Sound of a Mexican Bola Pregnancy Charm (also called a Harmony Ball)

I am just listing this beautiful Mexican Bola in my shop and I wanted to have a place where people could hear its gentle chime.  This was taken with an iPhone held close to the charm as I walked across the room so not exactly high fidelity but just a sample!

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Pregnant women in Mexico – where they are called Bolas – and Bali – where they are called harmony balls or angel callers – have been wearing these beautiful necklaces for centuries. Not only are they beautiful but they emit a soft, melodic chime while you move. Worn starting at 16 weeks pregnant it is thought that the sound is soothing to the baby and that the baby will continue to be soothed after birth by the delicate sound.

This is strung on a 20″ drop necklace (20″ from neck to pendant, 40″ of chain) so it hangs low but above the belly button. It continues to make a stunning statement after pregnancy.


Happy (Gestational) Birthday Boys!

Today was my due date.  My boys are 7 weeks and 1 day old chronologically but for size and development comparisons this date will be important.  They start at zero today.  They certainly act like newborns and not (nearly) 2 month olds.  They are gaining weight really well and just a constant joy!  My biggest disappointment is that they aren’t nursing yet – I’m exclusively pumping – but I hope my perseverance will pay off!


Cuddling in the pink bouncy seat (Boston left, Asher right)


The only time we've dressed them the same so far (at Grandma's request) - Boston left (Al Bundy style), Asher right

One Month Old

Today my beautiful baby boys are one month old.  The only word I can think of to explain the way I feel about this is…complex.

I’m so blessed to have 3 children after a decade of infertility!  I’m so pissed to have the trial of being a NICU mom.

I’m so blessed that my babies were born at 5lbs each!  5lbs does not negate the fact that they were 8 weeks early.  Big does not equal mature.

I’m so blessed that the boys are healthy – no health problems at all!  I’m miserable coming home every night without my boys in my arms.

I’m so lucky that I live close to the hospital, have child care (hubby and I alternate time in the NICU), and don’t have to work right now so I can visit the boys.  I’m so so sick of hearing how my boys are doing from nurses.  I’m there 3-8 hours a day but they still know more than I do about my babies.

I love all the time I’ve spent getting to know my sons.  Asher makes little mewling sounds when he sleeps.  Boston loves to lay on my chest while I sing in his ear.  I hate how much of their first month of life I’ve missed because they weren’t with me.

I’m so glad when I’m away from Aellyn she’s with Daddy and not at daycare.  I hate that I’ve spent so little quality time with her this past month.

I love the doctors, nurses, and pure technology that have made my sons thrive.  No bones about it – 100 years ago my sons would have died in the delivery room.  I hate the lack of control I have on the process and the lack of knowledge I have.  About birth, babies, breastfeeding, etc. I prepared and learned but preemie care is very new to me so I have torely on the experts.  I’m thankful for the experts but don’t always know the right questions to ask.  They are pro-breastfeeding and even gave my babies human donor milk before my milk came in but they also fortify with “Human Milk Fortifier” which, despite the name I falsely assumed was a human product, is just cow’s milk and corn syrup – not a choice I would have made simply to add 4 calories.  It is frustrating to be unsure.

I hate the struggle between GET THEM HOME and GET THEM TO BREAST.  Seems like those would not be mutually exclusive, right?  They are.  Going home = oral feeds.  If I follow breastfeeding advice I would not allow bottle feeds at all which will just keep them there longer.  Breastfeeding exhausts the babies and then they have to be fed through the tube.  Bottle feeding will get them home faster where I feel I can work better on breastfeeding with a good babymoon.  This whole ball of wax, “Nursing in the NICU”, is definitely its own post.  And its own set of frustrations.

But look!






While I was in perinatal Pete started keeping all of his visitor badges and sticking them on the glass of a Picasso hanging in our living room.  We’ve continued with each visit to the boys and it is now tradition for one of us to lift Aellyn up to put the “stick” up on the wall.  We don’t know what to do with the stickers eventually (I mean I really like my Picasso) but we will keep this picture with it:

Aellyn adds to the collection

So, there you go.  Lucky.  Frustrated.  Tired.  Love.  Complex.

Tales From the NICU: The Asher and Boston Chronicles

Now available on DVD and Blueray!  Tales From the NICU Season 1:  The Asher and Boston Chronicles.  This action packed season includes the following episodes.

  1. The Ginormous Preemies – In this episode we see Asher and Boston break 6 lbs!  They are at least a pound larger than any of their room mates in the NICU North.  Watch as Nurse Joanie tells Mom and Dad, “these preemie clothes don’t fit any more you need newborn stuff!”
  2. We Can Sleep If We Want To – In this episode Asher and Boston remind Mommy and Daddy that despite their impressive, non-preemie-like size they are in fact still 35 weekers and will sleep when they want.  Especially when Mommy and Daddy want them to eat.  Six pounds doesn’t negate the fact that they are 2 weeks from anyone’s definition of “term” and 5 weeks from their Due Date.
  3. Bottles, We Don’t Need No Stinking Bottles (alternate title: Boobies, We Don’t Need No Stinking Boobies) – In this episode Asher and Boston contentedly take their meals by nasalgastric tube (NG) despite Mommy and Daddy’s attempts to coax them to suck on a bottle and/or boob.
  4. Mommy Needs a Xanax – In this episode Mommy has a nervous break down watching all the babies around her twins get discharged – some even smaller than Asher and Boston.  Never forget – NICU nursing is as much about being a therapist to moms as it is being a caregiver to babies.
    *Bonus Webisode*We Are Lucky But This Still Sucks – In this supplementary webisode we see that, despite having big, healthy preemies, having babies in the NICU is still really, really hard.  Yes, Mommy and Daddy (mostly Mommy) feel guilty knowing others have much more hurdles to climb with their preemies and that they are deliriously lucky.  That doesn’t make it fun.
  5. Adventures in Preemie Breastfeeding – Boston has his Daddy’s freakishly high palate and recessed bottom jaw.  Watch Mommy and Liz, the Lactation Consultant, try every trick in the book to get him latched for longer than 5 seconds.  A nipple shield saves the day and Boston suckles for 20 minutes!

Stay tuned for Season 2 when Asher and Boston eventually wake up enough to eat.  Will they go 2 full days without an NG feed and finally go home?

Asher (L) and Boston (R)