Random, unanswered questions.

Here are a few things I’ve been thinking and wondering about. If you happen to have some advice or input on any of these, I’d love to hear it.

1. At Sadie’s last doctor’s visit, she measured at 27 28! inches. That’s just three two! inches away from being at the upper limit of her car seat. I’ve read a couple of places that, as long as your baby hasn’t outgrown the car seat in terms of weight (ours is 30 pounds) and your baby’s head doesn’t come within an inch of the top of the car seat, it’s alright to continue putting her in the car seat after she’s grown “too long.” Can anybody speak with any authority on this? We didn’t buy the most expensive car seat when she was born, but it certainly wasn’t cheap–not to mention the extra base we bought for Trevor’s car. Because of our Trevor-drops-Sadie-off-Brooke-picks-her-up daycare routine, we’re ultimately going to have to buy two “big kid” car seats. I hadn’t even considered the possibility that we might have to do this before her first birthday, but she’s still in the 95th percentile for length (weird, right?). Maybe we should start giving her coffee and stunt her growth.

2. Does anybody want to tell me about their experiences with any type of “natural family planning?” I’m not interested in it for religious reasons, I just don’t like the way the pill makes me feel (cra-zay). I’ve thought about getting fitted for a diaphragm, but I’m not sure I’d stay “on top of it.” That, and my OB practically laughed at the outdated idea (in a nice way). There’s always an IUD, but for some reason, the thought of something foreign floating around in my uterus is freaky. Wait, didn’t I just have something foreign in my uterus for nine months? My period still hasn’t returned–have I mentioned I might just lactate for the rest of my life?–but there’s no telling when it might. My biggest priority is to make sure I don’t get pregnant before Sadie is nine months old, because I want to have the best possible shot at having a VBAC next time, and there needs to be at least 18 months between deliveries to even consider it. My second biggest priority is to make sure I don’t get pregnant before Leah and I go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal next fall. Mama wants to ride some roller coasters!

3. How far can I take it on this blog when it comes to REALLY personal topics? I’ve certainly written about some personal stuff, but there’s something in particular that I want to write about, and I’m afraid it might cross the line for some of you. I think I’d be less worried if I blogged anonymously. Not because I’m worried about what those of you who know me personally would think of me, but because I don’t want to make YOU uncomfortable having this kind of knowledge about me. My Aunt Margie would certainly have a fit if she knew all of the things I’ve already written about on this blog. But the thing I like most about writing this blog is being transparent. I feel like there are so many things that don’t get talked about–particularly around women’s health, pregnancy, birth, etc. and I don’t want to contribute to the silence on these topics. Now that I’ve piqued your curiosity…

4. For any of you who are only children: what was it like? Was it horrible? Awesome? Lonely? Empowering? I’ve always felt I’d want two children. Biologically, I am the oldest of two. In my aunt and uncle’s family in which I was raised, I am the middle of seven. My brother, Paul, was born when I was two-and-a-half, so I have absolutely no memory of my life as an only child. I’m sure it wasn’t too special, what with my parents being who they were. Even right after Sadie was born and her arrival was so hard on me, I was sure I’d do it again so Sadie could have a sibling. But then I got to meet Sadie. And she is freaking spectacular. Like, the best person I have ever known. I mean, I knew I’d love my baby as soon as I met her. But I was not at all prepared for how much I would LIKE her. She has to be the most likable person I’ve ever met. I know–without a doubt–that I have the capacity to love another baby just as much as I love Sadie. But I’m actually worried that, if we had another child, I might not like him or her as much as I do Sadie. I mean, I don’t like everyone I meet just the same. To get right down to it, I’ve even got relatives I like more than others (you do to, if you’re honest). What if that happens with children, too? I would have never guessed I’d contemplate having only one baby, but here I am. Of course, I think Trevor is pretty set on giving Sadie a sibling. But I just don’t know.

24 thoughts on “Random, unanswered questions.

  1. Bex

    First of all, wow, 27 inches! Future modeling career, perhaps? Anyway, as per some of your questions:

    Family planning. Well, I used it for a year, because the pill made me nuts. It worked really well, mainly because I am so regular. But the problem is that we got a little complacent, and started pushing the envelope a little regarding the “unsafe” times of the month. And thus: Jack. I strongly believe that with perfect usage and a regular schedule it can be nearly as effective as birth control, but honestly I won’t use it again because I would just be too scared of another unplanned pregnancy. Also, since you’re breastfeeding, you never know if and when you could ovulate, since you’re not on a cycle. I sympathize with the desire to find a natural, effective birth control, but haven’t found it yet!

    Personal stuff on the blog. I’m in the same boat. If my blog were anonymous then I wouldn’t have a problem, but as people who know me read it, there are things I just can’t say–especially regarding relationships. I might start another one to deal with those specific issues, but the idea of splitting myself in two like that doesn’t appeal to me.

    A sibling for Sadie. It’s true, you will obviously love the next baby, but you may not like him or her as much as you like Sadie. It’s just a fact. But it’s not a static fact. Love will always be constant. But hey, there may come a time, particularly when she’s a teenager, when you don’t like Sadie very much! Maybe the next one will be a difficult baby, but a dear friend in adulthood. There’s no way to know. This is the way I look at it, for people who are on the fence: You may or may not regret having only one child. It could go either way. But just by reading your blog I can tell that you would never regret having another one. Does that make sense? What can I say, I’m one of four girls (second born, Jo in the Little Women lineup) and I’m all for big families!

    Reply
    1. citysteader Post author

      Um, make that 28 inches! I realized I was an inch short this morning when I spotted her little watch-me-grow sheet from the doctor’s office. And, hey, if she has a dream to be a model (I totally did before I realized I was way too short and didn’t look at all like a model), I will film her audition tape for Tyra.

      Yeah, the fact that I could ovulate any time is kind of freaky. Another reason I’m interested in avoiding the pill is because I want to keep my breastmilk supply up. I might consider something like the NuvaRing after Sadie has mostly weaned, but who knows when that will be…

      I started an anonymous blog a few years ago, but I think I only posted to it twice. I was planning on recording all of the stories I could remember from my whacked-out early childhood, to practice writing them for the book that, one day, I hope to write with my brother. I just think it’s too hard to manage more than one blog. I actually have four separate blogs registered right now, and this is the only one I post to.

      I think you make a great point about how the amount of like I have for Sadie (and her future sibling) will likely wax and wane. And I think you’re spot on about regrets. I’m not a big subscriber to regrets, but I do think I’d be much more likely to regret not having a second child than I would if we did.

      Reply
  2. eve

    I love reading your blog and I think part of it is your wide open honesty. I don’t claim to have any answers about carseats, but as for birth control what about good old fashioned condoms? It doesn’t require anything of you and they are much more effective than natural family planning. I think my sister was using NFP and got pregnant earlier than she had planned. I think there are too many factors with it to not feel nervous every month about getting pregnant.
    On the one or two kids question, Colin and I talk a lot about this one. As one of four sisters, I love the idea of a baby having siblings. We learn so much from having siblings around. Colin is an only child, and he hated it as a kid. He used to beg his parents for a brother or sister because he is such an outgoing, social person. Now, my oldest sister still complains (jokingly) that my parents should have stopped with her!
    Oh, and also, (maybe it is not a good comparison to make but hey, i don’t have kids) think about you and your pets. Everytime you got a new pet you had plenty of love to share and you probably *like* them all for different reasons. you know?
    not sure any of this answers your questions, but I like to put my two cents in!

    Reply
    1. citysteader Post author

      Mmm. I’m not so sure about condoms. I mean, I was definitely sure about them for a while, but once I was firmly on the pill and Trevor and I were super serious (God I hope Aunt Margie doesn’t read this blog!), we gave up on them…mostly because I didn’t like them. Honestly, (and this will be a part of the TMI blog post if I ever write it) abstinence is what’s working for us now. The surest form of birth control! You’re definitely right about the pets. And I even like them different amounts at different times–like yesterday, I was not so much liking Junebug after she peed on my towel on the floor WHILE I WAS STANDING ON IT.

      Reply
  3. Bridgette

    Car seats — I think it also has to do with the neck muscles being strong enough, but I’ve never confirmed that. I think they keep babies rear facing in Europe a lot later than 12 months though.

    NFP — lots of women in my AP group swear by TCOF — or NFP based on the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility. You really have to be aware though.

    Personal experience — I got pregnant with Bella before my period even returned with Lee Isaac. I was still bf, but I had returned to work, so I was pumping as well. So I never had the chance to take care of my fertility, LOL, because I didn’t know it had returned. My .02

    And as my former Catholic gyn mentioned to me — If NFP really worked, why do Catholic families have so many children?

    Reply
    1. citysteader Post author

      Oh, I definitely plan on keeping her rear-facing for as long as I possibly can (like two years or something). It’s just a matter of when do I need to buy two convertible car seats, which seem to be quite pricey.

      You’re in an AP group?? I didn’t know there was one in LR. Can you tell me more about it, please? I’d be really interested in joining, if it’s possible.

      Aah, Catholics and NFP…my religion teacher from my senior year at MSM did a whole lesson on NFP. She was diabetic and already had one child, and her OBGYN urged her to start using condoms, because NFP was too risky. The story goes (I’d graduated by then), that they did switch to condoms…and got pregnant! Guess she should have used both. 🙂

      Reply
  4. Stephanie

    #1: We have this car seat: http://www.albeebaby.com/evenflo-triumph-advance-dlx-durango.html. Jasper looooooves it, and it’s supposed to fit them up to age 5. I’m not sure about the whole length thing, but I know a lot of parents keep facing their children backwards even if they have to cross their legs..honestly, I think it’s up to you guys. In the UK people turn their babies around like at 9 months or something (according to something I read), but they typically have smaller cars..I don’t know. But that car seat is awesome, and the website has it on sale.

    #2: Sean and I never used anything other than condoms until we wanted to have a baby, we stopped, and two weeks later I got pregnant with Jasper. For the first three months after his birth, I was on the pill because I was so scared of being pregnant, mostly because of the NAIT and all of the scary things that can happen with that. Now? We’re back to condoms. We’re not having more babies, also because of the NAIT and the scary things that can happen, and Sean’s getting a vasectomy sometime soon. Condoms have always worked for us, and even though they can be a hassle, it’s better than nothing, I think. The pill made me even crazier, and IUD TOTALLY wigs me out.

    SIDE NOTE: AAAHHH WIZARDING WORLD! I WANT TO GOOOOO!

    #3: I am totally with you!! I don’t really talk about anything too serious about our relationship or personal lives, because that’s my comfort threshold. Other things, though, even if I know they’ll make someone I’m related to or close to uncomfortable, I talk about. It’s all about how comfortable you and Trevor (since he’s featured on the blog) are, and how comfortable you are about what people know about Sadie. When it comes to Jasper, I figure it’s at least just as likely, if not more so, that someone would see him OFFline and try to get him or something, so I’m not too scared of the internet. I am kind of scaling back what I say though…our real is nothing too specific, don’t do last names and places, that kind of thing.

    #4: Before we learned more about NAIT and thought that it was more feasible for us to have future babies, I was totally wondering this. I have no advice, because I’m the oldest of four, but I think it’s all about how you raise the baby. I don’t know, we’ll see what happens with Jazz.

    Reply
    1. citysteader Post author

      Thanks for the car seat suggestion! I’ve started looking into them, and what I can’t figure is what upper weight limit I should go with. I was reallly skinny when I was younger (like, didn’t break 100lbs until college), and Trevor was super skinny, too (he still is), so it’s a fair guess, I think, that Sadie is going to be a bit of a lightweight. There are some convertible car seats that go up to 100 pounds as boosters, but it’s kind of hilarious to imagine Sadie as a freshman in college sitting in a booster seat.

      Dude, you should totally come with us to Orlando. There’s a good chance we’ll be driving there, and we’ll have to drive through Alabama…The plan is to go next fall–not too hot, hopefully smaller crowds, and Sadie and I *should* be able to survive a few nights apart.

      Reply
  5. shannon

    We have the sunshine Kids radian 80 and really like it. You would never have to get another car seat.probably would have been better price wise is just to have the converter car seat instead of the infant one.
    I too hate condoms but it was sure nice to not have to take anything those couple of months I was in between birth controls.
    The TMI thing. I often edit what I say on my blog because of whoever might be reading it or just write vaguely. You have to do what makes you comfortable and happy.
    We too have considered having one child. I see pros and cons to both sides and still don’t know on that issue. I am just waiting it out until I do know. Chris is an only child. He said he wanted siblings at times but has also said he is ok with Nash being an only child so who knows.

    Reply
    1. citysteader Post author

      I wish I’d known about convertible car seats when Sadie was born. I guess it was nice to be able to put her in and out of the car in the infant carrier, though.

      Reply
  6. kat

    i am a firm supporter of the TCOYF (taking care of your fertility method). It is not NFP. It’s based on taking your basal body temp every morning at the same time (and checking your cervical mucus if you want!) and knowing when you are ovulating based on the dips/rises in temps. it works for me but i am also ridiculously regular so there is that! Toni Weschler is the author – i still reference my book pretty regularly!

    i also struggle with how much to put out there. I don’t think anyone anywhere puts it all out there, right? you should def stick to what you feel comfortable people knowing. once it’s on the interwebs, it’s out there!

    HAVE MORE BABIES!! 😉

    Reply
    1. citysteader Post author

      Do you think I could take a look at that book sometime (insert Reading Rainbow theme song here)? I’ve had a number of people mention it to me, and I’m kind of interested. I’ve even downloaded an iPhone app to track my cycles, but it’s still useless since my period hasn’t come back.

      Reply
  7. Natalie

    Brooke,
    Hey! I don’t know anything about babies really, but what I know a lot about is trying to prevent myself from having babies! That is, birth control.

    I too get the crazy-depressed me on the pill, and I feel weird about an IUD, even though lots of health care professionals say this is the way to go.

    My doctor recently suggested the sponge (which you’ll remember from Seinfeld fame). It just recently came back on the market and is non-hormonal. The sponge sits the way a diaphram would up on the cervix but also catches sperm (because it is a sponge!) and it kills sperm with spermicide.
    Vaginal Contraceptive Film is another spermicidal option if you like that route.
    The thing about these is that I’d have a hard time doing the entire deed completely with no pulling out if I knew I was ovulating at the time – it’s just that these two kinds don’t have the kind of success rates as condoms or the pill. So you might have luck if you really tracked your cycle and did the family planning PLUS used the sponge when you start ovulating again, etc.

    You can order the sponge (from Amazon: Today’s Sponge) if it’s not available in Arkansas yet.
    Also, I haven’t tried this myself because I think I have a sensitivity to spermicide, but in theory it sounds really good to me. I HAVE tried VCF which worked well.

    Have fun. And nice blog! I really like reading about your new mom life! (sorry for the long response!)
    Natalie

    Reply
    1. citysteader Post author

      Hey Natalie! I didn’t know you read my blog–how nice! The sponge, eh? I’ll check into it. I think I definitely would want to use a backup during my fertile times once I’m able to start tracking them.

      Reply
  8. Sam

    I LOVED NFP… I used Toni Weschler’s book “Taking Charge of your fertility” (looks like “kat” did, too)… As someone who went to nursing school, nurse practitioner school, and public health school ALL at a Catholic university they taught us a LOT about NFP, and I found her book the most useful, user friendly, and practical… it has nothing to do with the religious aspect and everything to do with how important it is for you AND your husband to know your body!

    I will continue in this “Kat’s” lead… she seems smart… we would lOVE to read what you want us to know about you and your family… but the whole world can read it, so it’s up to you and what you want Sadie to be able to access someday because let’s face it… this generation of kids will be able to Wikipedia ANYTHING by the time they are walking!

    Again, Kat is smart… have more babies!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  9. Sam

    oh and as for the carseat question… my really good friend who is a pediatrician tells all of her patients exactly what you said… As long as she is not overweight for the carseat and her head is not off the top it’s better to have a broken femur from being a little too long in a wreck than a baby that went through the windshield because she faced forward! (Jenna, my pediatrician friend, tells it like it is obviously!)

    Reply
    1. citysteader Post author

      Yeah, I noticed that we still haven’t even had to move the straps up (we’ve got two more heights to go), so it looks like her length is in her legs.

      Reply
  10. Leah

    Woohoo! HP 2010. Can’t wait!!

    I’ve also been considering NFP lately and am starting to do some research. I’ll let you know if I discover anything especially enlightening.

    Concerning the TMI on the blog…there’s gotta be someone else out there who is or has had experience with whatever issue you’re dealing with. Talking about it can form connections that can produce good advice from a range of different perspectives. The discussion can also educate and potentially prepare others who may deal with the issue in the future. I guess you just have to weigh the pro of the potential therapeutic nature of discussing the issue versus the risk of having your personal info out there.

    Reply
    1. citysteader Post author

      Definitely keep me posted on what you learn from your research. And I think you’ve hit the nail on the head on the TMI issue. I mean, there are certainly some things that I would absolutely never write about on this blog. I would never trash talk Trevor, for example (even if I was mad at him), because that’s crossing the line for me. But when it comes to issues I’m dealing with in my personal life–even if they do involve Trevor to a degree–I really do think that putting it out there for discussion could be helpful. For me and possibly for others.

      Reply
  11. katie

    dude, I didn’t get my period after Honey for 11 months, so it can be sneaky.

    more babies! You should ask Kim about the second kid thing. She told me once she almost couldn’t get out of bed when she was pregnant with her second b/c she felt too guilty for bringing a child into the world she just wouldn’t care for as much as the first. Luckily, she loves and LIKES #2 just as much. I actually asked my mom about this recently and she said, while I may not especially like my brother, she likes him just as much as she likes me (and always has) but for different qualities in each of us. Unless #2 is some kind of complete demon, I can’t see not liking him/her

    Reply
    1. citysteader Post author

      Eleven months! That’s fantastic.

      I go back and forth so much about more babies. Well, more baby. I’m sure we’ll have another one, it really is just that it’s so tempting to stick with Sadie. We created perfection the first time–why mess with it? Of course, as it’s been said, I may not think she’s so perfect when she’s wrecked the car or sneaked out to see boys or something.

      Reply
  12. tara

    i love both my babies soo much! there are days that sloan is my favortie and days that calvin is my fav! but i cannot imagine life without BOTH of them. you will love a second baby just as much! it is totally ok if you have a favorite or one that you connect with better. i was super close to both my parents but connected more with my mom and my sister connnected more with my dad. it worked out great and we all loved each other. anyway, you should definitely have more:)

    we have the same car seat and cal and sloan are 28.5 inches now. becca works with a lady that is a carseat expert so i bet she would know….I will ask and tell her to let you know.

    Reply
  13. Becca

    Carseat- 1 inch from the top. That is per the car seat lady at uams who knows everything there is to know. (I had the same question about length)

    Reply

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