Pregnancy & Your Vagina

Pregnancy & Your Vagina
This week, I found myself getting on Google and searching "ugly vagina during pregnancy." Believe it or not, I didn't get a bunch of R rated nonsense.

Surprise! Tons of other women are posting on parenting, pregnancy, and baby forums about this. This is my third pregnancy and I'm kind of wondering why I am having this vagina epiphany right now.

So, obviously most women are expecting some changes during and/or post childbirth. Thanks to me (and Google) you can now be informed that it starts before birth, ladies!

Vaginal Changes During Pregnancy

New Scent, Taste, and Extra Discharge

Yes, that smell might actually be you. Thanks to your sensitivity to smells, you'll probably be the first (and maybe only) person to notice this. Your partner might notice a new taste...or maybe not. It's there, but not always as noticeable. To top it all off, you might find yourself changing your panties more often, and not just because you peed yourself after sneezing.

Related Post: Relieving Pregnancy Pains Without Medication

Cheeseburger Crotch

Okay, so I didn't invent this term. The internet informed me that ugly pregnancy vaginas were deemed by some genius, "cheeseburger crotch." This is basically what someone thought their vagina looked like during pregnancy thanks to the swelling/puffiness that may or may not be equal from one side of your vagina to the other.

Varicose veins are not uncommon, even in the vaginal area. You or your partner might also notice a blueish tint, which can also be normal, thanks to pregnancy hormones and increased blood flow. To top it all off, pregnant women typically notice more ingrown hairs.

Extra Discharge During Pregnancy

Higher Risk of UTI/Yeast Infection

Pregnant women are at higher risk of getting a UTI thanks to extra pressure on the bladder and yeast infection because of the pregnancy hormones that change your pH balance.

On the Plus Side

There might be one benefit (other than the baby at the end, of course). Due to increased sensitivity and swelling during pregnancy, you might experience more intense orgasms!

Related Post: Today I was a bad parent

Keep In Mind

Pregnancy and child birth are miracles; that's for sure. The whole process is amazing and unusual and beautiful and crazy. Every pregnancy is different, and your doctor/OB/midwife is your friend! If you're worried or unsure, call them about it!

This is not medical advice, but I hope you've found it informative and maybe a little amusing.

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Beginners' Guide to Cloth Diapers

Beginners Guide to Cloth Diapers
Modern cloth diapering is not your grandma's safety pins and some wash cloths...or those ugly plastic pants at Wal Mart. Reusable diapers have come a long way, with a plethora of options. This is great, except it leaves parents feeling overwhelmed.

Cloth diapering can be a wonderful experience with the right information and tools. I have compiled some info to get you started.

Different Cloth Diaper Types

There are different types of cloth diapering options, because we love to make it overwhelming, right? No, really, it's just like there's a variety of disposable diapers. Every parent, baby, and lifestyle is unique and that's why there are so many options of cloth diapers. What's perfect for you might not be the right fit for your neighbor.

Overwhelmed by Cloth NappysAll In Ones

Also called AIOs.  AIOs are cloth diapers considered to share the most similarity to disposables. They're all one piece and most are somewhat customization because of a pocket option to add extra absorbency.

Pockets

Pocket diapers are basically a "shell" of a diaper that has a pocket to put whatever inserts/absorbency you want in them.

Covers

Covers are PUL, waterproof diaper shells that you can use with folded prefolds or flats laid in them or with fitted underneath. You can typically reuse covers multiple times in one day by simply wiping out the shell and allowing it to dry.

Hybrids/All in Twos

Hybrid systems and AI2s are combination systems. The most popular are cover-like systems with snap in inserts, but there are other kinds that combine multiple cloth diaper options.

Related Post: 4 Reasons to Cloth Diaper

Washing Cloth Diapers

When it comes to cloth diapers, this is probably one of the biggest reasons we lose parents. People are often 'grossed out' by the thought of washing poopy diapers or completely overwhelmed with the often contradicting advice.

I wholeheartedly recommend Fluff Love University as a resource for washing cloth diapers. The website also has a plethora of other information and a facebook group where you can live feedback!

For a beginner, here are some important and relevant cloth diaper washing facts:
  • You do not need to rinse out diapers of exclusively breastfed babies. Breastmilk poo is water soluble.
  • Older toddler poo often rolls right off into the toilet without you having to rinse the diaper.
  • Fabric softener is not cloth diaper friendly.
  • Homemade detergent is a no go.
Related Post: 6 Ways Babies Benefit from Babywearing

Start Cloth Diapering

Buying Cloth

You can buy cloth diapers used on facebook buy, sell, trade groups like Cloth Diaper Swap or on DiaperSwappers.com. You can buy new cloth diapers from a variety of places online and, if you're lucky, a local retailer. Places like Kelly's Closet and Diaper Junction are good starting places.

So, now you have some info to get you started. I hope you're not feeling too overwhelmed. Feel free to drop a comment or question and I'll do my best to answer!


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18 Ways to Know You're a Homeschool Parent

Homeschool Parent
This post is brought to you by people who are not me because I'm not homeschooling (yet). I simply have observed lots of these funnies while researching and learning about homeschooling. I'm hoping you can enjoy them as much as I have!

We plan on homeschooling next year and I've even already started buying curriculum and books! We're all very excited!

Related Post: Surviving College as a Mom

You Know You're a Homeschool Parent When...

  1. Your kids don't believe you when you say you don't know the answer to something.
  2. Your kids choose to ask Google, instead of you, so they can skip the 45 minute, relevant lecture.
  3. Planners get you excited.
  4. The kids ask where we're going when you put on jeans and/or make up.
  5. The dogs kennel themselves when you put jeans on.
  6. Booking vacations, you check to make sure public schools are in session.
  7. Ink has its own line in your budget.
  8. Your kids sleep until they're fully rested everyday.
  9. Your living room is now a classroom.
  10. You're out shopping and people ask your children (not you) why they aren't in school.
  11. Clearance school supplies get you excited.
  12. You can school at the beach, on the trampoline, in the backyard, etc.
  13. When you spend all of your Christmas break reading books that aren't related to your kids school work!
  14. It's Christmas break and you're working on schoolwork.
  15. Your family can enjoy matinee movies in near empty theaters.
  16. You get asked about "socializing" your kids.  ALL. THE. TIME.
  17. Someone asks what grade your child is in and you say, "1st through 4th...depends on the subject."
  18. Recess lasts more than two hours.

Related Post: Today, I was a bad parent.

What would you add to this list?

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Surrogacy: Compensation

Surrogacy Compensation
One of the most talked about parts of surrogacy is compensation. I have seen quite a few heated conversations about the matter. However, it is an important part of the process, whether you're an altruistic surrogate or paid surrogate.

What your compensation is, is reimbursement for your time, energy, pain, suffering, etc. Sometimes it's all inclusive, but more often it does not include "extras" such as maternity clothes or post-partum recovery time.

Standard Compensation

In my personal opinion, the standard range for surrogacy compensation is between $20-35,000. Of course, I've seen drastically different numbers and this number is influenced by whether or not your insurance is surrogacy friendly and if you've successfully been a surrogate previously, among other factors.

Related Post: Getting Started with Surrogacy

Extras

The so-called "extras" part of compensation is widely varied in what it covers and how much. It is also separate from your regular compensation. Some things you might commonly see are monthly allowance, maternity clothes, c-section fee, multiples fee, etc.

Surrogacy Reimbursements

Here's a mock up of surrogacy fees and extras (not made by me). It's a fill in the blank PDF but also has an example page. This might be especially useful to independent surrogates.


Altruistic Surrogates

An altruistic surrogate volunteers herself and her womb without compensation. These surrogates typically still receive reimbursements for out of pocket costs. At the end of a surrogacy journey for an altruistic surrogate, the assumption is that her out of pocket cost is $0, but she's also not financially benefited from the surrogacy in any way.

Altruistic surrogates might receive gifts, but this isn't written into their contracts and the parents aren't obligated to do so.

Low Comp Surrogates

You might see the term "low comp" thrown around some while researching surrogacy, especially if you get involved in any chat communities. Surrogates usually consider themselves low comp if their compensation is less that $15,000. However, $15,000 is an imaginary bar I'm setting. It's not a standard, by any means, for low vs standard compensation. It just fits the trends I've seen.

Related Post: Becoming a Surrogate

Don't Stress

Choosing

As far as compensation goes, figuring out what's right for you may be difficult. If you plan to match independently (without an agency), you should definitely have this all figured out before seeking out intended parents. While everyone's "right" compensation (or lackthereof) is different, the amount that intended parents can afford greatly varies. Costs associated with surrogacy are high! Think upwards of $100,000 or more. If what you're expecting is high, you will be turned away by intended parents and so agencies.

As with all parts of surrogacy, do your research. Agencies often have a publicly posted fee/compensation page, such as this one by Circle Surrogates agency.

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Planning a Shared, Unisex Birthday

Shared, Unisex Birthday
Have I mentioned that two out of three of my children were born on the same day? There's exactly four years age difference and they're different genders. So, my middle and youngest share a May 2nd birthday.

I'm always pretty stumped when birthdays roll around (especially when it's two for one). What should I buy? Should we have a theme? Here I've shared some of the ideas I've either used or am considering using in the future!

IMAGE HERE

Silly (Not Scary) Monster Party

This is what I think we're doing this year! It's fun and quirky and pretty easy (most important) and affordable (second most important) to pull together! I found these silly monster balloons, monster head suckers, and some silly monster invites all for less than $20 total!

Cakes always stress me out but one time I thought cupcakes was a better idea. Wrong! Either way, there's really affordable monster cupcake toppers and monster cake toppers to finish off the theme.

Related Post: 20 DIY Baby Shower Gifts

Lego Party

We did a lego themed party last year. Actually, I spent most of the party budget on awesome cakes, so there wasn't a whole lot of other lego stuff. These lego gift bags would have been cool!

They also have cool, edible cake or cupcake toppers and lego party masks. So, I basically failed at our lego party last year. No one seemed to notice and here's picture of the kids' awesome cakes!
A photo posted by momingabout (@momingabout) on


Related Post: A Minecraft Birthday


Mad Scientist Party

Since my youngest is only turning two, I think we might save this idea for another year or two. However, I look forward to this fun theme. I'm just imagining the kids in these adorable safety glasses, examining the world with magnifying glasses.

No Theme

Seriously, you can skip the themes. Kids are totally okay with a cake you baked at home and simply celebrating their birthday with loved ones. They won't miss the themes much.

What's your favorite way to celebrate double birthdays?

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