Archive for the ‘ Moving Mid Pregnancy ’ Category

Toddler Question: How Do You Birth A Baby?

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

My good friend Courtney is pregnant. When I was pregnant with Emmett, Fia was only 2 years old, so she didn’t really “get” what it all meant. In fact, the first time Fia came to the hospital and saw Emmett, she looked like she had been hit by a bus. Bewildered would be an understatement.

Now she’s 4 and can actually grasp the concept (perhaps too much) that her best friend Teddy is going to have a sister. The other night we were lying in bed. Here’s how the conversation went:

“Mom, how did the baby get in Courtney’s belly?”

“Well, Courtney and Brian and God (threw that in on the fly) made the baby,” I said.

“Mom, I know that,” Fia replied indignantly. “I mean, how did the baby actually get IN the belly?”

“Um, well, it’s hard to explain,” I stammered.

“Why is it hard to explain?” she persisted.

“It just is,” I said, hoping to change the subject.

“Well then how does the baby get out?”

Oh dear. My brain was being taxed on this one.

“Courtney pushes it out of her belly,” I said matter-of-factly. Then held my breath.

“She pushes it out???” Fia says quizzically. “Where does it come out?”

“Of her stomach,” I replied, knowing this conversation wasn’t getting any easier.

“But there isn’t a hole in her stomach!! Silly Mama,” she says.

At this point baby was put in a corner. As was I.

I had the choice to make something up–like the baby comes out of her bellybutton–or, try harder to change the subject, or explain all about Courtney’s vagina. The latter of which frankly felt a little weird.

I told her it was bedtime and we would talk about it another day. I think she was tired of not getting answers, so she let it go. For now.

I want to be as open as possible with my children. We don’t call her body parts a “lady bit” “minnie” or “vajayjay”. We don’t call Em’s a “willy” or a “wee wee.” We use vagina and penis. At first that felt strange to me. But in researching, they say it’s best to use the clinical name, for various reasons. One is to help prevent your child falling victim to a sexual predator. It indicates to these criminals that your child is comfortable with openly talking about their body parts, including sexual parts.

So when Fia was asking about Courtney’s future baby taking a trip down the canal, it’s not that I didn’t want to use the word vagina. It was more because I suspect it’s a hard-to-imagine concept. I didn’t want her to get freaked out by the power of the vag or start obsessing about how something other than pee could come out of it. Maybe I’m wrong on this. But you tell me. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before the subject comes up again. I need to get my birthing bullet points  in order.

How tall will your little one be? Take our Height Predictor Quiz and find out.

Rosie Pope Solves Your Parenting Dilemmas
Rosie Pope Solves Your Parenting Dilemmas
Rosie Pope Solves Your Parenting Dilemmas

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Why I Liked My Mammogram

Friday, July 12th, 2013

I’ve never been so excited to get a mammogram. Not because it’s at all fun. Not because I want to get it over with due to my-hypochondia-that-makes-my-head-spin-at-night-over-the-alleged-tumors-growing-in-my-body-that-will-leave-my-kids-motherless. No, I was excited because I got to be in the car for 15 minutes. Alone. Then in the waiting room for 15 minutes. Alone. I was actually hoping they were running late. I brought the paper just in case. Then I had another 15 minute drive home. Alone.

It’s the same reason I love getting stuck in traffic in Los Angeles–which is not hard to do. But only if I’m alone.

It’s my time. I can listen to NPR, not Elmo. I can talk on the phone, not scream at my kids to stop screaming.  I don’t have to keep them awake with my own terrible vocal chords by botching Old MacDonald so they won’t fall asleep and screw me on the afternoon nap.

I know every parent can relate to what I’m saying so my words are nothing new. In fact, my friend and fellow blogger Jill Simonian has started to take naps in her car. She took a video of how it’s done. I’ve done it once myself and it felt great.

But back to my boobs. I had to wait 7-months after breastfeeding to get this routine mammogram done. And while I know I’m all over the place here–and I wrote recently about the sad state of my boobs–I actually do have a question. I seem to still have a tingling sensation at times. I wouldn’t call it a sharp pain, or even the “letdown” but it comes and goes, mostly in my left boob. The technician thought that was fairly common. Is it?

Do any of you who have stopped breastfeeding for a while still experience a tingling feeling intermittently throughout the day? Because if not, it is one more thing for me to spin over.

Maybe this is too much information. But in light of the Holly McNish video poem–which I hope you all have watched–I figure I may as well start an adult discussion about boobs that is more meaningful than a tacky billboard full of them (if you’re confused as to what I’m referencing, watch the link above).

Now, if my mammogram comes back with problems, I will eat this post. All of it. Until then, I’m standing by my delightful mammogram excursion.

 

Pic of mammogram machine via Shutterstock

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Fia Hates Swim Lessons. Any Suggestions?

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

When we first moved to LA, loads of people suggested I put Fia in swim lessons. I was told everyone has pools and that we’d spend many a day in them. The idea of swimming lessons was both for her comfort in the water and my peace of mind. Not that she’d be in alone, but just knowing the basics of holding your breath, paddling, etc., would make the pool a more enjoyable–and safe—experience for us both.

Fast-forward a year and a half. I have been to exactly one, yes, ONE, pool date. However, I have invested 1400 minutes (5000 minutes if you count the time to the lessons and back) and gobs of money. And guess what? She still can’t swim. She can paddle about 3 strokes on her own with her face in the water. Certainly not enough to be considered “pool safe.”

Here’s the kicker: we both hate it. Every Monday morning as we make the trek to the Valley (we live in Los Feliz for those who know LA), she asks who her teacher will be (we’ve had to switch several times because she didn’t like some of them). Then she starts saying, “I don’t want to put my face in the water.” I try and convince her why water on her face is fun. I don’t mention that I, too, hate water on my face. Even raindrops. I cringe just thinking about it.

I also remember having swim lessons when I was about 8-years old. I remember all the kids jumping into the teacher’s arms and me standing there crying and afraid. I remember the teacher’s frustration with me as I simply refused. Granted, Fi is with an instructor one-on-one. And at this stage, there is no jumping into arms. I should mention it’s the Jim Herrick swim school. It’s a top-notch place and there is no part of me that thinks they aren’t doing the best job possible. There are also phases where Fia seems to enjoy it. So it’s not like I’ve dragged her kicking and screaming for 70 weeks. She does love the water when she’s with us (pictured above).

My question is: do I just cut my losses and consider it a “sunk cost” or do I forge ahead? The teachers keep saying she is really close to “getting it.” But I don’t want her to start hating it so much that the water becomes something fearful.

I was all ready to pull the plug until this past Monday. I took Emmett with me and we sat on the steps of the pool splashing around, getting soaked. He was loving it. We told Fia to show baby brother how to swim. She loves nothing better than being the boss and showing him how it’s done. Swimming was no exception.  It was the most excited I’ve seen her in the pool in a long time. She did amazing too. The instructor suggested I bring him every week. It interrupts his naptime but that is the other option I’m debating.

Do any of you have any experience with this issue or any suggestions for me on how to proceed? If I get in the pool with Fia myself, 1) I have to get on a bathing suit. 2) I have to get water on my face. 3) I have to get Emmett a babysitter. (God forbid, judging from the backlash I received on that issue last week).

If I give up now, has it all been for naught or will some of this experience stay with her until she’s older and we try again?

Suggestions? Thoughts?

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Legitimate Fear or Irrational Parent Anxiety?

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Okay, I have said before that I’m terrified of spiders. I’m especially terrified of my children getting bit by one. We live in the hills in Los Angeles. We are with the wild. We caught a possum. We had roof rats. And there are spiders everywhere.

When we first moved out here, I asked exterminators to come to our house. Phil intercepted them. Here’s an excerpt.

“Um, why the f—k is Pest Control here? They said you booked them to spray for black widows. I told them to leave. Call me.”

I happened to be 7-months pregnant so perhaps I was a tad hormonal irrational.

Fast forward to now. As in, last night. Phil was outside grilling. Fia was playing near him.

“Hey honey,” he yells. “I don’t want to freak you out, but I want to show you something.”

Keep in mind, I’m not pregnant. Which means I’m my normal incredibly levelheaded and stable self. BUT I DON’T WANT TO LIVE WITH SPIDERS.

I walk outside holding Emmett.

He points to a drain pipe about 6-inches from where Fia had been sitting.

“That’s what a black widow looks like,” he says calmly, and points to one with that telltale red hourglass on its belly.

Shockingly, I didn’t freak the f-ck out. Maybe because he shot me a look, like, not in front of the kids, like I did during a recent Fia freakout.

“Okay,” I said, trying to remain calm. “What are you going to do?”

“I’m going to kill it, but I wanted you to see what it looked like so we are aware of them.”

Really, just aware? I’m ready to bomb our place with a mix of comet, bleach and ammonia.

I walk into the kitchen with both kids and pour a glass of wine.

He comes in (post-killing) and tells me not to make a big deal about it in front of Fia.

“I don’t want her to be scared of spiders,” he says. Fair enough. (Lord knows, we’re both pissed at what her favorite TV show has made her frightened of…)

We eat dinner, put the kids to bed, and I begin Googling. Okay, I did come across a website that makes me think it could have been a brown widow. And they are not as venomous as their black cousins. Though it could have been the smaller brown female, which is still considered a black widow and can be deadly though it is rare for someone to die from the bite. Confused? Start Googling.

Nevertheless, we live in a wooded area, we have small children…should we exterminate? I spoke calmly and rationally with Phil about it. We made no decision on what to do.

This morning over coffee and Sesame Street, Phil says, “Maybe we should exterminate. Just to be on the safe side.”

Rather than smirking, I actually deliberated. I happen to be taking the kids out of town for a few days.

“We could do it while you and the kids are away.”

I nodded.

I really hate the idea of toxins all over my yard. I also hate the idea of killing a bunch of harmless insects. I imagine that Doctor Death (i.e.: Dewey Pest Control) has to douse everything. But a spider bite can be bad. I’ve had friends go to the ER because of them. My own mother almost died from a brown recluse bite. Okay, no one I know has actually died from one, but I have reason to be afraid, right? And reason to be fearful for my kids, correct? I’ve done some research and there really isn’t a non-toxic way to do exterminate. They may claim their way is, but it’s not. There are poisons and chemicals involved. If I could sprinkle some magical salt all over my yard or something, believe me, I would.

By the end of the day, I had called my dude Angel. He dealt with our roof rats. And possum. He’s coming over to deal with the spiders. I’ll have to start calling him my Angel of Death. Probably not the first time he’s been called that in his job.

 

And by the way, I’m not even putting a picture of a spider on this post because I don’t want to have to look at it. That’s how stupid my fear is. So Dr. Death and the cockroaches will have to do.

 

Picture of exterminator via Shutterstock

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Top 5 Pregnancy Brain/Irrational Fear Moments–What Are Yours?

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

While I’m having a baby pulled out of my belly (not my vag–by choice), I figured I’d schedule a post for fun. Don’t worry, I did this before I went to the hospital. They aren’t allowing me to blog in the Operating Room!

1. Looking for my sunglasses while they’re on my head.

2. Looking for my cell phone while I’m talking on it.

3. Running into a cabinet and breaking my nose (that was my first pregnancy with Fia).

Not a pretty sight

4. Running into a cabinet and giving myself a black eye (that was this pregnancy—a few weeks before delivery. No photo unfortunately.)

5. Irrational Fear of Spiders.

Also: Breaking countless bowls, wineglasses (maybe because I’m bitter since I can’t drink?), and dishes.

Parents did a funny bit on this subject you can link to here. Tell me your best baby-brain moments!

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