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?