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Aug 5 2014

Why is There No Ritual For the Completion of a Family?

By at 10:23 am

Roey

“Are you sure?” my OB asked at my very first appointment. “Yes,” I replied without hesitation. “Absolutely.”

Joking about my husband, the rabbi, she scheduled my third C-section for December 24th because “of course, the rabbi’s kid should be born on Christmas eve.” I laughed and then immediately requested that my tubes be removed during the surgery.

I was 37, it was our third child, and I knew we were done. My husband and I had discussed it already and had both agreed. Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 4 2014

Welcome to the World, Annabelle Ileana!

By at 2:16 pm

melissa-annabelle

The Matzah Ball soup* is served!

We are thrilled to announce the arrival of Kveller contributer Melissa Langsam Braunstein’s second daughter, Annabelle Ileana Braunstein. Annabelle was born on July 26 at 12:34 p.m., weighing 7 pounds, 8 ounces, and measuring 20 inches long. She is healthy and the Braunstein clan say they are all smitten with her–especially proud big sister Lila.

Mazel Tov!

Annabelle

*As many of you know, Annabelle’s nickname in utero was “Matzah Ball,” courtesy of her creative big sister.

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Aug 1 2014

My Family is About to Get Bigger

By at 1:18 pm

starry-night

This post is part of our Torah commentary series. This Shabbat we read Parashat D’varim. To read a summary of the portion and learn more, click here.

It’s officially my due date with baby #2, and I can feel the days of Sylvie’s only-child status slipping away.

Among all the nesting and projects (and the unexpected drama of my husband’s acute appendicitis last week–thank goodness he’s healing well, and thank goodness we had family in town waiting for the birth who could help out!) I am noticing how this time feels different from the first.

My own experience is different: This time I know how to change a diaper, and in addition to the general anticipation of birth, there’s the specific hope and uncertainty of trying for a VBAC at home. But even more, I’m noticing how this time around I’m not just thinking about me. This baby’s arrival will be a big change for Sylvie too. I’m excited for her to have a sibling, I’m nervous about balancing two kids, and of course I’m wondering how she’ll deal with suddenly having a younger brother. Read the rest of this entry →

Jul 29 2014

How Becoming a Mom Forced Me to Face My Fear of Snakes (And So Much More)

By at 10:49 am

garter-snake

Like a lot of primates, I really don’t like snakes. In Maine, we only have non-venomous, ecologically beneficial, pest-eating garter snakes and rat snakes, but the unexpected sight of one gliding eerily past my feet in the garden gives me major willies.

This wasn’t always true. I remember happily holding a little red-bellied snake that a preschool classmate brought in for show and tell. I was 3 or 4 years old. Shortly thereafter, I was playing outside when my Birkenstock-clad mother nearly stepped on a snake on the way to the mailbox. She reacted like many people would–an operatic shriek and a leap backwards. And from that moment on, I reacted the same way.

As outlined in this article from Parenting Science, some fears have to be taught. And some are learned very quickly, whether by baby humans or baby monkeys.  Read the rest of this entry →

Jul 24 2014

That Time I Brought My Baby on My Job Search

By at 11:07 am

job-search-with-baby

Job hunting with a new baby is a stress that no woman should have to experience. But there I was, on the hunt for a new legal gig, in entertainment law no less.

I had networked and sent out hundreds of emails in a flurry of excitement, nausea, and hope that one of them would land me a new job, and if not, at least an informational interview. Being on maternity leave with my older child in day care and my husband working full-time, I didn’t have last minute babysitting arrangement to rely on if an interview should come up. But, when an email landed in my inbox with an offer to convene with someone about my job search, I jumped at the chance to schedule a time to meet. With two weeks notice, I had plenty of time to arrange for someone responsible to mind my child, lose another 10 pounds of unwanted baby weight, and find the perfect outfit without any spit up on it.

The night before the meeting, with my child sensing the impending separation, I got no sleep. Instead, my perfectly sleep trained baby decided to sing and cry all night long, ensuring that the only way to offset the dark blue bags under my eyes was if I wore blue eye shadow on my lids. Of course, my husband slept through this command performance. Read the rest of this entry →

May 22 2014

Sometimes, It Takes an Island to Have a Baby

By at 2:06 pm

Island-baby

Living on an island in Maine–unreachable other than by boat, plane, or helicopter–has its challenges and its pluses. For every moment of feeling like I live in a Manhattan-sized fish bowl–for every canceled ferry boat–there are moments when our tiny community, with just 350 or so year-round residents, functions like a loving family.

If someone has a medical emergency, not only are they often cared for and transported off the island by our volunteer emergency medical service, but a card will appear at the island’s one grocery store, available for all to sign. Donation jars appear in the same spot on the counter for families in need. And perhaps because each new resident represents the continued sustainability of North Haven, the island family is never more functional, motivated, and caring than when it comes to welcoming new babies to the island.

I’ve gotten to see this first hand over the last week, since I had my baby. Read the rest of this entry →

May 20 2014

Interview With Mara Altman–Who’s Still Not Sure She Wants a Baby

By at 11:07 am

mara-altman

It took my husband and I seven years of cohabitation to decide to get married, and another year to decide that we wanted to have a baby. In her newest Kindle Single, “Baby Steps,” author and comedienne Mara Altman attempts to make the same life-changing decision. She interviews experts, crashes a prenatal yoga class, inflicts a practice baby doll on herself and her husband, and wears a pregnancy belly as she hilariously and candidly explores the innards of her biological clock. I appreciate her candor and humor and was thrilled that she agreed to be interviewed for Kveller!

Having done this investigation, do you view parenting differently?

When I was in Colombia there was this little turtle that was in a hotel and I just wanted to keep feeding this turtle fruit. Is that my mothering instinct? Because I’m really enjoying watching this turtle follow this strawberry, does that mean I’d be a good mom? Read the rest of this entry →

May 12 2014

Welcome to the World, Penrose Claire!

By at 11:01 am

courtney-baby

We are thrilled to announce that Kveller contributor Courtney Naliboff and her husband William Trevaskis welcomed a baby girl last week.

Penrose Claire was born on May 7 at Pen Bay Medical center in Rockport, ME. She weighed 7 pounds 2 ounces and was 19 inches long.

Courtney documented her pregnancy journey right here on Kveller, and we are sure Kveller readers will tune in to find out what the next chapter brings.

Also check out her husband’s super-cute birth announcement:

Wishing Courtney and her family a giant Mazel Tov and much joy from their new addition!

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May 6 2014

Welcome to the World, Campbell Nichole!

By at 12:07 pm

Welcome to the World, Campbell Nichole

We are so happy to report that the latest Kveller baby has arrived! Huge congratulations to contributing editor Tamara Reese on the birth of Campbell Nichole!

Campbell was born this morning at 6:26 a.m. at 7lbs 8oz. and mom and baby are doing great! And we’re not just saying this because we have to–how super amazing does Tam look? We are sure big brothers Owen and Gillen are super excited (and maybe a little bit scared?) about having a new baby sister around, and we can’t wait to hear the updates.

Please join us wishing Tamara and the whole family a huge mazel tov.

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Mar 31 2014

Dear New Parent, You’re In For a Few Surprises

By at 10:03 am

baby-drool

Dear Friend,

I always envied your pictures on Instagram and Facebook: they were windows into another airbrushed, glamorous life. You were running marathons, speaking at conferences and hoisting glasses with tables full of friends. You posed in leather on your Vespa, looking amazing, with your beautiful wife smiling and holding onto your waist.

And now, you’re posting status updates at 4 a.m. as you walk your brand-new stroller back and forth in your living room, hoping the baby will fall asleep for more than 10 minutes and wondering what the hell hit you. Read the rest of this entry →

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