Week 25

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First off, let me say a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone that sent me and email or left me a comment on last weeks baby post. It was hard to write all that but your responses really meant the world to me. It is so encourage to hear from others and of course other moms who are going thru the same or have gone thru it already. I really feel like the community part of blogging is the best part. YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME!!

Whew! This week has been a whirlwind and well I don’t really see it slowing down anytime soon. I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about important choices we need to make about the baby. Birth, food, diapers, toys, etc… I have been reading a lot of birth stories when I have the time and I am trying to decided what it is that I want for us. I know I want to have a natural birth. I have decided that but there is so much more than that to decide. I have read about the Bradley method, hypnobirthing, and others but I am not sure what I think is the best yet. This is where I am leaving it up to you guys this week. I would love to hear some of your stories and experiences and what you recommend. Even if you haven’t had a baby yet but know someone who has and know things they use or have done- let me hear it!

Did you have a natural birth? How did you decide to go about that?

Did you breast feed? For how long?

Did you use cloth or disposable diapers? What kind do you recommend?

Did you use only wood toys? or did it not matter to you?

Is there any vegetarian moms out there that are raising their babies that way as well?

Did anyone make their own baby food (vegetarian)?

I would love to hear from you guys!! I love this community and I love hearing what you have to say!

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Dear Baby Girl!
I feel like we are getting so close to seeing you. We are getting so anxious for your arrival. I only have 3.5 weeks left of school and I know as soon as its over the summer is going to fly by and then next thing you know you are going to be here! There is so much to do before you come!!

We have been planning for your baby shower a lot this week. I am not one for being the center of attention so a typical shower where I sit in front of people and open gifts makes me so nervous. I really wanted your dad to be a part of it as well, so we decided on having a summer bbq party to celebrate you coming instead. All our friends and family will be invited and its going to be so awesome. I can’t wait to be surrounded by so many loved ones. Its going to be old school country picnic themed. Vintage table cloths, picnic tables, mint lemonade, popsicles, chalk board menus and sack races. hehe. I am so excited. We are having it in Grammy’s backyard in the country.

Your Auntie(maybe both!) are coming to see your for the first time this weekend! I hope she can feel you dancing around, she would be so excited if she got to feel that. Your are going to love them. Auntie Carrie will take you on hikes and adventures and she will have crazy dance parties with you. Auntie Amy will be so good to you- she will make you laugh and teach you all the best music and all about riding bikes.

We were having a dance party this morning in the car together. I was listening to some French pop music (Yelle) and you were dancing around. I think you liked it a lot! hehe. You also move around a lot when your dad talks to you. Whenever he gets close to my belly and talks you start kicking and moving. Its like you know its him and you want him to know you know. Ahh it melts my heart every time. He gets so excited and always tells you, you are doing a great job. He really thinks you are super baby.

Keep dancing little one!
Love your,
Mom

  1. Dear Jen: best photos ever!

    I’m not a mum yet, but I can tell you from my experience that I was breasfed fro 2 years and I’m insanely healthy 🙂
    I didn’t have many toys but my dad made most of them and they were the best.

    I was a very happy child and am now a very satisfied adult. My mam stayed at home till I was 14 (they’re pretty young parents so that worked out OK) and I got the best education at school and at home. This has helped me a lot.
    I’m sure your daughter will be very witty, smart and creative. She gets to have all of your teacher super-powers!

    From Milan, Italy, a huge hug.

  2. Hi Jen!
    Here ya go – for what it’s worth:
    Did you have a natural birth? How did you decide to go about that? YES!!! It was awesome – the best experience of my entire life, really. I had an amazing midwife. I switched from an OB/GYN to a midwife around 14 wks into my pregnancy because I decided I wanted to deliver my baby at the Roosevelt Hospital Birth Center in NYC and the only caregiver I could find who took my insurance was a midwife. Was a great decision for me. The birth itself went terrific. My entire labor was about 6 hours, I was 6 days past my due date when my water broke. I got to the birth center at 11:15 pm, delivered my daughter at 3 am. The best part of the natural birth for me was feeling what was happening with my body, being able to walk around and manage my contractions in different positions, not hooked up to machines and also I had no tearing or stitches!!

    Did you breast feed? For how long? I breastfed until my daughter was about 6 1/2 months. I wish I had gone longer.

    Did you use cloth or disposable diapers? What kind do you recommend? Disposable. I am lazy! But I hear great things about the “g” diapers.

    Did you use only wood toys? or did it not matter to you? I have a lot of wood toys and mainly buy those but family and friends have given us great plastic toys that my daughter loves.

    Is there any vegetarian moms out there that are raising their babies that way as well?

    Not vegetarian.

    Did anyone make their own baby food (vegetarian)? I made all my own baby food and a lot of it was vegetarian and a lot of it wasn’t. The veggie dishes were the easiest to prepare and so yummy. I liked the Annabel Kormel cookbook 100 Best Baby Purees and Baby Superfoods.

    Good luck! You will be great!! xooxo

  3. Jen you are looking so great!! I can’t believe you only have 3.5 weeks left!! So exciting. Meanwhile, I don’t claim to be any expert but since you asked these are my opinions on your questions (but they literally are just my opinions!):
    Did you have a natural birth? How did you decide to go about that?
    With my first I desperately wanted a natural birth, planned for it and never considered anything else. But my delivery was hard and long, and because of my plan I left it too long before I took pain killers, and it made my life a lot harder. So though it’s a wonderful thing to have a natural birth if you can, make sure you keep an open mind about it, because sometimes you can’t go without the pain killers, and there’s really no shame in that. I know too many women who feel like they “failed” because they couldn’t go all natural, and that’s just silly. I just figure, aim for it, but don’t make yourself suffer too much, there really isn’t any point.
    Did you breast feed? For how long?
    I breastfed my first for 9 months, and I’m currently breastfeeding my second (he’s 3 mths). My decision on length was really to do with teeth, when they start to bite it’s time to stop (my opinion only).
    Did you use cloth or disposable diapers? What kind do you recommend?
    I was originally going to use cloth diapers, but after testing it out I found that it ended up being about the same cost over the long term, and was 10 times the grossness and effort. Especially when you’ve just gotten home from the hospital, you don’t want to be worried about soaking diapers, doing extra loads of laundry etc.
    Did you use only wood toys? or did it not matter to you?
    Didn’t use wood toys because babies stick everything in their mouths, and its not always easy to find ones that have been painted safely.
    Did anyone make their own baby food (vegetarian)?
    I made all my own baby food and it’s so easy and so much better tasting than store bought. I figure if the store bought makes me gag then I’m not giving it to my kid! Anyway, a blender and a stick blender are your two best friends. Other than that, I just took whatever veggies we’d made for dinner (less any topping or spicings or anything like that) and blended them, put into icecube trays (easy portions) and froze them. It’s not hard and doesn’t take any extra time. Meanwhile, definitley go the Annabel Kormel – I have it (also the feeding your baby and toddler) and they’re AWESOME!
    Anyway, those are my little thoughts! At the end of the day though, don’t let all of us influence you, it’s all up to you, you’re her mom and it’s your opinion that matters!!! xoxo

  4. i have thoroughly enjoyed following along with your progress, i have never given birth but i have been following That Wife and she did it all natural and has an amazing story to tell, perhaps you have already found her, wishing you the best of luck!!

  5. Nicole •

    Congratulations! I read your blog daily and I just have to comment on this subject. I am the mother of a wonderful, almost 3 yr old boy and wanted to share some insights.

    Did you have a natural birth? How did you decide to go about that? No, I had a C-section for a lot of reasons that were out of my control. I won’t go into detail (if you want to know details, I will share AFTER you give birth). But I will say that whatever you decide, be open to change and read up on everything. Having a baby taught me that we cannot anticipate what our bodies will do at birth and we need to be open and flexible. Otherwise, you will set yourself up for lots of disappointment and that will take away from the whole experience.

    Did you breast feed? For how long? Yes, I breastfed for 14 1/2 months. It was a wonderful experience. The first two weeks are the hardest; if you can make it through, you are golden. (BTW, don’t believe it when people tell you that if you don’t breastfeed immediately, they will never feed properly. I didn’t get to breastfeed my son until the day after I had him and it went just fine.)

    Did you use cloth or disposable diapers? What kind do you recommend? Disposable, I was too tired and lazy to clean diapers. Pampers Swaddlers are the best.

    Did you use only wood toys? or did it not matter to you? We have a mix. I buy wooden when I’m buying but family and friends have purchased both. I do love all Melissa & Doug products though.

    Is there any vegetarian moms out there that are raising their babies that way as well? Not vegetarian

    Did anyone make their own baby food (vegetarian)? No. I used Earth’s Best Organic foods.

    Hope this is helpful. In the end, you guys will have to do what’s right for you and your baby.

  6. I haven’t had a baby, but I recently watched a really great documentary called the Business of Being Born which was so informative! You should check it out. It takes a great look at the birthing process in the States.

  7. Aristella •

    Did you have a natural birth? How did you decide to go about that? I thought I would, but was prepared for anything. My best advice is: plan for the best and be mentally flexible. The only thing that I really wanted was a healthy baby, and I got beautiful healthy boy, who is the light of my life!

    Did you breast feed? For how long? 15 months, it slowed down after introducing solids, and then dwindled naturally at a year until we were both ready to be done, and I had no pain, and no stress about it.

    Did you use cloth or disposable diapers? What kind do you recommend? I did disposable, but I think I would like to try cloth my second time. I was too overwhelmed to figure out washing diapers with a first new baby.

    Did you use only wood toys? or did it not matter to you? You’ll learn pretty quickly that you don’t have much control over what your kids play with. Even if you say wood, someone will give you some cheap plastic shit that your kid will LOVE and your heart will break at the very thought of taking it away from them, and it will give you this immense sense of joy and personal high when you see how your kid lights up with that piece of plastic junk (or your buttons, or your super-cute necklace) and interacts with it and the world and you wish it were that nice swedish wood toy that you spent way too much on, but well, now you understand not to sweat the small stuff.

    Is there any vegetarian moms out there that are raising their babies that way as well? We are veggie, and my kid is now old enough to make his own choices on some food. I don’t control him, and what he does at someone else’s (grandma’s) house, but we don’t make meat or serve it in our house.

    Did anyone make their own baby food (vegetarian)? I made almost all my own food, cheap and really easy, get a food processor and some ice cube trays. Zap the leftovers, pour, freeze, done. I also bought some for convenience when traveling, on day trips, to keep in the car, etc.

  8. rebekah •

    These are the best prego pictures yet! i love how happy you look. i love the one with kevin. i haven’t had a baby yet, but a friend of mine did home birth with midwife and does cloth diapers and organic food making (not veggie though … she does the weston price stuff, as do i) but they are all very happy little babies. but – i mean, you have to do what you have to do. what you do is best for YOUR family. being a nanny for 10 years taught me that. everyone is different.

  9. Hi, Jen! LOVE today’s post! While I cannot really answer any of the questions you asked – because I’ve never been pregnant – I would greatly appreciate you doing a “follow-up” post to this one! I would really enjoy hearing the advice everyone gives you! I am getting married NEXT WEEK (eeeeek!!!!!) and we’ve been talking A LOT about starting a family. Even though I think we are going to wait a little while before we start trying for children, I think it would be great hearing what your readers have to say about their experiences!

  10. These weekly baby pictures just keep on getting cuter and cuter!

  11. I am not a regular commenter but I have to give you a reccomendation to try Hypnobabies! I had my second son med free in January using it (despite being on pitocin). It even made my pregnancy more enjoyable and healthy. I just did the home study and it turned out great. Good luck!

  12. Erin A. •

    Hi Jen! g-diapers look pretty cool although I do know anyone who has used them.

  13. I adore your baby posts. The letters are just so touching, and the pictures are just too cute! I am loving the shower/bbq idea. If you don’t like the limelight it definitely takes some of the pressure off and makes it more fun! Looking forward to seeing pics.

  14. NatalieW •

    I love your pictures this week! You look so beautiful and I can see how much your husband loves you by the way he takes your picture.

    Did you have a natural birth? How did you decide to go about that?
    I am 15 weeks right now and preparing for a natural birth. I just finished reading the Bradley book, Husband Coached Childbirth (it’s excellent), and I will be taking Bradley classes in July. The classes last 12 weeks and will take us almost up to the delivery date, so I feel like my husband and I will be as prepared as we possibly can be. I decided to go the natural route because of the rate of inductions, c-sections, and episiotomies in hospitals. I also want the experience to closely resemble my ideal birth, and most OB/GYNs and hospitals have to follow a protocol and don’t care what you want to do.

    Did you breast feed? For how long? I plan to breastfeed for as long as possible, up to 2 years if I can.

    Did you use cloth or disposable diapers? What kind do you recommend? As much as I’d love to use cloth, my husband said he will never change a stinky diaper unless it is disposable. 🙂

    Did you use only wood toys? or did it not matter to you? I prefer wood toys, but I know my family and my husband’s family will probably buy mostly plastic. I guess we’ll try to find a balance somewhere.

    Not a vegetarian.

    Did anyone make their own baby food (vegetarian)?
    I do plan to make my own baby food. I know many people who make their own and they said all you really need is a blender and ice cube trays. I plan to set aside one or two days a month and make all the baby food I’ll need for that month and freeze it in ice cube trays.

    Good luck finding the route that will work for you and your husband! I’m sure you will figure out exactly what is right for you and your baby.

  15. NatalieW •

    One more thing, I just read Your Best Birth by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein. It presents all of your options in a balanced way and gives you lists of questions to ask your doctor or midwife.

  16. your baby is going to be a dancer someday hehe

  17. Alexa •

    Hi Jen, I’ve never posted a comment but when you asked the question about raising your baby vegetarian I felt obligated to put my two cents in.

    I do not have a child but I was raised by a vegetarian mom. She chose not to raise me vegetarian and I really think it was for the best. Once I reached high school I was able to make the choice to go vegetarian by myself. Being a vegetarian is a very personal choice and I feel that if I would have been raised that way I would have felt a little forced into it and a bit resentful. I am able to tell people I am a vegetarian proudly now, whereas as a kid being a vegetarian I feel like I would have been a bit embarrassed. Growing up eating what every other kid eats I think its an important part of figuring out who you are and what you like.

    Just my opinion though, take it for what it’s worth! I know you’ll make all the best decisions regarding your baby girl, whatever you choose.

    Alexa

  18. Hi Jen!

    It has been so fun for me to stay tuned into your blog as you make your way through your pregnancy! I am 32 weeks pregnant right now, so it is always exciting to see how you are progressing in comparison 🙂 (And of course I like to see each of your outfits with a belly!)

    I am planning on having a natural childbirth as well, but asside from that not many decisions have been made. All I know is that hypnobirthing will not be an option becuase of the facilities. I am also planning on breastfeeding and have heard all sorts of different opinions about length and etc.

    So just let me tell you, I am so thankful that you have so many that are willing to give their input and advice as your questions come up (because they help to answer my questions as well!)

    Love your posts! Endure through your final weeks of school!

    Brit

  19. I’ve never had a baby, nor am I pregnant. But, almost all of my friends/family have been/are. I know that I think every single one of my friends opted for a natural birth, and only about one of them actually had it! Don’t get TOO serious or your heart set on a birth plan, because once the water breaks and you’re in the hospital, a lot of things can change. Like emergency C-sections, etc. A friend of mine gave birth to her son last Dec and she wanted a natural birth, but she was in so much panic because of the pain that they had to give her an epidural just to sedate her since her blood pressure was skyrocketing, so so much for that plan! But yeah, my mother had both children natural, and was fine.

    I’m really curious how you raise kids vegetarian as well. Most of the little ones I know will almost only eat meat – picky eaters. I suppose if you always raise them on veggies, that’s what they will like by default. I’m very interested to see how you do with that one, because it’s something I’d like to do if I had a baby too. Good for you for just getting through your pregnancy a vegetarian still! I know so many vegetarian friends of mine broke that when they were pregnant.

    Also, on the cloth diaper thing, a lot of people prefer disposable simply because it’s easier. Well, it’s very costly (to the tune of $3000) per kid. Also, cloth diapers are “green” etc. I think the biggest issue is the constant washing of the diapers and the inconvenience at times. I know that here (Canada) they have cloth diaper washing services. So you put your baby’s soiled diaper in the genie or whatever they provide, then the service picks them up and washes them every week. My mom used this service back in the late 70’s/early 80’s also! So it’s been around for a while, and I’m sure one exists in your area. That might help in the beginning at least. If it were ME, I’d use cloth diapers almost all the time, but I’d still have a stash of disposables for times when it makes sense convience-wise. Such as when going on outings where it’s not easy to stash a cloth dirty diaper somewhere in your baby bag etc. I can’t think of a good example now, but possibly on trips or something. Also, beware of baby rash with cloth diapers. My friend is a pediatric nurse and sash they can cause a lot of diaper rash compared to disposables – not sure exactly why.

    That’s all the second-hand info I have for you!

    Good luck and happy reading!

  20. Erykah •

    You look amazing!!

  21. Sorry, I know I already posted, but I’m only now reading other’s comments. I noticed a lot of people saying they were freezing their ice-cube trays with baby food. I suggest if you’re going to do that to make sure the plastic is freezer safe. It’s really dangerous to freeze or heat (to boiling) plastic because at those temperatures chemicals leech into the foods. Just try freezing a plastic water bottle, then take it out and let it melt to room temperature. You will notice a lot of little while particles when you shake it – those are carcinogenic. I don’t want to be “cancer scare” person but it’d suck to go to all the effort of making your own healthy baby food only for it to be toxic by freezing in plastic. Solutions, try freezing in glass instead (dont pour HOT directly in and freeze, it’ll crack). And if you do have plastic, a good trick is to take some parchment paper and line the plastic with parchment, THEN pour the food in, and microwave in a microwave safe dish. Even if YOU eat/drink from plastic that’s been frozen or heated to extreme temperatures, you are more resistant that a growing baby, so keep it in mind. A friend of mine did this ice-cube thing five years ago with her son and now regrets it. It’s rather ironic to not have kids play with plastic toys, but then to have them eating from it, right?

    Also, about preparing food a month in advance, make sure that the foods you are freezing can stay fresh in there for a month. Not all foods can, and you don’t want to be eating stale/freezer burn food or to let your hard work go to waste!

    http://www.fsis.usda.gov/factsheets/focus_on_freezing/index.asp

  22. Anuska •

    Beautiful letter…. and.. the photos are just amazing. Love your sincere smile…:D

  23. Did you have a natural birth? How did you decide to go about that? I really wanted a natural birth but it wasn’t in the cards for me. I had to be induced. But I did go 8 hours on Pitocin with no pain meds!! People thought I was crazy. It wasn’t what I had envisioned in my mind but it all worked out in the end. I agree with others that you have to be flexible. Having a birth plan is awesome but just know it can change quickly depending on the situation. I really do hope to have a natural birth with my next one though.

    Did you breast feed? For how long? Yes, I am still breastfeeding my 14 month old now. (Though we are down to once a day.) She was exclusively breastfed until about 6 months and I had to return to work so she got soy formula and I pumped as much as I could. It was really a struggle in the beginning to get her to latch and I could of easily given up but I’m glad I stuck to it. (I ended up having to use a nipple shield to be able to breastfeed but I was just glad I was able to do it in the end, no matter how I had to!)

    Did you use cloth or disposable diapers? What kind do you recommend? Disposable. Pampers Swaddlers are great in the beginning but now we just use the Target brand.

    Did you use only wood toys? or did it not matter to you? We have a varied mix of both. I work at a Montessori school so I am a huge supporter of wooden and natural toys but people will buy you plastic no matter how hard you try to avoid them. Luckily, she ended up not being that interested in some of them so I just put them away and left out the good stuff like blocks, puzzles, etc. Plus once they love something, it is to hard to take it away so just go with it. I LOVE Melissa & Doug products and Montessori Services has some great things to. My daughter’s favorite when she was tiny was Sophie the Giraffe, she would gnaw on that thing forever.

    Is there any vegetarian moms out there that are raising their babies that way as well?
    Not vegetarian.

    Did anyone make their own baby food (vegetarian)? I tried for awhile when we first started her on solids but when I went back to work I just couldn’t keep it up. But I tried to use mostly organic baby food.

    Congrats again and good luck! It’s an adventure for sure, the good and the not so good. Just be confident in YOUR choices and don’t let people persuade you away from them. You guys will do great!

  24. Carey •

    I just had my first baby 6 weeks ago and it was a really great experience. I wasn’t opposed to having meds/epidural, but I ended up not needing one! We took hypnobirthing classes – I wasn’t super great about practicing, but it ended up being a terrific way for me to get through labor, thanks to the breathing techniques – I highly recommend it. I had a few half doses of nubain throughout the day, paired with relaxing in the tub, which was great. Labor started at midnight and I had Bridget at 7pm! Delivery lasted all of about 15 minutes! Know that it is possible for first timers to have good experiences – it was a great blessing.

  25. Birth: I knew from the beginning that I wanted to deliver without drugs and I wanted to deliver vaginally. I read tons of birth stories, mostly because I was super interested, but I think it helped me understand that there are all different kinds of birth experiences out there. It also helped that I understood that a c-section may have to happen and I was prepared for that. My husband and I were prepared to do everything in our power to avoid it, but I wanted to mentally prepare because I’ve heard from people who never imagined getting a c-section, then had to because of distress to the baby, and they are still having a hard time getting over the trauma of the experience. I also watched birthing videos. So helpful! I never knew about birthing the placenta. I never knew babies were covered with vernix (a protective layer, some call it “natures best moisturizer”). I never knew that it was important for babies to be put directly on the mother’s chest, before cleaning and weighing etc. Finally, in the last few weeks/days, I started meditating with my baby (still in my belly!) and explaining to her what was going to happen—that my water would break and my body would start contracting and pushing her out. I told her to trust her instincts and move with me and we would help each other and be there for each other. I firmly believe that we all hold a the knowledge of all women before us, so the birthing experience is in you—you just have to trust your body and call it forward.

    I wrote about my birth story here: http://welovetocreate.blogspot.com/2009/10/birth-story-part-1-induction.html

    Breastfeeding: This is SUPER important to me. This can be kind of a political issue for some people and I don’t like to make it into that. For our family: breast is best. Because I can produce milk, I choose to feed that to my daughter. She is 8months old and I have no plans of stopping. I plan to let her ween herself when she’s ready. Well, check back in at 18months and we’ll see if I’m still as excited about it. Ha. In the beginning it was super hard. I thought it would come perfectly naturally to me (see: trusting my intuition), but it didn’t. She latched improperly and was only sucking on the tip of my nipple, instead of the whole aereola going into her mouth. My nipples were cracked and bleeding. UGH! It sucked so bad. I cried during many feedings. Finally I figured out, through web searching and La Leche Legue, how to latch her properly. After that it was smooth sailing. I work away from the home two days a week, so I pump for those days, which is kind of a pain, but worth it in my opinion.

    Diapers: We use a cloth diaper service. They bring us fresh diapers once a week and take away the dirty ones. They’re a little bulkier than disposables, so her booty is huge compared to her little legs, but I think it’s kinda cute. The diaper bag is also a little heavier when we go out and we have to pack dirty diapers home with us, but I’m used to it now and don’t mind. Imagining all those diapers in landfills just makes me sad. The cost is only slightly higher than if we were buying disposables.

    Toys: Ah, this one makes me chuckle. When I was pregnant my stance was this: only wooden toys, no plastic, no electronic… We’ll never have the TV on in front of her, we’ll sing songs and read books all the time. The fact of the matter is that you can’t change yourself completely and some habits are hard to kill. There have been times when my husband is watching basketball and my little girl is playing around on the floor and will stare at the TV. It still makes me cringe, but it’s not for a long time, so I try not to worry about it. She also has plastic toys, but I try to make sure they are BPA free, or natural rubber, etc. I also wash everything! I don’t read to her constantly, but we sing a lot of songs. We mostly let her explore on her own, sitting with her and guiding her away from the electronics (she belines for the remotes for some reason!) They get to an age where they want to put everything in their mouths and I’d rather let her explore and maybe eat a little dirt along the way, rather than constantly tell her “no, no”. You just have to do what’s comfortable for you (in every arena of parenting) and make the right choice for your baby.

    Food: We eat meat, so I don’t know about vegetarianism in babies, but I know it must work—look at India! I’ve heard that vegan diets are unhealthy for babies, because babies need a lot of fat and protein in their early months/years and milk, yogurt and cheese are the best sources. I don’t know a lot about this. I’m sure others will chime in! As for making your own food—it’s super easy! I read the book “Real Food for Mother and Baby” and loved it. She advocates feeding your baby meat, which isn’t in-line with your philosophy, but she also advocates feeding your baby real, whole foods—basically the same thing you and your husband already eat. Actually, having my daughter has forced me to eat more healthy (like my parents taught me to), so that I set a good example for her and so I have food around that she can eat. I feed her: hard boiled egg yolks mixed with a little olive oil, plain yogurt (flavored ones have a lot of added sugar), any ripe fruit either sliced so she can gum it (have to watch her, but 90% of the time if there’s a piece she might choke on she’ll spit it out. babies are quite good at preventing themselves from choking.) or mashed up in the mini-blender, roasted veggies either whole or blended, oatmeal (blended dry to make it really smooth and soaked for a couple hours before cooking to help break down the starch) and I recently started giving her water with a tiny bit of prune juice in it to help soften her stools. Once we started introducing whole food she got a little plugged up, poor girl.

    I just read Katelyn Likes This’s comment about freezing food and I think she makes a really good point about the leeching of plastic. I usually make food on-demand, so I don’t have experience with this. I wonder if silicone ice-cube trays pose the same problem?

    I just want to say ‘thank you’ for sharing your experience so openly with all of us. I love checking in with your fashion posts and really appreciate how honest you are. I think you’re going to make an awesome Mama!

  26. HI! Congrats on your new addition!

    Thought I would share my journey into motherhood…

    I had both of my sons with a midwife, and the experience was WONDERFUL!! This is what I felt the most comfortable with. I had a wonderful team of midwifes who made the process completely about me and a safe delivery for both of us. That is what I liked about them, they treated birth as a natural process and planned for success…
    This is a very personal decision and I would recommend giving birth where you feel the MOST COMFORTABLE! When you give birth it is VERY important to feel safe so you can release your baby into the world gently!
    I liked being at home for this reason, plus when it was all over everyone left and I had my home to rest at. Plus, the midwife gave care after the birth too. She came to me!! BONUS!
    I did the whole cloth diaper route and it was nice, A LOT OF WORK! With my second, I did the all natural disposables from Whole Foods, LOVE THEM!!!
    With my first, I made all my homemade baby food with a hand held food mill, LOVED IT!!! With my second, he started eating table food mashed up and did just FINE!!
    Lots of choices out there, you will find your way…. That is the best part, you get to make these very personal decisions for you and your child ! BEST WISHES!!

  27. Jen, these pictures radiate gorgeousness and love and light and happiness! I’m so excited for you 🙂

    I’m not a mom, but I am an aspiring doula. I’m about to start reading The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin, and it’s supposed to be amazing both for doulas (like my future self),for your other support people (Kev!), and for you! I’m totally biased but would recommend you think about having a doula yourself… they rock!

  28. I’d like to recommend this blog: pacingthepanicroom.blogspot.com/

    Good luck with your decision making! x

  29. Hi Jen. I’ve been lurking for a while, but I thought Id come out the woodwork for this since I really would’ve liked more advice on some these issues before I had to choose. Most people find it odd that I has a planned c-section (because I’m terrified of childbirth) given that I’m a breastfeeding, babywearing, green vegan mom. That was the best choice for me and I don’t regret it all, but it doesn’t qualify me to give you advice on natural birth obviously.

    However, I started using bumgenius diaper after E’s umbilical cord fell off and I’ve been so so so happy with them. The laundry is not big deal (even my lazy boyfriend agrees), and diaper rashes are non existent. The initial investment is steep, but so worth it–especially if, like us, you’re going to have another you can use them on. My only complaint about them is that the velcro wore out. But they do have a new style called the FLIP that uses snaps instead and they’re great as well. Even having to replace the velcro on the diapers, I love them and would do it again.

    E is now almost 13 months old and has been vegan his whole life. I made his baby food when he was younger and now he eats whatever we eat–and constantly! The kid eats everything from tofu egg salad to black-eyed pea coconut curry. He is a little on the small side–which tends to be the case for breastfed babies and veggie kids are small for while, then start catching up as they get older–but he’s way ahead of the curve developmentally. And, I’m constantly surprised by his willingness to eat anything. Plus, I feel good about the way we eat and know that I’m feeding him real food and teaching him to live the values that we profess–in terms of the environment, health, and compassion.

    Last, we use a lot of wood toys and new plastic in particular does concern me. Plus, it’s ugly. However, I focused more on getting toys second hand. Older plastic isn’t as big a problem in terms of off-gassing. There is less waste that way, etc. But, seriously, the wooden toys out there (which Gilt often carries, by the way, if you are a member) are awesome. And I truly believe they encourage play better since they don’t do as much of the playing for them. I asked people not to get him toys associated with movies or tv shows, or toys that make a lot of noise. People have been happy to do so, I think.

    Good luck with all these exciting choices. We just found out that we;re doing it again and I’m just as excited this time!

  30. Hi Jen!

    First off, congratulations on this very exciting time in your life!

    I have not given birth (I’m not even pregnant!), but I am a Montessori teacher (ages 2 1/2 to 6), which means I have some strong beliefs on childhood, so I thought I’d chime in on diapers and toys.

    First off, USE CLOTH DIAPERS! They are so much better for the environment, but more importantly, they’re better for your child. Paper diapers never allow your child to experience a wet feeling, which really hinders the whole potty training process. Cloth diapers allow your baby, from an early age, to realize what wet feels like, and that it is much more preferable to be dry. Then when it comes time to potty train (Montessorians typically recommend potty training around 18 months, or whenever your child shows an interest), it’ll be so much easier, since you don’t have to teach them not to like wet pants! TRUST ME, cloth diapers are the way to go.

    As far as toys go, wooden toys are best. If you give your child beautiful things that will last and grow with them, they’ll treat them with care. If you give them crappy plastic toys, they’ll trash them. Buy toys that invite purposeful activity, imagination, etc. Picking quality toys shows a respect for your child, and teaches them to appreciate beauty!

    A really great website for quality wooden toys is http://www.michaelolaf.com/store/joyfulchild.html

    Children are so wonderful. Good luck to you and your husband! 🙂

  31. Tina B •

    I had to have a c-section since Evan was breach. They asked if I wanted to turn him manually on my tummy, but said it would hurt worse than the c-section and he might just turn his little self right back around. I had heard stories how the bonding is so much different in a bad way. Now, I have not given birth again so don’t know the other side, but I just made the best out of it and never thought of the negative…I mean I had a healthy baby boy! and while they were taking care of me Evan’s dad was taking care of him. I had nothing to complain about and saw it as a great experience!

    For diapers I did/do disposable. What you may find that even though some people LOVE a certain kind, it won’t work for your baby girl. For Evan he had to use White Cloud (walmart) because he peed through all the other brands. With Mike, it is Huggies all the way. Just don’t stock up on one kind cuz the kind you may love may not actually work for your baby girl.

    I breast fed for 3 months. I wish it had been longer also. I got some infections and just had to stop. I really, really, really wish I had seen a La Leche ‘counselor’ to actually teach me, to have someone I could ask questions and not feel dumb about at all! I mean friends are good to ask that have had babies, but your body is your own and to have someone specifically help you in person and show you with the baby is what I wish I did! If for some reason you can’t breast feed, due to allergies with the baby, don’t feel bad AT ALL!!! It happens and you have to do what’s best for baby and then dad can bond too!!

    The pics are great!! 🙂

  32. Missy •

    looks like you are getting TONS of advice for your questions! i didnt read everyone’s responses so if i’m repeating what others have said, sorry! I had no desire for a natural child birth- i wanted an epidural as soon as i could get one and went into my induction (3 days past due date and dealing with BAD pitting edema- my legs were like temperpedic mattresses!) having a feeling i’d have a c-section because my mom and sister both had to have c-sections. i was open for anything and labored quite a while before we realized Mikayla’s heart rate was dropping too much- she wasn’t tolerating labor well at all so we did an emergency c-section. i know u want to have a completely natural birth and i’ll pray thats what happens, but just be prepared that your plans may not be God’s plan for bringing this baby into the world-
    as far as breastfeeding- i exclusively breastfed for Mikayla’s entire first year of life- i pumped while at work and never had to use formula- it was a savings financially and breastmilk is just so much better for babies! my goal was 1 year but was willing to continue until 18 months if Mikayla wanted to but on her first birthday, she had no interest anymore! as for diapers, disposable all the way- unless you are ready for lots of messes and LOTS of laundry (or paying someone a service to wash them) just go disposable. you may need to try different brands to see what fits the best- we always liked pampers and luvs. target brand gave mikayla a rash and huggies just don’t fit her that great. toys- well, depends on what the wooden toys you are looking into are- we have lots of plastic toys because they are more readily available and they are much easier to wash- the bright colors (well, black, white and red actually) are great as the babies are young too- they help stimulate their vision! i work in Early Intervention and we’ve never recommended wooden over plastic or visa versa to parents. go with what you are comfortable with! and as far as food goes, i’m so not a vegetarian! during my first pregnancy i could barely eat a vegetable without feeling sick and although its better this time around, i still can’t eat a lot of veggies without feeling sick 🙁 we used Beechnut baby foods – i really didn’t research it too much but heard from other moms that it was better than gerber- i may try to make more of my own with this baby simply to save $- we’ll see what i decide when the time comes for that!!!
    in the end, go with your gut feeling and what you feel comfortable with- its great to get ideas, suggestions and hear what other have done but in the end, don’t hesitate to try many different things and see what works best for you and your baby girl! enjoy every moment of the last 15 weeks! it will go by fast than you know!!!

  33. I haven’t had a child yet so my information is all second hand but my one of my best gals her sister just had her first child and is using cloth diapers and loves them. She’s having great success and their 3 month now uses the bathroom on command, they have a noise the make while holding her over her potty. I believe they use disposable diapers at night, but only use cloth in the day time.

    As for vegetarian, i have a cousin who was raised as a vegetarian, and because we’re the same age i’m not sure how her mom, my aunt, managed it all but she’s health and has always been.

    I’ve really liked the idea of wooden toys, My favorite toys were actually little wooden cut out of my mom and dads truck that my day made out of scrap wood. Honestly they were great. But i think it should be what the kid is interested in playing with. I actually found this seller on Etsy the other day, you may want to take a look, http://www.etsy.com/shop/woodmouse also that seller is affiliated with these guys too http://natural-kids.blogspot.com/. worth a look, pretty cute stuff there.

    anyways, like most have said, your gut always knows best, and i have no doubt that you and kev will be great parents. I may have to get advice from you when i start to think about a little one of my own.

  34. As soon as I read “French pop music” I just knew you meant Yelle- how could your baby not want to dance?!

    Good luck with all the big decisions you’re making 🙂

  35. Hey Jen! So I’ve been reading your blog for a while but had to actually hop on this post to comment for once. I haven’t kept up with any blogs within the last few months (due to feeling crappy from pregnancy) so I just got on here yesterday to start catching up and read you are pregnant! Congratulations! I too had a hard time in pregnancy and was ready to be done with it as soon as the morning sickness hit in the beginning. The 9 months (and 10 days) felt so long and short at the same time. People told me I’d miss being pregnant… but I don’t. There were things I enjoyed about pregnancy, but not enough to enjoy pregnancy. BUT it’s all worth the precious 3 week old daughter asleep on me right now— who nearly woke up when I put the laptop within reach to type, but she appears to be unstartled. Whew! Anyway- I know it’s rather silly but while I was pregnant, I lived on thebump.com. It was so great to be able to ask other pregnant women and mothers any “stupid” question I had. I still frequent it to ask questions about newborns and such. It was a great resource. And I live along the holistic route of life and there’s an eco-friendly family board on there that I ask questions on all the time- about cloth diapering and organic baby things and such. Check it out if you feel the need for more support!

    And as for your questions:

    – I did not have a natural birth although I desperately wanted one. I read the Bradley method book and loved it and practiced everything for it, but things did not go as planned. I wrote my daughter’s birth story out here if you want to read it> http://community.thebump.com/cs/ks/forums/thread/36090399.aspx

    – I am breastfeeding and plan to exclusively for 6 months. It’s draining and frustrating so far since newborns don’t have schedules, but I know it will calm down eventually and I know it is so good for her. I never considered not breastfeeding.

    – I will be using cloth diapers although we started with disposable just because it seemed like a lot to figure out life with a newborn and cloth diapers all at once. I have newborn and small sized prefolds with Thirsties diaper covers to use for her when we start cloth diapering in the next month. Then I have some one-size cloth diapers for her when she gets a bit bigger. I have some BumGeniuses and Happy Heinys so far but plan to get a few others to try out to see which fit her best. They all fit different babies differently, so I didn’t want to commit to one before putting it on her.

    – We don’t have a lot of toys yet but the ones we do have are wood or organic. We would rather have less toys that are more expensive and healthy than a ton of plastic ones. We’ll try to stick to wood and organic as much as possible. They are way cuter too. : )

    – I plan to make our own baby food from our own veggies (when I plant a garden), but haven’t done so yet.

    —- Have fun planning for your baby! There is so much to research, especially when going a more organic route. Let me know if you have any questions. I’m not an expert but it’s all fresh in my mind! : )

  36. P.S. You look so cute! I was living in sweats till the end of my 2nd trimester, so props for keeping cute!

  37. Hi! I haven’t had a kid yet, but I just wanted to let you know a little about my mom. She gave birth to my brother naturally in a hospital, then birthed both my sister and I at home with midwives. Because of her healthy diet during all of these (she was vegetarian too!) and getting treatments from my dad ( he’s a chiropractor) she was in great shape to birth her children. She says her labor times were 2 hours, then 1 hour, then she tried to make sure to not have me in 30 minutes haha. I was 2 hours.

    When she had my sister and I at home, she said everything was easy and relaxed. She says that as long as you go in knowing that you can do it, you can. Plus she had complications with me, she lost the contraction in the middle of the push and had to stand to deliver me, and the cord was wrapped around my neck. And I turned out just fine!

    She is also an acupuncturist and told me to tell you that acupuncture/acupressure does wonders for pain when you are in delivery 🙂

    Oh! And my siblings and I did not eat meat until we were 10-14 (because we moved to the Philippines). I never knew that we were different or that we did not eat meat. I never felt any different from the other kids at school.

    So good luck! I know your girl will have lovely parents!

  38. Paige •

    Hey Jen!

    This is my first comment on your blog – I have been reading ever since I found out you were pregnant (through another blog) and we are due two weeks apart! It has been fun for me to keep up with your pregnancy as mine hasn’t been good at all and I enjoy reading what you are going through as I am going through simiiliar things at the same time (I am 27 wks today and having a boy :)) This is my second pregnancy and wanted to answer the questions. I did browse through some of the responses, but it still may be duplicated info.

    In terms of labor and delivery, I think going in with an openmind is your best option. I went in with the thoughts I was going to do natural delivery and in my case that just wasn’t an option. I was in labor for 24 hrs and after about 15 hrs without any pain meds I was a complete diseaster area and in NO SHAPE to push. Then after they hooked me up to get some rest I labored (still painfully) for another 9 hours and had to do an emergency C-section. My daughter was in major distress. Thankfully after birth she recovered quickly. Sometimes these things happen even with the best midwives and with the best thoughts of a natural birth. This time around I have a scheduled c-section because BOTH of my pregnancies have been high-risk and because of my previous high-risk delivery I don’t have a choice this time.
    In terms of nursing I think this also is the best option financially and in terms of health for baby, but again, I think it is best to go into it with an openmind. Don’t be devastated if nursing doesn’t work for you. Because of my pregnancy, my daughter’s stomach didn’t develope properly and wasn’t able to digest my milk so after 3 mos of tests etc. she had to be put on special milk. Also (according to my lactation consultant) I have don’t have nipples that are very workable for nursing (inverted and biforcated). I hope that isn’t TMI, but if you go into motherhood with big expectations you may struggle more with some depression if all your expectations are dashed. All mine were, but I believe God has reasons for things and I am content with how He has chosen to my life to be. I am still going to try nursing with this little one and hope for the best and if it doesn’t work out or he has developement issues because of my high-risk pregnancy then I will do whatever is right for him.

    As for the rest of the questions those to me are more personal preference. I chose disposable diapers because they are easier, but also (after a lot of research) I discovered that with all the water usage needed to clean them they aren’t any more healthy for the enviornment and they aren’t any cheaper than disposable unless you use them for two or more kids. Plus with the special detergent, diaper rash cream and other specifics needed for them my husband and I decided it wasn’t worth it. But I respect those who choose to use them. Making your own baby food is easy and much cheaper. All you need is a food processor and the cooked veggie of choice. In terms of toys – all mine were gifts so I didn’t choose either way. I am thankful for all of them 🙂

    Thanks for letting me read along and I hope the rest of your pregnancy goes well and I look forward to the pics of your growing tummy as mine grows right along with yours! 🙂 Much love to your family!

  39. Jen,
    First off let me say, I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now and I love your style.
    I am the mother to a wonderful 18 month old wild child. Everyone tells you it will change your life, and if you are anything like me you roll your eyes everytime. I thought of course she will change my life, duh. Everyone says you can’t fully comprehend it until she’s here, duh again. Everyone is absolutely right, go ahead roll your eyes and duh me, I deserve it. I went into labor with a we’ll see what happens attitude, and what happened was after about five hours an epidural became my best friend. I wish I was strong enough to say I went all natural, but I couldn’t do it. I have tried just about every disposable diaper out there and can say the best for a newborn is absolutely the Huggies Pure and Natural. I’m in potty training mode now, so diapers are hopefully going to be a thing of the past. I will say the more I learn the next time around I will definately be doing a hybrid diaper like Gdiapers. I had every intention of breastfeeding for the first few months but my little diva was stubborn about latching. I pumped for her first month though and supplemented with formula. I credit that with making her bought with RSV much less serious than it could have been. I also credit it with burning off 30 of the 60 pounds I gained with the quickness. I wish I could have kept on going but pumping just doesn’t keep your supply going like pumping and breastfeeding do together. As far as solids went I found it much easier and less time consuming to simply buy organic baby food. There are a million choices out there now and sites like Diapers.com make it easy to buy in bulk and shipping is very reasonalbe you still come out ahead. Toys ,I make sure they are BPA free and easily cleaned. If I can’t wipe it clean or throw it in the washing machine I don’t bother. I know there are more guidelines I could give myself but for now these seem to be working on the toy front. My other piece of advice is sign up for Babies R Us rewards. It’s free and the coupons you rack up are helpful for those transitional items that you’ll need down the road, larger carseats, potty chairs, sippy cups, more sheets, the list never stops.
    All the other pieces of advice I could give you are just cliches but trust me they all apply. I could have saved myself some wrinkle lines and wear and tear on my eyeball muscles had I just believed everyone.
    Your daughter is blessed just as much as you will be when she arrives.

  40. Laura •

    Hey Jen,
    My friends sister swears by this baby food maker from williams sonoma.
    http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/beaba-babycook-baby-food-maker/?pkey=x|4|1||4|baby%20food%20maker||0&cm_src=SCH

  41. jen, again i want to say what a pleasure it is to watch you on this journey becoming a mama. the first time is so special. and scary. and confusing. and wonderful.
    i have two kids, a three year old and a 7 month old. my first son was a very medically intervened birth, and necessary, because i was sick with preeclampsia. i ended up having a c-section. my second son was a natural birth, no drugs, no interentions…it was amazing. it was fun! don’t get me wrong, it hurt like hell. but it was really wonderful. i’ve had both kinds of births, and i recommend going for the natural birth.
    i have been breastfeeding my oldest for three and a half years, and i am of course also breastfeeding his little brother, the 7 month old. breastfeeding can be really hard in the beginning but it has been a really amazing bond between me and my kids, and also was a very special gift in terms of learning to love my body in a different way.
    i use both cloth and disposables. cloth at home, disposables out and about. i use fuzzi buns cloth diapers. i really like them a lot.
    i was really crazy about “toxic” toys with my first, but i am more relaxed now. i still care what sort of toys and stuff my kids use, but i think i am less annoying about it. lol. in my experience, babies are more happy playing with tissue paper, pieces of fabric, leaves and sticks anyway.
    i didn’t really feed my kids before they were ready to eat real food (not purees) so i never made baby food. i am lazy and the best food they can get before a year old is breast milk, anyways, so that’s really just depending on whether you want to make baby food. it can be fun to do stuff like that, and being a mom of a little baby can get a little dull, so making baby food can be something to do.
    my best advice? just relax and enjoy it. all of it. the bad times, the good, the boring times and the busy times. and don’t stress too hard on worrying about being a perfect mom who does everything just right and has all the right stuff. as long as your baby is loved and cared for, all the rest falls into place, no matter what choices you make.

  42. i wish i had found your blog sooner. i am just about 12 weeks into my pregnancy… you look fantastic! keep it up!!!

  43. Wow you look amazing!!!
    OK and now to answer your questions…although by the looks of it you already have SO much imput…
    Did you have a natural birth? How did you decide to go about that?
    No…I was hoping that I wouldn’t need much..and I had decided that if I needed anything that I would try the laughing gas because it had the smallest effect on the baby…well as it turns out I had “back labor” because Vyla was coming out face-up as opposed to down…so when I was only 1cm dialated I already had back to back contractions and was in SOOO much pain (I’m sure that’s not what you want to be hearing about right now…but I’m do it again in a second..the reward is sooo great)…so I ended up getting an epidural..and by the time they were giving it to me I was already 9cm and having the urge to push…I was terrified they weren’t going to give it to me then since usually after 6cm it’s too late..but they didn’t think I was that far already since I hadn’t been in long…so then with the epidural I wasn’t able to feel the contractions enough to know when to push..so they ended up giving me something else Oxysomething..to kinda counteract the epidural so I could feel a bit more…..so no…not one bit natural..but by then I didn’t care..haha…specially because I ended up having to get an episiotomy..and I tore…so with all that I was happy to be drugged up!

    Did you breast feed? For how long? I did breastfeed…but it only lasted a bit over 2 months because I ended up getting a sore on my one breast due to a bad latch (VERY IMPORTANT TO GET A GOOD LATCH!!)…so I had to stop on that side (and just pump until it healed)…so eventually I started to run dry…next time I’m hoping it will last longer…but I didn’t beat myself up over it because I did what I could.

    Did you use cloth or disposable diapers? What kind do you recommend?
    I use disposable…I started making a bunch of cloth ones..but got bored..and thought real hard about it and realized I wouldn’t last long with cloth anyways. I get my Diapers at the Real Canadian Superstore…they’re the PC brand (Teddy’s something….)…they’re half the price of pampers and huggies…and I find they work better…so you should get your Canadian family to pick up a bunch for you!

    Did you use only wood toys? or did it not matter to you?
    Did not matter to me

    Is there any vegetarian moms out there that are raising their babies that way as well?

    Did anyone make their own baby food (vegetarian)?
    I do make my own baby food..but I’m not vegetarian..but all Vyla is eating right now is Veggies and fruit. I steam the veggies and puree them in my magic bullet…then I spatula it into ice cube trays..and organize in labelled bags…so when I feed her them I just take out a few different cubes and heat them up. I highly reccomend doing this. It’s sooo easy..and cheap…and I can’t wait till summer to use fruits and veggies straight from the garden.

    Hope this all helps. You are definatly alot more “onto things” than I was when I was expecting….I think it’s great…and I really regret not keeping a diary/online one like you are doing…but now I have been doing updates of Vyla on my blog…I love being able to brag about all her “firsts”…I guess it’s the proud mama in me!..

    All the best
    Natasha

  44. Did you have a natural birth? How did you decide to go about that?

    yup. my son was born in a small town in Australia, and there was one anesthesiologist at the hospital, who was needed for surgeries, not epidurals! So, even though I might have considered pain relief, I didn’t have the option. I took showers and baths, though, and that helped. With #2, we had her at a ‘Baby Friendly hospital’ in NH, and they convinced me to go the pain-med-free route again…I think every person should make their own choice, and people shouldn’t be so ‘judgy’ about it.

    Did you breast feed? For how long?

    Yes again–8 months for the first, 15 months for the second (she had milk allergies, so it was just easier!)

    Did you use cloth or disposable diapers? What kind do you recommend?

    In Australia, many people used cloth diapers, but they were not the fancy kinds that you got here. I highly recommend the sprayer for the toilet described on Young House Love, and having a bucket to soak them. There are lots of great options now!

    Did you use only wood toys? or did it not matter to you?

    No, that wasn’t a big deal for us (maybe it should have been!?)

    Did anyone make their own baby food (vegetarian)?

    we did buy baby food for our first, but #2 was happy enough with blended foods, introduced slowly and systematically, of course! We used a (non-electric) baby food mill, it was great–we still use it sometimes to make smooth guacamole 🙂 One of her favs was taking small pieces of frozen banana and running them through the mill–tastes just like ice cream, seriously!

  45. Hi Jen….I love your thursday posts, it really takes me back to being pregnant..so fun..*sigh*.

    1. I planned to have the body my baby wanted…does that make sense? If my body was ok with a natural birth I would go that way…my first labor ( prepare yourself….) was 3 days long…she was posterior ( sunny-side-up!) which made for an VERY long labor…so in the end I did get an epidural so I could sleep…very wise decision cuz it took me 4 hours to push her out…yikes!! My 2nd baby was much easier…still got an epidural ( the best gift to women everywhere)…and labor was only 12 hours with 30 min. of pushing…

    2. I have used cloth diapers with both of my little ones…I used pre-folds ( just your classic old cloth diapee’s ) with covers when they were newborns till about 4 months, then moved into Fuzzi Bunz diapers…don’t let cloth diapers scare you!!! Your washing machine will do all the work!!! Another nice side affect…my daughter potty trained at 2 years old…( studes show cloth diapered babies potty train on average 6 months sooner!!))…We occasional use disposable for trips, travelling, etc.. in that case I use the “Nature Baby” Brand ( on Diapers.com)…they are compostable and made entirely of biodegradable products!!

    3. Vegetarian- My husband and I are vegetarian therefore it made sense and fell in line with our lifestyle to raise our kiddos that way… we have had NO problems. We have an open dialogue with our 3 1/2 year old about why we don’t eat meat, etc…If she wants to choose to eat meat later when she’s older…that will be her decision.. Our son is still too young to know the difference or care…

    4. I made all of my kids baby food with the exception of a few things…it is super easy, cheaper, and healthier…the BEST book to get is “Super BAby Food”. It will answer any and all questions you might have…

    5. I breastfed both my kids until they were 13 months old…(they both started solids at 6 1/2 months) ..it is probably the top thing I miss about them growing up…it is such a connection and boy does it help with losing weight!!! Whoo-hoo!!

    Ok, I’ve blabbed on enough….so excited for you and your journey…:-) Melissa

  46. Dear Jen,,YAYYYY about your baby! Ive been reading your blog for ages but havent yet congratulated you and kev..,,so congratulations!

    I really have no idea about babies.. but from my sisters experiences, she has 2, she had a water birth and said that it was the best decision ever!
    and she makes all their baby food.. she blends up heaps of vegetables then freezes them in little icecubes.. so that when youre in a rush, all you need to do is grab some icecubed vegies out the freezer and heat them up. That way you can mix up the different vegies your baby gets.. like brocolli and carrot one meal then beans and zuchini the next.

    Alll the best! xx

  47. Did you have a natural birth? How did you decide to go about that?
    -I planned for a natural birth. I had a labor pool in my birthing room. After 19 hours of back labor (baby was posterior), I decided to have the epidural. I simply could not deal with the pain indefinitely and I was only at 6 cm, so I had no idea how long it would go on. I would recommend having a good plan if you want to go natural. I read up on a lot of methods, but didn’t learn/practice one particular method. I know friends who have been successful with the Bradley method.

    Did you breast feed? For how long?
    -I breast fed until my son was 11 months old and we switched directly to whole cow’s milk and unsweetened soy milk.

    Did you use cloth or disposable diapers? What kind do you recommend?
    -We use Bum Genius cloth diapers. We started with a few of the all in ones for the first month, then switched to the one size once he got big enough. I love them. They won’t last the whole diapering experience though, so plan to have to add to your stash after about a year. We had about 20 diapers the first year and after all that washing, some needed to be replaced.

    Did you use only wood toys? or did it not matter to you?
    -in a perfect world I would have only wood or natural educational toys, but we have family members that like to send along the plastic, light up, musical variety. What can you do?

    Is there any vegetarian moms out there that are raising their babies that way as well?
    -Yes. We are vegetarian and are raising our son that way. He is 2 now and is still in the 90th percentile for height and weight-a poster child for a healthy vegetarian diet!

    Did anyone make their own baby food (vegetarian)?
    -Yes, again. I got some great tupperware ice cube trays with lids. So whenever I found a good deal on fresh organic fruits and veggies, I’d make up a big batch in the food processor. I have a post on my blog about it: http://whiteorchidmelody.blogspot.com/2008/11/homemade-baby-food-how-to.html
    It was much cheaper and tasted better (have you tasted commercial baby food!?? gag!!!). As he got bigger, I did a combination of brown rice and lentils or other legumes for the carb/protein mix. I recommend a book called Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron. She recommends a vegetarian diet.

  48. Okay, I read through some of the other responses and I just need to step up on the soap box for a moment. It is not quite accurate to say that cloth diapers are just as bad for the environment as disposables because of the water for washing. The average child uses something like between 8,000-10,000 disposable diapers. Those bad boys don’t decompose. They just pile up in a landfill. So, while the cost effectiveness of cloth diapers may be argued due to all the energy and water used for washing, they are far better for our planet.

  49. As for the natural birth I went Bradley and had a sweet friend who delivered her four kids that way be my coach. Alas, after 22 hours of labor and only 4cm dilated, I had to face down 4-5 more hours of hard, painful labor, and if my body didn’t get with it a C-section would be forced on me at that point. The epidural it was. After that it was only 5 more hours. I still recommend Bradley though. I was doing well until I realized my body was not letting this happen. (I was induced due to a water leak.) I went disposable diapers after desperately wanting cloth because my son HATES cloth because he hates dirty diapers. I’d be better off leaving him naked than in cloth. So sad. Have been breastfeeding since my son was born and love it. It’s not all that painful and my pump is my best friend. Wood toys are ideal, but I’m not picky. And vegetarian food would be easy to make! The only non-vegetarian thing babies get is a meat puree or purees thickened with broth. So… yah. I just wrote a lot. My apologies.

  50. Hey Jen,
    I’m not currently pregnant but am a longtime vegan and plan on raising my children veg. It probably makes me sound like a crazy person but I’ve been researching the topic of raising vegetarian kids (and going through a vegetarian pregnancy) for years now (he why not think ahead right?). One of my favorite blogs has been veganlunchbox.blogspot.com written by Jennifer McCann. She has just the greatest resources, links, and tips. Another site with some informative posts is vegfamily.com.
    The book, Raising Vegetarian Children also comes highly recommended (my local coop sells it). Amazon has it as well:
    http://www.amazon.com/Raising-Vegetarian-Children-Health-Harmony/dp/0658021559
    A friend of mine also had great praise for a book called New Vegetarian Baby.
    Finally, all of my friends (working mom’s included) make their own baby food – one does it each Sunday and then freezes for the week. Hope that helps – best of luck. Sorry for not being a fellow mom-to-be/mom (yet) but thought it might help having some insight from a fellow veggie who’s given the topic some thought.

  51. Hi! I just found your blog yesterday and I love it!! What I have to add about your wonderful future and plans: take an afternoon to read about c-sections. I had my birth plan all in order and hadn’t paid attention to anything about c-sections in birth classes and books, so I was totally unprepared when I had to have one. We found out last minute our son was breech and I had no idea what to expect from recovery. Luckily I have the most awesome husband and family so I had all the support I could possibly want, but it was disappointing and totally threw a wrench in my plans! Of course I was thankful that my son was healthy and if that meant surgery, than so be it. Another thing, Wyatt completely refused to breastfeed. I assumed I would breastfeed for at least a year, and it would just happen, right? Not! He wouldn’t have anything to do with the breast. We worked with a lactation consultant for a while, but I ended up pumping and giving him a bottle because the most important thing is for baby to grow. I’m not trying to discourage you at all. I’m sure your birth will go just fine and your little bundle will eat like a pro, I just wish I had been mentally prepared for what happened to me. And I would recommend going to a few La Leche League meetings in your area (they welcome pregger ladies) and ask questions. I wish you the best of luck and being a mother is the most amazing thing you’ll ever experience. My son is 5 months old now and I have loved every minute of it!

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Hi, I'm Jen!

Welcome to my personal lifestyle blog. It features topics such as motherhood, family life, fashion, cooking, and all sorts of adventures. I hope you enjoy what you find!

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