You heard it here folks: Donna Freedman is about to become a grandmother.

That probably doesn’t mean much unless you know that a) she’s my mom and b) I’m an only child.

In other words, I’m pregnant.

It’s unexpected — I was on birth control, actually. But we were planning on starting a family within the next 1-2 years. So we’re just having to rearrange things a bit.

I acknowledge that the timing (financially and otherwise) could be better. But we’re excited, if slightly freaked out.

So far, I’ve been lucky to avoid nausea and puking, with the brief exception of trying to empty some food that had been sitting out for a couple of hours. My stomach promptly told me Tim was going to finish that job. In fact, I had to go hang out in the bedroom for awhile because the smell was wafting into the living room.

(Incidentally, my enhanced sense of smell was another reason we decided not to try to salvage the couch. Not to mention the no-no-ness of dealing with cat pee when pregnant.)

I did make the mistake of walking Target’s baby aisle on a recent trip, which nearly set off some vomiting. But I’ve calmed down since for a few reasons:

1. My mom has offered to buy the crib. That’s about $200 off our minds/wallets.

2. Tim and I plan on mainly buying used clothes at thrift stores. We’ve always agreed that there’s no sense in paying retail for cloth that will get ruined or grown out of nearly immediately.

3. My amazing boss has already confirmed he’ll give me paid maternity leave, despite my status as an independent contractor.

4. We won’t need to pay for daycare or home help when I do go back to work. There will be three other people in the house to help keep the baby from fussing.

Tim’s parents are doing the grandparent equivalent of the Superbowl touchdown dance. They’ve wanted a grandkid for ages, though they were nice enough not to pressure us about it.

Nadine and I are planning to start hitting yard sales within the next month or so. That will help us decorate the nursery (and maybe the kid) affordably. It will also help Nadine understand that she doesn’t have to buy expensive items to help us get ready for the baby.

One way she’s definitely helping is by cooking/teaching Tim to cook. Her meals have, believe it or not, vegetables in each one. Crazy, right? And now that we know I’m pregnant, I’m sure the veggies will just keep going up in quantity.

She also made me some trail mix to take with me when we’re out and about — especially at Magic tournaments. That way, I’m less tempted to get fast food or candy or whatever.

That’s especially important, since I want to avoid gestational diabetes at all costs. (My BMI puts me at obese, though I would just say noticeably overweight.) That means I need to start taking walks, however short, and generally make sure I don’t gain much weight in the first three months. And that weight gain after that is within healthy limits.

So much to do, and only 8.5 months to do it in. It’s a tad overwhelming. So I’m going to go have a bowl of cereal (the healthy stuff, don’t worry) and contemplate our embryo being the size of an orange seed.


  1. says


    When we were expecting our youngest, all the baby stuff had long since been given away (7-year gap plus total surprise), so I called everyone I knew with children & asked if they had anything we could borrow. We ended up buying almost nothing except a few thrift-store garments and a few bathtub toys :-)

  2. says

    Congratulations! The timing may not be the most ideal, but I'm sure it'll work out for the best in the end. (Though I don't envy you being pregnant during an Arizona summer. You're a tougher woman than me.)

    I'm pregnant too, also my first, and we're also trying to manage the whole baby on a budget thing. So far, we've found midwife care to be much more affordable that OB care. While researching car seats, we found convertable car seats are cheaper (and can be used longer) than infant car seats. (However, it was a major score for us when a friend gave us her used car seat yesterday.) And we've been reading about Montessori floor beds, which seems like the perfect excuse not to buy a crib. Thus, we've so far been able to dodge all the big ticket pregnancy and baby items.

    When I talk to people my age about kids, they always seem to be listing off must-have items for my baby. However, when I talk to people 60+, they always just tell me all a baby needs is love. I'm choosing to listen to the latter. And it sounds like in your baby's family, it will have love in spades. Congratulations again!

    • Carol says

      Used carseats aren't recommended because the sun can deteriorate the straps. Just an FYI. Get it checked by the local ambulance company or whoever does that – they are tricky!

  3. says

    Mazel Tov! I was also pregnant over the summer– although it was an Indiana summer rather than AZ, and my free advice to you is to join a gym with a pool. As I got bigger and it got hotter, swimming really helped with the edema and fatigue. I looked forward to exercising rather than dreading it and I met some great ladies who also enjoy water aerobics. Good luck and stay cool.

  4. nicoleandmaggie says


    Re: stuff… it is amazing how much baby stuff you don't actually need. Especially if you put off buying most of it until after the baby is born. The stuff you do need, people often give to you second-hand, from places you would never expect (neighbors, colleagues… basically anybody who sees you pregnant).

  5. Emma says

    Congratulations!!! And while you think the timing is a little iffy, just remember that for most people there is never a "perfect" time to have a baby. I wish you a happy, healthy, and joyful pregnancy!

  6. Elle says

    Congrats on the happy news. We had our first kid this summer and it's been fun/hectic/exciting.Great idea on clothes, I'd also recommend looking at consignment shops for baby gear in addition to clothes. We have one not too far and it has helped tremendously with our budget.

  7. Erika says

    Congratulations! I suggest finding a Just Between Friends (JBF) sale near you. They're typically held twice a year in spring and fall and it's a giant consignment sale with everything, and I do mean everything you will need. Register as a first-time parent and you get a presale pass, which means first dibs on all the best stuff. Also – if you are on the fence about finding out the baby's gender in advance, just remember that people's gifts to you (and there will be LOTS) will be so much cuter if they know they are buying for a boy or for a girl. We received SO many darling dresses for shower gifts that we probably wouldn't have gotten had the giver needed to buy something gender-neutral. But if you like to be surprised, hey, go for it! There are so few good surprises in life anymore, right? Best of luck to you all!!

  8. MutantSupermodel says

    Congratulations! That's great! Don't stress the timing love, there's no such thing as "the perfect time" to have a kid.

  9. MutantSupermodel says

    Congratulations! That's great! Don't stress the timing love, there's no such thing as "the perfect time" to have a kid.

  10. Bella says

    So, JD linked to this from Donna's latest post. I expected to see a link to Donna's page. But I wanted to tell you that you're story was wonderful, and I love that your in laws are doing a touchdown dance despite not presuring you – makes you feel pretty wonderful huh?
    Best of everythign to you – as for timing – it will all work out in the end. It's not really about the perfect time to get pregnant – but being close enough, and feeling confident enough to just take the leap and know that you and your family/support structure will work it out.

  11. Carol says

    Use the money from your mom to buy the carseat/s. (I don't know if you have more than one car.) We had a crib for our first, that was a convenient place to store clean laundry but other than that, never used.
    Our story: my husband and I had been trying to conceive for 5 years when we gave up and moved 2k miles away. No jobs, no insurance, I was in grad school. First day of grad school and my new job – I got pregnant. And because I got pregnant we managed to buy a home – it really is a crazy story. When we moved 2k miles in 3 years I got pregnant again with in the year. Stress is apparently what makes me pregnant. (I have autoimmune diseases too – and pregnancy puts them all in remission…)

  12. Margaret says


    As for frugal baby stuff, may I implore you to consider cloth diapers? We spent probably $300 up front and have spent an additional $200 or so over the 2.5 years since our daughter was born. That sounds like a lot of money, but when you consider that disposables will cost you around $3,000 between birth and potty training (even with super couponing, etc.) it starts to make a lot of sense. Oh yeah, and you're not sending non-biodegradable materials and human feces to the landfills. There's that, too.

    Did you know that it is illegal to put feces (human, pets, etc.) of any kind in your trash? Disposable diapers tell you in the fine print that you should "flush solids." Yeah right… who does that?

  13. pvcccourses says

    EXTREME awesomeness! Congratulations!

    When I was preggers, there were groups of women who traded baby clothes and supplies. You're over in the east Valley where there are a lot of Mormon families. These folks are very well organized along those lines — you might see if you can find women in your neighborhood who have put together a co-op. They're not exclusive, as I recall.

    My friend La Maya found a gorgeous crib for her grandchild on Craig's List. Just be sure the slats are close enough together that a baby's head can't squeeze through, and check recall lists to be sure there are no finger-pinching risks.

  14. jestjack says

    Congrats…Your Mom has got to be thrilled. Word of caution my DW was "gestational diabetic" as well as considered "high risk" with DD2. I had to give her her insulin by needle twice a day for the last 4 months of the pregnancy…no fun but doable. DD came out fine and DW's sugar levels returned to normal right after giving birth. Good Luck, watch your sugar index AND take your vitamins!

  15. Rebecca says

    My baby never uses his crib. He sleeps much better in his car sleep or his Fisher Price rocker. I would hold off buying a crib until the baby arrives…if I have another baby I will probably buy a co-sleeper that attaches to the bed (you are together, but separate.) Its so much more convenient for taking care of the baby – and when they are that little they just want to be next to you.

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