Jun 24, 2017

What's In My Baby's Hospital Bag


If there's one thing I've heard over and over again, it's that first time moms pack way too much for their hospital stay. I'm going to do my best to keep it to two bags (one for her, one for me and Brandon). We live about 20 minutes from the hospital we are delivering at and I'm sure at some point, Brandon will want to go home to shower, so he can always grab what we need and pick me up a turkey sandwich on the way back ;)

So first, my baby bag, aka, diaper bag. As I mentioned here, I chose the Skip Hop Forma Pack and Go Diaper Bag. Brandon's grandmother got it for us at our baby shower and I love that every time I see it, I think of her. I'm such a sap when it comes to gifts.

Skip Hop Forma

While I haven't had a chance to use them yet, Brandon and I are always commenting on the quality of the Skip Hop items we've received or purchased. Everything seems well made, easy to assemble, and and a great value. But back to the bag. I chose this one because it has...wait for it...packing cubes! I love love love packing cubes.

Skip Hop Forma

While I know I could just buy any old packing cubes to use in another bag, I loved the fact that these were made to perfectly fit the Forma and one is insulated to hold bottles or snacks. Other features include a changing pad with it's own zipper pouch in the back, two side pockets for bottles, a front zip pocket for keys and the inside has built in pockets - that's 11 pockets total! While I wish this was machine washable (like the Ju Ju Be bags), it's not. But, the material seems like it would be easy to wipe down and it's not nearly as expensive as other diaper bags.

Now, here's what I packed inside for the hospital. There are a few things here that I know I won't need, but will be staples for the diaper bag, so I went ahead and stuck them in there. The bag is pretty full, but I won't normally be carrying 28 diapers with me, so I feel like there'll be plenty of room once we clear out some of those. Speaking of which...

Skip  Hop Forma

Diapering
I prefer mostly fragrance-free products for myself (or at least free of synthetic fragrances), so naturally, I want them for the babe too. I'll be bringing my own diapers for this reason. I can see all you moms out there rolling your eyes at me, especially because diapers are expensive, yo!


  • 28 newborn Bambo Nature diapers 
  • 1 package of Water Wipes  (I put these in the Huggies Clutch and Go - see below. Edited to add: Our Infant Basics class recommended using a wet baby washcloth instead of wipes for the first two months, so these will not be used for some time.)
  • 1 roll of compostable dog waste bags

Huggies Clutch

Baby Clothes

Clothing and Blankets

  • 1 newborn outfit: kimono top + matching pants
  • 1 Gerber newborn kimono tee shirt
  • 1 Gerber 0-3 month onesie
  • 1 pair of newborn pants
  • 1 pair of white socks
  • 1 pair of scratch mitts
  • 1 hat
  • 1 Hadley Girl crocheted newborn bow headband
  • 1 Swaddle Designs muslin swaddle blanket

Going Home Outfit

Baby Toiletries

Toiletries
Again, will be using my own toiletries instead of what the hospital uses. Earth Mama Angel Baby has great reviews and their products contain no synthetic fragrances. It's a really subtle orange vanilla scent that doesn't bother me. Actually, it makes me want a Creamsicle. Edited to add: Our Infant Basics class also taught us that it's not necessary to use any soaps, lotions, or balms on a baby until they are 2 months old and just warm water will suffice for cleaning. These will be kept in the bag to use for travel down the road!

  • Earth Mama Angel Baby travel bottom balm
  • Earth Mama Angel Baby travel body wash & shampoo
  • Earth Mama Angel Baby travel lotion
  • nail clippers + emery board
  • Babyganics hand sanitizer

I just stuck these in the insulated cube for now. May get a small cosmetic bag to put them in. But hey, this works. 

Toiletry Cube

Ect. 

  • Copper Pearl nursing cover / carseat cover
  • 1 Planet Wise wet bag

Am I missing anything especially useful? I heard she'll be dressed in a tee shirt provided by the hospital and their swaddling blankets, so she really only need one outfit at the most. But, I wanted to make sure she had options/layers depending on the weather and her size.

How is it that I can be so giddy about packing a bag? What has happened to me?

Jun 22, 2017

36.3 Weeks


36 Weeks
Me, trying to fake a smile in the third trimester during a heat wave. 

You guys. It's less than four weeks until my due date. I feel like a ticking time bomb. With every little twitch, cramp, and pain, I'm wondering if this is the real deal or not, which is kind of absurd, because I really do have quite a few more weeks here. I blame the hormones.

How far along: 36.3 weeks

Baby is the size of a: papaya! I hate papayas, but I love this little tyke. I went to the doctor today for my last ultrasound of this pregnancy, which was kind of sad, but I'd rather meet her in person than see her all distorted (am I the only one who cannot see things on those screens?) on a computer monitor. Anyway, my doctor confirmed that she's in the 33rd percentile for weight and height and estimated to be around 5 pounds, 6 ounces. A little on the small side, but she wasn't concerned and said she didn't want me to have a huge baby due to the fact that I'm kind of a small person myself.

Speaking of which, she said my rate for a c-section is a bit higher than most people due to my statue and that I have a pretty narrow pelvis. But, she said we'll do everything we can to prevent that and she said she'd hold off on induction (if it ever comes to that) for me as long as possible to give my body a chance to naturally prepare. I plan on walking a ton and doing some yoga, not that there's any proof that will help, but I need to feel like I'm doing something to lessen my odds! I've seen women even smaller than me have successful vaginal deliveries, so I am not worried at all. Also, these hips. They don't lie. Narrow pelvis. Pfft.

Due date: 7.16.17

Gender: Girl! She gave us our second confirmation today.

Weight gain: +22ish pounds. My doctor said I'm a bit below the curve here, but nothing to be worried about. In fact, she was pleased. So I had pizza for lunch.

Exercise: just walking! Now that I'm working from home, I am aiming to take a good 30 minute walk each day, which makes me feel great even though I move at a snail's pace. I do feel a LOT of pressure when I go for walks, but my doctor said it's just my body gearing up for the big day. I get a few stares and some smiles on the trail chugging along.

Stretch marks: Surprisingly no!

Sleep: I cannot complain. I wake up a few times to go to the bathroom, but I always fall right back asleep. My body is totally used to sleeping on my side these days, though I prefer the right side to the left, a habit I'm trying to break since they say it's better to sleep on your left. I am still using the Boppy wedge pillow to support my stomach and sometimes a pillow between my legs. I wake up early these days, feeling refreshed and motivated. I'm cherishing it.

Food cravings/aversions: I'm still in love with ice. I truly cannot get enough. They checked my blood for anemia, but my iron levels are great (must be all the burgers). My mom said she craved ice when she was pregnant with me, so I'm just carrying on the tradition.

I am so sick of filling and refilling my ice trays all day long though, so I'm think I'm just going to treat myself and buy ice from the grocery store or Chick Fil A. Just typing is making me crave it.

Aversions: nope. Except bell peppers. Never again for the rest of my life will I ever want to eat a cooked bell pepper.

Symptoms: I went really in depth with these last time, but here are a few updates:
  • Swelling. My doctor checked my feet and hands today and said it's not that bad and I don't seem to be at risk at all for pre-eclampsia. I was seeing bright sparkles in my eyes one day and freaked out that I was pre-eclampic, so this is reassuring. The swelling has actually improved since I stopped working in the office. I stay active, but I also get a chance to prop my feet up from time to time. She did say that I have a LOT of amniotic fluid, so my body is just really good at conserving water and this is a good thing. 
  • Hot. Yup, all the time, but I have been combatting it fairly well. I drink a ton of ice water (see above) and a I bought this little fan (the 15 inch one) from Amazon which is amazing, especially for the price. I use wherever I am in the house and it keeps me very cool. I also keep a fan on my body all night long, so I'm happy that the heat hasn't messed with my sleep. 
  • Carpal Tunnel. I'm managing it with acupuncture, which tends to help. It does suck, but I'd rather have it now than have to manage it when she gets here. Let's hope it goes away!
  • Lower back pain. Not too bad anymore. Being active and taking walks help. 
  • Braxton Hicks / cramps. These have definitely picked up! I've known she's heads down for a while now, but even if my doctors hadn't told me that, I would have guessed. She's always head butting my cervix, almost like she wants to crawl right on out. Some of my cramps are painless, but some do actually hurt a bit. Nothing regular though. 
  • Oily Hair / Skin. This went away! Woo hoo!
Movement: Yes! So much that I've only had to count kicks about three times. My stomach was growling this morning and I totally think it woke her up, because it's almost like she got startled and then kicked me. I felt bad, but it was kind of cute :)

What I miss: I cannot believe I'm going to say this, but working out! Yeah, I don't know who I am anymore. There's a Stroller Strides class near me that I might sign up for this fall or I might re-join the JCC. They have great childcare, pools, and fitness classes. There's also a local YMCA that isn't far from our house. I'll have to go exploring gyms again. Brandon will be home for the first two months, so I feel like we'll get in a lot of family walks and maybe some bodyweight stuff at home.

What I'm loving: I packed her diaper bag for the hospital with her newborn going home outfit and some other essentials. I cannot stop going through it and obsessing over the cute things and making sure it's perfectly organized. I'll do a separate post on what I packed. 

20170622_094708

In case you were wondering, I went with the Skip Hop Forma Pack and Go, mainly because it included packing cubes! You know I love my packing cubes. One of them is insulated for bottles, too. Pure joy.

20170622_094829

I also love going through her dresser drawers that I've so painstakingly organized. They make me so happy.

20170616_084507-2

20170616_084516

Popsicles, cupcakes, and fruit pants. Girl clothing is so ridiculously fun.

20170616_084645

I don't think we have enough swaddle blankets, do we? ;) All super sweet gifts from friends and family!

Next Appointment: Next Wednesday. I basically go into the doctor every Wednesday from now until my due date.

Baby Purchases: Did a massive Amazon, Target, and Buy Buy Baby haul to finish off the last bit of things we need. The only thing that we don't have right now (and umm, it's kind of important) is a place for her to sleep in our room. Since I really want to make sure our lives aren't cluttered with baby gear, I thought I'd purchase a portable playard (aka, Pack N Play) with a bassinet feature. That way, we could use it in our room until she's ready to move to the nursery and we can use it for travel down the road (we are thinking Hawaii this Thanksgiving!). I had ordered the Chicco Lullaby Playard with a bassinet and planned to use that, but we got it here, set it up, and kind of hated it. It was so difficult to use and put away. Also, it was about 40 pounds, which I didn't even consider when ordering. There is no way we could or would want to travel with it.

So I returned that for the 4Moms Breeze after the salesperson at Buy Buy Baby talked me into it and let's face it, the set up is actually FUN and crazy simple. I brought it home and haven't opened the box yet. It's about 26 pounds, so really not that light either and I'd imagine it'd still be a bit cumbersome to travel with. I considered the Nuna Sena Aire (love the new safety standards for breathability), but it's heavy too at 22 pounds. Finally, I discovered the Guava Family Lotus Travel Crib with the bassinet kit and I'm hoping that will be the answer. It's about 13 pounds, you can wear it as a backpack and the bassinet portion is all mesh with a rocking option. It has by far the best Amazon reviews and many people say its great for things like the beach, camping, and airport travel. Fingers crossed this is the winner. At some point, we'll probably just move the crib into our room to ease her transition to it. With the new guidelines of having a baby sleep in your room up until one year of age, we don't intend to rush things...especially since the nursery is very far away.

[Edited to add: After consulting with my favorite salesperson, Stephanie, at Bandalou Baby (invitation affiliate link), I went for the Nuna Sena Aire. The mattress is amazing and totally breathable, you can set up and take down with the bassinet still attached and it's a very eco-friendly and non-toxic playard. Bonus: since I bought through Bandalou's Crowd Sourcing program, I was able to get $35 store credit, which went towards the changing pad accessory! Love a good deal! We've saved so much money by purchasing our big ticket items through this local family business.]

But yeah, losing my darn mind over here with playards and bassinets.

Classes: We took a breastfeeding class a few weeks ago, which we found to be informative and enjoyable. We did the hospital orientation and hospital tour last weekend. This weekend, we have our last class on Infant Care Basics. We weren't going to take this, but Brandon has never changed a diaper, let alone held a baby before, so we thought it would be a good idea to attend.

What's missing? Childbirth classes. While I think many women, myself included, would prefer a childbirth that is quick and intervention- and pain medication-free, I've read far too many birth stories to know things don't seem to go as planned most of the time. So my goal going into childbirth is to keep an open mind and put trust in the doctors and my maternal instinct (do I have that yet?). Really, our only birth plan requirement is refusing any IV pain medication (such as Fentanyl), but I'm open to an epidural. I'd also like to try and avoid Pitocin if possible. We'll see how it goes. My hospital is already a huge fan of skin-to-skin and delayed cord camping, so we don't need to specify those wishes. I really just want to be able to go with the flow and be low maintenance. However, I do have a ridiculous request that they use the diapers, wipes, and baby toiletries we are bringing because of my fragrance allergy (pretty sure the hospital provides all fragranced items). The nurses will surely hate me, right?

Numbers: 
  • Pickles consumed this week: 1 whole jar
  • Episodes of Riverdale watched: 13
  • Loads of baby-related laundry: 6
  • Trays of ice consumed: infinite
  • Playards to return: 3
  • Playards on order: 0
  • Playards needed: 1
  • Playards researched: too many
  • Baby bags packed: 1
  • Parent bags packed: 0
  • Days until due date: 24







Jun 18, 2017

Weekending


I'm convinced the Universe is trying to kill me. It was in the 90's yesterday and will continue to be hot as Hades until Wednesday. I have exactly two pairs of shorts that fit me and they are for sleeping/lounging. While we are fortunate enough to have central air (many Bay Area homes do not, because normally, you just don't need it), it simply cannot keep up. I consumed over 8 trays of ice alone yesterday. And two ice cream cones.

But I do have happy news! Brandon organized the garage. You don't know how much joy and pleasure this brings me. He battled The Heat (deserves capitalization) and spent yesterday afternoon breaking down boxes, building shelving units, and placing everything just so to suite my OCD mind. While it certainly is NOT glamorous, it does look so much better in there! While the interior of our home has been upgraded since the 1950's, this garage has not, so there isn't much you can do (especially as a rental) to make it prettier.

BEFORE:

AFTER:

It may not look like much to you, but I'm impressed. +10, Brandon!

We still need to go through those bins (like that will happen anytime soon - ha!) and we think we can reduce them down to about four containers to free up more space. Baby steps. 


Speaking of babies, I am now officially working from home until I go into labor, which is exciting and scary all at the same time. I just need to keep an eye on email for questions, so it's not like I'll be glued to my home desk all day long. Thus, I will have time to tackle a lot of the last minute things on our to do list: packing hospital bags, washing baby clothes (I'm 80% there - she has a bigger wardrobe than Cher Horowitz), sterilizing pump parts and bottles, and obsessing over Riverdale on Netflix. One of those is not like the others.

We also finally put together the stroller, which is super exciting. I named her Posh Spice. I don't want to get her dirty, so she's living in our house for now. Is that weird? 


We also put together the playard last night (it was a productive day at Casa de la Falls), which is where we planned for her to sleep (there's a bassinet insert) in our room for the first six months or so. New guidelines recently came out saying that your baby should sleep in your room from at least six months to a year! So why did we put together a nursery again? I have a feeling the crib might end up in our room. Gotta get some use of out it, huh?

Today, we have a hospital tour planned, a trip to Warby Parker (we both need new glasses), and I'm treating Brandon to dinner for Father's Day. It's supposed to be the hottest day yet, so keep me in your thoughts please. I am thisclose to breaking into someone's house with a pool. Will blame the hormones. 

I hope to be back soon with progress updates. I'm 36 weeks today and see my doctor on Wednesday for an ultrasound and cervical check. Yikes. 



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