This has been a question that has been weighing on my mind since Edith was born. For many years, Neil and I were content being a family of two. After a surprise pregnancy back in 2009, we started to warm to the idea of being a family of three. Fast forward four years, two more pregnancies and one baby later we became a happy family of three. However, as Edith gets older I’ve started to wonder if I want to stay a family of three or will we round ourselves off as a family of four?
I would like to note that I AM NOT currently pregnant and have no intentions of being pregnant again for a while, if ever.
I went through a period right after Edith’s birth where I had baby fever and couldn’t stop talking about having another child. Neil was less than thrilled with the idea and I still feel that he is leaning much closer to a family of three. I cooled off and reined myself in on the second baby talk and actually got to a point where I was fine with just the three of us. Now, here I am, with baby fever again.
I love the idea of Edith having a sibling, of being pregnant again and of having a full house.
On the other hand, there are so many possibilities and things that make me nervous about having another child.
- What if I miscarry again? I had two miscarriages before I had Edith and there is always a concern that this could happen again. Miscarriage is a tolling experience both emotionally and physically on the whole family. I wonder how we would react to another miscarriage and how it could effect our family.
- Money. Having a child is expensive. One child was a big change and I realize that adding a second child to the mix won’t be such a big change at first but thinking ahead to school years, traveling, university and beyond and I start to have heart palpitations.
- Different experiences. Neil is really happy with having one child and despite growing up with a brother they aren’t close and his experience wasn’t a very positive one. He would have been happy being an only child. I on the other hand grew up as an only child, always wanting a sibling. I know that I was lucky enough to do as much as we did when I was younger because I was an only child. But, even now, as an adult I often long for a sibling.
- Travel vs. a “Big” Family. If you follow us you know that Neil and I are always on the go. We have really slowed down over the years but regardless we love to travel. Having another child would make it more of a challenge to travel since we would have to spend more money of flights, food and entertainment.
- Balance. I already have trouble balancing being a SAHM, WAHM/blogger, wife, being a health coach, working on becoming a doula and making time for me. Having another child would mean putting some of these things on hold, most likely health coaching and my dream to become a doula. I would also have to cut back even further on blogging. Right now, I’m not sure if I am ready, even though I know I will have to make some changes in the coming months/years as it is with just one child.
- Body Image. I am still carrying around most of my baby weight and I don’t know if I want to do it all over again. I would really like to lose the baby weight (and maybe more) before we even try to have another child and the idea of going through this process just to have to do it again isn’t high on my list of things I’d like to experience again.
- Breastfeeding. We just celebrated our one year breastfeeding anniversary and, let me tell you, it has been quite the year. I don’t see us stopping breastfeeding for at least 6 months and we could easily continue to go for another 24 months. Breastfeeding, while great for nutrition and bonding, is exhausting and honestly, I would love to wear a non-nursing bra again. I am not sure if I am ready to go from nursing Edith to nursing a new baby soon after or even at the same time.
As I read this list, I think “Wow those are a lot of reasons NOT to get pregnant!”. But, honestly, they are a lot of trivial things, aside from affordability. Right now we aren’t really talking seriously about potential #2 and we will not even consider start trying until Edith is at least two so we have a whole year to decide.
How did you come to the decision to have one child? If you only have one child and plan to keep it that way, what were the factors involved in making your decision?
1. The MILF Diet is not out yet but it will be shortly. I know the name is kind of off putting but the recipes inside are so delicious it is a wonderful recipe book and once you get pass the name the content and recipes are so good.
2. Bluum Box- I started purchasing this box a few months ago and I am loving it. The box has items for both mom and baby and all of the boxes that I have received have had items that I am super impressed with.
3. An e-reader (I recommend the Kindle). It is perfect for nursing because you can hold it with one hand and if you do as much nursing as I do you need something to occupy the time.
4. Books to read on the e-reader. I absolutely loved Mindy Kailing’s book; it was hilarious and relate-able. I also loved that this book is made up of short stories which is perfect when you are nursing.
5. Snoogle- This is really more for the mom-to-be but I also loved it the first few weeks after Edith’s birth during my recovery period. I would have continued to use it as well but we did a lot of bed sharing during the first few months of Edith’s life and it got in the way (also Neil hated it- unless of course he was using it).
Disclaimer: This post was NOT sponsored. These are all items that I use regularly at home and I think they would make wonderful gifts.
I knew from the beginning that I wanted to document my entire pregnancy with photos and weekly blog posts. I started to take photos around week twelve and write weekly blog posts around week 14 and by week 30 I decided I really wanted to create a pregnancy photobook.
At first I was just going to create my own and get the pages printed up but then I saw that Shutterfly had a pregnancy photobook template and because Shutterfly is always having some sort of deal I knew that I could create it now, finish after our baby arrived and buy it when it was on sale.
Here is a peak of a few pages of my book:
Creating a pregnancy book is a great way to document your pregnancy and is a wonderful keepsake. I can’t wait to show Edie the book when she is older and share what it was like being pregnant with her and how we prepared.
Disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored post all thoughts and opinions are my own. I purchased this book.
Couple’s Yoga for Labor and Birth, with Susan Cline Lucey
This one-time workshop is a great way for you to bond as a couple in preparation for sharing the birth experience together. We will cover yoga poses, breath work, relaxation and meditation techniques helpful in labor and birth. A strong focus will be placed on labor support techniques and ways to build confidence in your ability to birth without intervention. This workshop is a must for first time parents, as well as for those second/third time parents who are not planning on taking a birth class but would like a class to connect around the baby and a refresher on labor support techniques. (source)
Back in June Neil and I took a Couple’s Yoga For Labor and Birth Workshop at my yoga studio along with eight other couples. We started out the class by first setting our intention for the class and for birth. We then wrote down an affirmation to help us focus in on the birth; mine was “I trust my body to birth this baby” and Neil’s was “I know Lindsay’s strength and confidence will guide her through the birth and I am here to support her.”
Much of the class was focused around learning relaxation techniques to help during labor and birth. We discussed breathing techniques (which I ended up using throughout my birth):
- breathing–> relaxing the jaw = relaxed pelvic floor; tried goddess pose with focus on breathing through it just like breathing through a contraction
- groans, moans and screams–> focus on low moans and groans b/c it keeps the pelvic floor open versus high pitched screams/shrieks which tense up the body –> go ahead try it! shriek and see how your body reacts, feel the tension in your abs, your chest, your pelvis? now do a low moan or groan- can you feel the difference?
Along with the breathing techniques we also tried a variety poses for laboring in such as a supported squat. We used this a little during labor as well as the massage that we discussed but the biggest thing I took away from the class was the breathing and the loan moans and groans.
We both loved this class it was very intimate. I really wish that it had been a series and not just one night! Although I learned a lot from our private birth class it was great to be in a room with others practicing the techniques, especially since a few of the moms-to-be were familiar to me from prenatal yoga.
Disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored post all thoughts and opinions are my own.
We briefly covered breastfeeding as part of our Natural Baby Care Class and actually we learned quit a bit from our Doula(Sarah), however she suggested that we also sign up for a breastfeeding education class. So I registered us for a 2.5 hour breastfeeding education class.
We arrived at the class to find eight other couples and our instructor. The first thing we learned from the class is that we were so glad we took private childbirth and natural baby care classes because you never know who you are going to end up with in a group class. Unfortunately, we ended up in a class with a number of couples who thought that the sight of breasts in breastfeeding videos were funny among other things that we don’t need to get into here. But, let me tell you, they made my jaw drop.
Anyways, on to the good things that we learned from our amazing instructor who is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and the breastfeeding coordinator for the Vermont Department of Health, among other things.
Things we covered in the class:
- Hospital practices that support breastfeeding
- Who to call for lactation support
- Breastfeeding Basics
- Positioning and Latching
- How milk is made
- Breastfeeding Videos
- Challenges and Solutions
- The first week
- Perceived low milk supply
- Separated from Your Baby
- Expressing milk and breast pumps
- Storing breast milk
- Introducing a bottle- paced bottle feeding
- Considerations for your day care provider
Honestly I am writing this nearly 2 months after having taken the class (I had the best intentions of writing this earlier) and now I don’t completely remember the details of what we learned. Overall I felt like the class really covered what you needed to know about breastfeeding and how to actually breastfeed from positions to latching and we watched a few videos that provided good examples of positioning and proper latching. We also covered a number of challenges and how to overcome them and where/who to turn to if you find yourself struggling. Lastly, we covered breast pumps, storage and what to do when someone else is taking care of your baby.
What I have learned from breastfeeding:
We are going on almost 4 weeks of breastfeeding now and let me tell you it really does get easier. Don’t get me wrong, we still have some challenges, but it does get easier. Although Edie did pretty well at latching right off the first few days of breastfeeding were the most challenging and I ended up with sore, bruised nipples. I also struggled with finding a hold that worked for both Edie and me. When I left the birth center I felt pretty comfortable with breastfeeding but when I arrived home I started to have a few doubts so I watched a few videos online to help me. I soothed my sore nipples by expressing a little breast milk onto my nipples (oh and my milk came in within 72 hours of Edie’s arrival) and I changed my hold from the cradle to the football hold and found it made all the difference. A few days later we had an appointment at our pediatrician with the family nurse practitioner(who is also a certified lactation consultant) and she observed me breastfeeding and was impressed but made one suggestion that has been a game changer- bring the baby to the boob NOT the boob to the baby.
Since making these changes I have had almost no more nipple soreness and breastfeeding is going really well. The only challenge that I have had since making these changes is cluster feeding which is exhausting and at times frustrating. I ended up having one huge breakdown during our first week home after a particularly exhausting evening/night of cluster feeding that lasted around 7 hours. Today I still find it challenging at times to sit and have back to back nursing sessions especially when we want to try and get out of the house or when I am exhausted and want to sleep but overall things are going well and I am loving breastfeeding.
Disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored post all thoughts and opinions are my own.
During our first two pregnancies, I bought up and read just about any book I could find for expecting fathers. Titles like “Dad’s Pregnant, Too”, “The Expecting Dad” and others filled our book shelves. As with books for the groom-to-be, many of these books were intended for the “lowest common denominator” when it came to expectant fathers. The assumption was that the men reading these books were absolutely clueless, completely dependent upon and not supportive of their partners. They contained advice like “when your partner goes into labor, make sure that you don’t let the big game take priority”. While some of the anecdotes can be entertaining, having done some of my own research and taking interest in the pregnancy and birthing process of my wife, there wasn’t much for me in any of these books.
Thankfully, Lindsay and I found The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin which came very highly recommended by many people. Penny Simkin is a highly respected childbirth educator and labor support person who has helped over 11,000 women and couples prepare for their births since starting in the field in the 1960′s. She’s been the producer of many birth-related movies and authored many birth-related books.
The Birth Partner does take a more clinical approach to the pregnancy and birthing process, while at the same time interweaving the stories and experiences of other mothers, partners and doulas to allow the reader to more easily relate. Having covered a lot of the subject matter at a very level in our birthing classes with our doula-to-be this book provided me with in depth knowledge to allow me to be as prepared as possible to play as supportive a role as possible for Lindsay during the birth of our child. Simkin explains both the physical and emotional sides of labour and how both of those may present themselves an change throughout the process. She is sure to present the reality of the situation rather than focusing on just the good parts or the ideal situation. While, hard to read and imagine at points, I felt that this was very important in helping us to be prepared for what COULD happen during the labour if there were any complications. She is thorough in covering completely natural births and possible interventions (including c-sections and emergency c-sections) as well as planned interventions. You never feel that she is passing judgement on either approach and is just doing her job to prepare you to make informed decisions. She covers the entire process in her book from picking a doula(it was actually what convinced me that we needed a doula!) and supporting your partner during her pregnancy to lactation and post-partum advice. While not as well formatted on the kindle as they would be on paper, there were plenty of worksheets and learning aides included in the book as well, that I either used for reference or inspiration.
The Birth Partner was an indispensable aid in my preparation for the birth of our daughter. It helped to both enhance my knowledge of the birthing process that I gained through our child birthing classes and partner’s yoga and fill in any gaps that weren’t covered in those classes.
Disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored post all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Tips for staying fit and eating healthy during your pregnancy:
Take it outside. Make time in your schedule to get outside and workout wherever possible! One of the easiest things you can do is get outside and go for a walk. This is a great time to take in some fresh air, a little Vitamin D and connect with nature. I suggest you bring your partner along with you because it’s the perfect time to walk, talk and connect. Some of the best conversations my husband and I have are on our daily/nightly walks (we even chose our baby name choices during these walks!). One of my other favorite things to do now that it is summer is going to the outdoor pool or down to the lake for a swim. Swimming is amazing and such a nice low impact activity to do when you are pregnant.
Don’t Stop. Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you have to stop going to your favorite workout class or stop doing other activities. Talk with your instructor and explain that you are pregnant and they will help you to make the appropriate adjustments to your workout so that you can safely participate. I know many women who have kept up with cross fit, body pump and spinning during their entire pregnancy.
Take time to stretch. Whether this means you start participating in a yoga class or invest in a prenatal yoga DVD or just spend 10-15 minutes per day, gentle stretching is very important to do during pregnancy. Not sure what kind of stretches to do? Talk with your prenatal care provider and they can provide you with a list of stretches that are great during pregnancy.
Eat whole foods. During pregnancy you are not only nourishing your body but also your growing baby. Make sure to avoid alcohol and limit caffeine, processed sugars and other processed foods as well as any other pregnancy no-no foods such as deli meats, soft unpasteurized cheeses, and organ meats (your prenatal care provider should provide you with a full list of these items). Focus on eating whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables as much as possible and remember to take a prenatal vitamin. However, don’t over stress about every little thing you put in your mouth especially in the first trimester when the only thing that appeals to you are mashed potatoes.
When it came down to choosing a crib for our nursery we took advantage of the numerous other bloggers who had already done the research into finding a safe crib for themselves. One of the best resources we found was over on Young House Love where Sherry and John had already done pretty extensive research on a number of cribs that we were interested in. Ultimately we decided to go with the same crib that they chose the Baby Mod Parklane 3-in-1 Convertible Crib made from solid New Zealand pinewood, meets all U.S. crib standards and features a non-toxic finish.
Nursery Sneak Peak
Important things to consider when choosing a Crib, cradle or bassinet:
• Slats no more than 2 3/8 inches apart
• Corner posts no more than 1/16 of an inch above frame
• No cutouts in headboard or footboard
• Top rails at least 26 inches above mattress
Other Things To Consider:
- Materials it is made from
- Type of Paint Used
- Do you want a convertible crib or not? A convertible cost a little more but will last you longer.
Finally we are posting our big nursery reveal! I really wish that we had better natural light in the nursery but alas we don’t. Our theme for the nursery is Put A Bird on It and for those of you who don’t know the reference you can go here. Please enjoy the tour!
Total Cost*: $550
*Total Cost does not include items we already had or items that were gifted to us.