Birth & Parenting Series

Birth & Parenting Series (22): One Mom’s Work-Life Balance

May 1, 2014

This is our 22nd guest post in the Birth & Parenting Series!  The other 21 guest writers’ stories may be found here. Contact me ( anytime if you’d like to share your story of your child’s arrival, or a parenting perspective. My girlfriend is one of those beautiful mothers who always comes with something baked, something dreamed up, something divinely inspired, on time, or even early, to every event you invite her to. Her son is just one, adorable, hip as hip can be, and all smiles all the time. Her husband is like my other little brother and I feel so blessed by their whole family. She writes frequently for I Believe in Love, and I love seeing her insights there as well. When I asked her how she balances her part-time work with full-time mothering, wife-ing, hostessing, volunteering, etc, she just smiled. So I pressed her–no REALLY? The answer? A little blog post for you: — Work/life balance – it’s a struggle for me to achieve it. I’m really good at saying yes, and really bad at saying no, most especially when everything is something that I want to do! However, this spring, I was overwhelmed – overwhelmed with being a stay-at-home-mom (mostly), working a couple of part-time jobs (to help financially), moving into temporary housing, buying a home, painting said home, moving again, and saying yes to too many commitments. Something had to go. So, after much discussion with my husband, prayer and figuring out all options in…

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Birth & Parenting Series (21): Mom’s Long Labor of Love

February 5, 2013

This is our 21st guest post in the Birth & Parenting Series. The other 20 guest writers’ stories may be found here. Contact me ( anytime if you’d like to share your story of your child’s arrival, or a parenting perspective. Today’s writer shares her birth story of her son. Jenni bravely faced a long labor and when she finally met her son it was a real gift and celebration! — I woke up at 2:00 am on Friday, March 2, 2012 with contractions.  I had been having contractions all week around this time.  Except, this time, they were different.  These contractions were uncomfortable.  With my husband sleeping next to me, I started timing the contractions using an app on my phone.  The doctor wanted us to call when the contractions were 1 minute long, occurring every 5 minutes.  I timed them. They lasted at least one minute long and were anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes apart.  I calmly woke my husband and told him I thought I was in labor.  So we called the doctor.  The doctor told us to head to the hospital; at worst, they would send us home.  He would call ahead to let them know we were coming.  This was at 4:00 am. Part of me was still in denial that I was in labor. We took our time to pack the hospital bag.  Yes, we were a little behind in doing this.  After all, the baby wasn’t due for another 5 days.  I…

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Birth & Parenting Series: Autism Diagnosis Part 3 (Finale)

January 25, 2013

This is the final segment written by a guest writer whose son has been diagnosed with a form of Autism. See part 1 here, and part 2 here. This last segment gives concrete guidance for parents going through the system and provides a number of very helpful tips, including an online support group founded by our writer! Programs That Help But how do you get help for an autistic child? We had insurance through the state of Wisconsin (Badgercare) which has vouchers to pay for special help for children who have Autism … but there’s about a 1.5 year waiting period to get a voucher and a long application process. We figured by that time he’d have been in school long enough he should get help from the school district. We also figured we would no longer be on Badgercare by the time a voucher became available. The good news is there’s something called a Katie Beckett program in our state that can “divorce” your special needs child from your insurance if you find that they need more help than your insurance pays for and he or she can go on Wisconsin’s plan. We did not pursue that because we did not think his needs were severe enough to warrant a voucher. The rules are you must get 40 hours of services per week for young children and 20 hours for school-aged children and we knew he’d be too exhausted to be helped by services after a full school day.…

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Birth & Parenting Series: Autism Diagnosis Part 2

January 17, 2013

This is a continuation of our guest post on a mother’s perspective on her young son’s autism diagnosis. Read part 1 here. Read all our Birth & Parenting Series here. Contact me if you want to share your story! —- How the Diagnosis Works When we took our son for his physical in June, we mentioned our concerns to our family doctor.  She immediately referred us to the pediatric neurologist.  We were very lucky to see her within two weeks, and after a meeting with her, she sent us to the psychologist who was the expert in autism for a screening.  We were able to see him relatively quickly, too, and by mid-summer, we had an answer: he was autistic, but not classically so. When you get an autism diagnosis, there are several different “categories” you can get, the most known are Autism, Asperger’s, and PDD-NOS (Pervasive Development Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified).  Our son was PDD-NOS because he was similar to the children who were fully autistic, but had some differences.  For example, he is not particularly interested in the wheels on a car and does not have an overwhelming need to put things in order.  He is also highly imaginative.  But he does not seem to grasp social skills and has other things he does in common with the autistic children, such as liking to spin or twirl his body when he gets a little overwhelmed.  The newest DSM-V will actually collapse all of these developmental disorders under “Autism”…

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Birth & Parenting Series (20): Autism Diagnosis for a Toddler

January 11, 2013

This is our 20th post of guests sharing their birth and/or parenting stories. See the other 19 posts here. They range from homebirth to epidural, homeschooling to bottle feeding. Today’s post is written by Nicole M, mother  of a preschooler who was diagnosed with Autism. It’s not that simple, though, and her journey will be shared in a three part series over the next few Fridays. Read, learn, and appreciate that every child has his or her own path, taking their parents with them. — Early Signs and Seeing His Differences In retrospect, we probably had a lot of signs.  As a baby, he was fascinated by words and labels and would stare at those constantly.  We joked he was going to be a tort lawyer since so many of those words were various warnings on baby products.  Early on, he would make a sound that sounded like “ay, me” a lot.  Also cute.  At one point, he picked up a chant: “good, good, good…” which he would babble by himself.  In a lot of ways he was an insanely easy child: he would play by himself for long periods of time, and didn’t fuss too much about going to bed.  The worst part was the teething, which was monstrously early and often (a family trait) and the ear infections we thought would never clear, that eventually did. As our son became a toddler, we noticed how super smart he was: he knew his alphabet early, was reading everyone’s names…

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Birth & Parenting Series (19): Baby Girl Comes 11 Weeks Early

November 5, 2012

This is part 19 in our Birth & Parenting Series where mamas & papas share either about their birthing experience or parenting perspective. Please let us know if you’d like to join in the conversation. All our series can be found on the sidebar, or at this link, here. This incredibly brave family endured a horrifically difficult entry into the world of their second daughter, but with grace and amazing heart, their sweet little girl makes it. Thank God for great doctors and nurses and miracles. ————— I had dreamed about Harper’s birth story since the day I found out she existed. After all, my firstborn, Elle, came into this world with a vengeance at 36 weeks. (I’ll spare the details but the story of Elle and I began with many unpleasant things, i.e., HELLP syndrome, sunny-side up, post partum hemorrhage, transfusion, retained placenta, D&C). So, I naturally I believed that things were guaranteed to be comparatively smoother the second time around. I could not wait to meet weeks 37, 38, 39, and even week 40; to pack my own hospital bag; to count and time contractions; to possibly try an all natural birth (ok, I would have for sure ended up with an epidural but I liked they idea of having a choice in the matter) – all experiences I had been swiftly robbed of via Elle’s emergency induction. I was blissfully pregnant with baby #2 at 29 weeks, still working, feeling as well as one can. I had…

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