New Mom Questions And Answers

When I had my child almost 8 months ago, I was completely unprepared. Of course I had a nursery ready for her, I had clothes, and I had diapers to last a year, but once she came out of me none of those things seemed to matter. I had heard about the struggle it is to have a newborn. I had heard about sleep deprivation. I thought I understood, but I really had no idea. Until you live it, there is no way to truly get it. Mo matter how prepared you believe you are, you’ll likely lose all confidence as you’re loading your 3 day old baby into your car in the hospital parking lot. I nearly had a panic attack.

In the frenzied days and weeks that followed, I did more googling than I had ever done before. The collective knowledge of the internet answered hundreds of questions for me, but also left me hanging on some. There were also things I learned along the way that I wish I had known sooner, but had not known to look for. So now I’ll add my admittedly limited knowledge to the vast resource that is the internet.

My newborn

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Scheduling A Birth

Scheduling a birth is a very strange thing. I know exactly when my baby will be born. I know the date, I know the approximate time, and I can plan my schedule accordingly. While it’s extraordinarily convenient, it somehow just doesn’t seem right.

For example, 2 weeks ago I was able to schedule 2.5 weeks for our business to be closed. When customers called, I could say “The last day we’ll be working will be April 2, and then we’ll be closed until April 22 because we’re having a baby.”

Today, when I talk about tomorrow I can say, “We’ll go get gas in the car, stop at the post office to mail out our taxes, and we’ll go to the bank. Then we’ll go have a baby.”

How weird is that?

Since I know the birth is tomorrow, around 2:30, I can truly decide how I’d like to spend my last days. Last night my husband and I went out for a nice dinner. The last dinner we’ll have in a restaurant without spaghetti on the walls for quite some time, I imagine. I started with crab dip, he got bean soup. Then I got salmon with spinach and

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Big Summer Potluck Spreads

Back in August 2010 I attended the Big Summer Potluck. The event was mere days after I learned of my pregnancy. So soon, in fact, that I hadn’t yet told my family (aside from my husband) and the morning sickness wasn’t in full swing. Both of those things changed within a week.

The “morning” sickness lasted all day and night, and for basically the entire autumn I felt ill and weak. I actually lost weight in the beginning of my pregnancy (oh, how that has changed). My husband and I decided to be very frugal and thrifty, preferring to buy used baby things when we could, rather than register for a bunch of brand new stuff and have our friends and family spend a lot of money. So I spent my sickly autumn scouring craigslist and driving all over the Philadelphia area to purchase lightly used furniture and other baby goods. It’s nice to be thrifty, and it’s even nicer to save things from a landfill and help prevent new products from being produced. More about our baby thrifting to come in a future post.

So between the mad dash to gather all of our necessary baby supplies and

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Flax Seed and Healthy Digestion

If you’re sensitive about bodily functions or easily grossed out, skip this post. I’m going to talk about poop.

I’m 30 weeks pregnant, and I’ve been having problems with constipation throughout my pregnancy. It started almost as soon as I got pregnant, actually. Initially it was due to hormonal changes. It happens to everyone, I’ve been told.

Not only does it happen to everyone, it happens for good reason. By slowing down your digestion, there is more time for you and the baby to absorb the nutrition from the food you eat. The longer it’s in your system, the better for you it is.

As the baby grows, your organs become more and more compressed, putting pressure on your digestive tract, stopping things up even more. In addition to needing more nutrients and providing healthier calories for your baby, this slow digestive tract is a great reason to eat vegetables. Fiber, people! More fiber!

When I was around 4 months pregnant I ate a sweet potato for lunch and was pleasantly surprised to find that I had an easier time in the bathroom later that day. I had a sweet potato the next day for lunch as well, to see

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The Things People Say

This is a conversation that was had tonight between me and my step-mother-in-law:

HER: Are you sure you’re not having twins?

ME: Yeah, I’m sure.

HER: If you get any bigger you won’t be able to move around!

ME: Wow.

HER: Really! I don’t think I was that big even at the end of my pregnancies!

ME: (Silently walking away so she wouldn’t see me cry.)

This conversation really happened, in public, at a restaurant, at the end of an otherwise wonderful evening. I cried the whole 30 minute drive home. I have no idea how anyone would think it a good idea to say those things to a pregnant woman. To any woman, as my husband pointed out.

Yes, I’ve put on some weight. Sure, it’s about 10 pounds more than I should have by this point. But what the fuck? I just googled pictures of women that are 22 weeks pregnant, and some of them look a lot bigger than I do. Some of them are smaller, too. Honestly, I think I’m right about in the middle.

Until tonight I thought my burgeoning belly was cute. I’d admire it in the mirror.

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Halfway There

I’m officially halfway through my pregnancy! As of yesterday, I am now 20 weeks pregnant. And… It’s a girl! We’re pretty sure we’ve got the name picked, but we’re keeping it under wraps for the time being. At least until we decide on a middle name. Or decide to just skip a middle name. We’re both thrilled that it’s a girl, it’s what we really wanted. My dad it excited for us, because he insists that girls are way easier than boys. I don’t know why he thinks that, because both my sister and I were awful kids, and he has no boy to compare it to, but he still seems convinced. He says he was awful, and that leads me to believe it’s not a gender issue, but a familial thing. In which case, I’d better watch out. If my kid ends up like me I’ll pull my hair out!

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