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It has been such a long and difficult journey to parenthood for Mo and Will. Little Magpie will be here very soon! So many of us in the blogosphere have been hoping with them through each cycle, cautiously celebrating each BFP with them, abiding by them through each heartbreaking loss. Then this pregnancy happened. We checked the blog incessantly whenever there was an ultrasound scheduled, when there was spotting, and now, as we await Magpie's birth. This is truly a time to celebrate!

As I told Mo, once Magpie arrives it's all about the baby. So I'd like to, in these last days of this much wanted, long awaited, miracle pregnancy, to celebrate Mo. I would love it if you would write your congratulations to their family, or maybe the best bit of newborn advice you wish you'd known, or the odd baby gear you found invaluable, or whatever. Please email them to me at, and I'll post each one as its own post. Join me in this virtual baby shower to shower Mo with love.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

From Erin

Dear Mo & Will,

So many others have said many of the things that I have thought of. I agree strongly with Luna-- do what works best for you and don't let anyone make you feel like you are "wrong" for your choices.  You are doing the best that you can, and that's enough.  Many years ago, (before we were parents, or even married for that matter) I heard my Mom talk about parenting to a bunch of 7th-9th graders and she said something that I repeat to myself about once a month when I'm feeling less than stellar as a parent.  (This was at a Chistian conference, so her verbiage reflects that)

"When God blesses two people with a child, they aren't given an instruction book.  They are just two people who love each other a lot, and who promise to love the child they've been blessed with.  So parent's don't always know what they're doing.  They're just two people who loved each other a lot and who love you a lot, but they don't always have all of the answers.  It's easy to think that your parents aren't as cool as someone else's or that they're just trying to make your life miserable, but that's not it really.  Really it's that they are doing the very best that they can to give you what they think you need to grow up strong and healthy and faithful to God. Sometimes you have to cut them a little slack, and try to tell them what you need, while also understanding that sometimes they make choices that you don't like because they are protecting you from something that they've experienced and know could hurt you.  In the end your parents love you and while that may not seem like much, it's everything." (Paraphrased 9 years later but the main ideas are there)  

I reflect on the fact that I wasn't given an instruction book, but only a partner who has my back and a deep and abiding love for my children.  And that goes a really long way.  When my baby, who I was sure wasn't even close to mobile squirmed her way off the couch the first day that I was alone at home on maternity leave onto the palet of pillows on the floor with a thump that was enough to scare both of us and send me calling the pediatrician I cried and remembered that there aren't instructions for this.  Be gentle with yourself.  You are a fantastic parent, and Magpie is a very lucky girl, who will be doted upon by her family, extended family and the interwebs.  Be gentle with yourself and know that you're doing the best that you can and that children are much hardier than we give them credit for (thankfully).  

In terms of things that we did that I loved-- we took a monthly picture with a teddy bear.  They grow so much in the first year or two that it was a really fun thing to look back on.  

I echo getting a carrier, but possibly borrowing or renting until you find the one that works best for you and Magpie.  My babies had two very different sets of preferences-- one was a Moby baby and the other a sling baby.  

I also echo that breastfeeding starts off hard.  It does get better, but there is NOTHING wrong with doing whatever allows you to make it through the first few days.  For us, it was pumping milk when my nipples were to raw for her to nurse (nipple confusion, snipple confusion-- my cracked bleeding breasts were no good to her in the condition they were in).  You will find what is best for you, and do not let the lactation consultant make you feel less than because it's not easy.  

Also, if you can (this sounds crazy, I know)- encapsulate your placenta.  I did it with my second and my husband will tell anyone who has a partner with child that they must do it.  He would actually ask me if I'd taken my placenta pills because he could tell such a significant difference.  I am not someone who I would have thought would eat my own placenta, but it made me feel more steady in those first days which were a swirl of crazy emotions and made enough of a difference that my very analytical spouse admitted that they were a big help.  Not sure if you'll get this in time, but if you can, try to save it.  

And above all, know that this is your birth, your child and your story and you are going to rock it-- no matter how it unfolds.  

Sending much love and light.

Monday, October 22, 2012

From Brenda at Hope Springs Infertile

Mo and Will,

Like many others, I have been reading your journey for quite some time, wishing and hoping with you.  The both of you truly are a model of strength in turmoil, a light to other people battling infertility.  Your frank discussions of the pain and hope of each round of IVF and testing was so raw and so real. 

I'm so happy to be writing this on the day you are to be induced.  Like much of the ALI blogosphere, I am refreshing my browser hourly (who am I kidding--every few minutes) to see if there is any news. I am thrilled beyond words for the both of you as you start your new journey.  I hope that Magpie enters the world safely and healthy. 

I look forward to hearing about your new life with her (if you wish to share----please!).  The only advice I can give is-as others have said-take lots of pictures, write down some notes about her every few days (I kept one sheet that had had the feeding schedule for the boys, and I am so glad I did!) and remember to be gentle with yourself.  No matter how much you have longed to see her face, raising a child is tough.  And a newborn is extremely hard!  Take help when you can get it.  Please don't feel like you need to "make up" for your body by being "everything, all the time" to Magpie. You are going to be tired.  There are going to be times that you just want a break.  And that is OK.  Really.  Just because things are overwhelming, doesn't mean that you love your daughter any less, that you wanted her any less. It means that you are a new Mom and Dad.  A very, very normal new Mom and Dad.  Yes, Mo, get used to it: M-O-M.  Is any other word quite so sweet?

Love to all three of you! 


Thursday, October 18, 2012

From Lindsay at Life Pared Down

Mo and Will,

I have read along with you through your journey and I am always amazed at how strong you are. I think it's a reminder that we are ever stronger than we give ourselves credit for, but at the same time that it is okay to not feel strong at times. You've reminded me on more than one occasion that there is a balancing of these feelings that can happen, so if you're on one end for awhile and you don't want to be there, it can change.

I am so thrilled for you two. Magpie is almost here! It is truly wonderful and it is hard for me to express just how happy I am for you.

I remember having this one rather brief and vivid thought just after birth when they laid K on me. "What, I get to keep her?!" It was rather overwhelming after our previous losses and just went to highlight how much of a journey it had been to get to that point. It's okay to be (on top of the normal newborn insanity) to be overwhelmed by the simple fact that you have an actual baby! It's takes time for you mind to wrap itself around that fact, so don't despair if things don't click right away. There will be some moment where you acknowledge that you have a baby. It may even pass by unnoticed, but it will happen.

I don't really have much advice, since everyone's experience with a new baby can be so different. All I will say is that this is but another chapter in your lives. Most definitely it is a life changing one, but it will have it's ups and downs too. It won't be perfect, but it's your journey and if there is one thing that is true, it is that Magpie is damn lucky to have such amazing people as parents.

All the best of luck to you! I await news of Magpie's arrival with baited breath!

aka. The Steadfast Warrior

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

From Luna at life from here: musings from the edge

To Mo and Will,

Wishing you all so much love and happiness as you embark on this beautiful phase of life with Little Miss Magpie.  I am so very happy that you have finally achieved your dream of parenthood.  Such a long and winding road!  Nothing will ever be the same again, but you already know that.

I want to say so many things.  Yet if I were to seek just one bit of parenting advice, it would be this:
do what works for you.  Like it or not, people will have advice about everything. Everyone and their mother will have their own ideas about how to do every little thing from feeding to sleeping to pacifiers and preschools and on and on.  Read what you want, do your research, talk to people, ask questions, smile and nod when they tell you about The Way To Do Things.  But in the end, just do what works for you. Often it's trial and error.  Every baby is different.  All that matters is what works for you and your family.  Trust your instincts.

And remember, just when you think you've got it all figured out, she will change and grow and the next day will be different. 

It's a most wonderful journey, filled with tremendous awe and wonder and yes, challenges.  Enjoy every minute you can. 

Much love,

Luna (and family)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

From Seriously?!

Dear Mo and Will,

To stay that I am elated is an understatement.  I have watched and I have cheered as you kicked each week and milestone  to the curb.  You are truly an inspiration to so many of us.  Your strength, determination, and raw emotion through it all, has allowed us all to share in the pure awesomeness that Magpie is.  Clearly, she is the BEST of you both.

Once our Little Miss was placed into our arms, I was finally able to exhale.  I can't wait for you to have that feeling.  The overwhelming peace that is about to come your way is soooooooo worth the battles.

Congratulations!  I am so thrilled to be along with you during this final leg of the race!

Much love,

From Nicole E

I wish Mo and Will the best. They deserve this so much. My advice would be to get a journal and write all the little details down. I thought i would remember so much but as time passes you forget. I think it's the lack of sleep.  Take tons of pictures and splurge on a real photographer.  Do what feels natural and right for you three and enjoy.

Monday, October 15, 2012

From Muriel

Dear Mo

May all your dreams come true as you hold Magpie. The future just gets better through every stage. I just had dinner with my sons (after 2 miscarriages) at the age of 23 and 24. It was so wonderful and I wish you all the joys with Magpie... The good, the frustrating and the best!
I wish you joy....

Thursday, October 11, 2012

From Manapan at Manapan's Space

Dear Mo & Will,

Everyone else has given you such incredible advice already. I just want to tell you the things I wish someone had told me, but I'm longwinded!

Little Miss Magpie is going to rock your world in so many incredible ways. And also in some not-so-incredible ways. :) You will most likely not love every little thing involved with being parents. It's okay. In fact, it's completely expected. You still love her and you're still grateful for her even when you're at your wits' end trying to soothe her. (And if she's anywhere near as persistent as her parents are, she's going to be quite the little handful!) You might feel like nothing more than a baby-feeding, butt-wiping zombie at first. But remember that even though she can't even smile at you for weeks, it doesn't mean that she doesn't love you, and remember you, and know who you are, and appreciate everything you do for her. I remember one day when Tatoe was 2 months old, I was doing some dishes while my mom held him. He started wailing and it sounded suspiciously like "maaaaaa maaaaaa". She brought him in to me, and when he saw me he stopped crying. His eyes lit up and he gave me this goofy little grin. It's the stuff magic is made of, and you will have that with your precious little girl soon!

If your labor and birth don't go how you had hoped, it's okay to grieve that. You don't have to pretend that everything is okay just because she's here and she's safe and she's yours forever now. Your feelings still matter too. In that same vein, don't beat yourself up if other things don't go according to plan either. Breastfeeding, for example, can be incredibly difficult. If you find yourself struggling with supply, pumping after feeds and a SNS full of formula during feeds can really help. And if it doesn't? Or if it's driving you crazy? Let it go. That kind of stress will dry up your supply anyway. You live in a first world country, with ample supplies of both appropriate formula and clean water. It is NOT poison, and anyone who would tell you that is bat shit crazy and mean to boot.

Do anything you need to in order to get some sleep. And not just when Magpie is a teensy little squish -- sleep deprivation can go on and on and on. Give yourself permission to get through it any way you can. If she won't sleep anywhere but in your arms, lie down with her. If the other stuff doesn't get done because you're napping with her, that's okay. If someone tells you that you're setting her up for bad sleep hygiene, kick 'em where it counts and go take a nap without Judgy McJudgerson's assvice echoing in your ears.

At first you want nothing more than to hold your long-awaited bundle in your arms while you marvel over every little inch of her. When you want your hands back though, babywearing is a godsend. There are a ton of babywearing options out there, so if you or Magpie decide you don't like one there's a world of other things to try. has an incredible forum where you can read about your options, ask about what might work for you, and buy used carriers (which are way more snuggly and usually cheaper than new ones). There are several places online that will let you rent a carrier too, so you can try a lot of them before you make any decisions about what will work best for you. And don't let anyone get you down about "crotch danglers" if you have already bought something like the original Baby Bjorn. You're still wearing your baby, which is much nicer for all of you than not!

I am so excited for the day that you two finally get to snuggle Miss Magpie on the outside. She's truly a lucky little girl to be so loved and wanted! I hope she's all you ever dreamed of.

Huge hugs!

From Dora

Dear Mo,

When we first met, neither of us was in a good place on the TTC front. We bonded over tasteless jokes and tequila. Now look at us!

I love what everyone else has written. You’ll hear “sleep when the baby sleeps” a lot. It’s really hard to do. There will be so many things calling for your attention whenever Miss Magpie is sleeping. Let it go. Getting as much sleep as possible needs to be a priority. I can imagine you rolling your eyes at all the advice to enjoy the moments, because it goes so fast. Well, of course you will, you’ve waited so very, very long. But St. Elsewhere is right. “Prepare to be shocked.” Newborns are overwhelming in a way that nothing can prepare you for. Slow down when you can and notice the details. Her content little sighs, her delicious tiny toes, sweet milk breath, etc. Let these little things be the salve that helps heal the wounds of this journey.

When Sunshine was a newborn, I loved this gadget for keeping track of diaper changes, feedings, and sleep. But of course, there’s an app for that. It really helps to keep track of everything those first few months. Frees up brain cells for other things.

Now for my possibly controversial advice. Don’t make yourself miserable with breastfeeding. I hope it goes smoothly for you. I know you want to do your very best for Magpie, but if you’re miserable, it’s not good for her or you. Yes, breast milk is best, but I’ve seen no evidence to show that supplementing with formula negates any benefits from breastfeeding. And, as opposed to positive thinking while TTC, your emotions will affect your supply. In our case, Sunshine was the hungriest the time of day my supply was the lowest. After nursing her for what felt like forever, an ounce or two of formula would fill her belly and she’d go to sleep. I also had a lot of trouble pumping at work, so stopped after two months. My supply adjusted to this. I was able to nurse when we were together, and she had formula when I was at work. I think combo feeding was the key to breastfeeding Sunshine for a little over a year.

I do hope you’ll accept your boss’s offer of an extra month of leave. Three months is when it starts to get a little easier, and babies become more fun. And I totally agree with Danielle. It’s not easy, but get out of the apartment. I think it’s easier as a city mom. No fussing with car seats and parking. Keep the diaper bag stocked. Just strap her on, grab the bag, and go. Don’t worry about germs and your unvaccinated newborn. If you’ve got her in the moby or some other carrier, no one can get their face close enough to hers to breathe on her. Old folks will be quick to tell you that you shouldn’t take her out when she’s so little. Just tell them you’re a doctor (they don’t need to know it’s Ph.D., not M.D.), and that you know what’s best for your daughter. YOUR DAUGHTER! You’re meeting your daughter soon!

Magpie is such a lucky girl! I can’t wait to meet her. But even more, I can’t wait to see you holding her. Tears here just thinking about it.

Wishing you a quick and easy delivery, and a champion latch for Magpie. Much love to you, Will, and your little Magpie.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

From Mina at Kmina's Blog

Dear Mo and Will, 

You have been waiting for too long and your journey to baby was difficult and too filled with heartbreak. But now, Magpie is almost here. I hope and pray that everything unfolds as you have dreamt of and you get an 'easy' baby. However she may be, just know this: you may be a lot of things as a parent, first deliriously happy, then horribly sleep deprived, and afterwards terribly worried about eating, milestones, whathaveyou, but you will never, ever be bored again. 

I have been following your journey for years. I haven't commented until recently because, well, I had what you so ardently desired - I was a  parent. And it felt like I would be rubbing it in. Perhaps I should have told you how much I rooted for you and how I wished I could have magically made it easier for you. But I am writing you now, imparting what I have learned the hard way and I wish someone told me when I was a first time parent. 
  • Sleep when you can. Seriously. Put down the tablet/computer/phone/remote/book, shut your eyes and just be quiet when you can (i.e. when Magpie sleeps). You will have time to catch up with the world later. The first weeks are hazy, and then when the baby starts being awake more and you discover what kind of sleeper you have, it really gets tough. 
  • SIDS is real. But so are tummy aches. And reflux. So, if your little one is struggling with those, putting her to sleep on her back might not work. Can you sleep on your back when you have a stomachache? I was so afraid of putting my first child sleep in any other position... And then he proved to be a super crap sleeper. :-) Now, with the second, I sometimes put him to nap on one side. And IT IS FINE. He sleeps. I watch him - I cannot help it. And he fusses a bit when he has to pass some gas and then goes back to sleep. 
  • One thing my first son taught me about infant sleep is: do whatever it takes to get them to sleep. And try everything at least once to see how the child reacts. Don't bother bying sleep training books - ask on your blog and you shall be rewarded. :-) Really, it is a waste of valuable time to read them when you can get a shorter variant from a friend. And every child is different. Inform yourselves on how much a child should sleep at various ages and try to keep in line with those figures. You can find some useful info here -
  • Can you tell what a problem sleep was for us? :-) 
  • Breastfeeding is NOT natural in the beginning. It is hard, and it freaking hurts. Especially when you keep doing it. But it gets better. It truly does. Unless it can't and then you move on to formula, because you child needs nourishment and that is that. If you do breastfeed, what I found very useful in the beginning, aside the lanolin nipple cream, were the Medela hydrogel pads. Taken out of the fridge, they were cooling and calming and healing. My nipples were forever grateful. Last week, my 13 weeks old munched too much on one breast because of teething, and it started hurting. One hydrogel pad later, I was not cringing anymore. Miracle worker.
  • More details about the hows and whys of breastfeeding you can find on Jill's blog, Adventures of Tall Dude and Short Chick. Here is one good post about breastfeeding, among others She had her share of trials with breastfeeding but as far as I know, Tyler was still nursing two years later. So there. :-) 
  • Whatever you do, try to NOT compare Magpie with other children. I know this is a useless piece of information, because you will, and you will wonder and worry and so on, so forth. We have all been there. And did all that ourselves. But when you feel overwhelmed (because a little  worry is healthy, it keeps things moving and you informed), remember that children are different and each of them is unique. 
  • Also, try not to listen to other parents bragging. They LIE a lot. About sleep, milestones, you name it. I do not kow why, but especially the real life parents almost always exaggerate for the better. Our children are considered a reflection of our parenting skills and human quality, or so we feel, so we must look good in the eyes of the others. We constantly forget that adults are different because they come from different types of children. There is the sportive type, the bookworm type, the goofy type, etc. for example, my first son started liking books before he turned two, to my deep frustration, and until then he used them as hammers or stepping stools. But he was able to put the hoover back together while I was riding the instructions on how to do it. I was worried that he was not consistently rolling over at four months and he started walking at nine months, almost skipping the crawling stage. If something is wrong, deep down you will know and your instincts will tell you if you should look for help. The rest is just normal worrying. When you don't know, ASK. The doctor, your mum, your friends. Ask and you shall figure it out. Don't waste time doing it yourself, because you are the best researcher in the world. Don't reinvent the wheel. People are always happy to share their experience (look at THIS long post, huh?!:-)) and you can pick what suits you. 
  • The days ARE long, but the years, sadly, so very short. Try to enjoy every minute. Take a bazillion pictures and videos, because no matter how much you may say now that you will not forget, you will, the present always takes precedence. And cry when you feel like and laugh when you feel like. We live too much reigning in our feelings, thinking how the others see us. 
I know I wrote a lot, but as I said, these are things I wish someone had told me when I was crying in the beginning, banging my head against the walls. 

Wishing you all the best and eagerly waiting for the safe arrival of Magpie and the beginning of a new adventure which hopefully you will continue to share with us.
And thanking Dora for her initiative and work,


From Saint Elsewhere at My Lady of the Lantern

Dear Mo and Will,

I have been in and out and around your blog for a long time. And I
have wished for every cycle that you tried, that it work out for you
somehow. And I have read all those loss posts.

Magpie is beyond precious. And I know that she will be a very loved child.

What I have realized is that parenthood, however it may come, has its
own parameters that no Dr. Spock can define for you. You as healthcare
professionals, have possibly got some idea. I thought, I had some
ideas too.

Prepare to be shocked.

The basics are the same for every baby, but the experiences are
intense and personal. There will be similarities, there will be
differences, but you and Magpie equation will be unique and never
fully like any other parent-child stories.

You especially Mo, indulge yourself one last time before you deliver -
go to a saloon, get a massage, whatever. But let there be one last
outing for your own self. It is not that you will never get to go out
again. But once Magpie is here, your mind will never be free. And that
will be a lasting thing.

I want you to take lots of pictures.  Listen to each other. Sleep
deprivation is tolerable initially because we are some sort of high
initially. But try to make sure that you can take turns on catching
the zzzzzzs later. You should.

Hold her tight. Give her a kiss from me.


Monday, October 8, 2012

From Danielle

Dear Mo,

It's been such an honor to follow along on your journey to bring Magpie home.  Since long before the (now long-ago) day when I met you in person, through all the times I kept running into you in unexpected places, and through all the challenges and bumps in this long road, I have been cheering you on.  I am so happy to be taking part in this virtual celebration of YOU- and Will and Magpie, too, of course.   In case you don't know it, you are a total rock star and I am proud to have known you in some small way on this trip to mommyhood.

A couple of things to share, from one overachiever to another:

1.  When you're used to moving from one goal to the next, the early stages of parenting can be a bit of a shock.  It took me a while to realize that I had to toss the to-do list out the window.  The laundry may not get put away.  The paper you didn't get to finish isn't going to get finished right away.  The baby book may not get filled out with every coo and giggle.  It's fine.  It's more than fine.  While you're not DOING, you're BEING.  And that' can be pretty extraordinary.

2.  In those first few weeks, getting out of the house can be a major accomplishment.  Constant feedings, diaper changes, and the (hopefully occasional) quick change after a spit up can make the lobby of your building feel as far away as the summit of Mt. Everest. That said, do it.  With Will, without Will, with Magpie, without Magpie for long enough to walk around the block if Will is home.  Nothing like a little fresh air and a change of scenery to combat the cabin fever.

3.  (You've probably already got this one covered).  Test out all the gear before you try to use it with Magpie in tow.  Never underestimate the effects of sleep deprivation on your ability to figure out how to use a car seat, a stroller, or the 5-point harness on a bouncy seat.  (The Fisher Price one is a lifesaver and not too pricey, by the way.)

4.  Don't draw any conclusions in the first 6 weeks.  None.  It all gets easier.  Sleeping, feeding (however you do it), bathing. All of it.  And just when you think you can't take another night of interrupted sleep the social smile kicks in and you live to burp another day.

But mostly, please know that there is a whole world of people out there so ready and excited to welcome your new little one with love.  Wishing you and will a lifetime of wonder as you rediscover the world through Magpie's eyes.  I am grinning from ear to ear at the thought that the next time life lands us in the same place at the same time, you just might be there with your daughter.  Whoop!!!!!

From Jen at Barefoot and....

Welcome to the world, Magpie, and welcome to parenthood, Mo & Will!  Words cannot express how excited I am for all of you....especially Magpie, who has two of the most tenacious and dedicated parents I have even "known."
As for newborn advice....please don't be hard on yourself if, even after all you've been through to get here, you still have moments of sheer, sleep-deprivation-enhanced frustration where you think (lovingly, of course): "Why did I think that THIS was a good idea?!?" It's so hard to see in those early days that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and that you will, at some point, feel like you know what you're doing (sort of).
And I second the comments below to try and savor every does go by so fast, and at some point you'll realize that you've forgotten half of the things that were the CUTEST. THING. EVER. at the time. Luckily, you'll also forget some of the not-so-cute moments as well!
All kidding aside, I am beyond thrilled for you, and can't wait to keep following your journey with your little Magpie.
Sending lots of thoughts for an uneventful birth, an easy transition home, and a peaceful first few weeks.

From Silver at Hope For The Best

Newborn Advice:
  • You might be deliriously happy as the mother of a newborn - I wasn't, despite waiting 8 years and losing 6 pregnancies getting there. I felt like the worst mum in the world, possibly the worst PERSON in the world, and was terrified that I'd made a terrible mistake. Turns out this is actually relatively normal and things DO get better. I wish I'd known that at the time. I remember eventually crying my eyes out to my sister, telling her how hard I was finding it and her, crying too, saying "I know!" - followed by me saying "Then why didn't you tell meeeeeeeee!?!". I still occasionally pat new mums on the arm and tell them it gets better - some of them look at me like I'm nuts and others grab hold of me and ask "when?" ;-). Main thing is  - it DOES get better and there WILL be good times ahead. And the answer is: usually around 3 months.
  • Despite what the antenatal classes say, breastfeeding can be difficult and painful - there is usually a way to fix it though and it's really worth keeping at it. That said, if you've given it your best shot and it's not working, give up and don't feel guilty about it - a happy mum and formula is better than a miserable mum.
  • If you've got a wee one who seems to breastfeed constantly, get a small box (like a shoe box) and put all the stuff you're likely to need during long feeds in it (eg, notebook for recording feeds, pen, book you're reading, phone, bottle of water, fresh nursing pads, a muslin etc) so you can keep it all together and move it if you feed in different places at different times of day.
  • On the same topic, if you're finding it hard to fit in eating round feeds, make something quick & easy (sandwich) just before you feed and eat it over the top of the baby as it feeds. Only way I got peace to eat - occasionally found chocolate on my son's face, but at least I wasn't starving.
Useful items:
  • if you're breastfeeding, Lansinoh nursing pads - don't even try anything else - they are really slim & soak up loads in a clever gel
  • also if you're breastfeeding, a breastfeeding pillow - makes the whole thing much easier and comfier
  • a sling of some description - we had a baby bjorn and I used to do the housework with the wee one in it when he was grouchy
  • a baby gym - it's amazing how much fun you can get out of one of these in the first year
  • a baby chair of some kind - bouncing ones are great (again, baby bjorn one is great, but expensive)
  • a playnest for when they're ready to be more upright but can't sit up by themselves - great for putting them in with a load of toys and you can pull it round the house with them in it while you get stuff done
  • BOOKS, BOOKS, BOOKS - bedtime stories before they can even hold their heads up:
“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”  Albert Einstein

Love and luck to you both, Mo and Will, from Silver x

From Susan at Sprogblogger

Oh Mo, I am so very happy for you.  As much as Henry was wanted, the reality has been so much more wonderful, challenging, rewarding, than I ever expected--may your new life with Miss Magpie be a similar experience in "How much more spectacularly GOOD can my life GET?"

Advice about gear? Not so much.  Every kid seems to be so different!  If you happen to get an easy-going, cheerful critter (like Hen was from Day 1) who just wants to be clean & well-fed to be happy, then let me know & I'll pass along what worked for us.  But otherwise, Gwinne has it right--somewhere for baby to sleep & something for her to eat, (and a metric tonne of teeny tiny diapers!)  and you're set.  Everything else is optional and you'll figure out soon enough what works best for you & her.

Advice on new mommyhood?  This seems to be universal:  You won't accomplish anywhere near as much non-Magpie stuff as it feels like you SHOULD be able to.  Don't stress about this.  You won't get anywhere near enough sleep.  Try not to stress about this, though yes--nap when she does if you can!  Order takeout & hire a housekeeping service for the first month or two if you can.  And really & truly--take as much time & energy as you can to just enjoy her.  It really does go more quickly than you can imagine when you're deep in the land of sleep deprivation!  And as wonderful as every stage of Hen's life has been, the NEXT stage is even better.  It just keeps getting better--and babies are pretty wonderfully great to start out with!  Enjoy.  Oh, my friend, I am so happy for you all--you and Will because you've wanted this for so long, and Miss Magpie, because oh my, she's getting one truly excellent set of parents!  So happy for you all.


From Lori Lavender Luz at Write Mind Open Heart

Welcome to the world, Miss Magpie! So many have awaited your arrival with eager anticipation -- especially your parents!

Congratulations to you, Mo and Will. Sleep when the baby sleeps, try to have the occasional Date Night, and just enjoy the fleeting moments.

With love,

Lori Lavender Luz

From Gwinne at Something Remarkable

Mo, I have watched you from afar for several years now and could not be happier for you and Will on the impending arrival of your Magpie!  (And I DO want to know how you resolved the last name debate!).

In my experience, baby time flies much too fast, as opposed to infertility time which always goes much too slow.  It's something I think about during those 3:00 am stints in the rocking chair.

Another thought:  the baby gear that everyone says your baby MUST have simply never works for YOUR baby.  A good carrier--borrow some or buy on amazon so you can return easily when it doesn't work!--goes along way, though.  But, really, as long as you have a carseat and someplace for her to sleep, you're set.

I can't wait to read about your adventures on the other side!

I dream of the one yet to be born. The one still curled
in my womb. The one who will open like a star.
--Carole Maso, "The Art Lover"