There are so many things are NOT covered in What to Expect When You Are Expecting, and new parents are left to their own devices to figure out. Like how to go on vacation. Before kids, my husband and I would decide whether we wanted an “adventure” vacation (camping in Alaska, driving the Pacific Coast Highway) or a chill vacation (sunset sails in Cabo, lying on the beach in Aruba). We looked forward to driving around and seeing the sights, trying new restaurants, and enjoying a place we had never visited before. We just returned from a week an a half on the west coast with our 13-month old. Boy, do we need a vacation after that adventure! I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything – he started saying hiyee to people, learned the word “gorilla,” and splashed in the ocean for the first time. But I do wish I had known a few things in advance. Lucky for you, I jotted them down so I can pass along the wisdom to y’all: It’s about breakfast, not dinner. First of all, everyone is in a good mood when they first wake up – even if it’s at an ungodly hour. Second, there is ALWAYS caffeine at breakfast, and most babies like some sort of breakfast food – who doesn’t? And you are kidding yourself if you think you are going to check out the trendy restaurants about town unless your kid likes to sleep through ambient noise in a stroller shoved in a corner near the kitchen. And please note, not every restaurant is baby friendly, so appreciate the ones that are! We went to one place that didn’t have high chairs. Holding your squirmy [...]
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Note: After giving birth, I learned about the power and ritual in sharing a birth story. Each birth story is the unique and perfect experience of how a child and a parent come together for the first time. Families are created and expanded in so many ways, and this is just my story. You were due on August 18th, and August 18th came and went. I was getting pretty uncomfortable towards the end of the pregnancy, mostly because I was unbearably itchy all over my entire body. Nothing that I tried would relieve the itch – benadryl, lotion, oatmeal baths – nothing. The only thing that seemed to help was ice. Sometimes, I would wake up at 6am and plunge my feet in ice water to get just a moment of relief! Marc and I tried all the tricks in the book to get labor going. We took a 1.5 hour walk around the neighborhood. We played indoor, glow-in-the-dark mini-golf. I ate a lot of spicy food – at almost every meal – which was a big deal because I had crazy heartburn! I ate black licorice, pineapple, and anything else I read about on the internet that I thought might start labor. On Monday, August 22, we went to see Leila Forman, our amazing midwife at Mount Auburn, and she decided she would sweep my membranes to see if we could get labor going. She also suggested I take Blue Cohosh, a homeopathic herb that induces labor. I went home that day and had irregular, but not painful, contractions for the rest of the day and through the night. On Tuesday, August 23, I woke up (after a fitful night of sleep) and was [...]
Well, first off, let’s be real here. I’m only 9-months into this whole motherhood thing, so these may be lessons I’ll unlearn and relearn a few times. That being said, a few noteworthy insights from my first foray into mommy land.