Clean water

August 2022

Today's local news announced no one should be drinking or cooking with the tap water, due to dangerous levels of "forever chemicals" PFAS in our water supply. PFAS affect health overall, but if you're immune compromised, pregnant, or nursing, you want to be even more careful of your exposure to things like PFAS, lead, and flouride in drinking water (not to mention other things that end up in unfiltered water). Hard water (heavily mineralized) can cause skin and hair issues, and it leaves mineral deposits in pipes and humidifiers. Below are some great clean water options:
(Affiliate links aren't sponsored, but I do benefit a small amount per item purchased on Amazon.)

  • Zero Water - it does what it says, removing ALL minerals and most contaminants. These are countertop-only containers. The medium-sized pitcher filter has to be replaced as soon as every 2 weeks for those with hard water.

  • AquaTru - 3 filters, including reverse osmosis and carbon, help give you extremely pure drinking water. They offer under sink options or a countertop model. After trying 4 different water options, this is what we ended up with. Filters replaced every 5-12 months, depending on how hard your water is.

  • Simpson Spring Water (Massachusetts) - spring water from the source, tested twice yearly. They have refill stations across the state, and pickup or delivery options of 5-gallon water bottles (minimum delivery order is 4 large bottles).

  • Trace Minerals - good filtration removes both harmful and beneficial elements, so adding some good minerals back in is a great idea.

If you have access to a store that offers reverse-osmosis filtered water where you can fill up your own containers, that's a great and inexpensive option! To find out how clean your local water is, check out the EPA's How's My Waterway.

Newborn Essentials: it's not about the stuff!

March 2022 (updated August '22)

Your baby needs you, skin-to-skin contact, warmth, love, milk, sleep, and movement. That aside, there's a TON of marketing around new parenthood and babies, and it can get overwhelming fast! If you do want to buy some of the "stuff", here are just some of the things I've found useful in the newborn stage:
(Affiliate links aren't sponsored, but I do benefit a small amount per item purchased on Amazon.)

For the full list of Newborn Essentials, subscribe to my newsletter for an instant download! The list isn't brand-specific. Just click here!

Losing a child: incorporating the family

December 2021

I think anyone will agree that parents want to spare their children from unnecessary pain and sadness. When we lose a child, then, how do we broach this subject with our other children without causing them unnecessary pain?

There’s no right or wrong way to approach this, but here are some things to consider:

  • children are intuitive and often understand something has happened, even if we stay silent

  • a shift in the family dynamic without an explanation can be confusing for children

  • children have their own ways of grieving that can be healing for their future, especially when it comes to understanding loss and their own emotions

In our case, we had twins — one of whom passed away during pregnancy. I could have easily withheld the information about my son’s twin from him (or anyone), but I wanted to honor her life: a name, a Christmas ornament, talking about her, and recognizing that I loved and nourished her for her entire life. I've told my son about his twin since the day I found out about her. I discussed naming her with my husband, and we chose a name that represented how we felt: Johanna - "God is gracious". We discuss her often in our family, with joy and with a belief that we will see her in heaven.

There are reasons we chose to remember her in these ways, and for us, this is a celebration of our child, not a non-stop siren of pain and suffering. My son will eventually start to understand that his twin being in heaven means she's not here, and we will have a chance to talk this through with him. We don't exclude him from discussing her, because she is a part of this family.

There is a wide range of experiences, feelings, and emotions that can come with losing a child early in pregnancy. The choices a family makes in regards to honoring the life of their angels can take many forms, and nothing needs to be expressed outwardly to others. One thing is certain: none of those choices are intended to cause further pain and sadness. If anything, they are a memorial of love and healing. There doesn't need to be any naming, memorial, ornament, or other such recognition, but if any of these things feel right for you, you can choose to incorporate them.

If you ever lose your child – it's reported that 1 in 4 women experience loss during pregnancy – your path comes with no judgment. If you've found this page and are going through grieving currently, my heart goes out to you. I am available for grief and bereavement support should you want someone to help you navigate through this difficult time. You are not alone. Click here to connect with me anytime.

For more information about this topic, check out the following resources:

AACAP - children and grief

When Hello Means Goodbye

The Mali Bella Foundation