Tag Archives: being pregnant

Baby Registry: What is suggested and what you need

I thought it would be nice to do a series on pregnancy since some of my friends have been announcing that they’re going to be mommies! A new baby is so exciting, especially if it’s your first one. It can also be very overwhelming for a first time mom because, while you’ve heard stories from friends and family about what to expect, you don’t really know what your own experience will be like since every woman and every pregnancy is different. I, for example, never got the morning sickness that people often talk about or the hemorrhoids (thank God!) that some women have told me about. All you can do is go along for the ride, try to read up and take as many classes as you can and let yourself experience being pregnant for the first time.

In my first post on this topic, I talked about considering using Amazon as one of the places that you register for your new baby. Once you’ve figured out where you want to register for baby gear, the next step is deciding what to register for. A lot of places offer “suggestions” for you to consider and some of the suggestions are things you will definitely need. However, a lot of them are things you probably won’t ever use. So in part 2 of this series, I’d like to give you mommy-to-bes some tips as to what you will definitely want to put on your registry and what you can skip purchasing or registering for.

This is a list of the things I personally have and use (or have used) for my son:

Bassinet- For the first three and half months of our son’s life, he slept in a bassinet which we kept on the coffee table in the living room (I’d had a C Section and couldn’t lay in bed, so I slept on the recliner until I’d healed a little more). Adam’s mom had given it to us at our baby shower. The great thing about the bassinet that we had was that we were able to bring it anywhere! Most of the day it sat on the coffee table so that I could keep an eye on AJ, but at night once I started sleeping in our bedroom again, we would bring it into our room and place it on the dresser! Even though we already had a crib, we felt that AJ was simply to little to be in that big open space, so the bassinet really came in handy!

Here is a picture the one we used:IMG_20140427_114418_153

Crib– We bought a crib for our son to put in his room but didn’t end up using it until he was about four months old. Still, it was good for us to have gotten the crib anyway because the one we bought has a changing table attached and can be later converted into a toddler bed and then converted again into a full bed! Now, having said this, this doesn’t mean that you necessarily need a crib before your baby is born. If you plan to use a bassinet for a while, you can always buy the crib later when you and your baby are ready. Also, when you’re putting the crib together, do so IN the baby’s room. Don’t try to put it together in the living room and then move it into the nursery. It won’t fit through the door and you’ll have to take it apart and put back together again. Promise 🙂

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Car Seat– You can’t bring your baby home from the hospital without a car seat 🙂 This is something you absolutely need before your baby is born so that you can figure out how to use it properly and secure it in your car (don’t forget that all newborns have to be rear facing! That means they should be facing the back windshield). The car seat we purchased will likely have to be replaced soon as AJ continues to grow, but I know I’ve seen plenty of moms with car seats that last all the way until their little ones are two and then can be converted into a booster for when they’re still too short for the seat belts to go across their chests properly. I recommend looking into those car seats as it will give you the most use for your money!

Pack-N-Play– You would think this would be something you could wait to purchase or not purchase at all! You can certainly do that, but if you’re using a bassinet for the first few months, it would be a good idea to get a pack-n-play as well. As I mentioned before, we kept AJ’s bassinet on the coffee table during the day and since we’d already put together the pack-n-play, we turned it into a make shift changing table! You can totally do this, too! Just make sure that whichever pack-n-play you purchase has a napper that you can flip over into a changing table. We used the open space in the pack-n-play as kind of a changing station. We kept diapers, wipes, desitine and extra onesies there. It was so much easier with everything in one spot (bassinet and changing station).

Diapers of ALL sizes- My sister-in-law started stocking up on diapers from the moment she found out she was expecting. My niece is now seven months old and she STILL hasn’t had to buy any diapers. This is a situation you will be happy to find yourself in! Start stacking up on diapers ASAP and get all different sizes. If you find yourself with an extra box of a size that’s too small, you can take that unopened box to any store that sells that brand of diapers and exchange for the bigger size! No money lost! Personally, I like the Pampers brand best, but register for more than one brand so you can try each one and see which works best for you and your baby.

Boppy Pillow- Please, please remember to invest in one of these. It makes breastfeeding much more comfy and makes it easier as well.

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SwaddleMe- You can definitely swaddle your baby with blankets but if you’re like us, no matter how many times people show you how to do it, you just can’t get it right. Anytime we would swaddle AJ in a blanket, it would look perfect and then five minutes later he would wiggle his way out of it and cry. We had gotten a pack of swaddles with velcro on them and decided to give them a try…huge difference! AJ would stay asleep for so much longer and he wasn’t able to wiggle out of it. Definitely invest in a few of these! You can find them pretty much anywhere, including on Amazon!

Stay tuned for part 2 of this list and be sure to check out Amazon.com for your baby gear needs 🙂

Disclosure: The owner of this website, Amanda, is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking muchadoaboutmommy.com to Amazon properties including, but not limited to, amazon.com, endless.com, myhabit.com, smallparts.com, or amazonwireless.com.

Registering For Baby Items: An Untapped Resource!

Disclosure: The owner of this website, Amanda, is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking muchadoaboutmommy.com to Amazon properties including, but not limited to, amazon.com, endless.com, myhabit.com, smallparts.com, or amazonwireless.com.

I’ve noticed that a lot of my friends have recently found out that they’re expecting a little one! Congratulations! I’ve decided that I would do my next blog “series”  on preparing for a new baby, as I finished up my adoption series yesterday. I think all the new mommy-to-bes can really benefit from a series on being pregnant. I want to start with the registry…now, most everyone knows how to register for baby stuff, but just in case you’re like me and don’t really know how you go about it, here’s the break down: You go to your favorite stores and typically them have a kiosk you can use to put in your names, address, when you’re due and so on. You will then get a print out which you take to the customer service desk. They give you a scanner and off you go!

During my pregnancy, I remember how much fun it was to register for baby stuff that we would need when AJ graced the world with his presence. I also remembered how overwhelming it was at first and how the longer we stayed in xyz store, the worse my random charlie horses would get. We also had a considerable amount of family that lived elsewhere. Okay, they all lived in a different state…but the point is we decided to register on Amazon as well as the local stores in town. We were amazed at how many things (and cool things) they had on Amazon!

We didn’t even have to leave our living room to register for a TON of stuff we would need when the baby was born and some of them were items they didn’t even have at our local stores. Not only that, but registering online also allowed me to eat a huge plate of food while I browsed through baby gear- something that would make any pregnant woman happy as a clam. As I stuffed my face and equally stuffed our registry, I couldn’t keep from smiling around my food at the fact that I was shopping for my baby while sitting on my bottom. And the best part? Instead of trying to schedule going to the store and sifting through the pages of your registry, your family and friends can look for a gift online from the comfort of their own home and have it delivered to your door-step!

Seriously, how awesome is that?

“But wait a minute…I’m totally having a baby shower. What if they want to bring the gift to the baby shower and give it to me there?” Well then they can have it delivered to their house! Woot! Double win, ladies! You get to make your registry while sitting on your couch in your PJs and your family and friends can do the same while shopping around for you and your little one. Plus, think of how convenient it will be for those out of town family members!

We loved the Amazon registry, not only for the convenience but also because we were still getting goodies even after AJ was born. This is probably because your registry never goes away. I just checked to see if ours was still there (almost a year after we first made it) and it is there! It stays there until you delete it! Which means that if someone can’t make it to your shower and hasn’t gotten you a gift yet, they can simply go to Amazon’s website and look up your registry!

Amazon is a great untapped resource for registering for a new baby and it’s free! You already know how I feel about free.
Shop Amazon – Create an Amazon Baby Registry

Introducing your Fur Kid To Your New Kid!

1374655_10202087380336806_405688978_nWhen we were getting ready to bring our baby home from the hospital, we had some concerns with regard to our dog, Newman. Adam used to dog-sit for his friends who had Newman before him and one other dog named, Amos. For the longest time, the two pups got along swimmingly and were the best of friends. Then the couple had a baby, Brady, and for some reason, as soon as Brady started to walk the dogs became very territorial. They never attacked the baby, but they would attack each other frequently.

Newman’s parents couldn’t bare to give him to a shelter, so they asked Adam if he wanted him. Adam (of course) said yes. That was five years ago and in the three and a half years that Adam and I have been together, Newman has always been part of our family; our ‘oldest’ as we like to call him.

Our sweet Newmie

Our sweet Newmie

When we found out I was pregnant, we often wondered how Newman would react to the new baby. Whether he would have the same reaction as when his former parents had him. I started searching the internet when we got closer to my due-date and found a few helpful sites, but not very much that I could do on my own. Both Adam and I worked all the way up to the week before I gave birth and we weren’t home often enough to start Newman on a new routine.

So, when it closer to my due date, I asked my mom what she had done when she and my dad brought me home from the hospital. They had a Doberman Pincher named, Freeway and I’d remembered him always being so gentle and patient with me. So she gave me what few tips she could based on what she could remember and gave me other suggestions she’d thought up later.

A friend of mine, who is due in April, recently expressed her own concerns over how her dog, Izzy, would react to the new baby. So, I gave her some advice, told her how we introduced Newman and AJ and then decided, ‘maybe this would be good to blog about in case there are other parents out there who are in the same situation.’

So here it is, guys. This is exactly what we did before and after we brought our little AJ home from the hospital:

First, we would let Newman follow us into AJ’s room if we were in there working on something (setting up the crib, hanging up clothes, etc). If I was sitting on the couch, I would let Newman get close to my stomach and actually, once I really started to show, Newman would carefully put the side of his face against my belly. I’m convinced he could hear AJ’s heartbeat that way and it allowed him to bond with the baby while he was still in my stomach.

When we came home from the hospital, we gave Newman the little blanket they’d wrapped AJ in (you know the one. It’s mostly white with pink and blue stripes). Now, I had an unexpected cesarean and Newman is a pretty hyper dog (and medium sized) so, we did keep him in his crate for the first couple of days and we put the blanket in there with him (I hated to do it, but I was concerned that he might jump on me because he was happy we were home and accidentally hurt me). I think this helped a lot with introducing AJ’s scent to the dog without giving him a chance to get too excited.

We kept AJ in a bassinet on the coffee table since I couldn’t lay down and was sleeping on the recliner for the first couple of weeks. Whenever Adam would take Newman out to do his business and stretch his legs, I would tell Adam to walk him right past the bassinet and let him smell a little if he wanted. There were times that he would try to jump so he could see what was inside the bassinet. Whenever he did, we would calmly say, “No,” and Adam would take him outside. We would always have him on his leash whenever we took him out of the crate the first couple of days and that would help us keep control over the situation.

This was taken about two weeks after AJ was born.

This was taken about two weeks after AJ was born.

The next step we took was to put AJ in a swing that we had for him and whenever Adam took Newman out, he would walk him right past the swing, where AJ was, and we’d let him smell the baby’s feet. Again, sometimes he would try to get a closer look and we would calmly tell him, “No” or “Easy, Newmie,” and Newman would then be taken outside. On the third day home, my mom and I went to Wal-Mart and bought Newman a new bed, which we put between our couch and Adam’s desk. Again, we put AJ’s hospital blanket on the bed and encouraged Newman to lay on it as often as he wanted.

This helped reassure that he was still our baby and still important to us. It’s very important to not change a dog’s routine or change the way you treat them. If you do, the dog may see the new baby as a threat and resent the baby’s presence. Pretty soon, we were able to let Newman roam around the house like he normally would and often times, we would find him laying beside the swing if AJ was in it or laying beside the coffee table, under the bassinet.

We continued to let him smell AJ’s feet for a while before we were ready for him to get closer if he wanted. Fast forward to three months old and Newman could be completely trusted when it came to AJ, though we would never (and I still never) leave him alone with AJ in a situation where he could potentially hurt him, accidentally or otherwise.

Newman is a decent sized dog, but I swear he thinks he’s tiny. He loves to lay on Adam’s chest or lay on the back of the couch behind you and wrap himself around your neck, like a scarf.

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We let him continue to do this because most of the time he did so when I was holding AJ on the recliner. There was no worry and we felt very strongly about letting Newman continue to have his normal routine in our home. After all, he’s our baby, too. One night, Adam was feeding AJ and had started to burp him. I saw Newman jump up on the couch on the opposite end and climb on the back, slowly and carefully make his way over to Adam. I told Adam to be careful and aware that Newman was coming up behind him. When our sweet Newmie reached his desired spot behind his daddy, he gingerly laid himself down and placed his head on Adam’s shoulder.

IMG_20140315_185701_458That was the first time I was able to get a picture of my three boys and it’s still one of my favorite pictures from when AJ was younger. The best part was that Newman didn’t try to get any closer, he didn’t try to smell the baby, he just looked at him and AJ looked back, the two of them sharing such a beautiful moment that I was so thankful to have captured.

AJ is much older now (almost nine months) and his relationship with Newman has continued to grow. He’s at the age where he’s beginning to crawl, so I let him (while I supervise) and Newman typically doesn’t bother him, unless it’s to give him kisses. AJ loves his older brother and I am so grateful that Newman, too, loves AJ because now I can focus on training AJ to respect Newman’s space just like we trained Newman to respect AJ’s space.

Having a dog in the house can be so good for a child. They learn compassion and friendship at an early age and they learn how to properly treat animals.

So if you’re pregnant and have a dog in the house, and maybe you’re worried about how to introduce your fur kid to your new kid, just know that you can do it! It takes patience and consistency, but it’s completely possible.

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AJ and Newman playing.

More Myths Busted

In part 2 of this series, I picked apart some myths about adoption that I was stunned to find in the first place. In this post, there are a few more myths I want to bust in order to try and get the right information out there. My hope is that a woman or young woman who is scared and wanting a little support and answers will somehow stumble upon this blog. And as she reads, she will know in her heart that her decision is in the interest of her child. She’ll know that she’s not alone. And maybe she’ll feel a little bit better about her choice, because that’s what adoption is; a choice. A personal choice in which a mother makes the biggest of sacrifices, all for her unborn baby.

I found these completely bogus myths during my research for this series. So here we go…let’s get some truth, shall we?

MYTH: No one WANTS to be an adoptee.

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As far as I know, there are women who get pregnant specifically to place that child with a couple who, for whatever reason, can not have children of their own; they’re called surrogate mothers and they totally exist. Secondly, some women, who never wanted children, find themselves in a situation where they’re pregnant and don’t want to have an abortion. These women are among those who choose adoption for their baby. Now, is there such a case where a teenager gets pregnant and decides to place her baby? Of course there is, there have been a few cases on 16 and Pregnant as a matter of fact, but that doesn’t mean that they, too, don’t want to place their baby for adoption.

What they want, in most cases, more than anything is to be able to go to prom, be able to graduate and be able to go to college and have the full college experience without doing all of this at the expense of a child.

MYTH: No mother who has lost a child ever fully recovers.

Not true, guys. Yes- just like with any loss- a woman will have her grieving period, which may last a few weeks, months…even years. But that doesn’t mean that she won’t ever be okay. With the right support system, a birth mother can recover from her loss and find joy in her decision to place her child. Now, having said that, I know some birth mothers may not have an immediate support system, be it their family or even friends that can help them get through it. So I have scoured the internet and have below listed some websites you can visit to find a support group in your area as well as online support groups.

Birth Mother Resources offers support groups for both birth mothers and pregnant women. They also have an area where you can find a group in your area as well as a link for an online support system.

Adoption Services is a state-by-state listing of all support groups and also offers websites for online support groups.

America Adopts offers numerous online support groups for birth mothers. They also have links for birth father blogs and birth mother websites.

Adoption Support Center features birth mom stories from real birth mothers who chose adoption for their baby.

MYTH: Giving up your baby is wrong. It just means you’re a bad parent.

I’m here to tell you that acknowledging that you can’t or don’t want to raise your baby (whatever your reasons may be) and making a plan to find a family who will and can love that child as though it were their own is not wrong. It takes a tremendous amount of courage and maturity to make this decision. Don’t ever let anyone try to convince you that adoption is wrong. Because by choosing to place your child, you’re doing one of the most selfless and brave things a woman could ever do.

Since I’ve started this series, I’ve been trying to refrain from using phrases like ‘giving up your child’ because I don’t think adoption has anything to do with giving up. On the contrary, it’s not giving up on your baby’s future. It’s ensuring that your child will never have to know what it’s like to not play sports because mommy and daddy have to pay the rent. Or know the feeling of thinking Santa doesn’t believe they’re good enough because (unbeknownst to them) mommy and daddy can’t afford to buy them Christmas presents. It takes a strong woman to put her own needs aside and make a decision for her baby that ensures it will have the best life possible. Even if it means she can’t be the one to give it.

Adoption: You’re not alone and you do have a choice

This will be part one of a series of posts on this subject. Originally, I planned on this being a single post, but it got entirely too long and I didn’t think that cutting things out would be the best choice. I feel it’s important to get the right information out there about adoption and help clarify some of the common misconceptions about choosing to make an adoption plan.

I am a fan of First-Time-Mommy.com on Facebook. If you’ve never visited this page or blog, I would highly recommend it for all moms, not just us first timers. The admin and creator of this blog is Monica and she is currently working on getting her site up and running so she’s doing most of her interacting on her Facebook page. On the blog, you’ll find a little background on her, some awesome product reviews as well as the birth stories of other moms (vaginal, c-section, emergency c-section and water births). Anywho, recently as I was checking out my feed, I saw that Monica had posted a question from one of her followers about adoption (you can find the question here).

The majority of people who left comments were very polite, insightful, supportive and gave the best advice they could to this brave woman, who was asking for some support. Some not-so-nice people, however, were making some pretty harsh comments, which Monica (in her infinite awesomeness) promptly removed from the thread. I couldn’t believe how many people seemed to be against adoption and this got me to thinking about why there is such a stigma on mothers placing their children for adoption. Before seeing the negative responses on this thread, I thought most everyone was fine with adoption and that it was abortion that was the hot button issue. But apparently, some people aren’t happy unless a mother keeps her child, no matter what.

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When I first found out I was pregnant with my son, I had no idea what I would do. A big part of me just wanted to wake up from what felt like a bad dream while the other part of me felt like maybe the test was wrong.

After I accepted that I was in fact pregnant, I started to wonder what my next move would be. Should I get an abortion? I was nowhere near ready to have a baby- financially, emotionally or mentally- but, while I am pro choice and would never judge a woman for having an abortion, I wasn’t sure I could live with that decision for the rest of my life. But I’ll freely admit, I did consider it for a brief moment, before I told my boyfriend that I was pregnant. I think telling him made it real and afterward, when we were discussing what we would do, I told him that I wasn’t sure I would be okay with having an abortion, but that I was open to the discussion of adoption if it came to that.

We didn’t consider that for long either. I think, for both of us, the thought of giving our baby up and knowing that somewhere out there was our child being raised by another family was simply not a decision we thought was best for us. In the end we decided that even though we weren’t ready to start a family, we loved each other and would go on this journey together. And yes, our family and trusted friends weighed in with their opinions, but in the end we were the ones who made the decision to keep our son.

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Some women, and some girls who become pregnant at a young age, aren’t so lucky. Some women have different situations that drives them to decide that keeping the baby is in the best interest of neither them nor the child. It takes a lot of courage and strength to make the decision to place your baby for adoption and no woman should ever have to be on the receiving end of judgement or cruelty based on this choice. With this series of posts, I hope to inform and maybe even help remove the stigma on choosing adoption for yourself and your family.

The most popular mother who gave her daughter up for adoption was Catelynn Lowell, who was on an episode of the MTV show 16 and Pregnant and later on the spinoff Teen Mom. It was through this young girls story that we were able to get an inside look as to what it’s like to place a baby with an adopting family.

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Because they chose to place their daughter, Carly, Catelynn and her boyfriend, Tyler were able to graduate from high school and both went on to continue their education in college. They have since married and are currently starting their family (I believe Catelynn is seven months along and is expecting another daughter). This is one of many success stories where the birth parents decided to pursue adoption.

MTV’s decision to include Catelynn in the Teen Mom series was a genius move because not all teen mothers- or mother in general for that matter- choose to keep their babies. I watched this show while I was pregnant even though I was 27 at the time and, as silly as it may or may not sound, I felt very much like those girls on the show. Not ready and completely clueless as to what it would mean to be a mom. Hearing their stories and watching their experiences with dealing with the drastic changes that every pregnant woman goes through helped me cope with my own situation better. Did anyone else have this experience? Or am I just weirder than I thought?