Friday, October 29, 2010

No Wakey, Need Sleepy: Ways For New Moms To Increase Their Energy

If you're a mom-to-be, you best get your z's in now -- it's going to be a while before you get a decent nights sleep again!  If you're like me and you have a newborn, you are in the pain cave and know what it's like to try and function on limited sleep.  There's really no way to sugar coat it -- it sucks.  It was definitely harder with Sophie though since it was all so new.  This time my husband and I are "embracing the suck."  We know it'll get better...there is light at the end of the tunnel.  I'll let you all know when we reach it!

If you too are currently in the pain cave and desperate to gain more energy during the day, check out this article and video from CBS news.  The editor of American Baby, Laura Kalehoff (a fellow Strath Haven alum), provides some great tips!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Prenatal Massage Update #1: Body Mind & Sole

This summer I wrote a post on prenatal massage in the DC area.  I wanted to update that post because one of the spas I reviewed recently made some changes I thought you might want to know about.  At the time, Body, Mind & Sole in Del Ray (Alexandria) did not have a pregnancy cushion that allowed women to receive a prenatal massage while lying on their stomachs.  I received my massage while lying on my side and I just didn't find it as comfortable as the stomach massage with the cushions.  I am excited to let you know that Body, Mind & Sole now has the body cushion and can do face down prenatal massages!  They have also recently updated their decor and website.  

Haven't been there yet, and looking for a local, affordable massage?  Mention EITB when you book and get $10 off a 60 minute massage (reg price: $90).    Also, please note that their prices have increased by $5 over the prices in my original post

New prices: 

30 min. $55
60 min. $90
75 min, $110
90 min. $135

Check out their website: 

Original post on prenatal massage in DC area:

Monday, October 25, 2010

I Know This Much Is True...

1. Having the second kid (as in physically delivering/recovering from) was much easier than the first.  

2. Having  two kids (as in managing/juggling) is a bit trickier... evidently there's quite a bit of a learning curve.  

3. I love the nurses, doctors, and staff at INOVA Alexandria.  I remember being a total snob about the hospital when I first saw it a few years ago, I thought "how could this little neighborhood hospital be any good?"  (I was used to University of Pennsylvania Hospital...if you've ever been you'd know what I mean--INOVA Alexandria is the size of one floor at HUP). I digress, the point is -- I was wrong.  I loved my experience at INOVA and would totally recommend it.

That said, if you encounter a nurse whose name is very prominent in the play/novel "A Street Car Named Desire," ask for a new nurse.  She who will not be named so desperately wanted to pass me off to the next shift that she tried to send me for a walk around the hospital when my contractions were 3-4 minutes apart, 100% effaced and 5 cen dilated. That was the one and only issue and my doctor walked in the room and resolved that immediately.

4. I am blessed that my husband is a calm man with a sense of humor.  He can settle a house of fussy women in record time.  He also takes the late night feeding.  For that he is my hero.

5.  Wondering why I was able to get posts out so soon after baby, but not over the past two weeks?  My mom was here for a few weeks.  I have ceased to function since she left.  No family local and no babysitter have made things a little too real.  I am tired, not to mention, dirty.  I honestly don't know when I last washed my hair.  Seriously I went to visit my parents for a week just so I could get some free time and bathe more regularly, if only for a week!

6. I have an amazing group of friends here and in PA; they've kept me sane and even fed these first two months.  I am so grateful to them for their support.

7.  My garbage men must think I am running a daycare out of my home.  My girls seem to poop way more than any 5 kids I know.  It's embarrassing.  I never thought my life would be so consumed by poop and conversations about poop.

8. While much better than the first time around,  I still hate when it gets dark.  Both of my kids get/got fussy at night.   Nights were really bad with Sophie.  So much so, that we called her the Vietcong and a verse from Billy Joel's "Good Night Saigon" was on a loop in my head for months:

We, held the day,.. 
in the palm of our hands
They, ruled the night
And the night, seemed to last as long as six weeks 

9.  A couple of lifesavers: 1) Medela Tender Care Lanolin. Sooo much better/gentler than the Lansinoh kind--but it stains. I now have 3 tee shirts with some big ass stains on the boobies--needless to say I don't wear those outside anymore...although I answered the door in one the other day. lol!  2)Hands free pumping bra.  Yeah it looks like some f'd up KKK hood but it is glorious to be able to have your hands free when pumping.  3)FP Rock and Play Sleeper.  It's like $40 and they can sleep in it at night.  My lil darling has ear issues and needs to be on an angle--this has been a god send.

10.  I was worried that I couldn't possibly love another child as much as I loved Sophie.  It really concerned me that I felt this way.  That went away as soon as I saw Olivia.  My cold, sarcastic heart swelled with love for this lil sweetie the minute I held her.  I know it sounds cliche, but I don't say sappy crap unless I really mean it.  

I hope you all are well.  I have stuff I need to post..will get on that asap.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sometimes Things Get Complicated: Preeclampsia

While I'd like to only talk about the fun parts of pregnancy, the reality is that sometimes things go wrong. That said, I'm occasionally going to have guest posts from women in the area that have experienced complications during pregnancy.  These aren't meant to scare you -- but to illuminate and educate you about things that could happen (regardless of how well you take care of yourself)  and give you the signs to look for.  As GI Joe used to say: "Knowing is half the battle."   


Guest entry by Allison Hyra (Alexandria, VA)

I was pregnant with our first child in the fall of 07/spring of 08. Never threw up, didn’t feel too big, was very happy with the whole experience. When we got back from Christmas with my family, the midwife said I put on 6 pounds in two weeks and need to slow down. I thought maybe I had had too many cupcakes and vowed to do better. A couple of weeks later on a Monday (32 weeks pregnant) my blood pressure at my exam was 140/90. My doctor, at Physician and Midwives in Alexandria, asked me to come back in a couple of days to recheck. That Thursday, my pressure was 170/110. The doctor told me to drive straight to the hospital. At Alexandria Inova hospital the perinatologist confirmed our fears– I had preeclampsia, my placenta was failing and our baby was suffering – he was measuring 3 weeks behind. They immediately gave me steroid shots to help mature our son’s lungs and hoped on hospital bedrest to get me to 34 weeks. That was not to be. By Saturday evening, my lungs were filling up with fluid and after several failed breathing treatments, I had an emergency c-section at 2:50 am Sunday morning, just as I became 33 weeks pregnant.

Our son Avery was born at 3 lb 5 oz and was quickly whisked off to the NICU. I continued to have very high pressures for about 12 weeks post-birth and did not get to meet him until that afternoon. Avery received breathing help for a couple of hours, but was only on supplemental oxygen when I first saw him. He had leads all over his body, an IV in his forehead and an NG tube threaded up his nose and down to his belly. He was stripped to a diaper and a face mask, lying in an incubator under a blue billirubin light. I first held him when he was three days old. In retrospect, we were lucky. Avery never developed any of the common preemie ailments such as vision problems, cerebral palsy, brain hemorrhages, or NEC, where parts of their intestines die and become necrotic. He lived in the NICU for the first 24 days of his life, growing, getting stronger and learning how to eat by mouth.

Needless to say, those 24 days were the hardest of our lives. I pumped every 3 hours, 24 hours a day to keep my milk supply up and to provide the NICU with breastmilk that was pumped into his belly. My husband drove to the NICU every day at 5:30 to see him before catching the bus at 7 to go to work. He said he would cry in the elevator at work because it was the only time he was alone and could break down.

We are now parents to a wild, ornery, loquacious and cheerful two and a half year old. Aside from being skinny and a little short for his age, you would not know he was a preemie. We’re actually pregnant again and hoping to avoid preeclampsia this time. We have decided to stay with the same practice and hospital. I’ve learned from the preeclampsia message boards that many people’s doctors miss catching this disease early, but my practice (Physicians and Midwives) was on the ball. Also Inova Alexandria has a level III NICU (the highest level) so our son would have been able to receive all of the care he might have needed without a transfer and the NICU has less than 20 beds so we received personalized care from nurses that got to know us.

Although preeclampsia is a leading cause of maternal and fetal death, most people have never heard of the disease or are familiar with its symptoms. Please call your doctor immediately if you have any of the following symptoms while pregnant or within six weeks of giving birth:
* High blood pressure, especially anything 140/90 or higher;
* Swelling in your feet that doesn’t go away, or swelling in your hands/face;
* A sudden, unexplained weight gain of more than 2 pounds a week;
* A dull, throbbing headache that won’t go away;
* Nausea or vomiting;
* Changes in vision;
* Right shoulder pain;
* Or a gut feeling that something just isn’t right.

We know very little about preeclampsia, its causes, how it works or why it happens. Currently, the only cure is delivery of the baby, and it’s unclear how effective current treatments such as bed rest are. It’s truly a very scary disease that is largely a medical mystery. Hopefully, future research will be able to provide additional insight into this disease, preventing thousands of deaths, premature births and poor child outcomes. For more information about this disease, please visit

Monday, October 4, 2010

New Parents Event Tonight 10/4 in Arlington

Sorry I didn't catch this sooner.  This event is happening tonight.

“Journey to Parenting: A Resource and Information Fair for New and Expectant Parents,” 4:00-7:30 p.m.

Location: Human Services Center at Sequoia, 2100 Washington Blvd., Lower Level, Arlington, VA 22204. Free and metered street parking available surrounding the building.
Come check it out!

There will be talks with local resources like Postpartum Support Virginia, and the arl/alx chapter of Holistic Moms Network will be exhibiting.

For more info:

3 Damn Good Deals...1 for formula, 1 for Yoga & 1 for a free baby sling!

Ok, my internet is back up and my in-laws are gone.  Now if only I could get some more sleep...  

Oh and I'd put all this in the Preggiepon section--but it's all jacked right now.

3 things you might want to check out.

1. Similac Ready to Feed Formula (Sensitive) 8 bottle case on sale for $30 at BJ's

If you are planning on formula feeding your baby at some point and prefer the ready to feed liquid formula you should totally go to BJ's to get your formula.  I was there (Alexandria location) on Sunday and a case of Similac (8 32 fl oz bottles) was on sale for $30.  It usually costs $40.  It's already a decent deal at $40 since most other places BBB and BRU etc sell 6 bottle cases for around $36. However 8 bottles for $30--that's less than $4 a bottle-- I'm pretty sure that's the best unit price around.  (The lowest Target will sell a bottle for is $5 on sale I believe). The sale goes through December.  I'm guessing Similac did this to retain it's customer base after the recent recall. 

2. Free Baby Sling from

Go to , click on “Shop Now”, and select the correct size sling or gift set you would like (be sure to visit the sizing page for instructions on how to select the right size sling for you). Once you have selected the sling or gift set you would like, enter "onefree" into the promo code box and click “Apply Code”. This will bring your product total from $39.00 to $0 for one of the pouch slings or from $44.00 to only $5 for our gift sets - all you are required to pay is the shipping & processing!
*I checked this out and it's real, but many of the slings are on backorder--but if you have a little patience or aren't due for a few months this shouldn't be a deal breaker!

From : You may have heard about the Infantino™ “bag sling” recall. The recalled Infantino™ slings are not the same type of baby sling found at The recalled slings were “bag slings” and were similar to an elastic closure purse where the baby sits closer to your thighs than your chest. Our slings are fitted, non-adjustable “pouch slings” and hold your baby right up close to you on your chest where you can see and kiss your child. There has not been a recall associated with “pouch style slings”.

3. Certifikids Deal of the Day - Mindfulness Center (Bethesda) 

$80 for Fall Session of Prenatal, Mommy & Me, Kids & Adult Yoga and Meditation (8 Classes) at Mindfulness Center (50% off - $160 value)