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The 11th Prego Commandment: Thou Shall Not Color thy Hair

Even before I got pregnant, I began hearing from prego and mommy friends about what you “can’t” have or “can’t” do when you’re pregnant….no coffee or soda (or anything with caffeine), no dying your hair, no botox (not that I’ve begun this regime – yet), no alcohol of course, no painting, no undercooked meat, no raw sushi, no lunch meat, no soft or unpasteurized cheese, and the list goes on and on and on.

I also quickly learned from skimming mommy books that some pregos are obsessed or obsess too much over being pregnant and, you know what, after talking to my dr., learned that the guidelines aren’t so strict. So, along the way I’ve had the occasional cup of decaf or a half caf (always a small), even a soda here or there. I’ve also had sushi (just the cooked rolls), a little sip of champagne here or there at celebrations and just this past week did something I was embarrassed to tell even my prego and mommy friends – I got my hair highlighted.

In my 27th week of pregnancy, I haven’t been feeling that I’m looking my best. Sure, I sometimes have that lovely pregnancy glow, but more often than not, I look in the mirror and wonder, “who is this I’m looking at!?” Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved every second of my pregnancy and truly enjoy being pregnant, it’s just the facial skin discolorations, the sometimes bloated cheeks and not so well-maintained appearance that sort of throw me off. Luckily, my husband hasn’t shown that he senses that in any way. But, I did some reading online to find getting hair highlighted in perfectly safe, and decided to bite the bullet and get the highlights. A couple days later, I’m feeling great (minus the guilt I feel even though they say highlights don’t even touch the scalp.)

Not sure what this post is supposed to accomplish…I guess just getting this confession off my chest. Any of you have prego guilty confessions?


The Babycook: Critical Invention or a Quick Way to Blow $150? 

I’m in registry mode, checking out all the latest and greatest products for babies. Something that I’ve seen quite a bit of is the cute, green and white, magic baby meal maker (supposedly), The Beaba Babycook.

 My first reaction? How cute and ingenious! My second? $150 for a machine that steams your food and processes it all in one? Puhlease! It better do more than that!

Now there are tons of new parents out there that are raving about this lil guy, and if you’re one of them, by all means try to sell me on this thing. I personally can’t rationalize dishing out $150 for a machine that does exactly what my pots and pans at home can do…albeit just a teensy bit easier.

Maybe my mind will change once I have a baby and am incredibly exhausted, but for now, I’ll plan to peel my sweet potatoes, put them in a steamer and mash them up – simple enough. But, kudos to the inventors behind this thing…wish I had thought of it!


Fears of Labor and Delivery

I never imagined being fearful of labor and delivery (L&D). Four days from my due date, it scares the crap out of me! Many expectant mothers express fears of becoming a mother, caring for a baby, having a colicky baby, lack of sleep etc., but these are the things I feel most comfortable with (okay, maybe not the colicky baby). It's the L&D that freaks me out!

Overactive Imagination

"What if the epidural doesn't work?"
"What if my baby is so big I tear?" of "What if she isn't that big and I still tear?"
"What if I push for hours and hours and then have to have an emergency c-section?"

What if? What if? My husband says I have an overactive imagination and unfortunately I have to agree with him. My mind has a mind of its own and comes up with the worst case scenario situations.

Perspective and how to cope

There are many perspectives I can take with this. As you can see the one perspective I'm looking at L&D is that "something is going to go wrong!" And the feelings that go with this are awful. This doesn't work for me. My mom always says that giving birth is a beautiful thing. I used to get annoyed thinking "how can such a beautiful thing be so painful?" Reflecting on her words of wisdom I decided I needed a new perspective on this L&D thing and I'm choosing that perspective to be "giving birth is the most beautiful thing." When I think of L&D from this perspective everything looks different to me. I'm more excited than anything! Most girls dream of their wedding day...I've dreamed about the day I'd have a baby and become a mother! I'm bringing life into this world and there is nothing more magical about that. I'm going to have a baby girl and start my family! What is most important to me is delivering a healthy baby. Now I just need to stay in this perspective and have a beautiful birthing experience :) I can't wait!!

Sometimes we get stuck in one perspective. It's important to take a step back and realize that you have a choice about how you want to look at things.

Top 10 Labor and Delivery Fears

I came across this article detailing the Top 10 Labor and Delivery Fears (not sure of publishing date) and it made me feel a little better to know that other expectant moms have had some of the same fears that I do.


My Life is Ending

My life as I've known it is ending. Reality has hit that my life will never be the same after my little girl arrives. Okay, I'm being dramatic when I say that my life is ending. In reality one chapter in my life is closing and I'm embarking on a new one. An adventure I can't wait to start!

Why is it then that there's part of me that feels like my life is ending? For the past month I've been saying to my husband things like, "This is our last vacation," and "This is our last weekend getaway..." and "Let's take advantage of vegging on the couch because we won't be able to do this anymore" and most recently, "Let's go out to a nice's one of the last dinners we'll go out to without needing to find a babysitter."

I've gone so far as to stock up on months worth of household supplies like toilet paper, paper towels, toothpaste, laundry detergent, etc., feeling like  I'll never have a chance to get out and take care of these types of errands. This is pretty silly considering there's a Walgreens less than 50 yards from my place.

While there may be a little truth to some of the above, the real truth is that no, my life will not be the same after having a baby. And whose is? My husband and I will be parents and we have the special honor of raising and shaping a great future for our little girl. In some respect I am right that we won't be able to pick up and leave the house at the drop of a dime but in the larger scheme of things, with a little planning and organization (both of which I'm pretty good at), we'll be able to do all the things we both like to still. Oh and I can assure you that after we're settled and somewhat know what we're doing (I'm giving us three months), we will have an institutionalized weekly date night. (More on the importance of date nights after baby later)

Our lives are not ending. They're just beginning. And I will keep reminding myself of this. I can bet that once I meet my baby girl this blog post will be a nonexistent memory. 


High-Tech Hospital Bag

I'm pretty sure that whatever I pack for the hospital for delivery will be insufficient. This task is making me crazy!

For baby, I've got carseat, going home outfit, homemade baby blanket and beanie, and baby wipes. For mommy, I've got comb, moisturizer, extra socks, and granny panties, which The Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy says that I need. Ew!

But who knows if this is all the right stuff? I don't know this stuff! What I do know is gadgets and technology so I'm going to share the high-tech products in my hospital bag so that I don't miss the opportunity to communicate with my family, document the experience, and surf the Web if and when I get bored. (I'm told it can be a long process with lots of down time.)

  • Cell phone charger. My colleague David Katzmaier had this piece of advice for me: "If you pack nothing else, pack your cell phone charger." This is no time for your phone to die! I packed two white iPod USB power adapters because they can charge pretty much everything on my list just by switching out the USB cords. Any USB power adapter should suffice.
  • Cell phone. I'm currently using a 32 gig iPhone 4. AT&T is pretty piss poor here in New York so I am going to have to put a lot of faith in the network come go time. Still, the phone has a 5 megapixel camera and shoots high definition video at 720p so it will be able to take photos and videos as a back-up. If you can't deal with the iPhone or AT&T, here are some other great phones on other networks with high-quality cameras: Sprint HTC Evo 4G, Verizon Droid Incredible, T-Mobile Samsung Vibrant.
  • Video camera. I am a big fan of Kodak's line of portable video cameras. They are FAR superior to the popular Flip cam in that they can take still photos at 5 megapixels and can record high definition video at 1080p. The one we use is the Kodak Zi8 Pocket Video Camera. It also has a larger 2.5-inch LDC screen so you can playback what you've just shot on a lovely display.
  • Still camera. It is hard to choose a bad camera these days. Most of them take great photos and few have resolution lower than 8 megapixels. I have the Kodak EasyShare M530. It is fast to start up, easy to use, small and compact, and you can find it online for around $100. If you want to splurge in this area though, the new Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H55V is lovely! It is fast, it captures HD movie with a stereo microphone for sound, and it has a built-in compass and GPS receiver for geotagging photos. Not that you'll forget where this set of photos is taken!
  • Single Lens Reflex (SLR) camera. These are the Big Mama cameras that take super high resolution and high quality photos. I'm a big fan of the Nikon D-series but that is a lot of camera for me. The camera in our bag is the Olympus E-620. It is budget priced, if you consider that $500 is budget for this type of camera. Despite the entry-level price, the features are slightly above entry level and the photos it takes are just beautiful. It does not have video capture but it does have some fun art filters for special effects like black and white or sepia photos.
  • iPads. Yep, I said iPads. Plural. We are spoiled. Daddy has a 3G iPad and I have the Wi-Fi version. These will be our portable laptops while we wait for emailing family, surfing the Web, playing games, watching video, and listening to music. I tasked Daddy with the assignment to make a music playlist for when the labor gets going. He claims to have 3 songs so far. I hope they're calming!
  • Portable MiFi card. If you don't have a 3G iPad or laptop, you'll want to consider a portable WiFi hotspot such as a MiFi card. These are cards that create their own WiFi network over 3G. I have a prepaid Virgin Mobile MiFi 2200. I highly suggest one of these if you want to make sure you have broadband because data plans start at just $10. They are also really easy to use and last a long time on a single charge. The card itself is an investment though. It costs approximately $150.

A few extra things to note. I created a Google Doc with all the email addresses that I want my significant other to use when he sends the baby's arrival announcement. I know better than to send him that list now. It will surely get lost in his hyperactive inbox. Instead, I made a Google Doc with the email addresses formatted for sending and shared it with him so that he can cut and paste the list when the time comes.

Oh and as for all of this documentation, don't think that the entire event is going to be documented like a news segment. No sir! All photo angles will have to be pre-approved by Mommy and no photos will be taken of the actual birthing of the child! I'm not that kind of Mommy! I just want the moments when I am cleaned up and smiling to be crystal clear! Although I'm a realist. Even the most beautiful women look like Sasquatch after they've been through labor. Lets just hope Baby is ready for his/her closeup!