Monday, June 15, 2009

First Bus Trip and Parent Group Round-up

Baby R. and I went on our first bus trip on Friday. I tied him to my chest in our stretchy wrap (really just 4 1/2 yards of Jersey Knit fabric, tied like this), grabbed the diaper bag, took a moment to revel in not needing to pack any bottles since I'm nursing this kid, and headed out to catch the 77. We made our way north to the Arlington New Moms group hosted by Boston Jewish Family & Children's Services and showed up right on time (the group runs from 10-11:30 at the Calvary United Methodist Church at 300 Mass Ave). New parent groups were a great resource to us when H was a wee babe, and I have been really looking forward to attending them again with R. Here's a round up of some more local groups in the Cambridge/Somerville MA area:
  • JF & CS hosts lots of New Moms groups in the Boston area (open to all new moms, not just Jewish moms, unfortunately not open to dads). The Somerville group (Thursdays, 11-12:30, at 42 Prescott St) is accessible via the 87, 88 or the 90, a 1.3 mile walk from Porter, or a 1.5 mile walk from Davis (though I'm not yet up to that much post-partum walking quite yet, ask me again in a couple weeks). The Cambridge group (Wednesdays, 10-11:30, at 132-134 Magazine) is a .6 mile walk south of Central Square.
  • The Cambridge Birth Center hosts three groups at 8 Camelia Ave, right across from Cambridge Hospital and right next door to the Birth Center. There are nursing support groups on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10-12, both with lactation consultants, and a parents group (theoretically open to both moms and dads, though I only once saw a dad there when we attended with H) on Wednesdays from 10-12. These are accessible via the 83, 91, 69, or a 15 minute walk from Harvard.
  • For both Moms and Dads, StellaBella toy store in Inman (1360 Cambridge St) hosts a new parents coffee hour, complete with tasty coffee & snacks from 1369 on Fridays at 10:30 (accessible via the 83, 91, 69 or a 15-20 minute walk from Harvard or Central)
  • The Mount Auburn Midwives host a group for parents (they don't specify moms only) of non-crawling infants at the Vineyard Church in North Cambridge on Mondays from 2-3:30. (15 Notre Dame St, accessible via the 83, short walk from the 77, 15 minute walk from Davis or 10 minute walk from Alewife)
  • The Cambridge Center for Families hosts a group for parents (any type!) and caregivers of babies up to 15 months on Mondays 12:30-2:30. This group is open to Cambridge residents only, and is held at the Peabody School at 70 Rindge Ave (accessible via the 83, short walk from the 77, 15 minute walk from Davis or 10 minute walk from Alewife). The entrance to the Center is at the rear of the school, and they host lots of events for families with kids six and under. Here is a pdf of the May/June schedule and newsletter, or look here for links (on the lower left) to future calendars.
Please feel free to leave additional info about similar groups in comments if you know of something I've missed, and do say "Hi" if you see me, Angela or baby R. at one of the groups!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Update: Our (not so) Carfree Birth

Rowdy Kittens wrote recently in the Small Living Journal that one way for people to become more involved in their communities is to go carfree. We couldn't agree more, and we've noticed this in particular around the birth of our baby boy.

Because of complications, Dorea had to be induced at 38 weeks, and we had been hoping to take the bus to the hospital for the induction. We were all set with that plan until we left the house with our luggage in tow and realized that it was raining. After a few minutes, the rain slacked off a bit and we were set to go out in the drizzle. Just then, our neighbor stepped out onto her porch.

"How are you getting to the hospital?"

"We're going to take the bus," Dorea said.

"Do you want a ride?"

Dorea and I exchanged a meaningful look and then responded with a somewhat sheepish, "Yes."

Our neighbor ran back into her house, hollering to her husband that we needed a ride now, and then her daughter joined us for a very non-exciting ride to the hospital (it had even stopped raining).

Less than 24 hours later and we were headed back home, still without a baby. We'd had a round of induction attempts and wanted to get a good night's sleep before starting another. This time our wonderful doula drove us home. As we were getting out of the car, our neighbor's son spotted us and shouted out, "Dorea and Angela are back with the baby." Kids and grownups came pouring out of houses and alleyways to have a look, and we had to tell everyone it was a false alarm -- no baby yet.

The next morning a friend who lives a few blocks away drove us to the hospital for a second round. A few eventful days later we were ready to come home, this time with our beautiful new baby boy. Dorea was under doctor's orders to rest for a couple weeks and a bus was out of the question. We called yet another friend who came to the hospital and hauled us, all of our junk, and our new baby, back home.

So, how did we do on our carfree birth? It wasn't particularly car free, but we are grateful to be connected to our friends and neighbors and to be able to depend on them when we need help. And that's really what being carfree means to us.