All posts tagged Pregnancy

Co-existing with a baby and a kitty cat

Published July 14, 2014 by The Hip Grandmother


Moder and Shaddow in 2011Want to harness physical, social, emotional and cognitive development from your child? It can all be found by encouraging interaction with the family pet. It doesn’t matter if it is a dog, cat, horse or goldfish, the main ingredient is a sense of companionship that is offered by animals. Having a pet is sometimes what everyone had as a child as they get interaction with warm fuzzy entertainment given by the animal. My ‘pet of choice’ was always a feline. As long as I can remember, I have always had a cat by my side. In bad times and good, my feline friends were always there for me when I felt like I was alone.

We have a feline, as you know. His name is Shaddow. I have always loved all my cats in my past. But this cat has a very special place in my heart. I originally adopted/rescued him from the local Humane society in Palm Beach county along with my mother and daughter down in South Florida. Shaddow was originally rescued for my daughter but chose me as his favorite. We got him at six months although by the looks of body which dealt with malnutrition, he looked four months old. By the time he was nine months old, he had already learned how to fetch. We had taught him with cloth kitty toy balls as we threw them up the stairs, he would catch them and bring them downstairs to us.

Now he is just a Tomcat, and old man. He has had his day.

During the 6 of the 9 months, we made sure that we left blankets out for Shaddow to smell. Now, Victoria’s scent wasn’t on the items at this time but the smell of baby items were around so he would get used to knowing that our scents were different than the scent that was on the items. I wasn’t expecting him to rub his face on these items but to understand that something or someone is arriving soon and to understand that our family is expanding, not excluding him. I really want him to learn this.

While my daughter was pregnant, she would work on the computer working on her college classes. She would invite Shaddow to sleep next to her so the touch and scent obviously comforted him because he would sit by her constantly. Seeing them both sit on the couch made me think back to when she was a little girl and he was a kitten. My daughter played violin and cello. She went to a performing arts school during that time. Every time..and I mean every time she practiced her craft, Shaddow would come running from any place in the house just to sit in her empty case to sit and listen to her play. There are times when he would meow with the music as she ran the bow across the strings. We have Meeting Shaddow:Victoriawonderful memories with this feline.

Finally the day to return home with our new bundle of joy, Shaddow was hanging around the house (probably sleeping in his makeshift bed I prepared for him in my bedroom closet). After the family and friends have left us alone with our little entity, Shaddow came out of his secluded lair and came up to sniff Victoria’s foot. Then he walked away uninterested. And that is what we wanted to happen. Still, even now the baby’s bedroom room is closed during sleep, including naps. Because even though we love him with all our hearts, he is still a feline.

On a positive note, Shaddow is going to give her so many responsibilities. True, I did rescue Shaddow for my daughter to learn responsibilities but that was a moot point. Shaddow decided that I am going to be his alpha female or maybe he just views me as another cat. Whatever the case, he is going to do his part to help her grow. Emotionally, physically and mentally he will be there. All she has to do is grow.

Please visit his blog (for cat lovers)

Preparing for a birthday on my birthday

Published March 4, 2014 by The Hip Grandmother

The time inches nearer and nearer! In the next week…or next few days I could have my granddaughter in my arms. The thought of my baby girl having a baby girl is so mind-blowing. And it is actually becoming more real. Last weekend we decided to get some of her laundry done. I remember holding up the Onsies and commenting on how adorable a little body will fit in them. The little socks and bibs. Or even the receiving blankets. Her little head will be covered with the cutest little pink and white hats that my daughter received at the baby shower. This child will have an assortment of nice, warm and comfortable things to wear.

 As my daughter was finishing some online college work due on friday, I have been in the kitchen cleaning and sterilizing the bottles and pacifiers. My bestie gave her a microwavable sterilizing kit and boy does it work wonders! When my child was little, her father and I had bought a sterilizing Victoria's bottleskit that cost in the neighborhood of $75-$100. It worked wonders as well but the price was outrageous! Thank goodness you can get a kit for around $10 at your local Target (from what I have seen) or you can clean the bottles, fill them halfway with water, get a microwavable bowl, fill it with water (about 7 oz) and throw in the nipples, rings and tops. I must say I have learned a little bit more about sterilization on my second time around. This generation has all the cool gadgets.

 Finally we set up the crib. My bestie was here helping us put it together. It is a beautiful dark cherry wood-finished convertible crib which is from my family. See, this is what we normally do. Victoria will be the second baby that sleeps in this crib. The first? My beautiful nephew Cayden. Not only are they a few years apart but they will grow up together and hopefully have the same friends. This is my sister’s and my hope. The theme of her nursery will be ‘Ladybugs’. As I am putting the decals on the walls, I can’t help but chuckle that my daughter has always been ‘my ladybug’ because of (from what I believe) is good luck. I also learned that ladybugs are some of the few insects the Native Americans watched before the winter. They could tell if it was going to be a harsh winter or a weak one. (Just another one of the many meteorological stories I have Victoria's cribheard).

 Yes, as I said before, today is my birthday. My 43rd birthday to be exact. Usually on this day, there is absolutely nothing going on. I mean, I am glad nothing out-of-the-ordinary goes on during this day. Shoot. This day is so mundane that I have found not many famous people share my birthday…probably since about 1678. Its ok. So I am not sharing a birthday with my granddaughter. But I will share our birthstone and zodiac sign. Things will work out just fine.

 Until then, we wait.

Wanna know a great place to shop for baby supplies? Remember to hit this consignment shop!

Published January 26, 2014 by The Hip Grandmother

When I just moved up to Tennessee to be with my sister and her family, she gave me some really good advice on where to go to buy baby and children’s clothes and equipment. I would see her come home from shopping capturing really good deals for her boys to wear to school, church functions and on weekend outings. I couldn’t believe she told me about a consignment shop. Where I come from, the consignment shops are very small and do not have much to offer in cleanliness and quality.“Have you ever heard of ‘Once Upon a Child?” she asked. To be truthful, my daughter was in high school and I never predicted that I would have to shop for children’s clothes in the near future. So here I am helping my daughter ‘hunt and gather’ baby supplies for my grand daughter Victoria. As I am scouring the internet or Brick and Mortar shops, I then remembered the advice my sister gave me years ago.

Victoria's BouncerOnce Upon a Child is a consignment shop that buys and sells gently used toys, clothing and baby furnishings that allow you to acquire quality merchandise for such a great price. These products that they sell are of value and they always meet the standards with their products to be sure they are not on recall. Remember, these products are from your area, as in they buy products that are gently used from local parents whose children grew out of these stages of clothes. Once Upon a Child buys them for a good price and all you have to do is stop in to one of their many consignment shops and browse. It isso nice to finally find a children’s boutique that will buy your gently used children’s items by making an offer, selling the items for you. It is their way of ‘paying it forward’ for the rest of society. Personally while I was walking in the aisles of their store, I found so many cute baby clothes, children’s clothes (both boy and girl), baby strollers, carriers, baby bathtubs and so much more. I did buy a few onsies from the infants aisle for little-to-nothing. And I also purchased a bouncer for $6! It is a steal! I couldn’t believe how affordable Once Upon a Child is on my wallet.

Think of shopping for your children. Think of an up-coming baby shower that you are invited to. Think of your nieces or nephews that could benefit from Once Upon a Child. Think of being able to give back to your neighborhood consignment shop called Once Upon a Child. You will be glad that you did.


Understanding Hypermesis and wanting it to stop…..NOW!

Published January 13, 2014 by The Hip Grandmother

Having to watch my only child nauseous on a daily basis is so hard to look at. In a perfect world, I wish mothers-in-waiting would not have to deal with changes in their bodies or disruptions of their mental state. There would be fewer stories about the mother killing their own children or the notion that ‘they are going crazy’ only if they were given attention. Fortunately, my daughter has a very strong support system all around her to help her through such troubled times. Although she will Locket Grampa Joe and Grandma Cheryl got mommyhave to experience these things, she has a strong family that will always be there in her time of need. I hope she remembers that.

On our last visit to the OBGYN, we were told that she has been dealing with Hypermesis Gravidarum, or not ‘Morning Sickness’. This is not so simple to deal with. Although my daughter has actually gained a few pounds in her pregnancy (only 8 lbs due to the morning sickness since the beginning), she has been put on anti-nausea medicine and has been on bed-rest for the duration of her pregnancy. She has been able to eat a lot more and exercises frequently which I am glad and my stress-level has lowered a bit.

Much of the population does not understand how severe this Hypermesis Gravidarum can be to an expectant mother and her unborn child. Not only is this severe form of nausea and vomiting during a period (or like my daughter’s case) throughout the pregnancy term, but it has been described as preventing the adequate intake of the important foods and fluids that the mother and child need. If it is not treaded in a timely fashion, dehydration and nutritional deficiencies may happen, metabolic imbalances and difficulty with the daily activities can occur. Although HG is not fully understood and severely under examined, new theories and findings are emerging with every year. The finding are complex and it is thought to be a physiological disease caused by many factors.

As the symptoms of the HG bring on other new symptoms, repeated vomiting and severe nausea rears its ugly head for a whole new set of other problems we have to worry about. Common complications can include debilitating fatigue, gastric irritation, ketosis and malnutrition. That, my friends is scary. Scary of not knowing what is going on inside my daughter’s metabolism, scary to know this could potentially harm my grand daughter and scary to know there is little that I can do to combat it. How do you prevent this potentially life-threatening complications? As a mother, I want to take this pain and suffering that she is enduring…and experience it for myself so she doesn’t have to.

This is not over…

For more in-depth information about Hypermesis Gravidarum or Morning Sickness, please visit:

The Hip Grandmother’s Day Out

Published November 4, 2013 by The Hip Grandmother

 Leaving the computer screen is a rather hard thing for me. But today, I decided to step away from the screen and get some much needed sunshine.  Today was the day that I would spend with the *other* grandmother going out to lunch and window shopping to get ideas for the baby shower. As I am getting ready, I feel a bit nervous of how I will be the house clean enough?, will I get along with her?, will she be as happy as I am about this wonderful bundle of joy that is making her appearance in March? These are things that run through my mind as I am brushing my long brown hair. Glancing in the mirror at my reflection, I take a deep breath and tell myself that everything will be alright. This is going to be a relationship about compromising.

I received a text message that she was on her way to my house to pick me up. Sitting in her Ford Focus, we both decide that the best place for us to have our lunches would be at Olive Garden ( In our own way, it is the best chance to ‘break bread’ together and get to know one another because, lets face it, we are going to be grandmothers for the next 18 years. As adults, we should become friends (at least). We decided to get appetizers because the breadsticks alone will fill us up. We both had such a great time sitting and chatting about raising our babies in the good and bad times, eating great food and building a bond that will be shared for years to come.

After the last bit of food and drink was consumed, we both decided it was time to go window shopping. Where else could we go to see what is in-store for our little grandchild? has such a wide selection of baby products, we really didn’t know where to begin! Splashes of pink and blue were all around us as we hunted for the Car Seatprice tags of only pink items. We were a bit silly giggling at the vast selections of little girl (and little boy) products. We also came upon multitudes of choices in carriers. Carriers that attached would make up a car seat, stroller and basic carrier for an infant.

I have to say that I am truly blessed knowing that she wants to be there on my journey as well. Some people aren’t that lucky. This child is going to come into a world knowing what a loving family is. That eases my heart. As my daughter’s belly continues to grow, I know that I am not the only grandmother that is planning the future of this little angel.

Autism Spectrum Disorder: A success story

Published October 14, 2013 by The Hip Grandmother

It has been identified that about one in 88 children have been born with autism spectrum disorder according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Statistics show that over 2 million people in the United States alone are affected by this. This proportion of people with autism spectrum disorder in expected to increase from 10 to 17 percent annually due to the fact of wider awareness and proper screening although there is still a mystery why the continued increase still haunts us. It is not fully known how this horrible disorder manifests but with current research showing that it is likely due to a complex combination of genetic predispositions and environmental factors that have influenced early brain development. Either advanced ages of either parents at the moment of conception, maternal illness during the pregnancy, extreme prematurity or very low birth weight. Fortunately not every child develops these types of neuro-developmental disorders. The effects of maternal immune activation involves the strength of fighting infection and genetic predisposition. 

My sister had given birth to a child with autism spectrum disorder in 2000. We were so happy to welcome a beautiful little boy in our family. All ten fingers and ten toes were all we needed. As he grew, things were different…like that angel was battling something inside of him that we could not figure out. My sister went to doctor after doctor, administering him medicine that I couldn’t even pronounce. It seemed that my sister was going stir-crazy trying to find what was the matter with her son. But my sister *did* find out what was wrong with her son. Like so many other loving parents, my sister did not give up on finding out what was affecting her son. I am so proud of her for that. After so many trials that family has been through, there is a light at the end of the tunnel for the both of them.

Today he is a marvelous student, awesome musician (he plays the clarinet in his school marching band) and is a wonderful individual that will prosper as he goes into his teenaged years. This is a success story.

Now the fun begins…..

Published September 27, 2013 by The Hip Grandmother

Funny how time seems to heal…even for the scenarios that you can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. Learning to accept the way things are is easier for me now. The baby is now 5.12 inches resting comfortably (and healthy from what I know so far) in her mommy’s belly. We are now ready to learn about the gender although we will find out later in the month of October. After that, it will be time to start shopping for that certain gender.

As of today, she is now 16 weeks pregnant and starting her 2nd trimester. Her baby is at the size of an avocado. That little angel can hear her mommy’s voice echoing through her body. Tiny bones have formed in her ears. She is growing hair and has lashes with eyebrows. And she is also forming taste buds. 🙂 The baby is moving around my daughter’s belly and this is the time that she will start actually feeling it. Reality is finally going to set in for my daughter. The nausea days have passed and we are now looking forward to her little belly getting even bigger with love.

School is going splendidly for my daughter as she is getting the straight As in each class. The saying in this house is ‘maintain those As!’ every morning that she walks out the door. With an on-going habit of studying, she will hopefully fulfill this semester with flying colors. I am thankful that she is concentrating on going to school. I can remember when I graduated with my G.E.D. at 30 years old. I have pictures of how proud she was for me. I was proud she was able to actually see me graduate and continue on with college. I remember telling her that “not even two strokes can keep me from furthering my education.” With ‘community’, a pregnancy will not hinder her as well. I can honestly say I am proud of her.

Be wise! Protect the eyes! (Especially while pregnant!)

Published September 3, 2013 by The Hip Grandmother

Pregnant mom with glassesPregnant women have to deal with a lot of things with the change of their bodies. They have to worry about having morning sickness to back pain….and everything in between. Attach vision problems to that long list of things to ‘look out for’. Hormones (boy, I know how bad it is in the receiving end!), the changes in the metabolism, fluid retention and blood circulation are all the changes that affect the eyes during pregnancy. These changes can affect the thickness of the cornea by increasing slightly even though the changes are very small. This change can affect how you wear your glasses or contacts on a daily basis.

My daughter had an eye doctor appointment last week. The doctor explained to us that during pregnancy, these changes can affect your prescription. He told us on how more pregnant women report that they feel a bit more nearsighted now than they were before they became pregnant. Although this wasn’t a very good time to get a new prescription, the rule of thumb is that these changes are going to be temporary and typically reverse themselves within a month to several month after the delivery. After being asked, he advised that getting laser surgery while pregnant isn’t a very good idea; rather, they do not allow it with most insurance companies.There are many different irritants that can happen to a pregnant woman during this time of her life. It

Hipster baby eyesightalso can happen during breastfeeding. The eyes can become drier along with other subtle changes in the shape and thickness of the cornea. For better or for worse, this can also bring about other changes during pregnancy. If one has diabetes, one should get screened for damage within the blood vessels in the retina. As this might worsen during pregnancy, there is a name for it. It is called Diabetic Retinopathy. Frequent eye exams before and during each pregnancy would be a real good idea to keep tabs on the damage, (if it were to occur).

Some women that have to deal with Glaucoma usually find that their eyesight improves during pregnancy which is a real good thing. Keep in mind that the medication needs to be adjusted as soon as possible. Lessening the baby’s exposure to the medications is a good thing for Glaucoma patients who would like to plan a pregnancy.

Week 10-11 of my grand baby’s growth

Published August 28, 2013 by The Hip Grandmother

As I sit here watching the new “Star Trek”, I think about James T. Kirk not having his parents together. His father was on the Starship Enterprise and was attacked by enemies while his wife was on a pod leaving the ship, giving birth to their only child, never to see her husband again.

While I realize this is just a movie, I wonder how my grandchild will deal with (her) parents not living together. My daughter will not keep the child away from the other family. That was not how she was brought up. I am just hoping the other family will hold their end of the bargain. A child should not have to go through a situation without their other parent being any case. 

There are many positives in this week. My daughter has regained some energy back that she didn’t have from the weeks before. Her appetite has somewhat returned and things are looking better for her. She is now at week 10-11..and my grand baby is no bigger than a fig. This is wonderful news! The risk of congenital birth defects are now lessened which makes me (almost) breathe a sigh of relief. (Her) fingernails have slightly formed with the look of a ‘human fetus’ connected to the placenta, (which is now functioning.) My daughter found a really good app for her iPhone that describes what is happening to your body while you are making this transition to motherhood. The pregnancy app is on iPhone, iPod touch and android. It is free and it tracks your day-to-day growth.  

App reviewed by the BabyCenter Medical Advisory Board

The BabyCenter My Pregnancy Today app is everything that millions of women love about BabyCenter right in their purse.” – Linda Murray, BabyCenter editor-in-chief

BabyCenter My Pregnancy Today is the most comprehensive daily pregnancy app from the world’s most trusted pregnancy and parenting resource. Simply enter your baby’s due date, and BabyCenter My Pregnancy Today turns your phone into an expert guide for each day of your pregnancy. Feel more prepared for your baby’s birth and get the answers you need, whenever you need them.   Here’s what you’ll get:

  • My pregnancy day by day: BabyCenter’s renowned weekly guide to pregnancy is now optimized for your smart phone with daily information and advice.
  • Fetal development images: See your baby grow with our one-of-kind images developed by expert medical illustrators.
  • Pregnancy checklist:  This interactive to-do list is filled with activities and reminders to keep you on track with decisions, doctor appointments, and more.
  • Award-winning videos: Watch what’s happening inside the womb with breathtaking 3-D animations, or, get informed (and inspired) about your own delivery day with live-action birth videos.
  • Birth clubs: Meet other moms-to-be who are due at the same time as you and get instant advice and support.
  • Due date calculator: Figure out your due date and count down to the big day.
  • Nutrition guide: These tips and recipes will help you eat well and manage cravings.

Here is the address: or you can find it in the app store

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