No Doctors, No Hospital, No Medicine — No Way! (“Born in the Wild” Review)

Inside scoop: I got an advance copy of this trippy new Lifetime series from my friend Todd Lubin, who’s the Executive Producer.  The last time I worked with Todd (in my past life, before babies) was on a show called “Suburban Virgin,” where we actually documented late bloomer dudes losing their V-cards.  So it did not surprise me that Todd was making another crazy bananas show — this time, about extreme natural births.  It’s riveting – but scary! 

So set your DVR for the Tues 3/3 at 10p premiere of “Born in the Wild” on Lifetime, then check out what I wrote about it for Lifetime Moms…

Born in the Wild

One of the scariest things I’ve ever seen is coming soon to a television near you. “Born in the Wild,” a new Lifetime reality series premiering March 3, documents couples who eschew hospital births in favor of remote locations with no medical assistance. I cannot stop hearing the screams.

In the first episode, 24-year-old Audrey Bird prepares to give birth to her third child on a far-flung Alaskan beach, 150 miles away from the nearest hospital. While the typical pregnant woman fusses over birth plans and go bags, Audrey’s primary fears are leeches, mosquitoes, unpredictable weather, rising waters and bears. Yes, I said bears. Because the act of giving birth is apparently not challenging enough unless you’re also risking getting mauled to death.

So what’s the big idea behind giving birth in the wild?

Read the rest at Lifetime Moms…

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Prepping My Daughter For Baby Sister’s Arrival


With just six weeks to go until my due date, I’m feeling ready for baby #2 – but is my daughter?  Doubtful.  She’s had me all to herself for four years, and now she’s going to have to share me with a tiny poop machine who can’t even sit up, much less join us for Zoo Bingo.  It’s a huge transition, and there’s probably no way to make it bump-free, but I’ve been soaking up as much advice as I can from parents and experts.

What’s working so far?  Viv loves reading books about pregnancy, babies and being a big sister.  She also enjoys dressing and changing her new baby doll (I try not to panic when she drags it around by the ankle).  But when the real baby is actually here, in our home, making noises and messes and demanding my attention, who knows how my 4yo will react?

Post-partum doula Giuditta Tornetta has some idea.  In a helpful “Preparing Sibling for New Baby” video I found on Kids in the House, she compares a child’s adjustment to a new baby to what it would feel like if my husband brought home a second wife.  That would be traumatic indeed!  (Though, frankly, an extra pair of hands for laundry and cooking holds some appeal.)

So how can I help my daughter adapt?  Giuditta points out that a new baby’s cries can feel “earth-shattering” to a young child.  She suggests reframing the crying as “talking” and engaging the big kid in a game of “What is the baby trying to say?”

I think Viv would love to crack baby’s code and come up with reasons for the cries–is she tired, hungry, wet or just needing to be held?  This kind of detective work could also help her feel empathy towards the baby, and maybe be more tolerant when I pause our playtime to tend to the little one’s needs. I’m definitely going to try playing this game with my daughter.  It’s much preferable to that other game, “Why is Mommy ripping her hair out?”

Parents who’ve been there, what are your tips for integrating the new baby?

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The Bizarre Reason Cops Busted Up My Maternity Photoshoot


If you’ve read any of my past pregnancy posts, you know I’m not one to glorify being knocked up. Beleaguered by symptoms, I usually come off more gripey than grateful. But despite the puking, heartburn, shortness of breath, and lately some pretty profound Braxton Hicks contractions (ouch), there is one thing that’s been incredibly special to me about this pregnancy, and that’s sharing it with my 4-year-old daughter. Whenever she throws her arms around my belly and murmurs greetings to “baby sister,” it’s all worth it.

I wanted to capture one of these sister/future sister embraces in a photo that we could show the girls someday, but my efforts were a huge fail. Imagine a three-headed monster taking a selfie. So I enlisted the help of my friend Genevieve, a fabulous family photographer, to shoot some maternity photos at the state park. We had all the elements: beautiful weather, matching pastel outfits, and and a big pregnant belly. Nice, right?


In fact, everything was going great until a cop busted up my maternity photo shoot.

And while you’re on Momtastic, here’s a story I wrote for Presidents’ Day that might make you feel better about your own parenting.

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If Sleep Training Works, Why Doesn’t It Stick?


I did not want to sleep train my baby. I couldn’t bear to hear her cry for 10 seconds, never mind 10 minutes. When my pediatrician casually suggested that I let her “cry it out,” I was so angry, I temporarily switched pediatricians. That was at four months old.

By seven months, I was singing a different tune. Not only had my baby never slept through the night, but she was a nursing junkie who woke nearly every hour. Whatever sleep reserves and new mama hormones had gotten me through the early days were now thoroughly depleted. I was crying more than my baby, deranged from lack of sleep, and finally ready to try something different.

Keep reading at…

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Nighttime in the Third Trimester

3 AM image

I’m 32 weeks pregnant and exhausted.

Bone tired, knackered, stumbling around like a drunken Zombie, making no sense, donezo, pooped. I could blame the bowling ball under my shirt, my high-energy preschooler or a woeful lack of caffeine, but the biggest reason I’m tired? I’m not sleeping at night. Like, at all. Here’s what I’m doing instead:

11:00p Try to wind down in bed with a Friends re-run. Just my luck—it’s the one where Rachel can’t get Emma to stop crying. Do I remember how to get babies to stop crying? Do I remember anything about babies?

12:00a Pee

12:05a Pee again for good measure

12:10a Wonder if I still have the phone number for that guy who installs car seats. Also, where is the car seat?

12:15a Drift off to sleep propped up on mountains of pillows.

12:20a Roll off steep pillow mountain and wake up. Have to pee.

12:55a Wake from frightening pregnancy dream in which my newborn speaks fluent English and tells me she wants to get a dog. Pee again.

Keep reading at Lifetime Moms…

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