Maternity Monday: Double Lapel Trench Coat

affordable maternity trench coatJCPenney has a number of cute maternity trench coats right now in colors like navy, beige, and a nice deep red. They’re all around $50, which is nice — especially since I never bought a special coat for either of my pregnancies. (But then I was never heavily pregnant in winter!) Still, at this price, not counting any JCP coupons or deals, it’s definitely worth considering.  Glow & Grow Maternity “Laura” Double Lapel Trench Coat

Psst: if you happen to be plus size, don’t forget that JCP is one of the few places that actually carries plus size maternity clothes.

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  1. Here’s a weird question I don’t feel comfortable asking people IRL. Do your kids ever act like they just don’t like you? My daughter is very sweet and loving most of the time but sometimes it feels like she is just mad at me or her father. Like, this morning, I woke up first and went to make breakfast, she woke up about 30 minutes later and her dad got her from her crib. Brings her to me and she sees me and just goes, “no!” And then when he tries to give her to me, she starts crying. She was fine 10 minutes later, maybe even less. This has happened in reverse many times. Also happens when we go to work sometimes and come home. Definitely no running to the door shouting “mama” or “daddy” in our house. The funny thing is it never happens with her grandparents. She is almost ALWAYS thrilled to see them and leaps into their arms. She’s about 20 months for reference.

    • Anonymous says:

      Totally normal. Our kids have all cycled through preference between me and DH about who should put them to bed or read a book or take them out of their highchair etc. Lucky me, currently middle kid is tantruming whenever DH tries to change his diaper – Mommy apparently is the only acceptable diaper changer. Sigh. Excitement to see grandparents is normal too – they are not part of their everyday life. It’s a sign of security in your relationship with her and she feels comfortable to say no if she doesn’t want to be with you and that she views you coming home as a normal part of her day.

      • Artemis says:

        +1 I read it in a child development article somewhere and remind myself of it all the time when my (older) kids are just losing it within minutes of seeing me—I’ve given them the gift of unconditional love and they know I truly love them “no matter what” so that means I’m a safe person to witness their worst. It’s really, REALLY tough sometimes, especially when they’re so well-behaved and pleasant for everyone else, but then again, I’d rather that be true than the reverse!

    • Anonymous says:

      My DD is only 5 months, but from witnessing my nieces and nephews (who are all under 5) this is totally normal. Sometimes they will refuse to give mommy/daddy a hug in the morning, or if one parent goes to them in the middle of the night they ask for the other parent. It definitely can hurt your feelings but it doesn’t mean they actually don’t like you. Toddlers/preschoolers are crazy and their brains aren’t anywhere near fully formed nor can they monitor their emotions very well. So don’t take it personally (easier said than done, I know).

      • Haha, they are crazy. We actually don’t take it personally, or at least I don’t, I just noticed it happening a lot very randomly, with no rhyme or reason except that she doesn’t like whoever wasn’t there immediately before. It’s almost like she has to warm up to you for a bit. But I’m also wondering if maybe I should be more sensitive to where she’s coming from. For instance, we try to not make a big deal of leaving in the morning and she never seems upset when we go to work but I’ve noticed she seems a little distant when we come home. I started now saying, “Okay, I’m going to go to work now, have a great day, I’ll see you later” and she seems much better when I come home (i.e., doesn’t just say “no” when she sees me in the evening). So I guess I’m wondering if maybe it’s something specific we’re doing?

        • I hear you. My son is 13 months and many times he cries/fusses when he sees me instead of being happy. My husband said I should feel good because his emotions are so strong with me, but instead I watch him smile when daddy comes in the room and instantly whine when he sees me.

          It’s just hard to separate your own emotional response from it!

          • Anonymous says:

            Your DH is right. Kids often ‘let go’ the most with the person they are most attached to. They are trying to keep it together all day and they feel safe to ‘let go’ and express their emotions with you.

    • Marilla says:

      Our daughter is about the same age and IMO this is totally normal. To me it’s a combination of waking up tired or needing a little while to adjust to being awake (sometimes I’m crabby and confused when I wake up too :)) when it happens in the morning, and at other times I attribute it to grandparents being more of a novelty than we are. She definitely cries sometimes if I hand her off to her dad, usually not the other way around but she regularly jumps away from me to get to my MIL, or occasionally to one of her aunts.

    • It might be as simple as associating that person with an unwanted transition. For example: in the morning, kid realizes husband is bringing her to you to get her ready for daycare, and she doesn’t want to go to daycare (or have parents leave the house, if you have a nanny). Or, after work, kid sees parent coming in the house and realizes parents are about to start her bedtime routine, and she doesn’t want to go to bed yet.

      Monday mornings are especially rough in our house.

    • Kiddo acts like he doesn’t like me all the time. He often says “No Mama” when I walk into the room. He asks for something but then insists that Daddy does it. It’s been this way for months but is more pronounced when Kiddo is out of his routine, like when we travel. It is hard not to take it personally. It’s also exhausting for DH.

      I think some of it is developing his own independence by separating from one parent at a time. And, as JTX pointed out, I think a lot of it is that I’m associated with transitions and routine–even when DH is willing to perform the actual task, play time starts when I leave for work and ends when I get home.

      • To that last point, I’ll add that when Kiddo says “Mama, noooo,” I’ve started asking him if he’s worried I’m going to make him stop playing or that I’ll take him away from Daddy or whichever caregiver is around. So far, he’s said, “Yes” 100% of the time. I try to reassure him and give him some extra time with that person, or join in if he’ll let me.

  2. Long-term plugged duct question – a friend has had a plugged duct for a week now. She’s out of ideas, and not getting a lot of help from LCs/doctors/midwives. I don’t feel like I’m much help because mine all went away in a few days. Does anyone have experience with medical intervention for an issue like this? She has tried all the constant nursing/pumping to drain/warm compresses/massage tips.

    • Has she tried nursing upside down – baby on bed, mom above her?

      • +1. I would take a warm shower, massage the spot hard enough that it would hurt a bit, and then nurse upside down. I felt like a cow and hated it, but a few rounds of that would eventually clear the stubborn ones up.

        And unfortunately I had the same experience where doctors etc sort of ignored the problem, and basically said call if it turns into an infection. If she is on Facebook, have her find the local La Leche group and post there. She’ll likely find an LC who is willing to help her with strategies specific to her situation.

    • EB0220 says:

      So…I almost hate to share this here BUT I remember reading on a board that someone’s husband was able to clear a stubborn plugged duct for her. Stronger sucking action than the baby or pump I guess. So….not sure what to make of that one. Never tried it myself.

      • Haha – wow. I guess I see how that works, but chalk that up to things I’m pretty sure even my even-keeled husband might resist.

        Thanks for all the suggestions! Happy to hear more, too!

      • D. Meagle says:

        My husband was able to clear stubborn plugged ducts for me with his hand. I would hold the pump falange in place while the pump pumped at a high setting and he would just knead my [email protected] Were the least s3xy times I experienced being felt up ;)

        I would also pump out a ton of milk and then my chest felt normal and pain free again.

    • Lecithin supplement? Medical grade pump?

    • Cornellian says:

      lecithin, medical grade pump, hot b–b soak, lots of pressure right in front of the block, advil (not just for the pain but because it can lower swelling and help it clear).

      I get them all the time, and after a week or two they sometimes turn in to mastitis for me :(

    • octagon says:

      Lecithin made a huge difference for me.

      Also if you have a vibrating toothbrush (or other instrument with similar functions), using that directly on the clog for 5 minutes, followed by a hot shower with lots of massage and hand expression while under the hot water.

    • Knope says:

      Has she checked her temperature? She may have mastitis and just not have the body aches yet. If so, she should get on antibiotis ASAP and then do all of the things listed above (including using a vibrating instrument)…

    • layered bob says:

      ultrasound. Not for imaging, but for treatment. I was referred to a physical therapist/occupational therapist (I forget) by my lactation specialist OB for persistent plugged ducts. The ultrasound waves help break up the clog and then they use lymphatic massage to drain the inflamed tissue. You go in for twenty minutes two days in a row and then a repeat visit a day or two after, if necessary, but usually it just took the one visit. I had plugged ducts repeatedly (every week or more) for the first six months of nursing, and ultrasound (plus lecithin, hot showers, and frequent nursing) was the only thing that took care of the bad ones.

  3. Has anyone traveled internationally with a toddler? We are planning a trip to Iceland and Norway when our son will be 2 and are trying to decide whether to take him or not. I’ve read articles from both camps of whether to travel with a child before they will remember the trip, and it seems like the people who don’t are adamant that it would suck, and the people who do it always say they are so happy they took their baby/toddler.

    • It is probably a know your own kid situation.

      We took our almost two-year-old to Europe summer of 2016 for six weeks and it went great! But, she is super flexible with nap times and handled the 9pm Italian dinners like a champ. She also made it through 2 hour dinners almost every night. She’s also an adventurous eater and just loved seeing all the places. But, I often feel as though we’ve been gifted with the easiest child in the world. However, my husband and I both feel as though if we had taken the same trip this summer at three years old, it wouldn’t have gone so well–she’s much more likely to rebel against chosen activities for herself and won’t sit still at a table as well. That kind of surprised me that getting older would’ve made the trip worse.

      Also, we stayed at all airbnb apartments, so she had room to play and move around (several of them even had their own toys for her–we looked for this on purpose) and packed some familiar toys. We made it a priority to find parks and at least one thing a day that was just for her and not us. We used a Tula carrier, so she could nap while we were out and we didn’t have to worry about her running off. There were definitely things that we did that I felt made the trip easier.

      FWIW, she still remembers parts of the trip and talks about it, but we’ve also made a point to talk about it and look at pictures.

    • I have taken my 2 year old on several international trips. Mostly it is because my choice is to either take him or not go since I do not have alternatives for childcare. You will have a different experience taking a kid along. Although it is more work than without the child, it is enjoyable and I have had the opportunity to get to know more locals than when I traveled prior to kids. For instance, had we not taken him, I would never have believed that Londoners could be so warm and friendly. One 10 hour flight home was not fun, but that was because we were all tired. That will not stop me from traveling, but simply means I strategize how to make the next trip more successful.

    • Jeffiner says:

      I travel internationally with my toddler (to Iceland as well!) and we always have a great time. But like K., I have a super easy-going kid who loves new places and people watching and eating new food. I did plan all of our days with the kid in mind, like a tour of a museum in the morning when she was in a better mood, followed by a visit to a park to play, a drive to the Golden Triangle during nap time, etc.

      I think one of the big things about successfully travelling with kids is that you have to accept that you will always be “on” with respect to parenting. Every day, from the flight there to the flight home, you have to be paying attention to their needs and responding. I’m not saying spoil them rotten, but you have to notice if they need you to slow down the pace, to hold them instead of walking, to entertain them before they start trouble, etc. During everyday life we have to get to work, get the laundry, make dinner, etc, so my toddler sees a vacation not necessarily as a trip to an exotic place, but as a break from having to put up with regular life. If you don’t mind ordering room service instead of going to a restaurant, or reading a story book a dozen times on a flight instead of sleeping, then you’ll have a great time.

      Not taking the kids because they won’t remember is a silly argument. You’ll remember.

    • We took our 17 month son to China. The hardest part was the jet lag – we were on a tour (private, but still tightly scheduled), and his sleep pattern was all out of whack – awake in the middle of the night, asleep during dinner. If I had to do it over, I would have not done a tour (or felt more free to skip out) and tried to adjust to the time difference more gradually. This particular kid is very easygoing, especially food wise – I can’t imagine taking my incredibly picky other son on a similar trip. That said, I brought a ton of snacks and granola bars, which came in handy when he woke up in the middle of the night starving…

  4. Anon for this says:

    I’m probably overthinking this but anything we should be thinking of as we transition daughter to formula? She’s 8 months, good with bottles as I’ve exclusively pumped for the past 8 months. We probably have about a week of freezer stash left. I’ve read that formula fed babies eat a larger volume than they would of breast milk but our ped said she didn’t think that was true. Should I expect her to eat the same amounts?

    • Maddie Ross says:

      Hello! I am doing this exact thing right now with my 8 month old. We did increase her bottle size slightly in making the transition, but kind of out of convenience – she was drinking 5 oz of BM, but the formula measurements were for either 4 or 6. So we went with 6. There have been a couple of times she has stopped before draining the bottle completely, but “wasting” formula doesn’t bother me as much as BM. I am still nursing her in the morning and before bed, so it’s just daytime bottles that we’ve swapped for now.

      • Maddie Ross says:

        Oh, and from the practical standpoint, we started introducing the formula before my stash ran out. I probably still have about a 100 oz left actually, but I got worried that if she didn’t take to formula or had some reaction, I wanted to know before I stopped pumping completely (when there was still a hope, at least in my mind, of getting my supply back up if needed). That fear ended up being for naught luckily.

    • DD1 was combo fed, and never drank more than 4oz per bottle, formula or BM. You can always start her with the same amount, but send an extra bottle or two worth of formula. For both my kids, they’d rather have another bottle than a larger amount in each bottle.

    • Anonymous says:

      Formula bottles are generally larger than breastmilk bottles, yes. I guess the thinking is that breastmilk is more nutritionally complete so the baby doesn’t have to eat as much.

  5. Any advice or support for someone waiting for amnio results or having to face the possibility of termination for medical reasons? We should receive them in 12-14 days, and I’m struggling to eat, sleep, and make it through the day without bursting into tears. Our child has a 1/4 chance of inheriting a genetic disease (DH and I have no family history of this disease and we had no idea we were carriers until we got pregnant), and our latest ultrasound indicated the possibility of chromosomal or skeletal issues with the baby as well (unrelated to the potential genetic disease). This was the first time anything concerning had shown up on an ultrasound.

    Our fetal medicine specialist and genetic counselor have suggested that we contemplate the scenarios in which we would or wouldn’t terminate the pregnancy, as I’m already past 20 weeks and we likely won’t have much time to decide once we get the results back. I’m going to see a therapist later this week, but everyday is a struggle right now. I am holding on to the hope that our little bean is okay, but trying to prepare for and evaluate the worst case scenarios, just in case.

    • bluefield says:

      I’m really, really sorry you are going through this.

    • Anonymous says:

      No advice, but all the hugs. So, so sorry you’re going through this. I’m not the praying type but will be thinking of you and hope the bean is ok.

    • I am so sorry and I don’t have any advice. And I don’t know what genetic disease is at issue here, so I don’t know if what I’m about to say is even applicable. But it is definitely possible that your baby could not be physically “perfect” and still have a wonderful life. We had a similar scare, and it helped me a lot to think about the fact that just because something was wrong didn’t necessarily mean we couldn’t still have a happy child. I know with some diseases it might not be possible. But the thought helped me and maybe will help you get through the next few days. I’m so sorry and will be thinking of you.

      • Thank you – it’s nice to know that others have survived this torturous waiting period and come out okay.

    • This is so, so hard. And unfortunately, I’d say disease-specific. There are so many treatments for things like spinal bifida and cystic fibrosis, for example.

      Have you had the genetic testing done as well? For anyone reading this that is early on in pregnancy, I *highly* recommend the genetic panel offered (sometimes you have to pay, if you’re over 35 it’s often covered) at ~13 weeks. It eased a LOT of my anxiety since we do actually have some family history of several diseases.

      • Thank you. Due to privacy, I don’t want to share what our specific disease is, and it’s unfortunately one with a variable presentation. If our child has the condition, it could be manageable with medical intervention or the child could be severely, profoundly disabled and not live a life that DH and I would want for our child. Unfortunately, doctors can only tell us if the baby has the genes, not what the severity is, which makes this even harder.

        Yes, if you are early on in your pregnancy or TTC, go get genetic testing done. It would have saved us a lot of heartache. Both DH and I have done genetic testing. I had it done early on in my pregnancy, and I came back as a carrier, which was a huge shock. DH and I don’t know of any family members with this disease on either side of our family, and since the odds of him being a carrier too were less than 2%, we weren’t too worried about it when he was traveling and couldn’t get tested right away. Then there was a delay with his lab results, so it took us much longer than we would have liked to get these results.

      • Anonymous says:

        The genetic panels are only a couple of diseases though, right? My hospital only offered Harmony, which just tests for Trisomy 21 (Down’s), Trisomy 18 and Trisomy 13. It did not test for spina bifida, cystic fibrosis, Tay-Sach’s and many other diseases. I mean, it was comforting to know the baby had a low risk of having one of those three chromosomal issues (and super exciting to find out the gender early!) but it’s not a full-proof thing but any means and odds are OP couldn’t have avoided her current situation by doing the Harmony or a similar test.

        • bluefield says:

          The genetic panel I did was like 80 diseases. It changed maybe 4 years ago? I remember because I got one while TTC and then got another one when actually pregnant a year later because it had changed. I’m in NYC and in a risk pool so maybe I got the special test.

        • We did the Harmony test and it came back with very low risk for those three diseases. DH and I did a genetic test called Counsyl, which was offered through my OB and tests for almost 200 different genetic diseases (most of which are super rare and you’ve never even heard of, like the one DH and I have).
          We couldn’t have avoided the situation we’re in with the Harmony test alone, but if DH and I had been tested prior to conception, we would likely have done IVF with genetic testing to prevent our child from the risk of having this disease.

        • Anonymous says:

          There are two separate things: genetic panels of the parents (to see if they’re carriers for inherited diseases) and those are usually super comprehensive. Then there are genetic panels like Harmony and MaterniT21 that actually look at the baby’s chromosomes, which is what I thought Jen was referring to since she specifically mentioned doing this at 13 weeks along and how far along you are obviously doesn’t matter for a genetic profile of the parents. The one’s that look at the baby’s DNA are pretty limited.

        • Fair point, we did Counsyl. For one child, our insurance covered it and for the second child it did not (we changed plans). I was under 35 both times. Cost was something like $350.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I’m so so sorry. Is there any way the lab can process your results a little more quickly so you don’t have to wait so long?

      • I wish. They told us this was the “expedited” timing (I guess testing for specific, more rare genetic diseases takes longer?).

    • anon for this says:

      This is not the story that you want to hear, but I tell it because I think this happens more than we hear about. One of my family members ultimately terminated a pregnancy for medical reasons after the 20 week scan and subsequent follow-up testing. Their next pregnancy resulted in a healthy baby with none of the issues that occurred in the previous pregnancy, for what its worth, but that doesn’t offset the loss, I know. This is a heartbreaking choice and a club that no one wants to be a member of. While they did find some online support groups, the internet could be a rabbit hole full of misinformation and inaccurate projection during that decision making process. I think their in-person genetic counselor and therapists who were looking at their particular scenario were better resources. It went without saying that as their family and inner circle, we felt our place was to support them in any decision that they made, not engage in any speculation or what-ifs, and to support them through this horrible loss. For people who were not on this need to know basis, we merely said that the baby passed away and that it was too painful to talk about any details of what happened and changed the topic. I’m so sorry. I wish I had better words of comfort for you.

      • anon for this says:

        And to add a little more context based on OP’s reply above, this situation was also a condition with a wide variety of presentations and outcomes that only presented itself after 20 weeks, despite earlier standard testing.

        • Amnio says:

          I wish I could hug you through the screen for sharing this story with me. While that’s definitely not the outcome we are hoping for, it makes me feel so much less alone to know that others have been through and survived our worst case scenario.

          It’s awful but the “what will we tell people? what will people think?” question is one of my biggest worries. If we have to do this, I hope our inner circle will behave exactly as you and yours did. Thank you a thousand times over for treating them as compassionately as you did.

          • Anonymous says:

            You tell them whatever feels right for you. It might mean telling the full story to some people and just telling others that the pregnancy wasn’t successful or that you lost the baby. It is possible and not uncommon to decide to terminate a very much wanted pregnancy. There is no one right way to walk through this difficult journey. Trust yourself and be kind to yourself. You are doing the best you can in an incredibly difficult situation.

          • And take comfort in the fact that no matter what you do, someone will likely disagree, so do what is best for you and your partner only. Someone I know from college had a very very profoundly disabled child that needed 24/7 care. He died at age 6 or 7 and that was “old” for a child with that disease. He never got to experience joy. It’s possible that the parents never knew he had that severe of a disability before he was born. There were certainly people who speculated though why they would put a child through that. People assumed she was offered the opportunity to terminate and didn’t. We don’t know and it’s not our business. I’m sure if she had terminated, another group of people (religious family members) would have judged if they knew. You can’t please them all.

          • In case this is helpful, one of my friends terminated her pregnancy due to a testing result. I can’t remember the exact diagnosis or I would be more specific, but it was a condition where the baby would either die in utero or might live for just a few weeks after birth. She didn’t learn the result until after she had told me and many other friends she was pregnant. She and her husband notified us by email about their decision, including how difficult it was for them to make, and how great a loss it was for them. As far as I know, everyone was supportive. I didn’t think poorly of her and her husband at all, I just thought it was tragic and sad and was, frankly, very grateful I had never been in that position. I looked at it as a loss and tried to be supportive in the same way I would be if she had miscarried. (Not trying to equate termination and miscarriage, I know they are different). And they have since had a healthy baby girl who is about to celebrate her first birthday.

    • My friend went through this scenario for a diagnosis where a positive result would have meant termination for her. Same odds and similar time frame. She was particularly angry because after the test she found out there was another lab that had a shorter turn around period but the OB hadn’t mentioned. And they wouldn’t redo it (for both risk and insurance purposes).
      The amnio confirmed the child didn’t have the disease and she has gone on to a healthy pregnancy and child. But it was a really difficult period for her and her husband. And impacts if and how they decide to have another kid.
      Have you mentioned it to any friends or family. It’s a sensitive thing to talk about but hopefully you have a few people you can trust to let in. And not to minimize your concern at all, but do remember the odds are in your favor. 3 in 4! I’ll be rooting for you.

      • Amnio says:

        Thank you for the support and for sharing her story. I’m so glad things turned out okay for her and her family.

        We have mentioned that there are new concerns about the baby and we’re undergoing additional testing to our family and some close friends (and I told my sister about the genetic disease because it could impact her as well). However, there are some pretty religious people in our inner circle (DH and I are not religious), so I don’t know if we’ll be able to be 100% honest with them if we have to make a tough decision.

        I am definitely trying to hang on to the 3/4 odds that everything is fine. However, I’ve lost my faith in odds a little bit about DH and I both ended up in the 2% of the population that carries this disease. I try to tell myself that that doesn’t change the math, but it feels like it does.

        • Anonymous says:

          While we were waiting for the 12-13 week screening result, we discussed what we would tell my very-religious in laws if we decided to terminate. We decided on “something happened to the baby and we lost it.” This is your life and you have permission to disclose or not disclose whatever you’re comfortable with.

        • Frankly, I would have told anyone that needed telling “we lost the baby.” Nobody questions that, it is not a lie.

          If you wanted to share the details with people, by all means do. But for the coworkers or relatives that already knew you were pregnant, “we lost the baby” is as far as you need to go.

    • octagon says:

      Hugs to you. I have had two friends in your situation. One’s amnio came back normal and her daughter is thriving, but it was an agonizing period from then until the birth when she could see her child.

      The other got awful news.

      I learned from both these women that the best thing you can do for yourself is to trust your instincts, to lean on your partner (or any friends and family you trust with the news to be non-judgmental), and to have confidence in your decisions. No one else knows what you are going through, what your personal limits are, and what role your faith might play. Be kind to yourself.

      I’m pulling for you and your little bean.

      • Amnio says:

        Thank you for this. I’ll be rereading your third paragraph over and over again until we get our results.

    • Chi Squared says:

      I am so sorry that you are in this situation. I terminated for medical reasons at about 15 weeks after receiving a diagnosis of Trisomy 18 (via MaterniT21 screening, confirmed with FISH and CVS). Honestly, I don’t like thinking back to that time. We had not yet told anyone about the pregnancy because we were waiting for the screening results. The wait was bad, but at least I still had some hope that the screening test was wrong. At the same time, I was figuring out what my decision would be. For me, the decision to terminate was clear, even if not easily made, because T18 is typically so devastating, and also because I was already considered a high risk pregnancy due to some severe, potentially repeat complications with child #1. I read through a lot of posts on Babycenter’s Termination for Medical Reasons forum that helped me feel less alone. I definitely did my share of lying in bed crying my eyes out.

      My story has a happy ending, I think? I got pregnant about 9 months after the termination, and had a healthy baby. Sometimes I pause and mourn what could have been, but mostly I am so glad to have both my kids.

      • Amnio says:

        Thank you for sharing your story, especially knowing what a difficult time it must have been for you, and your happy ending, too. I am so sorry for your loss.

    • Spirograph says:

      I have no advice on this situation at all, I just want to say you and everyone who’s shared a similar story are in my thoughts. I hope your test results are reassuring, and if they are not, I wish you strength to make the decisions you’ll be faced with. So many internet hugs to you all.

    • I don’t know if you are still checking this thread but I wanted to share that Aylet Waldman has a chapter on this very topic in her book Bad Mom. She talks about the decision making process, having a different perspective from her husband, grieving the loss, finding support, and more. Hugs to you.

    • I know this is a late response, but we had something similar happen during our last pregnancy. We got bad news at the 20 week scan, which was the first they would have been able to see something anyway in our case, and then with follow up testing, confirmed it was more of a worst case scenario. Turns out I have a very mild version of a genetic disorder that’s dominant, so they don’t test for it because they assume you know if you have it. We did end up terminating. Its a really shitty place to be, and waiting sucks. Ultimately, try to be on the same page as your partner, and make whatever decision you feel like you need to make, not the decision you think everyone wants you to make. Figure out what you want to tell people if you do terminate, especially since you mentioned you have some family members who might not be supportive – my husband ended up being honest, and it didn’t go well. Most people were incredibly supportive, though. Lots and lots of hugs. I’m keeping you in my thoughts. Do whatever you need to get through until you get the results.

  6. I’m so sorry you are going through this. For what it’s worth, we’ve been through some scary testing processes. The waiting is killer. People always have told me to to put my head down and work as a distraction. Maybe that works for you, but it has never worked for me. What has helped somewhat is taking a day or two off and allowing myself to “grieve” the process. There’s something about taking a concentrated period of time to be with those bad feelings that allowed me process them and feel somewhat functional again after. I don’t know if this will help you, but I wish someone had given permission to feel that way. If you can work through it – great, but be kind to yourself.

    • Meant for amnio above. Oops

    • Thank you. I’m sorry to hear that you’ve also been through this as well. While I wish I could, I definitely cannot focus on work right now (I’m doing the bare minimum to get by). We did some grieving this weekend and I’m trying to pull it together, but it’s really hard.

      • I am so sorry you are going through this. We got a false positive on the Harmony test at 16 weeks, and I remember how excruciating the wait for the test results was.
        My advice would be to focus on the positive. We discussed what we would do in the worst case scenario and wrote it down. The plan for what to tell others / handle the in-laws etc can wait. 75% is more than a decent chance. Think positive!

  7. Maddie Ross says:

    Ladies – I’m looking for a dress for family photos in the next couple of weeks. I’d like to find something solid colored and with a defined waist. Extra points for not being super expensive. Super extra bonus points for not having to go inside a store, unless that store is Target. Either sleeveless or cap/short sleeve. Any thoughts?

  8. Anonymous says:

    This is probably a silly question, but I googled and can’t find a good answer: If you get an epidural, does that numb the pain of contractions or the pushing (and tearing if applicable) or both? And does it fully block out the pain or does it just bring it down to a more bearable level? Basically, I’m wondering how much I’ll feel and how bad it will hurt if I get ALL THE DRUGS.
    The most pain-sensitive person ever (who cried when she got stung by a bee….in her 30s)

    • Maddie Ross says:

      It technically would block the pain of both, but often times they turn it down around the time you start pushing so you can “feel” what you’re doing. That said, I had two epidurals and two tears (one 2nd, one 1st degree) and with the edge having been taken off with the drugs, I didn’t even notice the pain of pushing or the tears until later.

    • bluefield says:

      My epidural did not work on the pushing (nurses were surprised that I could “feel” when I had to start pushing and didn’t believe me at first). But, my MIL told me that when she got the epidural she couldn’t feel pushing at all. These are of course 30 years apart, so it’s possible epidural procedure has been refined, or it could be a woman to woman thing, or an epidural to epidural thing.

    • It can be both, either, or none :). My first baby, my epidural was so strong I literally did not feel anything. I couldn’t walk after and it took a few hours to get the feeling back in my legs. I had a 3rd degree tear.

      Second kid, epidural provided a dulling, but not full numbing, to the entire thing. I had a “borderline tear” but it was not painful. I basically hopped off the bed, went to the bathroom, and could have walked to the recovery unit (but it wasn’t allowed).

      I was induced the second time. Meds started at 7am, i had my first real contraction at 10:30am. By 11:30 i was uncomfortable, but managing. Doc was like “if you want an epi, get it now.” “I can manage for a bit more,” I said. “Trust me, get it now.” Epi was ordered. I was EXTREMELY uncomfortable by 11:45, which is right when the anesthesiologist came rolling in the door. Epi was in at 12:00. Baby was in hands at 12:20.

    • You can also ask for a light or strong dose of epidural and then ask for adjustments – I had a “light” dose and could feel the contractions/pushing but they didn’t hurt per se, and I definitely didn’t feel the small tear…

    • mascot says:

      It reduced the pain to discomfort/pressure and I had a button to press as needed. I could still feel things though, including the actual exit and some tearing that happened at crowning, but they didn’t really hurt. It wasn’t the most comfortable, but I was happy with the balance between pain management and still feeling present in the process.

    • Anonymous says:

      I definitely could feel the pain when pushing. I believe many swear words were said about the “ring of fire.”
      My friend had a baby 6 weeks earlier than I did, and did not feel much pain when pushing. So I think YMMV. My baby was 9.5 pounds and her’s was 6, so that may have contributed as well!

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I didn’t feel pain during pushing (and didn’t really feel contractions, even while they were happening). BUT, I did feel intense (and very uncomfortable but not painful) pressure when it was time to push. The nurse had warned me beforehand that the epidural could not do away with that, so it is what it is.

      • Blueberry says:

        This was my experience as well.

      • Leatty says:

        Ditto. I also had a button I could push when things got uncomfortable. I was in tears before my epidural and felt human after I received it (and I pushed for two long hours). When I was pushing, I had to ask my nurse to tell me if I was having a contraction because I couldn’t tell very well.

      • PregLawyer says:

        Yeah, it wasn’t pain, but the pressure from pushing was much harder than the acute pain I felt in the contractions before the epidural took effect. The pushing was just so HARD. Mine went on for a while (maybe 80 minutes?) and I needed to have oxygen. I repeated over and over again “This is so hard . . . this is so hard . . . this is so hard.” I had some extenuating circumstances, though, so this may not be an issue for you. My kid had a giant head, his giant head didn’t crown, AND he came out in the superman pose with his right arm by his head, which just added to the size of the watermelon that had to be pushed through.

        On the plus side, I had a TON of internal tearing (like 100 stitches) and it didn’t hurt at all, even in the days after the birth. And I have since had no side effects or pain from those stitches. But I hear internal tearing is way better than external tearing, so who knows.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not what you asked, but I’ll share anyway: I cry over mosquito bites, still, and I always have. I had a drug-free childbirth, because I was so afraid of the pain of the needle into my spine for the epidural. Honestly, I’m thrilled with my choice and found childbirth pain COMPLETELY UNLIKE any other pain of my life — it was much closer to the pain of a hard workout (meaning, feels productive and you get that endorphin high) than any other type of pain.

      • Anonymous says:

        This. I’m a runner so I think of it as running a marathon. It’s long hard work but not ‘painful’ like a broken arm kind of way. I’ve had three drug-free births. First one I didn’t ‘enjoy’ the last two I did. But I also ‘enjoy’ marathon running and barely being able to walk for two days afterwards. I’m often hesitant to mention IRL that I had my kids drug-free because they think I’m judging their choice to go with an epidural. There is no ‘right’ way to do this. but if you’re worried about the pain, it’s definitely not like the same as injury pain in my experience. More like workout/post workout pain or if you’ve had particularly horrible PMS cramps that don’t go away for 24 hours.

      • ElisaR says:

        i’ve heard it referred to as “pain with purpose” which is very different than most pain we experience in life!

      • +1 I have a very low pain tolerance in my normal life. I am a huge wimp. But I had a drug-free birth with baby #1 and am planning the same with baby #2. It hurts, but there is a definitive end in sight. In my case, I was actually kept in triage for 3 hours before being admitted (and it was from 6-10 cm, and I had to lay flat on my back during transition) so I had no chance for an epidural. Have a plan, but if something goes differently than expected, you will make it through.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’ve heard a lot of horror stories from women who suffered through hours or days of intense pain from contractions without meds and then were too exhausted to push whereas it seems like women who have epidurals are typically able to nap or at least conserve energy for the pushing phase. First labors especially are typically long and I have a family history of 24 hour+ labors, so that’s a big reason I want an epidural.

      • I had wanted to go drug-free because of a needle fear as well, but after about 3 hours of strong contractions (after 14 hours of mild contractions) I welcomed the needle. I nicknamed my epidural Eppie and she was my best friend. When the nurse told me I had a contraction after the epidural kicked in, I asked if the anesthesiologist was married (I mean, I was also married but you know). It was the best thing I ever did. I actually enjoyed the last 5+ hours of labor. I’m pretty sure the nurse only made me wear the oxygen mask while pushing because I kept cracking jokes.

        To answer your actual questions, I didn’t feel anything after Eppie took hold and they had to tell me when to push. Just barely a third degree tear.

    • Butter says:

      I had a “window” with my epidural which basically meant that it failed on one side. Was not awesome, and they had to jack me up with more to get it to a point where it was not the worst of both worlds (getting the epidural and still feeling everything). I don’t think this is very common though.

      Even with the heavy dose of epidural I also felt all the contractions, and would tell the doc when it was time to start pushing (which he’d then confirm from the ultrasound).

      • Anonymous says:

        I got my epidural too late so it didn’t have any time to “kick in” so I felt everything :( They even said while I was pushing “Cognratulations, you’re having natural childbirth!!”. I mean, I did want natural childbirth and only asked for the epidural during transition/right before pushing. So it worked out in the end…but it is the worst of both worlds because getting the epidural at 9-10cm was horrible and then having no pain relief!

    • I really think this is different for everybody, but mine blocked out the pain from both contractions and pushing- but I could still feel the pressure of the contractions. I will say I thought my epidural was GLORIOUS. I actually thought I had pretty high pain tolerance (and people have actually told me that as well, I swear it’s not just my giant ego), and I could not believe the pain on contractions and was immediately begging for every drug in the hospital. So I sympathize! The nurses did make me tough it out till I was 4 cm dilated before I got the epidural, and I am glad they did because it really did slow things down- I think birth would have been much faster if I had kept going naturally. But! The epidural gave my husband and I a chance to rest, and a much needed mental break.

    • Spirograph says:

      I couldn’t feel contractions at all (not even pressure) after the epidural, but while I was pushing I distinctly remember saying, “I thought the epidural was supposed to make this not hurt!” I had 2 non-medicated births before the one with the epidural, and I definitely questioned my epidural decision while the needle was being jabbed in my back. Once it kicked in and I couldn’t feel the contractions anymore, though, it was glorious. I could have taken a nap, except then everyone started freaking out that they’d lost the baby’s heartbeat, and a NICU nurse came in and the doctor was calling for surgery prep.

      My labors have been really fast, and I’m not sure I’d do an epidural again if I were to have another kid. If I had day-long labor, sure. But with the stabbing and scary fetal heart-rate drop (could have been totally coincidental), had a pretty borderline ROI for such a short time. I remember the pain of that needle + trying to hunch over and hold still through contractions way more than I remember the contractions of unmedicated labor.

      I agree with the poster above– for me, labor was more analogous to a really hard workout than pain. One of the natural childbirth books I read said something to the effect that productive pain doesn’t cause suffering, and I found that to be true. Contractions hurt like h3ll, but I wasn’t suffering, I was making progress. Everyone is different, though! I really think a lot of it is mental, too. I was in a much better headspace to deal with labor for my first kid, when I had all kinds of idealistic natural childbirth crunchy ideas. The second and third ones, I was thinking of getting an epidural, and consequently I felt like I *needed* the epidural in a way that I didn’t with my first.

  9. Betty says:

    Reply to Amnio (reply function is not working on mobile device): I am so sorry you are going through this. I have been through a few horrid waiting periods in the last 18 months, and someone said something similar to me and I want to pass it on to you: It is perfectly ok/ acceptable/ understandable/ healthy to not be ok right now. You don’t need to pull it together or carry on like the world is sunshine because, for you, the world is not sunshine and rainbows right now. It is ok to grieve the process and do only that which must be done and no more. Take care of yourself. I am not advocating preparing for the worst, but I think it’s ok to not be ok now. Hugs.

  10. Article says:

    Have any of you read this article? “The Lawyer, The Addict”

    What was really striking for me is why students go to law school and what they value BEFORE school (wanting to make a difference, help people, etc.) and what they value DURING/AFTER school (e.g., grades, competition, getting ahead, etc.).

    I’ve been thinking a lot about raising kids with healthy self-esteem and one of the markers I’ve come to is looking inward for validation, and not externally. How do you wise women think about raising children with healthy self-esteem and sense of self-worth?

    • CPA Lady says:

      I joke that my love language is “gold stars”, because I was always awarded and praised for achievements, and was otherwise not treated very well by my parents. It has made me very externally validated. I realize this is a problem, and I’ve been working on it while also thinking about how to parent my own kid.

      I think you nurture a sense of self-worth by being loving and as uncritical/accepting as possible with your kid. Parents are so critical of their kids, out of a sense of fear for their child’s future (e.g. if you don’t stop that habit you’ll never succeed! if you don’t lose weight then people will make fun of you!) and out of concern that their children are an extension of themselves that is being judged by others (e.g. if you don’t dress a certain way other people will think I’m a lazy and out of control parent).

      I think you nurture a sense of self-esteem by allowing your child to have experiences that actually deserve esteem. So, no to participation trophies which even the dumbest kids know are meaningless, and yes to the glowing sense of happiness you get when you help others.

    • Back to school says:

      Ooh, this is tough. I’ve thought about it a lot because I became very externally motivated during my teen years and it lasted through my early thirties. Truthfully, I still struggle in certain situations.

      One thing that I keep coming back to is that I want my kids to know how to do things. Being self-sufficient and know what needs to be done is a long-haul confidence builder. So, when I ask them to help around the house, it’s because I know that having real life skills is a big stinking deal when they leave the house as young adults.

      I concentrate on praising effort rather than outcome. That’s something my parents did well, I think. I was the kid who was a straight-A student, except in math, where I struggled hard just to get a C. My parents did not berate me for those C’s; instead, they gave me encouragement and validation for continuing to work hard at something that was incredibly difficult for me. How I got onto that path is a good story about how a teacher can destroy a struggling student’s self-esteem.

      I agree with CPA Lady that it’s really important to accept our kids for who they are. Instill your values, of course, but trying to turn your kid into something they’re not can be soul crushing. And be reallllly careful with comparing a child to his sibling, or a friend, or a family member. They are who they are. My MIL was awesome at that — DH’s father wanted nothing more than to have an athletic son who was into hunting and fishing and cars, and what he got was a kid who loved music and film. Thank goodness she intervened and didn’t let FIL bully my DH into being different, which was a real possibility.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s an interesting and important article. For me, personally I think I was pretty grade-driven long before law school. Not in the sense that I wanted to sabotage my classmates or anything, but just that I got a lot of validation from academic achievement and working hard and earning good grades was important to me, since at least the time I was in middle or high school. I think a lot of my classmates (at my good, but not Ivy League law school) were fairly similar and came into law school very grade motivated. Law school was a lot of work and definitely stressful at times, but I don’t feel like it really shifted my world view.

  11. Road Trip Entertainment 4 year old? says:

    Going on a 6-8 hours road trip next week with our 4 year old — non-iPad entertainment suggestions? We have some CDs with kids songs and Melissa and Doug water painting/magic coloring. Any other suggestions?

    • Audiobooks are good – we have a collection of Thomas stories (The Railway Stories Vol 1) and a Curious George anthology on CD. I would like to get a Winnie the Pooh collection.

    • Anonymous says:

      Toys from a cheap-o store, individually wrapped. Sticker books are a huge hit (I found some at walmart where the child can pick the eyes/ears/nose/appendages for aliens), a slinky (metal won’t break but plastic might), matchbox cars (works for boys and girls), toy jungle/farm/zoo animals… nothing else is coming to mind right now but I’m preparing my 3 and 6 year olds for a road trip (few weeks away still)!

      Our snacks were raisins and cheerios — didn’t want anything too salty or sugary.

      Make sure you have a bag/container that all the stuff can go into, that the child can actually reach from their car seat.

    • My 4 year old’s favorite thing to do on a long drive is play I-Spy. We also play a game where you look for letters or numbers (on signs, license plates, etc.). And we try to stop every couple of hours for a food/bathroom break, and he gets such a kick out of stopping that he’ll talk about it for a good half hour afterwards. (For example, we recently stopped in a town called Sandwich on Cape Cod and that cracked him up so much that he talked about it for miles after we got back in the car.)

    • Check the dollar spot at target– a couple months ago they had a jar with a screw on lid that contained a piece of foam and some cut outs of fish and plants from finding dory. You could decorate them with stickers and then stick them into the foam to create a seascape type thing. It kept my kid occupied for a while on an airplane.

    • ElisaR says:

      4 might be a little young for this activity, but i’m not sure because my son is still a toddler. They have Kids Mad Libs – I’ve done it with my nephews and they think it’s hilarious….might be fun to complete in a car

    • Blueberry says:

      My kids have recently been playing a game in the back seat where they get points for spotting different types of vehicles and other things. They usually forget about keeping track of the points pretty early on, but nobody cares, and it has been a sanity saver.

      • Anonymous says:

        Printing a “bingo” card (or a few) for your kiddo to color/mark which things kiddo sees can be fun too.

    • Maddie Ross says:

      M&D Water Wow books, the Magic Ink coloring books, and sticker books all have been big, not that messy backseat hits for us. We keep a bag up front and break them out every hour or so. Last trip I got a Peppa Pig sticker set with reusable stickers from CVS of all places and that was a huge hit.

    • Lorelai Gilmore says:

      Laurie Berkner has a new CD (Superhero) that my 4 year old is obsessed with. All of the Melissa and Doug “On the Go” activity books are great. I recommend the Story Pirate podcast, the Bedtime for Frances audiobooks read by Glynis Johns (maybe only on CD), and the Frog and Toad audio books read by Arthur Lobel. 4 is old enough to play the family DJ game, where we go around and everybody gets turns picking the next song. Sticker Dolly Dressing books by Usborne are fun and great for car travel.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I really like the “Brains-On” podcast, if you can run a podcast through your car audio system. Also, Disney Story Central is a podcast of many of the major Disney movies told in story form, and I find they hold kiddo’s attention better than a movie.

      Second the “Disney Dollar Spot” suggestion – they had some activity packs that included little sticker books, a small coloring book, and some crayons. I would also suggest getting one of those lap desks with the bean bag bottom so your kiddo has a solid surface for coloring. Target had the lap desks in the back-to-school section recently. If you don’t mind sugary treats, prefilling a Pez dispenser resulted in half an hour of entertainment for kiddo….also, try silly putty, etch a sketch, magna-doodle, coloring sheets (dole out a couple at a time), or some new paperback books.

  12. Back to school says:

    Does anyone have a preschool backpack that they love? My (newly) 3-year-old is carrying a cheap character pack that she loves, but papers get squished and you can’t zip it up when anything tall is inside. Until this week, I’d been carrying an over-the-shoulder tote for her, but kiddo REALLY wants a big-girl backpack. Would PBK or LLBean work well for this? I have no concept for how their pre-K packs run compared to, say, a Skip Hop. (Which is tiny and adorable, but super impractical.)

    • Maddie Ross says:

      We have a Skip Hop that we’ve had for a couple of years (from about 18 months on) and it’ll have the same paper squishing properties. They are adorable, but it won’t work for papers. We just carry her sheet and blanket to school in it now.

    • I disagree with most of the hive wisdom that is usually given here – for Pre-K and PreSchool, and really even K, I think you go with a cheap character backpack from your local store of choice. Once they get into first grade and will actually use it for school, maybe it’s worth “investing” in a LL Bean or PBK bag, but for those early years, you’ll get a lot of not-closed lunch bags and accident-filled (or dirt-filled) changes of clothes and rain puddle splashes. You want a cheap one that you won’t mind replacing each year, or even more often in the case of a very soggy sunbutter and jelly episode.

      We used the SkipHop for daycare (ages 0-4) and it was perfect for carrying clothes and blankets back and forth, but agree that once the artwork started, we had to just hold the papers so they wouldn’t get squished.

    • We just fold the papers. They mostly get recycled anyway. (Bad mother confession – but there are SO.MANY.DRAWINGS!)

      • Sorry to clarify, we have a fairly small backpack that my husband sewed for our son, so by definition it is the perfect backpack for eternity (and not something I can tell you to buy), but it doesn’t quite fit most papers, especially the many large paintings that come home – even something that would fit 8.5×11 is too small for a lot of my son’s artwork.

  13. So this weekend, Kiddo started climbing out of his crib. We converted the crib to a toddler bed yesterday, and he slept in his “big kid” bed for the first time last night. Kiddo has always been a good sleeper, and once he got to sleep, he slept through the night.

    BUT bedtime was a huge ordeal. It lasted approximately 2 hours, and 80% of it was Kiddo throwing epic tantrums. Any tips or routines for getting kids to stay in bed and go to sleep when they realize that they can get up and wander around? Or for getting them used to “new” beds in general?

    • mascot says:

      We took all toys and books out of the room to make roaming around as boring as possible. A few stuffed animals/comfort items stayed in the bed. We also used a baby gate to actually contain him to his room and childproofed the room. He was a wreck for a week or so and then he got used to it and went back to sleeping.
      My husband was more insistent that he stay in the actual bed; I only cared that he stayed in the room because I figured that he’d eventually decide that his bed was more comfortable than the floor. So figure out which battle you want to fight.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just an alternative but we actually put the mattress on the floor inside the crib. Kiddo couldn’t crawl out anymore. Kiddo was definitely not toddler bed ready when he crawled out the first time.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      How old is your kiddo? My kiddo was about 2.5 when I converted her bed. It was a messy transition, but it has gotten better – this too shall pass! After much trial and error, I’ve concluded that kiddo falls asleep the easiest when I am the least involved in her going-to-bed process. I used to insist that she stay in bed, I’d do the Supernanny “pick her up and put her back in bed” eight million times while she screamed and cried, I’d give her time-outs. It would take HOURS. I think she was doing anything she could to prolong my involvement, even if it was negative involvement.

      After a few months of that, I decided to stop interacting with her after lights out. We do our story, say our gratefuls, and then I tuck her in bed with two dolls and some books. She is terrified of the dark so I can’t leave her alone, but I hide under a blanket while reading on my Kindle and she can do whatever she wants. She usually sings or reads loudly, then falls asleep within 5-15 minutes. My only rule is that I will leave her room if she gets out of bed.

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