Friday, March 25, 2005

How Much Will Your Children Cost?

Online Triplets, a blog I read daily had a great post about the cost of children and how much we will pay, literally, to raise them. They are having triplets so you can only imagine the cost of one child and then multiply that 3x. However their post saw the joy in raising children and that the value is truly worth it. Here's an excerpt of what they wrote: For $170,460, there is no greater bang for your buck. You get to be a hero just for retrieving a Frisbee off the garage roof, taking the training wheels off the bike, removing a splinter, filling a wading pool, coaxing a wad of gum out of bangs, and coaching a baseball team that never wins but always gets treated to ice cream regardless. You get a front row seat to history to witness the first step, first word, first bra, first date, and first time behind the wheel. You get to be immortal. You get another branch added to your family tree, and if you're lucky, a long list of limbs in your obituary called grandchildren. You get an education in psychology, nursing, criminal justice, communications, and human sexuality that no college can match. In the eyes of a child, you rank right up there with God. You have all the power to heal a boo-boo, scare away the monsters under the bed, patch a broken heart, police a slumber party, ground them forever, and love them without limits, so one day they will, like you, love without counting the cost. Thanks to Online Triplets for letting me use their post --- Happy Friday to you all!

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Tanning Beds and Pregnancy

So you're feeling a little pale. The winter blahs are getting you down and you want that sun-kissed look. And so you ask, Can I tan while I'm pregnant? I am a big believer in self tanners. It's not expensive, quick and fairly easy and has no harmful effects to you or your baby. However, tanning beds are something else. I have seen this question posed on a lot of pregnancy forums and there have been people who have said it was okay, while others say no way! Some people have claimed it's okay in "moderation." While there is no evidence that it is harmful to a developing fetus, there is plenty of proof that tanning is not good for you, the mom. When pregnant, you're not supposed to overheat. Getting into a tanning bed is essentially allowing yourself to overheat. Having an elevated body temperature during pregnancy — that is, above 102 degrees F. (which can happen in a tanning bed, hot tub, or sauna) — has been associated with spinal malformations in developing babies. Tanning beds are like the sun --- they emit UV rays which can cause skin cancer. From the American Academy of Pediatrics, they have stated that, "chronic sun exposure eventually causes signs of premature aging - including wrinkles, sagging cheeks and skin discoloration." Furthermore, the AAP says that, "all that skin damage in childhood, adolescence and young adulthood is a key factor in the development of skin cancer. In fact, most non-melanoma skin cancers (the most common cancer in America) can be attributed to unprotected sun exposure - specifically ultraviolet or "UV-A" and "UV-B" rays. Research suggests bulbs at tanning salons emit ultraviolet rays too. The deadliest form of skin cancer, melanoma, killed about 7,800 people in the United States last year, and that number is expected to rise this year. Melanoma often strikes people who have suffered deep, intense sunburns, particularly in childhood and adolescence." Melanoma is the only type of cancer that spreads to the placenta and that could be bad for you and your baby. If you have fair skin and tan while pregnant, instead of a tan, you might end up with chloasma, those dark skin splotches on the face and arms. I don't want to force all this medical information on you but you should be informed. Ultimately, it's your call. But I would err on the side of caution on this one. Talk to your OB, spring the few bucks on a self tanner or get a spray tan done. Agree/disagree? Leave a comment and let me know.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Stretch Marks = Labor of Love

So your belly is getting bigger, your breasts are gettting bigger, your butt is getting bigger. As are your hands, your feet. Basically you are growing in every which way and direction. With this growth comes stretch marks for some of us women. Stretch marks don't actually affect us all. The tendency to get them is inherited. So if you're worried about getting them -- ask your mom if she had them and that'll be your answer. If you have fair skin, you might be more likely to get stretch marks than darker-skinned women. Some of us have weaker collagen and so we form stretch marks when pregnant. There are products out there which claim to rid you of those stretchmarks but in truth, there is little we can do to prevent them. Lotion and cocoa butter will help make the skin smooth and less irritated but they can't prevent stretch marks. Stretch marks will fade with time though and remember, they litterally are a product of a labor of love.

Dora has Twin Siblings!

If you have a toddler or you just happen to watch Nick Jr. you will know that Dora is now the proud sister of twins! Not just twins, but twins with super powers. It's a cartoon of course. What has been great about this is Nick Jr.'s attention to how Dora would react to her siblings. If you check out Dora's webpage, there are some great resources. There are certificates you can print out, "I'm a Big Brother/Sister!" Dora's Mami writes about how she got Dora prepared for her new siblings. "Together, Dora, Papi, and I made a family tree with a space for the new baby, and Dora is thrilled to give this as a gift to the baby when it's born. We also made a rattle together and I printed out a "Big Sister" Certificate so Dora can tell all of her friends she is going to be a big sister." So if you are pregnant and already have children and are trying to "prepare" them for the new arrival, you might find this resource helpful. I know we did. Kiddo#1 was especially excited about Dora and the twins and repeatedly asked if we were having twins. He was a little disappointed when I told him we weren't and that our baby wouldn't have super powers either.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

What is the First Thing You Did When You Found Out You Were Pregnant?

Did you jump? Did you scream? Did you run around the house? Did you stand there in silent shock? Did you cry? When we found out we were pregnant with Kiddo#1, hubby and I went into extreme shock. It lasted days in fact. We just kind of walked around in a daze with the thought, "I'm going to be a parent" in our heads. We were excited of course, but totally overwhelmed. I bought as many pregnancy and baby magazines as I could find and we spent a whole weekend just reading every article and fact. That broke the waters and we began to discuss what kind of parents we wanted to be and how exciting this was going to be! And then of course, I made an apppointment with my OB, and started thinking of all the foods I would be missing for 40 weeks - feta, wine, sushi, coffee. And then came the aches and pain, highs and lows and joys of pregnancy. With Belly, the news was actually an even bigger shock since we weren't trying to get pregnant at the time. So you could say it was an accident, but of course a happy accident! Silly me who had been pregnant once was unware that I was pregnant again. Kiddo#1 had cold symptoms and I brought him to the doctor. I mentioned that I was feeling the same cold/flu symptoms and the doctor gave me a look and suggested that I take a pregnancy test. Surprise! I still laugh when I think about that day. I mean all the signs were there but I was just shrugging them off to too much going on at work, and at home. So what did you first do when you found out you were pregnant?

Monday, March 21, 2005

What YOU Love About Being Pregnant

You left some great thoughtful, insightful answers when I asked, "What do you love about being pregnant. Here's what you had to say. Jean wrote, "I do like the little bit of attention you get from friends. Not so much that "take care" type of attention, but that you have conversations that revolve around your belly. It's a great thing and so many people seem to care!" "I loved the intimacy between me and my baby - the fact that no one else will ever know how it feels to carry my child and how it feels to be carried inside me. Since my baby won't remember the experience, I cherished it even more for the both of us," wrote kat. From Courtney: "I love feeling the baby move." And Elise, "I loved the surprised looks I got toward the end of my pregnancy when I was still working, and I would waddle into my clients' offices to fix their computers and they would say, "What are you doing here?" And as Tisha wisely points out, "Pregnancy is a joy that we can never explain. It is the greatest thing in the world. Even the backaches, sickness, aches and pains that come along with it make it all worth while when you give birth to a little miracle that you knew grew inside of you!! Wow!!" As much as we have trouble in our pregnancy whether it's trying to conceive or pregnancy itself, labor and delivery or post-pregnancy, at the end of the day we can still find joy and love in our pregnancies and in the end result of it all, a cared for and loved boy or girl. Happy Spring to you all.