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Apr 23 2014

Why I Changed My Mind About the Tdap Vaccine Booster

By at 11:22 am

tdap-ryan-gossling-meme

I’m entering into my ninth month of pregnancy; I’ve lost all verbal filters that I normally employ and for the most part I either explode or cry. I wasn’t this bad when I was pregnant with the boys (although I was still, admittedly, super crazy) and perhaps it is a combination of managing my 4-year-old’s emotions and chasing after my toddler with fierce hip pain and heartburn, but I want to verbally assault anyone who even looks at me wrong. I’m cranky. So that’s where I’m at.

Around my 27 week prenatal visit my midwives gave me a generic CDC handout offering me a Tdap (Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis) booster. The standard guidelines are for the vaccine to be boostered every 10 years and the sheet also said “or with each pregnancy.” Since I was boostered 18 months ago when my second son was born I felt like it was overkill to do it again. I asked both the midwives and my children’s pediatrician what the rationale behind the “with each pregnancy” was and neither had any convincing talking points. The midwife said, “there may be waning immunity during pregnancy.”

I am not one to decline vaccines. My husband is a doctor and we both have Master of Public Health degrees. But I like to educate myself about the options and make a decision based on current evidence-based research coupled with our personal family circumstances (or, like, just go with the opposite of anything Jenny McCarthy says). The information provided wasn’t compelling enough for me to vaccinate myself again. I had just finished up 20 weeks of painful progesterone injections and have bruised hips to show for it. More needles? No, thanks. Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 14 2014

My Second Time Pregnant & I’m Even More in Awe

By at 9:47 am

ultrasound

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

Well, it’s official–baby #2 is on the way! (And in case you were wondering, yes, I am going to tie this into the Torah portion somehow).

I thought I might be less excited the second time around, but I’ve found the opposite, at least once I got past the exhausting combination of toddler-chasing and morning sickness. For the past couple months, I’ve been feeling even more awe and mystery about what’s happening inside me this time.

Why would this be? Isn’t the second time we do anything usually less dramatic, rather than more? Well, two things are different this time. First of all, I have at least some vague idea of what might be in store. I’m less anxious. And there’s nothing like anxiety to prevent a person from feeling awe. Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 27 2013

Dealing With My Firstborn at My Daughter’s Naming Ceremony

By at 3:19 pm

baby naming ceremony howard wolkeSo last weekend was my daughter’s simchat bat, or baby naming ceremony…

First of all, I’ve got to say that the baby naming was SO much easier to deal with than the brit (circumcision) was for my son J. Of course for starters, you don’t have to worry about any snipping. My wife was thankful for that if nothing else.

Also, it was really nice to be able to decide for ourselves when the ceremony would take place. The eight day requirement is kind of restricting. For E, we were able to look at a calendar and say, “Hmm, when would be the best time for us to do this? When will family be able to come for sure?” Plus the fact that you can basically create your own ceremony that fits your style is really nice, too. So, for all those reasons, there was a lot less stress with the baby naming than the circumcision.

However, the second child’s ceremony does introduce a different type of stress–how to take care of the elder child. J is at that unique age where he isn’t young enough to totally ignore everything that is going on, while still not being old enough to fully understand why people would all be gathered for his baby sister who doesn’t really do much and certainly can’t play with trucks or trains like he can. Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 26 2013

Happy Birthday! (And Sorry About That Whole Second Child Thing)

By at 3:52 pm

carla naumburg and rosie third birthday Dear Rosie,

You are 3 years old today. You should know this because we’ve been talking about it for weeks and your older sister threw an unbelievable tantrum yesterday morning that was allegedly about socks, but we both know it’s about you getting birthday attention when she’s not. Also, your Bubbe and Zayde bought you a fancy cupcake with sprinkles for your birthday dinner last night.

Now, I know that when your sister turned 3, she got a big birthday party at the park with all of her friends and a lot of fancy cupcakes, and all you got was dinner with your parents and grandparents. Don’t worry. We’ll get to the party just as soon as I can find the save the date email that I cleverly sent out to our friends and then promptly lost. (Let’s be honest, you’re a second child. You don’t really have your own friends. Fortunately, you seem to like most of the younger siblings of your sister’s friends.)  Read the rest of this entry →

Apr 26 2013

When Being with Your Baby is Like Being Alone

By at 11:50 am

mom and baby in strollerYesterday afternoon I ran some errands with my baby. Being as I live in a neighborhood where it sometimes feels like I know everyone, I bumped into a friend. She asked where I was headed. I explained that I was out doing errands alone since my almost-4-year-old daughter was at dance class.

My friend looked at me, looked down at the baby cooing up at her from his stroller, and looked back at me again. “You know you’ve got the baby, right?” she asked. Read the rest of this entry →

Apr 10 2013

How I Prepared My Son for his Little Sister

By at 9:52 am

baby nursery crib pinkThe conversation was simple and direct: Mommy had a baby in her belly and in the spring, when the flowers came out, so would the baby. Our nearly 2-year-old son took it in stride, though my heart ached for his pending journey into big brotherhood. Our goal was to involve him as much as possible so he could feel like he was part of the process and not a victim of the change. Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 5 2012

How My Toddler’s Adjusting to Life With Two

By at 9:55 am

My toddler is slowly but surely adjusting to his new baby brother. I try hard to foresee battles before they ensue and we’re slowly getting back to our old dynamic. I’m getting used to taking two kids everywhere and I’ve realized that a fully capable toddler and I did just “run in” to stores where as a toddler, newborn and I take HOURS to simply leave the house in one piece. There is no “running in.”

At our baby’s 1 month visit, my toddler also had his 30 month appointment. My husband was with me and it was easier to just do both at the same time. Our toddler loved all of the attention he got and admittedly two minutes of the appointment was spent examining the baby and 45 minutes was spent discussing Big Brother’s adjustment. Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 4 2012

Why Do I Lie to Pregnant Women?

By at 9:54 am

When reading all of the advice posts to our editor Debbie about life with two kids last week, I started thinking about what I’d said to her the last time we saw each other. My son was 4 months old, my daughter was 3 years and 3 months. Debbie was about 8 months pregnant with #2. And she asked me how it was to adjust to two.

Without even thinking about it, I lied.

I blithely said, “Oh, it’s not so bad!” instead of telling her about how this baby would get so hysterical around 11 p.m. that he wouldn’t soothe for anything so I would spend hours upon hours walking and rocking him… which still didn’t work. Almost nightly, I felt so desperate that I’d put him down, walk away, and cry because I was so exhausted I couldn’t see straight. Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 27 2012

10 Tips for Life With Two Kids

By at 9:20 am

In response to Debbie’s plea for help yesterday in dealing with her daughter’s adjustment to being a big sister, Carla has some sage words of advice.

Oh Debbie.

I was just trying to find the email I sent out a couple of years ago to all of my Mama friends with two kids–it was remarkably similar to yours. I’m certainly no expert, but now that my baby is almost 2 1/2, I’m a bit farther away from the shitshow that was our life for almost a year. (We’re still a mess on a far-too-regular basis, but it is SO much easier now.)

As you read this, keep in mind that my big girl was only 20 months old when the baby was born, and that she fractured her leg the day before I was due to give birth. Little sister was kind enough to show up five days late, which gave us some time to figure out life with a toddler in a hip-to-toe cast. So, if I seem a bit bitter or traumatized, well, I guess I was. But we’re better now. Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 26 2012

How Can I Help My Daughter Cope With Our New Baby?

By at 12:52 pm

mika and romiDear Kveller Readers,

As many of you know, two weeks ago today I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. She did us the favor of waiting out both Hurricane Sandy and the presidential election. And so far during her short life on the outside she has continued to exhibit considerate behavior—sleeping long stretches, eating well, and making adorable faces.

Now, her 3-year-old sister is a different story. Last night I had a dream that bandits had kidnapped my older child and I was forced to negotiate her release in a produce market in South America from a guy selling mangoes. Not the most subtle dream I’ve ever had. Yes, it does feel like somebody has taken my sweet child who used to make me smile and laugh and replaced her with a child I don’t know, one who reduces me to a pile of tears.

So, I’m turning to you dear readers and writers to offer some advice. How oh how do we get through these first weeks? How do I help my 3-year-old understand that just because we have another baby we don’t love her any less? How do we help her understand all those big emotions?

And with that, I turn it over to you. We’re devoting this week to life with two (or more) and how to cope. Looking forward to advice from all you wise women and men.

Debbie

Kveller Editor

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