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My Birth Plan? No Plan At All.


What just happened? The Monkey and me, shortly after he made his dramatic entrance into the world.

My maternal great-grandmother gave birth to 13 children. All but #13 were born at home and none of them were delivered with medicinal pain relief.

My maternal grandmother delivered 3 children without any medicinal pain relief.

My own mother delivered two out of three of her children without any medicinal pain relief.

That’s pretty awesome of them. But, as for me? Bring on the meds. Maybe.

I’m in the homestretch of my pregnancy and expect to meet baby #2 within 2 weeks (or possibly later tonight if that famous eggplant parmigiana recipe really works). If I were to have a birth plan, the only plan would be to ask for the epidural as soon as I check into the hospital. You see, my last labor and delivery, which was an induced labor at 41 weeks, was approximately 90 minutes from the time the pitocin hit to when my son made his entrance. Going from 0 to delivery in an hour and a half was excruciating and exhausting and the epidural that I managed to beg for when I could actually catch my breath came much too late. It was not the birth experience that I had wanted and certainly did not anticipate. Considering my doctor barely made it in time (and my doula never made it at all), no one anticipated it. In the end, all that mattered was that my son was born healthy and I was OK…but it would have been nice if our first introduction to one another was during a much less dramatic circumstance. (continues…)

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Want to Feel Great? Try Needles and Crack.

This feels much better than it looks

This feels much better than it looks

Being poked, prodded, and cracked is a great way to spend an hour or two.

As most parents or caretakers of small children know, nothing puts wear and tear on your muscles and joints like a kid. And, if you’ve been pregnant, you probably know that it starts in the womb. By the time I reached my 3rd trimester, I was regularly seeing a chiropractor, acupuncturist, and masseuse. And by regularly, I mean weekly. Sometimes multiple times a week. Yes, I clearly used to have both the time and the money to devote to myself.

Now that my pregnancy aches and pains have morphed into the ailments associated with lugging around a wiggly and arm-flailing 25-pounder who prefers to be carried, I still get tune-ups when the need arises.

A few months ago, I had the brilliant idea to show my Monkey some tricks on the monkey bars (tricks that have not been practiced in 20 years).  I woke up with muscle spasms in my back so severe that I could barely walk, so I immediately called my doctor who is both an acupuncturist and chiropractor (find one of those!). I was back to normal within minutes after my session. I was good to go for a few months until just the other day when old neck and upper back injuries flared up again. After a session of electro-acupuncture and a quick adjustment, I was back to chasing my kid around without any problem.

Some people do not believe in the power of acupuncture or chiropractic care. I’m guessing they have either not tried it or haven’t gone to the right doctor. For me, there is nothing else that can compare. For aches, pains, and sore muscles, I much prefer alternative methods that are healing and restorative rather than rely on conventional medical methods, like prescription drugs. For the same price as a few prescription bottles of Flexiril or Vicodin, I would much rather be stuck with a few needles and have my spine cracked. The best part of all, the healing effects of treatment last much longer than the duration of any prescription drug.

Have you tried acupuncture or chiropractic care? If not, what’s stopping you?

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Warning: Parenting Is Hazardous to Your Health

Parenting should come with a warning label.

Let’s start with pregnancy. It’s been said that the physical strain of pregnancy and childbirth can take a year off your life. For some of us, that experience might have shaved off about five years. Remember that life sucking machine from the movie, Princess Bride? Well, that’s what labor felt like for me.

After the kid is born, it’s all about the kid. You barely have time to shower and throw on some lip-gloss let alone check in with your physical and mental well-being. Sure, you’re in and out of doctors offices all the time, but you rarely (if ever) see one for yourself. Oh, you’ve had a migraine for a week? A weird bump? A lingering cough? Who has time to check in with a real doctor? That’s why they invented WebMD.

When your kid starts preschool, it’s all downhill from there. Children become carriers for all things germy and disease-ridden. There is no doubt that you will get sick when you have kids. Often. If your child has a runny nose and cough, expect to wake up the next morning with the same problem. You’ll probably get even more sick than the kid, but you don’t have time to wallow in Kleenex-wrapped pity. Get back in the kitchen and make their lunch! And, speaking of lunch, who has time to eat it? You might serve your kid organic and nutritious meals, but you’re often relegated to live off saltines, canned chili, and whatever particles of food are left on the highchair. (continues…)

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The Attack of Big-Foot!

Add this item to the list of things I wish I had known before the Monkey was born:

My old footprint - the new footprint might not fit in this frame.

My old footprint (alongside the Dude's) - the new footprint might not fit in this frame.

It’s a really bad idea to buy cute and expensive shoes shortly before or after getting pregnant.

Here’s the thing: there is a really good chance that your feet will get bigger during pregnancy. Should that happen, there’s something else to understand  – unlike your big belly, your feet don’t shrink back down to size.  Do not believe people when they say that the bigger feet are not permanent. I dare those people to try telling that to the 50 or so size 10* shoes that have long been donated to Goodwill.

When I was pregnant, I looked into why my shoes were no longer fitting properly.  Yes, I had some swelling in my feet, but that didn’t seem to be the main culprit. Turns out, the same hormone that helps the pelvic floor expand (another touchy and painful subject) will also loosen the ligaments in the feet. That hormone is called relaxin, which is such an appropriate name. All those ligaments just simply relax and let loose…literally.

For some lucky women (raises hand), the feet don’t just grow longer but they also grow wider, which can be attributed to all those extra pregnancy pounds. I really wish I had known this because I would’ve done things differently, like not buy those Tory Burch flats in celebration of my new pregnancy.

So what can be done about loose ligaments and squashed feet? You want the truth? Absolutely nothing, except to go shopping. Chances are, you”ll squeeze back into your pre-baby clothes at some point. Just don’t assume that you’ll fit back into your shoes, too.

*Yes, I am very much aware that I already had big feet to begin with. In my defense, I’m also 5’9″, so the big feet do come in handy.

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Belly Bullies

Me @ 8 months pregnant. No, I was not carrying twins...jerk.

Me @ 8 months pregnant. No, I was not carrying twins...jerk.

One of the worst things about pregnancy is dealing with people who ask intrusive or insensitive questions. And then there are those who say rude comments…or worse. Like strangers who actually put their hands on a pregnant belly without consent. You know what I call these types of people?

Belly Bullies.

Belly bullies, who tend to be other women, are the equivalent of mean girls from the 7th grade. However, they like to harass pregnant women instead.

So, who are these *belly bullies* and what do they do exactly? Let me tell you.

  • They are the strangers who believe they have a right to touch your burgeoning belly. In the wise words of Billy Madison,”that’s assault, brother!” (continues…)
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