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.