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Aug 2 2012

Babies Don’t Need All That Stuff

By at 2:31 pm

crib in empty room green wallsWhen I left our house to go to the hospital to deliver our firstborn, there was no crib set up. Even though we knew it was going to be a boy, there were no blue walls, expensive bedding, or themed decorations. We were living amongst boxes with a SOLD sign in our front yard. The guest room was sparsely staged and never functioned as the nursery we had planned. While I was recovering and snuggling our newborn, my husband rushed home from the hospital and set up a co-sleeper next to our bed and picked up a changing table from the furniture store. Read the rest of this entry →

When Can I Furnish My Nursery?

By at 6:12 am

evil eye bead hangingLately, we’ve been talking a lot about nursery rooms. The ones we want, the ones we have, and the ones that are Jewish. But many Jewish parents often wait to decorate a baby’s nursery room until after they are born, on account of superstitions involving the ayin hara, or evil eye. One Kveller reader recently wrote to us about just this, and we thought we’d open up the floodgates to the rest of our readers to see what you guys think.

Judith from Miami writes: Read the rest of this entry →

Jul 31 2012

Why Even Bother With a Birth Plan?

By at 2:06 pm
birthing ball

Do I need a birthing ball?

On Friday I went to my OB for my regular check up.

Unlike my first birth, where my husband anxiously held my hand each month in the waiting room and smiled excitedly when the thumping of the baby’s heartbeat came over the sonogram speakers, eight months into this birth and he has attended only a smattering of check-ups. The reason? I usually don’t tell him about them. Why have him leave work and trek across town to witness a 10-minute check of my vitals and weight gain?

So maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised when my doctor chastised me for failing to book a tour of the new hospital the practice had recently moved to. Or realizing that at 32 weeks, it was now time I see her twice a month. Her actual words: “You are in denial that this baby is coming.” Read the rest of this entry →

Where Will This Baby Sleep?

By at 9:35 am

three car seatsOne night, my husband, Heath, and I talked about how the pace of life with two kids would be easier than three. We noted how cramped our bed becomes with two extra little people in it on Sunday mornings. Where would a third go?

I had just read a New York Times article about preserving the environment by having no more kids than would outnumber the parents in order to maintain, instead of increase, the carbon footprint. I thought it was a very solid argument. It helped to justify our satisfaction with two kids. Read the rest of this entry →

Jul 26 2012

The Nursery I Want vs. The Nursery I Have

By at 12:46 pm

As my baby bump grows bigger and bigger, the reality of an actual baby is getting more and more intense. In preparation for our little girl, I knew I would need to make a room for her. Our little house is a three-bedroom: one for Paul and I, one for our 16-year-old son PJ, and the other was functioning as my home office/home for a LARGE open kennel for our 85 lb pit bull, Lucy. Not that I actually did a lot of work in the office, or even spent much time in there at all–in fact, it’s largely become Lucy’s room. But the process of drastically changing this room has been just that, a process!

nursery design

The first step has been moving Lucy out of the room–because she used to be in the habit of chewing up various parts of our house when we would leave, so she would have to go into her kennel when we were gone. Since the school year’s ended, we’ve started leaving Lucy outside the kennel in our absence and she’s actually been a little angel. As she gets older, she’s much more calm and less destructive. Now she just sleeps on the couch until we get home and has given us confidence that we can finally get rid of her MASSIVE kennel. So, phase one has been sort of accomplished–yay! Read the rest of this entry →

Jul 23 2012

Epidural or Not, Giving Birth is the Easy Part

By at 11:56 am

labor & delivery roomI loved Jordana’s piece on epidurals so much that I wish I had written it! As a matter of fact, my son said he kept checking the byline because it sounded so much like me! I am with you, Jordana!

I was luckier than Jordana was, though, because my epidurals worked perfectly for my four deliveries. I was able to push out my babies, felt fine afterwards, and my kids suffered no ill effects (which would surely have shown up by now, decades later.) Like Jordana, I, too, dislike being “mildly uncomfortable.” I even dislike sweating. Read the rest of this entry →

Jul 18 2012

Father’s Special Maternity Ward Pass

By at 3:35 pm

father's special pass maternity ward

Remember the good old days when new fathers needed a special pass to get into the maternity ward? Someone on Etsy is selling this vintage pass from 1955, given out at the Jewish Hospital of Brooklyn. Oh, nostalgia.

Jul 13 2012

Epidurals Are Not For Me

By at 12:39 pm

against epiduralsWhen I saw Jordana Horn’s piece about epidurals come up in my Google Reader yesterday, I had to read it. After all, I’d just given birth to my second child six weeks ago and have some strong feelings about epidurals. Against them, that is. Let me start by saying I really, truly believe that birth is an individual experience, and I want each woman to make the decision that is right for her. So I totally support Jordana’s decision to have an epidural. And another one. And another one. And probably another one at the end of her current pregnancy. But that wasn’t what I wanted. Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 8 2012

As the Father-to-Be, How Can I Help?

By at 12:55 pm
opera singer

Our baby will definitely be a fan of the opera.

Psst. Father’s Day is coming up on June 17th. In preparation for this joyous occasion, here’s an interesting perspective from a first-time-father-to-be.

I’ve been singing to my wife’s stomach lately and oddly enough, this doesn’t feel too strange. As Yael enters her third trimester and her beautiful¬†belly bursts, I find myself looking for ways to stay involved in her growing process. I’m reading books and hearing stories, wondering all the while: does all this really prepare me for the epic change we’re about to experience? Read the rest of this entry →

May 29 2012

Babymoon Bliss

By at 3:29 pm

babymoon beachI’ve heard the term “babymoon” described in several contexts–the most common being a romantic(?) vacation taken before the arrival of a new baby for the parents-to-be to celebrate their alone time before becoming a threesome. Marketed as: “This is your absolute! LAST! chance! to blow a bunch of money on a vacation AS A COUPLE before a baby comes and destroys all of the love and romance and replaces it with screaming and poop!!” I mostly see it as a way to capitalize on the arrival of a new baby much like Sweetest Day enables Hallmark to sell mushy pink cards twice in one calendar year. I’m not buying it. Read the rest of this entry →


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