Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Who Designs Baby Gear Anyway?!

My little rainbow is 3 1/2 months, I can't believe it.  I also can't believe how easy I thought it would be to update my blog, cook dinner, and clean the house all while having a baby who sleeps happily in her crib for naps.  This hasn't happened.  Instead, my little girl wants to cuddle non stop, and while this would cause a lot of stress for some, for me?  I'm in heaven.  

However, I do have some gripes.  Not about the typical lack of sleep - no, that I welcome, because it means I brought my baby home.  My gripes are about baby gear.  Who designs this stuff anyway?

First, let's talk onesies/one-pieces/bodysuits.  These are designed to be worn solo, or with a cute pair of pants so that my little girl looks like she's wearing adult clothes.  Putting pants on is not a foreign concept, and obviously pants will come up to the waist. So why do some of the designs go so low?  For example, my daughter's adorable lime green onesie with a turquoise whale and pink hearts ends up looking like a crocodile when she wears pants, with only an eye sticking up from above the waist line.  Or am I mistaken?  Perhaps she is meant to wear her pants as hip huggers at such an early age?  Take a look at this monkey.  That tail is a goner.

Second, let's talk socks.  I know that her socks will inevitably end up getting lost or eaten by the washing machine, so I bought a lot.  But they won't stay on.  Ever.  First I thought it was just the booties.  But then I noticed that with any degree of squirming (and she squirms a lot!) the socks slip down and then with one well-timed squirm, off they go.  This wasn't a problem in summer, but now that we're approaching fall?  She's going to get cold.  Can we make baby socks a little higher please?

Third, let's talk burp cloths.  Again, babies drool, spit, throw up, and emit many types of liquids.  And when they're teething, they drool.  A lot.  So who came up with these small and dainty burp cloths that are good for one swipe of the mouth?  I end up having to use four a day.  Don't get me started on bibs...

It's not like babies haven't been around for a long time.  And it's not like I'm picking on some brand new baby item that everyone has to have.  These are items that babies have been using for a long time.  So let's see some changes!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

My Rainbow Baby Has Arrived!

Just over a month ago, we welcomed our sweet daughter Callista to the world.  After a stillbirth and two miscarriages we thought she would never arrive, but she did.  And as I sit here holding her, I'm amazed that I was able to bring her home.  Her full head of hair is as wispy as a dandelion and blonde.  Her eyes are that piercing newborn blue, and will probably stay that way.  She's long, as she was born at just under 22 inches, and just over 7 pounds.  

We are in love.

Yet this doesn't take away that there are children missing.  There is a two year old that should have been running around under my feet as I struggled to stay awake breastfeeding my daughter.  There could have been another son or daughter too, and their absence is profoundly felt, even more so when I visit the cemetery, this time with my rainbow baby in my arms.

The picture book that I wrote?  I finally have someone to read it too; a new reason to seek to be published.  I cannot wait to hear her laugh, and I cannot wait to see her try to hold her first book, even if it goes straight into her toothless mouth.

A study I read jointly published by the USA and UK states that baby loss mommies only start to truly heal two years after the birth of their rainbow baby.  The study was done to find out what could be done for pregnant women who had lost babies before, to ensure that the women received help before she developed post partum depression or any other psychological disorder.  

My rainbow baby is here.  I truly hope that she touches that place that has been locked since I lost my son.  I will never forget, but hopefully I can heal, and I look forward to the journey.  

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Pregnancy "Advice Zone" - The Epidural

Once you reach a certain point in your pregnancy, the horror stories and advice start emerging. A baby loss mom takes this in a much different light. With all of the people out there trying to convince me of the horrors of labor, I'd like to remind them that I have been through labor, and what I have been through is far more horrible than anything they encountered. I was told that my son "may come out in pieces", and I was told that they could not help, he was breech, and then I was wheeled out of Labor & Delivery with empty arms. Now while I am aware that there are further horrors in the delivery room, none can compare to that type of experience.

One of the biggest topics to open Been There Done That Mommy's mouths, is when I mention that I am going natural. I do not want an epidural. I do not want a needle put into my spine, no matter how small. I'm not doing this for a medal, I'm not doing this to compare myself to my friend who is happily getting an epidural (and I am happy that she knows what she wants and is going for it), I'm doing this for me. For me, this is a rite of passage and something I need to do for myself. You would think that's all that needed to be said, but people still find a way to offer their unsolicited opinions.

So I've come up with a solution:

For anyone who tells me that I will end up with an epidural and fail at my natural birth plan, I'd like $20 please. Please put your money where your mouth is. I would be happy to take that money and put it in my child's college savings fund because apparently you don't know how stubborn I am, or how serious I am. With as many people who have made this comment to me so far, I'm pretty sure I will earn at least a few hundred dollars for my child's education.

Sounds like a good start to me.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Geek & Nerd Gift Websites for Babies & Toddlers

Every time I go into Babies R Us (which isn't a whole lot, since that store only reminds me of my son), I'm reminded that they really don't have a good selection for the geek mom. They have the typical baby outfits, the outfits full of pink ruffles and/or sports motifs, both of which I am terrified will end up in this house by someone well-meaning. Anything with a dragon or Star Trek? Forget it. They have typical baby toys, things that teach your mini-me to stack up blocks that are made of plastic with "A" is for apple, but where is "A" is for astronaut or atom or Alien? It's hard to find outfits and toys for baby that are uniquewithout scouring the web, so I have done some of that for you. Check out these fun items and stores for your own geek baby or a geek baby that is due soon to one of your friends.

hcards @ ThinkGeek
Who doesn't want to dress up their little munchkin in support of all things Trekkie-dom? ThinkGeek o
ffers these in different colors (depending on what your little one will do on the ship, of course) and
has a plethora of oth
er fun geek and nerd baby and toddler fun to check out. And stuff for you too, of course! Don't forget The Baby Owner's Manual!

Etsy is a haven for geek gear made by
people who are much craftier than I am. This one functions as beautiful art work and everyone who comes to see the baby can have all of the stats without having t
o ask!

This site has a ton of unique punk, goth, geek, and monster related goodies for your infant or toddler. They even have diaper bags and maternity wear!

This site goes through CafePress which means if you like this design for your baby and you want a matching one for you, you're all set! Adorable and sassy onesies and bibs and shirts abound!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Surviving a Rainbow Pregnancy

Primary Rainbow. Source: Listentoreason @ FlickrCommons

I've been quiet for a couple of months, and that's because I've had my head in the sand. The husband and I were blessed with another pregnancy shortly after Dragon Con, and after having a stillbirth and suffering two miscarriages, being pregnant again requires a great deal of concentration and introspection. This is a rainbow baby, the rainbow that comes after the storm of loss after loss after loss. This is also a rainbow baby due on the same day that I lost my son, almost two years ago.

This time is different. I'm on Lovenox and have to give myself a belly shot once a day at 10 pm. I'm on baby aspirin every morning. I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes at 14 weeks and that means four finger pokes a day and dietary adjustment (though thankfully in my case, that primarily means removing juice). It means every other week doctor visits and additional visits supervised by a MFM (Maternal Fetal Medicine) who specializes in cases like mine, where the woman can get pregnant easily, but doesn't keep it.

This time is different. I have had seven ultrasounds now, and all have showed wonderful growth and a growing happy, healthy baby. I will be 26 weeks on Tuesday, the point in time where I learned that my first child, Alistair, had died. As I sit here typing this, my little one is kicking happily away bringing tears to my eyes.

This time is different. I have more fear coursing through me than, arguably, someone going to war. I am terrified at every turn that I will lose this one too. That I will have grown too close to this baby to have it taken away from me. When people say "Congratulations" I stare at them blankly, wondering why they are congratulating me if I don't have the baby in my arms yet. When people ask me what I'm having, I say I don't know and I don't care, because just getting a living, healthy baby at the end of this is my primary concern, not whether or not it will be wearing pink or blue. When I found myself registering at Babies R Us yesterday, I wasn't walking through the store with a glazed happy look on my face, I was remembering when I had done this for my son and that he had died a few short weeks before his shower and I felt like with every scan I was jinxing things. Not to mention the music that they played just happened to be songs from when I had lost him.

But this time will be different. I will bring home this baby, healthy and breathing. I have a support network of friends and family both in person and online who are helping me through and holding my hand. And although I yearn to once again work on my novels, I know that right now all I am capable of is taking things one step at a time. If the bathroom doesn't get clean because I am crying, because it has been more than an hour since I have felt the baby move, it's okay.

I've learned that I'm a survivor, and regardless of what happens, I will continue to survive. My dreams of becoming published will still be there, and hopefully I can continue working towards that when my rainbow baby arrives at the beginning of June.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Gift Guides for Zombie, Werewolf & Vampire Lovers

Urban fantasy author Suzanne Johnson has put together some very nice collections of zombie, werewolf and vampire lover gifts that she has stumbled upon, mostly upon Etsy. So if you're like a vast majority of Americans and haven't gotten your shopping finished yet (and only noticed that we're 1 week from Christmas Day), you may want to check these out!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Recommended Reading for 2011 by Fantasy Book Critic

With all of the wonderful Fantasy/Sci-Fi books for 2011, where do you start? I'm desperately trying to catch up from 2009-2010, however, for those of you who are well ahead of me, Fantasy Book Critic has put together a wonderful list of recommended reading from 2011. Even better, you can view the tantalizing covers for yourselves before purchasing them. Don't forget to click on the list of titles near the top for a link to Goodreads, where you can view more information on these wonderful books.

Link to Fantasy Book Critic's site here.