Childbirth Infants Motherhood Parenting Pregnancy

Must-have items for new moms

We have several new and expecting moms following our blog so we want to share with y’all our list of must-have items. These are the kinds of things that you’ll want around as soon as baby gets here. Items 1-8 are Mallory’s must-haves and 9-16 are Claire’s.
1. Baby carrier – I actually have three baby carriers; we like to baby wear in this family! My first child had reflux so it was necessary to wear her constantly to keep her happy and my hands free. The Boba wrap is perfect for keeping baby snug and wrapped tightly to your body. My husband and I prefer to use this carrier if we are wearing the baby around the house. I don’t feel as comfortable going out with this one on because it is not very supportive.

The Boba wrap is perfect for baby wearing around the house.
The Baby Bjorn baby carrier is great for going out. It’s lightweight, easy to put on and supports the baby close to your chest. We recently bought and fell in love with the Ergobaby 3-position carrier for our toddler because you can wear the child on your back like a backpack. If you are only going to get one carrier, I’d highly recommend this one because it will meet all your needs.

Wearing a toddler as a backpack using the Ergobaby carrier makes exploring a new country much easier!
2. Bob jogging stroller – if you like jogging or doing anything outdoorsy, I highly recommend paying the big bucks and investing in a Bob jogging stroller. They are amazing and worth every penny!

3. Oh joy! Diaper bag from Target – this diaper bag is a backpack, has stroller straps, and zips closed. The bag has several pockets and is very deep for lots of storage. I love it and get compliments everywhere I go! Claire’s had 2 diaper bags and doesn’t love either of them. She’s going to go buy one of these bags this week.

4. Love to Dream swaddle UP – this swaddle is fabulous and so easy to use. You just put the baby inside and zip it up. One problem I always had using a blanket to swaddle was that my LO would struggle until her arms were free. With the Love to Dream swaddle the arms are up in a patented wing position. My husband calls it a wingman suit for this reason. The babies look like skydivers. The 50/50 swaddle has zip-off wings to help baby transition out of swaddles. I unzipped one wing at first then after a few nights took off both wings. This made the whole process easy for mom and baby.

Love to Dream swaddle UP a.k.a. Wingman suit
5. Rock n Play Sleeper – these are the best to have in every room (just kidding I just pick mine up and move it into which ever room I am in). Great for bedtime, nap time, daytime and playtime. For me, it comes in handy after nursing. I can lay my LO down without worrying he will spit up because it is the perfect angle.

Big sister coming inside to check on baby brother every 5-minutes
6. Amazon Subscribe and Save – first off, if you don’t already have Amazon Prime membership please crawl out of your cave and get with the program. Amazon saves me so much time and effort. Subscribe and Save is even more amazing because I can create a monthly list of items that will be automatically delivered to me by a certain day. It even works in Japan! This is how I get all our diapers, wipes, diaper trash bags, and most importantly our K-pods.

7. Nose Frida – the grossest, most effective apparatus for extracting snot from a stopped up baby nose. It is somewhat satisfying watching all the baby’s snot fill the tube.

Using the Nose Frida…the patient is not always happy about you sucking snot out of their nose!
8. Tinybeans – best app to keep your family updated with daily photos without sharing your little ones face and life story with the whole World Wide Web. Read Claire’s article to find out why we love Tinybeans so much.

9. Pack n Play w/ Bassinet feature – This is one of the essentials to have ready when baby comes home from the hospital. You’re gonna want your newborn within arm’s reach the first few months, so setting up the pack n play right next to your bed is going to help you catch some z’s. When baby transitions to the crib, you can still keep your pack n play around to contain baby around the house and on trips.

10. My Brestfriend Pillow – This nursing pillow was recommended by the lactation consultant at our hospital. It buckles around your body for extra support and convenience. My love for it has grown since we’ve moved into a two-story house. I just clip it around my waist which gives me two free hands to carry baby (or extra snacks and water) to wherever I want to nurse him.

11. Keekaroo changer – while I was pregnant, I was learning the parenting ropes from a friend and this is the changer she had. At first I was put off by the price, but because you don’t need changing pad covers, it’s basically a wash. Just wipe down and done. I was satisfied by this purchase in the first week we brought our son home: I put him on the changer, took off his diaper and suddenly the Keekaroo was flooded with meconium! We kept trying to put on new diapers, but it just kept coming!


12. Two-in-One Swing – In my experience I’ve found two camps of moms: The Rock n Players or The Swingers. There are so many (what I call) “baby receptacles,” on the market it’s hard to know what to choose. You’ll definitely want something outside of the bedroom for setting down and soothing your babe. What works best for you is largely dependent on your baby’s personality, but for me, the practicality of the Graco 2-in-1 Swing won me over to the Swinger side. I loved that the swing seat is also a bouncer that can be removed and moved around the house. Such a space-saver!

2014-10-11 10.03.49
Probably the only time I strapped him in…
13. Bamboobies – reusable nursing pads! Yes! I will say, in the beginning, I still ended up using disposable nursing pads because I leaked so much that the reusable pads would just stay wet which is not good for your nips, but once my supply regulates, the reusable are all I really need.

14. White Noise machine – this was one of my “live and learn” purchases. As my first-born got older and more sensitive to his environment, sometimes the smallest creak would startle him awake. I finally got a white noise machine to drown out any startling noises. Today I have one in each of my boys’ rooms which has been especially useful for drowning out the incessant barking of the dogs.

15. Madela hand pump – I don’t pump often, but when I do it’s usually in the middle of the night to relieve engorgement. Getting a good double electric pump is great, but if you’re looking to avoid the whole production of getting connected to your electric pump, a hand pump can be used from the quiet comfort of your bed. Also great for throwing in your diaper bag or suitcase if you’re traveling.

16. Vibrating teether – Teething sucks. I have all kinds of teethers, but found that nothing provided sweet relief quite like the vibrating ones. The only problem with them is that little babies have trouble biting down on them to get them to vibrate. The one linked helped me solve that problem. I can let baby chew on one side and I’m still able to hold down the other side to keep it vibrating.

Back-to-School Emergencies

Back-to-School Mini Series: Teaching Kids about Emergencies

I shutter to think about having to teach my daughter emergency situations. I know it is 100% necessary, but I legitimately worry I’m going to scare the sh*t out of her. Just thinking about it, my silly mom-brain envisions the most god-awful scenarios she might get herself into. For example, shortly after DD was born we experienced our first Earthquake. It was so small it didn’t even wake my husband, but in my mind I could picture the house splitting in half with the nursery on one side and me on the other. Ridiculous, I know; but I definitely do not want to transfer that fear to her when we teach her about emergencies. I want her to be confident in her abilities to get herself out of danger and to a safe place.

Below is an approach from Dr. Sanam Hafeez  – New York City based Neuro-psychologist and School Psychologist – on emergency preparedness that won’t freak your children out.

First, you’ll want to explain the difference between an emergency and a problem to your children. An emergency is a situation that requires immediate assistance from the police or fire department, or requires immediate medical assistance through paramedics or EMTs. A problem is something that they need help with, but does not require emergency services. When your child experiences a problem, and they are home alone, he or she should decide whether to call you immediately, call a neighbor, or whether the problem can wait until you get home.

You’d probably want your child to call you if he or she:

  • Felt scared
  • Had trouble getting into the house
  • Got home and found that the electricity was off

The following issues would warrant an immediate call to 9-1-1:

  • A fire
  • Evidence of a break-in
  • A medical emergency, such as someone being unresponsive or bleeding profusely

To alleviate anxiety, be clear with your children that an emergency is something unusual that happens sometimes resulting in injury or causing damage to things like houses and cars. Explain to them that, every now and then, nature provides ‘too much of something’ like, rain, wind, or snow. Talk about effects of an emergency that children can relate to, such as loss of electricity, water, and telephone service; flooded roads and uprooted trees.  Explain that everyone is better able to take care of themselves in emergencies when they know what to do.

Dr. Hafeez points out that, “For younger children, it might also help to talk about who the emergency workers are in your community — police officers, firefighters, paramedics, doctors, nurses, and so on — and what kinds of things they do to help people who are in trouble.” This will clarify not only what types of emergencies can occur, but also who can

When to Call 911

Dr. Hafeez explains that, “Part of understanding what an emergency is, is knowing what it is not. A fire, an intruder in the home, an unconscious family member — these are all things that would require a call to 911. A skinned knee, a stolen bicycle, or an argument with a school mate would not. Still, teach your child that if ever in doubt and there’s no adult around to ask, make the call. It’s much better to be safe than sorry”.

Make sure your kids understand that calling 911 as a joke is a crime in many places. In some cities, officials estimate that as much as 75% of the calls made to 911 are non-emergency calls. These are not all pranks. Some people accidentally push the emergency button on their cell phones. Others don’t realize that 911 is for true emergencies only (not for such things as a flat tire or even about a theft that occurred the week before).

Create a Plan with your Child

  1. Teach your child one parent’s cell-phone number or a good contact number. **I remember my mom teaching me our phone number and home address as a song. She even taught me to show the numbers on my hands along with the words.
  2. Choose a location other than your home where your family can meet. You’ll need to go there in case of a fire or an earthquake, for example. Your meeting place might be a local park, school, or shelter. Walk to the site with your child so he/she knows exactly how to get there.
  3. Designate a trusted friend or family member who can pick up your kid at child care or school if you are unable to get there in a disaster situation. Be sure that you give official permission to release your child to that person. **When I was a kid we had a family password. If someone different picked me up from Daycare, that I was not expecting, I was supposed to ask them for the password. If one of my parents had sent them, they would have told them our secret family word.
  4. Make a card with your plan for each adult’s wallet. Include contact names, your emergency location, and designated friend/family member. Put a copy in your school-age child’s backpack.
    • Inform caregivers and nearby relatives of your plan. Be sure to give a copy of your plan to your child’s teacher too.

If you’re not good at texting, improve your skills. When cell- phone signal strength goes down, texting often still works because it uses less bandwidth and network capacity.


Discuss Region-Specific Natural Disasters

You probably won’t need to waste much time on teaching a child that lives in the Midwest how to manage a hurricane, but he/she will need to know what to do in the event of a tornado. Talking about the natural disasters that are most likely to occur in your area and making a specific plan to deal with them is imperative, especially if you live in a region that’s particularly prone to environmental emergencies.

Photo courtesy of Modern Survival Blog

Work Out a Home Evacuation Plan

In the event of a fire, home invasion, or a natural disaster, your entire family will need to have a coordinated evacuation plan to ensure that everyone makes it out of the house safely. Dr. Hafeez stresses that, it is important to explain to your child that all material possessions, even favorite ones, can be replaced and that it’s far more important for them to exit the house than it is to save their belongings. Make sure that he/she knows how to get out of the house if you’re not able to reach her, to make her way to a pre-arranged family meeting place and what she should do when he/she arrives there first.


Role Play Specific Scenarios

Netflix’s Stranger Things – fantasy role-playing D&D

Dr. Hafeez explains that, one of the best ways to determine how much your child knows and what she still needs to learn about emergency preparedness is to role play specific scenarios that she could potentially encounter. There’s a reason why public schools practice routine fire drills: they help kids prepare in a relatively low-stress environment for an emergency so that, in a high-pressure situation they know how to react. Role playing serious injury situations, weather emergencies, a house fire, and even potential intruder situations gives you an idea about what your child knows and helps you teach them more detailed information so that they’re prepared to handle any emergency.

Sanam Hafeez Psy.D

New York State Licensed Neuropsychologist and School Psychologist

Dr. Sanam Hafeez is a New York City based Neuro-psychologist and School Psychologist.  She is also the founder and director of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services, P.C.  She is currently a teaching faculty member at Columbia University.

Dr. Hafeez graduated from Queens College, CUNY with a BA in psychology.  She then went on to earn her Master of Science in Psychology at Hofstra University.  Following that she stayed at Hofstra to receive her Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) She later completed her post-doctoral training in Neuropsychology and Developmental Pediatrics at Coney Island Hospital.

Dr. Hafeez’s provides neuropsychological educational and developmental evaluations in her practice.  She also works with children and adults who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), learning disabilities, autism, attention and memory problems, trauma and brain injury, abuse, childhood development and psychopathology (bipolar, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, etc…) In addition, Dr. Hafeez serves as a medical expert and expert witness by providing full evaluations and witness testimony to law firms and courts.

Dr. Hafeez immigrated to the United States from Pakistan when she was twelve years old.  She is fluent in English, Urdu, Hindi and Punjabi (Pakistani and Indian languages.) She resides in Queens, New York with her husband and twin boys.


Infants Media Motherhood

Screen Time for Babies: If this is wrong then I don’t want to be right

As a FTM I am constantly worried about messing up my kid. I am frequently reminded that I have no clue what I am doing. Should I have taken a test before they allowed me to leave the hospital with a baby?? Probably. I’m trying to follow all the rules. Use the ABCs of sleeping (Alone, on her Back, and in a Crib). Check. Exclusively breastfeed for the first 6 months. Check. When introducing solids at 6-months old start with vegetables first so baby doesn’t get hooked on sugar. Check. No screen time for the first two years. Errr, what?? How is that even possible?

For the first two weeks of DD‘s life I really embraced being a couch potato. Those were the good ole days, when she slept for 20 hours a day. As long as she was in my arms or on my chest I could literally be doing anything else and it would not bother her. I basically lived on the couch catching up on all my TV programs. Being a mom was a piece of cake. Then I read an article that said even having the TV on in the background was not good for the baby. OMG what am I going to do all day? Luckily a new, growing baby is a lot of work and left very little room for watching TV.

Nowadays, I try really hard not to turn the TV on in front of DD. She makes too much noise babbling and yelling at us or the screen to enjoy a show anyways. We wait until she is asleep before watching anything. Sometimes the 45 minutes DH and I watch TV before bed is our only alone time. It is a great opportunity to relax and reconnect.  BC we watched a lot of TV together. It was fun discovering a new show with him or re-watching an old favorite. We have spent a lot of money at Best Buy over the years filling our DVD cabinets with our beloved shows. We have even hosted TV show themed parties and movie marathons. Xfinity recently did a study that says TV is the glue to a stronger marriage. I definitely find this to be true, now more than ever. With a baby in the house, it is hard to find time to be a normal couple.

Impact of TV on Relationships-Infographic

Anyone who has ever met my husband knows he does not like to cuddle. So I cherish the time we spend sitting next to each other on the couch sharing a blanket and watching TV. This is our “cuddle” time. TV brings us together and keeps us together. Just the other day we started watching a new show “Rick and Morty,” and DH asked how I like the show. I told him that I thought the show was OK, but what I absolutely love about it is how hard it makes him laugh. He said that made me sound like a serial killer. If liking something that makes someone I love genuinely happy makes me a serial killer then I guess I’m guilty as charged.

So you can see that TV is a big, important part of our lives. I’d like to be able to include our LO in this bonding time, but I seriously don’t want to cause her any developmental harm. I’m not saying I want her plopped in front of the TV, vegging out for hours during the day so I can have “mommy time”, but I’d like to not feel guilty if we have the TV on after lunch and a show captivates her attention for 10 minutes. There are plenty of other things I can feel guilty about as a mom; I don’t need TV to be one of them.

Being the Nervous Nelly that I am, I did a bunch of research on the topic at hand and found some interesting information. At first, I found that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) specifically discourages any passive screen time for children under 2 years old, i.e., plopping kid in front of TV/using TV as a babysitter. “The concern for risk is that some kids who watch a lot of media actually have poor language skills, so there’s a deficit in their language development. We also have concerns about other developmental issues because they’re basically missing out on other developmentally appropriate activities,” says Dr. Ari Brown, the lead author on the American Academy of Pediatrics 2011 policy statement discouraging screen time for babies under 2.

Ummm, no thanks! The 10 minutes of peace and quiet I get while DD watches TV are not worth her missing the boat on language and other communication skills. Apparently just having the TV on in the background, is enough to delay language development. As parents we speak about 940 words per hour when a child is around, but when the TV is on that number drops to 770! Fewer words mean less learning. Yikes! It is not just the number of spoken words that are crucial to a child’s development, but also the exchange of facial expressions, tone of voice, and body language used during conversation. Whenever one party, child or parent, is watching TV, the exchange comes to a halt.

I totally get what the AAP is saying, but I have a hard time believing that parents are able to stick with this recommendation in this day and age. My LO FaceTimes with her Grandparents at least once a week, she loves sitting with her Daddy when he is playing computer games, and I am constantly using my iPhone in front of her to take our daily Tinybeans photos (if you are not sure what Tinybeans is, check out Claire’s post Keeping up with Tinybeans). Basically, we have already failed her as parents. I refuse to accept this fact so early in the game though. I am also super annoyed with the internet for showing the AAP’s 2011 statement first on all the search engines I am using. Have they not revised this in the past 5 years? FaceTime was barely a thing when this statement came out. Come on guys get with the program! Tell me I’m not making my kid dumb!

Bazinga! More recently (2015), the AAP is rethinking their original ban on screen time for children under 2. They are now suggesting it is OK in a controlled situation where the child is still interacting with a parent or a live person on screen. The AAP still doesn’t want kids watching hours of mindless television or YouTube videos, but “the latest neuroscience research shows that the more a digital experience approximates live two-way communication, the more a child younger than 2 will understand and process it,” Brown said. For instance, when a child is sitting and watching a TV program or a video on an iPhone, there’s not a great deal of activity in the brain. But when the child is watching someone they know or even someone they don’t know on a webcam during a video chat, “there’s a whole lot of brain activity going on,” Brown said. Boom! Winning! I feel a 1000 times better now, don’t you?

I am a little disappointed that I wont be sharing an episode of Game of Thrones with my LO anytime soon, but any and all guilt that I felt about letting her watch Baby Signing Time while I wash the dishes is completely gone. I may actually be helping her development with that show! It is currently the only show she watches. I think there is something about the other babies on the screen that intrigues her. I know there are a lot of other well-designed shows out there that teach kids literacy, math, science, problem-solving, and pro-social behavior. Children get more out of these interactive programs like Dora the Explorer and Sesame Street when they answer the characters’ questions. Go, Diego, Go, a spin-off from Dora the Explorer, is one of Claire’s son’s favorite shows. Hopefully she can rest easy tonight knowing that this show is not melting his brain, and conversely has been given several awards stating that it is an outstanding children’s program. Way to go Claire!

So basically TV can cause a lot of developmental harm to your child, but if you use common sense and set limits for screen time you will be doing alright as a parent. Babies’ brains are growing fast and are easily influenced by stimuli. Try to eliminate any and all non-interactive screen time for children under two years old. FaceTime, Skype, and other interactive TV shows are OK, but should be utilized with a parent. If you are unsure about a show your child is watching, check out Common Sense Media which helps families make smart media choices. Hopefully this information is useful for other moms out there and removes some of that “mom guilt” we all tend to put on ourselves.



Motherhood Sleep Training

Taming a Gremlin with Better Sleep

Several months ago, my husband and I found out that our precious, sweet baby was actually a little gremlin (circa 1984 Gremlins, not the mischievous type that sabotage aircraft). She’d be cute and cuddly during the day, but every evening as bedtime approached that would all fade away. If you have been a parent for longer than a minute then you probably know this as the witching hour, but if you are like me, a FTM, it is that time in the evening (7 PM for us) when your newborn suddenly begins wailing like a banshee for no apparent reason and WILL NOT STOP!

Gizmo a Mogwai (the cute furry stage) from Gremlins
Birth Story

The Smell Log: Tales from my Labor and Delivery Room

From the day I announced that I was pregnant, my husband announced he would not be taking part in any of the delivery. He agreed to drop me off at the hospital and come back in three days to pick me up if I could not find a ride home on my own. This is what he told EVERYONE for 9 months!!! Sometimes he would say he’d wait for me to bring him his heir in the waiting room while smoking cigars, but then I’d remind him we were having a girl and of the hospital’s “no smoking” policy and he’d go back to his original plan of dropping me off…or calling an Uber for me. Don’t start sending me hate mail just yet. Of course this was all in jest.

Before our baby’s arrival we took a Baby Care Basics class in which we learned how to swaddle, diaper, bathe, and care for our baby. My dear husband (DH) thought this was unnecessary, but I wanted to be fully prepared. They gave us a brief rundown of what would happen in the hospital as soon as the baby was born so we would know what to expect. I don’t remember everything the lady said exactly, mainly, because I got hung up when she said our baby may come out with feathers and a cottage cheese-like substance all over her. I will get to that later, but eww, gross! DH was already weary about being in the delivery room (read above) and now he was convinced that there would be bad smells and did not want to be a part of it. I assured him there was nothing to worry about, but he told me he’d keep a “smell log” while we were at the hospital, nonetheless, to prove me wrong. Like any good marriage, we spend the majority of our time trying to prove each other wrong. The following is my account of the labor and delivery with my husband’s “smell log” mixed in. I do not remember a single smell, but then again the memory of all the pain is slipping by me more and more every day.

We arrived at the hospital around 7AM on Saturday, January 16, 2016. Contractions started the night before and progressed into the morning. We waited until they were 5 minutes apart just like the doctor told me. I was so excited when we got to the hospital; I was sure the baby would be here shortly. The nurse did a quick check to see how far a long I was. I was only 1 cm! What??? Bummer! They did not send me home though, luckily, because I was leaking amniotic fluid and the risk of infection is higher. Whew! Now it is only a matter of time.

Once I was admitted and settled into my room the nurse asked about my birth plan. I let her know that I was going to do this drug free. My dear friend Claire did it without an epidural so I figured I could too. I’m a brave girl! Plus I read a blog about how you can make childbirth easier by doing 300 squats a day. I did about 300 squats total over the last 3 years so I was basically ready. I mainly had a fear that if I did want the epidural it would not work well on me since I am a redhead and I have had trouble with analgesics in the past. It is a redhead thing, don’t laugh at me. If you don’t believe me you can look it up. It is science based I promise. Anyways, I was going to do this drug free. The nurse wrote it on the board and my husband’s only job was to keep me from asking for an epidural.

I was not in extreme pain at first (DH will tell you I don’t know how a pain scale works), but I was definitely uncomfortable and the contractions were getting worse each hour. After 4 hours, the doctor arrived to check on me. Still 1 cm!!! OH MY GOD, WE WILL BE HERE ALL WEEKEND AT THIS RATE! The doctor was probably thinking the same thing because he started me on Pitocin to speed up the process. Within minutes of receiving the Pitocin my contractions increased tenfold. “¡Ay, caramba!” It took everything I had in me to not immediately start crying. I used the breathing techniques the nurse showed me, which helped a little, but not really. I tried to get into a different position and lay on my side. As I rolled in the bed, I heard a loud “pop” and felt the rush of my water breaking. I made my husband bring me a towel and help me to the bathroom to get cleaned up. He came over to the bed with a pad of paper and pen like a goddamn reporter. This is where his “smell log” began.

“12:11PM Jan 16th 2016:  Leaked on towel, smells like chicken and wild rice soup from Panera, mixed with warm cleaning products”

“12:26PM Jan 16th 2016:  Wife jams towel between her legs and covers her mouth and nose, presumably to stop the smell from nauseating her”

At this point (1 hour after Pitocin) the contractions were so painful that I honestly thought I was going to pass out. I was crying like a baby and begging my husband to get the nurse. I was positive I was fully dilated and about to give birth…I just had to be with that kind of pain. Right?!?!

“1:15PM Jan 16th 2016:  Wife taps out and asks for drugs. Thinks baby is coming out, only 2 cms dilated”

“1:25PM Jan 16th 2016:  Doctor stifles laughter when he hears how far along wife is when she asks for epidural”

DH made sure to steal my phone during all of this and text Claire the good news (that I gave up and asked for an epidural). He is so sweet!

This is the text convo between DH and Claire while I’m getting an epidural. 

“2:19PM Jan 16th 2016:  Moaning has subsided while desire for Subway sandwich grow. Still unsure how pain scale works.”

The epidural was the best decision I could have made. It calmed me down and I was able to rest while I became more dilated. There is no way I would have had the strength to push if I had not received the epidural.

“4:10PM Jan 16th 2016:  Fully dilated. Thinks she’s done something to move birth along. Misguided”

“5:05PM Jan 16th 2016:  Pushing starts. Room begins to smell of a mix of sweat and vaginal mucus. Urine is sprayed everywhere when securing catheter bag.”

They have to take you off the epidural once you are ready to deliver so you can feel when to push. Luckily the effects of the epidural linger for a bit so it is not so bad at first. If you are lucky your baby will slide right out and you won’t have to push for very long. If you are unlucky, you may have to push for several hours. I was unlucky. After pushing with every contraction for 2.5 hours, I was toast and the baby’s head was still not out. The Doc ended up using a vacuum to get her head out. I didn’t care what he used; I just wanted it to be over.

As soon as the head came out, to my husband’s surprise, the Doc told him to pull her out. It was one of the greatest moments watching my husband raise our daughter up over my legs, but also horrifically frightening.  I was not expecting her to look the way she did. There was nothing cute about her. She looked like an alien and was covered in slime. Remember that cheese-like substance I mentioned in the beginning? (It is called vernix and it is completely normal; it protects the baby’s skin while in the amniotic fluid.)

They laid her on me and I cried, not from joy, but from disappointment. I was afraid I gave my baby this awful cone head because I could not push her out on my own. Babies’ heads are cone shaped at birth due to passing through the birth canal, but my daughter’s head was 100x worse because of the vacuum. You could see where the suction cup was on her head!! I was freaking out! I asked the doctor repeatedly if her head would ever be normal. He definitely laughed out loud at me and told me she’d look more normal in a few hours. I, of course, did not believe him. I was so worried and upset. One of the nurses saw that I was getting upset over this and threw a cap over her head and quickly cleaned her up for me. Her head did go down after a while and is a completely normal shape now. She also is no longer slimey, except when she drools. She is a beautiful baby and I love every piece of her. I think she is one of the cutest babies ever, but then again I am biased.

As for my husband’s “smell log,” I think we can all agree it is a bunch of BS. There were no significant or memorable smells to ward off fathers from delivery rooms. The nurses and hospital staff do a fantastic job of caring for you and cleaning up anything you may expel. Smells are definitely not something I’d recommend you concern yourself with. I’d be more worried about the alien being that will emerge from your loins. Prepare yourself for that. They don’t show you that in the movies.



Infants MoFoGro Motherhood

My Journey Through Motherhood…and it’s Just the Beginning

Mother’s Day was this past weekend and it got me thinking about motherhood and the type of mom I want to be. Of course I want to be a great mom, but what does that entail? Do I need to be strict? Should I only breastfeed? Will my kid miss out if she does or doesn’t go to daycare? How do I avoid being the reason for future therapy sessions? Should I just start saving for it now?