Make My Life Easier Thursday: Collapsible Grip & Stand for Phones

Since women’s pants often don’t have functional pockets, I often find myself trying to balance both a squirmy baby and a slippery phone — and I can’t even tell you the number of times I’ve ended up dropping the phone. Or I’m trying to catch a cute photo moment and miss it while I’m fumbling with my phone. This accessory attaches to the back of your phone and collapses down when you’re not using it, to avoid bulk. When you pop it out, it becomes a “handle” to hold your phone steady while you’re reading or taking photos. It also can act as a stand so you can feed your baby while they watch a cartoon… um, not like I’ve ever done that. Ha. PopSockets Collapsible Grip & Stand for Phones and Tablets

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  1. I’ve got an early morning threadjack. I naturally delivered twins at 18 weeks about a month ago for reasons that are still (and will probably remain unknown). I was in a fog of shock and sadness for quite awhile after that (all of the ultrasound techs had missed that we were having twins–so we didn’t know, that’s a whole other issue). But I know the morning after, I had an ultrasound to make sure there wasn’t any retained tissue requiring a D&C. The radiologist gave me an all clear. Now fast forward a month and I’m still having light bleeding, which I wasn’t too worried about because my doctor had said it could last up to 4-6 weeks. Yesterday I went to a consult with a MFM specialist for recommendations for further testing for me before another pregnancy. They did what seemed like a much longer and more thorough ultrasound and found “something” still in my uterus. They weren’t willing to say what it definitely was and recommended a hysteroscopy. Now, I have an appointment with my normal OB this afternoon. Has anyone had this before? Any recommendations on what further questions to ask my OB at the appointment?

    • PinkKeyboard says:

      First of all, I am so so so sorry. I’ve had a hysteroscopy and it’s a camera tour of your uterus. They kind of inflate it with water and send a tiny camera in to look around. Sometimes they also take tissue samples with a tiny claw. It’s uncomfortable but not horrible and I just took ibuprofen beforehand. I can definitely see it providing them much more information then they can get via an ultrasound. For your next pregnancy I would insist on several very early ultrasounds, it’s incredibly easy to spot twins at 6 or 8 weeks (I was pregnant with twins twice and lost one each time).

    • I don’t have any advice about the hysteroscopy, but I am so very sorry you’re going through this. I’m thinking good thoughts for you today.

      If there is tissue left behind, they will likely recommend a D&C. When I had mine, the emotional recovery was much worse than the physical, if that makes sense.

      • Ranon says:

        Agree with this. I am so sorry. The emotional pain is way worse than the mild cramping pain I had with a D&C.

    • Anonymous says:

      So sorry that you are going through this. It’s good that you are getting appropriate treatment and hopefully this will resolve the issue and clear you for a subsequent pregnancy.

      If it helps, the assistant at my office who lost her twins around the same time (21 wks), carried her next pregnancy to term and had a healthy baby. And another friend is currently having a healthy pregnancy with her rainbow baby.

      All the hugs.

    • Anonymous says:

      They probably actually cant say what it is without a hysteroscopy. I’d ask Your OB what the possibilities are and schedule it ASAP. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    • Thanks everyone for hugs and your thoughts. It is much appreciated. And already you gave me something to ask about–I just assumed they could take the tissue out during the hysteroscopy without having to do a separate D&C.

    • When I had a miscarriage at home, my OB insisted that I go in for weekly blood tests until the all of my hormones went back to normal. It was hard going in every week and seeing all of these happily pregnant women — but at least I knew that all of the tissue had passed. I think it was 5 or 6 weeks I had to do it.

      My next pregnancy was spontaneous labor, but not quite that early. Then another, later miscarriage. I met with a MFM specialist and ended up with frequent extra ultrasounds to check the competency of my cervix from 12-20 weeks and also progesterone injections. I couldn’t do all of this again, so our family is complete with 2 kids.

      Is there any reason that the MFM is referring you back to your OB? Do you trust your OB & office after what happened? (It is okay if you do, but I think it is a valid question to think about.)

      • The reason I’m being referred back to my regular OB is that the consult with the MFM was to confirm my OB’s thoughts on further testing. My OB wanted to confirm her recommendations and get a specialist’s thoughts. My twins were mono/mono and the consensus of the MFM and my OB is that even if we had known that I was having twins, this type of twin pregnancy is risky and this still could have happened. And I’m not really a candidate for constant care from MFM at this point because it was my first pregnancy, first loss, and it was mono/mono twins. If further testing shows I have defect in my uterus or a septum, then that would change, but my OB would still be the one to do that testing. At least that is my understanding of how things work.
        I don’t have many options when it comes to OBs in my area. This was the best choice out of a few. I’ve already confirmed that in any future pregnancy, I will not be using the same ultrasound techs. Although, I’m sure I’m now on some internal list of patients to be extra cautious with. I’m also concerned that the hospital radiologist reviewed my ultrasound the morning after and didn’t find any retained tissue, but now there’s something there. My OB has never actually conducted any of my ultrasounds. Should I be expecting that? The MFM had a tech do the ultrasounds yesterday but did personally review them (something I’m not sure that my OB has ever done).

        • That makes total sense! I know that my MFM really just did a couple of consults and then referred me back to my OB, too. I was really happy with her care and the in-office u/s tech she had, so there were no issues for me.

          My OB only came into the u/s when they discovered my second loss. The MFM was there for that u/s, but it was a teaching hospital so there were quite a few people in the room! I guess I forget how lucky I am to live in an area with multiple large hospital systems & teaching hospitals — we usually can get into a specialist without much trouble.

          I would be concerned about going back to the same techs who didn’t catch the issue in the first place, but if you are seeing someone else & they know where they are supposed to look, that’s good.

          Also — so many hugs to you! Going through at loss at that stage is so hard & your hormones are all over the place still. I wish you all the best as you search for answers.

    • First, I’m so sorry for your loss. I wanted to add that I had retained tissue after a d&c. I’m not sure if there was an ultrasound initially (I was out of it), but I ended up with an infection in the ER a bit later. At that time they treated it with oral antibiotics and sent me home. I ended up sort of delivering/passing the large piece of tissue about a week later. So I just wanted to let you know it’s happened to me before but you may want to ask if they expect you to pass it or if they can induce passing it because I wasn’t expecting that and it was frankly a bit scary.

      • Anonymous says:

        First of all I’m so sorry for your loss. From past experience, time is the only thing that will help and I’m sure this new issue is bringing it all up again for you. A few things to keep in mind. An ultrasound might not show the retained tissue which is why a hysteroscopy is a good thing to have. I have had hysteroscopies in the past and it is possible for some doctors to actually remove scar tissue during the procedure. Depending on what they see you may or may not need a D&C. They are a little painful, but not unbearable, just think bad period cramp situation. (As an aside, I don’t know where you are located, but Dr. Issacson and Dr. Morris at Newton Wellsley Hospital in MA are known for being absolute geniuses with hysteroscopies and being able to excise scar tissue during the procedure). They should also be able to tell with routine blood work monitoring for HCG if you still have retained tissue and you might ask about that as well. Finally, not to scare you, but I would inquire with your OB about partial molar pregnancies. My situation was a missed miscarriage at 10 weeks. Baby had no heartbeat. I had a D&C, but a few weeks later was bleeding as you describe. My doctor just assumed retained tissue, did another D&C. My HCG still did not go down and finally after testing pathology from the D&Cs it was diagnosed as a partial molar pregnancy which ultimately required chemotherapy to resolve. Basically stubborn tissue, acting like a cancer and making my body think I was still pregnant. (The hysteroscopies come in because the second D&C which I really didn’t need led to scar tissue or Asherman’s syndrome). Partial molar and molar pregnancies are very rare. I doubt very much that is what you had, but I raise it because I had never heard of it either and frankly I think my local OB was out of his league with the whole thing. I ended up being treated at Brigham and Women’s in Boston and was so happy I did. Point of this long response is to give you some things to ask about but really just to empower you to advocate for yourself. If you at all wonder if you are getting the care you should be, please ask questions and don’t be afraid to get second opinions. I also will let you know my story ended with a healthy pregnancy ultimately and wish you the best of luck resolving this chapter and moving on.

  2. School is a long way off for us but someone proposed a novel solution to our crap local school problem and I thought I’d put it out there for thoughts.

    Any thoughts on sending your kid to a language immersion school when you don’t speak the language? I love the idea of kiddo learning another language in the early years. It isn’t a language many people speak and as a result, the school is super well funded and resourced in order to expand usage.

    Is this totally weird? I’m decent at languages so could probably pick up the basics, but would definitely not be able to be fluent.

    • Anonymous says:

      Highly recommend. This is common in Canada with French immersion. It’s definitely easier for kids whose parents can speak the language – I can just help kid with her homework, I don’t need to use the teacher’s website which has the audio for all the reading homework. The program is set up so kids can succeed even if the parent does not speak the language.

      Are you in the US or UK? I assume multiple languages is more common in UK. DH is European and learned 4 language in school (English, French, German, Latin) and that was regular school not a language immersion school. His French is rusty though as he only had that for 4 years. All our friends in Europe speak at least two languages with at least half speaking three.

      Learning languages is great for brains. It’s preventative for dementia.

      • Ah super, that’s good to know. I’m in the UK but language education is pretty dismal here. The UK definitely hasn’t kept pace with the continent. I volunteered in a nursery in France and the kids spoke French on Monday and Tuesday and German on Thursday Friday, it was amazing.

        The language isn’t spoken loads (2% of population) and the investment in language immersion seems relatively recent so I suspect many of the other parents would be in the same boat as us.

    • Anonymous says:

      Is this a Scottish Gaelic school? That’s way cool do it. Your kid will learn English at home, you won’t need the language yourself.

    • We do this (although the language is in my family, my mom and her side of the family speak it). I just think about the brain development that happens from learning a second language. Even if they don’t keep the language, or if it’s never useful, there is so much amazing brain development associated with learning two languages, that I think it is totally worth it.

      FWIW, I think this is really common in most large metro areas in the US. We have many different language immersion schools in our area, and I don’t think all of the students can have parents that speak the language at home.

      • Anonymous says:

        In the US, it’s a way for white parents to get their kids out of black urban schools.

        • Anonymous says:

          What? I thought it was the opposite–a way for white suburban parents to get their kids into more diverse schools.

        • I find this to be very common among upper middle class families (across all races) in the east coast of the US. And in all cases I know, none of the parents speak the language.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        We send my kid to an immersion language preschool. We don’t speak the language at home, but I have relatives that do. I think it’s great, and am seriously considering sending her to a language immersion (public, diverse) elementary school.

  3. Babyproofing says:

    We’re trying to babyproof the house before my baby starts crawling soon. We did the outlet and oven knob covers. Securing the tv and a few cabinet locks are on the to-do list. What else were must-do’s for you? Did you secure all dressers/shelving units to the wall?

    • Mama Llama says:

      Anything that could lead to death or serious injury was a must for us, so securing large pieces of furniture, gates at the tops and bottoms of stairs, using cord cleats to tie up blind cords, cabinet/drawer locks where anything sharp or poisonous was stored, and toilet locks while our kiddo was still little. We actually had a company come and do an evaluation, and then had them install everything we thought was essential plus a few non-essentials like padding the corners of a coffee table.

      • Anonymous says:

        This is great info. How did you find the company that did this? If they happen to be in DC, would you mind sharing the company name?

    • If you have any furniture from Ikea, (or lighter weight in general), secure it. I thought we were fine, but my younger toddler opened all the drawers on his dresser and it started to tip over. THANK GOODNESS I was in the room and where I could catch it before it fell on him. I had my husband secure it to the wall that night.

  4. Anonymous says:

    This is not all that uncommon the D.C. And surrounding suburbs. My coworker sends her kids to a Chinese immersion school. The parents not knowing Chinese hasn’t been an issue at all. I’m hoping to send my daughter to a Spanish immersion school (DH knows some Spanish, I know French) when the time comes.

  5. Baby shower says:

    I’m 12 weeks pregnant, and I don’t want a baby shower. I have very few friends, especially in my immediate area, and it’s something I’m sad/self-conscious about. My mom and sister are a plane ride away. My SIL is close but we have a bad relationship. I also don’t like baby showers in general and don’t like being the center of attention. I didn’t have a bridal shower. I would have probably 4 people to invite and it would just feel embarrassing.

    That said everyone keeps asking about the shower. The few friends I do have. My mom. My physical therapist. My therapist. It seems like everyone’s obsessed.

    We don’t need a shower for the stuff. We’re getting tons of hand-me-downs, and have the means to buy the rest. I was thinking of registering for some stuff, and if people ask explicitly about gifts/registry I can point them to that. But I don’t have to have a shower, right? Every time this comes up I just feel sad I don’t have a big gaggle of female friends.

    • What about doing a non-traditional type shower like just brunch with your four friends and have your mom fly in for it? I’d say skip it but it sounds like your friends and mom are game so why not use it as an excuse to have brunch?

      • Anonymous says:

        +1 you don’t need a shower. But you may want something to look forward to later in your pregnancy. besides the obvious of course.

      • I like this idea. An intimate brunch with a few friends/family is a low key way to celebrate. You’re having a baby, a beautiful thing! If you want to celebrate the milestone I think a brunch is a great way to go about it. While I had a large shower for my first, I had a small tea for my second, just four close girlfriends. It was lovely.

    • Anonymous says:

      You do not have to have a shower! Nope, I just don’t want one is totally fine. Do not feel bad about this!

    • avocado says:

      No, you totally do not have to have a shower. I turned down the offer of a shower for reasons similar to yours and have zero regrets. You do you.

    • Boston Legal Eagle says:

      Totally and completely fine to not have a shower. I didn’t have one for similar reasons. I’d prefer it to be gender neutral anyway – it’s not just the mom who needs baby-related stuff and advice! I’d second the suggestion about getting brunch or lunch with your friends if you want, without it being a shower in the traditional sense. We also registered on amazon and sent the link to whoever requested it.

      • I didn’t have one for the same reasons as you and it was fine– still don’t regret it!

      • We did this too. Very few friends, neither my husband nor I much like being the center of attention at a party, and we also didn’t love the gender segregation of it. The registry link was helpful for the people (family who live far away and a very few close friends) who asked. Zero regrets about no shower.

    • I agree that you do not have to have a shower! I have similar feelings about not being the center of attention, etc.

      Since you say you feel sad about it, FWIW, I attended my SIL’s very small shower. She had recently moved to the area. Our MIL’s friend hosted, and I believe 4 other people attended (me, another SIL, MIL, and a friend from work). It was sweet and nice to celebrate, and as far as I know, nobody felt sad or embarrassed. The hostess made a beautiful brunch. We wrote cards/notes to SIL to read after the baby came, and the hostess solicited the same cards from out of town family, so they had a way they could participate. SIL opened gifts, including some that had been shipped by out-of-town family. Granted, it was my first trip out of the house without my baby (who was around 2 weeks old at the time), but I had a lovely time. Again, I’m not suggesting that you have to have a shower–but if you want one, there is nothing wrong with a small shower.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you’re not having a shower, it’s pretty tacky to register for gifts.

      • I disagree. People really ask for it regardless. There are certain folks, shower or no shower, who will give you a gift. And they want to give you what you need and therefore request (expect even) a registry. I am not saying to share it on FB or something, but if people ask about it, then you can let them know. There’s also a lot of incentives to register beyond gifts (no exclusion completer coupons, etc.)

      • Anonymous says:

        I disagree. We didn’t register (we’re Jewish and both our mothers would have thrown a fit) but when we announced the birth of the baby to friends, family and colleagues, many people asked where we were registered. And as someone who has never attended a baby shower but has sent a lot of baby gifts to long-distance friends, it’s very convenient — you know exactly what the couple wants and needs and you can purchase it online.

      • AnoninNYY says:

        Also disagree. It isn’t tacky to make a list of what you want/need for the baby (which is all a registry is, assuming you aren’t sending a notice about your registry out to people without being asked). Even for many people who do have a shower, more gifts come from non-shower guests than from shower guests. In some cultures it is the norm not to have a shower, but to register, so that those who want to give you a gift get you something that you actually want.

      • AnoninNYY says:

        Also disagree. It isn’t tacky to make a list of what you want/need for the baby (which is all a registry is, assuming you aren’t sending a notice about your registry out to people without being asked). Even for many people who do have a shower, more gifts come from non-shower guests than from shower guests. In some cultures it is the norm not to have a shower, but to register, so that those who want to give you a gift get you something that you actually want.

      • Anonymama says:

        Yeah, not trying to pile on, I know showers have some weirdly specific cultural mores attached to them, but I don’t think registering is necessarily related to having a shower, and it is definitely the accepted thing to do for everyone I know, across a fairly diverse background. Even if you don’t get something off the registry for someone, it is very helpful to look at it anyway to get an idea of someone’s style and preferences (all organic, gender-neutral, blue and yellow, duckies vs sailboats etc), and also for the parents to keep track of what things they want to buy and which they already have. And if someone’s not getting you a gift, how would they even know if you are registered?

    • Anonymous says:

      I am very uncomfortable with the idea of showers and similarly didn’t have one for wedding or baby. I did go for high tea at a fancy hotel with my closest girlfriends about a month before my due date, and they all gave me books with notes to baby written inside. It was perfect.

    • Anonymous says:

      You don’t have to do a shower, but it IS nice to do something with local friends to celebrate the coming baby. None of my local friends could make my shower (2-3 hours away), so we did brunch when I was about 35 weeks. It was great!

    • You certainly don’t have to have a shower. But if you want some sort of celebration, a small brunch or tea is a nice way to mark the occasion.

      Putting that aside, you sound sad about not having friends. Do something about it! I think it actually becomes easier to meet new friends after you have a baby. Sign up for a moms class. Do baby yoga. When you meet someone you like, take her number and be proactive about scheduling a walk or lunch. Don’t feel shy — most women would be so flattered to be reached out to in this way. And don’t forget the friends you do have — be sure to email/call/text often and see them whenever you can.

      This is actually how I met my best friend. Met her randomly in the lobby of my apartment building, thought she was cool, got her number and then invited her to come over one day. Five years later, we are life friends.

      I often see posts about people lamenting how hard it is to make friends. I think the key is making a lot of effort when you meet someone you click with. Many of my closest friends were made in my 30s.

    • Anonymous says:

      Aw hugs. I was in a similar situation and was so sad about it. I’m Jewish so at least I had an excuse for why I wasn’t having a shower (it’s not traditional in our culture), but I knew the real reason was that I had no local friends. I had a baby book with pages for baby showers (plural!) and I was so depressed to have to leave them blank. In the end, three of my long distance friends ended up flying in to visit and surprising me with a casual mini-shower then, my co-workers threw a work shower for me and lots of other friends and family sent us gifts, so I ended up feeling very loved without a traditional “big gaggle of girlfriends” shower.

      I definitely think you should let your local friends do something! Even if it’s non-traditional like brunch or a spa date. But honestly you can have a traditional shower with four people too – it’s not weird! And I think you’ll be glad you let people celebrate you. I do think registering is a good idea if you’re comfortable with it. We weren’t, for cultural reasons, and even without a shower we got asked a lot “where are you registered?”

    • Anonymous says:

      Just say you’re not having one. I didn’t have one mostly out of personal preference but it’s not that common in my religious culture. No one cares; they’re mostly just making conversation.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Total non-sequitur: This morning, I overslept a bit and asked DH to take the first shower (normally I do). 45 minutes later, after we had both showered and I was still getting dressed, I heard him VACUUM and EMPTY THE DISHWASHER. Then he asked if he could prepare anything for my lunch today (I bring my lunch to work). I know we complain about our husbands here (rightfully!) but I was absolutely blown away.

    It occurred to me that I don’t actually have more stuff to do in the mornings to get ready for work – I just do so much more housework that I need to get up earlier than DH. I think I’ll take the second shower more often now!

  7. This is totally up to you. If you don’t want one, I’d just tell people that your family and friends are so spread out that it doesn’t make sense. If people press, you can let them know you’ve registered for the convenience of some family and friends who have requested it. The people who have asked will likely get you a gift, and you can suggest coffee or lunch to celebrate the baby and chat if it feels right/makes sense with the person. I would consider flying your mom in to visit around the end of the second trimester or early third trimester to help decorate the nursery or organize or something so that you two can have some special time to celebrate your pregnancy.

  8. 3 day potty says:

    Has anyone here tried it? Was it successful for you?

    • Anonymous says:

      potty training definitely “clicked” with my 25 month old after a 3-day deep dive (we did the oh crap! book/method), in that he did start to put together & execute the i need to go – tell an adult – sit on the potty chain of events , but it definitely was not like he was totally trained. lots of my friends with 2-2.5 years olds are in the process of potty training too and none have had a miracle after just 3 days.

    • Anonymous says:

      We did the oh crap! method at 25 months, too, and kiddo started to get it after a couple of days. I honestly think we just lucked out, due to a combination of kid temperament, watching daycare peers use the potty, and physiology. He was dry for naps for some time before that, so we felt he was ready.

      It was definitely not a miracle – no child gets it completely after just 3 days – and took a couple more weeks of 1-3 accidents per week. So much laundry! I threw out the poopy underwear – and we previously cloth diapered so I’m no stranger to poop! After that, he was fine…except for the occasional shart…

      If you feel your kid is fairly ready, you have nothing to lose by trying the 3-day method the next long weekend (which, if you’re in Boston, is this weekend! yay!). If it doesn’t work, just wait a while and try again. It’s pretty much without cost, really.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Yes and no. We loosely followed it. My kid was 30 months at the time. It worked in the sense that after 3 days my kid understood that she was supposed to pee in the toilet. It took about 3 weeks to be accident free. We have and continue to struggle with poop right now, but I think that’s less about the method and more my kid. We still diaper for nighttime and naps (she’s almost 35 months now), but I’m starting to think she may be able to be dry for naps now.

      • Anonymous says:

        We had a very similar experience. 3 years, 3 months here and pooping on the potty has just become a regular thing.

    • Thank you, all!

    • Jeffiner says:

      I tried the Oh Crap! method twice, once before my daughter was 2 and once when she was 2.5. Both times were huge failures. I would say the only thing she learned was to wait until I had my back turned before peeing all over the floor. I couldn’t even get her to sit on the potty without her screaming and flailing. If I bribed her with the iPad, she would sit for an hour and hold it until she got off of the potty. All of her peers at daycare were training, and daycare actually didn’t advance her to the next class because she refused to use the potty AT. ALL. She was bored in the old class, but moving up was not an incentive for her. Eventually they decided she had to move up. We tried pullups at home and daycare, but made no progress. What finally did it was her teacher and I just saying no more diapers and going through a lot of panties. It took about a week for her to be fully trained (during the day, she still has wet diapers at night). She was a little over 3 years old.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, followed the general idea and it worked. 35 mo (boy), which may be later than some but meant be was really ready. Had been occasionally using the potty for a couple weeks and in pull ups for about a week prior (daycare’s idea, not my preference). We had zero potty interest or ability before that. On Saturday afternoon after nap we just put on undies and said no more diapers. A few accidents that day, two on Sunday, none on Monday (holiday weekend) and then only sporadically since then — probably five or fewer in several months (and only one was poop). Still in diapers for nap/night since he does pee right before sleeping but goes in his sleep regardless.

      • Anonymous says:

        Editing to add we took him to the potty every 15 minutes for the first few days, lots of extra juice, and rewarded with raisins (which he loves).

  9. PregAnon says:

    I’m pregnant and due 3 weeks before Thanksgiving. It’s our first and we’re trying to navigate how to handle holidays and people wanting to visit the baby. My mom will probably come up for a week or two after baby is born. DH’s parents are divorced so those are two other visits. Is it crazy to think we can host a low-key Thanksgiving and Christmas, with maybe 8-12 guests, with a newborn? Obviously letting family cook and potentially getting catered. We often host holidays and love it. How did you navigate all the visits after your kids were born?

    • ElisaR says:

      everyone is different…. I think I’m pretty laid back but I do not think I could have hosted anything with a newborn. My first baby especially. I was recovering from a C-section and definitely affected by hormones and totally in a black hole. Also, I really didn’t want many people around my newborn…. I had my husband’s family insist on a visit 9 days after my 2nd son was born and it was awful – I kind of hid in the room because their children were coughing all over the place and it was this past year with the crazy flu season….

    • mascot says:

      For me, Thanksgiving would be too soon. You are still pretty deep in the physical recovery/sleep deprivation stage. There will be other Thanksgivings. Christmas might be manageable. Keep expectations low and outsource as much as possible. Also, keep in mind that you are in cold/flu season so plans may need to change if anyone gets sick because you don’t want that around a teeny baby. Flu shots and pertussis boosters for all (kidding, not kidding)

      • blueridge29 says:

        I totally agree with Mascot. We required pertussis shots and/or boosters when my kids were visited under 2 months and my kids were not born during flu season. There is nothing worse than a sick infant.

    • Anonymous says:

      Also depends on you comfort level/ home setup. If you don’t mind hosting in a messy house and serving takeout to guests, or if you have a huge space where folks can spread out, you might have an easier go than if you truly like to “ entertain” (impress) and have guests sleeping on the air matteress in your living room.

    • A few thoughts to consider: If you are due 3 weeks before Thanksgiving, your babe could be born a week before Thanksgiving, with you coming home from the hospital just a few days before Thanksgiving. Or it could be on the other end of the spectrum, where your baby will be 5 weeks old by Thanksgiving. For me, those first weeks home, especially with my first, were an absolute blur. At the 1-5 weeks old stage, you will still be physically recovering from whatever form birth takes for you. I was also trying to get the hang of feeding at that point, so I didn’t really want anyone around that I would not be comfortable seeing my upper half mostly n!aked alot of the time and hearing my baby cry as we tried to get the hang of it. Check out the “lemon clot” essay for a good description of who you want around the house.

      Everyone is different, and you may be totally fine to have 8-12 people over for the holidays. I would suggest having everyone you are not comfortable seeing you n!ked stay somewhere else. Also, I would check-in with your partner and get them comfortable with enforcing boundaries in that time period (washing hands, holding babe, disturbing sleeping babe, etc.). I also agree that if you go forward with it, keep expectations as low as possible.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you’re used to hosting and feel like your guests are the kind that will really help, and not up and leave you with a kitchen full of dirty dishes, you might be up for it.

      If you end up delivering late, or have a C-section, or just have a hard time in those first few weeks, would you be able to create a last minute plan B? It sounds like most people would be traveling to you, so a restaurant reservation? If you were going to aim for one or the other, I’d suggest Christmas, as it gives you a little time to adjust to new baby routines.

      That all said, with my first we had to turn around after driving for over an hour in holiday traffic because one of DH’s relatives had a cold that he didn’t disclose until after kissing everyone hello (who does that) and we didn’t feel like we could risk that with a 3 week old.

    • I had an August baby. Hosted a large friendsgiving in early November. That was about the earliest I would have fathomed entertaining and at 3 months PP it was OK. Christmas was better but still exhausting. Having that many people around would have done me in, particularly if they are staying with you. Second the concern about cold and flu season. So, my advice is to have a low-key immediate family only Thanksgiving and Christmas and then maybe to a big Easter celebration.

      On other visits, my mom and dad came the weekend we got home from the hospital, and then my mom stayed for 2 weeks to help with the newborn care and my c-section recovery. Each of my sisters flew in for a weekend at 1 month and 2 months. My inlaws are local, so we seem them maybe once a week. My parents and sisters came up for the day after Thanksgiving to visit, and we went to visit them for 4 days for my birthday and new year’s. But my position since we got married is that I would not travel for holidays with the kid(s). Second the recommendation for flu shots and Tdaps for all. And anyone who gets sick is banned.

    • Anonymous says:

      Try a post-Christmas potluck instead. Maybe the 29th which is a Saturday? Takes the pressure off ‘cancelling Christmas’ if baby is sick or something else happens and you have to cancel.

      I totally could have hosted Christmas with a 5 week old after my first. My second was 2 months of colic and I could barely keep myself sane and my kids fed. Definitely could not have hosted Christmas. You don’t know what baby will be like until they arrive.

      • I had a colicky baby too. Our house was a screamfest from 5pm until 1-2 am every day for 3 straight months. Thinking back that would not have worked out well for holiday dinners (or houseguests).

      • Anon in NYC says:

        It’s really so true that you really don’t know what a kid will be like until they arrive. I had an easy baby. A friend has a baby that will only sleep if being held. I personally would not host Thanksgiving just because it took me a few weeks to feel a little more normal, physically, and take a wait and see approach to Christmas.

      • Katala says:

        Yep. My January baby caught RSV and was in the hospital from day 6 to day 13. You just never know and with that tiny a baby, baby’s needs come first (and mom’s a close second). I’m pretty laid back about germs etc. but please please be careful with colds around a newborn. What’s a minor inconvenience for anyone else can be very scary for a newborn.

    • Meg Murry says:

      I did almost exactly what you are proposing – baby born in early November, hosted Thanksgiving for my parents, in-laws, sister and brother-in-law. They all live locally though, and prepared all the food at their own houses and brought it to us in roasters and crock-pots etc. My mother came over a few days before and helped me clean (she did the heavy work, I mostly directed), and my MIL brought (sturdy) paper plates so we didn’t have to worry about dishes. It was very nice that I didn’t have to try to pack up the baby and go anywhere, the holiday just came to me. We also hosted my Christmas morning brunch with the same kind of setup, and then my extended family Christmas potluck.

      A few things that made it work for us:
      1) We didn’t plan anything definite until after the baby was born and we saw how things were going
      2) It was my second baby and bf was going pretty well – we couldn’t have done it with my first who had issues gaining weight and I did nothing but attempt to feed him and take him to doctors appointments for 20 hours a day for the first 3 weeks of his life.
      2a) Our house is big enough that I had places I could escape to in order to bf without having to chose between being locked alone in a bedroom by myself and baby or having to bare all and nurse in front of my FIL and BIL.
      3) My family is pretty low key and doesn’t care about things like paper plates for Thanksgiving – if your family is a “family china and all the perfect accompaniments or it’s not a proper holiday” this might not work so well.
      4) My parents and in-laws all get along pretty well, so there was no sniping or drama – and having them all at our house at once was a lot easier than trying to handle multiple holiday events at other houses.

    • Anonymous says:

      Nope. You have a new baby. Resting and recovering should be your only focus.

    • I did it, but “hosting” would be a strong word for it. My daughter was born mid-October, and my in-laws (5 adults) came for Thanksgiving. My MIL ordered a meal from a local grocer and everyone else took care of clean-up. I didn’t even pretend to clean for them. We have a small house so occasionally I just escaped to the bedroom with baby, but they stayed in a hotel and really weren’t there that many hours. It wasn’t terrible as long as you make it clear you’re doing none of the work involved, and this is how they’re getting to see the baby.

      I wouldn’t commit to doing both though – if you want to try Thanksgiving, see how that goes before you suggest doing the same for Christmas.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think hosting Thanksgiving is crazy. Your baby could easily be close to two weeks overdue, and born a week before Thanksgiving. At that point, you will almost certainly be extremely sleep deprived and still recovering from birth. As soon as I was physically recovered (two weeks for me, v delivery with stitches), I was ready to have non-family guests over, but I was not ready to “host” (i.e., be responsible for cooking, cleaning, making sure people are happy and having fun, etc) until my baby started sleeping 6+ hour stretches at night. I got lucky and got a baby that did that before she was 6 weeks old, but some kids take much longer. Christmas is ambitious but I think you could do it with a lot of a help and a relaxed attitude about how much you will be taking care of guests.

      I second the comments that anyone staying in your home or holding baby should have flu and TDaP shots. We required all the grandparents, aunts and uncles who wanted to visit in the first couple of months to get them. There was much grumbling, but I wouldn’t budge on something that could potentially have killed my baby.

    • Sarabeth says:

      Agree with everyone advising against Thanksgiving. It might be fine, but it might really really not be, and you might to realize that it’s not until very late in the game. Typical trajectory for colic has a big uptick in crying right around two weeks. You could have a term delivery and think it’s going to be fine, and then 5 days before Thanksgiving baby starts crying for 3-4 hours every day and you can’t deal with life at all. This happened to me, and it would have been a royal disaster if I’d had plans to do anything other than be on maternity leave and try to shower every other day.

      Christmas seems more reasonable, especially if something comes up (baby in NICU for awhile, severe colic, lengthy recovery) you will have more time to make alternate plans if necessary.

    • Anonymous says:

      We hosted immediate family and a couple close friendsfor Passover (similar to Thanksgiving in terms of cooking, set up etc) at 4 weeks. More than that wouldn’t have been possible and even with grandparents doing almost everything it was still pretty hard. And we had the easiest baby on Earth.

  10. Fight with husband - probably minor and boring, but genuinely can't tell if i'm overreacting says:

    I was supposed to send something to our state tax agency a few months ago to get a small check – it required me to call and send some documents. My husband handles our taxes but this piece was in my name, so he asked me to do it. I let him know I’d called and that the check should be on its way.
    Since then he’s asked a couple of times where it is and I said ‘you know I thought I sent the info, let me call and find out’ – I’d meant to do this over the last few weeks and didn’t yet. Last night I came upon the folder which contained the documents – I’d never sent them. I said to him ‘oh crap, it looks like I actually didn’t send this, I’m sorry! But it’s good we have it, will send now.’ He reacted by looking away and sighing deeply, saying, “G O D,” and rolling his eyes.
    I was so startled – it was the kind of reaction you’d get ABOUT someone, when you’re irritated; not something you generally do in their face. It’s almost the kind of reaction you’d have about a bureaucratic mistake or something, at a faceless entity – but this was his irritation directly at me. In front of our two small kids, no less.
    It felt disrespectful and hurtful. I brought it up later and he basically rolled his eyes again, saying this was something he’d been asking me about and he can’t believe I was upset with him.
    I imagine this sounds minor but I’m trying to figure out if I’m being unreasonable and whether I should better learn to let things go, or if instead this is objectively disrespectful and thus merits more than a tossed off, irritable non-apology. We’ve gotten into fights much bigger than this that actually haven’t bothered me like this – I think it’s the fact that I was apologetic and his eye-rolling came off as contemptuous.

    • I’m sure it was an honest mistake on your part and it’s good that you were immediately apologetic, but if I were him, I would be annoyed too. If he doesn’t usually treat you like this or make a big deal about things in front of the kids, I would let this one go…

    • biglawanon says:

      I would have reacted to my husband the same way he reacted to you. You didn’t do something you said you would, you had a long time to do it, he asked you multiple times, and he expressed annoyance. Seems perfectly normal.

  11. FloridaFTM says:

    I know there was a thread about this a few years ago, but wondering if there might be some new info/opinions…I already have a travel system with all the bells and whistles, but am wondering if I should also register for an umbrella stroller? If so, any recommendations on which one?

    • I think it depends on a little on your travel system and how big it is. We have a Baby Jogger City Mini as our main stroller and LOVE it. We recently started flying again and wanted a super light umbrella stroller for our toddler who would usually rather walk anyway. I ordered the Summer 3D Lite. It has fantastic reviews. It did not meet our needs, because it is barely smaller or lighter than our City Mini. We ended up with a $19.99 Cosco umbrella stroller with canopy from Target. It meets our needs fantastically. It is super light and small. Our daughter loves it. After we got it, she asked us to push her all over the house in it. Every once in a while, she asks us to get it back out to play in. The wheels have been fine. It is a little short, but the alternative for something that light and small that is higher quality is hundreds of dollars more. It isn’t uncomfortable for my husband to push (he is 6 feet 1 inch) through an airport, across a resort, across a mall, etc. And to any extent it is, we have no problem dealing with it to save that amount of money. I don’t know how smooth it would be for a walk on rough concrete, but indoors or on nice sidewalks, it is just fine.

    • I got one per everyone’s advice that I needed one. At 8 months I have yet to take it out of the package. I expect we will get more use out of it when DD is bigger? We have the Chicco Bravo travel system, although we rarely use the whole travel system because DD is over 22 pounds and that plus the carrier is a lot, but we love the stroller itself. We also live in the suburbs and mostly drive everywhere or go on neighborhood walks, so I’m pretty much only lifting it in and out of the car which I can do one-handed because it has a sturdy plastic lift handle.

    • shortperson says:

      i would recommend an “ultralight” instead. mountain buggy nano, gb pockit, babyzen yoyo, and i see that uppa just came out with one too. we have and love the nano.

    • Delta Dawn says:

      I would not register for one. You will definitely want one, but not until your kid is bigger and maybe even not until they are walking. You’ll learn a lot by using your travel system that will help you pick out an umbrella stroller for later. And, what travel system is it? I have the Chicco, and once the baby outgrows the carseat that clicks in, it converts to an umbrella stroller. I now know that as an umbrella stroller, it is much bulkier than a plain ole umbrella stroller (that the carseat does not click into). I keep it because now the second baby needs it for the carseat, but when he outgrows it, I will get rid of it and get a cheap umbrella stroller. But I wouldn’t have known any of that without using it for a while.

    • Anonymous says:

      It totally depends on your lifestyle. I live in NYC and would not be without a lightweight umbrella stroller that I can carry up and down subway stairs, but you may never need one. I agree they are more useful for toddlers and preschoolers; for a tiny baby it is usually easier to wear/carry them if you are traveling light.

    • biglawanon says:

      I loved umbrella strollers – got some 20 dollar ones from Target. We live in the city, and the foldability/lightness was key. Having them be inexpensive was awesome because then if they get really dirty (read – covered in snot and peanut butter) you can just replace it. We basically only ever used baby carriers and umbrella strollers. Our fullsize expensive stroller, that others convinced me I needed, probably got used a half dozen times and felt like a giant waste of money.

      • biglawanon says:

        Oh and we never used our travel system and ended up returning it. Having to haul all that giant stuff, in addition to luggage and babies, seemed terrible. We did air trans-pacific travel once when the twins were about 3 months, and just wore or carried them. We got bassinet seats on the plane, so the little dudes were in the bassinets most of the flight.

  12. Article from yesterday says:

    Thanks to rainbow hair for posting that article yesterday. I guess it was honest and real enough that I could barely make it through reading it. I didn’t nurse my kid because I couldn’t handle the way it made me feel. Like an animal. Sub human.

    The irony is that that’s also how other moms will make you feel if you don’t. Like a monster. One friend even asked me, half joking: what’s it like not to love your baby? A family member called me disappointing as a mother. It’s enough to make me err on the side of not having another baby.

    The social stigma is so bad that the only people willing to be honest about it are the women who managed to sustain b-feeding for at least some period of time. And that makes me angry. They get to blow the whistle but they never had to deal with the level of criticism and garbage I went through and go through.

    • PinkKeyboard says:

      I can tell you now that nothing came in for my first and my second I was just like ummm no thanks, formula was awesome. I just gave zero f###ks and my kids are both healthy, smart, and awesome. Don’t let other ridiculous people discourage you from having another kid!!! Also, if you really dig into the science… a lot of the benefit is in places without potable water. We have that here.

    • AwayEmily says:

      I cannot believe a “friend” said that to you. I am so sorry you’ve had to go through that; it must have been incredibly upsetting.

    • Redux says:

      I totally hear your critique. I am pretty vocal about how I feel about BFing, both my personal struggle with guilt/ pressure/ stress and the impact it had on my relationship with my kid, DH, and my job, AND how in general it holds a very fraught place in our society with respect to the devaluing of women’s time/ emotional health (“it’s free!” only if you think women’s labor is worth nothing!).

      BUT, when I have these conversations people inevitably ask me how long I did it and it was… well, really long. Over a year with my first and just shy of that with my second. I do think it’s easier for me, in some respects, to have that conversation because I don’t open myself up to a personal attack for not trying hard enough. I think of it as a certain kind of positional privilege that I owe to my sisters-in-arms who are reluctant to have those conversations because they don’t want to take a personal attack. But I totally agree with you that it’s odd and off-putting that the only women whose voice we hear on this issue are those who BFd for a socially acceptable period of time.

    • biglawanon says:

      Yeah, people say ridiculous things. I had trouble BFing for a variety of reasons (physical and emotional), and there was a surprising amount of judgment about it. But hey, I also had a “friend” express disdain for the fact I didn’t use a baby bathtub and bathed my kids in the regular bathtub. smh

  13. Anonymous says:

    DH is in a stable job, though in an industry that could see a lot of changes in the next 4-8 years. We both work, but he is definitely the breadwinner. He was not seeking new opportunities, but was contacted by a recruiter and is now in the interviewing process for two opportunities. I am due with twins in about 7 weeks, and am very anxious about the idea of him switching jobs shortly after they are born. He is being very cognizant of my feelings and said that whether he switches jobs is a joint decision. I do not think he fully appreciates how overwhelming it will be to be a first time dad and how much easier it will be to be in a job where they already know that he is a rockstar vs. starting at a new place and having to establish credibility while extremely sleep deprived. At the same time, I do not want to be too short sighted and have him pass on what would be a great opportunity if it came 6 months later. It is hard to know if these opportunities are unicorn type jobs. He works in finance, and these firms he is interviewing with do not hire often and are not always hiring at the right level and I do realize as he becomes more senior it will be harder for him to switch. His current job requires him to work 60-90 hours a week and these other options would probably provide a better quality of life. However, he is VERY well respected at his current firm, receives top ratings in reviews and could probably get some leeway in the months following our twins birth, while obviously a new job doesn’t work like that.

    I just wanted to see if anyone has any words of wisdom or thoughts as these are our first kids and we do not totally know what our life will be like.

    • Anonymous says:

      He should take the job if he wants it, and negotiate a longer than usual gap between jobs to spend more time Home with you if he can afford it. Your points are all reasonable but also you’re just anxious and that shouldn’t stop him from taking a better job he is excited about. It will be fine.

      • Anonymous says:

        OP Here: we have hired help for the beginning and while our family is not local, they are coming to help for a month when the hired help ends. We are planning on hiring a nanny for when I go back to work and hope to have the person start a few weeks early, so I should have some kind of help for 8-10 weeks of my 12 week maternity leave.

        DH is currently an investment banker and he likes it overall, is good at it and is obviously well compensated. His bank is fairly reasonable (for a bank) in terms of providing flexibility to attend to important family things. He has also enough credibility at his current job where he is able to set some boundaries. He had a series of early career mishaps where he was at smaller firms that did not pan out well, which is why i am a bit anxious about him switching to a smaller firm (granted the firms he is considering are still large firms). The health insurance at his current job is also amazing. He is post MBA and our initial plan was that he would stay at this job for 3-5 years, but it will only be around 2 when he makes the switch, and as someone with a type A planner personality whose life has not exactly gone according to plan as I realize many people’s lives don’t, I guess it is hard for me to deviate from the plan, especially as our lives are already about to change SO much.

    • Anonymous says:

      I had twins. I was all ‘tell him not to change’ until I got to the 60-90 hours a week! That is a lot of hours. If the new jobs would truly be a better fit and he has some opportunity to negotiate and you can afford it, ask for him to start a month after the twins are born, and to start at part-time for a month- either T/W/Th or all afternoons – go in at 1pm.

      Twins are a lot of work. If he stays in the current job at 60-90 hours, I strongly recommend you hire some part-time help (post partum doula? mother’s helper?) to help if you do not have local family support.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ahhh we did this! Husband had a big firm law job and went in house after the baby was born. This mean he was starting a new job but it worked out that the hours were better and it’s been a huge improvement. He also had more time at home than he would have had after the baby was born. Our thinking was, since he was well liked and burned no bridges he had a path to return to his old job if worst came to worst. Congratulations and good luck.

      • BTanon says:

        This. If he’s well liked and has two years of experience in a group with good deal flow, he will have the option to return to his current firm or another one. Experienced mid-levels can be tough to recruit, so it’s not uncommon to tap people who were in banking, left, and want back in. Good luck!

    • I’m in a similar position, but my husband will be starting a new job shortly before I have twins (and we have a toddler). I definitely share your concerns about not having the leeway/proven track record in a new job, but for us it wasn’t an option because he just got his PhD. Given that he works 60-90 hours a week, I think long-term you want the job that will offer a better quality of life. It sounds like with the help you’ll have during leave, and the means to hire help after (as Ella says below, maybe a night nurse at least a few times a week), he should be able to make a strong start at a new job.

  14. In my mind, sleep will be the biggest issue. A night nurse could be hugely beneficial here, and enable him to take the job.

  15. ElisaR says:

    Lighthearted question: 4 months PP with my 2nd baby and I’m going to a 40th birthday party in NYC saturday night. None of my clothes fit. I have no idea what clothes are cool anyway. I haven’t worn a real bra in months (even though I’m back at work). I’m not bringing my pump into the city so risking some leakage but I think it will be mostly discomfort….. what the heck do I wear?

    • No clue what is cool either, but I would stash a hand pump in my purse in case of emergency! (And a cap for the bottle. Why waste liquid gold? :)) Is this party at someone’s house? A restaurant? A hotel bar? A…club???

      • ElisaR says:

        Buddakhan for dinner and a mixology class beforehand at a bar…..hand pump is a good idea!

    • Personally, I would wear something that I’d never get away with if I had to pump and nurse. Maybe some sort of shift dress? Or a cute top with some jeans or black pants using my belly band (which I used way more PP than while pregnant).

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s going to be warm + sunny for the first time in weeks on Saturday so I predict New Yorkers will be in full on spring fever mode and dressing like it’s the height of summer (or didn’t get the memo and still wearing winter clothes). Nice jeans, a cute sleeveless top, and strappy sandals?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Just wanted to share some good news with folks who get it. I’ve always enjoyed writing, and my personal goal for this year was to do more of it (both work related and not). A couple of months ago, I posted here that I wanted to start doing parenting-related writing and asked for suggestions where to pitch it. I finally finished my first piece this weekend, submitted it to Scary Mommy, and less than 24 hours later it was accepted!

  17. My husband launched a company two days after I gave birth to my second and was traveling a lot for work. Not ideal timing. The only way we made it work was my mom flew out for several months to help. However, if your husband will have an hour with more flexibility and less hours, that sounds great compared to 90 hours a week (yikes). Have him negotiate a considerable gap between jobs so that he can be at home and help with baby.

  18. Anonymous says:

    We did 3 day potty with our daughter about a month ago when she was almost 2. I would not say that it went well. She seemed to get it after the three days but once she returned to daycare she started having between 1-5 accidents a day but she doesn’t really have accidents at home. She wears a pull up for nap and nighttime. Not sure if I have any advice – I had hoped it would click and be done after the three days but that was not the case for us.

  19. definitely says:

    I find this to be very common among upper middle class families (across all races) in the east coast of the US. And in all cases I know, none of the parents speak the language.

  20. definitely says:

    RE: language immersion, I find this to be very common among upper middle class families (across all races) in the east coast of the US. And in all cases I know, none of the parents speak the language.

  21. You certainly don’t have to have a shower. But if you want some sort of celebration, a small brunch or tea is a nice way to mark the occasion.

    Putting that aside, you sound sad about not having friends. Do something about it! I think it actually becomes easier to meet new friends after you have a baby. Sign up for a moms class. Do baby yoga. When you meet someone you like, take her number and be proactive about scheduling a walk or lunch. Don’t feel shy — most women would be so flattered to be reached out to in this way. And don’t forget the friends you do have — be sure to email/call/text often and see them whenever you can.

    This is actually how I met my best friend. Met her randomly in the lobby of my apartment building, thought she was cool, got her number and then invited her to come over one day. Five years later, we are life friends.

    I often see posts about people lamenting how hard it is to make friends. I think the key is making a lot of effort when you meet someone you click with. Many of my closest friends were made in my 30s.

  22. Holy sh!t, I would freeze out that friend. For a while. Man. Posthumous hugs for you on handling that one.

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