Hellobee

Making a Birth Plan the Second Time Around

When I was pregnant the first time around, I created a birth plan after a ton of reading, research, guidance from my doula and lessons from a marathon weekend of what Mr. C called the “crunchy birth class.” I was determined to have a birth with no drugs and zero intervention.  As I made my way through my first experience growing and delivering a baby, writing down what I had hoped to have happen helped me to cope with my fears of what was to come and prepare for what I expected to be a marathon of pain.

And guys, what I came up with was LONG. And detailed. And intense. And at the time, I thought it was perfect.

Looking back though, after reaching the dreaded 42 week point, I would be facing an induction where huge portions of my birth plan would be slashed the moment I walked in the door.  No IV. Nope – thank you Group B strep. No Pitocin. Slash that one, obviously, since my kid would not come out on his own. No “continuous fetal monitoring.” Induction plus Pitocin ruined that too. Honestly, although my birth plan looked like it had been through a losing war with a sharpie, in the end I was lucky, both because I managed to persevere through Pitocin with a med free birth, and because the kid at the end of the tunnel (um, literally) was and is healthy, happy and truly amazing.

Now, as I enter my third trimester, I’m thinking about my birth plan again. This time around, I expect it will look a bit different. Here’s what I’m thinking.

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Working Mom Wardrobe Staples for Fall

As a full time WOHM, I’ve been struggling with my wardrobe ever since I became a mom of two. I’m always looking for pieces that will see lots of wear (I’m all about price per wear!) as well as be flattering AND comfortable, and not break the bank either. See why I’ve been struggling?? Summers are easy for me since I can get away with knee length and maxi dresses with cardigans. And breezy dresses tend to go on sale! But for clothes for fall and winter, I went through a couple of years of what I call “throw-away clothes” — clothes that are stylish and look good for a few months and then just start to fall apart, stretch out, or fade in conspicuous places (ashy knees of black pants, yikes!). I’m finally satisfied with the repertoire of pieces I have in my closet and I’m really looking forward to fall once I have a few more pieces in place.

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In the Blink of An Eye

They say childhood passes in the blink of an eye; one minute you are rocking a newborn in the middle of the night, the next you are waiting anxiously by the door at midnight for that baby to come home. Time flies and it’s true. When I wake up, my mind still feels like I’m 21 with the world of endless possibilities waiting at my feet. But the reality is I’m no longer twenty, and I’m a few years into thirty. I don’t feel it but it’s happened, and I don’t feel the days with my babies moving quickly, but they have. In four short years my first baby has gone from a sleepless newborn to a bounding, exploring, curious ever chatting four-year old. What’s even more startling is my new baby is walking! How can that be? Babies don’t walk! But there she is trotting down the hallway, determined as can be in her little baby steps. It’s so very bittersweet as a mother to see these changes, to know that time is marching on and taking your babies with it as they grow.

Got to slide down all by himself

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Holiday Gift Guide 2014: Christmas Books for Toddlers and Preschoolers

I love an excuse to buy books for my kids, and what better reason is there than Christmas?? My kids get books for Christmas and birthdays whether they like it or not (it’s never been the latter!). The books listed in this guide are either books we already own, or plan to buy as we enter the holiday season.  Because my kids are 2 and 4, I’ve narrowed down the focus to books ideal for toddlers and preschoolers. I stuck to books with familiar characters by well-loved authors, then branched out from there. More likely than not, you’ll recognize quite a few of these beloved characters!

For the young toddler set, I looked for board books that aren’t too lengthy, with cute characters and easy rhythm. For the preschoolers and up, I chose books that require a longer attention span, with more complex storylines.

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What to Buy at Old Navy Right Now

I usually buy a lot of the kids’ clothes from Old Navy because they have a big selection of affordable clothes and basics they usually bring back year after year. Often people will be surprised when I tell them that something the kids wear is from Old Navy…. they’ve really stepped it up in the style department in recent years! A couple of things I bought recently have sold out, but here are some things I’m loving for boys and girls at Old Navy right now. They’re having a huge clearance sale in store right now, so that may be your best bet for scoring the best deals.

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5 Tips for Solo Traveling with a Toddler

I just took my second and third solo flight with Bunny. Last time I wrote about flying with her she was 15 months; this time she was 18 months, and boy, oh boy, what a difference three months make. I held her as a lap child last time, but this time I opted to buy her own seat. With a growing bump, I wasn’t too keen on holding her for three+ hours, so letting her have her own seat was the best option for us.

This option was amazing. Not only did my arms get a break for three hours, but I actually got to read AND take a nap during one of the flights. I can’t remember the last time I felt that relaxed, especially on a flight. Oh, and get this: she even fell asleep before we took off. Thank you very much, airplane white noise!

With more flights under our belts, I wanted to share five things I think helped:

1. Get Organized:

This trip lasted around one month long and was through the tail end of summer and the beginning of fall, which posed a little bit of a packing conundrum. My goal is always to take as little as possible on trips, so this is what I packed:

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TTC Story: Our Final Installment

I last left off in our TTC story staring at an email from a woman who possibly had vials of the same donor that we used to conceive our daughter, Ohana. She also happened to be the mother to a half sister of my daughter. Big stuff. I had been searching for more vials after using up all of the previously purchased vials. Thus far, I was having no luck and we had moved on to other donors. And even now, looking at an email response, I had no idea if this would pan out.

I opened the email and hoped that this woman was not scorning me. I was so relieved that it was quite the opposite: she was open and friendly and genuinely happy to hear from me.

Missus Scooter had come home by this time and I didn’t even make it through the whole email before I thrust the computer in front of her and said, “read this!” I cried as I watched her read, not having any context for what she was reading or who it was from. When she figured it out she just looked at me and said, “no way.”

For confidentiality, let’s call this woman Becky. The gist of Becky’s reply was that she had purchased three vials of Donor #1 sometime in 2010. She conceived on the first try and had two vials left. I’m not going to share the details of her personal story, but she was pretty certain she would not be having another baby. However, she was not fully prepared to make a final decision about something that had always been an option for her. There were a lot of emotions tied up in this and I totally got it. She said she would like to think about it and when I replied to her email, I genuinely asked her to take all the time she needed and that we were just thankful that she was open to the possibility.

Normally, I would not have been so brash with such a big decision. A million things could have occurred to invite drama or complication into our relatively (by design) calm life. I knew absolutely nothing of this woman and now I was opening a channel. I hadn’t even talked to my wife about it! What was I thinking? But from the very outset, I had a good feeling and I trusted it. I really try to balance my heart/gut with my head in major decisions but in this case it really was all instinct.

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