Baby, Bartos family, Squicciarini family


Sophia Ruth, a few hours after she was born

a picture, finally! Some of you are probably mystified why it’s taken me this long to get a photo posted! There’s an easy answer: SLEEP. {grin}

highlights of Sophia’s first two weeks of life:

  • about a thousand feedings {grin!}
  • visits from all of her Squicciarini aunts {& a few soon-to-be uncles} + both grandma’s
  • first time outdoors – a walk to the mailbox with me
  • a special blessing from her daddy at Erev Shabbat dinner
  • visits to both the Bartos & Squicciarini grandparents
  • more presents than she could imagine
  • two checkups at the birth center
  • the arrival of her social security card {yes, she’s in the system now…}


Baby, Greg & Morgan, Married Life, Squicciarini family


38 weeks today! I am happy to announce Raspberry Bartos is a full term baby now. She can arrive whenever… let me emphasize that, whenever… she feels ready. Basically any day now. I have started to give her little pep talks about coming out into the world.

It looks like she is going to be larger than we thought – my baby bump has grown significantly in the last 2 weeks! {Leigh measured it this past Wednesday at my appointment.} Mums came with me this time to see the birth center and meet my two wonderful midwives, Leigh and Jackie.

The little berry had her first encounter with the second amendment today… we attended a 9-hour class to get our concealed carry weapons permit. Though I don’t currently own a handgun, Greg thought we should take advantage of the opportunity to get our permits together. It was excellent, entirely due to our instructor, Joe Balich! Highly recommend his class. The only part I haven’t done yet is the actual practice {proficiency test}, because we didn’t want to scare Raspberry with gunshots. {grin}


Baby, Greg & Morgan, Married Life, Squicciarini family, Wedding


We’re in the final stretch! I’ve officially started my ninth month of pregnancy. {yay!} According to my Aunt Lynn, when there’s 4 weeks left most women are READY… and I’m just about at that point. This coming Sunday is our “safe date,” when I reach 37 weeks and we can safely deliver the berry at CCMC, instead of a hospital. So she can arrive anytime after Sunday and it’ll be fine with me!

Speaking of which, Greg & I are rapidly coming up on our one year anniversary {March 6}, and part of our celebration is a stay at the Westin this weekend + a full day together to relax and enjoy time alone. We’re considering this little getaway our “babymoon” {definition: one last fling before the responsibilities of parenthood}. I can’t wait! The Westin is where we spent our wedding night… definitely some special memories there {as well as the 3-hour wait which resulted in us being given this complimentary romance package}!

Our long search for a washer and dryer has ended – we were given a gorgeous brand-new set by my parents, in honor of their granddaughter’s birth! We are so grateful, and we could not be happier to do laundry in our own home for the first time. {grin} {who knew washing clothes could be such a gratifying experience?}


Baby, Greg & Morgan, Married Life, Planning, Squicciarini family



“To some degree, the first pregnancy spells the end of carefree youth – very important to Americans. The maidenly figure goes gradually into eclipse, and with it goes sprightly grace. Both eclipses are temporary but very real. The woman realizes that after the baby comes there will be distinct limitations of social life and other outside pleasures. No more hopping into the car on the spur of the moment, going anywhere the heart desires and coming home at any odd hour. The same budget has to be spread thinner, and her husband’s attention, all of which has gone to her at home, will soon be going to two.”
Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care, by Benjamin Spock, M.D & Michael Rothenberg, M.D.
{originally published 1945}

A profound quote from Dr. Spock… surprisingly accurate! I like how he describes the loss of “maidenly figure” and “sprightly grace.” Couldn’t have chosen better words myself. {grin}

1. We have decided Raspberry will spend her first few weeks in a bassinet rather than our giant crib. This will save us space and be a LOT easier for me to use, as well as adding flexibility to our living arrangement by allowing us to move her around. The crib is safely tucked out of the way until she is ready for it.
2. Raspberry’s grandma {Mums} gave me a matching set of Vera Bradley diaper bags! There’s a smaller “purse” sized one for quick outings, and a much larger tote bag for day trips, both in the Very Berry print. Love them!! So we practiced this weekend by filling up the small bag and taking it to Bella Torah with us. {grin} I think we had everything we needed… with the obvious exception of the berry herself.
3. Speaking of which, we’re down to 6 weeks! Unbelievable how quickly she’ll be here.
4. Two important purchases need to be made in the next 6 weeks: first, a car seat; second, a washer & dryer. Both essential to living with an infant!
5. My appointments with Leigh have increased to every two weeks. I’ve gained 23 pounds so far, and recently had to get a few longer tops… even my maternity shirts were too short! Now I realize what my pregnancy books were saying about slowing down – it almost feels like I’m in slow motion. And the dreaded pregnancy waddle has arrived. {grin}


Baby, Greg & Morgan, Planning


A big question so far has been where to have the baby. I’ve tried to fully consider the options and talk them over with Greg so we could make the best, most informed decision about our baby’s birth.

There seem to be three major choices…

1)   Hospital {the traditional route}

Mums and I went on a “parent tour” at CMC Pineville {the former Mercy South} last Tuesday night. The maternity section of this hospital is absolutely beautiful. The rooms are more hotel than hospital, complete with private patios, DVD players, flat-screen TVs, Murphy beds {to hold an extra person}, Jacuzzi tubs, room service, and pretty + soothing décor. It’s a comfortable and appealing place, but my concerns are about the pressure to conform to hospital norms {for instance, the standard procedures after a birth, like vitamin K drops, erythromycin, and possible hepatitis shots for the baby}. I haven’t researched these procedures extensively, but I’m already hesitant about them.
However, it seems possible to enter the hospital prepared with a clear plan and not encounter any objections to our wishes.

2)   Birth Center {creative alternative}

Around the beginning of August I visited the Carolina Community Maternity Center in Fort Mill, SC. Although it looks like a normal business office from the outside, the center is cozy and well-stocked when you get inside. The women here were some of the friendliest I’ve met so far! Their practice allows you to choose a midwife, have personal appointments with her during the entire pregnancy, and then meet her at the center to deliver your baby. They are entirely geared toward natural births, using their skill + experience to help each woman meet this goal. I suppose the obvious potential drawback to delivering without a doctor present is “what if something goes wrong?” Of course the center is fully prepared {they do emergency transports to CMC Pineville if necessary}… but because this is my first baby, I have no idea what to expect! If it were a subsequent child, and I knew what the birth process was like, I think I’d be very happy using this center.
One of the biggest benefits is that the midwives have a close relationship with each of their clients, resulting in care + trust on both sides. And I love their natural approach! They have a fantastic track record of strong, healthy babies with minimal delivery problems.

3)   Home Birth {other end of the spectrum}

A home birth… is not for me. Not that I have anything against them! I think having a baby at home is terrific, and I admire the brave women who choose this option. But if you know me, you’d probably agree it’s not the right choice for me. {grin}

We still haven’t made a final decision… though there really isn’t a hurry to finalize anything yet anyway. I’ve called both places to ask a few questions, we’ve compared cost/insurance, and our families have shared their opinions {hospital, unanimously}. Thoughts? Advice?