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And — here are some of our latest threadjacks of interest – working mom questions asked by the commenters!
- If you’re a working parent of an infant with low sleep needs, how do you function at work when you’re in the throes of baby’s sleep regression?
- Should I cut my childcare down to 12 hours a month if I work from home?
- Will my baby have speech delays if we raise her bilingual?
- Has anyone given birth in a teaching hospital?
- My child eats everything, and my friends’ kids do not – how should I handle? In general, what is the best way to handle when your child has some skill/ability and your friend’s child doesn’t have that skill/ability?
- ADHD moms, give me your tips to help with things like behavior in the classroom, attention to detail, etc?
- I think I suffer from mom rage…
- My husband and kids are gone this weekend – how should I enjoy my free time?
- I’m struggling to be compassionate with a SAHM friend who complains she doesn’t have enough hours of childcare.
- If you exclusively formula fed, what tips do you have for in the hospital and coming home?
- Could I take my 4-yo and 8-yo on a 7-8 day trip to Paris, Lyon, and Madrid?
Anon S says
Immediate threadjack! I am returning to work next week after an amazing 6 month maternity leave. I am a first time mom. Mid level associate in a big city. I plan to pump at the office. Questions:
1. What have you found to be the easiest outfit to wear to pump at work, and why?
2. Unfortunately I can’t pump in my office b/c we have clear glass walls, so I’ve already reserved the mother’s room for 3 times throughout the day (I’ll probably be the only one pumping but I reserved the room anyways). Pumping 3 times a day seems like a lot in terms of working calls and meetings around those times. How do you ladies do it? If someone tries to schedule a call/meeting during your regular pumping time, what do you do?
Thank you for your advice!
Meg Murry says
How many hours a day will you be at work? I got away with 2x a day at work when I was only there 9 hours, but I also pumped immediately before leaving for work (or in the car on the commute) and at the end of the day if I wasn’t going straight home. I also needed to pump every weekend morning, and some nights before bed to maintain supply. That was for a younger kiddo – you may be starting solids soon and not desperately need every single drop of milk you can get, and at 8/9 months I started combo feeding in order to not make myself a crazy person.
So I guess the other question is: are you pumping to maintain supply, or because you desperately want to 100% EBF until a certain age?
If someone tries to schedule during that time, it depends on their seniority, how important the meeting is, and if you can slide pumping back. The big big big boss asking for 10 am, when you can then pump at 10:30 instead? Meet with the big boss. Someone your level or otherwise understanding to having a lot of appointments? “Sorry, I already have a meeting scheduled at 10, how about 10:30?”
Anon S says
Hi Meg Murry, I think on an average day I’ll be at work from 9-5. Right now I scheduled the mother’s room for 10am, 1pm and 4pm. I’m also working from home 2 days a week, so going into the office just 3 days a week. But if I’m working at home I’ll prob still have to pump at home, though hopefully it’ll be easier than at work. I wouldn’t say I “desperately” want to EBF, but I really want to. I hated BF at first, but I seriously love it now. Granted, pumping obviously isn’t BF, but I just love being able to give that to my daughter.
I found drapey, blousey tops to be the best for pumping. I’d wear a nursing bra and tank, and then just push the shirt up around my shoulders. They were also forgiving for post-baby body shifts. I bought a bunch at H&M and Loft, and found that they wore out after a year when I was happy to be done with them anyway!
For timing, I would roughly try to do 9, 12, and 3, but I never had a problem if the specific times got moved around by 30-60 minutes. I would go ahead and take a call or meeting, and try to pump right before it if you can.
You can also see if there is a phone in the pumping room for conference calls, but I wouldn’t do a call while pumping unless you don’t have to do any of the talking and can be on mute the whole time. The pump noise is a big giveaway to anyone who is familiar with it!
Anon S says
CHJ, do you not use a hands free pumping bra?
Oh yes, I used the Simple Wishes too. I’d just wear a nursing bra to work because it was easier access for pumping, and then the Simple Wishes over that at pumping time.
If you’ll be pumping in car, wear something other than what you want to wear all day. Spills are common. I wore the Simple Wishes and a sweatshirt on the drive in to work, and changed when I got there.
For pumping at work I wore pretty much anything except for dresses, and avoided any colors / fabrics (silk, etc) that would highlight any leaks or spills. I took the simple wishes on and off each pumping session.
At six months, I still pumped 3 times a day; didn’t drop down to twice until kiddo started eating solids in earnest around 8 months. It was a major pain. I tried to block 1/2 hour chunks of time (15-18 minutes of pumping, remainder getting to/from pumping room, changing clothes, storing milk, washing parts) and schedule meetings not to being immediately before or after. I had my calendar set up to show I was ‘busy’ during those times to avoid being scheduled for meetings, but it didn’t always work.
ALWAYS check self in bathroom mirror before heading off to a meeting after pumping. My b**bs were huge when I was nursing and blocked my view of everything beneath – a quick mirror check saved me more than once from walking around with stained / wet clothes that I couldn’t otherwise see.
On that note, have a few black sweaters or cardigans on hand at work.
Final word, no need to be a hero. At some point, it just got to be too much – my time is worth something, too, and I couldn’t afford to be off task that often during the workday. I quit around 10 months, with no regrets.
Amelia Bedelia says
THIS. Thank you TK. there is a lot of pressure to EBF until 1 year. I’m so excited for women who set that goal and meet it. That’s great. But I just decided tit didn’t work for me. I wanted to use that time for something else. I needed that 1.5 hours of work I lost each day so I could arrive/leave work at a decent time and spend moments actually with the bebe. I quite at 9 months and felt guilty for about a week and then was just SO HAPPY. Both sides of this debate seem to get so offended by the other side’s reasonings for quitting or extending. I say, do what works for YOU and don’t feel guilty about it. You do you.
as for tips, i was senior enough to say “i’m busy” during scheduled pumping times the majority of the time. But sometimes it just wasn’t possible. I tried to gauge based on who was on the call and figured that a 30-60 minute shift later didn’t really impact my flow. this usually happened 1-2 times a week.
I wore my maternity camisoles every single day under a regular top (depending on what my changing figure would permit). I always wore separates and would go in the pumping room, take off my top completely, pump in my tank, and then get dressed and leave. this helped me avoid spillage on work clothes Also, I didn’t wash my parts during the day. I put them in a ziploc in the fridge with the milk in between pumpings (our pumping room has its own fridge) and just washed them each evening. that saved quite a bit of time.
1. “But I just decided tit didn’t work for me.” -this made me smirk.
2. I agree with everything you said, especially the you do you and don’t feel guilty. I was shooting for a year with my first and only made it eight months. I felt guilty at first and then relieved as formula was the best option for so many reasons.
Anon S says
I would honestly be surprised if I made it to a year with EBF. I think my plan is to do it for as long as I can. I would rather feed my baby formula and spend more time with her than pump and BF and never see her. That being said, I definitely want to try and see how it goes . . .
Anon from 2:39 says
Yup. My little guy preferred a bottle from the beginning and once I started having supply problems around 7 months or so, boycotted all together. It took about a month of pumping in a different room (the cords were fun!) for me to realize I’d rather hang out with him. I hope you get all the breastfeeding support you need and want but also feel no guilt if formula becomes the right choice at any point in time.
Amelia Bedelia says
aaaaahahahahahhahahaha. I made a pun and didn’t know it!
Anon S says
TK, why no dresses? I was actually thinking that might be easy to unzip the dress and just bring down over my top half/chest?
Sheath dresses might work fine – I didn’t have many.
My dress issues were that many were single-piece over-the-head types (would have had to disrobe entirely to pump), or had to do with body-shape mechanics (couldn’t zip over massive chest.)
With all of my clothes, dresses or otherwise, they would need to accommodate b**bs growing and shrinking throughout the day. V-necks might start out ok right after I pumped but become obscene after a couple of hours.
Personally, I liked wearing sheath dresses to pump. I would just unzip the back and fold them down to my waist. I put a cashmere throw over my top half for warmth and privacy. I didn’t like pumping in flowy tops because I always ended up with milk on my shirt (always!) and I didn’t like the feeling of the shirt pushing down on the pumping cones. They were heavy enough.
I started by pumping three times a day, but dropped to twice a day around 6-7 months. The first pump tended to be about 30 minutes after arriving at work, another midday, and the third around 3-4 PM. I often took calls while pumping. I kept the phone on mute and just turned off the pump before unmuting if I needed to talk. That wouldn’t work if you are a central person on a call, but it is fine if you are mostly listening.
I also liked dresses with zippers, to unzip halfway and fold down. I kept a cardigan in my office to throw over my shoulders so I didn’t feel quite so exposed. On days when I was wearing separates, I’d usually wear a camisole under my shirt. I’d take my shirt off and fold the camisole down. There was something about having my torso covered that made me feel more comfortable. I never wore nursing specific clothes or undergarments to work while pumping. And I usually used a nursing cover to quash my anxiety, even though I had an office that locked. It gets much easier once you find your own routine. Good luck!
I like the “undercover mama” tanks for pumping – they hook onto your nursing bra so it’s not another strap to deal with. They’re on Amazon. I wear pants and drapey tops, generally, which are good because cup size changes throughout the day.
As for scheduling, I was flexible with my pumping times to work around meetings (as much as possible) — I found I could move by as much as an hour earlier or later and things still worked out. I had less flexibility o the morning session since that’s when I was fullest, but I tried to do that first thing before calls or meetings started for the day.
I have glass walls and I bought paper redi-shades from Amazon (about $30 for my particular walls) so that I could pump at my desk. Much easier to keep going.
Anon S says
I SO wish I could do that!!!
I’ve been so lucky to be able to pump at my desk the majority of the now going on 16 months pumping for 2 kids. I doubt I’d have made it to a year if I had to go into a separate room every time. I feel like that’s just about the only time where it benefits a woman to work in construction, because us management types typically have our own little individual office! That said, I did have an all day training session for the first time in our corporate office the other day, an sheepishly went into HR to ask about a pumping location, not expecting much. I was pleasantly surprised to find a newly outfitted lactation room, complete with a table with storage for your pump, a big comfy chair, easily accessible outlets, and a refrigerator. Soooooo happy I switched companies to somewhere that cares about their employees of all genders!
1) Outfits: 90% of the time, I wear a dress with shorts or tights and a nursing cami underneath. Unzip dress, pull down top to pump. I have a cashmere wrap that I use to keep myself warm. I just celebrated (if that’s the right word) a year of pumping at work, so it worked for me!
2) I pumped 3x a day for 10 months. I shuffled the times around a little but 10:30, 1:30 and 3:30 worked best for me. I did nurse my daughter right before daycare drop off (around 8:30) as well. I didn’t have too much trouble scheduling meetings around the pumping sessions, and I actually really miss having that quiet time to read articles, listen to podcasts, return emails or (err…) browse thissite. Since you have to pump outside of your office, take your laptop or tablet (if you have one of those).
Anon S says
Congrats on a year, that’s awesome!!
1) I was alone in a conference (or storage, sigh) room so I didn’t care too much about being exposed, but seperates + nursing bra + hands free pumping bra were my go too. Not sure how to manage a dress without taking everything off.
2) I think I did some 3x a day in the beginning, but I was generally able to get away with 2x a day, occasionally even 1 long pump. I didn’t notice a lot of difference in volume. But I also was generally lucky with my supply. It did get harder after about 8 or 9 months though.
For what its worth – I stopped pumping around a year and was really worried that would mean the end of nursing at home. (Or worried/hoping – ambivalent is more accurate). Anyway, I nursed 1-2x/day until my son was over 2, and we stopped because I decided I was done. So you never know what your supply will do. In hindsight I wished I hadn’t stressed about my supply so much. Good luck!
Oof, this is a beautiful outfit. I wish it weren’t so pricey. Dying for a nice pair of work pants, but with just 5 weeks to go it doesn’t really make sense to spend that much.
FWIW I have this top in the dark gray color and really like it. It’s not a thick knit so you can still pair it with a cardigan. I thought I’d wear it with a black pencil skirt but that seemed too bulky so ended up wearing it with similar pants shown above. Very comfy, although it certainly does make you look pregnant. (And I somehow got it on sale, possibly when they were running 15% off the site or something like that.)
On a related note, I think I’ve officially “popped” and am shocked at my profile. I realized this weekend that sweaters without any shape making me look like a giant schlump, but if there is a tie or gather just below the bosom I feel a little bit better. I feel like that indent is like the last remaining part of my old silhouette, ha.
I’m new to this part of the s1te (but long time reader/commenter on the original s1te!) and thought I’d post for some reassurance/advice. I’m 9 weeks pregnant today after a long period of trying to get pregnant through IVF. I’m over the moon excited that we’re finally pregnant and things are looking good, but I’ve been surprised at how I’ve been reacting to weight gain and bloating (which in turn makes me feel extremely shallow and ungrateful).
I’m not clear on how much weight I’ve gained because our scale is terrible but I would guess about 3-4 lbs. I suspect 1-2 of those pounds came from the IVF round that we got pregnant on itself and the hormones we were using. Usually that goes away, but not now that I’m pregnant (unsurprising, I guess). More than the 3-4 lbs, I just feel so bloated and my pants are so tight. I feel like it’s way too early for me to be “showing” and I’m worried I’m gaining too much too soon. Part of the problem is also that the only way I can stop the nausea is to eat every 3 hours or so. I’m mostly eating healthy mini-meals/snacks, but I feel like it’s adding up regardless.
Hoping for some reassurance, advice, or commiseration. I feel so ashamed of feeling this way when I’ve wanted this for so long and am the happiest I’ve ever been.
(P.S. is it too early for maternity pants?)
Amelia Bedelia says
don’t feel guilty. you are allowed to mourn the loss of a lot of things. It’s a typical part of change, and you should just roll with it. it doesn’t mean you aren’t happy!
I was pregnant unexpectedly after YEARS of marriage and five years after we stopped trying. It was a hard transition. who am I kidding, it is STILL a hard transition. That doesn’t mean i would trade my peanut for ANYTHING in the world, but it’s hard to switch out 10+ years of marriage and a lifetime of body autonomy for this stage of life. just accept it will be exciting AND hard and be kinder to your own feelings.
1 – it’s ok to be happy about having a baby and still dislike the physical aspects of pregnancy. It kind of sucks! Yes, magical, etc. etc. – but also sucky.
2 – Go ahead and get the maternity pants. Or regular pants one size up, because those will be useful again in about 12 months when you are headed back to work and not back down to your original size yet. Basically, there’s no gold medal for wearing uncomfortable clothes. And pants, especially the demi-band variety, are unlikely to give anything away as long as you have a long enough shirt on.
Congrats on the pregnancy! It sounds like you had a hard road.
Personally, I feel like there are soooo many things in the world that are more important that 3-4 lbs when you are feeling terrible during first tri. Unless your doctor is concerned, I wouldn’t give it a second thought. Your body is going to go through so much with pregnancy, what you do to make it through the next few weeks isn’t even a drop in the bucket.
I found it tough to let go of my pre-pregnancy body, and there is always a pre-bump phase where you just look pudgy instead of pregnant. However, that passes quickly and as soon as you “pop” everything evens out again. For a FTM, you just have to hold out until 16-20 weeks.
Wooo wooo congratulations!! I think I remember your posts about IVF on the main site, so I’m vicariously thrilled for you!
On the weight stuff, ugh. It’s hard. It’s hard to go ~30 years caring about your weight and your appearance and suddenly your body just takes off on its own course and you have no control over it whatsoever. Your reaction is completely normal, and don’t feel guilty not loving the bloat/weight part of pregnancy or feel like you can’t complain about it just because you fought hard to be pregnant in the first place.
FWIW, I gained 3-4 pounds of water almost immediately after getting pregnant with my son. As in, the first week after I missed my period. It was like PMS that just never went away. My pants were tight almost immediately. Yet I wasn’t actually showing or needing maternity pants until closer to 12-14 weeks. In the end, I gained a fairly normal amount of weight through the entire pregnancy. All that to say, don’t stress too much about it, and do what you need to do to get through the nausea stage.
Thanks so much! It’s sweet to realize that people remembered me from the other page and all our IVF issues. Our story is a bit complicated, but we started about 5 IVF cycles (two freeze cycles) and ended up getting pregnant on our first live transfer cycle. All in all, we’ve been dealing with fertility issues for a little over two years and got pregnant after one year (though I had miscarriage during that time as well). I hope I can provide a bit of hope for other women who might be struggling, too. It’s so emotionally draining.
And thanks for the other advice. Even writing it out, I know that 3-4 lbs seems a bit silly to worry about when you’re pregnant, but I’m on the shorter side and all of my weight/bloat has always gone to my stomach. I look pregnant post-lunch many days to begin with so this seems to have upped the volume quite a bit very quickly!
Don’t stress too much about the weight gain. Your body will do what it needs to do. If that means small snacks to keep the nausea at bay, then do that. The bloating is pretty normal and pretty annoying. Maternity pants probably won’t fit yet although you can certainly try. Buying a size or two up, wrap dresses, elastic waists, bella bands, rubber bands for your unbuttoned pants, whatever can get your through this phase where nothing fits. I remember being so frustrated with getting dressed for a few weeks. It gets better. Also, you can be so happy to be having a baby and also dislike being pregnant. That’s a legitimate way to feel.
Meg Murry says
At that stage, I wasn’t showing at all, but it was more that even a little bit of pressure on my stomach/bloating felt so terrible, even if it had maybe been the default “this is how my pants fit after a big lunch” feeling before.
It might be too early for traditional maternity pants, because you might not have enough belly to hold them up – but then again, they might work. There are some companies that make maternity pants that only have a tiny bit of elastic in the sides, meant for 1st trimester-early 2nd tri and then to wear postpartum – I know Old Navy had some. Can you switch to dresses and maternity tights, where the band is up high by your bra?
Alternately, there is a good chance you won’t be back into your pre-pregnancy clothes for a few months postpartum, so buying a couple of pairs of pants 1-2 sizes up isn’t a bad idea – that’s what I did – I went for Goodwill and a consignment shop because I wasn’t sure how long they were going to be needed, but I wound up using those pants a lot once I went back to work postpartum.
FYI, it’s ok to be excited about having a baby and annoyed by pregnancy irritations – no one will blame you for being annoyed, and this is a safe space to vent. Same thing with once baby is born – perfectly ok to be happy to have a wanted baby but so darn tired of not getting more than 2 hours of sleep at a time.
I also had to eat constantly during the first trimester and I gained almost ten pounds (yikes!). Almost as soon as the second trimester started I wasn’t so exhausted or nauseous, didn’t feel the need to constantly eat, and also stopped gaining weight for several weeks. I ended up gaining at or just under the recommended range when it was all said and done. Your body will tell you what it needs, survive the first trimester however you need to and don’t worry! And congratulations!!
Or you could wind up just continuing to gain and wind up above the recommended amount, which is what happened to me. I did IVF and also felt like I should just be happy but it’s totally okay to feel weird about your body changing and to hate nausea, etc. My kids are 18 months and I’m still about 15 lbs above my pre-pregnancy weight. It’s annoying and I’m working on it, but the old ladies are so right — it all goes by so fast. This is just a blip in your life and you can focus on getting back in shape (if you feel you want to or need to) down the road. There are years and years of your life when you won’t be pregnant and won’t have tiny ones running around so do what you can to be healthy, but there are better things to worry about now.
So true. Thanks for putting it so poignantly.
The time for maternity pants is as soon as you are uncomfortable in your regular pants. Why be uncomfortable? Don’t worry about what others think about when is the right time!
I also struggled with major bloating for a long time. It doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with weight gain. You may also find that at different points in your pregnancy, weight gain goes at different speeds. If you need to eat now to fight nausea, do it. You may slow down later.
Yes – get the maternity pants! Or dresses might be more comfortable – I found waistbands to be intolerable early on, but later in the pregnancy it was fine to wear (maternity) pants again.
And I think it’s totally normal to be thrilled about the pregnancy but not-thrilled about what it does to your body. It really is tough (miraculous! But tough). Hang in there, and congrats!!!
I have fibroids that swelled to grapefruit size almost immediately when I became pregnant – no risk ever to developing fetus, but I gained about 10-15 lbs almost immediately and felt *HUGE.* But when I look back at photos from that time, its clear that my perception of my own hugeness in no way matched what I actually looked like. I took photos monthly beginning at 4 months, and at the time I felt enormous but when I see those photos now, it’s barely noticeable.
All that’s to say – you are noticing these differences far more than other people are. You can’t help how you feel, but if it’s any comfort, it is highly unlikely anyone else has noticed.
On maternity pants, I actually teared up (thanks, pregnancy hormones) the first time I tried on maternity pants about 10 weeks into my pregnancy … SO comfortable, I never looked back.
third tri says
You’ve gotten so much good advice already, but I wanted to add a couple things…
First, positive and negative and confusing feelings don’t cancel each other out — they can all coexist and it’s easiest to just let them. THanks, therapy…
Second, for me, the children I’m carrying started as very abstract. I was thrilled with the idea of being pregnant, esp after going the IVF road, too. Over the pregnancy, they are getting more real to me and giving me more joy and excitement now and a little more perspective on how all encompassing my feelings for them will likely be. You’re just in the bloated stage, which is the worst. I’m not sure if you’ve told anyone yet, but once you start showing and telling, it could get much better. I was so touched by the wave of happiness that hit from everywhere.
Lastly, remember that everything is temporary and hard to predict. I had reflux for a few days and was so upset it would continue all pregnancy. Guess what? It went away and I haven’t had it since the first tri. I gained a lot of weight at a couple different points of pregnancy and started to freak out. Turns out, other times my weight gain was on the low end, so it’s evened out to normal. My eating feels mandatory (I will flip out if I’m hungry for more than five minutes), so this wasn’t due to effort! Your body is doing its thing and you’re just along for the ride. For me, accepting that has made it a little easier.
So happy for you. Enjoy the great parts and let it all out when you need to.
Thanks so much for your response. And congratulations to you, too! This is helpful to hear. I realize that I’m being a little ridiculous, but it’s strange to feel like your body is completely out of your control, even if that’s a welcome change!
I felt the same at your stage – happy to be pregnant but gross and bloaty. I’m 8 weeks postpartum now and have lost all but the last 5 lbs or so. My body is different now (wider hips, bigger boobs) so very few of my old clothes fit, but it’s not a bad different and I’ve come to like it. So have hope! It’s possible to be happy with your body postpartum.
Some of it really may just be bloating and not actual weight gain. I was very bloated during the first 10 weeks or so, and then it settled down. I didn’t actually gain much during the first trimester…it was mostly bloating. And yes, buy a pair of maternity pants. The bella band never felt comfortable for me. I felt weird buying maternity jeans before I was truly showing, but I got some at 12 weeks and wished I’d done it sooner. So comfortable! Finally, don’t beat yourself up for how you’re feeling! Feeling grateful about your pregnancy and anxious about the changes in your body don’t have to be mutually exclusive – most of us feel all kinds of things all at once, and it doesn’t make you shallow or ungrateful.
Thanks to everyone who weighed in on my housekeeper/nanny/whatever fantasies last week. I put up a post on Care.com, and I have phone interviews with five people scheduled today. All of whom promise that they can cook, clean, and watch my kid as needed between the hours of 4 and 6 every day. And it turns out that, in my LCOL area, the going rate for this kind of work is $10-15/hour, which is SO CHEAP and worth it. We plan to pay on the high end of that, because we want someone who will stay in the position for awhile, but it still seems like a huge bargain. I’ll update again once we’ve hired someone, but right now I’m so happy that I actually took some action towards making this happen.
I have that fantasy too, but $15 an hour is the going rate for just a babysitter around here! That’s it… I’m moving.
It sounds like you’re doing your due diligence with interviews, but make sure you get and call references. We previously hired a babysitter off of care.com on short notice when we were stuck and it was totally fine, but we had a nightmare scenario this past weekend with someone we hired off of care.com in response to our ad. We even met her ahead of time at a coffee shop with our kids. They seemed to hit it of and she seemed to be totally perfect. Younger nanny a mile away looking to pick up some extra work on the weekend. She immediately engaged our 3 year old and we were thinking we were so lucky to find a great provider on short notice.
Back story, I was matron of honor in my best friend of 20 years wedding. My MIL was originally going to come into town to watch the kids, but had to back out because she has recently been diagnosed with cancer and cannot physically do it with her surgeries and treatments. Since it’s my best friend, everyone that I would typically rely on for childcare was invited to and already RSVPed yes to the wedding, so we were stuck and posted the ad. We said in the ad that I was in my best friends wedding, we have 2 kids, etc. So this girl literally signed up for the gig. Enthusiastically.
I was in a gown, participating in the actual wedding ceremony so didn’t have my phone or see this until later, but she texted my husband and I not even 2 hours into it saying that my 3 year old was yelling at her and it wasn’t going well and that one or both of us may have to come home. 45 minutes later (minutes before I am set to go into the reception and deliver my speech to 140ish people) she texts us that she just cannot handle the 3 year old and we need to come home. Mind you, we are at a venue a minimum of 40 hours away from home, and now I’m terrified for my children’s physical safety. Thankfully a close neighbor friend was able to go to the house to stay with the kids until my husband could get home. Then my husband’s best friend (kids love him) left after the dinner to come back to the house to watch the kids so my husband could come back out for the remainder of the reception. (BTW, he’s single if any of you live in Pittsburgh, LOL)
Sooooo not to terrify you, but that’s the reality of what can happen. This girl seemed totally trustworthy and qualified. I still can’t believe what happened. Now my memories of my BFF’s wedding (that I spent countless hours/weekends and so, so much money on) are going to be emergency childcare crisis, and not a happy day for me.
What have people found to be the best ways to handle tantrums? One of my guys has turned into a screamy little rage machine. I almost don’t want to do anything he enjoys anymore because if it stops, he completely flips out. So 20 minutes at the park results in 60 minutes of meltdown when we have to leave the park. I’m torn between just saying things like “you’re very angry but now it’s time to leave the park and go home for dinner” and then just ignoring it and letting it play out, and trying to hold him and work on breathing (not that he’s old enough to understand yet, but I feel like if I’m breathing deeply and letting out a long shhhhhh sound, it might prod him to regulate his own breathing). He’s just not old enough yet to work through tantrums, so I’m not sure whether I should be giving him support to deal with his feelings, or ignoring him to show that these noises aren’t useful. (I do know enough to not give in. We still leave the park no matter what he’s doing. Also, I give him a countdown like “we’re going to leave the park in one minute. Okay now we’re leaving in five seconds. One, two, three, four, five.” He’s still young for that but he is starting to learn to count.)
I would ignore and skip the deep breathing. IME, any extra attention for a tantrum just encourages the tantrum.
Not totally sure how to handle this, but my gut agrees with meme’s post to give ZERO extra attention for a tantrum. Go completely silent towards him, pick him up, buckle him in the car seat, drive home, ignore ignore ignore. Obviously, easier said than done. Alphamom just did a post on car tantrums and that might help.
You’re probably right. It’s just that being a baby is so clearly SO HARD. I mean, they have no idea what’s going on or why and have no control over really anything. And then to have all these huge emotions and no way to understand or deal with them. True they never worry about money or work or any grown-up things, but I wouldn’t be 18 months old again for anything. He’s just so MAD and frustrated. Also, I feel at this age that it’s less using screaming to try to get something and more just kind of rawring out into the wilderness about how mad he is. (Although I’m probably underestimating him.)
kc esq says
My guys now say “bye-bye, slide”, “bye-bye, playground”, “see you tomorrow” etc. so they feel more a part of the transition. Doesn’t work against the toughest meltdowns, but it makes the process easier in general.
That is adorable. I think it will be easier once he can talk. He wants to talk so badly and I think it’s also frustration with not being able to communicate. We tried baby signs, but I think he realizes that we don’t sign to talk to each other and he wants to talk the way we do.
Meg Murry says
The way to overcome this is that you do need to sign when you talk, as much as possible. Even when you and your spouse are talking to each other, or you and the au pair, you can use gestures as much as possible.
Separately, does your son have a lovey? We pushed hard on “oh, kiddo is sad. Let’s go find an animal friend and hug them. Oh, doesn’t hugging doggie make you feel better?” Ideally you want to not always have it be the same lovey, because the day that lovey is missing is hell until it turns up again, but we probably go with specific lovey 75% of the time and “animal friend” the other 25%.
Am I remembering correctly that you were the one with twins, and one tended to be more demonstrative and the other would let his brother cry for both of them? Is this the one with less language that acted more second child-like, or is this the one who cried and demanded adult attention more? I feel like that would play more into how you handle it – you might be able to play it off by praising the cooperative kid and ignoring the screaming kid, but you don’t want to do that if it turns into a “this kid is the good kid” and “this kid is the bad kid” dynamic.
Yes, I’ve got two little guys and this one is the more demonstrative/attention needing one. He does love hugging his toys, though, and suggesting he hug Big Lion (his favorite big toy) is probably a good suggestion. He sometimes gets Lion, his wubanub (distinct from Big Lion, which is just a big stuffed animal), downstairs if he’s having a bad day although otherwise Lion lives upstairs in the crib for naps and nighttime only.
I do the breathing, and it’s worked well for us. My goal in the long run is more ‘teach emotional self-regulation’ than ‘avoid tantrums entirely’ so even though it does provide some feedback in the moment, it feels worth it to me.
That’s not to say that I let the tantrums affect my decisions – we still leave the park. But I do acknowledge the feeling out loud and provide some options for dealing with the feelings. We “blow” together (FWIW, my daughter is now 2, and she just started blowing with me in the past few weeks – before that, it was just me, but it sometimes did work to distract her) and I offer to give her a cuddle if she needs it.
Also, now I can often forestall a tantrum by asking if she can do something or if I need to do it for her. Sequence of events is:
“We’re leaving the park now.”
“Yup, we need to go home. Can you walk home or do you need mama to carry you?”
“I DO IT”
And she starts walking home.
This would not have worked at 18 months, at all, but starting around 22 or 23 months it became an option.
Meg Murry says
My son is almost 4, but from almost 3 and on he really got into racing and “beating you”.
“Time to go potty.”
“No, I don’t wanna”
“Do you want to go upstairs or downstairs?”
“No, I don’t have to go”
“I bet you can’t beat me to the bathroom” or “How fast can you get to the bathroom?”
-Zoom, he’s off. Works about 90% of the time. It means he’s running through the house or down the driveway to the car or whatever, but hey, I’ll take running over having to carry him kicking and screaming.
I think that’s what I want to go for ultimately — you’re feeling an emotion and that’s okay even if it feels bad and here’s a way to help deal with it in an okay way. I was taught that having “bad” feelings was not okay and it resulted in me becoming emotionally disconnected in a way that I want my sons to avoid. Hence the breathing/blowing. But maybe that’s just too advanced right now for an 18 month old.
It’s probably too advanced for right now, but you are laying a foundation and one day he’ll start doing it along with you and it will be amazing! At least, that was my experience. It felt pretty silly for months, then suddenly I noticed that she was doing it with me and it was actually helping to calm her down. Plus, it helps keep *me* calm during a tantrum, which is nice as well.
I read How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk, as well as Happiest Toddler on the Block (I wouldn’t recommend Happiest Toddler because the discipline stuff seems over the top to me, but I’m sure it has informed my approach) – my strategy is to calmly reflect the feeling (“kiddo is mad, mad, mad!), reiterate what we are going to do (“but we need to leave the park”) and give a reason (“so we can make dinner because Mama is getting hungry”). I hold her for a minute and rub her back or hair, if she is OK with being held. That’s usually enough to calm the tantrum. If it’s not, or if she doesn’t want to be held, I stick her in the stroller/carseat/baby carrier and we go on our way, tears or no. My kiddo is also triggered by being overtired and hungry, so I keep an “emergency snack” to pull out once I’ve said my piece.
You are also giving him a language pattern to mimic once he does have some words – my kiddo has started signing “baby sad, sad, sad” when she doesn’t get what she wants, and then we can have a little talk about the sad feeling.
CPA Lady says
+1 to the How To Listen book.
Also, 1,2,3, the Toddler Years is great. It’s kind of a How To Listen book specifically geared towards toddlers. It talks a lot about them wanting to have some control and autonomy in their lives and gives you ways to let them have that– for example if you have to do something they don’t want, like doing a diaper change, you can give them a choice beforehand. Say something like “okay, I need to change your diaper. Would you like to bring the toy you’re playing with, or would you like to leave it here?” Or when it’s bed time, you tell them it’s time for bed, then get out two sets of pajamas and let them pick which one they’re going to wear. That way they have some bit of control over the situation, even if it’s a situation that is non-negotiable like a diaper change or a bedtime.
I don’t know how much my 1 year old understands, but I’m approaching it from the belief that she probably understands more than I think she does.
Maddie Ross says
Agree with meme re: ignoring. I also have found that it is sometimes helpful at that age not to give a warning, as that only encourages battles. Sometimes the more abrupt end is better.
Best resources for dealing with 4-month sleep regression (and healthy sleep patterns in general)? We have the Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child book, but I don’t really like how it’s laid out. I am open to all ideas.
I don’t think this is universally the case, but our daughter’s 4 month regression appeared to be correlated with increasing mobility and strength — she was scooting around in her swaddle by 3.5 months and getting stuck in weird positions, so we unswaddled her, but then she kept herself awake by playing with her hands and feet, smacking herself in the face, or getting limbs stuck outside the crib. We used the magic merlin’s sleep suit starting a week after we unswaddled through six months, and it worked well for these issues — she started sleeping through the night again a couple nights after we stuck her in it. By six months she outgrew it and could roll over in it, but by then she was a little more intentional in her movements and not so fascinated by her hands and feet.
I liked the No Cry Sleep Solution book. I’m not sure how much of an effect it had, but the emphasis on establishing a routine and tracking sleep patterns at least made me feel like I was doing something to help my little one sleep better. It was easy to read in my sleep-deprived state. Best of luck, and remember that you’ll get through this eventually (even though it doesn’t feel that way now….).
4-6 months was really, really rough for us sleep-wise. I refer to that time as the canyon of despair. I read a bunch of different things, but ultimately used the advice on this website to slowly move toward sanity. This page is a good place to start, but be sure to click through to the applicable articles, especially the sleeping through the night series. http://www.troublesometots.com/3-6-month-baby-sleep-survival-guide/ Good luck!
How did you get your kids to sleep through the night?
Our baby sleeps great but wakes up twice a night to eat. She’s great at falling asleep at bedtime and after feedings, and is growing and gaining weight spectacularly. She’s even STTN on her own initiative twice (10 hours). We agree with our pediatrician that she doesn’t actually need to eat, she’s just used to it. We tried letting her cry it out and it failed spectacularly – almost an hour of crying until i couldn’t take it anymore. We also tried just comforting her at night without feeding – same results.
What’s worked for you?
kc esq says
My son didn’t like a pacifier during the day, but when we sleep-trained him, he took it at night. He cried, one of us went in and put the pacifier in, then he calmed enough for a while. When he woke again, did the pacifier again. We might have combined this with holding/ rocking — or not. My memory isn’t the clearest from those days. It took two nights, then he didn’t need to eat if he woke so just cuddles worked.
Is your baby eating enough during the day? We bottle fed by that point, and had to make a conscious effort to make sure we offered him more in the daytime once he was eating less at night. Otherwise he’d still wake up hungry at night. We also fed him at 6 pm and bedtime (7:30), even though he was usually going 4ish hours between bottles earlier in the day. if you’re nursing, maybe offer extra sessions?
We’re nursing and she’s still eating every 2-3 hours (thank goodness for a long maternity leave for me). I encourage her to eat a bit longer during the day, but you can’t force it obviously. She usually eats about an hour before bedtime and again just before going down for the night. I’d love more ideas on how to get her to eat more during the day!
What worked for us was cutting down the amount of time she nursed over the course of about 10 days. Started by timing her typical nursing sessions, then each night I popped her off 30 seconds sooner (she nursed quickly – if your baby is a slower nurser, you might do a minute or two per night). She did take a pacifier, and would go back to sleep happily once the paci was in. Once we got down to two minutes, we went cold turkey on nursing, but still gave her the paci for a few days. Then we sleep trained.
Basically, by shifting gradually, we were able to get her used to not eating at night in a relatively painless way. Once we were confident she wasn’t hungry overnight, we were more comfortable sleep training.
I’m in a similar boat and this is a great idea. Thanks for sharing.
I just linked this website for the person above you, but I promise I’m not in any way affiliated! I used this advice to night wean my daughter: http://www.troublesometots.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-sleeping-through-the-night-part-3/
Caveat: we were never able to drop that last feeding completely until she dropped it on her own, but we were able to push it back to 4-5am, which was sustainable for us.
#1 Never slept well. Ate around the clock. Started sleep training around 6-8 months old with the ‘no cry’ options (which resulted in lots of crying and/or no progress), then tried extinction (no success after a very sleepless night), then at 12 months old followed Ferber’s book (all recommendations, not just CIO part) and had very easy and quick success. They were an awesome sleeper from then on out, fwiw.
#2 Textbook baby. Gradually extended sleeping periods until STTN a 10-12 weeks old. Patted myself on back for being a super parent who totally knows how to do things. Four month sleep regression was a bump in the road that eventually resulted in 5 am waking. But since they just wanted to snuggle in bed with me for a couple more hours and everyone was sleeping, it was no big deal. They eventually outgrew it (around third birthday).
#3 Textbook baby. Gradually extended sleeping periods until STTN a 10-12 weeks old. Patted myself on back for being a super parent who totally knows how to do things. Four month sleep regression was a *nightmare*. Multiple sleep trainings starting at 6 months old, and the wakeful periods are getting longer and sleepful periods getting shorter. We’re currently at 8 months old and gearing up for another round of sleep training this weekend… UGH.
Undercover for this says
So this is more a vent and looking for reassurance than looking for advice. Forgive me for the novel- I feel really strongly about this
I would consider myself a very well-informed woman who has made conscious choices surrounding pregnancy and birth about what is best for me and my family. I’ve considered research, anecdotal experiences of friends, family politics, and what would make my husband and I feel the most at ease.
We came to the conclusion that a natural birth with a doula in a hospital setting was the best decision for us. We also chose a practice groups that does contain primarily physicians, but what started as an ‘Okay, I need immediate care for this one pressing issue and will search for a provider that fits better’ appointment lead me to a really fantastic, collaborative, woman-centered practice that I’ve been nothing but pleased with. I’ve been complementing my ‘standard Western medicine’ care with a number of alternative/crunchy methods.
Every time I discuss my non-traditional methods or plans with my traditional providers, they are 110% on board and supportive. They have actually surprised me with just how open/encouraging of complementary/alternative medicine they have been across the board.
On the other hand, every time one of my alternative/crunchy practitioners asks me about my choices, I’m getting the ‘OMG YOU SHOULD HAVE DONE A HOME BIRTH OMG THEY WILL FORCE DRUGS DOWN YOUR THROAT AND EVERYTHING WILL BE NOT WHAT YOU WANT’ (yes, Ellen caps 100% necessary).
I guess it just is frustrating me that the providers who have all over their websites, ‘Respecting Women’s Birth Choices’ seem to have this secret sub-message which is ‘unless it’s to not have a home birth’. Am I alone on an island here? Is it geographic to where I live? Am I just totally out there on pregnancy hormones?
We attempted a home birth and ended up needing to transfer due to breech and labor slowing. My midwife was great about begging me to go to the hospital. However…the more I’ve learned about the industry of home birth, the more I’ve learned that a lot of it is totally based off of misinformation and irrational fears (The Business of Being Born kind of prompted all of this and others have just taken it and run with it–and made a lot of money doing homebirths, even though statistically they are less safe–that being said, if I hadn’t needed a c-section, I would consider a home birth in a heartbeat!–but I do understand the risks and potential benefits.)
I’m really glad we had a midwife that cared about the baby and my safety first over any kind of ideology. And, the reaction of the hospital staff for a homebirth transfer was nothing like I expected. Everyone at the hospital told me they were sorry my homebirth didn’t work out and were really supportive of me in a difficult time and tried to respect all of my wishes even though things didn’t go as I hoped. Of course, once a csection was in the works, things stopped being natural, but everyone was super supportive of breastfeeding and everything else.
All that to say that you shouldn’t doubt your providers. There are certainly providers out there that are not supportive of natural childbirth, but it sounds like yours are. It is unfortunate that all the alternative practitioners are not. I just think there is a lot of misinformation out there online and if someone keeps in a small online bubble and keeps reading the same stuff, they start having a very narrow view of things that isn’t completely accurate.
Sorry so long! Best wishes for everything. Your plans sounds great and I’m glad you are being so supported by your hospital!! I guess out of the two groups–those are the people you ultimately need support from anyway!
Thank you for sharing your experience with this!
I absolutely considered a home birth for myself, but realized that I would actually be more relaxed and have less anxiety with a hospital birth. And you know what? I’m very glad that I could make that choice for me.
And thank you for making me feel that I’m not alone and not totally crazy in feeling like this!
CPA Lady says
Ugh, I hate that for you. I could get on a similar ranty soapbox tirade about people who tell you that if you don’t EBF, your baby will end up fat and stupid. I’m pretty sure a lot more women would b-feed longer (or at all) if they were taught about combo feeding, and if BFing weren’t this huge difficult all-or-nothing undertaking. It drives me crazy when some people are so extreme that they cant see any value in the alternative, and end up hurting their own cause in the meantime because they are so blinded by ideology (hello entire U.S. political system… different rant, different day).
But anyway, I think you have obviously chosen a great hospital if they are being that supportive, though. If I were in your shoes I’d definitely be pretty cross too.
Word. Sometimes the extremes are the ones who shout the loudest and drown out everyone else.
Even though my plan is to EBF to one year, as someone on here mentioned, it’s not the absence of formula that gives lots of the benefits, it’s the presence of b milk. I think we’re always so so hard on ourselves when really- the research has this underlying truth to it: parents who genuinely care and try to do *most* things right have pretty good outcomes. This is doubly true if the parent(s) are lucky enough to be educated and make a stable income.
Meg Murry says
Unfortunately, it never ends. There are the people that rant at you about the evils of daycare and everyone should want to be SAHMs – from someone who has never even set foot in my super awesome daycare. The “how dare you not feed your kids organic food” vs “how dare you judge me for feeding my kids tv dinners”.
Even in elementary school, I was recently surprised by a “oh, we would never let our children ride the school bus”. For Pete’s sake. I can’t wait for a few more years when we all get to deal with the judgement of who did/didn’t let their X year old have a cell phone, or date, or who knows what other parenting quagmire I haven’t even imagined yet but that will become the defining drama of that school year.
But yes, I am so happy that the woman that started most of the lactation departments in our area (she consults, and moves from hospital to hospital every 5 years or so) has instituted a “we will help educate anyone that wants information, and we will help anyone that wants to breastfeed do so, with whatever measures that person is willing to take, but we don’t force it or judge anyone on their decisions, now or past, unless it is going to cause the baby serious harm”. And when I say serious harm, I mean intervening in the “well, I’ll just feed my baby organic soy milk because we are vegan” or “oh sure, I can still breastfeed while on these extremely dangerous illegal drugs” – not “oh no, not EBF is going to cause major harm” kind of way.
hoola hoopa says
Oh my gosh, yes, it never ends. The BFing arguments just become about juice. Baby wearing arguments turn to talented and gifted programs. Suddenly volunteering at the school is somehow an edgy topic. Ugh.
I totally sympathize. I am pretty crunchy (breastfeeding, babywearing, unmedicated birth) but I like modern medicine, doctors and my career. I don’t get the extremism from some “crunchy” people. I had nothing but positive experiences during both of my hospital births (one epidural, one unmedicated).
I’m glad that your hospital births were both positive- this makes me happy to hear.
I also had a great hospital birth that followed my hopes pretty much exactly (no medication, mostly labored in the tub). An amazing nurse did counterpressure on my back for hours to deal with the pain. And I was much more relaxed knowing that I was steps away from a NICU and operating room in case those things did end up being necessary. Ironically, I’d consider a home birth for a second child, since I had such a positive birth experience the first time through. But as a first time mom, no way – for my own sanity, I needed a dollop of medicalization.
Awesome! And my husband and I have discussed that we will re-evaluate our choice for the next kiddo.
The NHS for a while had a general recommendation of ‘Have the first one in the hospital, see how it goes, and if that goes fine, go for a home birth with the second if that’s your choice.’ My husband and I like that plan, so your second birth as a home birth plan seems totally reasonable and logical to me!
+1 Another “crunchy” parent with three great hospital births (first unmedicated for the first 24 hours… the next two with planned epidurals after initial med-free laboring period).
OP, I totally heard the same sub-message. I am NOT a person-pleaser by nature, but it was still so exhausting to have all the opinions. You are not the crazy person, I promise.
When I was in recovery after having my first, the on-call OB (who had delivered babies in third world country as a doctor in the peace corp) said something that I wish more people could hear: It’s fine to chose med-free and it’s fine not to – but realize how fortunate you are to HAVE a choice. So many women turn their noses up at something that far too many women (literally) would die to have. I felt that it really put the whole hoopla over it in perspective.
Meg Murry says
Yes – this is what the (non judgemental) lactation consultant I mentioned above reminded me of, and I pass on every day. Formula is not evil. Hospital birth is not evil. 100 years ago, unless I could have afforded a wet nurse (unlikely) or had a close family member willing to feed my baby, my son would have died by 2 weeks old without modern formula, because between his issues and my issues he just wasn’t getting enough to eat with breastfeeding alone. We are so, so lucky to be living in a time where we have that choice to keep our babies alive with formula and clean running water.
Yes and Yes! I feel so fortunate to have a choice and be able to make an informed choice and like that I can choose a Plan A but have Plans B-Z all available to me as well.
I also had a good hospital experience and an unmedicated birth. I went to a nurse midwife practice that operates within and under the supervision of an OB/Gyn group. It was a great combo for me. After reading all the alarmist crap about hospitals, I was expecting to have to defend my choice to try to go without meds but it wasn’t like that. I never felt pressured to have an epidural (even when I was begging for one, they just calmly notified the midwife so she could come discuss options and she had me try a few other things first since I was almost ready to push anyway and boom he was born med-free). No judgement, no pressure. If you’re going med-free, I highly recommend laboring in the hot shower. If it doesn’t end up happening that way, don’t feel bad. Personally, I think I’m gonna try the epidural next time…
The ‘pressured into painkillers’ thing is just so fascinating to me on an analytical level.
My sister, who works in health care, mentioned to me that there was more of a push to do a better job at pain management about 10 years ago and there was kind of an over-correction to ensure that everyone had access to pain management whenever they needed/wanted it. This included more ‘encouragement’ of meds for women in labor. She said that she’d noticed that it was sort of leveling out and that it was obvious in the L&D and orthopedics floors already.
This is why I quit Facebook. I couldn’t stand all the preachy baby wearing, EBF, anti/pro circ, home birth, etc posts I was inundated with on a daily basis. I am pretty crunchy, but that’s *my* approach. As long as your kid is loved and cared for, you do you.
Yeah…there is a reason that home birth is still a very rare occurrence. Sorry you are feeling that kind of pressure. Labor is HARD. Do what you have to do. There are no prizes awarded for most martyr-ish labor experience. FWIW, I am so glad that I labored in a hospital setting; they had endless hot water so I could labor in the shower, they had a wonderful deep soaking tub, and they had a nursery so I could get some much-needed sleep after pushing for 3 hours. Also, nurses who gave good pointers on the care and feeding of a newborn, and room service. None of that was available at my house. Would do a hospital birth again in a heartbeat.
(Although I will say – having heard about the NYC maternity ward situation, if I was in NYC, I might consider a home birth more seriously).
And yeah, if I were in NYC, a home birth may very well have been a better option. And that’s my whole thing: I fully respect that what is best for me in my situation may not be the best for another woman.
For me though, in the area I live in, we have a choice of hospitals that are all well-staffed and are at least ‘pretty good’ to give birth at. I picked the one that friends overwhelmingly had positive things to say about that also offered a large number of rooms with tubs and showers in them and have the best lactation consultants.
I think you need to trust your gut, and go with the option that works best for you–which it seems like you’ve found. For the providers who aren’t supportive of that, I think it’s ok to not continue that conversation. I think it’s sometimes easier said that done (I was almost speechless when a massage therapist ‘explained’ to me that my tension was caused by eating GMO’s, while her elbow was in my back. yeah.) but I think just saying “This is what I’m comfortable with, I don’t want to discuss it” should be enough for most people. If it’s not, maybe looking for a new provider is a less stressful option
I do feel like there’s an under-current in the natural birth world, that goes to a very extreme position of ‘correct’ choices. I also think this is just one of the many cases were you have to pick what works for you, your family, your kid, and don’t let the extreme opinions cause you to second guess yourself. Like CPA Lady mentioned, you can have this same conversation about EBF, but also, pacifiers, swaddles, teething, Pre-K, and on and on. In the end, it’s not likely that any one of these decisions will drastically alter the course of our children’s lives, so it’s more important to do what works for you than to fit anyone’s expectations.
Thank you! I think I’m pretty smart and should trust my judgement (and that of my spouse, who’s a smart, caring dude as well).
I had a similar experience where my medical practitioners (nurse midwife practicing in a hospital) were totally supportive of making my birth plan happen, while more “crunchy” practitioners (the one who taught my birthing class) was much more, there is only one Right Way. I had to be induced, and that was Not OK to the crunchy practitioner and something you should fight tooth and nail. I had risk factors that made me believe my midwife when she said I should be induced, so that’s what we did, and ended up having a natural birth (after the induction got things started). I had a great experience with the hospital and all the practitioners there; they asked once when I checked in if I was interested in an epidural; I said no, and it was never mentioned again. (I’m sure I could have changed my mind though, too, and as someone mentioned above, I was so thankful to have that option.) Go with what you’re comfortable with.
Wow, kudos for you being able to handle a natural birth after an induction. I tried to do it with my first (induction 1 week early determined to be medically necessary due to infection & fever) and I was literally begging and crying for an epidural. I was scaring new patients coming in and everything! Haha. With my 2nd, it was all natural, but not by choice. After the 1st time I was like, F that, I’m getting the epidural IMMEDIATELY. He just came out so fast that there was no time, and actually, that birth (10 days overdue) was so much better in every way than the induced birth. I’m just happy that modern medicine and antibiotics exist to give us all these choices and potentially saved my and my baby’s life so that I could have that 2nd amazing birth experience!
Thank you for sharing both your experiences- I have been reading birth stories and really feel like hearing others’ stories teaches me so much about what women are capable of and what I am capable of.
Once again, I’m so glad that we all can make choices- feeling like there’s a one-size-fits-all approach to birth, be it drugs/no-drugs or planned c-section/silent pushing/delivered by a shaman under a full moon while naked virgins dance around you seems to fail to recognize the different values and experiences of other people and just plain old doesn’t make sense.
Chi Squared says
Whew! I’m 11 weeks pregnant, and just passed my first pregnancy anxiety milestone. The NIPT screen indicates low risk of trisomies. This was a biggie for me, as the NIPT during my last pregnancy showed high likelihood of trisomy 18. Results were confirmed by CVS, and to me the decision to terminate was clear, if not easy. I turned 40 in March, so time was running out to conceive a 2nd child. With the NIPT results for this pregnancy, I feel like I finally have permission to at least start envisioning life with 2 kids.
Batgirl, congratulations! Also, I am in maternity pants already – no shame! They are so much more comfortable and flattering than trying to squeeze myself into regular pants – with or without Bella band/rubber bands/etc. Like you, I’m short, and the 3-5 lbs I’ve gained already went straight to my waist.
Congratulations to you, too! I’m so glad to hear that the NIPT screen went well.
Congrats on the good news!
third tri says
Please help me find shoes to wear in the NE in fall/winter! I’m 26 weeks with twins and am facing the fact that sandal season is basically over. My feet are swollen and my back does 10x better when my shoes are well cushioned. I work in a casual business casual office and would like something(s) I can wear casual or with black leggins and a casual dress or tunic for work, and then also on the weekends. Open to almost anything except velcro orthopedics :)
No recs but am also interested, and wanted to share that I was in DSW the other day and tried on a pair of heinous orthopedic maryjanes with a velcro strap and they were SO SO COMFORTABLE that I pondered them for 10 whole minutes. I was sitting there justifying that with the strap they’d be safer and who cares what I’m wearing on my feet and and…and I slowly put them back and kept shuffling along, but still think about them.
ha! that was me yesterday!
I wear those shoes everyday, and they are just as comfortable as you imagined :)
Ok, this is not super professional, but I found some “nicer” looking Croc loafers and wore those a lot while pregnant (my feet swelled immensely and I needed the cushioning). They are a bit sweaty though just an fyi. Also, look at Softspots and check the Barking Dogs blog for any shoe recs that seem to match your particular foot issues.
I also ended up wearing snowboots the last few weeks of my pregnancy because I could jam my feet into them without bending down. Not recommended, but helpful.
Also, don’t be afraid to spend for good shoes – my feet stayed swollen for a good 4-6 weeks postpartum, and have actually expanded permanently I think. So the “temporary” shoes that I bought while pregnant are now part of my regular rotation.
hoola hoopa says
The snowboot comment made me laugh out loud because I can so relate. For me, it was a pair of loafers that didn’t coordinate with any of maternity clothes.
+1000 to slip-on. You don’t want those velcro orthopedics because you’ll have to get someone to do the velcro for you.
Trotters, clarks, and crocs have flat options that are very comfortable and, while not cutting-edge fashion, are normal flats.
Maybe something like these? http://www.zappos.com/clarks-penwick-albee-black-leather
Or these if it’s not too cold/snowy? http://www.zappos.com/keen-sienna-mj-leather-black-pebbled
Last winter I dealt with terrible foot issues while pregnant. I wore running shoes whenever possible, and otherwise wore Aerosoles Duble Trouble flat ankle boots in a size up, with the insoles from my running shoes inside. It helped a LOT. (Feet did not shrink post-pregnancy, at least not yet, so those boots are alread yproving handy this fall.)
Possibly too late, but just remembered this – DO NOT wear shoes that are too small. I tried to wear my tennis shoes postpartum when my feet were still swollen, and got to enjoy 4 weeks of ingrown toenails until I realized they were caused by shoes that were too small. Was lots of fun with all the other indignities of postpartum life.
They are not padded in the soles, but are flats, and were the result of my mega quest to find cute, professional-ish, winter boots that I could wear in the office during pregnancy (due in late January). Behold, the Frye Anna shortie. I wore them pretty much every day. I wore extra fluffy socks if it was going to be super cold. I also feel like they could easily accommodate some foot swelling (though I luckily didn’t have that, they are roomy and seem to be a pretty forgiving leather).
Anon S says
Me again! Anything you wish you would have done before you went back to work after maternity leave? Or anything you’re really happy you did before you went back?
Do a practice run or two with daycare/care provider, so that your first day back is not also your first full day leaving the baby. On one of those practice runs, get a haircut, manicure, and what ever other self care things you can think of.
This was the best thing I did right before heading back–I felt more like professional me and less like mommy me for a few hours, which was helpful for getting back into that mindset.
+1 to daycare practice runs. Also, if you can fit in any other appointments (for you – the dentist? Eye dr?) it’s nice to get those out of the way so you won’t have to use leave right after you’ve come back.