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Sep 21 2012

What Happens if the Rabbi’s Wife Gives Birth on Yom Kippur?

By at 11:42 am

pregnant woman holding applesMy husband and I started dating when we were 20 and 18. Not too long after that, we had a discussion about the size family we would like to have one day. At the time, he was living in an attic apartment above a family of six kids. He loved watching them interact and play with each other, as well as help each other when needed. So, he said he wanted six kids. This is how the rest of the conversation went:

Me:  No, that’s just too many. Read the rest of this entry →

Sep 13 2012

Single Mother By Choice: Very Superstitious

By at 3:30 pm

evil eye beadsOver the past few weeks, Emily has been chronicling her journey about deciding to become a single mother by choice. Today she adds some superstitions into the equation.

I am Jewish, which, in my family, also means I am superstitious. Sadly, my maternal grandmother died before I was born, but she definitely left her mark. My mother is superstitious. She says, “puh, puh, puh” after any comment that may reflect happiness or good fortune because, God forbid, mentioning it might make it go away. So much for the laws of attraction! Read the rest of this entry →

Sep 12 2012

Birth Story: Back Labor, No Meds & A Beautiful Boy

By at 2:20 pm

Here’s a beautiful slideshow made by contributing editor Tamara Reese of her second child’s birth. Read below for the full story.

I woke to my toddler calling for me over the monitor at 9 a.m. the morning of August 27th. I quickly glanced at the calendar and whispered a silent “thank you” for making it to 39 weeks.

As I waddled to the bathroom, I noticed the back pain was a little more intense than the day before and I had clearly lost my mucus plug. We had a park play date scheduled and as I brushed my teeth, I had a vivid flash of giving birth in a pile of mulch next to the curly slide. I decided to call my doula. We were on the phone for 20 minutes, and by the end of the conversation she said, “No park. You need to call your husband to come home, get someone to take your son, and head to the hospital.” I told her I didn’t want to assemble the troops for a false alarm and she said, “Since we’ve been talking you’ve had a contraction every two minutes. It’s better to be at the hospital at this point.”

It was 10 a.m. Read the rest of this entry →

Sep 3 2012

Welcome to the World, Gillen Azar!

By at 12:03 pm

tamara reese newborn boyWe’re sending out a huge Kveller-style congratulations to contributing editor Tamara Reese on the birth of her second child, Gillen Azar. Gillen was born on August 27th at 8 lbs, 3 oz, and both mom and baby are doing great

Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 28 2012

Single Mother By Choice: How to Choose a Sperm Donor

By at 1:10 pm

Choosing a sperm donor

Last week, Emily shared her story about deciding to become a single mother by choice. Today she tells us about another important decision: choosing the donor.

If you get option anxiety from wading through the pages of Jdate or, I suggest you call in reinforcements if you ever decide to get pregnant using donor sperm.

There are many cyrobanks, as they are called, with huge databases of men who have donated their sperm (“donated” for money, to be clear) for the cause of people who want to have babies but, for one reason or another, lack sperm. In my case, I lack sperm because I lack a man–for the moment! Choosing donor sperm is apparently a major sticking point for many women who consider becoming single mothers by choice. I’ve heard tales of women who spend a year or more trying to choose a donor. Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 24 2012

12 Items to Pack in Your Hospital Bag

By at 1:36 pm

What to pack in your hospital bag for giving birthThis is the most pregnant I’ve ever been and I’m simultaneously elated and undeniably FULL of baby.

My doctor commented last week that I have a “sizable guy” (which I’ve chosen to ignore) and my husband lovingly pointed out that over the last few days I’ve developed “marshmallow feet.” Mmmm, marshmallows. I might look like a weeble, but I’m so happy to have made it this far–on my feet and still enjoying weekly prenatal yoga classes. Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 23 2012

On Trying to Become a Single Mother

By at 6:10 am

artificial insemination pink eggAs I sang my way down the Garden State Parkway, beach bound and gleeful, I tried not to think about what I was hoping was happening inside my body.

“No day but today!” I sang at the top of my voice, feeling the truth of Larson’s poignant lyrics. Like a true musical theater kid, I was channeling my intense feelings through song.  It had only been an hour since I had had my first IUI (intra uterine insemination) and I was feeling the power of the moment. Everyone told me not to expect anything to happen on the first try. My doctor explained at my very first visit that there would be a 20% chance of a pregnancy with each attempt, just like nature. Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 15 2012

What’s Up With the Women on “Pregnant in Heels”?

By at 10:11 am

pregnant in heels bravoWhen F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote that the very rich “are different from you and me,” I doubt he had pregnant women on the brain. But Bravo’s producers took his sentiment to its logically rotund conclusion with the reality TV show “Pregnant in Heels.”

Each week, maternity concierge Rosie Pope caters to New York’s super rich and their sometimes absurd pregnancy needs. Client-facing Rosie is always polished, professional, and the best friend you don’t yet have, though Rosie’s client commentary can be less rosy. Overall, it’s a televised spectacle, alternating between appealing and repulsive.

Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 13 2012

Addicted to Ice & Other Pregnancy Cravings

By at 3:36 pm

water bottle ice“Smack! smack! smack!…. crunch, crunch, crunch…” Repeat a dozen times a day.

I am addicted to ice right now. And not just any ice–specifically ice which is partially (but not completely) frozen in one of those personal sized water bottles. (Thank God Costco sells them for so cheap or I’d have to take out a small loan to support my habit.) I check the freezer a hundred times or so, exactly what I tell my children to never do, and wait until it’s at that perfect stage–just beyond slush but right before it gets frozen solid. Next, I beat the living hell outta the bottle by smacking on the palm of my hand and then I open the bottle up and start crunching. Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 9 2012

It’s Not a Birth Plan, It’s a Birth Vision

By at 1:04 pm

time to give birthI am 36 weeks pregnant, which means out of the high-risk preterm labor zone and ready to think about a term baby coming into the world safe and healthy. I started taking prenatal yoga once per week and we hired a doula.

With my firstborn I took classes and read all I could about pregnancy and childbirth. I had a grand PLAN of birthing naturally and those expectations turned into 12 hours of ruptured membranes with no progression, which lead to Pitocin, back labor, an epidural, 23 minutes of pushing, an episiotomy, and two beautiful hours of Kangaroo care with my healthy boy. Was it exactly as I had planned? No. And I can remember the exact moment that I had to let go of my PLAN and focus on the goal of a healthy baby and Mama. Read the rest of this entry →


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