which items are NOT good to get used, and other safety factors you should keep in mind.

Baby411

baby 411This book is written by the same people who write Baby Bargains. I haven’t read it yet, but it looks like a good go-to guide for new parents, to help you figure out when you can freak out and when it’s just normal.

“You are having a baby! Congratulations! Now, the reality hits you—what the heck am I doing?  What if you could bottle the wisdom of all those parents who’ve come before you . . . and mix it with the solid medical advice from an nationally-renowned pediatrician? Baby 411 is the answer! Think of it as the ultimate FAQ for new parents. Inside you’ll learn:

 How to pick a pediatrician with savvy questions to ask and insider tips.
• Sleep. The best way to get your baby to sleep through the night.
• First aid—when to worry, when not . . . and what to do when baby gets sick. No-nonsense, down-to-earth advice you can trust.”

What Makes a Baby

what makes a babyThis book hasn’t even launched yet, but I heard great things about it from reviews, and the video seems like it’s going to be really cool, particularly for SMCs.

“Geared to readers from preschool to age eight, What Makes a Baby is a book for every kind of family and every kind of kid. It is a twenty-first century children’s picture book about conception, gestation, and birth, which reflects the reality of our modern time by being inclusive of all kinds of kids, adults, and families, regardless of how many people were involved, their orientation, gender and other identity, or family composition. Just as important, the story doesn’t gender people or body parts, so most parents and families will find that it leaves room for them to educate their child without having to erase their own experience.”

The Family Book

the family bookI love this book — it just talks in general about how all families are different — it’s a great message for any child, whether they’re from an SMC family or not.

“The Family Book celebrates the love we feel for our families and all the different varieties they come in. Whether you have two moms or two dads, a big family or a small family, a clean family or a messy one, Todd Parr assures readers that no matter what kind of family you have, every family is special in its own unique way.

Parr’s message about the importance of embracing our differences is delivered in a playful way. With his trademark bold, bright colors and silly scenes, this book will encourage children to ask questions about their own families. Perfect for young children just beginning to read, The Family Book is designed to encourage early literacy, enhance emotional development, celebrate multiculturalism, promote character growth, and strengthen family relationships.”

Why Don’t I Have a Daddy

why don't i have a daddyThis book is GREAT for SMCs. It’s a story about a lion cub who was conceived by a donor.  And the mamma lion explains to him how that’s possible. It has great pics and uses kid language.

“As the little lion cub notices all different types of families, he starts to question his own family. His family consists of his mother and him. The little cub learns that while there is no “daddy” in his family, there is a donor lion who made his life possible. Through his mother’s love and nurturing, the lion cub understands how special he and his family are. This book presents the basic facts of anonymous donor conception in a simple but loving manner. By reading this story with a child who was conceived through the help of an anonymous donor, the child will start learning about and understanding his or her family and his or her origins, just as the lion cub does in the story. The delightful illustrations of various animals and their families make the subject accessible to small children. It is a book you can share with your child over the years, and with each reading your child will gain more insight and appreciation for his or her family – for his or her own special story.”

I’m also on a lot of email lists that I have found helpful during pregnancy, so I’ll post about those at some point soon!

 

Pregnant Women Are Smug

 

I thought his Garfunkel and Oates video called “Pregnant Women are Smug” was funny.  I’m guilty of a couple of these already 🙂

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Would You Date a Pregnant Woman?

 

A couple of weeks ago, I was at a bar with a couple of female friends.  One of them asked me if I was dating, and my answer was, “Well, I’d be open to it, but honestly I can’t imagine any man wanting to date a woman who is pregnant, so I haven’t really been trying.  I’m on dating sites, but haven’t been proactive about it.” I explained more about why I felt that way…

pregnant woman and man

  • he may not want to deal with everything that goes along with it — weight gain, hormones, lots of baby talk, tiredness
  • he may be scared of the future commitment of taking care of someone else’s child
  • he may be really thinking ahead about an instant life with a newborn

 

… and on and on.  My friends understood what I was saying, but also thought “you never know!”  Maybe a man would be interested in that.  You just never know how each individual person will feel about it.

I did write a similar post a while back “To Tell or Not To Tell“, but I was only 3 weeks pregnant at that time, so things were really different then!

Anyway… we looked over, and saw a single guy standing next to us, and one of my friends suggested (or maybe it was me?) we ask him!  He was cute, looked around my age, and was alone. So my friend went up to him and started talking to him.  I couldn’t hear, and didn’t want to miss his initial reaction so I went over too.  I said, “So, here’s the deal…. I’m pregnant.  I decided to get pregnant on my own because I really wanted a baby.  I used a donor, so there’s no father in the picture.” (just like me to put it all right out there! :))  “So… would you consider dating someone like me?”  Ha ha, totally caught him off guard!

His response was, “Yes, I’d want to know more! It’s especially intriguing because you did this on your own. If you got pregnant from an ex-boyfriend, then it might be a different story.”  Hmmmm, interesting.  “I actually admire that you too the steps to do this on your own.”

I then asked how old he was, and if he was looking to settle down soon, to have an idea of where his head is at regarding relationships and children — he’s 43, and is ready to have a family.  “So, does the thought scare you of potentially raising someone else’s child?”  “No, not at all.”  Since that time, I’ve actually thought much more about that particular question… he wouldn’t be raising someone else’s child. He’d be raising MY child. There’s no father in the picture. There’s no “father” at all.

He did say that he was concerned that we might not be able to have sex the whole time I was pregnant. Ha, ha — apparently he’s a normal man, and jumps right to the thought of sex 🙂  He also said he was specifically intrigued about sex with a pregnant woman!

Wow, OK!  This conversation definitely helped open my eyes that there might be some men out there who are open to dating a pregnant woman. Obviously he’s just one man, but I only need one man!

I also ended up having a conversation that weekend with some more female friends about WHEN is the time to tell a potential date that I’m pregnant (assuming that I met them online).  They actually thought I should go so far as to put it it my profile, and explain my situation just like I did to the guy in the bar. That may actually attract some men who really want children, and would admire someone like me who took action to make things happen in my life. The potential downside is that it may scare some off right away (who, if we emailed first a bit, it might be a softer introduction to the idea), or it might also attract some crazies!  The other option is to put it in an email to the guy fairly soon in our online conversation.  I actually think I like that idea.

Maybe now is a good time to date, because finding the time after I have the baby is certainly going to be difficult for a while!  Now, to find the time between moving and preparing for the baby’s arrival!

What do you think?  Do you know men who would date a pregnant woman?  Is it better to tell him via email versus in my profile better? 

If you want to see more frequent, but shorter updates (and often funny!) please check out my Facebook page or click “Like” on the right.

And, if you want to be notified by email of new blog posts (I won’t bombard you, I promise!), put your email address in the box to the right where it says “Subscribe to Blog by Email”.  Just don’t forget to confirm the subscription when you receive the email.