Posts Tagged ‘baby’

Your 1st Pregnancy versus Your 3rd

Last night, I was thinking about how different my viewpoints are on pregnancy now that I am on my 3rd set of 9 months compared to the first time around.  This whole self-reflection was triggered by a blog post and a doctor’s visit.  Yesterday, I had a maternity checkup and when the doctor asked me how I was doing, I told her that I have a lot of round ligament pain now and frequent backaches.  For those of you that don’t know, round ligament pain is a feeling like you’re being stabbed with a knife on your side just above your hips but below your belly  It’s pretty common in pregnancy as the ligaments stretch but have been quite excessive for me this time around.  As for my backaches, my doctor was realistic and said, “I don’t expect you not to carry your kids around.”  She did suggest that I invest in a maternity support belt to help with both issues.

Now what does this conversation have to do with a blog post?  I had just read a blog post written by a woman who is 1 week further along in her first pregnancy than me who bought a maternity belt to help with her own aches and pains.  I don’t scoff at any woman’s pregnancy aches and pains, but I had to chuckle a little bit at this one.  She is very physically active and her baby belly is as small as mine was at 12 weeks.  I can’t believe how tiny she is!  She looks like she’s bloated from eating a Big Mac and large fries for lunch.  How is it possible that she could need a maternity belt?!  That’s when I started remembering how your perspective changes with different pregnancies.

Take morning sickness for example.  In your first pregnancy, you survive morning sickness and think that you get it.  You really understand what morning sickness is all about.  The truth is you have no idea the severity of your suffering because you have nothing to compare it too.  Morning sickness sucks no matter how bad it is, but you may not realize that it really wasn’t that bad until you’ve gone through it a 2nd or even a 3rd time.  How annoying and insensitive is it when a mom can’t show sympathy for someone with morning sickness because she went through it and survived?  Maybe that mom’s experience wasn’t as bad as hers.  It’s hard to really understand the varying degrees of morning sickness until you have felt something different.

Sleep is another great example.  I actually don’t have sympathy for a first time mom who complains about her lack of sleep.  In your first pregnancy, your only sleep interruption is you.  Maybe you have to get up and pee, maybe your uncomfortable, maybe you wake up because you’re hungry, but you never wake up because another baby is crying and screaming for you at 2am.  You never have to start your day at 5:30am because your kid is awake and ready to play.  You never have to wait until you’ve put your child to bed for your own bed time.  You can nap or lie down and rest whenever you want.  I remember in my first pregnancy, I took a nap every day leading up to the arrival of my son.  This time around, I’m terrified that I will be exhausted before those nighttime feedings even start.

Waiting for you baby. Here is where I do have complete sympathy for the first time mom.  Waiting for your first baby can seem like it takes 9 years not 9 months.  The time just cannot go by fast enough until you can hold your baby in your arms.  In this 3rd pregnancy, I would like time to slow down a little bit so I can start preparing for having a new little one.  I felt like I blinked I was starting my 3rd trimester.

Everybody’s pregnancy experience is unique, special and exciting.  I try very hard not to tell a new mom how it’s really going to be because her experience is her own and shouldn’t be tainted by other’s stories.  I can’t help but look back on my own experiences and appreciate how much wiser I feel for having been there done that.  Although, I’m sure something new will pop up that will make feel just as inexperienced as I was the first time around.

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The Importance of Sleep

We all know that sleep is important. A restful night’s sleep enables us to perform our best cognitively and physically. It also helps us to maintain a healthier body weight. As every parent knows, sleep is sometimes elusive. We’ve all been there. Those first 3 months of a newborn’s life can make you feel like you’re going to die from lack of sleep. Then teething starts. Your kid gets sick. He has a bad dream. All sorts of scenarios crop up that interrupt your night of sleep, but these scenarios also interrupt your kid’s good night of sleep as well. For babies, that’s ok. They’ll make up for it during the day. For older children, the repercussions are more challenging.

Gavin is going through a transition. Some days, no nap is needed. Other days, it’s required. On the days, that he won’t nap, the result is a lot of crankiness at bed time and difficulty going to sleep and/or staying asleep. On the days that he does nap, the result is an extremely difficult time going to sleep and a very early wake up. On the days we get it wrong and he ends up overtired, he is whiny and has very low impulse control, which translates to lots of time-outs due to hitting, kicking and pushing his sister, throwing toys and talking back. Those nights might also yield a night terror and an eventual request to sleep in our bed. My mom-guilt gets me on these days because I get so frustrated with him, and yet, I know that it is the exhaustion manifesting itself.

I am trying to enforce at least a ½ hour of quiet time at nap time in hopes that maybe if he is tired enough, he’ll fall asleep or just get some rest. The last quiet time he had, after about 20 minutes he called for help. When I got into his room, all of his lights were on, the fan was on high, his books were strewn all over the floor, his closet doors were open, and he had his snow pants on. You can see that it is going well.

As we deal with this transition, I’m trying to find some patience despite my own over-tiredness. I know that these difficult moments will eventually pass. Until then, I’ll celebrate every night of uninterrupted sleep that lasts past 6am – for him and me.

Destroying the Environment 1 Diaper at a Time

I have been meaning to write this post since I started this blog, but I haven’t been able to bring myself to do it. I think that my avoidance of this topic stems from guilt and embarrassment. My son is now 2 and we have another baby in the house, and we use disposable diapers.  That’s not very green, is it? Before my son was even born, my husband and I had grand plans to use cloth diapers. We read that it takes approximately 450 years for a diaper to biodegrade in a landfill. We also read about the thousands of dollars we could save avoiding purchasing disposable diapers. We even purchased an arsenal of Bum Genius One Size cloth diapers in anticipation of saving the environment and money. After much research, we had a game plan. We were going to use disposables for the first month, for overnight and for daycare (no choice in that one). We stuck to our plan for all of 3 months.

What happened you ask? Poop happened. My son pooped at every feeding until he was 6 months old. Even to this day, we have multiple poop-filled diapers a day. Cloth diapers plus an infant’s poop is a disgusting combination, and one that we just had trouble dealing with all day long. We gave it a good effort, but we eventually reverted back to disposable diapers and enjoy the ease of them all the while ignoring the guilt of our negative contribution to the environment. I am constantly in awe of moms who cloth diaper. I wish that I had the drive and motivation to continue, but I am an utter failure in the green diapering department.

I recently read an interesting article about research performed on the issue of disposable vs reusable diapers and their environmental impacts. In 2005, a London-based environment agency performed an extensive research study on this topic and concluded that both disposable and cloth diapers have the same environmental impact when you factor in laundering of the cloth diapers. These results supported a Proctor & Gamble funded study executed 10 years earlier that determined that washing a cloth diaper over its lifetime actually uses 6 times more water than it takes to make a disposable diaper. Of course, critics say these results are skewed, especially assuming that cloth diaperers aren’t using a diapering service or energy-efficient washing machines. When we looked into a service, we only found one diapering service near us, and it was not something that fit into our budget. Washing the diapers ourselves was our only option.

At the end of the day, I think that the jury is still out on whether or not disposable diapers are worse for the environment than cloth diapers.  Regardless of the true answer, It’s hard to ignore that staggering number of 450 years for a disposable to biodegrade.  I am looking forward to having potty trained kids.

Another Chicken Dead

On Saturday, Steve mentioned to me that he wanted to give Gavin some chicken for dinner one night. By the time we got to the grocery store on Sunday, I was hoping that he would forget. I was wrong. As a vegetarian, technically a pescetarian since I eat fish, eggs, and other dairy products, I have always said that Gavin will eat meat. He will be able to make his own choice as to whether he wants to lead a vegetarian lifestyle. All that being said, I do most of the grocery shopping and cooking, and I don’t buy meat ever. When Steve cooks, he always prepares a meal that I can eat too, which means no meat. So, somewhere deep down, I wondered how Gavin would ever eat meat if there wasn’t any in our home.

As we were picking out some baby food for Gavin, the subject of chicken came up again. I showed Steve how gross the jarred baby meat looked, and he agreed that we weren’t going to feed him that stuff. We spent time with friends the night before who also have a baby. Unfortunately, Steve saw how they fed him ground up chicken. I think that really solidified the idea in him. He knew that we could cook up some chicken and grind it up ourselves. So, off we went to the meat aisle. Steve’s onboard with the organic lifestyle, so there wasn’t any argument there on whether to spend the extra money on organic chicken. I was hoping to find organic, free-range chicken. I would have felt better about the situation then.

My real problem is that I saw a chicken truck once. It was on the Schuylkill Expressway and traffic was stopped (big surprise). I remember looking at the back of that truck and thinking, wow – look at all those dead chickens. They were in these little metal boxes, all squished up. They couldn’t move around or even lift their heads because the boxes were so small. Then I noticed a wing moving. It was sticking out the side of that box and moving around. I realized then that those chickens were alive and smashed into these tiny boxes like they were fruit being transported. That day, I became a vegetarian. I still think of it and feel a little queasy. Those poor chickens. I don’t care if chickens are dumb, dirty or even mean animals. They are still animals.

Our grocery store doesn’t sell any free-range meat, so we ended up buying just organic chicken. It’s sitting in our fridge waiting to be cooked up tonight. Secretly, I hope that Gavin doesn’t like it, and that will be the end of meat of a while. Since Gavin likes everything, I think that meat will soon be on the menu. 😦