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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 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 →

Aug 7 2012

I Didn’t Fall in Love With My Baby Right Away

By at 2:53 pm

baby hand in mom's palmThree days after my water broke, 20 hours after entering the hospital, an hour after reaching full dilation, and approximately 45 seconds after the doctor threatened to give me an episiotomy if I didn’t get my baby out THIS PUSH, there she was: pink, shiny, crying, and beautiful.

And a stranger.

Among all the “you’ll seeeeees” that pregnant women hear, the positive predictions can be just as powerful and just as wrong. Everyone talks about that moment when they first lay eyes on their babies, when they felt this huge rush of love, when they knew they would give their life for this child in an instant, when their life hits this pinnacle of pinnacles. My moment wasn’t exactly like that, and it was fine (and normal) too. 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 →

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 12 2012

In Praise of the Epidural

By at 2:43 pm

epidural needleHow do I feel about epidurals? I feel about epidurals the same way I feel about chocolate, sunshine, sex, and Judy Blume books. Sign. Me. Up.

Back when I took that one birthing class at the hospital a billion years ago, we were asked to envision the ideal births of our first children and share our visions with the class. My classmates conjured up beautiful pictures of giving birth in water accompanied by the dulcet tones of mixed-tape soundtracks and sweet murmurings of husbands lovingly wiping the sweat from their brows. When it was my turn, I said, “I would like enough medication to subdue a wild horse.” My statement was greeted with condescending head shakes and muttering by my fellow group members. For the record, I was the only one in that room who didn’t have to have a c-section, but that’s neither here nor there. Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 21 2012

Check Out My Birth Photos

By at 2:10 pm

tamara birth storyThe NY Times–a little late to the game–has identified the birth photography trend. Apparently, this is breaking news, yet I’ve seen pictures posted on Facebook of almost every little family I know expanding. No blood. No vaginas. No nudity. In actuality, I think the only news worthy part is that “birth photography” has become yet another thing for vendors to capitalize on as expectant parents are already stone-faced looking through the endless aisles of a certain baby super store. Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 12 2012

Dude Week: Why Should Dads Cut the Cord?

By at 12:44 pm

ribbon cutting ceremonyMy second child, a daughter, was born two months ago. As my wife prepared to deliver the baby and the doctor readied the room, there was only one thing for me to do: remind everyone, once again, that I would not be cutting the umbilical cord.

I have no idea when the practice of paternal cord cutting was introduced, but it seems pretty obvious that it’s an attempt to give the father a role in the birthing process.

And herein lies my aversion to the practice. Read the rest of this entry →

Feb 21 2012

What’s the Deal with Push Presents?

By at 9:56 am

diamond earringsI find the idea of push presents very confusing. I first learned about them several years ago while channel surfing and stopping on TLC’s “A Baby Story.” As some woman worked to deliver her second child and her husband passed out, she said something to the effect of, “I’d better get a good push present–sparkly, like diamond earrings, big ones.”

Um. What? Read the rest of this entry →

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