Ultrasounds offer a unique glimpse and a first baby pic before our children are born.
Seeing your baby for the first time is more special than words can tell, and for one couple, when they got a thumbs up from their baby, they thought it was really exceptional.
According to the baby’s father, Brandon Hopkins, his wife is actually expecting twins and is due in January. At this time they don’t know the sex of the babies. Even so, the twins or at least one of the twins is already famous for the thumbs up photo.
The proud dad-to-be posted the pic on his Facebook page, and then his brother posted the same sonogram pic to Reddit where the responses exploded. Some have even nicknamed the baby the “Fonzie fetus” after the iconic cool guy from Happy Days.
After the surprising response, the uncle of the babies called his brother to let him know, “Your babies are famous.” They even made the news on WCVB Channel 5 Boston.
It is really a cool shot. I mean I got excited to see thumb sucking! A thumbs up is like a positive message sent ahead. However, I can’t help but think about after the kids are born.
This is a story that will become part of their family lore passed from one generation to the next, but will the kids wonder which of them gave the thumbs up? You know what I’m talking about. The sibling rivalry thing boasting about who does something better. Which one will be able to say, “I was famous before we were born”?
Luckily because they don’t even know the sex of the babies at this time I don’t think that will happen. Instead, this now famous picture and bit of celebrity as a viral sensation will be something the entire family can cherish as a whole unit. It is special.
Photo credits: reddit
Three of my friends and I were sharing our birthing stories a couple of evenings ago after one of the women told of how their daughter was under 5 pounds when she came home. Yes, she was a preemie. Her now teenage daughter walked over to us to remind her mother that she’s not so little any more.
The conversation went on to tell birth weights of our various children, and all of us thought our eight-pound-something kids were plenty big. The daughter asked what average was and it raised the question in all our minds. We all thought the seven pound range was average territory, but with so many extremely big babies being born these days is there a new normal?
According to Kids Health, “Most full-term babies (born between 37 and 40 weeks) weigh somewhere between 5 pounds 8 ounces (2,500 grams) and 8 pounds, 13 ounces (4,000 grams).” So that means the average is about the same as what we thought weighing about 7.5 pounds.
So what’s making so many babies tip the scales at weights like 14, 15, and even 16 pounds? One of the things that plays a role is diet and weight before you get pregnant and while you’re pregnant. That means those of us who are overweight to start can expect to have a heavier baby. Does that mean the baby is born “overweight?”
At the other end of the spectrum, if we don’t take in enough nutrients, then our baby might be smaller. Other factors that can influence birth weight are lifestyle habits like drinking and smoking and health issued like diabetes.
Things we have no control over include genetics and our own birth weight and the sex of the baby (boys tend to weight more than girls). Firstborns usually weigh less than their siblings, too. All of this makes me wonder if the rise in obesity and overweight is being passed on to the next generation! All the more reason why we should try to get ourselves in shape before we get pregnant!
Photo credits: Coolins335
Christina Aguilera and her fiancé Matt Rutler welcomed their first child together on Aug. 16. According to an article in Us Weekly, the baby was delivered via Caesarian section at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and, the 33 year old star announced via Twitter that the baby’s name is Summer Rain.
As with any baby name, people will be divided as to whether or not they like the name choice. I think this particular name is pretty. It doesn’t sound gimmicky, silly, or like a forced effort to be different. Instead it has a casual elegance to it.
Summer can be a girl or boy name and it means “summer season.” It actually was somewhat popular back in the late 90s. According to the Government Social Security Administration it ranked 188 in popularity last year which means it is still pretty popular.
Summer Rain is Aguilera’s second child and the first for her fiancé, who she met on the set of her 2010 film Burlesque where he worked as a set production assistant. She and ex-husband Jordan Bratman share custody of her six-year-old son, Max, who she also had by an elective scheduled C-section.
At the time she had told People magazine, “I didn’t want any surprises. Honestly, I didn’t want any [vaginal] tearing. I had heard horror stories of women going in and having to have an emergency C-section [anyway]. The hardest part was deciding on his birthday. I wanted to leave it up to fate, but at the same time I was ready to be done early.”
According to one article I read, one third of celeb babies are born by C-section. That’s one decision I don’t think I’d make, but there are pros and cons for both sides of that issue. I’m happy all is well with the baby and mom, and wish the entire family all the best.
Photo credits: Splash News
In this day and age where people tend to believe their way of thinking is the right way, now there are lines being drawn about when to have children.
I personally wanted to be done having my kids by the time I was 30, because in my mind I wanted to be young enough to be active enough to really enjoy them. That was my personal opinion. Yet, my father was born when my grandmother was 49.
Today, with more women concentrating on their careers, they put off starting a family. It can make a difference in career earnings according to University of Virginia economist Amalia Miller who says that for every year a woman delays childbearing she will see an increase of career earnings of 10 percent.
But let’s face it, it’s not always so cut and dried as following a plan, budgets, or career goals. What if a woman doesn’t fall in love until 40? Or what if you find yourself fulfilling the role of caregiver for an elderly parent and having children gets put off as you wait for a better time?
And the dreaded biological clock doesn’t dictate what we do and when we do it as much as it used to. With improved fertility treatments, the birthrates for women in their 40s are at their highest since 1967!
Is waiting until 40 or older selfish? Some may think so, but it is the woman’s decision. Why do some people say it’s selfish? First of all, because of the increased chance of delivering a baby with birth defects like Down syndrome. Yet health issues are tied to babies with older fathers, too, and they aren’t being called selfish.
Another reason moms over 40 are considered selfish is because of the increased risk of leaving the child without their mom early in life.
I think it is up to the mom and dad as to when they will have kids. And what of the moms like my grandmother who didn’t “plan” to have my dad when she was 49. My girlfriend has 4 teenage girls and now a little guy at 43 who is precious and running her ragged. While he was not part of her “plan” she’s not complaining. In fact, she’s keeping up!
Photo credits: Stéfan
Contradicting information surrounds caffeine and pregnancy. Do you have to give it up or not? Actually that’s between you and your doctor.
My doctor suggested limiting my intake. In the UK, the NHS recommends limiting caffeine intake to 200mg a day which is about the equivalent to two mugs of instant coffee or 2-3 cups of tea. However, a study of 1,000 women in their first trimester showed a doubling of miscarriage when drinking that amount of caffeine per day.
Another study in BMC Medicine linked caffeine to lower birth weights; babies who are at a higher risk of both short- and long-term health problems. So what’s a mom-to-be to do? After looking at all the conflicting information, I decided to play it safe and give it up.
When I decided to cut caffeine, no one warned me about the symptoms like the headache that was so bad it sent me to the bathroom vomiting. A friend told me to sip a half cup of coffee and the headache went away. Instead of quitting cold turkey, I cut back a little each day. I started with a half a cup in the morning. When I felt a hint of the headache, I had another half cup.
I gradually reduced my half cups to quarter cups and eventually quit drinking coffee, tea, and other caffeinated beverages all together. I also became aware of the caffeine in painkillers, ice cream, chocolate, and other products.
If you plan to breastfeed, I’d say you might as well wean yourself off caffeine totally before the baby is born because babies don’t excrete caffeine at the same rate as adults, and too much caffeine can make the baby cranky and keep it awake.
In my book, anything that lessens the chance of a fussy, sleepless baby is worth trying and once you’re done breastfeeding, you can always enjoy a cup of coffee again.
Photo credits: Joanna Bourne
Little Megan Hui is a miracle baby. She was born last February and is now a healthy 18-week-old little girl.
She’s a miracle, because her mother suffered a miscarriage six weeks into the pregnancy. Then following the miscarriage, she was given abortion drugs to help clear out her uterus and as a precautionary method to avoid infection. Then 10 days later she went back to the hospital to have a surgical procedure to clear remaining blot clots that could be life threatening.
According to Megan’s 31-year-old mom, Michelle, the doctor said, “You are not going to believe it, we’ve got a heartbeat.” Can you imagine the roller coaster of emotions to she went through from losing her baby, to finding out she was still pregnant?
It turns out the Megan was a twin. Her mom had lost a baby after six weeks of pregnancy, and didn’t know that she was actually carrying two babies. She even underwent 5 different scans that confirmed she had lost the baby, and yet for some reason, little Megan survived the abortion drugs. I count that a miracle!
Michelle Hui went in to have the surgical procedure to have the potentially dangerous blood clots in her uterus removed. It was at this time that a scan picked up a faint heartbeat.
The medical team decided that since the baby had survived so much already that Michelle should continue her pregnancy. They think that perhaps the blood clots caused shadows that hid the surviving fetus, but however it happened, the result is that a healthy baby girl who weighed six pounds at birth.
She joins her older sister Mya, who is four, and her brother, Noah, who is two.
It turns out that I’m not the only one who thinks Megan is a miracle. Her story is considered extraordinary enough to be written up in medical journals and the doctors said it was a “blessing.” I agree!
Photo credits: Twitter
One of the hardest things for new moms to do after giving birth, aside from learning to keep the tiny person in their life alive, is going back to work after maternity leave. Most women find themselves torn because, while they might love their career, many of us are completely overwhelmed and blindsided by our attachment to our newborn babies.
I thought for sure I’d go back to work and leave my baby in the onsite daycare at the university but once I held her, it was all over.
I realized pretty quickly that I couldn’t leave my girls when they were newborns and luckily my husband’s job allowed me that luxury. I also knew I needed to work, so when they were newborns, I found work from home tutoring college students online.
I was lucky. But sometimes there is no choice and you have to go back to work, whether you want to or not. If you’re going to return to work after maternity leave or after taking time off to stay home, why not go back like a boss?
The first thing you’ll need to do is secure childcare that you feel completely comfortable with. That will be your biggest hurdle to returning to working outside the home.
Next, you will need to get a non-spit up covered wardrobe put together. Believe me, my girls are 8 and 6-years-old and I still have to do a foreign body fluid check of my clothes to make sure it’s public worthy. It’s not easy switching gears from cooing at a newborn all day to having actual conversations with co-workers. You need to mentally shift gears.
It will be hard in the beginning to separate Mommy you from corporate you. Obviously. You are always mommy first but when you are in the office, try to stay focused on your work and career goals.
Sure your baby is still the cutest baby ever, but try not boring your co-workers with a constant barrage of photos of your baby in the tub or spitting up. Soon, they will all be running the other way when they see you coming in their direction.
Use work as a chance to get some “me” time, meaning focus on you the person instead of just you the mom. Use all that time at work to focus on your projects and show your boss that motherhood has only increased your multi-tasking skills.
Be professional when you are at work. It will be hard those first few mornings to leave your precious little baby, but once you get to work, get into work mode. You can’t spend every moment obsessing over the webcam in your baby’s nursery.
Set aside certain times to check in on your baby, let your caregiver know that you cannot have constant phone calls and emails when you are at work unless it is an emergency. If not, you will run the risk of looking unprofessional and possibly losing your job.
Keep a schedule. Sure, as a mom, there will be situations that you will have to make allowances for like running a sick baby into the pediatrician’s office, or if your caregiver gets sick or doesn’t show up. You can’t prepare for these things but plan well visits around your work schedule and if you must be late or miss a day, make it up by working through lunch or putting in hours from home.
Prove your dedication to your job to your boss. It’s not an easy situation to get a handle on but with time, it will get easier to balance the two.
What’s your best tip for going back to work after having a baby?
The crowd at the US Track and Field Championships gave Alysia Montano a standing ovation as she crossed the finish line in the 800-meter race. She came in just 35 seconds more than her personal best, but what made the crowd applaud her performance is the fact that Montano, 28, ran the race while being 8.5 months pregnant.
Montano is a five time national champion, and she had been running regularly throughout her pregnancy. She got the okay from her midwife and doctor to run in the race 800 meter race.
At 34 weeks pregnant, she knew she could run a decent time, but didn’t really have an exact time in mind. In fact, her goal was to be lapped and she accomplished that.
“More than anything, I wanted to be here and feeling that fire and desire to be on the track and to race.” – Alysia Montano
This is Montano’s first pregnancy, and she says her midwife and doctors were so encouraging that she knew as a professional runner that she could do this. And as she looked into whether or not she should run while pregnant, she learned that exercise during pregnancy is good for the mom and the baby.
When she finished the race, she didn’t even realize she was given a standing ovation, but she said that she felt so supported and even a little choked up about it.
It really had her fired up to be back at the Championships, though she admits, she wasn’t out there competing to make it to the next round. She had qualified to be there and looked at it more as a celebration. She was celebrating where she was at, that she had made it 34 weeks, and that this is what it looks like to be a professional woman athlete starting a family.
Photo credits: Letsrundotcom
My father was born when my grandmother was 49. She lived to be 91 and got to see her youngest child go on to be a success, have a family of his own, and even got to meet his first two grandchildren.
He was her surprise baby. She thought she had gone through the change and so her periods had stopped, then she learned baby number 5 was on the way.
Today, it’s not unusual for women to have children in their 40s but doctors often discourage delaying childbirth. However, a new Long Life Family Study shows that there may be an unexpected benefit to having children when we are over 33 and even over 40.
The study, which was published in the journal Menopause, suggests that late motherhood may lead to a longer life expectancy.
The objective of this study was to investigate the “association between maternal age at birth of last child and likelihood of survival to advanced age.” Researchers at Boston University and Boston Medical Center looked at women who lived to the age of 95 or older and compared them with 151 women who had died at younger ages.
Their findings showed that women who gave birth naturally (no IVF or other fertility assistance) were twice as likely to live to the age of 95, and women who had their last child after the age of 40 were four times more likely to live to the age of 100.
Lead researcher Thomas Perls, MD, says, “We believe the ability to have kids at an older age is a sign that a woman’s reproductive system is aging slowly, which is a marker that her entire body is aging slowly.”
He even pointed to Halle Berry as an example. She became pregnant at 46, without any fertility treatments, and looks young and healthy.
While all this may be true, part of me also thinks about how that could also lead to more people finding themselves raising kids and taking care of elderly parents at the same time. However, the longevity results, according to this study, extended to the children who were conceived later in life. They ran half the risk of diseases like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer so they’ll be more likely to be healthy enough to handle it.
Photo credits: wikipedia