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Archive for July, 2012

I previously admitted that I am majorly afraid of hoarding. I always say, when in doubt, donate and let someone else get all hoard-y with it. So dealing with the reality of all the stuff babies come with has been a bit tough for me.

Lulu guards my diaper stash

I have already set up a fully-equipped baby room with necessities and niceties: crib; changing table stocked with cloth diapers, wipes, and swaddling blankets; bookshelf already full of fantastic books; futon for feedings and mommy-naps; bouncy chair with mobile attachment; and a space-themed baby “gym” including a space-monkey toy hanging from it (how cool is that?). Stocked up!

However, there are items my friends SWEAR by, that I refuse to buy. I am stubborn and I accept that about myself. I hope you can too. I do realize that I may very well buy these items later, but I’d rather it be an organic, need-based purchase, not a registry frenzy/naive new parent sort of thing.

Essential Items I Stubbornly Refuse To Purchase Now (And Forever?)

Baby Monitor: I have crazy good ears. I have mentioned that here. I will hear that baby crying down the hall. My experience is that babies are not shy about crying, so I’m certain I’ll hear her when I’m downstairs too. I am also slightly neurotic — it is the American woman way. So hearing any movements on that monitor will drive me bananas and send me running to the baby’s room. Not doing it. Ever. Stubborn.

Breast pump: What if I can’t do it? That’s $250 wasted! Then what do I do with it afterward? We may be a one-and-done family. My hospital rents them, so I may look into that option if the need arises.

Bottles: I know, know. I’ve done lost my ever-lovin’ mind!  But here’s the thing: If my breast milk already comes with two easily-accessible, temp-controlled feeding devices, shouldn’t I just use those? I’m going to give it a go with the handy milk sacks I already have and wait and see. That is $ saved and time saved — from pumping, fetching, washing, heating, sorting between nipple types and flow options, etc. We’ll see how long this lasts.

An Infant Car Seat: The convertible car seat I bought accommodates a baby between 5-70 pounds. However, many folks buy an infant seat (5-25/30 pounds) first and then move baby to the convertible seat. Experienced parents insist that the infant seat, which doubles as a bulky bassinet-type carrier and fits onto different stroller systems, is better than sliced bread. I hear you, experienced parents. I even believe you!! But I would rather jostle my baby when getting in and out of the car, and wear her when I go out, just to avoid getting the infant car seat. Stubborn.

Two Car Seats: Can a couple survive with just one? The overwhelming majority say, “No way, you weird hippies!” This may be true (not the hippie part), but our friends all bought two seats or two bases before baby arrived. Sure, you are going to use something you already have. I would like to see if we can be a two-car but one car-seat family. So interested to see how this plays out!

A Second or Third Stroller: One kid, one stroller. We got a lightweight but sturdy and maneuverable collapsible stroller. And it is black!  No thank you, bulky, multi-colored, heavy travel system. No thank you, teeny umbrella stroller, I’ll pass on you too. Many flexible parents purchase additional strollers as their children grow and their needs change. Makes sense, but I just plan to be stubborn about this too.

In sum, I’m stubborn.  If you see a woman in line at Target with a screaming infant attached to her chest, purchasing 20 bottles, a baby monitor, and an infant car seat… that isn’t me. I’m stubborn.

Space monkeys can be stubborn too

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Babies leaving Massachusetts hospitals won’t be wearing formula mustaches anymore. Well, not hospital-provided formula mustaches, anyway. Beginning July 2012 hospitals statewide will no longer be sending new moms home with a canister of free formula.

Honestly, this doesn’t seem like a big deal to me. But there is a lot of hubbub about this. I don’t really understand it…

Full disclosure: On the formula v. breast-feeding debate, I fall on the side of “do whatever works for your family.” Further disclosure: I admit that I plan to breast feed, and plan to work hard to make a go of it, but I have already forgiven myself in advance in the event that the Little Dragon and I can’t get the hang of it.

Lulu investigates the milky way…

So back to this hubbub in Massachusetts…

Pro-Formula Stance: Why are you hating on formula, Mass hospitals? You guys are completely unfair! Well, are they saying don’t formula-feed? The hospitals aren’t getting rid of all formula in the hospitals. It is my understanding that if you plan to formula feed, Mass hospitals will have formula on the ready. They just aren’t sending new parents home with a free sample. Seems like they aren’t committing to loving or hating any feeding preference.

Pro-Breast feeding Stance: Finally! Mass hospitals are supporting moms who breastfeed! Well, maybe so in other ways, but I don’t really agree with the argument that leaving a formula freebie out of my goody bag constitutes breast feeding support. Still seems like a noncommittal stance from Mass hospitals, as if they’re saying, “You decide. Breast pumps and formula are at the store, parents/guardians. Buy what works for you.”

Now, I have yet to give birth and am completely unaware of what is usually included in a take-home bag from the hospital. But if this omission of formula is coupled with a canister of starter breast milk, I’ll hub and bub alongside my formula-using mamas!

And Mass hospitals, if you give in to the pressure and add that formula sample back in the going-home bag, feel free to pop a hospital-grade breast pump or a box of fenugreek tea in there too! Thanks ever so much!

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…Third is the one with the moles on her chest.

After the whole first trimester debacle…

Pregnancy Book: Morning sickness happens to weak-stomached women who have a history of letting the flu get the best of them. (I paraphrased, but I’m pretty sure this was the gist.)

Me pre-pregnancy: That won’t happen to me. Poor other women, though. My heart goes out to them.

Me first trimester: [vomit noises 24/7]

…I learned my lesson. As it so happens, I am susceptible to the awful side-effects of pregnancy. So as I began second trimester I read the warnings differently…

Pregnancy Book: You will be constipated all the time. Your boobs will most certainly leak colstrum when you are out in public. You are 100% guaranteed to have stretch marks so severe that it will look like a werewolf attempted to rip open your belly. You will definitely have cankles, swollen feet, and fat fingers…and everyone will call you sausage lady. You will absolutely have hemorrhoids, even though you still don’t understand what they are. (Again, not the exact words, but practically exact.)

Me at beginning of second trimester: Ack! What did I sign up for? All the warnings are here in this book and yet I did this to myself ON PURPOSE? I’m a sucker! A dupe!

Me with 8 weeks to go: [Waddling around sans all expected major side-effects] Success!!

BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!

I was so busy tracking bathroom frequency and obsessing that every drop of cleavage sweat was embarrassing nipple leakage, that I forgot to obsess over the possibility of coming down with the more mild symptoms of later pregnancy. Here are the not-as-scary symptoms I am happily saddled with instead, may I continue to stay in the pregnancy fairy’s good graces:

1) Moles. These blind little beasts are popping up all over. They are teeny, practically microscopic, but honestly, I was happily light on the moles pre-pregnancy. I haven’t yet done research to determine if they go away. I’m guessing no?

Yup!

2) Braxton Hicks contractions. Whew they can be intense! They stop when Patrick reminds me to breathe and I relax for a bit. Those practice contractions also make me giggle in anticipation of the real thing!! Then, I have to remind Patrick to breathe and have him sit down because he thinks I’m having a baby and losing my wits at the same time.

3) Anemia. Sounds serious, doesn’t it? But I’m taking an iron supplement and a lot of naps in between bouts of fantastic, sweaty, scrubby, nesty-nesting. Totally manageable, especially since I’m a big fan of napping!

4) Back pain. Okay. This hurt second trimester, but seem to be related to some major belly growth spurts I had earlier. With continued exercise and time to acclimate and readjust posture for the belly, this pain has now become rare and short-lived.

5) Hives. We haven’t figured out why they come and go, but my best guess is heat and/or food allergy, combined with even more skin sensitivity, thanks to pregnancy. Sounds bad, but they are so mild that I just ignore them. …after I point to them, frown, and Patrick babies me a bit. He is good at that!

I swore that I wouldn’t keep awful pregnancy symptoms a secret, and I feel equally obligated to share the not-so-awful symptoms too. TMI? Probably. But I believe people have the right to know what pregnant ladies really go through, before they get pregnant, “join the club,” and learn the hard truths.

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