My first pregnancy (singleton) and second pregnancy (twins) were like night and day. From weight gain and how my belly looked to the delivery style and postpartum, it was all quite different. I thought it'd be fun and interesting to take a look back at the differences by comparing my singleton and twin pregnancy! You can watch it in a quick YouTube video or keep scrolling for the pix and details!
*disclaimer: this post includes some affiliate links - we'll receive a small commission from purchases made after clicking*
Note: in all photos below, singleton pregnancy is on left and twins on right :)
Early Weeks & Nausea
Early on, you wouldn't have known by looking at me. But for my twin pregnancy, my "morning sickness" aka all day sickness started much earlier and lasted longer too.
For my first baby, I wanted as natural as possible. I chose a group of midwives who only used the fetal doplar to hear the heart beat at each checkup. I had a sonogram at my initial visit (7 weeks), the standard anatomy ultra sound at 20 weeks, and another scan around 32 weeks because they wanted to confirm baby was breech (he later flipped, thank goodness). Then I used the birthing center to deliver which again was all natural. For my second pregnancy, again I went to a midwife, however as soon as she saw twins I was told I'd continue my regular checkups with them (rotating between the midwives and doctors at the practice, since I would have to have a doctor at the delivery) but also had to see an MFM (maternal fetal medicine) high risk specialist regularly. At those visits, they did a special ultrasound at EVERY visit, which I actually loved. There's such risk of one twin absorbing the other and all kinds of scary things, so it was reassuring to see them in there doing well! They always checked the blood flow in each umbilical cord, the size of babies, and also inserted a lovely probe to measure my cervix. This stopped later, maybe around 30 weeks? I can't remember, but it was a relief to not check that anymore! My MFM wanted me to delivery at 38 weeks but my OB wanted to let me go as far as 40 weeks, to make them both happy we made sure to schedule my MFM scans twice a week for the last few weeks. This meant walking 3 miles roundtrip pushing my son in his stroller. Ouchies! But kept us fit!!
Popped & Gender Reveal
I feel like from about 16 weeks is when my twin belly started to grow a bit bigger and faster than my singleton belly, though it would be many more weeks it REALLY popped. I found out the twins' sexes at around 18 weeks (girls! YAY!!) but for my first pregnancy, we didn't find out the sex! I wanted it to be my husband's big job at delivery to find out and announce it!
Viability & Weight Gain
24 weeks was a pretty big milestone for my twin pregnancy. It marked the point at which the babies could potentially survive if born early. Most doctors and twin pregnancy books also recommend the goal of gaining 24 pounds by wee 24 - this magic number has the best outcomes for twins! In the earlier weeks I didn't think it'd be possible, as I was just so nauseas most of the time. But at week 24, I was EXACTLY 24 pounds up - it was a miracle LOL! Of course, it feels absolutely rotten seeing the numbers go up so quickly on the scale, I had only gained 7 pounds at this point in my singleton pregnancy! But... you have to think about the babies' health - gaining too little or too much can put you all at risk!
Did you know you need at least 100 grams of protein a day when pregnant with twins? 175 is a better goal, that I always struggled to get even close to, despite throwing down protein bars and protein shakes every chance I could get! The cool thing is that your babies get first dibs at the nutrients you take in, and if they don't get what they need, they'll take it out of you like the cute little succubi they are ha! While I'll never know if it was a result of my not getting enough protein or other vitamins, I suspect that my losing my eyebrows (seen below right) was due to this. Thankfully eyebrow pencil worked wonders and they grew back in full shortly after giving birth!!
From about 30 weeks, my twin belly seriously looked full term, and it was from here on out that strangers would think they were so cute with their comments like "Whoa you're about to pop!!" to which I'd answer, "Nah, about 2 more months" hahahaha by 35 weeks I was obscenely large and in charge and they would joke "What are you having twins or something" thinking they're being funny or passively aggressively trying to make fun of me perhaps? But I loved answering blankly, "Yes." So fun! What was not fun were the aches and pains. The varicose veins down under and my round ligament pains in my hips made walking downright painful, yet I still made a point of walking at least a mile a day, and even pushing my son in his stroller 3-4 miles 1-2 times a week when I had my checkups at the maternal and fetal health specialist! It wasn't comfortable, but I think keeping fit really helped me stay fit and keep those babies cooking!!
I carried both pregnancies full term. My son was actually overdue at 40 weeks and 2 days (I gained 26 pounds and he was 8 pounds 1 ounce). I was so nervous because I was planning to deliver naturally at the birthing center, and you aren't allowed to deliver there if you go past 40 weeks 6 days! I made it just in time! Twins are considered full term earlier at 38 weeks which is when most doctors want to deliver them by (risks go up quickly after that). My team was confident to let me go as far as 40 weeks as long as I was getting twice a week ultrasounds and everything was going perfectly! So at 39 weeks and 6 days they finally induced me. I had gained 43 pounds and my girls were 6 pounds 11 ounces and 5 pounds 9 ounces. So I gained 17 pounds extra for the twins!
For my son, I labored at home for 43 hours (ohhhh the pain) and then spent the final 10 hours of labor at The Birthing Center at Roosevelt Hospital. It's a special unit of just a few beds separate from the regular OB floor. No drugs, just a midwife and a nurse! I thought this was perfect for me, not wanting meds pushed on me, but was just 1 floor away from doctors and surgeons should something scary happen. Thankfully it went perfectly - had him on Christmas Day 2012 and spent just 1 night in the same room where we labored and delivered him, in a regular queen bed (not an adjustable one). (See his full birth story here).
For my twins, we scheduled an induction at 39 weeks 6 days. They started an IV and put me on pitocin, broke my water, and let me labor a few hours (so painful, pitocin is NOT fun). When I got to 9cm I finally broke and got the epidural they had been pushing me to get - my doctor wanted me to have one in place just in case I needed an emergency c-section for the 2nd baby, that way they wouldn't have to knock me out. I got the epidural AND the drugs and it was so wonderful. Pushed them both out painlessly a couple of hours later in the OR - yes, all twins and multiples must be delivered in the operating room, even if vaginal! I believe it's related to the number of people who must attend the delivery, at least 6 (mom, partner, OB, anesthesiologist, a pediatrician or neonatologist for each baby, at least 1 nurse, likely a handful of med students, and more doctors and nursees depending on how many babies ). I was really nervous about what a horrible situation it would be, on a cold flat operating table with bright lights. But honestly, in the moment, I couldn't have cared less! (read the twins' full birth story here).
My son stayed in the room with us the entire time in the hospital - he got cleaned up and got his shots and everything right by my side. My girls were whisked away several times to be cleaned and once because they wouldn't stop crying and poor mama just wanted to sleep! It's funny how different I felt the first time and the second time. The first time, I probably would have fought any soul trying to take my baby away! The next time around, I was like, whatever, please take them for a bit, I need to sleeeeeep!!!
At the birth center, we had a private room, just part of how things were different from the regular OB ward and it was one of the reasons I chose to deliver there! The next time around, we also lucked out with a private room because moms of twins and multiples get a FREE private room!!! Because they need the space for 2+ bassinets! This meant my husband got to stay with me, although not too comfy on a fold out chair!
I was lucky that, while painful at first, breastfeeding was pretty easy for us. The first time around, I suffered through EXCRUTIATING latch, baby overfeeding (like 45 minute feeds), and usually tons of spit up. But he porked up and we just chugged along! I ended up breastfeeding him til he turned 2 years old!! For my twins, it started out alright but Emi didn't gain any weight over 2 weeks after her initial 10% weight loss (which is totally normal and fine for new borns to lose that much right after birth but they're expected to start gaining quickly). I saw a free lactation consultant at our pediatrician and she saved us!! She confirmed my milk production wasn't the problem, it was just Emi was so weak and not able to nurse efficiently. So basically I bought a scale, weight her before and after feeds, and pumped and bottle fed her at least once a day to make sure she was getting enough milk. At the end of 2 weeks of doing this, she had caught up to her sister's weight and was able to nurse well. From then on the girls were within an ounce of eachother for the next 2 years or so!! Now at 5, Emi is about 1 inch taller and 2 pounds heavier LOL! I breastfed them for 1.5 years - at home using My Brest Friend Twin Deluxe nursing pillow, and even out in public single or tandem under a cover!! Oh the stares we would get, never once got a mean comment, I think mostly people were stunned... or I like to think, impressed!
For my son, I used a Mei Tai Carrier and a Britax single stroller. For my twins, initially anyway, we used the StrollAir MyDuo stroller with the Englacha ride on seat (affiliate link) behind it. My son still did stroller naps so I could throw him into a seat and wear a baby if we needed to. When we had to take the subway into the city, I would usually put Kenzo in the stroller and wear the twins in our WeeGo twin carrier (under 4 months) and later the TwinGo carrier. Later we loved the StrollAir Solo to Tango and Evenflo Pivot stroller with the Buggy Board Maxi+ sit/stand ride on behind it. Reviews linked above and videos below!!
Postpartum Belly & Weightloss
I was lucky that my weight was back to pre-pregnancy within 6 months for both singleton and twins, without any effort of my own. I chalk it up to good DNA and breastfeeding. Did you know breastfeeding twins burns about 1000 extra calories a day!?? The tricky part was weaning them and not gaining a ton because I was used to eating as much as I could through pregnancy and 1.5 years of breastfeeding LOL! They did leave me with the dreaded stretched out wrinkly #twinskin though - come see that here!!
What your belly looks like after twins!!
It just dawned on me. I have officially been pregnant or breastfeeding for the past 5 years straight, with only a 1 month break around January 2015. Like, whoa. The twins are nearly 18 months old now and I've been weaning them gradually. We're at the point where we may have already had our last nursing session - it's kind of hard to ever know when it's really your last, and we may have already had it.
It's totally bitter sweet, since these are my last babies, knock on wood, and as the last drop of milk flows from my body to theirs, my days as a Baby Growing Factory will officially be over. I simultaneously want to shout from the rooftops and celebrate with a couple bottles of champagne, while sobbing uncontrollably.
The truth is, as hard and overwhelming as it can be at times, it's been equally awesome. I loved being pregnant. Even at 39 weeks with twins, being the size of a house with debilitating hip pain, it is the most amazing experience you can ever imagine - creating and growing life in your body. Every hiccup and stretch, even every kick to your bladder, it's simply breathtaking (in the good and bad way!!). Likewise, birth, though excruciating and disgustingly mortifying (yes, please, let's have a dozen strangers watch babies eject from my vagina, thank you, this is such fun!!!), is incredibly beautiful and life changing. It's truly an experience I wish everyone (who wants it) could have, and leaves my heart weeping for friends who are not able to.
RELATED: Don't miss my 2 birth stories:
And breastfeeding, ohhhhhh breastfeeding. "Breast is best" and all that. Well, there is a lot of pressure put on women to do this, and I want to say it's not for every woman - either because she can't or it just doesn't work well for her or her baby, and there is nothing wrong with that. FED IS BEST!!! With that said, breastfeeding was an incredible journey for me, with both my son and my girls, and I feel blessed that it worked out for us. It certainly had its highs and lows, though. The painfully cracked nipples and anxiety over whether or not they were getting enough in those early days. The soaked nursing pads and fear of having to nurse in public! But then, suddenly, it all became so easy and beautiful. Having the ability to calm a crying baby isntantly, nourishing them, bonding with them in a way no other person on this earth could. Not having to worry about packing enough formula or cleaning bottles. Over a cumulative 3.5 years of breastfeeding, I have nursed my babies pretty much anywhere imaginable - in a bar, on planes and subways, at the pool... I could write a breastfeeding version of Green Eggs and Ham!
But, here I sit, with 1800 wonderful, crazy, painful, beautiful days of pregnancy and breastfeeding behind me. They made up such a huge part of who I was and who I am as a mother. As I get further away from these days of my life, they will likely become fuzzy distant memories, so, I want to pay tribute and immortalize them with some photos of my journey below, and then, when I'm ready, it's about time to organize some sort of booze-filled getaway weekend with my girl friends. BECAUSE I FINALLY CAN!!! Talk about a silver lining :)
Collage of my first pregnancy, my son, who made me a mother! From the first sonogram to our first time breastfeeding in public!
Collage of my second pregnancy, my twin girls, who made our family complete :)
And of course I have to include in this tribute the best pregnancy keepsake ever: the stop motion of my twins featuring their adorable big brother!!
Did you do anything to commemorate being done with pregnancy and/or breastfeeding? Is it something you look forward to or dread?? Share in a comment below!!
Embracing Your Mom Bod
When you grow a human in your belly, things change. Some things are temporary and some are permanent. From stretch marks to hair loss, many women struggle with low self-esteem over their new "mom bod," and this saddens me greatly.
To me, each tiger stripe is a reminder of your most wonderful accomplishment. That remaining "baby bump" brought life and completed your family. So, acknowledge your imperfections, stay fit and eat mindfully, but embrace your mom bod for what it is: beautiful, strong, loving, and amazingly awesome!!
With the help of a few mom friends, I've put together the following video to encourage moms to love themselves and their bodies. I hope you'll help the #MyMomBodIs movement by commenting below and sharing this blog post and video! Thank you!!
My Positive Twin Birth Story
My twin pregnancy, delivery, and recovery couldn't have been more perfect. Seriously, it was about as good as it gets! But when people congratulate me and say they're proud of how well I did I have to say I'm a bit uncomfortable because I really feel like I can't take any credit. If you ask me, it really comes down to something like 30% educating yourself and making smart choices, and 70% pure dumb luck! I'll elaborate...
Educating Yourself & Making Smart Choices:
Prepare for the worst and hope for the best, I say! This included finding a birth team I trusted and who had experience with birthing twins, reading books (I highly recommend When You're Expecting Twins, Triplets, and Quads as well as What To Do When You're Having Two), taking classes, and of course Googling (a lot!!) and taking what you find with a grain of salt. I ate reasonably well, gained the recommended 24 pounds by 24 weeks (research shows it gives you the best chance of carrying twins to term), and stayed active walking about a mile a day and up to 4 miles a day - right up to delivery at 39 weeks!! (See my post on how to prepare for twins).
Pure Dumb Luck:
How did I avoid Gestational Diabetes, Preterm Labor, Intrauterine Growth Restriction, side effects from Pitocin and Epidural, etc etc?? How did I luck out with twins who had their own placentas, were both head down, and Baby A was bigger than Baby B? Well, it certainly isn't anything I can take credit for!! Everything went smoothly and I am so incredibly thankful, but it really was just luck!!
OK, so now that we've covered that, let's get on with my birth story!!!
Leading up to D-Day (Delivery Day):
38 weeks is considered full term for twins and most docs won't let you go past that. Mine, however, were cool with letting me go til 40 weeks and were monitoring us accordingly. I had several weeks of labor-like Braxton Hicks which were annoying because you would time them, thinking THIS IS IT, only to realize hours later that nothing was progressing and it was time to just go the heck to sleep. When I hit 39 weeks, my MFM (high risk specialist) expressed her concern about me going any longer (risk of still birth!!) and I started to question my OB team, but they encouraged me to keep waiting, which we did! My parents drove up from North Carolina to help out "as long as I needed" and we were all sure that their arrival would give me peace about what we were going to do with our toddler during delivery and things would get rolling, but my girls were simply not budging (I made such a comfy home for them in there??) so we finally scheduled an induction and we went in at 39 weeks 6 days.
Induction with Pitocin:
My son was a 53 hour all-natural labor and delivery, no drugs, it was grueling and horrendously painful, but pretty amazing. I was hoping to go drug-free with the twins as well, but as soon as induction was inevitable I threw my plans out the window and decided to just play it by ear. We had induction scheduled for 11AM on October 6, and waited 1.5 hours to be seen in triage. That was really frustrating, but gave me a chance to scarf down a big lunch down before all food and drink became off limits. We then spent another hour and a half being monitored in triage. I was 100% effaced and 3cm dilated, so thankfully my doc said we could skip the cervical ripening part of induction and go straight for Pitocin. I got a room around 2PM, got my IV in place, and just before 4PM we got the show started with the Pit.
They start your drip with the smallest amount of Pitocin (a synthetic version of Oxytocin, the hormone that gives contractions) and crank it up a level every 15 minutes until you are having strong contractions every 2-3 minutes, but this takes a while. At 4:30pm I still wasn't in any pain and we decided to kick things up a notch by breaking the water of Baby A. Because they weren't able to keep both babies on the external monitors (babies kept moving and both monitors kept honing in on the same baby, leaving one not being monitored), they went ahead and reached up there and placed an external monitor IN BABY A's HEAD!!! Wahhh, this distraught me quite a bit, but it was reassuring to have both babies being continuously monitored finally, and especially so to see them both doing so well through contractions.
My husband took a nap while I enjoyed cable TV from my bed. Pretty ironically and much to my amusement, the Friends episode where the woman giving her baby up for adoption to Monica and Chandler had a surprise delivery of twins! Ha! I took it as a good sign :)
By around 5:30pm the contractions started getting strong and I was having trouble enduring them (picture me groaning and cursing and writhing around like a possessed woman!). Oh yeah, I was also puking my guts out and going through major bouts of shivering, like I couldn't control it at all, my whole body was shaking! Our midwife was amazing, giving me back rubs and putting hot packs on my back, she was just so calm and encouraging! So great! The Pitocin had made it's way up to "8" and my midwife decided that my contractions were unnecessarily overwhelming so she turned it off completely and to our surprise my contractions kept on going with no need for the Pit boost.
Heaven Sent Epidural:
At 7pm I was 8-9cm dilated and the anesthesiologist popped in saying he was about to go into surgery and if I wanted an epidural it was now or never. Well, I think I thought it over for all of 30 seconds before screaming "I WANT IT!!!!" to which my husband and midwife asked "Are you sure?? / You're almost there, you can do this" and I was like screw you guys, give me the damn drugs!!! It took him a while to get all of his stuff ready, and the worst of it was getting into place on the bed and not budging while bent over hugging a pillow through a couple of contractions. The shot with the local anesthetic was not much more than a pinch, and I don't recall if I even felt the actual epidural being placed. I mean, when you're in the middle of ridiculously painful contractions, every other discomfort pales in comparison! Once it was in, they had me lie flat on my back so the drugs would disperse evenly, this was tough too because it hadn't kicked in yet and laying on my back through contractions was HELL!!
But sure enough, within a few minutes the pain started fading and eventually all I felt of the contractions was painless pressure. I never lost sensation or control of my legs, I could wiggle my toes and pick my legs up, etc (though they wouldn't let me get out of bed). I was absolutely giddy that I felt so amazing, on top of the world, epidurals can be amazing!!!! I had such a fear of them because they can be a slippery slope to distress in babies, contractions slowing, and c-section, but in my case it did exactly what it was supposed to do and made me one happy mama!! The puking and shivering stopped, and I was able to relax again. Bliss! I questioned why I didn't do this hours ago, but reminded myself that I had wanted to know just how bad Pitocin-induced contractions were, and also that starting epidural too early could have slowed or stopped progression and caused many problems.
Ready to Push!
By 8pm I was fully dilated but not feeling the urge to push. My doc let me go another hour to see if the urge kicked in... It did not, so we did a practice push and I guess I passed the test cuz he said let's head on over to the OR (twins are required to be delivered in there due to the risk of emergency c-section, and also so they can fit the dozen or so people required - OB team, nurses, pediatrician for each baby, anesthesiologist, etc.)
It was odd to be in the OR. Very bright and sterile, many people but it didn't feel crowded or circus-esque surprisingly. I was on a flat surgical table, though the were able to tilt it a bit so my head was higher. Still, not as comfy as the bed in the labor room! We jokingly placed bets on how long it would take to push out the twinkies. I thought at least an hour and my OB bet me a sushi dinner on it being quicker, thank goodness that was a bet I didn't win haha!
They removed the bottom half of the bed and had my hubby holding my left leg and a medical student holding my right leg. I guess this is much better than stirrups? I got over the awkwardness of it pretty quick!
Once everyone was in place (my midwife was delivering with my OB next to her), they said I could start pushing with my next contraction. It was really odd to feel absolutely no pain and not really feel the need to push, but I have to say it was really really great!! Birth with no pain, yes please!!! They guided my pushes just like with my previous birth, telling me when I was pushing effectively and when to take a deep breath and keep going. It was extremely helpful! My OB asked if I was a swimmer (I'm not), he was apparently impressed with my breath control?? Ha!
Well, in about 15 minutes at 9:56pm Baby A (Emi, 6 pounds 11 ounces) popped out and was placed immediately on my chest and my hubby was instructed to cut her cord. I tried to stop them because I wanted to delay clamping til the cord finished pulsating, but they said they can't do this with twins because there's no time. They weren't joking either... After a few minutes of bonding and taking photos, Emi was taken to the bassinet behind me to be checked by the pediatrician and my OB "guided" Baby B down and into proper positioning with gentle massage on my belly. Just 6 minutes after Emi's debut (in just TWO PUSHES), Baby B (Mia, 5 pounds 9 ounces) was out at 10:02pm!! I simply couldn't believe how easy delivery of these girls was, I didn't realize a birth could be so easy and painless!!! I laughed, a lot, and cried. The joy and surprise was just overwhelming!!
With a total of 21 minutes of pushing, despite it being 2 babies, the recovery from this birth was WAY easier and quicker than my previous, which was 2 hours of pushing out an 8-pounder followed by pretty bad bleeding. Within 2 hours of this birth I was up (unassisted) and using the bathroom, pretty amazing for post-epidural! The after pains (especially when nursing) were much worse, but only lasted a week. The only pretty bad part was some back/hip pain that started while pregnant. I ended up seeing a chiropractor at 2 weeks postpartum, but it didn't help and at around 3 weeks it went away on its own, which was a huge relief!
In a nutshell...
Just because you're having twins does not mean you will have tons of problems throughout the pregnancy and deliver preemies via c-section. Yes, these can all happen, but there is no point in freaking out about the possibilities that hopefully will never happen (and even if they do happen, chances are mama and babies will all be perfectly fine in the end!). It is completely possible you will have a kick ass easy pregnancy, quick and wonderful birth, and amazing ride into the world of being a twin mama!! Good luck to you!!
And in case you missed it, check out my baby bump progression video, followed by the video recap of their birth!
We had a wonderful twin birth and recovery at Methodist!! Read our positive twin birth story here and watch the video embedded at the end of this post!!
We gave birth to our first child naturally 2.5 years ago at Roosevelt's Birthing Center after 53 hours of unmedicated labor (see his birth story here). Other than being unbelievably painful, it was an amazing experience and the staff and facility absolutely blew me away.
This time around, I wasn't quite up for venturing into Manhattan for checkups with my toddler in tow, or risking labor being too quick to make it in the hospital in time, not to mention with twins I'm "high risk" and thus not even eligible to deliver at the Birthing Center. So... we went with the uber popular Guirguis practice here in Bay Ridge who only deliver at New York Methodist Hospital in Park Slope, Brooklyn (5 miles from our home).
Going to a whole new hospital with completely different standards and procedures had me quite concerned, so I was relieved to finally go on their labor and delivery tour last week (daddy and toddler came with). I went armed with a list of questions and thank goodness was pleasantly surprised by their answers!! Here are the basics of what you can expect:
So there you have it! I literally breathed a sigh of relieve after finishing the hospital tour. I've heard such horror stories about some hospitals being so super strict about some things, making you have an IV in place, feeding your baby formula in the nursery without your consent, stuff like that. I've heard great things about Methodist from friends, saying the nurses are amazing. One mentioned two of her nurses had had home births themselves, so I can imagine (hope) that they won't be pushing pain meds on me (I'll ask if I need them, thank you!!).
Well, hopefully we have another 5 or 6 weeks til we end up at Methodist, let's keep these girlies cooking!!!
I could not have been more informed about my pregnancy and birth. There was no possible way! I read books, went to classes, listened to podcasts, you name it! Unfortunately, it stopped there. I totally forgot to prepare myself for what to do AFTER THE BABY ARRIVES!!! My husband and I were totally clueless. Thank god the learning curve is steep, but let's just say the first few days, weeks, let's face it months, were a blur of exhausted confusion!!
I had a hand-me-down copy of What To Expect The First Year, and read through the first chunk of it during middle of the night nursing sessions but eventually gave up on it. From there I pretty much used Doctor Google for random stuff like "Is it possible my baby's belly button didn't close" (haha yes, this was actually a concern of mine I brought to our pediatrician when my baby was 7 months old, you can see my blog about it!!). Unfortunately Doctor Google, while often helpful, can really bring out the paranoid hypochondriac in you and lead you very very astray.
I recently discovered Dr. Carey's Baby Care book which is really an amazing resource for new parents (or parents-to-be) to have on hand. It's basically a users guide for your baby's first year, covering the following topics:
Dr. Carey's Baby Care book is easy to read and concise - only 80 pages - so you get the really important info without all the filler that will put you to sleep or make your foggy new mom brain wander! It's also very very graphic and by this I mean it has 180 full color photos for when you have those "Is this normal??!??!?!!" freak out moments about your baby's rash, poop, or etc. Here's an example of what you'll find:
The photos are also really helpful in showing you how to care for your baby. Here, look, 4 steps to make the perfect baby burrito!!
Dr. Carey, a pediatrician in Ventura, California said, “In a world of information overload, I aimed to keep this book short and to the point. Despite the quick read, if a picture is worth a thousand words, one might say I spoke a lot. The photos that I share in my book depict items that I am asked about every day in my office.” I'm very visual myself, so this book really speaks to me and I think it will to you as well!!
Order your copy of Dr. Carey's Baby Care book on Amazon (also available for Kindle), or enter to win one along with a whole slew of cool products for baby, toddler, and mom in my $1500 value Mother Of Giveaways going on through May 26! Enter to win here!
*Disclaimer: Although I did receive these products free of charge, I was not compensated in any other way to do this product review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and completely unbiased.
The ability of stem cells to save lives via cord blood banking has proven successful for replacing abnormal or diseased cells, and treating life-threatening blood disorders such as leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma. In fact, since 1988 stem cell transplants have been used to treat some 80 diseases. Through cord blood banking, you can collect and preserve potentially lifesaving stem cells, and in doing so could one day save the life of your child or a blood relative.
You can bank even more stem cells by collecting them from two usable sources of stem cell-rich blood: the umbilical cord and the placenta. This service is called Placental and Cord Blood Banking, and it's available only from LifebankUSA.
As the only company that offers cord blood, placenta blood and tissue banking -- and the first to release placenta-derived stem cells for a successful transplant -- New Jersey-based LifebankUSA is a technological leader that is pioneering key medical innovations in the field.
LifebankUSA is currently holding a giveaway on Facebook. Three lucky winners will each receive one Britax Marathon 70-G3 Car Seat ($260 value)! ENTER HERE for your chance to win!! Giveaway ends December 31, 2013.
Sponsored Post Disclosure: Opinions are my own and not swayed by compensation of any kind. This was a sponsored post, but I limit such posts to companies that meet my moral standards and I feel I can really stand behind (hey, I'm not a sell out!).
Remember all of the postcards laying around at your OBGYN or midwife's office? The advertisements peppered through every pregnancy magazine? Cord blood banking has become a BIG business in the baby world. I honestly didn't give it much thought or put any time into researching my options, just shrugging it off as a luxury insurance policy for rich people's kids. I'm now second guessing my decision, not just about banking for my family but also for not donating. But of course, it's too late this time around >_<
Anyway, enough about me, I'm here to introduce you to LifebankUSA, the only company that offers cord blood, placenta blood and tissue banking -- and the first to release placenta-derived stem cells for a successful transplant. Based in New Jersey, LifebankUSA is a technological leader that is pioneering key medical innovations in the field. Owned by the Celgene Corporation, a world-class biopharmaceutical company, LifebankUSA also operates a robust donation program and collects cells from anywhere in the US for use primarily in advancing medical research.
Through cord blood banking, you can collect and preserve potentially lifesaving stem cells, and doing so could one day save the life of your child or a blood relative. You can bank even more stem cells by collecting them from 2 usable sources of stem cell-rich blood: the umbilical cord and the placenta. This service is called Placental and Cord Blood Banking, and it's available only from LifebankUSA. Whether you choose Placental and Cord Blood Banking or Cord Blood Banking alone, there are many important reasons to choose LifebankUSA.
The ability of stem cells to save lives via cord blood banking has proven successful for replacing abnormal or diseased cells, and treating life-threatening blood disorders such as leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma. In fact, since 1988 stem cell transplants have been used to treat some 80 diseases.
When you bank with LifebankUSA, tissue banking (tissue from the placenta) is included for free (though storage fees apply after the first year). Placental tissue contains mesenchymal cells (MSCs) and MSC-like cells. While stem cells found in cord blood and placenta blood have been used to successfully treat patients, there are currently no approved uses for stem cells derived from the umbilical cord or placenta tissue. Possible therapeutic applications are in early research stages and LifebankUSA's parent company is actively involved in their development.
LifebankUSA will store the placenta tissue for you as part of a complete banking package using cryogenic tanks for long-term preservation. In the event your baby's tissue cells are ever needed for future therapies, the tissue may then be processed and cultured using available technology at that time (clients will be responsible for the cost of shipping the tissue and any culturing or expansion of the cells). Tissue banking is just one more layer of protection and peace of mind offered by LifebankUSA.
I know expecting parents already have a million things to research and think about, but why not add placental and cord blood banking or donation onto your list?
LifebankUSA wants to give parents the chance to win one of the hottest baby items, the 4Moms mamaRoo. With the LifebankUSA mamaRoo Facebook contest (9/11 - 10/31/2013), TWO 4Moms mamaRoos (valued at $260 each) will be given away in a random drawing from entrants in this Facebook contest. The mamaRoo bounces up and down and sways from side to side, just like parents do when comforting their babies. It plays soothing nature sounds and has the option of plugging in your own MP3 player. Click here (or the banner below) for your chance to win the baby item that is on EVERY expectant Mom’s baby shower registry! This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. By entering the contest, you understand that you are providing your information to LifebankUSA and not to Facebook.
Sponsored Post Disclosure: I do my best to provide accurate and informative information through my blog but am only human and cannot be held responsible for the occasional oversight or being one-sided, outdated, or incorrect (yikes, I hope not, but please comment if I ever am!!). Opinions are my own and not swayed by compensation of any kind. This was a sponsored post, but I limit such posts to companies that meet my moral standards and I feel I can really stand behind (hey, I'm not a sell out!). Take my posts with a grain of salt and please be sure to do your research to come to your own informed decision for anything regarding you and your baby!
Royal (Baby) Inquisition
Did you hear did you hear?? Yesterday Wills & Kate had a bouncing baby..... BOY!!! A whopping 8 pounds 6 ounces. Let the frenzy of judgement and influence begin!
Of course when you get down to it, they are just a man and a woman, a husband and a wife, two brand spanking new parents who are clueless and scared and thrilled to have such a blessing enter their lives. But get real, they're not just any new parents, they're the freaking future King and Queen of England!! What they do, who they wear, how they act, it's all newsworthy! Every detail leaked about their little one will be headline news and impact the decisions of parents around the world! Let's get started with just a few decisions they'll make this week alone that we are all DYING to find out:
1) What kind of birth did they have? Vaginal (if so - medicated, unmedicated, assisted?) or C-Section. The reports are it was "natural" and not a cesarean. To me "natural" means out the hoo-ha with no drugs (pitocin, epidural, etc) or vacuum or forceps. When the news agencies say "natural" what they really mean is vaginal, they just don't want to use the word vaginal. VAG VAG VAGINAL!!! lol
2) Will the boy be circumcised? The word is probably not, because hello, it's Europe. Good on them. We didn't either. Seems to be moving a bit in that direction despite the AAP endorsing it recently. Sorry, I'm not gonna cut my son's penis just because it will slightly lower his risk of STD's and infection. How bout we teach him how to properly clean it and wear a condom. Sounds like a better approach to me! (No judgement to those who choose to circumcise for religion or to match daddy or for whatever reason! It'd definitely one of those tough personal decisions parents have to make!)
3) Will Kate breastfeed? Pump? Formula feed? Have a wet nurse? Will the little prince be fed straight up champagne and caviar from a golden bottle encrusted with diamonds and sapphires?
4) What name(s) did they choose? Can you just IMAGINE if they went with something wonky like Pickle. Ha! Wait, do they even have a last name? Wait, who cares...
5) Other questions that I doubt we'll ever have an answer to, but inquiring minds would LOVE to know... Did William cut the cord? Will they plant the placenta by a tree at Buckingham Palace, or encapsulate it for Kate? Did they save the cord blood? Did they do skin to skin kangaroo care after birth? Did the baby room in or get whisked away to the nursery? Will they co-sleep? Will they get a full time nanny? Will they waste no time and have a set of royal Irish twins???
So, what parenting decisions do you think they have made or hope they will make?? Do you think we will ever know, or should we even be privy to such private details? Personally, I would love to know every single detail because I am so completely fascinated with the Royals, but frankly I don't think it's any of our business... booooo....
Reflection: 6 Months as a Mama
First of all, a big HAPPY HALF BIRTHDAY to my little man!! I can't believe just 6 months ago I was enduring the biggest most horrendous pain of my life and gifted with the biggest joy of my life!! What a mixed bag of emotions the birthing day is!! I'd like to take a moment to reflect on some of the ups and downs of the last 6 months...
Downs: Lack of sleep, lack of free time (I miss my bazillion TV shows I was addicted to!), lack of alone time with hubby, extreme frustration during the witching hour (evening time when Kenzo's at his crankiest), lack of money (we haven't really dipped into our savings but I do our financials at the end of each month and I miss seeing it actually go UP - missing the dual income).
Ups: Seeing Kenzo's constant development both physically and emotionally, his laughs and giggles and smiles, all my awesome new mama friends, juggling baby and Miny Moe and this blog and Mommy Nearest is a struggle but really fulfilling, feeling more a part of society (we go to the weekly library classes, strangers say hello on the street, I'm active in the local community through FB's Bay Ridge Parents, Bay Ridge Baby Mamas, and Bay Ridge Swappies).
Best of Times:
* Witnessing Kenzo roll over for the first time - I screamed SO LOUD!!!
* Tickle time - depending on his mood he's really ticklish on his tummy, armpits, and inner thighs. His laughter is contagious and we both go nuts for a good 10 minutes!
* Introducing Kenzo to family and friends for the first time, I feel like such a proud mommy!
* Finally making the decision to quit my job and not go back after maternity leave - best decision ever and such a relief once it was finally made!
Worst of Times:
* Diaper blowouts and poo explosions - all over his back, on my hands, on the wall... ick!!!
* Screaming the ENTIRE drive back from NJ after hubby's basketball game. Eventually mama was crying too!
* Trip to the ER at 4 days postpartum (for bilirubin check) - what a nightmare and so scary!
* Physically for me, the whole 1st 2 weeks postpartum, yuck yuck ouch ouch no fun at all!!
These first 6 months with Kenzo have flown by, I can't even believe it!! Sometimes I wish it'd slow down - he's growing so fast and I feel like if I blink he's going to be graduating high school and leaving us >_< But at the same time, it's so amazing watching him grow and change and learn new things! I guess we just have to savor each moment, take tons of photos and videos, and have another baby when this baby is no longer a baby! haha!!
So how about you?? What have been your ups and downs as a new mom?
About Me ^_^
I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1). This blog is chock full of product reviews, family travel guides, and giveaways galore! It's also home to Bay Ridge Families, and several guides focused on kid-friendly activities and guides to South Brooklyn, Hudson Valley, and New Jersey, as well as family-friendly destinations beyond the NYC area (check the menu bar!)