Tuesday, March 24, 2009

To Tell OR Not To Tell

So, when I got pregnant, the moment I found out, I wanted to be on the phone to everyone I knew. And, mostly I did do that, but, my third pregnancy ended in miscarriage at around 7 weeks. Even though thankfully I miscarried early I still had gotten attached to that little one and I did suffer through some difficult time of getting through the experience, making the phone calls to let people know there actually would be no baby was hard. Even harder were the calls I forgot to make or people that had heard through the grapevine of the baby but not of the miscarriage that I ended up having to explain to when they asked about the pregnancy.
Another sister recently announced the arrival of her second child. When she called, I heard my own voice, "I know it's early, but I just can't wait to tell and even if something happens, I would rather have the support."
I had said almost the exact same words! However, after miscarrying, when I got pregnant a fourth time, I held off telling anyone besides parents. I only held out to about 1o weeks, but for me that was a lifetime!! This time all was well, and things went perfect. So when I got pregnant this last time, I was hot on the phone again, I just couldn't contain it (that might have had to do more with the fact that I had 4 month old at the time and I was flabbergasted, more than I was excited!).
Anyway, I was just curious as to what others out there thought about when is a good time to let people know the good news? Are more people conservative with their announcements or do you call the minute you see that little plus sign on the stick??
Let us know!


The winner of our $10 Target card is AMY!!
Amy email us at mybloominbelly@gmail.com with your address and we will mail out your Target card. Congratulations!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Breast Feeding Woes

There is no question medically that for babies breastfeeding is the best nutrition they can get. However, I want to tell all you women out there that are struggling with it, you ARE NOT A BAD MOTHER!! Everyone is all about the breast and how you have to breast feed, and that is great because really from all I have read breast milk is the best for your baby in a lot of ways. BUT, I am here to say that your baby won't die if you give them formula and your baby won't hate you when they get older because you never bonded over being breast fed.

This is what happened for me:
I really wanted to breast feed my children. I thought that was part of the definition of being a good mom. When my first child was born, I gave it all I had. It DID NOT come naturally for me though. I couldn't get him to latch on easily, he had colic and screamed like crazy which just made it harder. I did not make a lot of milk. Some women have said milk would just drip from them with no effort and could squirt milk into their baby's mouth but that did not happen for me. I had to strip down to feed my baby, it hurt, and I hated it. When I went back to work I tried to pump but soon, I just wasn't making enough milk for it to be worth it. So my first child got about 4 months worth.
Next, I was gung ho about having things go better this time around. I was going to eat, drink tons of water, be stress free and it was going to work this time. Then Viv was born with Downs and was not able to nurse due to her low muscle tone. I pumped for about 4 months and that was about all I could handle.
With my third I was again ready to make this the time I really proved I could nurse my baby!! Instead I got raw nipples and mastitis. I litterally cried every time I nursed it hurt so bad. I only made it to three months this time.
Finally, it was my last chance. I really wanted to nurse at least one of my babies to at least 6 months. This time things did go better, but my sweet baby cried for the first 3 months of her life and it wore me down. I couldn't do it. She too only got about 3 or 4 months worth.

If nursing would have been easier for me I would have done it. Disappoingly, it just didn't happen. It was just extrememly difficult and with my circumstances I gave up. Some might judge me for that, but for those of you who have been in similar situations, you probably get it.
All my kids are healthy and strong. They have grown and developed along a normal course and I feel very bonded to each of them. For a long time I felt like not nursing counted against me as a mother, but I have learned that in the big picture, I did my best and I loved my children and they are happy and healthy.

My advice:
Nurse if you can, but if you can't don't beat yourself up, it has no bearing on you as a mother!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What is that?

Those first few hours are generally pretty blissful once baby is born.  You sit there and hold your new baby, hugging and kissing her, smelling her head, calling her by her name, and beaming like every Mother should.

Most babies are so tired that they sleep and sleep, making for a peaceful first few hours.  It seems that you are going to be able to do this Motherhood thing after all, and in no time you feel like a pro.

Once your baby wakes up you make that first attempt at feeding her, and wether successful or not you are still on that new Mom high.  As the first day passes things seem to be going pretty much the way you thought they would.  Even when she cries, you melt and point out "how cute her cry is!"

That was me.  Happy as a clam.  Things were going just the way I had planned them.  I was loving life.  Then... I walked over to change her diaper and what was inside was more than shocking.

A giant pile of TAR.  Was it tar?  It looked like tar!  I knew that my baby was defective!

To say that this was unexpected is a huge understatement.  I yelled for a nurse, who chuckled at me and let me know that this was normal bowel for a newborn.  Meconium.  That is what they call it.  But no-one ever told me about it.  Basically it is made up of Amniotic fluid, bile, and shed skin cells that collect in your babies intestines during pregnancy.  YUMMY!  I was told that after about 12 hours my baby would have more normal looking poop.  And, she did.  But not until she was done passing TONS of this sticky black stuff, that I still say could have been used to tar a road.  Expect the unexpected.  The lesson for the day.

Motherhood is full of surprises, just like pregnancy, and the more you know the less shocked you will be.  My advise would be to keep an open mind.  While Motherhood can be quite blissful, it is also full of tar.  Everyday you will kiss your baby and talk to her, and then the next thing you know she will send a little tar your way.  If you know it's going to happen you are more likely to laugh about it.

Some of my favorite memories are the ones where I was shocked by reality and realized how little I really knew!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Freeeebie Friday Strikes Again!

We have a really good give away this week.
We are giving away a $10 target card.
At Bloomin Belly, shopping is always a very good thing, so we want you to have some extra spending money!

To earn entries you can do one, two or all of the following:

1) Write a review of our blog or My Bloomin Belly ebook on your site or blog.
2) Comment on one of our blog posts.
3) Put our button on your blog or site.
4) Refer us to a friend. They have to visit our site and comment that they visited because of your referral.

Be sure to tell us what you did and where to look!
You can do this by posting a comment on the blog. Just leave a comment for each one (THESE ARE YOUR ENTRIES). So if you do all 5 you need to have posted 5 comments on to this blog post.

The winner will be randomly selected by random.com. GOOD LUCK!!
New posts are below this one.
This give-a-way will expire on March 19th.

Induction Introduction

This week we celebrated my youngest's first birthday!!! So of course I started reminiscing about the day she was born. All my children were on time (my first was 2 hours shy of his due date), or early (4 days, 1 week respectively). So when my fourth came around I naturally assumed she would be on time or early like the rest. To my surprise, the little girl did not want to budge. Normally I would have freaked, but because she had not been planned and I had a one year old at the time, I figured the longer she wanted to hang with me the better. Still, when she hadn't been born a week after her due date my doctor went ahead and scheduled an inducement for me. I thought for sure she would come before the induction rolled around, but still no baby!!

I didn't like the idea of being induced so I started trying all the natural ways of getting a baby out! The doctor stripped my membranes, I went for miles of walks, I ate spicy food, I ate pineapple by the pound, I even resorted to sex and the ever popular nipple stimulation technique (whoever thinks sex is sexy while 9+ months pregnant, I take my hat off to you!). Despite all my efforts, my little one was comfy cozy and did not make any effort of her own to find a way out.

(Other ways to induce labor include massage, pressure points, caster oil and acupressure. There are also other weird and unexpected foods that can work too. Make sure you check with your doctor or midwife before you try anything. Your medical professional may also have some good ideas for you to try.)

Finally inducement morning arrived. It was really strange driving to the hospital and not being in labor. With all my other deliveries, my husband was racing to the hospital with me in full on labor. I walked in without having to stop through any contractions, I chatted easily with nurses as we got ready and finally it was time to start the process.
The first step was to insert a Foley Bulb into my cervix. OK, seriously, you might have to stop reading. . .
A foley bulb is like a rubber balloon that is deflated when they insert it, they fill it was water and it applies pressure to the cervix to thin it and dilate it. Now my cervix just happens to be tilted back and so it was not easily inserted. I felt like I was on a Saturday Night Live sketch or something as the doctor pretty much had to get onto the bed and I swear had their entire arm up inside me. I thought to myself, "Hey, lets save some time and just yank the baby out while you're up there!"
Finally when that was in, I had to wait until I was dialated to 3cm, that is when the foley bulb would supposedly come out. My husband and I watched tv, talked with nurses and just hung out. While waiting I had to use the restroom and all of a suddent this big water balloon plopped out. (Very glamerous) The thing was, that part of it was taped to my leg and so I had this thing just hanging there. Luckily the nurse came in at about the same time and said that it was a good thing it had come out on its own. I was relieved I wouldn't be doing another sketch for SNL! I then was given more pitocin to really get the contractions going and before long I was in full labor. The labor went well and I had no complications. My baby however, was pissed off we forced her out and literally cried or should I say screamed for the first 3 months of her life!

Now this is my take on inducing labor. If you can avoid it, don't do it. I have heard of women scheduling their deliveries for no other reason than they want to know when and how the baby will arrive. I have also heard lots of stories of first time deliveries gone very wrong because they were medically induced. I believe more in the natural way and letting your baby and body be ready. Even though things went fine with my induction, it was my fourth baby and she was a week and a half late. I would never have done it otherwise.
After I had been induced I read spoke with a midwife concerning inductions and over due babies. She said she normally let babies go and advised to wait until body and baby were ready even if mom was over due. She only recommended inducement if something major was going on like not enough amniotic fluid or other distress. She said that some women genetically go over due especially women with nordic heritage. I don't know how true that is, but there is a strong nordic line in my family and I was 2 weeks late as a baby myself. Several of my aunts, cousins and grandmas also delivered late so . . . who knows. I sometimes wonder if my little Cadence would have been a happier infant if I had been more patient and let her come on her own time?

Have any of you been induced, are planning on being induced or have tried any of the natural ways to induce labor? What have been your experiences?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Get that baby swimming!

When I was a new mother, I was extremely cautious about keeping water out of my baby's face and ears.  Bath time took a long time!  I felt like she hated the water, even though she was really happy during bath time.  What I failed to consider, was that she had just spent 9 months fully surrounded by water, and that in reality, it probably felt very comfortable for her.

When she was 6 months I put her in a Mommy and Me swim class.  One lesson they made me dunk her, and I thought that I was the worst Mom, and that she may not survive the whole ordeal.  I was wrong.  She is now a total fish, and even on the swim team.

Recently, I spoke with a friend who is a very successful swimmer and swim teacher.  She has tough tons of kids to swim, and even had her own kids swimming by a year old.  I asked her what all parents need to know in order to help there kids love the water, and get them swimming as soon as possible.

Here were some of her tips:
~Never keep the water out of their face.  From bath #1 dump cups of water over their heads, and splash them.  This way they will always be used to the water.

~Get them in the pool as soon as you can.

~Let someone else teach them to swim.  They will have a much higher success rate with a professional who is not so emotionally attached.

Get those babies swimming, you will be glad you did.  From experience, the sooner they learn the easier it is to teach them.

Monday, March 9, 2009


In this economy we are all struggling.  If it isn't bad enough trying to find a way to pay our mortgages and car payments, we have to buy  food, add to that diapers and you might have a real crisis on your hands.  We all know that diapers are not cheap!  If you are feeling the strain like I am, you will be happy to hear that you can get diapers for really cheap, if not even free if you just look for deals.  I have searched the web and found a great resource for getting free stuff, from diapers, to food, and more.  This week I found a posting that I wanted to share HERE. Can you believe the deals that are out there?

We can survive if we are smart.  You just have to know where to look.

And the winner is...

We let Random.org select a winner for our fabulous Lia Sophia Giveaway.  The lucky winner is:
RACHEL!  Congrats.  Don't forget to enter to win the Target card!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Top 5 Fave Baby Shower Games

#1 Has to be the "Guess the Poopie Diaper". This is where you semi melt different candy bars and smear them in the diaper and the party goers guess what kind of candy bar it was.

#2 "Feed your baby" is pretty funny. You can do this in two ways. The first that I have seen done is where people pair up. One is the baby and one is the mommy. The mommy feeds the baby the baby food and which ever couple is done first wins. I have also seen this done with bottles and individuals have to drink from a bottle. Whoever finishes first wins.

#3 "Guess Who". This one takes some planning and effort but is really cute. Display pictures of the guests (include mom and dad to be) when they were babies and then have everyone try to guess who is who.

#4 "They said what?" As the mom to be opens her gifts write down a few phrases she says. When she is finished tell the group it is an old wives tale that what the mom to be says as she opens her baby shower gifts are the same things she said the night the baby was conceived.

#5 "Sock Toss" Buy several pairs of baby socks with different patterns toss them in the air onto the floor and whoever can make the most matches wins! This one can get wild and depending on the number of guests you will need to have a good amount of socks.

Tell us some of your favorite baby shower games!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Epi or No

One of your biggest decisions about labor and delivery will include whether or not you have an epidural. I found a few different sources reporting different statistics, but between 50% and 70% of women having a hospital birth receive an epidural. There are both pros and cons to receiving an epidural. One advantage is that you have a more restful and less painful labor and delivery. However, when you choose an epidural you put yourself at risk for side effects and possible nerve damage to when the epidural is placed.
This has been my experience:
Birth #1:
I wanted to go natural. I figured I was built to go through labor and to deliver a baby. People warned me about the pain, but I still felt that natural was the best way to go. I was shocked by the pain to be honest. Luckily my labor was fast and I went from a 0 to 10 in about 4 hours. However, as I started pushing it was clear that part of my cervix wasn't completely dilated and I started to swell and went back to an 8. I gave up and got the epidural. This made me throw up but at least the pain was gone. I was so relieved, it was like the relief of Heaven. It then took two hours to dilate the rest of the way again because sometimes the epidural will slow down your labor. I then gave birth to my first son. I couldn't feel anything and I had never done it before so I couldn't push. The nurse laid on my belly and pretty much pushed the baby out.
Birth #2:
I was going to go natural again (I think there is something that women have in their brains that make them forget labor so they will do it again!). As soon as my labor pains really kicked in and the memories started rushing back, I told my husband I WANT THE DRUGS!! Too bad for me though. We were on Guam at the time and no anesthesiologist was at the hospital and had to be called in. By the time he arrived I was dilated to a 9 and it was too late. I delivered my daughter completely natural and it was awesome. I felt everything as she was delivered and I thought it was really cool. My recovery was super fast too after this delivery. I felt like I hadn't even given birth. It was a great delivery and recovery.
Birth #3
As soon as the pain started and I started screaming, I opted for the epidural. I just wanted the baby to be born peacefully. My first two were hard and I worked. I felt good about my accomplishment and very empowered, but for some reason, I just wanted to be calm and peaceful with this delivery and I knew that I couldn't have that without the pain being gone. This was my best labor experience. My husband and I chatted and laughed all through the labor. I knew how to push from my last baby and even though I couldn't feel it, the delivery was fast and I didn't need any help from the nurse this time! The doctor even said I had been the best pusher of the night!! I sort of wanted a plaque or something but I guess they didn't do that!!
Birth #4
I had to be induced because my little miss was going on 11 days late. Once my labor really got going I decided again to get the epidural. This time it only worked on half my body. It was really weird. I totally felt everything on one side while the other side took a vacation. It was helpful though because it literally cut the pain in half. Delivery was the same. I felt baby move and slide out on the one side.
I found out later that sometimes and for some people the epidural may not even work at all.

So, I kind of got a wide range of experience with the whole epidural thing. As always, we say do what is best for you. I personally think any woman can go natural if that is what she wants to to, but if you have a hard time with pain, it really is a more peaceful experience when you do it painlessly.
What do you all think? Epidural or no?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Last Chance

Just a heads up, our give away will end this Thursday March 5th so get your entries in!! We will announce the winner on Monday and a new give away this Friday!! Stay tuned!! Also, if you hadn't noticed we are trying to keep our give aways listed first, new posts will be under the current give away for future reference! We hope that will be more clear from here on out.
If you have any questions or ideas for posts, please contact us and we will be happy to research or share our insights on whatever you all are thinking about!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Womb Mates

My mom is a fraternal twin (so, not identical, in other words, was her own egg) and always refers to her twin brother as her womb mate, which I think is pretty cute. They were born in the 50's and back then they didn't do ultra sounds or anything like that, but my grandma knew she was having twins. This was her 3rd (out of 6) pregnancy and her symptoms were just different than her first two. She gained weight and her belly grew a lot faster, had worse morning sickness and she said, "I just knew!" If you can believe it, despite my grandma's concerns, the doctors didn't listen much to my little grandma. Finally, they had to admit she really was growing at an incredible rate. The only way then to know for sure back then, was by having an x-ray taken (WOW! Today that is like a huge NO-NO!! Maybe that is why my mom is a little crazy!! Just kidding mom!). Sure enough there were two little babies shoving each other around in there and my grandma got the satisfaction of being right!!

I grew up thinking I would have twins myself. They say the odds increase if you yourself are a twin, your mother is a twin or your mother's mother is a twin. So with every pregnancy I crossed my fingers hoping I would get my twins. It never happened for me, but I did get my last two babies 13 months a part and after that realized how grateful I was I never did get those twins I had wished for!

With the OctoMom, John and Kate plus 8, and all the celebrity twins there is obviously some kind of something going on in regards to multiple births. Studies show that there has been an obvious increase in the occurrence of multiple births, but no study can directly link it to fertility treatments and drugs, which I find interesting, I can't imagine what else could be linked to it?

So what if you are having a multiple birth?? Could it really be that different? Well, I would thinkYES!! First, during pregnancy you will simply get bigger than in a single fetus pregnancy and you will get bigger faster! During a typical pregnancy you can increase your calories to about an extra sandwich (300 calories) per day but with multiples you should eat about 300 extra calories per fetus! Can you imagine having to eat that much while full of babies?? You would be eating all day long!! In general most of your symptoms may just be heightened. Your morning sickness may be longer and more intense. Your aches and pains may be worse and the onset may be earlier than in a typical pregnancy. It is also likely you will have your babies early. If you are having twins, you are more likely to deliver around your due date and 70% of the deliveries recorded as early were still within normal and safe ranges. However if you are having triplets or more the odds increase by a %100 that you will deliver early.
Since I have not had the opportunity to carry more than one baby at a time, maybe some of you out there can enlighten us more. . .what were the biggest differences for those of you that had a multiple birth?

Saturday, February 28, 2009


At My Bloomin Belly, we believe moms and moms to be, still want to be cute and sassy! So, this week we are giving a way a set of Lia Sophia bangle bracelets. In the 2008 winter catalog these sold for $98, and you can get them from us for free!!
Ok, not really for free, you do have to do some stuff to be entered to win!
Here's what you need to do (each thing you do will get you one entry):

1) Put our button on your blog or site.
2) Add yourself as a follower to our blog.
3) Purchase "My Bloomin Belly: A Pregnancy Calendar Plus"
4) Give us a shout out on your blog or site.
5) Post a comment on one of our posts.

BE SURE TO TELL US WHAT YOU DID AND WHERE TO LOOK!! You can do this by posting a comment on the blog. Just leave a comment for each one (these are your entries!).
P.S. if you want the cuter and smaller button just let us know, we can send you the code through email.
The winner will be randomly selected by random.com. Good Luck!

Belly Envy

In the depths and trenches of my pregnancy symptoms, my husband used to tell me, "Honey, I would do this for you if I could."
"Yeah right!" I would say. I know he only said that because he didn't have to. I mean really, morning sickness, bloating, cravings, sleeplessness. . .who wouldn't want that?? My husband didn't and even though he said he would do it, he also let me know how grateful he was that he didn't have to!
For some husbands though, want it or not they DO have too!! Couvade Syndrome is in my opinion just BELLY ENVY, while most call it sympathy pains, I think it's a man's desire to better understand and relate to a woman, specifically their wife. They never get to experience life growing inside them. Yes, they do have small role, but a woman gets to experience creation up close and personal. I think some men are simply jealous!! But that is just my opinion!

If you can believe it, research has shown approximately 80% of men actually do go through some kind of sympathy pains or symptoms. I think the most common is that a husband will gain weight right along with their wife (an excuse to over eat??). Others include morning sickness, bloating, back aches, and even labor pains!! While some theories suggest that this is brought on by a man feeling helpless as he watches his wife endure difficulty and pain while he can do absolutely nothing about it, it could also be an actual biological phenomenon of a man's hormones actually changing as well. (Sort of like when women menstruate at the same time.) Couples that spend extra amounts of time or are particularly close might see this happening more often. That's not to say if your husband doesn't experience sympathy pains you are not close. My husband and I (I think) are very close and he never had sympathy pains. I think it is also about each individual person and their physiological and mental make up. What do you all think? Have any of your husband's had belly envy?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

10 Best Things About Being Pregnant

Not in any particular order, but here are my top 10 favorite things about being pregnant!

1. Has to be when you feel your baby move!! Baby's movement can be felt as early as 13 weeks (rare), but I would say most feel that definite movement around 17 -20 weeks. Every little bubble I felt during all my pregnancies I wondered if it was my baby, but I really wasn't ever really sure until around 17 weeks. Then, I felt those movements that were undoubtedly my little one swimming around.

2. Getting to park in stork stalls at the store. While not a lot of stores offer this parking option, the ones that do are awesome and I loved getting that front row Joe spot when I have been pregnant with 2 or 3 in tow!

3. Eating extra calories guilt free!! OK, not that you can go wild just because your pregnant (although I did, honestly) but you do get to eat more and for me that is nothing but a silver lining!

4. Once I got pregnant, I no longer had to cook dinner. It is one of the perks that I got from my husband while pregnant. While not all husbands will cook dinner, most will do extra things for their wives like rub their feet, or clean the bathrooms.

5. You don't have to have a menstrual cycle! OK you do have to carry a big old baby around, but really who can say 9 months with no period is a bad thing?

6. You always have an excuse to excuse yourself to take a nap. Kids are fighting, turn to your husband and say, "honey, I'm pretty tired right now I think I'll take a nap." What's he gonna say, NO? Not while your pregnant, he wouldn't dare, right?

7. The excuse to go shopping. You all know I love to shop and even though I wasn't shopping for myself (OK, I was. . .maternity clothes) I had to have everything stocked and ready and that meant shopping.

8. The excuse to get a pedicure. Again, what husband will deny his wife carrying his child a little old pedicure. I say use it, use it all you can!!

9. The so called pregnancy glow is great when it happens. It just doesn't happen your whole pregnancy all the time, but from my experience even with my girls that I had bad acne with I usually went through a period of time where people would exclaim, "Wow, you look great, you're positively glowing!" This is great because you usually don't feel like you look great when your bloated and tired so it's a pick me up and makes you feel good when the glow starts glowing!!

10. The baby shower!! OK, maybe I am shallow, but I just love it when there is a party and I am the center of attention. It just feels good to have people around you all excited and supportive of you and everyone is smiling and laughing and sharing stories. Your baby shower is just fun and I say have one even if it's your second and third child, you still need stuff if not more so!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

PAPER, PLASTIC or do you have YOUR OWN?

My mom is one of 7 children. Whenever I complain about wrestling my 4 she says, "Can you imagine 7?" I think to myself (an only child), "NO, can you??" My mom always likes to remind me about the bright side and how easy I have it. Even when she only had my wee little diapers to change and I have had 3 in diapers at once, she always puts me in check. So when ever I have a little grumble about my diaper woes I get, "I remember my job of rinsing out my brother and sisters diapers in the toilet!"
To be fair, she used to tell me this story before I even had children. So when I had my own children, I have to admit I was grateful for the disposable diapers I had at my finger tips. To my knowledge at the time, the old cloth diapers and all the horrors that went with them were gone with my mom's childhood chores!
When I had my second baby, I heard something incredible. There are actually people that still use cloth diapers!! As I listened to this woman speak about cloth diapers, I was shocked! Why would a person put themselves through the horrors of POOP and washing it?? YUCK! My mom's stories raced through my mind. I could never ever do it. I am too much of a ooey gooey avoider. I really can barely manage changing diapers as it is.
BUTT . . .
By the end of the woman's little pitch, I really could have been sold on the idea. Especially now as the economy is in such a scary state, if I was going to have more children I really might consider the switch to the cloth diapers. Here is why:

Did you know the average cost of disposable diapers for one year is somewhere around $1000.00? Think about if your child doesn't potty train until age 3 (average for boys) and then consider the pull ups to use at night? AND that is just if you have ONE child! The total cost could be staggering!! You can buy once and really re-use for most to all of your consecutive children. Think of all that extra shoe shopping you can do for your new big feet!!
Calculate it for yourself and you might get tempted.

If you care about the environment and are trying to find a way to make a difference. . .
Well, this could be a huge way. By using cloth diapers, waste goes in the toilet to sewage treatment plants, not to the dump where eventually everything gets buried and absorbed into the soil and eventually into our drinking water. Do I have to even mention the decomposition of disposable diapers? Well, they don't!

Cloth can be better for baby too. There are no chemicals or anything in cloth diapers and can be better for baby's with sensitve skin.

Can be more convienient. YES, really! Think about it, no runs to the store as you realize your on your last diaper!

These are just a few reasons, but like we always say at Bloomin Belly, do what works best for you and your family. Cloth diapers are more natural, cloth diapers are more cost efficient, cloth diapers have velcro now, cloth diapers can help save the planet, and cloth diapers could be for you!

The last set of hyper-links (cloth diapers) are all different sites where you can look at cloth diaper products.

Good Luck and happy diapering!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Dreaming of baby.

A friend of mine who has been trying to get pregnant for over three years called me today and told me that she had a dream that she was pregnant.  In her dream she had a big belly and figured that she was about six months along.  She had never taken a pregnancy test because she was afraid that it would say negative, but she just knew she was pregnant.  Finally, she took a test and she was in fact pregnant.  She said that she was so happy, and wanted the baby out right then.

She called to see if I could tell her what this dream was all about.  I am not a dream reader, but I told her that it probably meant that she really wants a baby (of course) and that maybe her body is trying to tell her that it will happen.

Funny how when we want something bad enough, we can actually convince ourselves that it is real or dream about it in our sleep.  Have you ever heard of a false pregnancy?  This is a very real condition in which our mind actually convinces or bodies into thinking that we are pregnant, called Pseudocyseis.  It is very real and happens mostly to women in their 30's or 40's who want a baby very badly and cannot conceive or women who have had a miscarriage or lost a child.

While some women actually get a positive pregnancy test, most just experience pregnancy symptoms such as cravings, sickness, and a growing belly!  While this is a very rare condition, it is very real, and can be very emotional for someone who wants a baby so badly.

If you think that you may have a false pregnancy, talk to your doctor, but don't quit wanting that baby.  A positive outlook, wether in a dream or in your everyday life will keep you stress free and more likely to conceive. 

Monday, February 16, 2009

My WHAT is going to get bigger???

Pregnancy makes weird things happen to a woman's body. It's true and it is just one of those things women sacrifice to become mothers! What I am about to tell you is absolutely TRUE! Your feet totally get bigger from being pregnant. I am NOT talking about swollen feet, I am saying your feet really will get bigger and not only that, they stay bigger forever!!! Before babies, my feet were about a size 7 1/2 after 4 babies my feet are now a size 8 to 8 1/2. I am not kidding, this is real!!

So, I wanted to know why my feet got bigger, because let's face it, it is kind of strange.

I found out the reason is because of the hormone relaxin that gets released into our bodies. Relaxin is important because it is what loosens everything up, hence the name "relaxin", it relaxes joints and ligaments so that baby can fit in our bodies. But, it doesn't just relax our pelvis joints it relaxes everything, including our feet. That combined with the weight of baby and other weight we gain in pregnancy our feet flatten making them bigger and wider.

The big question I know you all are thinking is, "OH MY GOSH, WHAT CAN I POSSIBLY DO?? DO I HAVE TO BE A BIG FOOT IN ORDER TO BE A MOM?"

Sadly there is not much you can do. You most likely will be a big foot! A few things you can try are wearing good shoes with good arch support and trying to not gain too much extra weight. So even though you most likely will end up with bigger feet, just remember it's worth it and this is why. . .

If your feet get bigger, your old shoes won't fit so you will have to go SHOE SHOPPING!! There is always a silver lining!! Oh, and you get a sweet baby too!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

To Tell a Tale!

When I got pregnant the first time I knew right away I was having a boy. I knew it, no one could tell me otherwise. To seal my prediction I did several things; I got a penny, taped it to a string of dental floss and let it dangle over my wrist. It totally swayed long, meaning A BOY! Then, to give further evidence, all I wanted was meat and I don't eat meat but I sat in a restaurant and to my husband's surprise ordered a nice big steak and gobbled it down. Another clue that I was indeed having A BOY! Finally, as the cake topper, I carried my baby very low my whole pregnancy, I was waddling around like a duck as soon as my belly popped. So there was no question when I went for my ultra sound that I was having A BOY!
Any you know what??? I was totally right!

When I got pregnant with my second child, I had a dream that I was having a girl. All I wanted was sweet food. I loved citrus and the first 3 months all I wanted was Peanut Butter Twix candy bars and everyone knows if you crave sweet foods you will have A GIRL! The next tell tell sign was the way I carried my second baby; way high. I couldn't hardly breathe because she was cramping my lungs meaning I was for sure going to have A GIRL! The last thing that let me know my dream was accurate was that I had super bad acne with this pregnancy which only A GIRL would dare do to their mother. So as my husband and I walked in for our ultra sound betting who was right, I knew I was and that my husband would be giving me a nice foot rub later that day. Of course I was right!!!

So you tell me if old wives tales are real or not?? I say they are, but I am hooky like that.

Check out these Internet sites that calculate several old wives tales to determine the sex of your baby!



Thursday, February 12, 2009

Is there hair in there?

Maybe it is just a myth, but many women report high levels of heartburn when they are pregnant caused by their baby's hair. I remember being pregnant and having the worst heartburn. It would get so bad sometimes that I thought I would need to go to the emergency room! I of course carried a Costco sized bottle of TUMS with me at all times, and in the bad times, tried to find comfort by picturing my baby being born with a full head of that soft baby hair. That hair that looks so great and smells so good.

When she was born, the first thing I did was notice all of her black hair (although I was not sure how it was black) and thought how great it would be that the heartburn would stop.

The next time I found out that I was pregnant, I ran out to Costco for another bottle of TUMS. You can never be too ready when heartburn strikes! I had heartburn maybe the first few weeks of my pregnancy, but never again. When he was born (pretty bald) I knew that the heartburn theory was in fact true.  

There are so many little "sure signs" that we hear about when we are pregnant.  You can find out more of them in our book My Bloomin' Belly.  Check it out!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


When I was pregnant with my first child I was teaching in an elementary school. This required me to be on my feet for long hours and I was constantly busy and very active. In addition, I had to pack up my classroom for some building renovations that summer. I lugged and hauled boxes all in my early 3rd trimester into the week before I delivered. Many of my co-workers exclaimed in disbelief with how active I was and to BE CAREFUL!! But I felt great. I had always been active and I just continued that same life style. With my consecutive children I was also very active. I had to be!! What with chasing my other children around, I could be nothing less. I went up and down stairs, lifted babies, grocery bags and I tried to get a lot of walking in for even more exercise. Recently, I heard a story of a perfectly healthy pregnant woman that quit her job as a cashier because she felt it was too active and wanted the baby to be safe. Now, I am very into doing what is best for you, so I am not judging. However, I did wonder which was better? Being active and exercising during pregnancy or reducing your activity, taking it easy and just resting during pregnancy.
What I found was that exercise and physical activity is good for everyone EVEN PREGNANT people!

Some listed benefits are:
1) easier labor if physically fit
2) faster recovery rate from pregnancy and labor
3) improved self-image
4) less discomforts during pregnancy
5) reduced risk of gestational diabetes

Now this isn't to say go run a marathon if your pregnant! (Although some people do!) Do what is best for you. Maybe this woman I heard about had some other reason that didn't get conveyed to me. . .but, if you feel good and you are having an uncomplicated pregnancy, I would say get some exercise. My favorite was walking (I used it as an excuse to go shop, you have to walk to shop, right?) Another great low impact one is swimming. I have heard a lot of women love going swimming during the last part of pregnancy because it relieves the weight and pressure the baby is putting on them. What ever is good for you JUST DO IT!!

Here are a few sites that had some good guidelines and suggestions for exercising while pregnant:



Tuesday, February 10, 2009

To eat or not to eat...

That is the question!

When I was close to my delivery date with my first child, my doctor advised me that once I went into labor I should not eat or drink anything.  When I was close to bursting with my third, I asked my midwife if I could eat or drink when I was in labor.  "OF COURSE!" was her response.

Delivery 1:  Water breaks at 5am.  Following doctors orders I put an immediate halt to all food and drinks.  I starved, I was thirsty.  Everyone around me was either eating, or drinking, or smelt like food.  It was torture!  I suffered all day long.  Finally at 6pm she was born, and what do they give me?  Ice-chips!  I was not OK with this situation, and knew that next time needed to be different.

Delivery 2:  Started to have some contractions.  On the way to the hospital at 7am, I told my husband to make a pit-stop at Dennys.  I ate an omelet, and I ate pancakes with tons of syrup.  I drank juice and water, and I was happy.  In pain, but happy.  After all what the doctor didn't know wouldn't hurt him.  The labor was long and hard.  Honestly, I couldn't have done it without all those extra carbs.

Delivery 3:  In labor I sent the husband to find me a burger and root beer float.  Sat in the tub enjoying them with my husband begging me to go to the birthing center.  Between contractions I loved that food, and devoured every last drop.  By the time we finally left, it was nearly too late, and I spent the car ride with a freaked out husband telling me to quit pushing while I pushed and pushed. (It felt good to push, what can I say?) Moments after our arrival (less than a minute to be exact) he was born.  Maybe the grease from the burger and fries helped in slide out quickly, you never know!

So my question is this:  Should women eat in labor, if not, WHY?  I found so many mixed reviews.  Some say that it is actually better to eat while in labor, and some say that it could cause you to vomit and aspirate.  But, most people have food in their stomachs at all times anyways, so the risk is always there, and the risk is so low that it is almost unheard of.

After doing tons of research, I have concluded (keep in mind that I am NOT a doctor) that it is in fact better to eat and drink during labor.  We need the energy, nutrients, and let's face it eating milkshakes lifts the spirits.  What do you think?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Childbirth 101

One of my best memories of pregnancy with my first child was going to the birthing class. My husband and I chose a weekly class that met in the evenings during the last few weeks of my pregnancy. The class was pretty basic and covered the gamut of having a baby. We watched a video of a lady giving birth, we practiced breathing exercises, labor massages, and discussed the basics of what it would be like to go through labor in terms of a hospital delivery. It was just like out of a tv episode. My husband and I showed up with our pillow. We chatted with other couples and excitement and anticipation sizzled through our group when one of our members stopped coming because she had delivered her baby!
I enjoyed the class and found it helpful and with my next 3 children I didn't even take a refresher course. Mainly because with other kids in the picture who has the time??
At the time I didn't even think there were other options. I just went to my doctor when I found out I was pregnant and they kind of took the reigns from there. In terms of the class I chose, my doctor asked which hospital I was going to deliver at and gave me a list of classes my hospital offered. I didn't even think that there were other methods, other ways of delivering my baby.
My sister as I mentioned in a previous post is expecting her first baby and she asked what our thoughts were on the whole birthing class idea. This is a great question and not really an easy one. There are a TON of different types of classes that you can take while pregnant to prepare for your labor and birth. Not only are there classes for that, but on parenting and nursing as well.
One thing I would do differently if I could go back in time is to take a nursing/breastfeeding class. I figured nursing would just come naturally to me and I would automatically know how to do it, so I just passed on that option. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way, breastfeeding doesn't come naturally for everyone. If you worry at all about that part of welcoming your little one, La Leche, is a great resource for that.

In terms of different childbirth classes, you can take any or all of the following:
-general childbirth classes
-Lamaze classes
-Bradley method classes
-Hypno-birth classes
-Waterbirth classes

You can find these classes in a variety of ways:
-through friends and family
-through your care provider (doctor, midwife, doula)
-through your local hospital
-through local birth centers
-via internet

Our advice about which classes to take and when. . .
1)Figure out what kind of birth you want to have
2)Think about what you are most nervous about
3)Chat with your caregiver
5)Figure out what would work best with your schedule, such as weekly, a one time intensive class, or whatever


Make your choice. There are so many variables, this really is going to be different for everyone.

Here are some sites that may help in your decision:


If anyone else out there has some good suggestions or a story about a birthing class you have taken, please share it with us by posting a comment!

Friday, February 6, 2009


This is for you Laura. . .
When I was about 13 I told one of my best friends she had been an accidental addition to her family. "I was not!" was her adamant reply. I insisted that I was right. Her oldest sibling was 18 years her senior and the closest sibling was something like 8 years older than her. I knew she had been an accident! Insistent that I couldn't possibly be right, we went to her mother and asked. Her mother's reply, "You were a pleasant surprise dear." Ha! I was right!Imagine my shock when 19 years later, I would find myself with my own pleasant surprise! My last 2 children are only 13 months apart, and believe me; I don't use the word surprise lightly!! It was very embarrassing to have my blood test while carrying my 3 month along in tow! Let's just say I got some nice smirks that day!!Recently, I found out my cousin is pregnant with their 3rd child even though they had planned only 2! "Surprise!"It seems to me many children come into the world without so much as a twinkle in the eye to prepare their families!So how many pregnancies actually are planned?According to American Pregnancy Association there are about 6 million pregnancies in the U.S. each year, 47% of these are UNPLANNED!! Incredible! So if you find yourself with a little unexpected delivery, don't feel too bad, you're not alone, at 47%, almost half of the babies born each year came about in a similar manner!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The 411 on pregnancy tests

When should you take a pregnancy test?
How effective are they?
How do they work?

These are all very good questions, and things that you need to know if you suspect that you are expecting.  If you might be pregnant, you will want to know as soon as possible.
Home Pregnancy Tests are about 99% effective when taken correctly.  That is just as effective as urine tests taken at your doctors office.  The nice thing about taking a test at home is that you can do it in the privacy of your own bathroom, anytime you want.

When you "pee on the stick" a very glamourous thing to do might I add, the test is looking for the HCG hormone, or human chorionic gonadotropin.  HCG is released into the body by the placenta when a woman is pregnant detectable about 10 days after conception.  If the hormone is detected, the test reads positive, and you are pregnant!

The experts suggest waiting about 5 days after a missed period to take a test, however the test usually works just fine even 1 day after a missed period.  If you take the test too early and it says negative, you could still be pregnant.

Here are some pregnancy testing tips, to help you get the most correct response possible.
~ Take the test first thing in the morning.  HGC levels are highest in urine held in the bladder for at least 4 hours.
~Do not drink a lot before the test.  Your urine will become diluted.
~Read the instructions carefully before taking the test.

Pretty basic right?  And if you can't wait until a missed period, your doctor can give you a blood test about 7-10 days after conception.

And one last thing, it is VERY normal to take several tests.  Sometimes you have to see the result many times to believe it!  If you are one of these people, you may want to get your tests at the dollar store!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Where did the sparks go and how can I get them back?

When my husband and I met, sparks flew. I loved dating Dennis. We would read in the park, hike up to a beautiful spot to watch the sunset, have romantic dinners, he left notes on my car, brought me flowers. . .he was the perfect gentleman. Our wedding was out of a fairy tale, our honeymoon was romantic and the first few months of marriage were bliss. We were so in love, I swear hearts flew out our eyes every time we even looked at each other. Even after I got pregnant with our first child it still seemed like we were on our honeymoon. We swooned over the idea of the two of us creating one. We would lay in bed and watch my belly move in awe, it was magical. Then we brought our precious little baby home and everything changed. It was hard to have hearts shoot from our eyes when we were so exhausted we could hardly keep our eyes open or because they were too red and puffy from tears of frustration of not knowing what the heck we were doing. There was no romantic hikes, quite reading in the park. . .instead we were doing all we could to keep our colicky baby from crying non-stop, changing diapers, lugging 100 million pounds of baby items everywhere we went. It seemed like our romance took to a back burner or worse was lost in the back of a cupboard somewhere.
Once our little ones arrive it is really hard to keep a marriage going. Babies demand our full attention. It is easy to put our love life aside. But, I want to pose a thought to you. . .When you said your vows you said until death and for some, an agreement for eternity. Your children are with you (in your home) for about 20 years before they go off and make their own lives, your spouse could be with you for 30, 40, 80 years or even forever!! Even though your children are demanding and require a lot and it is important to establish a relationship with them, it is critical that we maintain our relationship with our spouses, we will be them a whole lot longer!!
Here are a few tips on how to help maintain your marriage after the little ones start to arrive:
1) TALK TO EACHOTHER!! Talk about your feelings, be open and accepting of what you both have to say! Take turns telling about your day, talk about goals, talk about and dream together about a future trip or activity that you will someday do together. Whatever you talk about just do it. (Fighting doesn't count as your talk time!)
2) PUT THE KIDS TO BED EARLY! We put our kids to bed at 7pm!! For some that may seem way early and yes the kids do wake up by 7am but, kids do require 10-12 hours of sleep so it is best for them and it gives my husband and I time for us. Even if it has been a long day and we are both exhausted we still sit together in front of the TV and snuggle and have time to be close and uninterrupted!
3) USE A BABYSITTER!! I know it is hard to leave your little ones. I would cry the first few times I left my children and worry, but if you find someone you trust it can be done. This is good for you and your spouse to have an opportunity to get out of the house and go on a real date, even if it is just going to a park and swinging on the swings together. You might not believe it, but it is good for the children as well. They need to know you have a life aside from them and that it is important. They also need opportunities to be around other people and be used to you not being there ALL of THE TIME! I know some moms and dads that they never leave their child or children because the child cannot handle it. In the real world you can't be with your child 24/7. It is better to break them in gently and on your terms.
4) DO SOMETHING UNEXPECTED. My husband used to put notes on my car at work, sometimes now I try to return this little tradition by sneaking a note into his bag so at work he will find it.
5) BE RESPECTFUL WITH EACHOTHER. Even thought fuses get shorter once we become parents, it is important to discuss issues and problems that arise in a loving and respectful way. For example, my husband is not tidy. It was fine before kids because it was easy to pick a thing or two of his and it not make a difference. Now with 4 little ones and a husband it is too much for me to keep up with. I pointed this out to him calmly and let him know how difficult it was for me and how important a tidy home is to me and since then he has tried harder. Not that he is perfect, but at least I see him making an effort.
These are just a few tips, if you want to find more, I found a ton just by typing in the key words "maintaining marriage after children" on google.
Let us know what other great ideas you have by posting a comment on this post!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sanitizing bottles.

We all know how harmful germs can be, especially to an infant or small child.  It is very hard to know if you are getting your baby's bottles and pacifiers clean and germ free.  After all, there are many methods for cleaning out there.  

When cleaning my baby bottles, I want to use a proven method.  Recently I heard that you can use Clorox Bleach for cleaning bottles and other baby items.  You can even use bleach to clean your children's toys.  It was something that I wanted to try, but I needed to know how to use it correctly just to make sure that I didn't hurt anyone.

I went to the Clorox Bleach website and found tons of information on cleaning and sanitizing.  Not only did it tell me how to clean my baby items, but also how to create safe drinking water and clean other items in my home.

Give it a try, it might just help keep your baby healthy.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Sneak Peeks

Your ultra sound experience is one of the funnest parts of your pregnancy. You finally get to lay eyes on your sweet little baby. For most this is a major mile stone to reach during your pregnancy and for most the one time deal is never enough! For me it's just plain lack of patience, I just want to get as close my little ones as much and as soon as possible. Some women will even try to get extra ultra sounds by being sneaky. I am not going to name names. . .(shhh it was me!) but one woman resorted to producing a few tears of "fear" of twins with her last baby. This combined with the surprise of the pregnancy I (I mean she) persuaded my doctor to give me an early glimpse of my little unexpected bit of joy. I then had my regularly scheduled ultra sound where our family found out we would be getting a 2nd little sister added to our brood. Still that was not enough, I wanted to see more of this little girl. So, as I had done with my first three I scheduled another ultra sound with a commercial fetal ultra sound portrait studio.

I personally was won over by Utah's Fetal Fotos with my first baby and returned the next three pregnancies to catch the sneak peeks of my little ones. During my 2nd pregnancy I heard something about ultra sounds possibly being dangerous for the baby. Since this had been a favorite part of my pregnancy I didn't want to give it up, but decided to find out for sure. What I read then and what I have researched for this post was the same; there is no clear evidence that ultra sounds have had an adverse affect on a fetus, but that women should be cautioned. I read an article that gave both sides and listed some studies as well as what the FDA has said. I also found an article that gives a great deal of information regarding ultra sounds in general as well as words of caution and facts. These are great sites if you want to start some research for yourself.
As for me, I couldn't resist seeing my babies as often as possible. I really liked going to the Fetal Foto studio and having lots of little momentos and treasures to keep to remember my pregnancies and to add to my little ones' scrap books. I found one site that you can also get your belly casted as a momento of pregnancy! If I would have known, I probably would have had that done too!

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Worst Part of Labor and Delivery

The worst part of my first labor & delivery experience was not the actual labor associated with giving birth, but it was the labor of trying to get into the pants I brought with me to wear home!! I mistakenly thought I would be able to fit into my old pants (even my old fat pants no less)! Sadly, I ended up wearing the clothes I came to the hospital in. It was not fun.
I learned a valuable lesson; you don't lose all the baby weight that first day! A friend later told me, "Remember, it took you 9 months to get to where you were. Give yourself that same time to get back to your old weight."
With my subsequent babies, going home outfits and weight loss, I was much better prepared. I really wanted to look cute returning home (I am vain like that). So, even though I didn't want to wear maternity clothes home, I did any way. I chose my favorite maternity outfit I had felt the cutest in and that seemed to help.
Truthfully, I usually ended up wearing my maternity clothes for the next 4 to 6 weeks after giving birth! This isn't true for everyone, but it usually took me some good time to get all my baby weight off.
The moral of my story, "If you want to leave the hospital happy and comfy; bring stretchy waisted or maternity clothes to wear home!!"

Thursday, January 29, 2009

You have to see this!

Have you heard the news?  

                              You have to check it out here!!!!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Why We Do What We Do Wednesday!

All the discomfort and difficulties of pregnancy are worth it when you get such sweetness in return!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I have so many women ask me why I preferred to see a midwife during my third pregnancy, and why I liked it so much more.  I have two words for them: MORE PERSONALIZED!

The attention and care of a midwife far surpassed that of what I received at my Doctors visits with my other two children.  My midwife took as much time as needed to answer my questions, and didn't have appointments stacked on top of each other which always made me feel rushed.

I loved bringing my children with me and having them feel welcome.  My midwife remembered my children, along with events that were happening in their lives.  She took the time to make them feel involved in my pregnancy, and they loved her as much as she loved them.

I loved going to my appointments and having her talk to me about so many things my doctor never did.  She would give me options on birthing, and when I decided to go natural, she walked me through what it would be like and encouraged me.  When I tried to go natural with another child my doctor discouraged me and told me that I couldn't do it, and that it would be better just to be medicated.

My midwife could do everything that my doctor could.  She prescribed me medication when I was sick, and ordered any tests that I needed.  I felt like she was a doctor, a really good doctor.

The biggest difference came during delivery.  She was there while I was in labor, and stayed with me after I had the baby.  She helped me take a shower and clean up.  She watched over the baby and made sure that he was alright.  And, she called me at home the next day just to check in.

Do your research, but I highly recommend a midwife!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Testing 1,2,3 . . .

I had just given birth to my daughter; they laid her on my belly but in the second before I could even put my hands on her she was gone. I looked to my husband asking "Is she cute, where is she?"
"The doctors have her," was my husband's confused response.
"Is she cute?" I asked again. (When my first child was born all Dennis could say through his tears was, "He's so cute" so I thought he would be responding the same way.)
But he just had a weird look on his face that I will never forget and sort of nodded.
Then the doctors took my sweet baby girl out of the room, "she's not breathing quite right" they said.
A few minutes later the doctor was on the edge of my bed, he had that look you just don't want a doctor to have on their face.
"We are pretty sure your daughter has Down Syndrome, she's not breathing the right way and may have a heart defect. You didn't know?"
We were shocked. How could this have possibly happened? All of our tests and ultrasounds had been normal. We had no indication that something could be wrong with our baby.

Our story is rare. Only 30% of Triple Screen Testing misses the indication of a baby with Down Syndrome. Another statistic I found said that 98% of normal results are correct! False positives are way more common, with statistics being reported that out of 1000 Triple Screens, 100 come back with a positive result and of those 100 only 3 end up being true positives. Such was the case with a girlfriend of mine who recently had a false positive on her triple screen test, including markers on her subsequent ultra sound. It wasn't until her and her husband opted for the final tell of an amniocentesis that they found out the test had been a false positive and have since been enjoying a perfectly healthy and normal pregnancy.

The question is should you even bother with these tests when there are so many false positives and the few false negatives?

There are several opinions. A midwife I interviewed felt very strongly about not having these tests done. She felt they put undue stress on the mother and thus the baby if the test was a false positive, as in the case of my friend. But what about if you are a worrier and the test can put your mind at ease, not to mention if there was a true positive that could help you prepare?

I don't think there is a right or wrong answer. I think it is very personal and the important thing is to study out your options and make a decision that feels best for you and your companion. Each pregnancy, each test, each choice will be unique and dependant on your circumstance. So study and pray (if you do that sort of thing) and make a choice that you feel good about.

Here are some sites that might be helpful as you make your decision:




Friday, January 23, 2009

Make your own baby food!

YES!  You can make your own baby food.  Not only is it easy, but it usually tastes much better than the store bought stuff, and you get peace of mind knowing where it came from.  Baby food is really pretty simple: Just mashed up fruits and veggies!  You can do that, right?  Once you know how to make it, you can make any amount, and even freeze it.

We found a great site full of recipes that make it easy, fun, and very rewarding. 

And, if you are a Mom who makes your own baby food we would love to hear from you!  What is your child's favorite?  

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Here Ye, Here Ye a Baby is Born!!

You're baby is here and it you want to announce to the world the addition to your family, but how do you do it with grace and style?

A few key rules I found were that:

1) Announcements are sent out as close to the birth as possible, but is tactfully done within baby's first 6 months.

People know that having a baby can really take over life, especially if there are extenuating circumstances involved. Our second baby was born unexpectedly with Down Syndrome and it took a good while before I could even figure out what to say and how to word the announcement so that people would know about Vivi's Downs but also know that we were still joyful about her arrival.

2) Send your announcements to anyone and everyone you want to share your good news with.

There is no rule of who to send your announcements to. It is whoever you feel would like to hear the news or who you want to tell!

3) A birth announcement is not the place to put where you are registered for baby items.

Save that for your showers. When people receive your announcement they will usually contact you or ask family and friends about what you need if they want to send a gift.

4) Include vital statistics like:

date and time of birth

weight and length of baby

baby's full name

5) If you like cheesy a birth announcement is the place for it!!

Introduce you baby in a sweet and fun way, by using a fun quote, saying, bible verse, etc.

A cute one I saw a few times was. . .

"Our family has grown by 2 feet!"

This type of saying would be especially cute with multiple births

6) Make it cute, it is worth it.

You can keep one in your scrap book and make it a memento to cherish always! It would even be a cute nursery decoration to frame and keep up on the wall or on a dresser.

Whatever you choose for your sayings, if you include a photo or not, how many people you send them to, you won't go wrong with InkOBESSIONdesigns. They are some of the cutest announcements (and any other stationary item you can imagine) that we have seen. The designs are unique and really fun and they have tons of great deals and coupon codes to stay within budget as well! Be sure to check them out when choosing your announcements and thank you cards, I guarantee you will get tons of compliments on them and they will for sure be something you can use to decorate with if that is something else you are interested in!
Happy announcing!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Unexpected Foods Keep Morning Sickness at Bay

I can't remember where I first heard it, but I checked it out and there is some validity to eating almonds to reduce morning sickness. The theory is that almonds are rich in B vitamins which is something that has long been linked to morning sickness. One trick that I found was to chew the almonds as long as possible to release the enzymes and to help the absorbtion into your system. It's important though to remember to not eat anything in excess. A handful a day is plenty.

Another wierd thing I read to help morning sickness is to eat salt and vinegar chips! This is suggested because sometimes morning sickness is caused by the excess saliva that we produce when we are pregnant. Salt and vinegar both help dry up that excess saliva!

Certain spices can also help. Cinnamon and ginger have been reported as helping allieviate morning sickness. A little sliver or shaving of ginger has been said to work when hit with a wave of nausea. You can also try ginger tea.

These may sound wierd, but may be worth a try. Just remember to not over do any of these. Too much of anything may have the reverse affect and may make you feel worse! Everything in moderation and maybe different things will help at different times through out the day.

Post a comment about what has helped you with morning sickness!

Friday, January 16, 2009


Sleeping baby = happy mom!

After baby is born you are simply exhausted. You have gone through labor and then go through the next several weeks (even months) without a full night sleep as you get up with your new little one through the night. It is every new mother's dream come true when their little angel finally sleeps through the night!
I love my sleep, I hate going without it, and I am shocked when I hear so many moms say their babies are not sleeping through the night when baby is 3 and 4 months old!! I even hear stories of babies not sleeping through the night at a year old!! I would have died, seriously!! If you love your sleep like I do, I have the answer to getting your little cutie to sleep through the night. It does not come without effort but, out of my 4 children all 4 have slept through the whole night by 8 weeks. My oldest was 7 weeks, 2nd 6 weeks, 3rd and 4th were about 8 weeks.
The secret is a FLEXIBLE schedule system I learned from a book called Baby Wise. It is incredible. A lot of my friends started this and gave up (like I said it does require some effort) and their babies didn't sleep through the night until 6 months or later!! Serious, I would have DIED!! 6 months is too long, for me it was worth the effort to get my sleep.
The core idea of the program is to follow a pattern of baby eating, being awake for a time and then sleeping. It also is very centered on parents being the ones to decide the schedule NOT baby. This is ultimately the hard part because when baby is sleeping you want to let them sleep. But sometimes babies get their days and nights confused and want to sleep all day and then are awake all night. That is when Baby Wise comes to the rescue.
Anyway it totally worked for me and because it is Freebie Friday, we are giving away a copy of Baby Wise.

To be entered in to the drawing, you can do one or all of the following (you will get one entry per thing you do):

-post our button on your blog or other site.

-simply advertise the give- away on your site or blog.

For both of these, post a comment letting us know where to see that you posted about us or put up our button.

-get your friends to check out our blog, just have them post a comment that they checked out our blog because of you!

-add yourself to our followers list


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Full belly fights morning sickness?

Yes, there are so many different "cures" to morning sickness, but among me and my pals, the same one keeps coming up over and over.  Just stay full!  That's right, maybe there is a good excuse to eat a lot when you are pregnant.  It helps fight morning sickness!

I noticed that when I was pregnant always having a full belly would keep that sick feeling away; that is when I was actually able to eat something and keep it down.  Now that my times of being pregnant have come and gone (PHEW) I am hearing the same thing over and over from my friends and family.

I know what you are thinking, "This is going to pack on the pounds!"  And yes, you must be careful or it can, but not if you eat the right foods, and stop when your belly hits full.  I have never heard anyone say that they stay well by eating ice-cream and candy bars everyday!  

So here are a few tips that I have heard through out the years that have really seemed to help.
-Eat smaller meals often.  Break up your 3 meals into 6 or 8, whatever it takes.
-Always have something to snack on such as carrots, dry cereal, or crackers.
-Eat at the first sign of sickness.  Many women eat before they even move in the morning.
-Go to bed with a full belly.
-Sip on Coke or Sprite.  The bubbles seems to calm the belly.
-Re-trace your steps.  If you had a great day, remember what and when you ate, and try it again tomorrow.

Hey, it is worth a shot right?  When you are feeling that sick, anything that helps can make a huge difference.  

We would love to hear from you!  Please leave us a comment with your best trick for fighting off morning sickness.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What is that Wednesday!

What's that? It's a layette! For most, a layette is a set of clothing for baby. If you thought that too, you are pretty much right. Layette comes from the French meaning "little box" or "chest". I imagine the French using the word for a dresser filled with clothes for baby. But a layette is actually more than just clothing it is also the accessories and bedding that you need to have ready before baby arrives.
I learned what a layette was during my first pregnancy, but I didn't get it all right. I got too many of some things, not enough of other things and also forgot a couple of things entirely that sent my husband running to the store the day we brought baby home and realized we needed something. If memory serves I think we had forgotten infant bottles! Duh!
So here's the advice!
1. Think about the weather! You won't need a lot of winter clothes if it is 100 degrees! However, when babies are sleeping and inactive they do get chilly so even if it is summer time when you are due make sure to get at least a few little baby caps.
2. Don't get too many clothes for 0-3 months and nothing for 3-6 months! Some babies are big enough that they barely fit into the 0-3 month clothes! Make sure to have at least a few bigger sizes on hand just in case!
3. You really don't need more than 2 crib/bassinet sheets. That way when you take off one to wash it you have one. Seriously, you don't need more than that.
4. Don't forget bath time. Do you really want to wrap your sweet, smooth perfectly soft little baby in that old towel you have been using? No!! Make sure to get a few baby towels and wash cloths!
5. For some reason I ended up with about a billion baby blankets. It's what people like to give you the most at showers for some reason! My favorites were the light (receiving) ones to swaddle and a heavier one to cover with. I also liked the one big one to lay out on the floor for baby to hang out on.
6. You decide for yourself, but the lists on-line all say to get a gown, but I personally hated the gowns. Baby's feet poke out and get cold and they are terrible to try work around when you are trying to get baby in the car seat!
7. Even if you are planning to breast feed, have a few bottles on hand just in case you need them. Or even just one is good. You may not end up using it if nursing comes natural for you, but you don't want it to be the middle of the night, baby screaming and you frazzled. In my book, it's just better to be safe than sorry.

For a complete layette check list check out the following sites!


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

What, No Deli Sandwiches??

About my 3rd pregnancy I started hearing that you are not supposed to eat deli meat when you are pregnant! "Great," I thought! I had been eating deli sandwiches through my first two and now half of my third pregnancy!
So what's the dirt on the deli meat thing?
Well, it is really not that huge of a deal and it isn't even the meat itself. The problem is, it is just easier for deli meat to get contaminated with something called "listeria" which is a type of bacteria that can cause miscarriage.
Now don't freak out if you have been eating deli sandwiches! Like I said, I ate them through 2 and 1/2 of my pregnancies and all was good. To be safe though, pop that turkey sandwich under the broiler and make it a hot sandwich.
For more information on what foods to avoid while you are pregnant check out the following site:

Monday, January 12, 2009

Phantom Baby

My younger sister’s belly is bloomin with her first baby! Congratulations Megan!! She called me the other day with a story that has inspired this post. She went for her first dr. appointment and was eagerly anticipating the first dopler sounds of her little baby's heart beat. The dr. glopped on the warm gel and proceeded to move the dopler device around her lower abdomen, a second pass, then a third and there was no sound. My sister started to feel nervous and a little scared. Thoughts started racing through her mind. She had heard of "phantom" pregnancies and wondered if she had dreamed up the whole pregnancy thing. Maybe she never really had been pregnant! Her eyes welled and she tried not to get too worried unnecessarily. The dr. explained it was still early and that dopler equipment isn't always the greatest. The dr. could see that my sister was feeling upset and offered to use the sonogram to double check that everything was fine.
Relived, my sister and her husband got to see their bouncing (literally) little baby jumping and floating around happy as could be through the use of the sonogram. Now there was nothing left but smiles on their faces. A weight lifted they left the doctor's office floating a little bit off the ground with the undoubtable knowledge their family was beginning.

So many times during pregnancy women feel anxiety of some kind or other regarding the health of their baby or in my sister’s case if there even is a baby! This is perfectly normal. Rest assured most of the time the worries are for nothing and everything turns out just fine. However, there is that rare case and my sister’s question about whether or not she was really even pregnant after weeks of morning sickness and a positive pregnancy test sparked my interest.

Phantom pregnancy, false pregnancy, hysterical pregnancy or the fancy medical word Pseudocyesis is a real phenomenon that does occur, although rarely. Approximately 1 to 6 cases are reported out of 22, 000 births. Interestingly enough, this is not just a human phenomenon and also occurs in many animal species! Symptoms are just the same as a typical pregnancy:

-cessation of menstrual periods
-enlarged or swollen breasts
-morning sickness
-sometimes even a positive pregnancy test (however this is more rare)
-enlarged abdomen

What is missing is the sound of a fetal heart beat and fetus.

One of the most interesting and known stories regarding a phantom pregnancy is that of Queen Mary (1553-1558 A.D.). She desperately wanted to become pregnant and give birth to a male heir to please her husband King Philip. After a long period of not conceiving, Mary finally did present symptoms of being pregnant. Everyone was overjoyed! Unfortunately, Mary never really was pregnant. In addition, Mary’s case of phantom pregnancy went to the extreme. While most cases do not go to full term Mary’s went even further. When weeks passed her due date it became obvious there was no actual baby. She was devastated. To top it off, she had a second phantom pregnancy this time only lasting a few months before her symptoms dissipated.

Other stories include women going into an actual labor with water breaking and everything only to deliver no baby. Today, because of modern medicine the condition is generally caught within a few weeks when women begin going to their prenatal doctor visits.

You may be wondering what causes a phantom pregnancy? This is the interesting part! But what is most commonly to blame is a mind, body connection. For some reason the mind makes the body pregnant so to speak. Doctors and researchers can not be definitive on this point because there are few test subjects to work with. Still, most believe that hormone levels and hormone changes occurring due to extreme stress such as Queen Mary was under to produce an heir or an extreme trauma causing depression are the source.

Those that are at most risk are:

· Women in their late 30’s or early 40’s that have struggled for years with fertility problems.
· Women who are not emotionally unstable, but that are extremely emotional in regards to pregnancy.
· Women that have suffered miscarriage or that have lost a child.

If you want to read up more on this fascinating phenomenon, check out the following sites:

or read the New York Times article at

If you are pregnant and now are now thinking, “Oh my gosh, am I having a phantom pregnancy?” I would say most likely no. This is very rare. If you have had a positive pregnancy test it is even less likely you are experiencing this phenomenon and if you are still worried, you will know for sure by that first doctor’s visit when you hear the sweet tune of your little one’s heart beat.