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5 Important Things I wish I’d Done Before My Baby Had Arrived

{Disclaimer: I received compensation to share this post and my thoughts about cord blood banking with you guys. But- this is my story, and all opinions are my own.}

One of these days I’ll get around to writing the full story about my unexpected journey to motherhood. But let’s just say – I’d never planned to become a mom. I didn’t feel comfortable holding a friend’s new baby. I knew nothing about babies. Then, after 5 years of dating, we unexpectedly found out we were expecting. Oh my.

5 Important Things I Wish I'd Done Before My Baby Was Born

I tried to prepare for Abby’s birth. I bought baby clothes. Set up a crib. Stocked up on supplies like diapers and wipes. But there are a few really important things I really wish I’d done before she arrived. Especially because she surprised me by coming 3 weeks early. {And keep reading until the end to find out how you can WIN $2,000 worth of baby gear!} [Read more…]


Learn the Secrets of Getting Pregnant Quickly


Interview with the author of Impatient Woman's Guide to Getting Pregnant

How long should you try on your own before heading to the doctor?

If you’ve been having ovulation-focused sex, I’d say 6 months. The standard advice is to wait a year if you’re under 35, but that’s a really long time and the average woman under 35 who’s having ovulation-focused sex is pregnant within three months. If you’ve been trying for more than three months, don’t panic. Maybe you just haven’t had your lucky cycle yet – it’s a roll of the dice. If you just can’t wait – and believe me, I’m with you – you can always consider making an appointment with your gynecologist in advance, to coincide with the month you will have been trying for six months.

With that said: If you can talk your partner into it, get a semen analysis right away. Up to half of fertility problems are caused by sperm issues (the technical term is “male factor,” which sounds like a really bad men’s cologne). Because men always have it easier, tests for sperm issues are quick and inexpensive – usually under $100 at a doctor’s office (there are home kits too, but they are less accurate). What if he doesn’t like the idea of getting his sperm tested? Remind him that spending 20 minutes buffing the banana with some soft porn is not so bad – after all, he voluntarily did this about 3 times a day when he was 14.

What foods do you think increase fertility? Which should you stay away from?

Studies find that vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish, olive oil, and plant protein (like beans) increase fertility — or at least make ovulation problems less likely. There’s no research on some of the other rumored foods (like pineapple core). What you should avoid: Trans fat, also known as partially hydrogenated oils (I like to call them “partially hydrogenated evil.”) Fortunately, trans fat’s long crime spree through the American diet has mostly been halted; the foods that used to contain trans fat have mostly been modified to banish the substance. Most evil oils are safely in bad food jail. But not all. I’ll save you some time scrutinizing food labels to tell you the one food that still employs significant amounts of felon trans fats: frosting. That’s really sad, because I think frosting is the best food on the planet. The label on tubs of cake frosting – which I read while I eat it straight out of the can with a spoon – reveals several grams of trans fat. If you’re trying to get pregnant, or will in the next three months, frosting moderation is probably in order.

Is it true what they say about positions for conceiving boys or girls?

There is no research to suggest that certain positions are more likely to produce a boy or a girl. The idea behind all of these rumors is that boy sperm swim faster than girl sperm. If that made a difference during natural conception there would be more boys conceived from sex close to ovulation. Instead, most studies find the opposite, with more GIRLS from sex close to ovulation (other studies find no difference or only a small one). So boy sperm might swim faster, but that doesn’t actually produce the results one might expect. That also suggests position won’t make much of a difference. The Impatient Woman’s Guide has a whole chapter on the research on what does make a difference in gender swaying.

Is there a better chance of getting pregnant the more sex you have?

Yes, although the difference between sex every day and sex every other day is very small. And, contrary to popular belief, sex every day doesn’t lower sperm count (though you might not want to share this bit of information with your husband).

How long should you get off the pill before trying to get pregnant?

A good rule of thumb: Three months if you’ve been on it for less than a year; six months if you’ve been on it for more than a year. It takes time for your cervical mucus to come back and your lining to thicken up again. Don’t worry if you happen to get pregnant before then — there’s no evidence that being on the pill recently will do any harm to you or the baby. It’s just harder to get pregnant the first few months off the pill.

Is it true that there are only a few days of the month you can get pregnant?

Yes! A study of 119,398 charts showed that 94% of pregnancies occurred from sex on the three days around ovulation (the two days before and the day of). Studies from medical journals have found a “fertile window” from 5 days before ovulation to the day of ovulation, but only some of those days are very fertile — in most studies, that’s the two days before ovulation. So yes, that means the day of ovulation is NOT the most fertile! (Here is a great study that explains why — look at Figure 1). In The Impatient Woman’s Guide, I give precise instructions for how to find your two most fertile days from charting, OPKs, or the fertility monitor.

Will taking prenatal vitamins increase your chance of pregnancy?

Yes. Several studies have found that women taking prenatal vitamins, especially folate and vitamin B6, are more likely to get pregnant quickly. Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) have also been linked to better embryos in IVF, and smarter babies overall. And prenatal vitamins definitely lower the risk of birth defects when taken before conception, so start taking them at least 2 to 3 months before you start trying to get pregnant — and maybe longer. One nurse practitioner I know advises all women under 50 to take prenatals because the evidence for lowering birth defects is so strong.

To learn more about Jean M. Twenge’s book, read my review of The Impatient Woman’s Guide to Getting Pregnant.


The Impatient Woman’s Guide to Getting Pregnant

“What to do when you want to be pregnant yesterday – and you don’t have any time to waste.” – Jean M. Twenge, Ph.D…. This book is for the impatient woman. The woman who has moved up the ranks in her career successfully, and wants to succeed with pregnancy using the same methodical approach. {Except that babies  don’t cooperate with planning very well.} The woman who has been trying to get pregnant for a couple months, or even a couple years! {Yep, that would make anyone impatient.} The woman who is getting older, and worried that you don’t have as much time left as you used to. Or the woman who realizes that now is the perfect time in life to start a family – career, finances, home life are all aligned perfectly. Whatever the reason, you are ready for a baby, and you’re ready to be pregnant yesterday!

Impatient Woman's Guide to Getting Pregnant

“A grand adventure is about to begin.” – Winnie the Pooh

[Read more…]


What did YOU expect when you were expecting? #Giveaway

Playtex Baby Giveaway

What did YOU expect when you were expecting?

I think we all probably read at least part of the book What to Expect When You’re Expecting when we were pregnant, right? Whether you were like me and bought it the minute you found out you were having a baby, got it as a shower gift, or just browsed it in a waiting room before for one of the many doctors appointments – It’s a safe bet that most women who’ve had a baby relied on the advice in this book. And now, it’s being updated into a movie – Check out a trailer…

What to Expect when You’re Expecting – Premiers on May 18th

The movie looks hilarious – and while it’s not really based on the book, it does fit perfectly – It’s all about that nervousness and anticipation we all felt during our first pregnancy.

To celebrate the launch of the movie, Playtex Baby is doing a really fun giveaway!

What did you least expect when you were pregnant or a new Mom? We all have great stories to share, and Playtex Baby wants to hear them! Starting April 16th Playtex Baby is holding a contest on their Facebook page, asking Moms to share candid, unexpected moments of pregnancy and motherhood. They will be selecting daily winners, as well as a grand prize winner who will be flown to LA for the premiere of What To Expect When You’re Expecting. The film will feature Playtex Baby products including the Playtex® Nurser with Drop-Ins® Liners and the Playtex® Diaper Genie® Disposal System! So what are you waiting for – log on and share your story today!

I’d love to hear YOUR story too – What surprises did you have during your pregnancy or delivery? Share in the comments…. 

{Disclaimer: I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Playtex Baby. I received a promotional item to thank me for participating.}


This Month is All About Motherhood!

Abby, Maternity Pictures, Pregnancy Photos, Baby Bump

“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.” – Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

Becoming a mother is something that completely changed my life. This quote describes it perfectly – Yes, the woman that I was existed, but not the mother. I became a whole different being once I had Abby… She is the best thing that ever  happened to me… I’m sure that most of you are nodding your head right now, in total understanding.

Sunshine Schedule 2012

This site is all about “Busy Mom Solutions” – the best products, the most helpful sites and services, and great tips and info to help you simplify your life, solve those busy mom challenges, and have a little bit more fun along the way. I love sharing new things that I discover with you guys – But sometimes, running everything that goes along with this site, while also trying to run a household, can get super overwhelming! So last month I set up an editorial calendar for the year, with a new theme for each month. Not every single post will relate to the months topic, of course, but it’ll be a fun way for me to stay organized, while providing great related content each month. You can find my whole calendar here – Sunshine Schedule 2012 – and get ready to start seeing some great posts for this months theme: Motherhood!

February is For Mommas!

I have a ton of great products to share with you guys – and I’ll be giving away a few of them too. I found some super cool apps to help moms stay organized on the go. I’ll be sharing {for the first time here} the emotional story of Abby’s birth, and giving you a place to share your stories too. And this month we are finishing up a re-do of the Master Bedroom that Abby shares with me – So look forward to Before & After pics of our new Momma & Playroom Space!

What do you love most about being a mom?

Share some of your favorite things about being a mom in the comments – I would love to feature some of your quotes and stories during the month, so be sure to leave an email that I can contact you at if you’d like to have them shared!