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So Maybe It’s Not Exactly How You Planned

January 28, 2018 by  
Filed under Julie Davidson

By Julie Davidson

When you’re expecting a baby, you have a million decisions to make. And you probably have a good idea of how you’re gonna raise your child. Ideas are good, but they may change.

Before we had our first child, my husband and I had some ideas on what we would do. We thought we’d like to try cloth diapers. But then I realized someone would have to wash all those diapers. There were services we could hire, but for some reason I decided that wouldn’t work either. I think it might have been recalling my mother freely admitting that she stuck us with pins when attempting to get those cloth diapers on. And I wasn’t sure we could replace the pins with duct tape. Honestly, I’m the world’s worst gift wrapper. I couldn’t help but think how the cloth diapers would look like a wad of material on the baby’s bottom. Just couldn’t do it.

My husband thought it would be a good idea to puree the food for the baby. I looked up the definition of puree online. Here’s what I found: “noun. a thick, moist, smooth-textured form of cooked vegetables, fruits, etc., usually made by pressing the pulp through a sieve or by whipping it in a blender.” That sounded like work. I mean for years I’ve seen these jars of baby food with a cute cheeky baby on the label. Just twist, turn, and serve.

One thing we did decide to do was breastfeed. Finally I could use the girls for what they were created for. I figured it would be simple. The baby would be hungry, and I would feed him from my milk stash. Two steps. Easy.

So add breastfeeding to the list of things that I thought I could easily handle. My son was latching on the wrong way. And latching hard. Within 30 minutes of my first attempt, I had a pain running down my neck from my ear to my collarbone. It wasn’t working, and I felt like a failure.

Relief came seven days after our son was born. My sister-in-law came to help. She’s an ob-gyn nurse practitioner. And a lactation consultant. Score!

When she got to the house, she didn’t even unpack her bags. She was on a mission, and within five minutes she had my son latching on one side. Five minutes later, he was on the other side. I was stunned. These were my boobs, but she was getting them to do their thing. Like clockwork. Every four to five hours, she had that kid nursing. Just like that. To this day I call her the “Nipple Whisperer.”

Stick to what you feel is best for your baby. Ask for help. Beg for help. Call your sister-in-law. If you don’t have one, borrow some one else’s.

How the Movie Buck Changed Me as a Parent

July 31, 2017 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

by Monica Lee, MD

I get really frustrated with my son. He is five and has autism, and it has been really difficult for the last three years. He was diagnosed when he was two years old when he started to lose words. A friend noticed and sent us a long e-mail about how he needed to be tested. At first we were taken aback, but we knew she was right. It took us several months to make sure he didn’t have hearing problems. We got him ear tubes and sedated him for a complicated hearing test. Then we had him see a neurologist and a psychologist. But we still couldn’t believe our son had autism. So nine months after the first diagnosis, we finally saw a more “traditional” pediatric neurologist than the first “maverick” one and got basically the same diagnosis.

At least that helped explain why he never asked for anything with words, but would pull our hands to what he wanted. But what hurt the most was when he was stubborn and didn’t want to do something that we thought was necessary, like brush his teeth or get into his car seat when we had to go somewhere. He didn’t have the words to tell us why. When he was younger, we just kind of made him do our bidding. I remember when we would have to hold him still to brush his teeth. Or the time when, unbeknownst to us, he put a piece of foam in his ear and, weeks later, I could smell something rotting. We had to straitjacket him for the doctor to remove it.

A friend made me watch a movie one day, and it changed my perspective on getting the behaviors I wanted. The movie was Buck. It is a documentary based on the real-life horse whisperer. It is about a man who was severely abused as a child and who used that knowledge to help people train horses. He uses only gentle persuasion and never a hard hand. He gently tugs the reins to help guide the horse to his bidding. Anytime he sees a violent and fearful horse, he recognizes that the horse has been abused. The friend who showed me the movie is a golf instructor, and he uses the same principles as a guide in his life and with his clients on a daily basis. After watching this film two years ago, I have let go of my frustrations and tried to use only gentleness and reasoning when dealing with my son. I think it has brought us closer together. Now when I want him to do something, I whisper gently in his ear and am patient if he doesn’t want to do things the first, second, or third time I ask him. The trick is to make him understand that it won’t hurt, and that it is good for him and might actually be fun. He is less frustrated, and so am I.

My son now gets intensive applied behavioral analysis therapy six days a week, and he is showing improvement on his monthly evaluations. The therapists use the same positive reinforcement principles I’ve learned to guide behavior changes because science shows that they produce longer-lasting change than negative reinforcement does.

I think that this principle of positive reinforcement can be used to improve any child’s behavior, including those without learning or behavioral challenges. Some ideas of positive reinforcement include:

  1. Giving a reward for A’s on a report card.
  2. A hug and a kiss for any kind act they might perform, such as sharing toys.
  3. Taking a child to a homeless shelter to give to those in need so that they understand the intrinsic feeling of good that comes from charitable giving.
  4. A monetary reward for chores they might do around the house.

There are so many ways, can you think of others?

About the Author: Monica Lee, MD, is a mom to a 5-year-old son and ob-gyn practicing in the LA Metro area.


Back-to-School Transitions

August 18, 2014 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

by Mommy MD Guide Deborah Gilboa, MDBook Get the Behavior  You Want

“Back to School!” is everywhere right now! Like it or not (and I know a lot of parents are torn about this), we do have to start thinking about a new set of issues. Here are some tips to ease the shift. I’m going to tackle these by topic and age group, the same way I’ve laid out my new book, Get the Behavior You Want… Without Being the Parent You Hate!


  • Toddlers and preschoolers: Kids this age rarely struggle to get up in the morning – usually it’s us parents who struggle! All little ones need is a reminder of the morning routine, so have a few practice runs, when you aren’t time-stressed, so your kiddo can be in the zone before the first real drop-off.
  • Elementary schoolers: Head back to school wakeup time and bedtime, and use that early(ish) morning time to do some things your child actually wants to do. This will make motivating them out of bed easier.
  • Middle schoolers: Push wake up time an hour earlier than it has been during the summer, then an hour earlier. Do this until you are at least in the neighborhood of school wake up time. Go back to eating breakfast!
  • High schoolers: Make a plan this year for wake-ups. You should not be the human alarm clock. Be clear with your child about what you are and are not willing to do to help them get up in the morning and what the consequences will be if they don’t get up. (Remember, you want them to make their morning college classes someday without your help.)

Social Life

All the fun and relaxation of summer can disappear when a child contemplates the first day of school. And even when our kids aren’t nervous, we often are! Talking and strategizing can help, as long as we don’t project our anxiety onto our kids.

  • Toddlers and preschoolers: Most little ones have faith in their ability to make new friends, but first day of school is always easier with some familiar faces. So get a list of kids your child will be with this year and plan a couple of playground meet ups. If you can meet at the school’s playground, it will be even better!
  • Elementary schoolers: Don’t leave it all to chance. Encourage your kids to be pro-active about this. Often kids have no control over who will be in class together, but they can hang out with some friends (new or old) in the couple of weeks leading up to school so that first day doesn’t feel so much like jumping in.
  • Middle schoolers: Role play, by talking through the most common rough spots – such as finding a seat in math or that first encounter by the lockers. Not every tween or teen will do this, but it can be amazingly helpful to “know your lines” when confronted by someone who makes you really nervous.
  • High schoolers: Join a team or group. A unity of purpose or interest can help make new relationships a lot faster than standing with a lunch tray looking for somewhere to sit.


Cue the heavy music. Here are a few things that might help.

  • Toddlers and preschoolers: Rejoice, they don’t have any! Of course, if they have older sibs, they may ask for homework, but that is their teachers’ problem!
  • Elementary schoolers: Create the space. Where is your child going to do this homework? Get that space ready with a cubby, desk, bulletin board, wall calendar, whatever makes sense to him.
  • Middle schoolers: Plan ahead. Often the curriculum is available online, so suggest to your child that she get a head start by getting books a little early and reading a little ahead. That will mean more hanging out and a slightly less shocking work load the first week or so of school.
  • High schoolers: Write a contract. If you have patterns you want to avoid this year about homework, be clear now. Decide what is up to your child (timing of work, space, music, etc) and what is nonnegotiable (completion, grades, etc). Link your requirements to privileges your child wants (cell phone, friend time, extracurricular, whatever fits your philosophy). Write it down!

MMDG Debi Gilboa 2About the author: Parenting expert, Deborah Gilboa, M.D. aka “Doctor G” is a family physician, mom of 4, international speaker, author and TV personality. She developed the “3 R’s of Parenting” to empower parents to raise respectful, responsible, and resilient kids.Her book, Get the Behavior You Want, Without Being the Parent You Hate will be released September 10, 2014 and is available on Amazon.com. 


Your Less-Than Fertile Forties

August 1, 2013 by  
Filed under J.Bright

by Mommy MD Guides blogger Jennifer Bright Reich

My thirties totally snuck up on me. I was busy transitioning from being a Lieutenant in the Army to civilian life back home, gearing up my job with a publishing company, and enjoying married life. It’s amazing how fast the time went.

Finally, at age 35, I was ready to start a family. Fortunately, my fertility cooperated, and I got pregnant easily. Sadly, I watched as many of my friends who were my age and older didn’t have the same experience.

It turns out that I had plenty of company with many women waiting like I did to try to get pregnant. Approximately 20 percent of women wait until age 35 to start trying to get pregnant.

Yet ironically, the time is ticking away much faster than our own biological clocks are. Fertility begins to decline as early as the late 20s. A healthy 30-year-old woman has a 20 percent chance per month to get pregnant. A healthy 40-year-old woman, on the other hand, has only a 5 percent chance of getting pregnant per month according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

So it’s not surprising that Mother Nature needs some help now and then. More than 6.7 million women (almost 11 percent of US women), ages 15 to 44, have impaired fertility or ability to carry a baby to term, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). More than 7.4 million women in the United States have used infertility services, according to the CDC.

Fortunately, infertility specialists, such as the physicians at HRC Fertility’s Pacadena, California, Fertility Clinics, have treatments designed specifically for women in this age group. They understand the diminished fertility of women in their forties and also the additional pregnancy risks women in this age group face. Physicians such as HRC’s Bradford A. Kolb, MD, FACOGJeffrey R. Nelson, DO, FACOOG; and John Wilcox, MD, FACOG, offer help—and hope. HRC has a second office, HRC Fertility’s Rancho Cucamonga, California, Fertility Clinic, where physicians such as  John M. Norian, MD, FACOG, and Jeffrey R. Nelson, DO, FACOOG, work with patients.

Visit www.havingbabies.com for more information on getting pregnant, infertility treatments, and more.


About the author: Jennifer Bright Reich is coauthor of The Mommy MD Guide to Pregnancy and Birth, cofounder of MommyMDGuides.com, and a mom of two sons, in Allentown, PA. She was compensated by HRC for this blog but feels so passionately about the topic would have written about it for free.

Was It Something I Ate?

March 26, 2013 by  
Filed under Julie Davidson

by Mommy MD Guides blogger Julie Davidson

Did you ever have too much to drink? The kind of overdoing it that has you huddled over a toilet bowl, hanging on for dear life? That brings the phrase “gut wrenching” to a whole new level. It also brings out promises to yourself to never drink like that again. Ever. Even if your friends swear what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

Or maybe you were just plain unlucky and ate a quick lunch at one of those street vendors parked along the curbside. The ones that are in a truck so small they likely don’t have refrigeration, or a sink, or more than one cook. The one you ordered from the same day you had stomach pain so bad you left work two hours early.

Remember the last time you had the stomach flu? With an empty ice cream pail at your side, you vowed not to eat a thing for at least a week.

Those situations are uncomfortable, but at least you know that they will be short-lived. Within a few days or so, you’ll feel human again, and that discomfort will fade in your memory. With morning sickness, you can’t be sure. Well, yes, you’ll still be human, but just how long it will last and how you’ll get through it can vary.

Fergie, the lead singer for the Black Eyed Peas, said in an interview on Good Morning America that it was her intent to take a natural approach during pregnancy. She found that acupuncture and Chinese herbs helped with morning sickness. I found that McDonald’s bacon egg and cheese biscuits helped.

I never had the oh my goodness I’m going to be sick the rest of my life kind of morning sickness. But many women do have morning sickness that is intense and sometimes lasts beyond the first trimester.

Pregnancy is more uncomfortable when you feel ill for long periods of time. You could start to feel like your whole nine months of carrying your baby is overshadowed by being what might feel like a permanent state of nausea. It could start to feel believable that your body is being possessed by demons. But it will go away. Just like after the girls weekend in Vegas. And takeout from the food truck guy. And last year’s stomach bug. Plus, this time you’ll have a lot more to show for it. Instead of pictures of you face-to-face with a porcelain fixture, you’ll be face-to-face with a beautiful, chubby-cheeked baby.

Say Cheese

January 30, 2013 by  
Filed under Julie Davidson

by Mommy MD Guides blogger Julie Davidson

Demi Moore, Cindy Crawford, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilara. Celebrities are just like us, right? Okay, they’re all women. And they’ve all had babies. And they all posed nude while pregnant. So much for the list of similarities.

No one asked me to pose nude when I was pregnant. I’m not pregnant now, but sadly, I have a belly. So where’s the sexy? Who took the sexy? Now take a look at a semi-naked pregnant woman. I mean if the occasion presents itself. There’s something striking and sexy about it. Okay, maybe it’s just the fact that she isn’t wearing any clothes. Or maybe it’s because it’s not the kind of naked like on a naughty website kind of naked.

It could be the attitude that makes it easier to be photographed without clothes on. I don’t know where it comes from, but it seems like you have a boost in confidence when you get pregnant. It starts out like Ahhh yes, I’m going to be somebody’s mom. By the eighth month, it feels a bit more like, Yeah, I’m gonna be a mom, and you’re not the boss of me!

Of course it’s entirely possible that women bare their bods when they’re expecting because it’s virtually the only time you can get away with it. It’s no big secret that pregnant women get a pass on things. From opening doors to giving up good seats, people tend to dote on women who are obviously pregnant. So perhaps the thinking is She’s carrying a baby—give her what she wants.

There’s also the possibility that hormones make you do it. Oh please, we blame everything from PMS to poor diet to menopause on them, so why not bare belly shots too? It would be totally acceptable to credit your hormones for keeping you in a perpetual state of euphoria. Those little buggers might very well be in there telling you that you can and should do anything.

I bet if you ask anyone who’s had kids if they struck a nudie preggers pose in front of their mirror fresh after a shower, they’d say yes. We’re women. We turn our feet almost full circle in the mirror when we try on shoes! It’s part of our routine to look at our boobs, butts, and bellies. Being pregnant gives us that much more of them to look at.

And really, no worries if People magazine doesn’t ask you to pose for them. There’re lots of people who’ll see you naked during delivery.

Go the F*#@ to Sleep

January 17, 2013 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

by Mommy MD Guide Cheryl Wu, MD

My son, like most children his age, makes delaying going to bed an Olympic event. He’s persistent, untiring, incredibly creative, and keeps the prize squarely in his mind’s eye: going to sleep as late as humanly possible. He will delay everything. He will beg to play downstairs a little while longer. He will make sure to stack his train tracks just SO when it’s time to clean up. He will take forever to go upstairs (he is likely the inventor of the world’s most varied footsteps climbing a 26-step staircase). He will find every excuse to not go in the bath (it’s too cold, it’s too hot, it’s not enough water, it’s too much water, he needs two washcloths, he needs more bath salt). He’ll run around naked after his bath. He’ll pick out four books to read and insist on reading them in a certain order. Then after lights out, he’ll ask me to tell him more stories. Then when I tell him (often repeatedly) that he needs to go to sleep, he tells me, “Mommy, it’s so hard to go to sleep!” as he gets into various yoga headstand positions. Koi, in short, embodies the opposite of sleep. The bedtime routine works out beautifully in my household—he knows EXACTLY what comes next, so he knows that he can delay bedtime by a significant amount of time if he delays each step just enough to not get him in trouble.

So the other night, after I finally got Koi to turn off the lights (I’m not allowed to turn off the lights in my own house), after reading him two books, one of them twice, he begged me to tell him a story. Now, when I tell my son stories, he imagines himself right into them; he tells Goldilocks to not break the chair, Cinderella to run fast when the clock strikes 12 (in my version, when she gets to the castle, she decides marriage is not for her and enrolls instead in grad school to get her PhD), and the Ugly Duckling that he’s beautiful on the inside. It’s really pretty endearing. It’s the development of a human mind and its vast capacity for imagination, blossoming before my very eyes. I know I need to nurture that, but not at freaking 10 to 9.

So that night, I said to Koi, “What story do you want to hear?” He, of course, didn’t miss a beat; “What stories do you have?” I said, “Well, the only story I have is a boring one—you get that or nothing.” He thought about it and decided that a boring story is better than none at all. So I started telling him this entirely made-up story:

“A mouse was really, really hungry, and he’s craving rice. He found this enormous warehouse full of grains of rice. He was super excited and got to work. He went into the house, took a grain of rice, brought it outside, and put it in a pile. He then went back into the house, took a grain of rice, brought it outside, and put it in a pile. He then went back into the house, took a grain of rice, brought it outside, and put it in a pile.”

After about the sixth repeat, Koi exclaimed somewhat giddily, “Wow, that’s a lot of rice!” I said, “Yeah, this mouse was really, really hungry. So…he went back into the house, took a grain of rice, brought it outside, and put it in a pile. He went back into the house, took a grain of rice, brought it outside, and put it in a pile. He then went right back in the house, took a grain of rice, brought it outside, and put it in a pile.”

Koi stopped me again, “It’s the same thing over and over, Mom!” I said, “Well, there’s a LOT of rice in the big warehouse. So he went back into the house, took a grain of rice…” Koi interrupted me again, “Mommy I think the owner just came back, and he’s really mad when he saw the mouse, and yelled, ‘Why are you stealing my rice?’”

I said, “No, the owner’s on a month-long sabbatical in Europe with his family. He just left two days ago, so he won’t be back for another 28 days. So the mouse went back into the house, took a grain of rice, brought it outside, and put it in a pile. He then went back in the house, took a grain of rice, brought it outside, and put it in a pile. He then went back…”

Koi stopped me yet again (I mean, can a mom finish telling a story around here?), and said, “Mommy, there are all these people walking by, and they can see the mouse taking the rice!” I said, “Nah, this little mouse is pretty smart—he made sure to use the side door, and the pile was out back, so there are very few people walking around, and they can’t see him anyway because it’s getting dark. So…the little mouse went back into the house, took a grain of rice, brought it outside, and put it in a pile. He then went back in the house, took a grain of…”

Koi was now yelling, “Mom! This is so boring! Why does he need so much rice? The pile must be so big now!” I said, “Well, you wanted to hear a story; winter’s coming up, so he needs to store up a lot of rice. And besides, grains of rice are so small that it’s not that big a pile yet. Wait, let me tell you what happens next: the mouse went back in the house, took a grain of rice, brought it outside, and put it in a pile. THEN, [acting like it was a turning point in the story] he went back in the house, took a grain of rice, brought it….”

Koi started to beg, “Mommy don’t you have ANOTHER story? What about the Big Bad Wolf? Isn’t he hungry? He’s gonna come and eat the mouse!” I said, “No, he just had Little Red Riding Hood at grandma’s house—he’s good for a while, man. So the mouse went back in the house, took another grain of rice, brought it outside, and put it in a pile…”

At this point, Koi finally gave up and groaned. “I don’t want to hear about the mouse anymore!” I said, “Oh, so you want to go to sleep now?” “But it’s so haaaaarrrrd to go to sleep!!! [extreme whining]” “Ok, so the mouse went back in the house, took a grain of rice, brought it outside…” “Ok Mommy, I’ll go to sleep now.”

Score: Mom. I actually did a victory dance in my head.

Advice to parents—you can use this story, or any variation thereof, if you have one of these children. Basically, find a super-boring story line, and repeat the same four lines over and over and over again. Set it up so it makes sense that you’re repeating the same four lines: scooping water from the ocean with a spoon works well, as does counting blades of grass on a mountain. Make it with a bit of rhythm, so at least it’s fun for you to say.

Now, if you know how to get my kid in the bathtub in under a minute, please let me know. Til next time, everyone.

A Child’s View

October 29, 2012 by  
Filed under Julie Davidson

by Mommy MD Guides blogger Julie Davidson

When I was little, I thought babies were so cute. I mean the idea that they were full-fledged humans seemed almost unbelievable. They came with toes, fingers, and bellies, but on a much smaller scale. Babies were real people, but they didn’t seem like it because they were younger and smaller.

I figured that having a baby would pretty much be like having a doll. Well, more like the high-end expensive dolls. Remember those? The kind that had the silky hair that you loved to brush. Brush and sniff. Mmmmm! Nothing like the smell of Polyurethane. Although inhaling that might have caused us to have inaccurate ideas of motherhood in the first place. And there were some really cool dolls that you could feed. A few years ago I finally got the memo about the dolls that pee! That would have given the six–year-old me a total doll high!

I was the youngest of six children, so the idea of having someone, anyone, around who I could be in charge of rocked my world! I couldn’t wait to get near an infant or toddler. I made a face; they smiled. I made a sound; they cooed. I gave them a bottle; they settled down.

So it was natural for me, beginning at age 11, to babysit to make some spending money. A paper route and mowing lawns just didn’t have the same appeal. Nope. Getting scowls from old men angry that I missed their porch and trying to push a machine around a yard while trying to avoid sticks, thistles, and piles of dog poop was not what I had in mind. Bring on the gibberish and spit up. And I made two bucks an hour. What a gig!

Reminiscing about this made me want to find out what my husband thought about having babies when he was young. He said he really never contemplated fatherhood. He conceded that maybe it was less of a thing that boys think about.

“Well, what did you think about as a kid?” I pressed him.

His answer? “Being a football player.”

So what changed since those early days? I found out that real babies pee (and poop) a lot. They don’t always smile when I smile or coo when I make soothing sounds. Parents work for way less than two bucks an hour. But there is something so endearing about the smell of a brand new baby. It’s much more appealing than plastic dolls. And way better than a football player.

The Path More Traveled

October 24, 2012 by  
Filed under Julie Davidson

by Mommy MD Guides blogger Julie Davidson

As I write this latest entry, I think about how pregnancy and birth are daunting. But my thoughts were interrupted by the news coverage about a guy on TV in a spacesuit freefalling!  All in effort to break the sound barrier. Introducing Felix Baumgartner, who was the first person to jump from 24 miles up.  There is very little air at that height. And no one to catch you.  And who knows exactly where you will land after your tumble through the sky.  Now that takes daunting to a whole new level.

But still, pregnancy and birth are daunting.  Maybe because of all the unknowns.  Before you’re pregnant, so much of life is predictable. When you leave for work, you know there’s a good chance that traffic will be a headache.  And that when you get to work you’ll get the parking space furthest from the door, and before you get a cup of coffee you’ll learn the client that was not satisfied yesterday is just as miserable today. After work, while strolling down the snack aisle, it’s entirely possible that although there are eight Orville Redenbacher’s flavors, but the store will have run out of the kind you like.

After you get pregnant, suddenly life becomes unpredictable. Pregnancy symptoms come and go. Because pregnancy involves your body, you can get the feeling of being trapped by certain circumstances for the entire pregnancy.  Nine months is a long time to feel nauseous. And to be growing.  And to have bizarre food cravings. You start to wonder: Will you have a boy or a girl? How will the birth go? And don’t even start trying to predict what motherhood will be like!

But one way to be more calm when thinking about having a child is to look at how many people there are in the world.  If pregnancy and birth were that difficult, no one would do it.  Okay, maybe some people would do it once, but lots of people do it over and over. How bad could it be if they keep doing it?

Felix Baumgartner got from space to the ground in about six minutes.  But he was in uncharted territory. Yes, you can expect to be pregnant for nine months, but at least you’ll be in the company of what, like six and a half billion other people? You won’t be in a stuffy spacesuit. No breaking the sound barrier.  The only thing you have to break is your water.  And you can get help with that.


October 16, 2012 by  
Filed under Julie Davidson

by Mommy MD Guides blogger Julie Davidson

When you are pregnant, the list of things to worry about is endless. From how you will afford daycare to how you’ll manage with nighttime feedings: There’s always something to concern yourself with.

During my early pregnancies, I worried about the actual labor. Here is just some of what I had on my mind: If I go into labor and I can’t get a hold of my husband, do I call for an ambulance or try to drive myself? What if I have the baby in the mini van on the way to the hospital? If the pain becomes too intense, what will I do? Who will handle the delivery if my OB is out of town?

But at some point in pregnancy it seems like hormones or something (perhaps good old common sense) kicks in, and the freaking out subsides. Right around the 8th month. Which makes sense if you think about the response you often get when you ask a woman that far in her pregnancy how she’s doing. It’s often very similar from all women. “I feel fine; I just want it over with.” Yeah, somewhere after month six, the cuteness you wanted so badly to arrive the first trimester sort of drops off. But the tradeoff is it seems as if you are much less of a worry wart.

This definitely happened to me. With my first pregnancy, it happened when I was on the back of my husband’s Harley. It was the 100 year anniversary, and I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be around for the 200-year rally. If the rally had been a few months earlier, I would have worried that the noise of the bike would have put me into labor, let alone the fact that a motorcycle, at best is made for two people, not two and a half. There is a slight possibility I was enticed to go by the cool leather biker gear, but I still think it had to be my body relaxing a bit. Emotional protection.

During my pregnancy number two, I went to Jamaica with less than three months until delivery. Honestly, my biggest concerns were what I was going to wear on the beach and how I should style my hair. Not even a thought of how the cabin pressure during flight could send me into premature labor. Or the fact that if I did go into labor I would be a few thousand miles across the pond from my own doctor.

As I recall all this, I think about a conversation I had with a guy I know whose wife is due in about six weeks. He told me that she wants to go to a haunted cornfield, but he was worried that if she became overly frightened she’ll go into labor. In the cornfield. Now the nervous side of me might think Wow, if she goes into labor in a dark cornfield, that could difficult. There will be nothing but corn and spooky pop-up characters for acres in every direction. An ambulance couldn’t get through the field, so maybe a helicopter…”

And then it dawns on me: She’s gonna be fine. What could possibly scare a woman that far into her pregnancy? By now she’s already experienced major weight gain, fatigue beyond imagination, constant stares, stretch marks, and people reaching out to touch her growing belly. A creepy cornfield can’t hold a torch to what she’s endured to this point.

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