Family Friday: Turkish Bath Towels

I never traveled extensively during college or in my 20s, which is normally what leads people to start singing the praises of Turkish bath towels — but they’re my new favorite thing, especially for kids and the beach, so I’m giving them a shoutout. These are big enough to be a bath sheet, and they’re very absorbent while also being super thin, which means they don’t take up the entire beach bag. They also dry really quickly, so they don’t stay wet very long between your kids’ dips in the pool or the ocean. This one is $22 and highly reviewed at Amazon, and it comes in 34 (!) colors. Cacala Pestemal Turkish Bath Towels 37 x 70 100% Cotton

(I’ve been eyeing this Turkish poncho for the kids but haven’t pulled the trigger yet — they also make superthin bathrobes, which I might consider for myself, particularly for our next vacation with the in-laws.)

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  1. I have a love/hate relationship with Beyonce. I know everyone gets to do pregnancy in their own way, but this constant focus on earth mother goddess is both inspiring and annoying to me. Yes, take pride in this awesome thing your body is doing. No, it does not need to be a fashion runway. It’s almost like she’s become a mommy blogger to me, but she still hasn’t done the “this is real life where there’s spit up on my shirt and my ankles are swollen” post yet. I don’t know. I don’t even know if that makes sense. But this article seems to sort of capture my annoyance part:

    • FTMinFL says:

      Oh, yes. I have so many feelings about this. At 26 weeks with #2, I am incredibly grateful for 1.67 healthy pregnancies so far, but I’m not the type to bond with a baby before (s)he gets here and making my life revolve around my hormones, weight gain, and other TMI symptoms just makes me miserable. I prefer to do the things that make me happy (work! exercise! enjoy time with DH/little person #1/friends!) and effectively ignore the fact that I’m pregnant as long as everything seems healthy. If you couldn’t tell, pregnancy makes me cranky, so I get annoyed whenever a celebrity/anyone does something else that makes it socially acceptable for someone at work to touch my belly or treat me differently than they did pre-pregnancy. RAWR.

      • I feel much the same way. I am fortunate enough to have pretty easy pregnancies (no morning sickness, no other weird side effects), but I did not bond with my first while pregnant (or, to be honest, until probably 6+ months or so when her personality started to show more), and I’m experiencing the same with my second pregnancy. Sometimes I feel guilty that I don’t LOVE being pregnant when, for the most part, I have had the easiest pregnancies of anyone I personally know. It honestly just kind of weirds me out that there’s a human INSIDE another human (ME!) and I really struggle with not recognizing my body when I’m pregnant.

        • Walnut says:

          If by “bonding” during pregnancy, people mean the experience of getting kicked and punched from within in two different directions, then no, I don’t enjoy bonding. Also, stop kicking my bladder and get out of my ribs.

          30 weeks and UGH.

    • My MIL doesn’t understand that I can be happy about the baby and excited to meet her, but still hate being pregnant. And if she doesn’t stop telling me to be happy I really might lose it. I struggle with the fact that I have bonded significantly with baby girl (and am constantly worrying if everything’s OK, particularly given high risk factors, and intermittent spotting in 1st trimester), but I have been so ill (now 24 weeks) that I am not enjoying pregnancy at all. After weeks of fighting with my doctor’s medical assistant and the insurance company, I finally got approved for diclegis which gets me 90% of the way back to normal in terms of appetite. I’m very excited about the baby, but not excited about all the “stuff” – cribs, car seats, strollers, clothes, diapers, bottles, pumps, etc. My mother has (thankfully) backed off of pushing for a baby shower when I said I wasn’t sure I wanted one. Until she’s actually here, it’s just a bunch of to-do’s, which I will get to eventually (ordered a crib this week!). Friends tell me the hormones will cause the nesting to hit soon, but until them I’m just burpy, uncomfortable, nauseated (hopefully ending soon) and sore, with a (loving) parasite inside me who is apparently training to be a gymnast or boxer.

      • avocado says:

        I felt similarly to you. I had hyperemesis for my entire pregnancy, while I was also going through the hell that is first semester 2L on law review, working part-time, and commuting 120 miles a day. Like you, I turned down a baby shower because I just couldn’t deal with it. I remember one hot day when I saw a pregnant woman walking with a friend who was pushing a stroller. The pregnant woman was dressed in cute maternity clothes with perfect hair and makeup, eating ice cream, and laughing with her friend. Meanwhile I was sweaty, bedraggled, and trying not to faint while walking back to the law school library to work on a cite-check, and I hadn’t been able to eat ice cream in months because sugar inevitably made me vomit. Ten years later I still regret that I missed out on the experience of a joyous pregnancy, and pregnancy exhibitionism makes me resentful. I wish Beyonce would get over herself. She has absolutely zero clue what it is like to go through pregnancy as a regular person.

      • Anonymous says:

        I have three amazing kids who I love to bits.

        I f’ing HATE being pregnant.

        And unless the expectant parents live on the moon, I advise them to just buy what they need initially. Get a Chicco Keyfit like everyone else, a snap and go, a crib (it doesn’t really matter which one), whatever breast pump your insuance will give you for free, prefolds and muslin blankets (useful for everything), and a place to change the baby. You can buy everything else as you need it and once you know what your preferences are.

        • FTMinFL says:

          Ha! Yes! Our house flooded necessitating a complete first floor remodel as I entered the third tri with my first, meaning there was no baby-related nesting. DH threw the car seat (still in box) in the trunk of his car as we made our way to the hospital in the middle of the night. Yes, we had to install the car seat in the pouring rain before the hospital would let us go home, but we all made it! Little guy didn’t sleep in his crib until he was seven months old, anyway…

    • As a twin mom, I really do hope she or Amal will share photos at the super awkward, uncomfortable last weeks not just the more “glamorous” second trimester. You feel a bit like a human freak show at the end and it would be nice to have it normalized.

    • Anonymous says:

      I feel like she got SO MUCH SH!^ for her last pregnancy and it being “fake” that she doubled down. Good for her. She’s got a brand to maintain and she does it in the face of a lot of misogyny and racism.

      (But I don’t read gossip sites and generally think of celebrities like her and the Kardashians / Gwyneth / etc. as not being aspirational but as being art directors of very tiny business empires (tiny as in a >20 employees, not as in reach or $s)).

  2. Meg Murry says:

    Just sent yet another email to daycare staff where they responded with “Yes, your husband took care of that last week, but I still need [form husband was going to turn in 2 weeks ago]”. They were super polite about it, but I know at some point they have to start thinking “Why don’t these people ever talk to each other, seriously, how hard is it to coordinate some basic forms?”

    I just have to remind myself that they see a lot more dysfunction than my family and that they are too busy to care as long as the forms get turned in, but I have a feeling our daycare office staff and elementary school secretary have a pretty unique view into what things do and don’t function well in my marriage/co-parenting relationship with my husband. (See also – days when we both call kid in sick vs days when the secretary has to call and say “Kid thought you/Dad were picking him up but no one’s here or answering the phone, what gives” – luckily only happens less than once a year.)

    Oh well, happy Friday.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      OMG, I live in fear that kiddo’s dad and I will cross wires on pickup days eventually and I’ll get that 6:30 pm call that kiddo is sitting at daycare starving and scared….there are so many different things to remember every day (forms! lunch! clean clothes! spare shoes! jacket! briefcase, office badge, wallet, phone, keys, files, my own shoes, my own jacket, checkbook, my own lunch, evening obligation, breakfast meeting, random coffee, three meetings and two calls…), it has to happen eventually right?

    • avocado says:

      I think it’s good for the day care and school staff to see a dad actually doing some of this stuff, even if it does occasionally result in lack of coordination.

      • Anonymous says:

        + 1

        This is what I tell myself when we screw up the communication on something. It’s just me accidentally smashing the patriarchy ;)

      • +1 except the teachers in my son’s last daycare room acted like my husband was a widow because he does 95% of the drop offs and pick ups. They would call him even when we explicitly asked them to call me because he was in important meetings. When I would do pick ups they would make a huge deal about how they “hadn’t seen me in MONTHS!” and would make repeated comments to my husband about how he was SUCH a good and involved dad (he is a good and involved dad, but not because he does most of the daycare drop off and pick up). I promise I’m not bitter about it….

  3. Hi all. I posted a little while ago about weighing changing jobs and I really appreciated the advice. Reporting back that I did apply. I haven’t done that in quite a while, so I forgot (repressed?!) how nerve-wracking it is for things to be totally out of my control and to just have to sit and wait to hear something!

    Incidentally does anyone know if in the fed sector, interviews for a posted position can begin before the close date, i.e. they just cannot make a hire before then? Or does it mean nothing can happen until the close date happens?

    • Federal govt? My experience is we wait until close date, then hr does initial screening, then we finally get to see the applications and schedule interviews. But not sure if that’s always the case.

  4. Paging JayJay says:

    Just thinking about you this morning, wishing you some rest this weekend!! You are doing a great job. Happy Friday.

  5. I am just so done with Amazon. The reviews and question section on this towel are indicative of why. Apparently there are multiple sellers of this towel and it is impossible to tell whether you are getting the real deal from the company or some cheap knock-off that is more like a tablecloth. I’ve relegated Amazon to buying research only, then buy direct from the company’s website even if it more expensive. I just can’t trust any listing on Amazon and I don’t have time to mess around with returns. This is especially true for food or beauty products, which can be dangerous if they aren’t the real product or have been stored incorrectly.

    • avocado says:

      I hate Amazon too. The search results are so disorganized and off-target that it’s impossible to use for actual shopping. Every time I’ve returned something they have failed to process the return without multiple interactions with customer service. I will only buy from Amazon when I know exactly what I want, I am certain I won’t need to return it, and it’s sold by Amazon and not a third-party seller.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      And why, why, why do I get multiple e-mail requests to review Amazon purchases? The latest three (!) were requests to review a purchase that cost less than $5. Do you really want me to leave a review saying, “Yes, it was fine. It was the completely boring thing I expected to receive, in the timeframe I expected, at the price I expected to pay.” Because I am completely over leaving Excellent!!! ratings for something that provided what was advertised. Every single time I buy something at Target, it meets those qualifications (and Target has never asked for a review); why should the standard be lower because completely boring thing is coming through the mail?

      • Meg Murry says:

        What’s even worse is leaving a negative review for a product that was poorly made and broke a few days outside of the return policy – and then having them hound me for days and weeks at a time to adjust my review, but not offering to actually do anything unless I was willing to ship them back the defective product (at my cost, which was approximately half of what I paid for it). Since I had the product shipped to my office, they were calling and leaving voicemails on my office phone multiple days in a row, and sending me a ton of emails. I finally had to report them to Amazon to get them to leave me alone.

        I’m trying to learn my lesson from that experience that I don’t need more things in my life that are super cheap but will probably hold up like something super cheap (i.e. not at all) and that I should either wait and buy the name brand product or I don’t need it at all.

    • EB0220 says:

      Amazon is great for branded, packaged things like diapers, wipes, etc. Otherwise, I tend to agree. I’m looking for new bath mats and after multiple attempts on Amazon, I decided that I just need to go to the store for things like that.

    • I have had really good luck using fakespot for purchases. I have never had an issue with a product that came back as legitimate through fakespot.

      • Sabba says:

        This looks cool, but I don’t think it would spot listings where multiple sellers are fulfilling orders and some of the sellers are legit and others are not. Even if all the reviews are legitimate, it is hard to tell if you are going to get the shoddy product or the real one. The towel posted today appears to have that problem, with some people giving a 1 star to the product and the comments revealing that they got something completely different than other buyers.

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      If anyone wants some good turkish towels, I can vouch for CottonCloud towels.

  6. My baby is now 7 weeks old, and I’m really struggling with what I’m supposed to be doing with him all day while I’m on maternity leave. I obviously spend a lot of time feeding him, and I take him on walks and interact with him throughout the day (singing songs, talking, doing tummy time). But for at least a couple hours a day I find myself just holding him or letting him hang out in the rock n play while I watch TV or browse the internet. I’m personally fine with having this downtime, but I wonder if there are other ways I should be interacting with him? I’ve tried reading stories but he doesn’t really focus on the pages yet so it seems like a waste. Ideas? I’ll be on leave for another 2 months.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Hahahahahahaha… Babies in the “fourth trimester” are just useless little lumps that you have to constantly monitor and serve. They interact a little more starting at three months, but there isn’t a lot you can do with them until they start grabbing at things around 4-6 months. My kiddo didn’t pay attention to books until she was closer to a year old.

      My best suggestion is to find other adults willing to hang out with you during the day, and lug baby around to coffee, shopping, sightseeing, business meetings, whatever. Bring baby in a chest carrier. Being close to you is as much stimulation as tiny babies need.

      • Anonymous says:

        +1000 to every word.

        They do become super fun, interesting people… but not now. You’re doing everything right, I promise.

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re doing great. Just let him tag along for whatever you’d be doing anyway. Hanging out in the baby wrap or car seat while you grocery shop is plenty activity, so is sitting in a bouncy chair and watching you sweep the floor or fold clothes. Just existing in the world and observing the world around them is plenty of activity at this age. Narrating what you’re doing or talking to them about what you’re doing is something they like a lot and they often coo back in return. I did a mommy and me post-partum yoga class because I enjoyed prenatal yoga. Baby slept through it most of the time in her car seat, and I was fine with that.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        Ahh, my kiddo would get so overstimulated in mommy-baby yoga that she would just poop…over and over and over….I stopped going.

    • Blueberry says:

      I don’t think there are other more interesting ways to interact with an infant, but for the sake of your own sanity, I recommend finding a mom group and being assertive about finding ways to go on “playdates”, which the babies probably get nothing out of but are good for mixing it up for moms. I also enjoyed baby and me exercise classes, which, with all the effort of getting ready and nursing pre and post class, seem to take up like half the day, which can be a good thing sometimes.

    • What about baby-wearing while you do things around the house / yard (if applicable)?
      It can be boring, I hear you. But baby is still just a jelly bean; he really can’t interact and it sounds like you are already doing the right things!
      Plus, if you’re not dealing with allergies, colic, latching issues (if you BF), then you can also count yourself lucky not to be putting out fires all day. And I’m not saying that to make light of your comment.
      Once the immune system is a bit better (8-12 weeks), you could try some kind of activity group (more for you to get out than for baby’s benefit).

    • Anon in NYC says:

      At this age, no, there’s nothing you need to be doing with him. Do things if you’ll enjoy them (like reading to him, or having “play dates,” or getting out of the house).

    • CPA Lady says:

      That’s totally fine.

      I remember when I was on maternity leave being really worried that I wasn’t talking to my daughter enough. I just didn’t know what to say…

      “So. Nice weather we’re having, huh.”
      *silence lengthens*
      *awkward panicking*
      “Please don’t turn out dumb!!!”
      “How bout that local sports team?”
      *more awkward silence*

      That was me. I eventually watched all of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos and listened to To Kill A Mockingbird on audiobook. So hopefully that made up for my many awkward silences. Maternity leave is such a weird time. You’re doing just fine.

      My kid also didn’t really pay attention to books til she was around 1. Every attempt prior to that would involve her grabbing the book out of my hand and trying to eat it. So I just sort of gave up for a while, didn’t stress over it, and once she was ready to be read to, she just loved it and we’ve read a lot ever since.

      • Hahaha this is me exactly! I think part of the issue is that my DH lovveeessss talking to him and never seems to run out of things to say or feel silly saying them. Last night DH spent 30 minutes explaining the rules and positions in baseball to him! But like you I just feel strange chatting to a little blob that doesn’t talk back. He just gets my narration of doing laundry or cooking instead :)

      • This made me laugh–I’m 25 weeks pregnant with my first and I constantly catch myself swearing in traffic and then apologizing to the baby–“whoops! That was bad. Don’t talk like Mommy when you grow up” and then I feel guilty for assailing her fetal hearing with profanity. (I’m working on it!)

        • Walnut says:

          My child will very much be the preschooler with a sophisticated selection of profanities. Whoops.

          • Oh, mine will as well (I’m the anon at 12:04.) I will confess that I secretly think it’s hilarious when little kids swear, especially with the exact inflection and everything. When my 3 yo nephew got his most recent round of shots, the entire office heard him yell “M*****F*****!!!” at the top of his lungs. I had to excuse myself to go lose it in the hallway.

          • Walnut says:

            Perfectly appropriate reaction by your nephew.

        • I listen and sing along to hip hop in the car that is… not G rated. I sort of wonder if he’s subconsciously absorbed all the inappropriateness. I’ll feel more torn when he’s actually riding around in a car seat with me…

          • I listen to the top 40 station, and for a while my kid’s favorite song was “all time low”, but before they came out with the radio edit, the version they played had the lyric “you’re the reason I’m alone and m*st*rb*te” before they changed it to “you’re the reason that I just cant concentrate”… I was so worried she’d learn those lyrics, but clearly not worried enough to actually change the station.

          • Rainbow Hair says:

            I was JUST thinking about how my daughter’s current favorite song is “the Excuse Me song” (“Scuse Me” by Lizzo — which actually has a great body positive message!) and how it talks about “feeling like a str*pper when I’m looking in the mirror, I’ll be slapping on that *ss getting thicker and thicker.” …in the abstract the song is in keeping with my values, but I’m not sure I am ready to explain the lyrics…

          • At 18 months, for some reason our current bedtime song is Young, Wild, & Free by Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa. You’ll be fine. :)

      • mascot says:

        CPALady, haha. I had the same issue. Then my mom suggested that instead of conversations that I start narrating and naming items as I came across them So that habit stuck as evidenced by the time a co-worker and I were driving to lunch and I automatically started talking about the big red firetruck that just passed us. Fortunately, she is also a mom and was fine with picking up the chatter regarding the crane at the construction site.

    • avocado says:

      You are doing fine! Talking and cuddling are the best things you can do for him at this age. Reading stories and poems is great even if he doesn’t look at the pages. Listening to music is great too. You can get books of baby activity ideas with which to entertain yourself–I had one of activities that were supposed to make the baby smarter and another on baby massage. If you are going stir-crazy, take the baby on walks at the zoo, mall, botanical garden, or park.

      If baby is allowing you to take some downtime, then take advantage of it while you can! A couple hours of TV cuddles or rock-n-play naps are not going to undo all the great interaction you’re giving him the rest of the day.

    • layered bob says:

      babies are so transportable and flexible at this age so spend time the way you want to! Don’t worry about its suitability for baby – if the baby is with you, that IS suitable.

      here’s an article from my favorite parenting lady on how to talk to infants:

      and one on enjoying those first few months:

    • Thank you for the reassurance, everyone! We do go to a breastfeeding group once a week but I think I will start looking into the mommy and me exercise stuff. Now I’m past the stage where it was a daily struggle to just keep him alive and not screaming I felt like it should be time for the “next step,” but I guess that is probably the professional work world mentality seeping in where it shouldn’t…

      • Sabba says:

        It does sound like you are doing great. And that you are blessed with a baby that will actually chill and you aren’t putting out fires all day. Enjoy yourself!

      • I powered through my to-do list during this stage. Use the free time while baby is sleeping on you to organize all of your computer files because pretty soon you will never have time to again! Or get yourself sorted for returning to work (make dinners to put in the freezer, etc.). Take all the naps. Connect with your friends. Going back to work + infant is really hard…think of your free time now as storing up resources for that time of life.

    • Anonymous says:

      1) You’re giving baby a break. It’s important for kids to learn to entertain themselves and it starts when they are babies.

      2) If you want to do more, try baby massage. Babies’ sense of touch is one of there more developed senses at this time so massage is great. Just look up some videos on youtube. (Their sense of smell is also great, you can also let baby smell lots of things and name them for the baby!) (Compared to their vision. Your 7 week old can probably now see about 16 -24 inches away from their face and may be able to differentiate between red and orange, but can see no other colors.)

  7. AwayEmily says:

    A couple of people here have recommended Allbirds. I really like the socklessness, the look, and the wool (I love my wool Glerups slippers –so breathable!). But I am looking for something slip-on…are the sneakers slip-on-able, or do you need to untie and tie them every time? The loungers are definitely slip-on but they look SO much like slippers that I’m not sure if I can pull them off.

  8. Book discussion! says:

    I just started reading “How to Not Hate Your Husband After Having Kids,” and while I hate the title, I am actually really enjoying the book. It’s a breezy read and it’s fun seeing a real life deep dive into someone else’s marriage after kids (and, I’ll admit it, satisfaction that my marriage seemed to adjust much better after kids than hers did). She also talks to a lot of interesting people and experts. My favorite fact so far- on the list of things that wake people up, for women, crying baby is number 1. For men, it doesn’t even rank in the top ten (a “strong wind” ranks higher). Made me slightly less rage-y at my sound-asleep-a-foot-from-the-crying-baby husband last night. Anyone else read? Thoughts?

    • So i haven’t read it, but I had a good laugh with my husband that Amazon suggested this book as the “people who buy this, also buy XXXX” after purchasing a toy chest a few weeks back

    • Anonymous says:

      HAHA to both of comments.

      I was unaware of the book. I hate the title too and would have overlooked it, but based on your review I’m going to check it out.

      LMAO at the “what will wake you up” list. My husband is an amazing father of three but UGH he really seriously never hears the baby crying!

      Do they have anything about Husband suddenly needs to take an extended poo break AFTER the 30 minute wind up to get three kids into shoes, jackets, potty breaks/clean diapers AND in carseats? Because that’s what breaks me.

      • A friend of mine posted a story on fb today about how it takes most mammals 12 seconds to poo. My immediate first response was “except grown men. Who all take 15-30 minutes every. g.d. time.”

      • Momata says:

        OMG YES. Why Husband can’t get himself ready before/while the kids are ready? Especially since I’ve been gathering snacks and diapers and jackets and shoes for like half an hour? why does he always have to be the last one putzing around while the kids are rarin’ to go?

  9. I’d love to crowd source some ideas for questions to ask during parent-teacher conferences. Keep in mind this is for a 2-year-old program so I’m not expecting some full blown review, but I always feel a bit passive sitting there and would love to be better prepared with questions you have found useful

    • We recently had our very first (18 months). We’re not big on questions (when they asked if I had any during our tour, I said “eh, no, you’ve kept more babies alive than I have”) but I thought it was helpful to know if there was anything we could work on at home. They spend more waking time with my kid than I do, so I also make an effort to match up to some of their methods, ways to talk to her, etc.

    • +1 to HSAL – Ask what behavioral words or terms they use at daycare so you can parrot at home. (Like going potty, quiet voice, hands to yourself, walking feet, etc).

      Also ask if they think your kid is within normal ranges for her age. Is there anything out of range either way that they think you should keep an eye on? Maybe your kid is unusually verbal, or maybe yours is still slow to eat textured foods. Something not really noteworthy, they’d never mention it, but this way you can keep an eye on it too, or mention it to your doctor at the next wellness check, or look for opportunities to encourage a skill.

      And lastly, just ask what their impression of your kid is. What do they see as her strengths? Her personality? What is she like in the classroom? Is she the first to sit down for reading time, or the last? Is she interacting with other kids, how so? It’s interesting to get that non-family perspective on her life. I ask this each year and write it on a note that I stick in the baby book. Someday maybe she’ll love to know that at age 3, she was always the first to jump in the mud and look for worms after a rainstorm. Or at age 2, she asked every day to read the book about the insects. Or age 1, she was the loudest crier in the baby room.

  10. Ugh, so after reading Emily Oster’s book, I had a glass of wine last night (in week 8 of my first trimester). Now I’ve of course been reading all the counterpoints by doctors all over the internet and feeling very guilty. Please somebody tell me I didn’t screw up terribly.

    • Over the course of a two-hour dinner. This is not terrible, right??

      • Spirograph says:

        Not terrible. I had an occasional small glass of wine with dinner throughout all my pregnancies. I just pretend I’m European and I’m not aware of the ALL ALCOHOL IS BAD ALL THE TIME messaging that happens in the US.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        No, this is not terrible. Don’t worry!

    • You are absolutely fine. I mean, I wouldn’t do it every night, but assuming it’s not one of the glasses that literally holds a bottle of wine, it’s fine.

    • I drank a small glass of wine once a week most weeks after I was out of the first trimester. It was fine. If you are too freaked out, then don’t do it again, but it’s fine. I did find that most NA beers were awful, but I did really like Krombacher Weizen. It was very similar to something like Blue Moon. It filled in a gap for me when I was giant and miserable and everyone around me was having fun during the boiling hot summer.

      FWIW, my sister lived in Italy for years and pregnant women don’t stop drinking there. But they drink like Italians (moderate amount with a long meal) and not like Americans (binge on five appletinis the size of your head). She did say that it was possible that all Italians were brain damaged based on their general attitudes towards most things in life including time-keeping and sanitation, but she was joking (mostly). They also let kids use a pacifier til they’re 5 and expect them to sit quietly in a stroller for hours long meals. I was fascinated by all of this.

    • Anonymous says:

      My dad’s mom was apparently anemic and her doctor RECOMMENDED she drink dark beer throughout her pregnancy. My dad is, literally, a genius.

      Things I did after reading Emily Oster’s book: had drinks on three occasions in 2nd tri. Ate sushi at really good local sushi place as often as I could. Ate croque madames which have ham, but the ham is placed under a broiler. Quit eating cantaloupe.

      • After reading Oster’s book and a similar book (Debunking the Bump), I am no longer worried about
        soft cheeses (in the US it’s hard to find unpasteurized cheese anyway which is the only kind thats dangerous)
        cleaning the cat litter

        Like the OP in theory I’d be ok with a glass of wine but I would also freak out and get anxious about it, so I have stopped drinking completely. I accidentally grabbed my husband’s beer instead of my iced tea the other day tho, and found myself disgusted by the taste!

        I did have non-alcoholic beer a few times early on at happy hour to avoid outing my pregnancy at work.

        • mascot says:

          You can find raw milk cheese at Whole Foods, though, so read the labels carefully. I got annoyed at a restaurant that had all fresh squeezed juices (so not pasteurized) and didn’t want to serve me any mocktails with juice in them Grr.
          Apparently, I had been exposed to toxoplasmosis sometime before getting pregnant so I could check that off my list of worries. We didn’t have a cat though. I loved me some Beck’s N/A beer. Sushi made my husband more nervous than my occasional glass of wine so for his sake I got creative with the cooked stuff.

        • Knope says:

          I thought cleaning cat litter (and gardening) WERE two things to actually be worried about according to Oster’s book? But I read it a year ago and don’t do either of those things anyway, so maybe I’m mis-remembering.

    • Thanks, everyone. I ought to know myself well enough not to do this, not necessarily for the adverse effects on the fetus, but because I will find a way to get anxious about anything.

    • Work travel? says:

      Not terrible at all. As a counterpoint I would always remember that my mil tells stories of being stupid vomiting drunk well into the 2nd trimester w my husband- and he’s healthy and smart. So while I wouldn’t recommend doing that much drinking your 1 glass w dinner is FINE. And welcome to motherhood where every decision can cause paralyzing fear!

      • Haha, yes, I keep reminding myself that my MIL smoked during her pregnancy with my husband *because* she didn’t want him to be too big (!!). And he turned out fine (well, premature, but ultimately fine…) and really smart. So a glass of wine is probably okay. I think I’m beating myself up mostly because I’m still in the first trimester.

        • ElisaR says:

          thank you for making me LOL this afternoon…. that’s great. (and i think you’re fine w/ 1 glass of wine!)

    • I have 2 healthy kids (2,5). I had two half glasses of work while pregnant with the first (separate occasions). With the second I was more lenient. I had a half glass of wine a handful of times, and a low alcohol beer now and then.

      I work in public health. I know the literature. I also know a lot of the reasons recommendations are issued the way they are: people cannot moderate and we as a society have decided to blanket ban m.

      You are fine. Don’t make it a habit. Plus, it makes the swelling worse ;).

  11. Rainbow Hair says:

    Hey, moms who hate/hated being pregnant but have more than one… *how did you get there?*

    It’s basically dread of pregnancy + fear of another traumatic birth that = kiddo is gonna be an only, but like… how do you get through that if you ‘want’ to have another? I don’t know that I do but just… I don’t even know how to think about it.

    • For me it was time. I didn’t like being pregnant, but it was objectively fine , nothing out of the norm. Same with childbirth – it wasn’t a party, but it was ‘standard’. I didn’t enjoy the first 4 months at all. I started liking her at 8 months. At 11 months, I thought “okay, I can understand why people have a second.” At 15 months she started becoming a real person, and now at 18 months, I think she’s great. I know that I want another, and we’ll probably start trying in a few months. Objectively I know that I won’t enjoy it for awhile, but I also know that the terribleness is limited. In the same vein, if it doesn’t happen on its own, I won’t be seeing an RE or making special efforts.

    • I am still pregnant with the first one but my husband is an only child (whereas I have two sisters) and I feel very strongly that I want our children to grow up with that if possible. Everyone keeps reminding me that every pregnancy is different, so the next one may very well not make me puke for 6 months, involve hospital stays for a stomach bug that turned into sepsis, and the general gassiness/indigestion that is apparently par for the course for me, not to mention my existing acne and psoriasis flaring and turning my face and body into a painful and itchy mess. No traumatic birth, so maybe I might feel differently if that were the case, but I just keep telling myself the next one will be different/better. If I strike out again on the pregnancy front though, we may be done at 2.

      I don’t know if you follow the (former) bloggers at young house love, but she had a fairly traumatic birth experience and they decided to have a second. You might find her story helpful, which I believe she wrote a post on, about how they decided to try for #2.

      • Fwiw I was horribly constipated and had horrific heartburnwith #1, and expected the same with #2. Nope! Just had feet that swelled so badly I thought my skin would burst (didn’t happen the first time at ALL), and developed a plantar’s wart on my foot at 36 months which made walking miserable. And my delivery was fast and manageable with #1 but it was a bit battering (I bled for 9 weeks PP- no pain, just a long time to heal). #2 was an induction and came so fast I literally didn’t have time to finish the muffin I started when I was still contraction free. Meds to baby in <3 hours and I didn't get a full epi (it was started but the baby was out before it kicked in). Because of that I was up and walking like 10 min after birth. It was truely a breeze whereas my first was easy in the grand scheme of things but…a lot of work.

    • I hated being pregnant. But I loved the baby stage, so I just kept focused on the “end game”… that plus the fact that pregnancy has a firm end date made it a lot more doable for me mentally. My husband also knew how much I hated being pregnant the second time around and really stepped up. He did the cooking because it made me sick. He took on more with kid number 1 so I could rest, etc. knowing he would help that much made it more palatable. Plus, kid 1 provides a lot of distraction from some of the things that I hated. Good luck!

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      Huh — I wonder if this really means that I just don’t *want* another. Like it doesn’t feel “worth it”? I know that if I did do it again, of course it would be worth it, because I would love this hypothetical second child as madly as I love my current kid… but boy does the journey sound unappealing.

      • That’s one of the ways I know I don’t want another. I had an “easy” textbook pregnancy with the common pregnancy irritations (nausea, indigestion, sore back), but nothing actually bad or wrong, and the easiest planned c-section known to mankind. I had an awesome easy baby who slept through the night by the time I went back to work at 12 weeks and was cute and chunky and awesome. And yet I have literally no desire whatsoever to do that crap ever again. I would 100% do it again in a heartbeat to get my kid again and she was so worth it, but to do it again to get a second child? Nope. A friend of mine is about to start trying for her second kid in the next few months and she was texting me about seeing a newborn in the library. At the exact same time she texted me “awwww” and I texted her “eeeeew”. That about sums it up.

    • Ugh. Well, I waited until #1 was 2. And half potty trained (she was daytime trained by her 2nd birthday, and we let her sleep in her diaper til 2.5 though once we stopped, she peed in the bed once and has never again done it!). So mine are 2 years 1 month apart (two school grades) and it’s awesome. They are 2 and almost 5 and it’s about time to make the call on 3 or done. I hate HATe being pregnant. With the second, I knew it was a “hold your nose and get through it.” I whined a lord I had swollen feet. I spent $$$ on new clothes and massages and manicures to make myself feel better. I once again gained 60 lbs, which I then slowly lost. I hate all photos of me +/- 6 months pregnant with both children.

      But having 2 is so worth it. They entertain each other. They are the same gender so we have tons of hand me downs and I can spurge on a spendy piece for either one since we don’t actually buy that much. Their friend circles sort of overlap (one has a friend with a younger sibling- bam! Perfect play date).

      I would slog through oregnancy for and if I had to do it all again but am really on the fence about #3. Not just being pregnant but we are finally almost done with diapers. And I kind of want a puppy instead.

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