What It's Like to Have Your Placenta Encapsulated.

That's my placenta, in pill form. Not as gross as you'd think, right?

That's my placenta, in pill form. Not as gross as you'd think, right?

The idea of eating my placenta grosses me out. 

Do you throw it on a grill, like a steak? Maybe slice it thin and use in a stir fry? Steam it? Ew, ew, and definitely ewwww.

And yet, the purported benefits of consuming placenta after birth intrigued me. Allegedly, it increases your energy (definitely a plus), helps with milk production and is said to lessen postpartum depression. Plus, many animals consume their own placentas in the wild, which sounds like a reason why you might want to do it. We are animals, after all. 

Then again, tigers are known to eat their young and my dog's favorite food is rabbit poop. So...

Postpartum depression topped my list of birth fears. Depression runs in my family (LOL doesn't it run in everyone's family?!). The thought of drowning in overwhelm and sadness-- all while needing to care for a baby-- scared the ever-loving shit out of me. While I wasn't about to go all Sizzler on my placenta, eating it in pill form seemed doable. And since I am a firm believer in continuing to challenge my comfort zone, I decided to do it.

I live in the Twin Cities, and heard about Bywater Birth through a friend. They offer all sorts of birthing services, including placenta encapsulation. The whole thing cost $225, and when you think about how much they do (and the quick turnaround!), that seems more than fair. 

Here's how placenta encapsulation works:

1. I told Bywater Birth where I was giving birth and exchanged phone numbers with co-founder Anne so we could call her once the baby was born. Since I was having a scheduled C-section, they knew when to expect to pick up the placenta, but many of their clients who don't have a scheduled birth just text once the baby is born. 

2. We brought a small cooler and two gallon-sized Ziplock bags to the hospital. You gotta double-bag that stuff!

That's my placenta in the bag. I made this black and white to chill out the gore factor. 

That's my placenta in the bag. I made this black and white to chill out the gore factor. 

3. Before my surgery, the nurse asked if I had a birth plan. I didn't really (aside from "have healthy baby"), but did need to tell her that we wanted to keep the placenta. I was kind of embarrassed to tell her, but when I did, she was just like, "Okay, you got it!"

4. Because I was still in surgery, I'm a little fuzzy on this part. I think the doctor set the placenta aside in a bag, then put it in a bucket. Someone brought it to our room, where my husband (I think) placed it in the Ziplock bags and set it on ice.

5. A few hours after Arlene was born, Anne from Bywater came to our hospital room. It was probably 10pm. She chatted with us briefly, then took the placenta. 

6. Anne brought the placenta home. She gently steamed, dehydrated, then ground it into a powder. Next, the placenta is put into capsules-- anywhere from 100-200 (depending on your placenta size). Mine made 138 pills.

7. Within 24 hours, Anne had returned to the hospital with the pills, plus a dried, heart-shaped umbilical cord "keepsake" that I'm still not sure what to do with! Spray paint it silver and hang it form our Christmas tree? 

Heart-shaped placenta. Pen for scale!

Heart-shaped placenta. Pen for scale!

* * *

Anne suggested I take 2-3 pills each morning for the next 2-3 weeks. Then, maybe dial it back to one a day for the next month or two. After three months, the pills go in the freezer and can be taken as needed (if you're looking for a more balanced feeling, or need more energy). Apparently some people save them for when they hit menopause. I don't know how you can keep track of something in your freezer that long, but if that's your thing, more power to ya.

The pills look like... pills. I thought they had a slightly gross flavor (though it may be more in my mind), so I made sure to have a flavored drink ready to go prior to popping them. 

So, the big question:

Did eating my placenta help? 

Claim: It helps with postpartum depression.
While my birth was fairly straightforward (planned C-section), the days following were not. I was in a lot of pain, tired and overwhelmed-- aka the exact same things all new moms feel. I had an extremely hard time breastfeeding. Arlene had a weak latch, a late-diagnosed tongue-tie, and breastfed for anywhere from 6-7 hours a day for the first two months. I experienced milk blisters, and my bruised nipples felt like they'd been run through a pencil sharpener. 

I cried a lot of tears over breastfeeding. And yet, I never plunged into a deep, dark place. In fact, I remember at my lowest of lows thinking, "I mentally feel a lot better than I would've expected."

Claim: It keeps you energized
The first few weeks were exhausting, but there were only a few times where I was so tired I barely felt alive. I wasn't bouncing off the walls or anything, but in general, I felt more awake than I'd expected. 

Claim: It helps increase milk production
While I had many latch and breastfeeding problems, production was NOT an issue. I feel fortunate that I always had enough milk for the baby, plus extra for the freezer. 

Verdict: I'd have my placenta encapsulated again.

It's really hard to say if the pills truly helped or not. Arlene is my first baby, so I have no other postpartum experience to compare to. That said, the big three items ingesting your placenta is said to help all rang true for me. I've had a mostly happy, energized and milk-filled postpartum life. 

Could it be placebo effect? Definitely. Could I just be lucky My baby is awesome, so I for sure am lucky. But it could just be my dried, encapsulated placenta working its magic.

Next time, I'll make the same decision. Just in case. 

* * * 


The idea of eating my placenta grosses me out. However, the purported benefits made me face my fear and try it. Here's what I learned.

The idea of eating my placenta grosses me out. However, the purported benefits made me face my fear and try it. Here's what I learned.

What I Wished I Known Before Having a C-Section

Me and mini-me a few minutes after my C-section. 

Me and mini-me a few minutes after my C-section. 

"It's not that bad."

... said every person about having a C-section.

My OB said it's a quick surgery and I'd be walking the following day. Our birthing class grazed over C-sections; most of my favorite pregnancy websites hardly talk about them at length. So it must not be that bad, right?


My baby was breech and at 37 weeks, my doctor and I decided to schedule a C-section. In the two weeks leading up to my surgery, I barely found any helpful info online. Frustrating, considering something like 30 percent of American mothers give birth via C-section

So here's a exhaustive list of everything I wish I'd known before having a C-section.

The bad news? It's unpleasant. The good news? A month into your recovery, you'll feel pretty good, thinking to yourself, "Hey, that wasn't that bad!" Ha. Hahahah. Really, you will think this. 


In the days before...

I know most C-sections aren't scheduled, but in case yours is, here's what you can do to prepare. Honestly, no matter how you deliver, most of these points are relevant. 

Stay occupied.
On the day before my surgery, I'd already packed my bag, gotten a manicure and pedicure and stocked up on baby stuff, so I literally had a free weekday and nothing to do but think.

I spent the majority of the morning sobbing hysterically, clutching my dog. 

My advice to you? Schedule something, ANYTHING, the day before your C-section or induction. This is no time for thinking about things!

Stock up on snacks & drinks.

You'll get grub in the hospital, but it won't be what you really want (or available exactly when you want it). Bring crackers, fruit, nuts, cookies, Boom-Chicka-Pop-- quick, easy snacks to eat whenever you damn well please. You're going to be hungry!

As for drinks, load up on Vitamin Water, juices, whatever you like. You might think you'll want soda or LaCroix, but you're going to be gassy and bloated, so avoid the bubbles.  

Everybody poops.
That is, everyone except people who've just given birth.

Pooping after having a baby via any method is no joke. Do yourself a favor and eat lots of leafy greens and fruit to get things moving in the days leading up. Bring prunes to the hospital. They're actually delicious!

One poop-related pro to a C-section: you probably won't poop on the table! One less thing to worry about, right?

Buy the embarrassing stuff now. 
No one like to buy things that are used near your lady parts. Get over it and stock up on Tucks medicated pads, stool softeners, Preparation H, maxi pads and pantyliners. Truth be told, after giving birth, you probably aren't going to care about asking someone buy this stuff for you. Even still, you'll just want it exactly when you need it. 

PS One more reason to do this early: If you're anything like me, you haven't used maxi pads since, like, seventh grade. Even you don't really know what you want, and I can't even imagine what a man might bring home (after his head explodes from all the options). PPS these are the ones you want for the first few weeks. 


Fasting isn't that bad.
My surgery was scheduled for 3:40pm. I get anxious and crabby when I'm hungry, so I worried that I wouldn't be able to eat the entire day of surgery.

As it turned out, I only had to fast (no food or drink... not even water) for six hours. While that sounded like a long time, it still allowed me to eat a huge breakfast, and then I spent the next three or so hours taking a shower, setting my out-of-office, and buying a few last minute supplies. I arrived at the hospital two hours before my surgery, and by that point, food was the last thing on my mind. 

Be nice.

I know you'll probably be nervous. However, everything will be so much more enjoyable if you're nice to your nurses and doctors. These people are going to poke you with needles, cut your body open, and bring your baby into the world. Trust me, you want them to like you. 

Prep your support person.

I was so grateful to have my husband in the operating room with me. However, he didn't join me until the doctor was ready to get down to biz. This meant he had to wait outside for twenty minutes. It probably felt like forever, but I told him that this would be the case. A friend of mine's husband didn't know, and started getting really worried as the minutes passed. Give your support person a heads up that a long wait is normal. 

The Operation

The operating room is actually IS similar to TV.
Dressed on a stunning paper gown with IV in tow, I walked myself to the operating room. I expected it to be just like TV: bright, white, chaotic, with classic rock playing softly in the background (why classic rock? I don't know. It's just what I pictured, and it's what was playing!). There were about eight doctors and nurses tasking around the room. 

It was also very cold. But I was so nervous, I barely cared.

Good news about epidurals/bad news about anti-anxiety cocktails.
Once in the room, I hoisted myself onto the operating table. A nurse asked me to sit on it, straddling it like a surfboard. 

Next, the anesthesiologist prepped my back for the epidural. I was so scared, but after he numbed the site (which stung), I didn't feel a thing. 

I'd heard many anesthesiologists give patients an anti-anxiety cocktail pre-surgery. Mine said he hates to do it because they make most people foggy, and he wanted me to remember the experience. So I went without. It wasn't easy, but I made it!

The epidural will work... but on more than you might imagine.
When I think of an epidural, I think of my lower half being numb. With a C-section, they place the needle much higher in your spinal column. Therefore, you'll probably experience numbness in your chest (which made breathing feel more labored) and arms (which I think were strapped to the table?). I couldn't move at all and wasn't prepared for that, but now you will be.

You might puke.
Apparently, it's common for the pain meds to make you nauseated. I didn't, but I almost did. If you feel a barf comin' on, say something and they can add an anti-nausea medication to your IV.

Curtain: Do or don't?
In pre-op, my nurse asked if I wanted to watch the surgery, or if I preferred a curtain to block the action.

Puhleeze. While watching my own surgery seems very Hey Eleanor-y, I figured the birth of my first child was no time to see how I might react. Maybe next time. 

The second most intense moment.
When my husband entered the OR, donning scrubs, a face mask and adorable hairnet. Seeing the fear in my husband's eyes while looking at the fear in my eyes was a holy shit moment. THIS IS HAPPENING!

The most intense moment. 
Within 10 minutes of my hubby entering the room, the doctor announced, "You're going to feel some tugging." I honestly didn't feel much... except for in my heart, which exploded with emotions. I heard a baby choking, then crying, then my husband shouted, "She's so cute!" as he leaked tears on me. 

I'd heard some people say their cesarian birth felt anti-climactic. To me, it was only climactic-- like nothing, nothing, nothing, BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE! 

Hi, baby! Bye, baby!
Three seconds after our baby was born, someone popped her over the top of the curtain. "Here she is!" Before I could even get a good look at her, the baby and hubby were gone. I could sort of hear the baby crying in the next room as they cleared her lungs, cleaned her up, weighed and measured her. It felt like they were gone for 15 minutes. Who knows how long it really was.  

Chit-chat is a good thing.
My doctors and nurses casually chatted while they stitched me up. About the weather, weekend, their kids... banal water cooler talk. Initially, I was like, hullo... I'm in surgery here. But then I thought about it and decided that this is what they literally do every day, and regular conversation just means everything is going well. 

Yay for skin to skin. 
You probably know that skin-to-skin contact is a big thing in the birthing world. After the baby was cleaned up, a nurse asked if she could place her on my skin. Obvi! The only skin available was my neck, so they placed her there. It was totally surreal.

Then, the nurse said I should talk to her because "the baby knows your voice!" I couldn't think of one single thing to say. So maybe think of something to tell your baby... not that it really matters as your brain will be mush.


Moving to your room.
Next, I walked myself to our hospital room. Just kidding! Here's what actually happened: some nurses inflated some sort of raft-like contraption under my body, then picked me up and hoisted me onto a gurney and rolled me to my room.

Who in the hell are you?!
For the first few hours post-op, nurses will check on you all the time. It's something like every 15 minutes for the first hour after surgery, then every 30 minutes for another hour or so, then every two hours. You also might have someone showing you how to breastfeed. There might be a resident popping in, or a cleaning person emptying your trash or someone delivering food. Long story short, there will be lots of people you don't know popping in and out of your room. 

Caring? You're soooo over it.
I didn't grow up in a house where people walk around naked, or even talk about naked things. I don't pee with the door open (unless I'm home alone), and I never fart in front of my husband on purpose. 

Have a baby and next thing you know, you won't care who sees your nips, your lady bits or helps you out of your giant mesh undies. I needed to "pass gas" before leaving the hospital, and it became a major topic of conversation between me and my husband. Not giving a shit about anything was actually very liberating!

The itching. My god, the itching!
In the first 24 hours post birth, nothing hurt. The most excruciating thing was my reaction to the morphine. This is administered in your IV for long-term pain management. It works like magic on the pain, but makes most people itch like a mofo! Totally miserable, but way better the pain. 

The bleeding.
Most articles talk extensively about postpartum bleeding after a vaginal birth. I had no idea what to expect after a C-section. The first day or two were pretty intense, but I downgraded from the phonebook-sized pads to more normal ones on day four PP. When I got home, I ended up buying those Always Infinity pads, which I used for five weeks PP. 

Don't fall in love with your nurse. 
Or should I say, nurses. I was at the hospital for five days, and assigned no less than 20 nurses. Some for four hours, some for 12. The bad news is that you'll say bye to nurses you love. The good news, you'll say bye to nurses you can't stand. 

By the way, I secretly suspect they give you the varsity nurses on day one, then downgrade you to JV, then benchwarmers, to finally some person they may have picked off the street. 

Don't get behind on your meds.
You'd like to think your nurses are keeping track of your needs.

They probably aren't.

You're going to need to ask for all medication every time you need it. If you can take pain meds every four hours, be ringing that call button every 3 hours and 48 minutes. You're responsible for you. 

Walking sucks, but you have to do it.
About 18 hours after my surgery, they removed my catheter. And that meant one very important development: I needed to walk to the bathroom to pee. The first time I tried to get out of bed, I thought there was NO way I'd be able to get to the bathroom (even with help, which is necessary). But I did it!

That evening, I took a stroll down the hall. And by stroll, I mean I slowly lumbered down the hall with the grace of a zombie. But by day five, I was for sure walking at a respectable 1.5 mph clip.

Nightgowns aren't necessary.
I hate wearing a nightgown, but every "what to pack in your hospital bag" post I read said to bring one. I took the nightgown thing literally, thinking you wouldn't want pants on your incision. As it turns out, loose fitting yoga fats or sweats were fine, and I ended up having a friend bring me a pair. Tip: get black ones or some you don't mind getting blood on... sry, it's just the truth.

Stay in the hospital as long as possible.
I was able to stay in the hospital for up to 96 hours. Luxuriate as long as you can. It's nice to have the help (and secretly, you might enjoy being treated like a queen).

Take all the stuff.
Diapers, pads, mesh underwear, cold packs... pretty much anything disposable can come with you.


It'll probably be harder than you think (but it will go faster than you think).
My doctor said I'd be able to normal things when I got home-- like walk up and down the stairs, take showers, get dressed, carry the baby in her carrier. Technically, this was true. But in reality, it was the last thing I wanted to do. Everything hurt, I could barely get out of bed or off the couch without help. 

This probably lasted two weeks, and every day did get easier than the last. By four weeks, I was feeling pretty great. 

Don't skimp on the ibuprofen.
You might not think it makes that big of a difference, but all the nurses told me I'd regret it if I stopped taking Advil. I trust them.

Coffee, how do I love thee?
For about 10 days after delivery, I experienced the worst headache of my life. It could've been from low iron, hormones, the epidural or something else entirely. Eventually, I burst into tears out of frustration, crying that "I just want to enjoy the baby and my brain feels like it's about to explode!" My husband got me a large iced coffee, which I'd been avoiding because I thought it might keep the baby awake. Downed it. Poof. Headache gone. Baby's sleeping patterns didn't change a bit. 

Caffeine is your friend, people!

You're going to be soooo bloated and puffy.

You might know that they sometimes give women pitocin to induce labor. You might not know that they often administer it after the baby is born to keep mom from bleeding too much. This is a good thing! But that, along with fluids from IVs, will make you puffy as hell. It might not go away for a few weeks, so embrace it as much as you can. Honestly, you probably won't care as you'll be busy with a newborn. 

About that scar...
It's really not that bad. In fact, if mine was any lower, it would literally be off my body. It's about six inches long and very neat. I'm currently three months postpartum and it's a little pink line. No biggie. There's about a half-inch above and below the incision that's completely numb, which I'm told will go away over time. I've also heard it's good to massage the scar, which I've only recently started trying. 

Supplies you may want.

Gap high-waisted underwear. They're comfy, and won't bug your incision. 

Always Infinity pads. I swear they didn't sponsor this post.  

Compression belt. Trust me, you're going to want pressure on that incision, and the one you get at the hospital will soon become too big. A midwife friend of mine told me to wear mine for 40 days, and I did. 

Wheat Thins. Maybe it was just me, but I couldn't stop eating them.

Roku. Unless you're too cool to watch tv, this device made my recovery heavenly. Amazon TV, Netflix, HBO and more... all at my finger tips! No regrets.

* * *

Long story short, it's hard, but you will get through it. And the best part? You get a baby out of the deal!

If you had a C-section, please add anything you wish you'd known in the comments. This is just my experience with a scheduled C-section, and I'm sure there's lots more helpful advice to be shared! I say the more you know, the better off you are. You can do it!

There are a lot of things I didn't know before I had a C-section. The process wasn't quite like I expected, but we made it (and have a beautiful baby, too!).

There are a lot of things I didn't know before I had a C-section. The process wasn't quite like I expected, but we made it (and have a beautiful baby, too!).

It's Not Okay.

It's #notokay.

It's #notokay.

In ninth grade, a male friend of mine tackled me on a bed during a party and "pretended" to hump me. I laughed it off because I was embarrassed.

While interning with the Minnesota Twins, a pitcher from another team held two fingers to his mouth, wagging his tongue between them while two teammates spewed disgusting language at me in Spanish. I understood every word. At the time, I was escorting two 6-year-old children to the field. No bigs! 

In college, a "friend" of mine figured out where I was going every weekend night, then creepily followed me home every evening. Once I got home, he'd call me four or five times throughout the night. It happened for a full semester, even after I asked him to stop.

When I was 23, a very large man approached me at a bar two blocks from my house. He asked if he could buy me a drink. I said I no thank you. He wouldn't stop talking to me, bragging about his job and his Escalade. Eventually, I said I needed to leave. He offered to give me a ride home. I said no. He then got angry, and started shouting at me. A bouncer walked me home. 

During the first Obama term, my friend was under consideration for a job at the White House. The FBI ran an extensive background check, which included interviewing me, her college roommate. After an hour-long meeting with a giant man from the FBI, he said some 'flattering' things to me and that he "really hoped we could go out sometime." He'd already told me he was married. He knew my name, where I lived and worked, what I drove, and probably my social security number. I laughed uncomfortably.

A few years ago, I was working, alone, in my office. It was 4 in the afternoon and an acquaintance came in and sat down. He asked how things were going-- about work, my life, my boyfriend (now husband). He then told me he and his wife hadn't been intimate in a while and wondered if he should "look elsewhere for sex," and winked. Again, I laughed uncomfortably. 

And here's the worst of the lot:

On the night of family birthday party, I went to bed early. I awoke to a 33-year-old man standing over my bed, drunk, looking at me. I immediately got up, and left my room. I wasn't sure what to do. I was 16. 

I didn't want to "ruin" the party going on in our basement. So instead of telling my dad or one of my many uncles in our basement (which I should have done), I politely sat at the top of our stairs for twenty minutes, chatting with this creep who'd walked into a teenager's room, uninvited.

He told me that if I'd come visit him in Minneapolis, he'd buy me and my friends alcohol. He also complimented me on how good my friends and I looked in our swimsuits the last time we'd hosted him at our cabin.

Eventually, he went to the bathroom. I grabbed a blanket and pillow, and slept behind my dad's desk in his office. 

Two years later, that same guy was serving an eight-year prison sentence for raping his 12-year-old niece. 

* * *

I don't have one female friend who doesn't have a story like this. 

Most have many. Personally, I've lost count. I'm fortunate that nothing turned physical. Many of my female friends have not been so lucky.

These guys are everywhere. They're in our neighborhoods, at out place of work, in our homes. You might think "locker room" chat is harmless. It's just guys being guys, right? But for some men, it's not just chat. Want proof? Ask the woman you care about most. She'll have a story like this and it will break your heart.

Women already do a lot to protect themselves.

We don't walk alone after dark (which in Minnesota is over 12 hours of the day in winter). We think twice about footwear before going out-- could I run away in these? We walk to our car with 911 already dialed into our phones, just in case. 

As women, we learn to laugh off sexual harassment. We're scared of what might happen if we don't. We also learn early on that saying something usually results in a big, fat wad of nothing.

Oh, he's harmless!
He's just joking. Where's your sense of humor?
You're overreacting.
I'll talk to him later. 
[never talks to him later].

Men, it's your turn. 

If you overhear your buddy objectifying women, don't be his Billy Bush. Call him out. Laughing it off or ignoring it says this behavior is okay.   

Tell your daughters, sisters, wives, female friends and coworkers that they need to speak up. When they do, take them seriously. Do something, even if it makes you uncomfortable.  

Teach your sons about consent. That women don't owe them anything, ever, no matter what. 

As I write this, I'm sitting next to my perfect 13-week-old daughter, knowing it's just a matter of time before she has stories like this of her own. It's inevitable, unless we all collectively decide it's not okay. 

Because it's not okay. 

How to Make Winter More Tolerable: A Kickstarter Story

Namakan Fur is on at Kickstarter.com!

Namakan Fur is on at Kickstarter.com!

In  years ago, I started a company with two friends.

People say that's not always a smart thing to do. But we threw caution to the wind and did it. And after one million hours of planning, our Namakan Fur Kickstarter campaign is finally live!

Launching a Kickstarter is nerve-racking. 

After literal years of talking, then writing a business plan, prototyping, followed by a terrible case of analysis-paralysis, we're making our idea public. And there's all sorts of stress that goes with that. 

What if it flops?

What if no one "gets" our product?

What if it's too stressful on our friendship?

What if we succeed??? Must we all quit our jobs? How do you run a company?!

How do I do anything with a baby?

I'm sure I'm not the only one who struggles with "what if we succeed"? In fact, I think that plays a big role in why people don't follow through with their own brilliant business ideas. Because what if it fails... but what if it succeeds? Luckily, I'm working with two super-smart people. Between the three of us, we'll figure it out.

We've gotten this far already.

Namakan Fur's Original Faux Fur Ruff

Namakan Fur's Original Faux Fur Ruff

Namakan Fur's Original Faux Fur Ruff

Namakan Fur's Original Faux Fur Ruff

GIF-tastic! | Namakan Fur's Original Faux Fur Ruff

GIF-tastic! | Namakan Fur's Original Faux Fur Ruff

And now we need your help. 

The first 48 hours of any Kickstarter campaign are crucial. The more backers that donate (in ANY amount) within the first two days, the more Kickstarter is more likely to promote Namakan. Even if you only have $5 to spare, every little bit counts!
As a bonus for our early bird supporters: we’re offering our ruffs at a discount for the first 48 hours. Weeeeee!

Namakan Fur's Rosie Ruff

Namakan Fur's Rosie Ruff

Looks good on this vest, right?

Looks good on this vest, right?

It wouldn't be a Kickstarter without a cool GIF! | Namakan Fur's Rosie Ruff

It wouldn't be a Kickstarter without a cool GIF! | Namakan Fur's Rosie Ruff

We’d love to have your help spreading the word.

Via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Myspace, email or word mouth-- we appreciate it all. Can’t think of anything to say? No prob! Copy, paste and post what we've written below.
With the right gear, there’s no such thing as too cold. Namakan Fur created the first-ever faux fur ruff that attaches to any hood with magnets—which will keep you both warm and stylish! Support their Kickstarter campaign here:http://kck.st/2cQqhv1 #welovewinter
With the right gear, there’s no such thing as too cold. Support @NamakanFur on @Kickstarter. http://kck.st/2cQqhv1 #welovewinter
Feel free to use any of the images we've posted on our social feeds, or have included in this post to promote our campaign. People are much more likely to click on something with an image. It’s just science!
You can track our progress by following us on Facebook and Instagram.

Thanks for your help! I'll just be over here for the next 29 days, sweating profusely and trying to quell my anxiety with a glass of wine or two. Who am I kidding... I can't even drink half a glass of wine right now without the room spinning. So I'll quell my anxiety with a half glass of wine.

At least I have awesome friends sharing the anxiety with me. 

* * *

All the Reasons I've Cried Since Having a Baby

Having a baby can be incredibly emotional-- even at the strangest times. Here's a few reasons I've been moved to tears since July 14, 2016. 

Having a baby can be incredibly emotional-- even at the strangest times. Here's a few reasons I've been moved to tears since July 14, 2016. 

Arlene Helen Katt was born on July 14, 2016. One of the biggest things I remember a nurse telling me in the hospital was that I would be very swollen for the weeks after birth. She assured me my body would rid itself of the extra fluid by way of sweat, pee and maybe a few tears. 

A few tears?!

I've never been much of a crier, but after this baby... wow. Commercials, opening credits to movies, just looking at my baby can be enough to start the waterworks. It's a classic case of the baby blues. I started writing down all the reasons I've cried in the past six weeks. Some understandable, others downright ridiculous.

Without further ado, here's all the reasons I've cried since having a baby.


* * * 

Because my husband cried and exclaimed, "She's so cute!" the moment he saw her.

Because my mother-in-law cried when we Skyped with her from the hospital.

Because I had an excruciating headache for six days post-birth and "just want to enjoy my baby!"

Because the nurse I had for the last two nights at the hospital sucked.

Because one of the other nurses I had was so encouraging and helpful.

Because when our friends and family held her, I was so proud. 

Because I heard the new Wilco song. I don't even know what it's about! I just watched the video and started crying again! It's just too much. 

Because I watched Adventures in Babysitting and the opening credits killed me. 

Because, many times, I've though that I love our baby "too much."

Because when I watch my husband hold our baby, it melts my heart.

Because I watched this McDonald's commercial:

Because a home care nurse in her 50s came to our house and said that she feels bad for all of us new moms because we're unnecessarily bombarded with information and high expectations. I agreed.

Because of the Olympics.

Because of the news. Pretty much all of it aside from the weather. Why is the news so sad?

Because of this episode of the Longest Shortest Time podcast

Because one day, our little girl will leave us and go to college.

Because I'm tired.

Because sometimes when I feed our baby, I am sure her mouth is full of razorblades.

Because I haven't left the house all day.

Because I haven't taken a shower since Monday and it's Wednesday night.

Because the receptionist at our pediatrician's office wasn't helpful. 

Because I want to give the baby a bottle and the lactation consultant told us not to.

Because I gave the baby a bottle even though the lactation consultant told us not to.

Because sometimes I have to use a nipple shield to breastfeed my baby, even though experts say you shouldn't.

Because I was so relieved when a bunch of other moms-- people I know who I think are great moms-- said they, too, used a nipple shield. Some of them for many months! 

PS This is a nipple shield.

Because the baby wasn't gaining weight fast enough.

Because I had to take the baby to Children's Hospital (she's fine), saw a bunch of sick kids and thought about how fortunate we are to have a healthy baby.

Because, as a joke, I said I was going to make a  baby picture slideshow set to Amy Grant's "Baby, Baby." And then I listened to that song because I thought it'd be funny, but then I just cried.

Because a friend told me how her teenage daughter was being a brat, and then I thought of how my daughter will sometimes hate my guts. 

Because I watched someone's wedding video. I don't even know them. 

Because sometimes my dog seems so, so, sooo sad. 

Because sometimes my dog seems to love the baby. 

Because my friend told me she was pregnant. 

Because I was so scared that I wasn't going to be a good mom, or like being a mom, and I actually love it. 

Because everyone said it's different with your own kids and they were right. 

Because I wrote this blog post. 

Because I read this blog post to my husband and he cried, too. 

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Please feel free to share the craziest reason you've cried (baby related or not) in the comments. 

I should also note here that there is a big difference between the baby blues and postpartum depression. If you think you may have the latter, there is so much help available. Please talk to someone asap. Read this now.


How to Trim a Baby's Nails

A new parent's biggest nightmare: trimming a baby's nails.

A new parent's biggest nightmare: trimming a baby's nails.

With a new baby, everything is scary. 

Driving. Leaving the house. Folding laundry six feet away from your sleeping baby who is totally breathing. She is breathing, right? I'm just going to go check really quick. But I'm pretty certain there's one task that strikes fear in the hearts of all new parents: clipping your newborn's fingernails.

We welcomed baby Arlene Helen Katt on July 14. She's 7lbs 9 oz of adorableness... with one exception.

She was born wielding 10 tiny weapons.

Like all babies, her itty bitty fingernails are paper thin, and yet so sharp you'll need to be peeled off the ceiling after one minor poke-- usually on your naked boob as you're trying to figure out breastfeeding and already sobbing in pain. I thought about cutting them a lot, but using clippers seems too risky. So I Google "trim baby nails" and learned that you can file a baby's nails, or even bite them with your teeth. I tried both, and neither really worked.  

However, once the baby horribly scratches her face, you realize you're the parent and keeping the kid safe is your job. 

Time to trim the nails or call CPS on yourself. 

About a week after her birth, I finally mustered the guts to trim baby Arlene's nails. We ended up really liking curved cuticle scissors (these ones are perfect). They're easier to control, and control is key when you're trying to not physically and emotionally scar your child for life. We later discovered it was easier for the person who was holding the baby to trim her nails.  

Here's what happened when I attempted to trim our baby's talons. I didn't even cry! And bonus points to me for posting a video of myself 11 days after having a c-section, swollen as can be and barely able to move. Oh, the things we do for kids!

Doing most things with a baby scares the crap out of me, but that's been the driving force behind Hey Eleanor all along. If you have a suggestion of a scary task to tackle with a baby, share it in the comments. Flying cross-country, leaving her overnight with a babysitter... I am alllll ears. 

On a somewhat related note, remember press-on nails?

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