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Wednesday, July 10th, 2013
Who here loves a baby shower? Who here’s looking forward to her own baby shower? If you fall into either camp, read on for the most heartfelt baby shower activity (at least according to me!).
I admit I’m a sentimental softie and that’s why I love it when baby showers incorporate personal touches. So I was really excited to see that Heather Morris’ friends designed onesies for the Glee star’s upcoming bundle of joy during her summer shower.
It lets your pals get creative and you and your little one get a one-of-a-kind gift. When Heather’s friends were done designing their mini masterpieces, they were hung from a clothing line by cute clothespins, adding to the party’s decor (gossipy sidenote: since there are blue, pink and yellow clothespins, I’m guessing Heather’s waiting till she gives birth to find out the sex of her baby!).
For my shower, my friends did something similar, and everyone designed bibs using waterproof markers, so they’re safe to wash without erasing the doodles. I received tons of amazing gifts at my baby shower, but the handmade bibs are what I will forever cherish (scroll down to see some of them).
I highly recommend adding a creative baby shower activity to your day, or urging a friend to get one going for you. Other great ideas include making decorations for the nursery together in whatever color or theme you’ve selected (this could be customized picture frames, wall hangings, or pillows), each guest writing a hand-written note to the baby on what the baby means to them and what they hope s/he will achieve in life, and for super-crafty types knitting a small square of fabric that can be put together to make a customized blankie for the baby. The possibilities are endless!
Here are some of my favorite bib designs from my shower:
For more fab baby shower ideas, go here.
TELL US: What are some of the creative personal touches you’ve incorporated into your shower? What are your favorite baby shower activities?
Image of onesie via Instagram.
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Monday, July 1st, 2013
When you find out you’re pregnant, you can’t help yourself—you start to worry about lots of things…morning sickness, how to tell your boss you’ll need maternity leave, whether your ass will triple in size! Then the big question dons on you (or in my case, my husband, the family numbers’ cruncher): “How much is being pregnant going to cost?!”
There are check-ups, ultrasounds (that lead to weekly visits in the final month before delivery), tests for things like gestational diabetes and genetic disorders (especially important if you’re over 35). All of these things add up, and you haven’t even gotten to the actual delivery yet, where every little thing given to you at the hospital is an additional charge. Epidurals aren’t included. Need to be induced? That’s extra. Emergency Cesarean? Wow, that’s really going to cost you!
In the United States the price of delivery has almost tripled since 1996, according to an analysis done for The New York Times by Truven Health Analytics. From 2004 to 2010, the prices that insurers paid for childbirth rose 49 percent for vaginal births and 41 percent for Caesarean sections in the United States, while average out-of-pocket costs rose a whopping four times the previous price. (Meanwhile, in many other countries maternity care is completely free.)
So how much will you be forking over? The average total price charged for pregnancy and newborn care is about $30,000 for a vaginal delivery and $50,000 for a C-section, with insurers paying out an average of $18,329 and $27,866, according to a recent report by Truven Health Analytics. That’s a range of anywhere from a little over $2,000 out of pocket to more than $31,000! In 2012, the average cost in the US was $9,775 for a delivery, with the average Cesarean costing $15, 041.
The really scary part is that not all insurance plans even cover prenatal care. So stop whatever you’re doing right now and call your insurance company to see if you’re covered. In 2011, 62 percent of women in the US covered by private plans that were not obtained through an employer did not have coverage for prenatal costs. And those whose insurance companies do offer coverage, still have to deal with higher co-payments and deductibles—and not all baby-related medical expenses are covered.
There is a silver lining to all of this—sort of. Starting next year insurance policies will be required under the Affordable Care Act to include maternity coverage. The bad news is the law is not specific about what services must be included, so there will likely be loopholes for hospitals and insurance companies to still gouge prices.
Don’t freak out, but the take-home here is clear: having a baby is not cheap, the system is pretty messed up, and you need to start saving now!
TELL US: Have you been saving for prenatal visits and delivery costs? Are you shocked at how much having a baby costs?
Image of hospital bed courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Baby Delivery, birth, childbirth, delivery, Having a Baby, health insurance, Labor, labor and delivery, pregnancy, Pregnancy Cost, pregnant, Prenatal Care | Categories:
Healthy Pregnancy, Must Read
Tuesday, June 18th, 2013
One of the most horrendous days of Caroline Reinsch’s life brought some of the best news ever. Caroline, a victim of the Boston Marathon bombing, and her boyfriend Christian Williams were in the crowd on that fateful day on April 15. They were there to cheer on a friend who was running the marathon. When the bombs went off, Caroline and Christian were both hit. Caroline suffered a bloody hole in her thigh and a split quad muscle; Christian’s legs and right hand were ripped open. Amidst all of the chaos, they were taken to two separate hospitals, not knowing if the other would live or die.
When Caroline was brought to the ER, she was asked the routine question before going in for an X-ray: “Is there a possibility you’re pregnant?” Since the couple had been trying to conceive since the fall of 2012 with no luck, she said, “It’s possible, but I don’t think so,” and she didn’t give it another thought as she was still confused and in shock of the traumatic events that had played out before her eyes.
For 11 days, Caroline and Christian texted and talked on the phone without seeing each other before Caroline was released. She immediately went across town to her boyfriend’s bedside. Christian was coming out of his sixth surgery, where doctors were trying desperately to save his right leg. A few days passed before she got a call from her doctor to go over her discharge papers. During that call, Caroline was told she was given a pregnancy test during her hospital visit (which she didn’t realize at the time), and that it was a “slight positive.” (I didn’t think it was possible to be a “little pregnant,” but apparently it is!)
It was too early to tell if Caroline was pregnant, but it looked possible that she was one to two weeks along in her pregnancy. Excited—after all she had been hoping to get pregnant for months now—she took a home pregnancy test. It was positive! Concerned it could have been too old since it was a leftover from months of trying to conceive, she had her friend buy her another one and she took it in the hospital restroom down the hall from Christian’s room. Still in disbelief, she wanted to make sure it was accurate before telling him such big news. It, too, was positive!
As Christian lay in his hospital bed still recovering from the massive trauma to his body, Caroline casually, but nervously, told him: “I have something for you.” Then handed him the positive pregnancy test. Overjoyed, the couple vowed to keep their little bundle a secret until Father’s Day, when they could reveal their baby surprise to their families all at once. Caroline is still in a brace, and Christian’s legs and hands are covered in scars, but Christian explains their feelings about the marathon the best: “Any pain or suffering I felt has been replaced with joy,” he told the Boston Globe. “Discovering that I was going to be a father is how I’ll always remember the Marathon.”
It’s so nice to know that out of something so horrible as the Boston Marathon Bombing came something so incredibly amazing: one couple’s “miracle baby.”
TELL US: How did you find out you were pregnant?
Image of pregnancy test courtesy of Shutterstock.
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At Home Pregnancy Test, boston bombing, Boston Marathon, Boston Marathon Bombing, Boston Marathon Bombing Victims, Early Pregnancy Test, Home Pregnancy Test, Miracle baby, pregnancy, Pregnancy Test, Pregnancy Testing, Pregnancy Tests, pregnant | Categories:
Must Read, Pregnancy News
Tuesday, June 4th, 2013
Could your pregnancy be haunted? Well, maybe, according to a new book called The Ancestral Continuum, co-written by Nicola Graydon and holistic therapist Natalia O’Sullivan. It says that traumatic birthing experiences from your ancestors’ pasts can come back to haunt you in the delivery room hundreds of years later. Say what? Rewind. That’s right, the book says if you’re having horrible labor pains, you can blame them on the women in your family who gave birth before you!
One of the book’s subjects, Sara Bran, claims that while giving birth to both of her daughters, Lily, now 16, and Mia, now 7, that she had an innate feeling that something terrible was about to happen. “On both occasions labor stopped when I was exactly 4 cm dilated,” Sara told the Daily Mail. “Quite simply, I froze with fear and my whole body seemed to go into lockdown. I had to have a traumatic emergency Caesarean section.”
Sara had no idea what happened, but those freaked-out feelings continued to haunt her, and after having the same “paralyzing panic” in the delivery room two times in a row, Sara decided to do some research into the labor experiences of the women in her family. What she found was surprising. More than 100 years ago, Sara’s own great-grandmother was in the middle of giving birth when her toddler son ran into the room—his clothes completely on fire.
Sara was instantly convinced that the “overwhelming panic” she had felt during both of her daughters’ births was the exact feeling her great-grandmother had felt so many years ago, seeing her son ablaze. Sara believes she inherited her great-grandmother’s fear and feelings of trauma, and that those emotional scars are just as easily passed down as other genetic makeup, like hair, eye or skin color.
In researching their book, Nicola and Natalia found plenty of other women who believed as Sara did. For one, Roma Norris says she hemorrhaged while giving birth and drifted in and out of a coma for five weeks due to an infection. She is convinced that is because she was born eight weeks premature and was placed in an incubator. “I believe it was my own birth playing out again,” she explains. Sounds a bit far-fetched to me!
I whole-heartedly believe certain parts of pregnancies can be genetic. For example, my mom had horrible morning sickness while pregnant with each of her three kids, so she warned me when I was expecting that the “around-the-clock sickness,” as we call it, could be hereditary. And oh-so lucky for me, it was! I was sick every day, multiple times a day, for nearly six months of my pregnancy. That I buy can be passed down from generation to generation. So if I ever have a daughter, when she gets pregnant I will tell her the same thing that my mom told me.
But the idea that my dead great-grandmother’s horrible birthing experience can come back to haunt me while I’m mid-push? That’s coo-coo if you ask me! How can a feeling be passed down in your DNA?
I’m all for exploring your emotions and believing in a sixth sense (I’m a Pisces after all—we’re supposed to be super-emotional, empathetic, and even a bit psychic), but the realist in me finds it very hard to believe that one feeling during an exact moment could travel from body to body over generations. It’s basically saying that from the moment you are inseminated, your labor is pre-destined to follow a certain path. That seems more like science-fiction than fact to me. That said, the book sounds just crazy enough to make me want to read it cover to cover!
TELL US: What do you think, will your birth be a carbon copy of your family’s births before you? Or is this all just BS? Will you buy the book?
Image of a ghost courtesy of Shutterstock.
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birth, childbirth, genetic makeup, haunted childbirth, haunted pregnancy, labor and delivery, morning sickness, pregnancy, pregnancy dna, pregnancy genetic, pregnant | Categories:
Must Read, Pregnancy News
Friday, May 31st, 2013
For the most part, women don’t usually set out to get pregnant without a partner by their side. And when they do, it’s something they’ve put a lot of time, effort and consideration into before making that hard decision to go solo. That’s why suddenly being single when you’re already pregnant is a terrifying thought for most. Can you imagine trying to land a date with someone—who’s not the baby’s dad—while pregnant? Me? No, never!
But that’s exactly what WEtv’s show Pregnant & Dating, which premieres tonight, explores. It follows the lives of five single moms-to-be out on the dating scene. There’s Rachel, a television and film producer, whose boyfriend walked out on her when he found out she was pregnant with twins. Megan, a nail technician in a trendy Newport Beach salon, got pregnant with a man her dad’s age, and now feels he’s not daddy material, so she’s looking for a guy more her age to help raise the baby. Celebrity stylist, Melissa, has her boyfriend run off with another woman while she’s pregnant, and the loser says he won’t be around for the birth either (Way to man up, dude!). Singer Kiesha (formerly of the R&B group, Xscape) says the father of her baby is “just a friend” and he doesn’t even realize she’s pregnant—let alone know he’s the dad! Finally, there’s swimsuit model Shana, who is stunned when she finds out she’s pregnant, but is even more shocked to find out that men are still hitting on her with a baby on board.
To me, pregnancy and dating were both hard enough on their own, combining the two seems like mission impossible! Kudos to these brave women who aren’t willing to let their bumps get in the way of their pursuit of love. To be honest, though, I think it’s going to be très difficult. Let’s get real for a minute. Of course men are going be intimidated—and flat our scared!—of the idea of instantly becoming a dad, let alone to someone else’s kid! So many single moms I know have a hard time finding men who want to date women with kids as it is, but if they think the mom is just looking for a rebound replacement dad, they’re likely to bolt before you can say baby.
Don’t get me wrong. There are some advantages to dating while preggers: Many women find that they’re at their most beautiful and confident when they’re expecting. Skin has that natural glow, so you’re radiant and alluring. Having a special connection with the little one inside you plants a permasmile on your face and so you appear more approachable to the opposite sex. And because you want to create a stable life for your bun in the oven, you’re less likely to fall for the Mr. Right Nows, because they just aren’t good enough to be around your precious angel.
But there are a lot of downsides too: You may hit a point where you’re having some self-esteem crashes, and can then become extra needy, fishing for compliments to boost your ego. You might look around and see women with flat stomachs and hate every last one of them, while simultaneously coming off as a crazy jealous person if your new guy talks to any other person with a vagina. Since your hormones are raging, you might cry for no apparent reason (I know I did!). These are all major red flags for most men. Oh, and burping and passing gas? Not so cute on a first date! Swollen feet and hot flashes? Not exactly sexy.
So my advice is pregnant date at your own risk. Sure, you can find the man of your dreams, and then you know he really loves you for you—which is like winning the Lotto! Or, you could get your already sensitive feelings hurt when you can’t find your soulmate, and you dramatically and irrationally conclude that you’re completely undesirable and always will be. But realistically love is always a gamble, right? There are never guarantees you won’t get your heart broken. But when you’re on a reality TV show, I’d say the chances are higher than ever that you will!
TELL US: If you’re pregnant and single, how’s your dating life? If you’re paired up, can you imagine dating someone with a baby on the way?
Image of couple courtesy of Shutterstock.
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