Tag: pregnancy

Let’s Not Make this Any Harder than it Needs to Be

I am convinced that if rearing children were easy, the internet would crumble for lack of wholesome content.

And thank goodness, because at the first whimper from Moira “World’s Easiest Baby” McNeel, and I am sprinting to my laptop, or whatever screen I can get to, to figure out what’s wrong, how to fix it, and how to keep it from EVER happening again.


So, expert first time mom that I am, I think the world needs to benefit from my profound wisdom, gleaned mostly from the internet and hearsay.

Moira - May 4 085

Here’s the table of contents for my new book on parenting in the age of celebrity pediatricians, Web MD, media obsessions with obesity, internet mom-forums dedicated to gas and sleeping habits, and Amazon consumer reviews:

Title: Let’s Not Make this Harder than it Needs to Be

Chapter One: You are either pregnant, miscarrying, or you have cancer- why you should avoid the internet in your first trimester. …

Lewis is Nesting

So I’m supposed to be frantically nesting, apparently. So far this has meant ordering things on Amazon and scheduling lunch dates with all the people I’m afraid I won’t see again for years once I have my constant companion.

Lewis, on the other hand, has taken to nesting quite earnestly. Or maybe he’s taking advantage of my lack of energy and slower speed to buzz around and get all of my crap organized before I can stop him. Either way, things are getting done around here.

In case you hadn’t gotten the idea yet from this blog, I think my husband is a total rockstar. And I’m pretty sure our daughter is going to share that opinion. …

Questions you should NEVER ask

What is it about reproduction that turns perfectly lovely and polite people into giant oafish wrecking balls. I’ve been genuinely shocked by how often certain things are said and done. Things I’d heard about and thought, “Surly no one really says that sort of thing!” They do.

And it’s funny, because no one feels like sex, the starting point of babies, is fair game for random questions at church, in line at the supermarket, or in the aisles of retail stores. No one asks you about your bowel movements or the color of your mucus in these situations. No one asks your IQ, weight, income, political affiliation. So many things we don’t talk about outside of an entirely appropriate context. But reproduction is somehow public domain.

So…some thoughts on discussing all things child related. Hopefully to contribute to a more decent society.

Things to Keep in Mind on the Topic of Reproduction/Child-Rearing …

Pregnant Lady or Hobbit? [The Shire]

I’ve never been accused of being a homebody. Travel and adventure are probably my favorite hobbies. Jumping off of things, eating weird things, finding new modes of transportation. I love it.

FAM trip 387

And I still do, in theory. But as my belly grows, I’m finding this weird compulsion to stay in my house where everything is pasteurized and level. My fondness is growing for quiet evenings on the couch, familiar restaurants, and low-stress activities like raking leaves, watching documentaries on Netflix, and eating yogurt.

What’s going on?

They tell me it’s hormones, that I am turning into the Mama Bear, protecting my little cub from bacteria and collision and neurosis. I have excesses of dopamine pumping, so I’m more prone to sit around more and thing about how happy I am. Someone asked Lewis if he enjoyed my  being pregnant, and he commented on how much more docile and cuddly I am.

It’s true. I just want to snuggle. All. the. time.

But there’s something else as well, and it’s the crazy fear mongering of our culture when it comes to children. Now that I have one growing in me, I have been coaxed into the deep end of the “Everything-is-bad-for-your-child” pool. I’m not sure what came first, nervous mommies or excesses of safety information/products/forums. It’s probably one of those chicken and the egg things.

If you search for ANYTHING followed by “while pregnant” you will find some forum devoted to people who worry about it. You can probably also find a product being sold to protect your little one against whatever it is.

There are a few things going on here. 1) Pregnancy is weird and full of symptoms that are oddly similar to terminal illnesses, 2) suddenly being a “good parent” is suddenly just as important as being “good in bed” used to be, as far as identity is concerned, and 3) the market is all over this, with a hormone-addled, socially beleaguered, physically uncomfortable consumer base.

So suddenly the fresh squeezed orange juice looks like a bottle of neurotoxins. Riding a bike is an extreme sport and requires a spotter. I am running out of yoga positions that are “safe.” (Meanwhile running out of sleeping positions that are comfortable.) And I feel terrible when other pregnant women see me eat deli meat…which I got permission from the midwife to consume, by the way.

This would not be happening these days.
This would not be happening these days.

And there are so many websites and apps to help you make sure that everything is on track with your pregnancy. They even found a way to turn my previously enjoyable evenings watching the baby move like a little alien under my skin into an anxious nightly test, making sure she gets in at least 10 kicks over a two hour tracking period. There’s an app to track it. That is two hours, every night of wondering which movements counted as “kicks” and worrying that she won’t get 5 more movements in before the buzzer in 20 minutes. (For the record, I don’t need to use the kick tracker, because from the hours of 7pm to 11pm every night, the kid never stops moving. Never. Her kick count is somewhere in the millions. However, if I took the reading between 11am-3pm, I’d be at the doctor’s office all the time. She refuses to be disturbed during that time.)

Of course everything comes with the caveat to “talk to your doctor” and that “every pregnancy is different.” And so so many people tell you just not to worry about it, to relax, to follow your instincts. As though that’s going to keep the Mama Bear at bay when she’s convinced that she just accidentally consumed 3 grams  over the recommended weekly allowance of tuna. Mercury poisoning for sure.

Because for every person who tells you that “women in Japan eat sushi the whole time they are pregnant,” or that they drank raw milk during all 8 of their pregnancies or whatever…there’s someone else to tell you how nitrates are going to make your kid have low SAT scores, and you feel like an ass if you say, “Eh, I don’t really listen to that stuff.”

Again…none of this is “me.” That’s what’s so strange and new. I’m a homebody, bacteriaphobe, who will order any $30 bottle of snakeoil if it promises to keep my circulation healthy? When did that happen?

Further evidence that I am, in fact, becoming a hobbit. A safety-loving, creature of comfort who keeps an orderly and predictable day full of pleasantries and low risk activities.

But…like Frodo and Bilbo, I’m also going to have to go on an adventure, because kids are certainly germy, fragile, messy creatures. And if I’m going to go on this adventure with joy and bravery I’m going to have to do as the hobbits do. Trust my instincts and resist any temptation to Google my symptoms.

Pregnant Lady or Hobbit? [Second Breakfast]

I’m pregnant. I think.

I wake up ravenous.Yesterday morning I had to be out the door by 6:30 am. So I grabbed a chewy granola bar to take the edge off, telling myself I’d have a tiny, nutritious snack when I got back home around 8 am. Okay, tiny or nutritious. You can’t have it all.

I came home, considered my options, and went for two hard-boiled eggs. I don’t like hard boiled yolk, so it would be just the whites. What is that, like 60 calories total?

Juuuust as I dropped the eggs into the boiling water, I realized that at my current hunger register, two egg whites would hold me over for approximately 45 seconds.

But two poached eggs…now that sounded more amenable my hormone-addled brain.

Snatch eggs from boiling water (with fingers). Add vinegar and salt to boiling water (don’t measure, just pour). Crack eggs into cup and lower into the water, and voila! Poached eggs.

But poached eggs by themselves? How will I sop up the yolk? (Never mind that the yolk was not entirely runny, thanks to the eggs’ brief dip into boiling water back when they were to be hardboiled)

Better add toast…umm, er, make it two pieces, one for each egg.

Mmm…doesn’t the smell of toast always make you want tomatoes? (Probably not…unless you are very British or pregnant with a constant craving for tomatoes.)

Tomatoes, poached egg, and toast. What’s missing? Of course, Parmesan! Finely grated Parmesan – the strangest impulse buy I’ve ever made at Central Market. Yep, sprinkle that on top.

Now that is what I call…SECOND BREAKFAST!


As I get rounder, I have to wonder…am I going to have a baby? Or is Gandalf going to show up at my door on March 16 and send me off to Mordor?