I thought I would share a few nifty resources with you. Most of you will probably not be interested, but if you have family or friends who are, please feel free to aim them at my site.
This is Getting Pregnant and Dealing With Offspring Stuff, so turn back now if it bores ya... I promise it's all on topic.
Places to shop for stuff:
1. Early Pregnancy Tests
I poked around online looking for fertility advice and so forth, and I've come up with lots of info, and a few commercial sites. Here's one of the latter that I found to be pretty impressive.
A quickie review: I ordered some Stuff from them, and was impressed about the speed, efficiency, discreet packaging, and great customer service they displayed. They even threw in a few ovulation detection sticks as freebies -- WITH DIRECTIONS -- which is awesome above and beyond the call of duty.
Aside from really inexpensive ovulation detection sticks, some great book resources, vitamins, sperm-friendly lube, and so forth, they have a no-nonsense, easy to navigate, and informative site with .... drum roll please.... customer reviews! Oh, how I love me the customer reviews. That's 90% of how I shop. Free shipping for most orders (seriously, gotta love it).
Yeah, I know it's jumping the gun, but I wanted to know what it would cost me to make a bunch of cloth diapers and how many of the suckers I would have to have around. This site sells package deals that knocked my socks off, and I am feeling much encouraged. Naturally, I have not ordered from them. That would be weird.
3. Very Baby
Likewise, but oh so DIY. This is the one I started with.
(...Yes, I plan on goin' with cloth. I use cloth (and silicone) myself and I don't plan on putting a tender tiny person through anything I wouldn't be tough enough to endure my own self. Is it more difficult than disposable? Not according to this FAQ. Is it more economical? Ohhhh yeah. About $300 vs. about $3500. You make the call. More environmentally sound? Enhhh... jury is out, depends on what you read and how you wash 'em.)
Other useful stuff... mostly from Heather (thanks Heather!):
Great magazine, and this lovely article really helped me when I was feeling overwhelmed. Pat explicitly told me when he had finished crowing from the mountaintops that, if anything happened, now everyone would be there for us and we wouldn't have a terrible secret. As the author of this article says, he was right. So right. I love you all.
2. Baby Center
Likewise awesome. Loads of great information, and a lively community to back it up.
3. American Pregnancy Association
Wow, this site saved my sanity the day I found out we were pregnant. Argh! What about caffeine? What about Advil? What about fabric softener? Got concerns? This site can help you, in easy to navigate, easy to understand, well-researched ways.
4. March of Dimes
Saving babies is what these cats DO. Not only do they get active with the fundraising (we did the walk last year, which turned out to be a 9 mile death march due to odd layout planning, but was very rewarding), but they have a great, informative site with lots of well-researched advice. Got a question and want a second opinion? Yep, come here.
I 'fessed up on VegWeb's sadly defunct forums that I was TTC, and a friend gave me great, great advice. It's fun having a "conception buddy" and you can double up on your research and stuff. She is just about through her first trimester now and when we succeeded (y'know, even though it didn't come to term, we DID), it was in large part due to her great advice that let me recognize when I was ovulating. Guess when we hit? Yeah... same month she told me.
Thank you, Little2Ant!
Fertility stuff that I already know:
1) Get healthy. Eat healthy, get the female partner her prenatal vitamins, get the male partner his spinach and multivitamins with minerals. (Yes, spinach! It's in like the top 10 list of food sources for almost every fertility promoting vitamin, mineral, or partridge in a pear tree. Good for you anyway.) Exercise.
2) Take your time in the sack, even if it eats the rest of your social life. Lube is the devil. It has a PH which kills the little swimmers. We sophisticates of the current age are trained to love it, but I am betting it's responsible for a lot of the spike in infertility we are recording. (Also, due to pesticides etc. sperm health seems to have plummeted in the last 75 years or so... 40% decrease! So...)
3) Consume only things you would offer your newborn. Eat organic. Don't wallow in hazardous materials. Clean up the environment. Wear gloves if you must mess with cat boxes or sick animals or whatever.
4) Listen to your body. If you feel weird and are sleeping a lot, take a pregnancy test. Count days, experiment on your cervical mucus, and so on. If you need gross and graphic advice, let me know... but zees book is supposed to be the best and most informative. I'ma read it to expand on the great stuff L2A already told me.
5) TELL people. Yes, if something bad happens they will be sad. But they will hug you when you are crushed, tell you about similar things that have happened to LOADS of people they know (it's so, so common), pray over you, and generally support you. And if everything goes as planned, they will get to celebrate just that much longer.
... okay, back to your regular programming. Just thought I'd share.