Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012
You’ve probably already read about the pregnant model who walked the runway naked on Twitter or Facebook–it’s the kind of story that goes viral the minute it’s reported in the news. In case you missed it, former Miss Wales Sophia Cahill, 28, wore nothing but a series of high-fashion hats on the catwalk at Welsh milliner Robyn Coles’ debut show in London earlier this week, along with four other nude models. But unlike the other models she was eight-months-pregnant with her second child.
“She was one person I knew would be more than happy to get her kit off,” Coles, who is a friend of Cahill’s, told the Daily Mail. “I thought it would be nice she would be pregnant for the show. You never see that kind of thing in fashion.”
Additionally, the 31-year-old former fashion buyer from Pontcanna, Cardiff, told the Western Mail her idea “to send out models baring all was an appeal for publicity as she launches her millinery line.” I’d say Coles achieved her goals.
I admire Sophia’s fearlessness–and that she fessed up to being very nervous backstage about strutting her stuff. ““If I hadn’t have been pregnant, I wouldn’t have given doing this a second thought,” Sophia, who once posed for Playboy, told WalesOnline. “I would have said yes, no problem at all. But your body changes so much when you’re having a baby and I was worried how other people would react seeing that–it scared me.”
I definitely wouldn’t have been as brave as Sophia when I was pregnant with my son (truth is, I won’t ever be as daring as Sophia!). What about you? If given the opportunity, would you model in the nude while pregnant?
Image: Express & Star
Friday, January 20th, 2012
My twin sister and I (left) are polar opposites: She’s great at science and math, I’m terrible at both. I live in New York City, she lives in a Midwestern suburb. I’m a night owl, she’s a morning person. And so on. But despite our differences, we know for certain that we’re identical twins. We were born at 28 weeks, an incredibly early gestational age even for twins, with Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome, a disease of the placenta that affects only identical twin pregnancies. As a result of the syndrome, I was born at 3 lbs, 12 ozs, with most of the blood; my sister was born at 2 lbs, 12 ozs, with virtually none. After Erin received blood transfusions and we spent 8 and 6 weeks, respectively, in the NICU, we went home without any lasting ill effects from the syndrome.
Our parents, friends, and even strangers have spent a lot of time analyzing how my sister and I differ, and if you’re a twin you know that these comparisons are humorous at best and intrusive at worst. But as it turns out, there’s good reason for scientists to explore how identical twins differ. In “A Thing or Two About Twins,” which appears in this month’s National Geographic magazine, writer Peter Miller offers an in-depth look at how studies of twins can help scientists “untangle the influence of genes and the environment.”
“Because identical twins come from a single fertilized egg that splits in two, they share virtually the same genetic code. Any differences between them—one twin having younger looking skin, for example—must be due to environmental factors such as less time spent in the sun.
Alternatively, by comparing the experiences of identical twins with those of fraternal twins, who come from separate eggs and share on average half their DNA, researchers can quantify the extent to which our genes affect our lives. If identical twins are more similar to each other with respect to an ailment than fraternal twins are, then vulnerability to the disease must be rooted at least in part in heredity.”
It’s a fascinating read and the portraits of twins by photographer Martin Schoeller are stunning–take a look if you have a minute. (Full disclosure: I was an editor at National Geographic Traveler for nearly 6 years, but I don’t know the author of this article.)
Are you a twin, or the parent of twins? Share how you and your twin (or how your twins) differ here!
Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012
About 10 percent of women in the United States (ages 15 to 44) have difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of course celebs are part of that statistic, but all the hype over A-Lister baby bumps, not to mention the number of celebs who give birth over 40, makes it seem easy to get pregnant in Hollywood. Recently, five stars debunked that myth when they spoke out about their own fertility troubles. According to GirlsTalkinSmack.com, some of them tried in vitro fertilization (IVF), some struggled with miscarriages, and others finally adopted after years of struggling to conceive their own children. Brooke Shields, for instance, underwent seven rounds of IVF before she conceived her daughter Rowan, while it took six rounds of treatment for Celine Dion to become pregnant with her twins. “What starts out as a dream becomes a project that’s all consuming–everywhere you look, women are pregnant, and every song on the radio seems like it’s all about being pregnant!” Shields says. Marcia Cross resorted to IVF and donor eggs to conceive her twin daughters, Eden and Savannah, in her 40s. “It’s very, very difficult to get pregnant in your 40s,” she says. “It’s costly and tough on your body and your relationship.” Hugh Jackman and his wife Deborah ultimately adopted two children after they were unable to have biological children.
What do you think: Is it helpful for celebs to reveal their own infertility struggles, or do these stories have more of an impact if you know the person with the problem?
Wednesday, October 26th, 2011
When I was 7 weeks pregnant with my son, Mason, my OB sent me to the hospital for a viability test. She was concerned because my son’s markers showed that he was about a week behind in growth. I had to wait an entire week for the appointment and it was nerve-racking. At that point I had only known I was pregnant for two weeks, but I already loved my son so much I couldn’t imagine losing him. The smart, compassionate doctor that we saw at the hospital assured us that our baby was absolutely fine. Fortunately she knew that not all babies grow at the same rate, and Mason was born perfectly healthy 33 weeks later. (That’s him, above, when he was just 3 days old.)
I was reminded of that horrible week last Saturday when a good friend texted me that she was bleeding at 8 weeks pregnant. She called her OB and was instructed to come in for an ultrasound on Monday. She was terrified that she had miscarried her baby and I was terrified for her. Monday afternoon, tears of joy ran down my friend’s face as the same doctor who assured me that my pregnancy was on track assured her that hers was, too.
Both my friend and I were fortunate to have positive outcomes from our pregnancy scares, but as The Atlantic reports this week, not all women are so lucky. According to a new study, current miscarriage testing can yield false positive results. “The guidelines doctors use to determine whether a miscarriage has occurred or not are not as accurate as they should be,” reports The Atlantic. “This can mean that perfectly healthy pregnancies may be receiving unnecessary intervention when doctors mistakenly believe they have ended….Depending on the doctor making the measurement, up to a 20 percent variation can exist for one fetus at one point in time. Therefore, if the first measurement overshot the actual size of the fetus, and the follow-up measurement undershot it, a doctor could erroneously conclude that zero growth had occurred. What’s more, according to the new research, even perfectly healthy fetuses can show no growth between the two measurement time points.”
I was shocked to read this study last night — it had never occurred to me that miscarriage testing could be so flawed. Was there a time when your doctor thought you might have miscarried, but you didn’t? Share your stories here.
Monday, October 17th, 2011
This question has been running through my mind all day today. I was eating breakfast with my son Mason when E! News host Giuliana Rancic, 37, announced on the Today Show that she had been diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer. The shocking diagnosis was made while she was undergoing health screenings before her third round of in-vitro fertilization (IVF). I’ve watched her struggle with infertility, two rounds of IVF, and a miscarriage on her Style Network reality show Giuliana & Bill, and I had been hoping that she was about to announce that she was finally pregnant. And now this?
At work, several people asked me if I thought that the fertility drugs Giuliana had taken had caused her cancer. (I edit the Pregnancy Channel on Parents.com.) I’ve been researching the topic tonight and the articles that I’ve read have all said that there is no proven link between fertility drugs and cancer. On its website the American Cancer Society addresses breast cancer specifically and says, “IVF does not appear to cause breast cancer.” I’m certain more studies will be done on this topic, and I hope that there’s never evidence to the contrary.
The hero in this story is Giuliana’s doctor, in my opinion. He probably saved her life when he insisted that she get a mammogram. Most likely, a pregnancy would have accelerated her cancer and her prognosis could have been very bleak. As a precaution, I had a mammogram before my husband and I started trying for Mason; my own mother battled and beat breast cancer at the age of 34. Giuliana, however, said during her Today Show interview that she hadn’t planned on getting a mammogram until she turned 40, even though her aunt had been diagnosed with breast cancer previously.
Did your doctor suggest that you get a mammogram before you got pregnant? Do you think mammograms should be recommended for all women who are trying to get pregnant?
Thursday, October 13th, 2011
Pop singer Beyoncé Knowles knows how to dress her bump — and now she wants to dress yours. The pop singer, who is expecting her first baby in February with hip-hop artist Jay-Z, has announced that she’s currently working on a maternity collection for her House of Deréon line.
“All I see now are clothes that are flattering on a pregnant woman,” she told Harper’s Bazzar. “It’s been so exciting for me! I love figuring out designs that still make me feel edgy and sexy while pregnant. Flowery fabrics are always flattering – but I still rock my stilettos.”
The Grammy winner’s pregnancy style has caused a stir since she flashed her bump at the MTV Video Music Awards on August 28. She hit the red carpet in a bump-revealing orange Lanvin caftan, then showed it off while performing “Love on Top” in black pants and a sparkly jacket. Since then she’s been photographed in a number of fierce frocks, including a low-cut red dress and sequin mini.
(Image via http://www.nme.com)
Friday, October 7th, 2011
My one-year-old son Mason has barely eaten this week, so I’ve started to call him The Little Food Camel. This morning I added another nickname to the list: The Ornery Influence.
Mason growls like a little monster and shrieks – “quirks” that our pediatrician says are normal and mean he is just very verbal. When Mason started daycare last month, I had hoped the new words he’d learn would replace the growls and shrieks, but this morning I learned that he’s been sharing his quirky communication skills with the rest of the class.
As I was dropping Mason off, one of his little friends walked over to us and growled. My first thought was, Awesome! Mason’s not the only kid in this class who growls! Then his teacher laughed and said, “Mason has the entire class growling and shrieking now. Even M, who never used to make a peep, shrieks now.” Great, we must be really popular with the other parents now, I thought.
I left the school feeling a mixture of humor and embarrassment about the situation. If any of the other parents happen to mention it to me, I’ll be happy to spring for earplugs.
Has your child picked up a quirk from daycare? Or has he/she shared one with the rest of the class? How have you handled it?