Category: Mommy Stories

The most painful part of my labor came after the birth


Melissa Willets

posted in Mom Stories

Mind numbing, body wracking contractions. Sweat dripping. Teeth clenching. Body temperature: Um, probably 325 degrees. Every inch of me, working, reaching, stretching, tensing, pushing. AHHH!

And then, she was born; my daughter. Deep, deep exhale. I’d done it. I’d brought my beautiful baby safely into the world. It was over, the hard part, done. Or so I thought.

As a nurse cleaned and weighed my newborn, I lay back on the bed, still overcome by stabbing pain in my pelvis. The contractions that had freed my baby from my womb were yet to subside. Quivering, retching, and overcome, I hoarsely begged for my husband to come closer.

“It hurts,” I implored of him, as I gripped the bed sheets. He disappeared to ask our nurse what to do.

But in the hustle bustle, my agony took a backseat. Soon the nurse handed our baby to me. It was time for skin-to-skin contact, a moment I had dreamed about so many times while pregnant. But I could barely hold her.

“I’m still in so much pain,” I told the nurse. My eyes begged for her to help me find relief. Unbelievably, I’d made it through my delivery without any pain medication, but now, I wanted something, anything to take the edge off.

“Yep, that’s common with a third pregnancy, honey,” she informed me. “Your uterus will probably keep contracting for a couple of hours at least. We can get you some Ibuprofen soon.”

I tried breathing deeply as afterpains ripped through my body. It was all I could do not to collapse into sobs. This was supposed to be my time to revel in the joy of having delivered my baby. I wanted to count her fingers and toes, smell her head (don’t all new moms do this?), and gaze adoringly at her perfection. Instead, it was as if my body was turning inside out.

I felt like a hollow soul (Too much? Well, you catch my drift), being wheeled down a long corridor to my recovery room.

The nurse left, having forgotten my Ibuprofen. I used my call button to beckon her back, but it seemed like days before she returned with my meds. Then, finally I threw back a few pills, and soon, mercifully, the pain subsided to a manageable level. Slowly, oh-so-slowly, I became human again.

And I got my special time with my baby. I kissed each of her digits, inhaled her delicious head, and gazed, and gazed, and gazed some more at her miraculous perfection.

But I still wish I could have gotten those first moments back. Darn uterus! And couldn’t someone have warned me this would happen!?

Did you know afterpains were a thing? And if you’ve experienced them, please share!

Photo credit: Flickr

Postpartum exhaustion, tears and a cheesesteak


Leah Speer

posted in Mom Stories

Standing in the moonlit laundry room, I remember how I rocked him, bounced him, and did calf lifts with him– anything to get him to stop crying. Did anyone ever tell me how exhausting this was going to be? Even though it seems like he’s asleep most of the time, when he’s awake and crying, five minutes can feel like an eternity!

We’d been home with Luke, our precious firstborn, for a week. My husband had just put him down in the bassinet next to our bed after a nice feeding. I thought we’d get a couple of hours of quiet to enjoy a delicious cheesesteak and watch mindless TV…which just so happened to be “Intervention” on A&E.

I’d just found the right spot on the couch and that first bite was amazing! Ahhhh…I let out a breath and took a sip of my ice-cold root beer. I think I got in two more good bites before I could hear my little angel’s high-pitched newborn cry. I looked at my husband as tears pooled in my eyes. My eyes told him everything. Can’t I get a break?? We were the only ones here now since my mom had returned home.

It was either him or me…

Finally, beautifully, my husband put his sandwich down and nodded at me as if to say, “I’ve got it, babe!”  It must’ve been that tear that encouraged him…or scared him.

Five minutes later–isn’t it amazing what your own baby’s cries can do to you–even after a diaper change, it was apparent my husband couldn’t fix it. He was probably hungry. Well, maybe. Who knows, really? I motioned for his daddy to bring him over to me. I tried, and tried. It didn’t look like his hunger was an issue. His fire truck sleeper seemed to keep him comfortable and at the right temperature, but he was still fussy.

So here I am, trying out every room in the house in hopes of soothing him, even every different motion my body could handle. He’s crying. I’m crying. I’m starving, thinking about my cheesesteak in the other room and the couch, and the TV, and the peace. Then, finally, Luke takes in a couple of quick breaths and sighs. It’s quiet. I don’t believe it. I keep the motion going, checking the clock until it’s been five whole minutes of quiet. I tip-toe upstairs to his bassinet and ever so gently lay him down. I’d successfully survived another night!

Was your first week home with your newborn a shock or do you feel like you knew just what to expect?

Survey: Allowance, bribes & rewards really add up


Carolyn Robertson

posted in Mom Stories

Ten dollars for allowance, five for a good report card, fifty cents because they were just so good in that long line at the grocery store. It may not seem like much, but a new survey reveals that all of these little bribes, rewards and payments, all of these incentives for good behavior, really add up.

According to the survey, conducted by, the average American child aged 5 to 10 years old receives $1,360 per year, or $113 per month, from his or her parents. Of the 2,174 respondents who took part in the survey, 71% revealed that they regularly give cash to their kids. Here’s how the payments break down:

  1. Monthly allowance – 77%
  2. Rewards for good behaviour/achievements – 61%
  3. Bribes to make them behave/be good – 55%
  4. Special occasions (birthday, Christmas) – 46%
  5. In exchange for chores – 44%

All of this adds up to a whopping $1,360 per year, which most parents – 65% to be exact – admitted is more than they want to give their kids. So why do they hand over so much money? Forty-five percent said that they feel “in competition with other parents.” A quarter worry about disappointing their children if they were to give less and 17% revealed that their child “likes expensive things and needs enough to buy them.”

It’s hard to tally just how much money I give to my two kids. We never give them money for special occasions and they don’t get an allowance, so that cuts down considerably on the grand total. I will occasionally give my 8-year-old a few dollars in exchange for an unusual chore, like helping to weed the garden or wash the car. That’s not to say, though, that I don’t do bribes or rewards; they just normally come in the form of special treats – an ice cream outing or a My Little Pony – rather than cold, hard cash.

What do you think of the survey results? Does $1,360 per year sound about right?

Photo: Flickr/MFer Photography

Who knew breast milk could fight off Coxsackie virus?


Stacy-Ann Gooden

posted in Mom Stories

When it comes to a baby’s nutrition, some say breast is best. During my first pregnancy I researched the benefits of nursing. I’ve learned that a mother’s milk promotes optimal health and development for babies, including fighting off illnesses throughout the first year and beyond.

There are also many benefits for moms. But, on a recent trip to the pediatrician, I was surprised to learn that  breast milk can help in fighting off Coxsackie virus.

When the pediatrician revealed that Baby O had contracted the virus, I had no idea what to do to treat the infection. Apparently, it’s been going around at daycare. So, it was just matter of time before he got it. While some kids show no symptoms, others may develop high fever, muscle aches, sore throat, abdominal discomfort, or nausea. It usually lasts for a few days and then disappears.

“He’s having trouble eating. All he wants to do is nurse,” I told the doctor.
“That’s okay,” he said.

He went on to explain that antibodies in breast milk would aid in fighting off the virus. In this case, it functioned as a topical medication. Not only was he getting healthy nutrition from my breast milk, the liquid also soothed and helped in getting rid of the sores in his mouth.

Fortunately, Baby O didn’t have a severe case of Coxsackie. But he did suffer from a fever, sore throat, and rash. The doctor advised over the counter medicine to reduce the fever, and advised washing hands frequently. As for the rash, he said that my breast milk would be good for that too!

Other moms I’ve spoken with also recommended something cold to nibble on, like a teething toy or ice pop, depending on the child’s age. My breast milk has been my baby’s remedy of choice. As it turns out, there are so many other uses for breast milk including, soothing sore nipples, getting rid of pink eye, and easing an upset tummy.

Have you used breast milk to fight off any infections?

Stacy-Ann Gooden (aka Weather Anchor Mama) can be seen delivering the weather on the news weeknights in New York City. But her most important role is being a wife and mom. She writes about balancing career and motherhood in her blog, Weather Anchor Mama. You can also follow her on twitterPinterest, and InstagramBe sure to head over to Weather Anchor Mama to enter to win baby products!

Is there a best season to be pregnant in? Worst?


Sara McGinnis

posted in Mom Stories

Many of us didn’t get the opportunity to be picky about which months of the year our pregnancies would be in full bloom, but if you could, which would you choose? As the hot sun begins to beat down every year memories of my first time expecting flood into mind, and they’re not pretty.

In 2004 my husband and I moved across the state in early June, and into a tiny two-bedroom apartment in a bad part of town. We’d just finished college, had yet to start working ‘real’ jobs, and were broke. The humble residence we eventually brought our son home from the hospital to was in the middle of a giant complex surrounded by a sweltering blacktop parking lot — which our car was stolen from.

Never once, from the day we first pulled up until the babe took his first breath, did I make up the three flights of stairs to our front door without breaking into a full-on, underboob, trickling-down-the-thigh sweat.

Now, I understand much of the country finds Pacific Northwest summers laughable, but the factor I beg of you to keep in mind while I complain is that barely anyone here has air conditioning in their homes. We certainly didn’t in our sketchy abode. I’d huff and I’d puff while hefting our groceries up the stairs, fling open the door and strip. Clothes were simply intolerable that long summer.

6911095157 223b55fe32 z Is there a best season to be pregnant in? Worst?

It’s funny though, how quickly you can forget discomfort as the air cools. Just before our son’s first birthday we decided it was time to try for baby two because we wanted our kids to be close in age — not because I had the forethought to try and skip being hugely pregnant in the summer once again.

Luckily, a test turned up positive in late September, and baby two arrived just at the end of spring the following year. The sweating was kept to a minimum that pregnancy, and I was much happier.

Of course, I then had a newborn clung to me through the hottest months of the year, and longed to go back to the crisp fall days of baby-wearing I’d so enjoyed the first time around. Figures, right?

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll.
Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll.

What was the best thing about the season your were full-term in? Worst?

Photos: Flickr/Sarah Spaulding, Flickr/Ju Blasina

A look at some famous moms who’ve sported ‘huge’ baby bumps (defined as when you’re not wearing the bump, the bump is wearing  you) in all seasons:


Did you have any of these bizarre pregnancy symptoms?


Nicole Mabry

posted in Mom Stories

Pregnancy is frightening!

I was chatting with a younger, single, childless (by choice, for now) friend who made that statement to me. They say people who have no children don’t know anything about them, but my friend was absolutely right. Pregnancy is, indeed frightening.

Just about everyone knows about the typical pregnancy symptoms, weight gain, nausea, strange cravings. But there are some symptoms so strange that they’re downright frightening.

Pregnancy dreams Pregnancy dreams can be so vivid and strange that they’re frightening. Sometimes they’re so vivid, it’s as if they’re actually happening. Sometimes they’re so strange, there’s no way that they could.

Stuffy nose  Stuffy noses are common in pregnancy. You can thank pregnancy hormones for the swelling nasal tissue and thick mucus.

Bloody nose I personally had this symptom. Again, swollen nasal tissue is to blame.

Bleeding gums Who knew pregnancy could cause you to bleed….from everywhere? Extra bloodflow is one cause, but pregnancy periodontitis can be a more serious concern. Pregnancy can cause the body to be more sensitive to bacteria which can lead to tooth decay. Keep up with your dental checkups while you are pregnant!

Deep raspy voice Sounding like Barry White? Swelling vocal cords can change the sound of your voice temporarily. However, it may not change back to normal until after the baby is born.

Skin changes Dark or red patches of skin? A dark line that runs from your pelvis to your sternum? Itchy? All normal if you’re pregnant.

Swollen feet At one point in my pregnancy, a nurse told me my toes were fat. Thanks a lot, lady. In some cases (like mine), swollen feet are just another pregnancy symptom. In others, swollen feet can be a sign of preeclampsia.

Bathroom issues Did you pass gas again? Leak when you sneeze, cough or laugh? Can you just not poo at all? All common pregnancy symptoms.

The list could go on and on. So, yes, my friend was right. Pregnancy is frightening. And guess what? Parenthood just keeps on getting more terrifying! Labor, birth, the newborn phase, toddlerhood….and let’s not even talk about the teenage years!

However, pregnancy and parenthood, despite all the horrors involved, is still the thrill of a lifetime! I face the fear every day because the love is so worth it.

What is your strangest pregnancy symptom?

 Photo: BabyCenter member AJ0617


Drive like your kids live here: Would this make you slow down?


Laurie Gelman

posted in Mom Stories

We live on a busy road and cars tend to treat it like a highway even though it is lined with houses. It makes me crazy. So I was thrilled when, driving home the other day, I noticed a new sign in my neighborhood. It was red with bold white letters and it said Drive Like Your Kids Live Here.

I thought it was really effective. I have to admit, it made me check my speedometer and ease up on the gas a bit even though I wasn’t speeding. At first I thought one of my neighbors made it, but then I started noticing more signs around town.

A trip to Google ( told me it is a grass roots campaign that was started in Connecticut by Petulia Pugliares. Her mission is to get people to slow the heck down in residential neighborhoods in the hopes that horrifying facts like these can be changed: Every day in the U.S., an average of four children are killed in motor vehicle accidents, an average of 500 children are injured in motor vehicle accidents  and motor vehicle accidents kill more children than any disease.

Since its roll out three years ago, signs have been popping up all over the U.S. one town at a time – mine being one of the latest apparently, because I’d never seen or heard of it before. The signs have inspired some communities in states like Arizona, Utah and South Dakota to lower their residential speed limits to 20 MPH.

On their website they sell the signs for $9.99. They also sell bumper stickers, magnets and reflective street signs for $49.99. They strongly encourage people to start campaigns in their own home towns or use the signs as a way to raise funds for local projects.

I really hope these signs have the same effect on other drivers that they had on me. My only worry is they will become part of the landscape and eventually ignored – kind of like the speed limit signs are.

Just something to think about as we all drive around this holiday weekend.

Would this sign make you slow down?



20,000 papers find no vaccine/autism link


Charlie Brooks

posted in Mom Stories

Let’s talk about vaccines and autism. That’s never controversial, right?

Well, for some reason I feel obligated to mention that what follows is strictly my opinion and not reflective of BabyCenter’s position as a whole. I am not a BabyCenter employee, nor do I speak for the organization in any way. I’m just some random guy on the Internet who sometimes posts to their blog site.

So now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk about vaccines. Specifically, let’s talk about a recent study that was released in the peer-reviewed Journal of Pediatrics that drew from more than 20,000 scientific studies and specifically referenced 67 different scientific papers, all of which come to one definitive conclusion: there is no link between vaccines and autism.

The goal behind this comprehensive study was to establish a degree of transparency about vaccines and to get the word out to undecided parents that yes, you can trust your pediatrician on this matter.

The paper does even indicate that there are some side effects from vaccines that affect less than 1% of those receiving them. The thing is, those side effects are more along the lines of a low-grade fever or a bout of diarrhea rather than a long-term condition such as autism.

Kudos to the scientists involved for trying to fight the good fight. Hopefully it will help to inform some people. Unfortunately, for those who have already made up their mind about the link between vaccines and autism, it’s not going to do anything to convince them otherwise.

thinkstocksyringe 20,000 papers find no vaccine/autism link













The basic problem is that everybody is effectively speaking two languages on this matter. Arguing facts and pointing to the overwhelming evidence of 20,000 different scientific papers means nothing when the other side rejects the very basis of fact. It could be 20,000,000 different papers, and it still wouldn’t convince folks on the other side because the anti-vaccine crowd automatically tosses out any evidence against their point of view. The thousands of studies done all across the world that point to an indisputable fact are somehow biased or a part of the largest and most effective conspiracy that mankind has ever seen. Meanwhile, one old and discredited study combined with the words of the guy who used his ass as a ventriloquist puppet in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective is gospel.

The sad thing is that this isn’t the type of situation where people can just shrug their shoulders and agree to disagree. The vaccine issue is a matter of public health, and illnesses that once were all but eradicated have come back in force as a result of the dangerous levels of ignorance spreading through our society. The paper’s title, “Immunization exemptions leave kindergarten entrants at higher risk for vaccine-preventable diseases,” points directly to the main problem. It’s comparable to a bunch of parents deciding that car seats cause cancer and convincing parents to stop protecting their children, except that in this case the refusal to vaccinate also puts other kids at risk.

One of the big arguments against these peer-reviewed scientific journals tends to be the idea that big pharmaceutical companies have apparently infiltrated every level of the scientific research community. If pharmaceutical companies were that well-organized, we wouldn’t have scientific research revealing dangerous side effects of drugs like Vioxx, which got recalled despite the efforts of both Merck and the FDA to keep the health risks quiet. But again, this isn’t going to convince anybody who is firmly entrenched in the anti-vaccine argument. It’s very hard to argue a position when the other group doesn’t consider a fact to be a fact. (Ironically, the anti-vaccine argument is arguably a result of a pharmaceutical conspiracy in which one of the papers that spearheaded the movement was later discredited due to the main author practically being on the payroll of a big pharmaceutical company.)

The anti-vaccine argument basically boils down to the fact that vaccines exist and that autism exists. Since those two things exist and some famous people with no knowledge of what they’re talking about have said there is a connection, then people have decided there must be a connection. It’s an appeal to emotion rather than reason, and it’s got famous people behind it. That’s very hard to overcome when all you’ve got on your side is the overwhelming agreement of the scientific community and thousands of peer-reviewed research papers.

On the whole, I’m happy that this paper did such a thorough analysis of current research, because those people who have only heard the two sides of the argument might be under the mistaken impression that there is equal representation in the realm of facts instead of one side having overwhelming evidence on its side. Unfortunately, this one isn’t going to do anything to end the debate as a whole, because you can’t have an effective debate when one side won’t accept facts as evidence.

What do you think about the vaccine debate? I’m sure we can all have a civil conversation!

Photo credit

Photo credit

Sparklers are way more dangerous than you think


Sabrina Garibian

posted in Mom Stories

I am from the uncool state of Rhode Island, where fireworks are not sold in drugstores and the local beach club won’t allow you to light those ubiquitous sparklers. My first Independence Day in Philadelphia brought a lot of eye-opening experiences, including having hundreds of residents — wait, thousands — right outside my door to watch the annual concert held outside the art museum. It also included seeing fireworks on the end cap displays at all of the local drugstores, and seeing amateur fireworks out my city window for a solid week before and after the holiday.

I’m still not used to this!

Fireworks are dangerous, of course. But did you know that sparklers are really dangerous too? According to the CPSC, sparklers can burn at 2000 degrees Fahrenheit — as hot as a blow torch. That is scary and you should keep that in mind next time you think about letting your kids play with sparklers.

Screen Shot 2014 07 03 at 4.51.03 PM Sparklers are way more dangerous than you think

The Onion had a funny piece on firework safety, and mentioned that “glow sticks are great alternatives to sparklers for children whose parents are no f-ing fun.” I guess I’m no fun because I was going to suggest glow sticks as a really fun alternative to sparklers!

Screen Shot 2014 07 03 at 4.45.12 PM 240x300 Sparklers are way more dangerous than you think


I give out glow sticks, glow bracelets, glow necklaces and glow rings on Halloween, and everyone in the neighborhood loves it. I’ve already packed up the Halloween glow leftovers for our 4th of July celebration at the shore.

This 4th of July, just say nay to the sparklers, and pick up some fun glow sticks instead! Just make sure your kid doesn’t chew through the plastic and release the glow liquid inside…

Sparklers for the 4th? Yay or nay?

Image source: CPSC and Thinkstock


Celebrating today? Check out these cuties in their red, white, and blue:

Woman delivers baby in moving vehicle


Michelle Stein

posted in Mom Stories

Roadside deliveries aren’t that uncommon, but this story takes tall birth tales to a whole new level.

Beth and Trevor Farina of Illinois began their journey to the hospital with two people in the car, however, they ended up arriving with three people in the car.

The mama-to-be had been laboring at home for about five hours on Tuesday, according to NBC Chicago, when she and her husband decided it was time to head to the hospital. The couple were already seasoned parents of two children, so they figured it would be another quick delivery for baby number three. Boy, were they right!

En route to a hospital in Elgin, IL, the Farinas welcomed a little boy, who they named Tobias. Beth said she knew the baby wasn’t going to wait as soon as they drove onto the tollway, but she told her husband to keep driving. Beth delivered her 6 pounds, 14 ounces son all on her own in the couple’s moving car while her husband spoke with a 911 dispatcher. The couple arrived at the hospital with their new bundle all wrapped up, and mom and baby are reported to be doing great.

Wow! I can’t say for sure what I would have done in a similar situation, but I probably would have been screaming at my husband at least stop the vehicle. It turns out the Farinas might have kept their cool so well for a couple of reasons: 1) This was their third baby and 2) Beth has had training to become a nurse-midwife. (But, still!) I’m so glad there were no birth complications, or car accidents for that matter.

One of my top fears during the third trimester of my pregnancies was not making it to the hospital in time. With my son, I was sent home from labor and delivery during very early labor, only to return later that night still in early labor. They ended up admitting me (and inducing me the next morning as scheduled) anyway because I was so nervous and reluctant to go home. Z was born about 20 hours after I was admitted. I guess I had plenty of time.

With my daughter, I was a pro. I labored all night at home (while my husband slept — jerk) and then calmly made the 5- minute drive to our hospital for my 7 a.m. induction. Because I had already progressed decently on my own, and with the added help of some Pitocin, baby H was born less than 3 hours after I was admitted.

Check out some other amazing birth stories below!

Did you barely make it to the hospital in time to deliver your baby? Share your crazy birth story!

Featured photo via Flickr/gabi menashe