Pregnancy Question #1: Epidural vs Drug-Free

baby-boy-220312_640I have a ton of questions when it comes to pregnancy, labor, and parenting. I’ve decided I might as well go straight to the source…my readers! I’m sure you all have plenty of advice to give me. I want to hear it all: the good, the bad, the strange.

Prior to Christmas, I thought for sure I was going to go with an epidural. No need for unnecessary pain is what I figured.

But then I did some reading online and this is what struck me—that drugs administered to the mother will enter the baby’s bloodstream at equal and sometimes higher levels, and that the effects of the epidural on babies are not fully understood.

I am all for withstanding pain if it means my baby isn’t negatively impacted by drugs. Because the research isn’t concrete, I’m totally confused!

What say you? No wrong answers, as they are your opinions and I’m happy to hear the broad spectrum. I’m particularly interested in women who birthed once with an epidural and once without, and what your thoughts are.

Can’t wait to hear all of your comments!

Christmas Hope

candlesHeavy heart this Christmas…

Last week my friend’s wife was overcome with a rare bacterial infection which resulted in an emergency c-section at 36 weeks. Their beautiful little girl passed away after a short time on this earth, and now my friend’s wife is fighting for her life. My friend has setup a Facebook page with regular updates which I am following closely. So many friends and loved ones are praying for Amanda Hansen’s recovery.

Separately, I have been meaning to write about my friend Ferly. She and I are both bloggers, writing about the highs and lows of fertility. I was so excited to find out that we were pregnant together and felt such kinship as we went through the same routine appointments. During Ferly’s 18 week ultrasound, instead of finding out the baby’s sex, the doctor said the baby wouldn’t survive. I was devastated to learn the news. Ferly has been blogging so eloquently about growing her family, which she has organized as a series on her blog: http://giftsweuse.com/family-life/growing-our-family.

Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean people aren’t experiencing pain. Maybe this Christmas we can step outside the comfort of our celebrations to recognize those we wouldn’t normally pay attention to: the bothersome homeless person, someone who is struggling to find work, people who are sick or alone. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, even just a simple prayer or lighting a candle.

On this Christmas Eve, we look forward to the hope that tomorrow will bring. I wish that for you and for everyone.

So much love for you, my dear readers.

xoxo,

catherine

Minted Holiday and New Year’s Card Collection

 

Minted_Dean&Catherine

Above is the card designed by Minted that we planned on sending for Christmas, but never had time because pregnancy and poisoning kinda got in the way! Minted is my favorite card shop. Not only are they based in San Francisco, but what makes Minted unique is that the company crowd-sources from a global community of designers, then sells the best designs (voted on by consumers and designers) as stationery and art for the home, holidays, and special occasions. It’s a brilliant concept that gives exposure and income to indie designers, and allows the public to to tap into this enormous talent!

You have more than enough time to send out New Year’s cards especially since Minted has such gorgeous designs and they make it so easy. Here are my favorites from their New Year’s collection.

minted2mintedminted1Discount: 15% off all holiday and New Year’s cards using code FLURRY15 by December 23.

Convenience: Recipient addresses printed free on your envelopes with holiday card orders.

While this post was sponsored by Minted, all opinions are my own—as Minted really is my fave.

Do You Trust Your Spouse to Marry the Right Person?

catherine and deanDean hates talking about death. It’s a subject he’d rather avoid. Whereas I’m big on planning and dreaming up worst case scenarios—which is why I’m such a good business person. The thought of spending money on mausoleums and expensive burial plots, in my mind, is such a waste of hard-earned money. For all I care, bury me in the backyard with a shovel. Cheap and convenient is all I want. Maybe spend the money and have a huge party with a ton of good food. Lots of lumpia, an In-n-Out truck, french fries, and ice-cream cake. Oh and my aunt’s spinach dip. “It’s like crack cocaine,” we like to say.

I also don’t want people gathering around my grave to picnic and reminisce. I’d rather people honor my memory by celebrating their own life. Go for a hike and if you think of me when you encounter a six-legged insect, well then, my life’s work has been done. I love and collect insects, for those of you who don’t know.

Anywho, Dean insists that we’re buried side-by-side. Even in death, we’ll still be together. I joke, “Where is my second husband going to go?” This is where Dean makes a big pouty face.

But last time we had this conversation, I continued, “In all seriousness, if I died, I want you to marry someone else. I want you to be happy. And I want our kid to have a mother.”

I thought about it more and realized, I have absolute faith that Dean would pick the right spouse. I have no doubt he would zero in on someone who was family-oriented and loved our child.

What about you? Do you trust your spouse or partner to find the right person?

What protocols have you put in place to care for your family in the event of an untimely death?

Money Monday: I’m a Belieber!

justin bieber

I don’t know much about Justin Bieber except that he’s a pop star, but I can honestly say I love him.

After the destruction of Typhoon Haiyan on the Philippines, Bieber began to raise money for the cause by tweeting this. He auctioned off the spray paint and signed copies of the picture.

Soon after Bieber launched a massive fund-raising campaign and rallied close to 50 million Twitter followers to donate. He ended his Believe Tour in the typhoon’s worst hit town Tacloban.

And get this, he reached his campaign goal of $1,000,000! I’m so proud. And such a fan.

Go go Bieber!

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