Quantcast

Smitten & Hitch offers more than just co-parenting advice and information

 

My no-so-little “kids.” They are young adults now.

I am the proud mom to two wonderful young adults. I wish I could say children, but they are not (even if in my mind’s eye I still see them that way). Our daughter turned twenty-three years old a few months ago, and our son will be twenty-one in the fall. Sigh…

I was fortunate that I never had any issues conceiving. I got pregnant with our daughter “out of the blue” (we were not actively trying to get pregnant). With our son, I was ready for another child (as was my husband) and BOOM! We got pregnant just like that.

My heart goes out to those who are struggling to become parents. I have a relative who had a difficult time conceiving. By the grace of God who was able to get pregnant, and now she has the most adorable little girl. It just breaks my heart knowing how much they struggled to conceive her.

Did you know that about 10% of women (6.1 million) in the United States ages 15-44 have difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant? This is according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Over six million! That is a lot of women.

I wish I was younger (and healthier). I would have gladly donated my eggs (we only wanted two children). My husband said he would have donated his sperm too.

I am not sure if I could be a surrogate. I think I would be worried the whole time that I would do something wrong.

My sister in law was a surrogate to twin girls for her cousin. The pregnancy and birth was easy from start to finish.

You often hear about celebrities and their fertility issues. People like Kim Kardashian, Amy Schumer and Gabrielle Union. They are fortunate to have unlimited funds and specialists to help them to have a child. But what about regular people like me and you? Who is there to help regular people with conception issues?

Smitten & Hitch offers advice on dating options. In addition to that, Smitten & Hitch offers a co-parenting segment to assist individuals who are too busy to explore financing options for becoming a parent, as well as to those who don’t know the option of coparenting was available to them.

Smitten & Hitch does the leg work for you to find out what’s best for you and they are with you every step along the way to to help you to deliver your precious bundle of joy.

Part of the issue is not knowing what kinds of questions to ask or what is applicable to you. Smitten & Hitch is here to help you.

I think it’s wonderful that there are organizations available to people who are wanting to start a family, but don’t know where to begin. I wish organizations such as Smitten & Hitch were more publicized so that people can find out about them and all they have to offer.

I like that they cover a variety of topics, not just co-parenting and trying to have a baby. First you need to find that special someone to start a family wish, which is why I like how they include dating in their area of expertise. Thank goodness I’ve been married 24 years. I wouldn’t want to have to hop back into the “dating pool.”

If you are interested in learning more about Smitten & Hitch and all that they offer, visit them online. They have two different websites that you can explore – Smitten & Hitch for Co-Parenting and Smitten & Hitch Dating & Co-Parenting Services.

Are you looking into starting a family? Are you having fertility issues? Do you have questions about dating? Please comment and share your thoughts.

Kimberly

*I have partnered with the brand to bring you this information. Although compensated, the opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

Stand Up for Equal Insurance Coverage for Pregnancies

 

How are YOU holding up during this crazy time in our world’s history? I’m sure that no one will soon forget the COVID-19 pandemic that has shaken our world. I hope and pray that it will all be over with soon, and that we can all return to some sort of normalcy, even though it might be a new kind of normalcy from what we are all accustomed to.

If there is one thing that I’ve really learned from this pandemic is that we’re all in this together. It doesn’t matter what your skin color, religious beliefs, age, or financial worth is – the virus does not discriminate. I hope that people acknowledge non-discrimination, and make changes to ensure that more people (all people!) are included.

If you are a long time reader of my blog, you know that I don’t normally post about pregnancy related topics. After all, my “bakery” closed shop many years ago. I am blessed with two happy, healthy, amazing children. Well… they were children. Today they are young adults (and that is hard to believe).

When I was pregnant with my oldest (daughter), I didn’t have health insurance (my job didn’t offer it back then). The idea of trying to afford a pregnancy with no insurance was horrifying. Thankfully my husband had insurance. We were getting married as it was, so we had to move up the wedding date ASAP so that I could be covered under my husband’s insurance for the pregnancy. That was a HUGE relief. I’m also grateful that the pregnancy went smoothly (aside from gestational diabetes).

When I was pregnant with our son, things did not go that easy for us. I started to have problems (bleeding) when I was five weeks pregnant. Our son was delivered nine weeks early because his heart rate started dropping. He had intrauterine growth retardation and he was small for his gestational age. He also was no moving, nor was he practicing breathing while in the womb. He was born by emergency c-section because his heart rate started to drop. By the grace of God he was healthy (small, but healthy), and he only had to spend 33 days in the NICU before being released.

Our son when he was just days old.

Because of my son, I was considered a “high risk” for any other pregnancies I might have (we only had two children). Two was an ideal number for us. I also didn’t want to go through another difficult pregnancy, and have to endure a lot of testing, hospital visits and bed rest. I was also getting older, so I knew I would require a lot of prenatal test to ensure the health of the baby in my womb.

I recently learned something that saddens me. Millions of mothers across the United States are being denied access to modern prenatal tests.

Healthcare providers such as UHC and Aetna are enforcing biased healthcare policies that do not cover prenatal test expenses for mothers under the age of 35. That is crazy!

I was under 35 for both of my pregnancies. The insurance company we had at that time (I honestly can’t recall which one it was) was great about covering every type of test that I needed (including having an ultrasound every other day).

I can’t believe that some insurance companies discriminate about women and pick and choose what tests they are allowed to have. Genetic tests are safe, non-invasive, and far more accurate than the outdated tests that some insurance companies are having prescribed.

I can tell you from my own experience, accurate and timely prenatal genetic test results can make a world of difference. If it wasn’t for the tests I was given in the hospital, I wouldn’t have known about the gestational diabetes that I had with my daughter, and the situation with my son’s health when I was pregnant with him.

These tests are incredibly valuable to help give doctors a “heads up” for any complications or issues. These tests can help parents prepare themselves mentally and physically for what is going on with the health of their unborn child, and better equipped for what lies ahead for their family.

I feel strongly that insurance companies allow all pregnant women the right to these prenatal tests. I honestly can’t see any logical reason why anyone should be denied them in any way.

I want to invite you to join millions of mothers in support of these tests for all pregnant women. Please visit StandUpforAPA.com/take-a-stand for more information about how you can lend your voice to this great cause.  On the site you can learn more about this issue, as well as sign an important petition to get insurance companies such as Aetna and United Health Care that this issue matters to you, as well as those you care about.

This issue has been documented by organizations such as the Washington Post, MSNBC, and USA Today, to name a few.

Is healthcare for pregnant women an important issue for you or someone you know? Please comment and share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.

Kimberly

*I have joined forces with Stand Up for APA to bring you this important information. Although compensated, the opinions expressed are entirely my own and not influenced in any way. 

Decorate Your Child’s Room or Nursery with 54kibo’s Contemporary African Designs

 

New parents are always looking for ways to teach their children a new thing or two. These days there are sites online that sell home decor pieces made by artisans and designers from different countries around the globe. Shopping on these sites is an opportunity to bring a well-made product into the home that also has a great design story behind it. 54kibo is one of these sites; it includes handmade items from over 30 designers who have their roots in Africa or its diaspora including wall art, pillows, towels, blankets, ceramics, jewelry, and kids items, too.

54kibo’s mission is to share stories about African heritage, spark conversations about our past, and hopefully ignite new conversations about family history, too. It is exciting to decorate a child’s room with decor pieces that are beautiful, interactive, and create a greater sense of meaning and tradition.

Founder Nana Quagraine began offering functional art and home decor when 54kibo launched in 2018, but the mother of two quickly expanded into a children’s line after a limited edition blanket became one of their best sellers.

Organic Baby Swaddles and Kids blankets

54kibo created an exclusive line of baby swaddles and toddler blankets in collaboration with Njoki Gitahi, a Brooklyn-based designer from Kenya. Inspired by the traditional symbols of West Africa, 54kibo’s baby swaddles are made from breathable organic cotton providing a plush experience for the newborn. Swaddle patterns originate from African Adinkra symbology. Two symbols – Nkyimu (n-chi-moo), standing for high quality and excellence, and Kyemfere (che-mm-fe-re), representing experience – are joined to create designs rich in cultural significance.

The blanket design provides visual stimulation for baby’s eyes. Scientific studies have repeatedly shown that newborns prefer high-contrast, black and white images rather than colored or pastel visuals. These soft organic cotton swaddles are the only baby wraps on the market inspired by contemporary African design and tradition.

Minimalist Nursery Mobiles 

Another designer of children’s home decor produces hanging nursery mobiles that are as much room centerpieces as they are entertainment for the baby. Handmade in Tanzania, these unique pieces incorporate a beading technique used by the Maasai African women for centuries.

Non Toxic Dolls and Toys by Little Pine Tree

It’s love at first sight with this collection of hand-crocheted dolls and toys made in South Africa by the design team Little Pine Tree. Crafted with love, these unique toys are excellent examples of contemporary toy design using time-honored techniques. 100% cotton, no harmful chemicals, and crocheted eyes, these soft toys are suitable for babies and young children. Shop an assortment of dolls and toys, including the Inyosi Bee Doll, Dube Zebra, and newly released Ndlovu Elephant in pink and blue.

To learn more, visit www.54kibo.com. You can also find the brand on social media. Their links are found on the bottom of their website.

Tuck-In Your Child with One-of-a-Kind “Goodnight Babies” Video App

 

Our lives can be so hectic when raising babies and little children.  From the morning routine of getting the kids up and out the door, working or running errands, to getting the kids to sleep on time and then doing it all over again.  With so many time constraints to your daily schedule, you are not able to see your family and friends as often as you wish. A mom who felt this way was talking about how her 2-year-old son rarely sees his aunts or grandparents.  The mom lives only a few miles away from her relatives, but finding the time to see them was getting harder and harder.  The mom wanted to Facetime with the family to bond with her baby but certain family members had Android phones which does not have the Facetime feature. At other times a connection would fail or people were just unavailable.   For her, the baby having interaction with family members was important.  The mother wanted her child to feel connected to family members.

After searching around, she found an app that can help her.  The app is called GOODNIGHT BABIES.

GOODNIGHT BABIES is a 5-star mobile app ideal for newborns and children up to four years of age. GoodNight Babies has a simple interface that is available on both the iPhones and Android mobile phones.  The app allows you to invite guests from your phone to video record and send a special GoodNight message to your child. You then select the order of the greetings, pick a GoodNight melody, and choose the design border. The GoodNight Babies app will do the rest.  The app will automatically compile all of the messages into a video storybook personalized for your little one. Once completed, the video storybook begins to play.  Your child can cherish the video storybook night after night.    

The app was not created by a big company with motive. It was created by a family and was built of sincerity. Their desire to have family members and friends’ bond with their child thru sight and sound at any time evolved into the need to create GoodNight Babies.

The GoodNight Babies app has been receiving honorable praises from Users.  One comment from a user caught my eye and thought it was so profound.

“Love love love it!! Science has proven that the last person you have contact with before sleep will be the person you dream about . so it’s comforting for a child to see familiar faces before bed . Perfection!”

The app is user friendly.  Everything about the process and features are so simple. It was built for everyone.

This brief video gives you a little insight to the app.  It’s really magical.

 

HOW IT WORKS

A parent downloads the GoodNight Babies app.

The parent fills in a simple profile, personalizing the experience for the child and the app then creates the DASHBOARD.

From the DASHBOARD, you can send INVITATIONS to all your Family and Friends that you have in your contacts.

The invitations are sent via Text Message directly from your phone to your guest.

The invitation process is actually original and innovative.  They designed the invitation to go directly from your mobile device to the person you are inviting as a text message.  Your “GUEST” receives a link from you the HOST and then clicks the link to open the invite.  Once opened, the GUEST is able to record their message. When satisfied with their message, the message is then sent back to the HOST.  The Guest doesn’t have to downloaded the app or sign up for anything. The process is streamlined and private.  Very user friendly. The whole invitation process can literally can take seconds.

Incredibly, the GOODNIGHT BABIES app allows the HOST to cross platforms to invite.  A person with an iPhone cannot Facetime a person with an Android phone or vice versa.  But the creators of the GOODNIGHT BABIES app eliminated this problem.  The app allows the USER to cross platforms.  Meaning, an iPhone user can Invite an Android user or vice versa, eliminating a problem that has plagued mobile phone users for a very long time. Finally, we are not bound to restrictions that have caused different mobile phones users to miss precious moments.

Plus, you can invite anyone from your contacts. As long as you can text someone, no matter where in the world they are, a HOST can invite them to partake to a GoodNight greeting.

After all the GoodNight messages are received by you the HOST, you then arrange the order you would like the GoodNight messages to appear, choose a boarder, pick your GoodNight music and you are all set. The GOODNIGHT BABIES APP then automatically combines all the precious video GoodNight messages with storybook animation and all the other elements, creating a magical GoodNight video story book that you and your child can cherish night after night.

Once complete, The GoodNight Babies app transforms into a Video GoodNight Book.

With the information provided on the Profile, the experience is personalized for your child.

The child’s name appears on the cover of the book, instantly making the child feel special.

As the page turns, your child is greeted by the Family member or Friend you allotted in the first position. On the right side of the page, the video is played.  The video is surrounded by the boarder you picked earlier.  On the left side of the page, the name of the person who is saying the GoodNight message is automatically populated.

The creators really spent time making the experience special.  The details on the story pages are beautiful. The design on a whole resembles on old time fable book. They really captured the essence of the storybook. The pages turn automatically, which is very nice because you don’t have to interrupt the experience by pressing a “turn the page” button.

The book continues to turn and play automatically, until the last person has said their GoodNight wish. As the book closes, the photo used in the PROFILE PICTURE is automatically populated on the back cover of the book for the child to see.

Overall, this app is innovative and thoughtful.  It has created a beautiful, one of a kind, bedtime experience for the child. There isn’t anything on the market like this.    The Creators of the GOODNIGHT BABIES developed an experience like a movie.  The app truly brings people together.

Its free and private. GoodNight Babies is designed to protect your child’s privacy. Only the parent can invite people to send GoodNight messages, and only the parent can decide which messages to include in the personalized storybook.

The GoodNight Babies App. Created by a family for families.

Created by parents, the Goodnight Babies app is a labor of love,” said the creator. “

“We hope by sharing the GoodNight Babies app with the world, your child can also delight in the magic of the GoodNight Babies app.  The joy our child expresses while watching goodnight messages from our family and friends is priceless.”

For more information about the app, including demo videos, visit goodnightbabies.com

Also on Facebook at   https://www.facebook.com/GoodNightBabiesLLC/

Contact us at info@goodnightbabies.com

Goodnight Babies, LLC

Founded in 2014, Goodnight Babies, LLC is a family-owned media company focused on the development of family-friendly mobile applications.  For more information, please visit goodnightbabies.com

Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Throw a Gender Reveal Party

 

Even the inventor of so-called gender reveals thinks it’s time to move past them. Read more about the problematic nature of throwing gender reveal parties here.

If you spend any time at all on social media, odds are that you’ve heard of gender reveal parties.

From boxes of balloons to gunfire, the trend has been blowing up social media feeds since 2008. That year, one mother cut into a duck-shaped cake to let her family and friends know the gender of her bun-in-the-oven. She posted pictures online, and the rest is history.

But just as quickly as gender reveal parties came into popularity, they’ve been thrown into controversy. In fact, even the mother credited with starting the trend has said that she wishes she had never done so.

Keep reading to learn why you should think twice before hosting your own gender reveal party.

They Can be Very Dangerous

Perhaps the best reason to skip a gender reveal is just how dangerous they have become.

Just this past October, one gender reveal turned deadly. A family in Iowa was using explosives to project pink or blue smoke to announce the gender of their little one. But in the process, they accidentally built a pipe bomb.

When the bomb went off, the shrapnel hit a 56-year-old guest, who was also a mother and grandmother. She died at the scene.

In another reveal in Arizona, a soon-to-be father shot at an exploding target. Instead of getting guests excited about a little girl or boy, the man ended up starting a deadly wildfire that burned more than 45,000 acres.

They Put Financial Strain on Your Guests

Even if it isn’t dangerous, your gender reveal party could be putting an undue financial strain on your guests.

If you are having a baby shower, your friends and loved ones will likely be ready and willing to shower your little one with gifts. Often, loved ones and close friends will also bring a small gift when they meet the baby for the first time. This might be in the hospital or at home.

If you’re also hosting a gender reveal party, you’ll be asking your guests to bring yet another gift. Guests who are low on cash may end up feeling guilty if they don’t bring a gift, which may cause them to spend money they simply don’t have.

Alternatives to a Gender Reveal Party

While gender reveals are an annoying and even dangerous trend, it doesn’t mean that you can’t get excited about letting friends and family know what you’re expecting. But instead of a party, why not opt for a different creative idea?

Host a fun photoshoot revealing the gender, and then send out the images as postcards to family, or even as a social media post. Buy and wrap onesies for the appropriate gender, and videotape the grandparents of the little one opening them. 

How you choose to make your reveal also depends on when you find out the gender. How early can you tell the gender of a baby? Depending on the method used, as early as 8 weeks.

If you do so late in your pregnancy, you could also reveal the gender with your choice of decorations at your baby shower for a fun little touch.

Skip the Gender Reveal

Besides being dangerous and financially stressful for guests, many people also worry that gender reveal parties put too much emphasis on outdated gender roles. Whether you agree or not, this is one trend that’s best left in the past.

For more advice on navigating your pregnancy and parenthood, check out our blog.

How to Take Care of Your Body Before You Try For a Baby

 

Are you ready to try for a baby? Whether you’re going to start trying by yourself, or you are with your partner, there are some things that you should prep beforehand. Pregnancy is a life changing event that takes a lot out of you. But, what should you do beforehand? It’s simple: focus on self-care.

It’s worth it to take all the time you need in order to prepare for pregnancy with these essential tips. This is by no means a catch all list, and maybe you already have some rituals and things prepared. But, if you need a few pointers, prepare for a baby with these 5 suggestions.

1. Getting Your Vitals Checked

The most important part of preparing for pregnancy is making sure that you are bodily sound. You don’t want to go into pregnancy sick or weak. That will make things extremely difficult for you. Doing blood tests also clues you in on potential genetic conditions that could be passed on to your child.

Of course, just because you have a genetic condition doesn’t mean that it will be transferred to your child. It’s just important to know beforehand. Plus, if you didn’t know what you had, you can start to manage the condition yourself.

2. Making Sure Your Teeth Are Up to Snuff

Teeth are extremely important when it comes to pregnancy.

Why? Isn’t dental health totally separate?

Well, research shows that poor oral health can negatively affect your entire body and lead to pregnancy/birth complications.

Schedule a checkup with a local dentistry, just to make sure you’re all set. You can even call in advance and explain your situation, and meet with a doctor that can perform a pre-pregnancy checkup. Dentists from Valley Ridge Dental Centre are happy to offer personalized appointments.

3. Does Any of Your Medicine Interfere?

What medication are you taking? Obviously birth control will interfere with your pregnancy. But even if you quit birth control, it’ll be more difficult for you to get pregnant. You need to take some time off the birth control before you start trying for a baby.

With other medicine, it’s best to go to your doctor to ask whether or not your medication will slow your attempt at getting pregnant. Sometimes the doctor can switch you to a different medication that will help. Other times, they can help you wean off the medicine to a lower dose.

4. Plan Your Exercise Routine

Exercise is essential for having a happy and healthy pregnancy. But, your current routine won’t cut it while you’re pregnant. You want to do more gentle exercises so that you don’t strain your body too much. While you are carrying a child, you should be focusing on exercises that stretch your hips and shoulders (since those areas tend to hold tension).

Doing something small everyday is key. Some examples of exercise that you can do while pregnant include:

  • Yoga
  • Light swimming
  • Walks
  • Stretching

Stay away from weights, as this could cause a lot of unnecessary strain.

5. Do Something For Your Mental Health

Your mental health could make or break your pregnancy. If you are depressed, anxious, or dealing with body dysphoria, that will be tripled while you are carrying a child. Try to find a therapist that works directly with those seeking to become pregnant. They’ll understand your struggle better than anyone else.

Also, try to stay away from medications that could complicate your pregnancy. Overall, just find someone you trust and listen well.

And Now, Happy Trying

With these tips in mind, you’ll strengthen your chances of expecting, and have a much healthier mind and body by the time you deliver.