Saturday, November 10, 2012

What I Actually Used from My Hospital Bag


Mommy list:
Insurance card
Snacksgranola bars
Gatorade
Popsicles
Nursing bras
Nursing tank tops
Breast pads
Flip flops for shower
Robe
Slippers with tread
Socks- black
Going- home outfitBella Band
coral dress, undershirt, sandals
ToiletriesLanolin
Burt's Bees lip balm
alcohol wipes
deodorant
face wash wipes
toothbrush
toothpaste
shampoo/ body wash
loofah
comb
hairbrush
Bottom Spray
saline spray
arnica tablets
stool softener
Makeup
disposable underwear
Hair ties & bobby pins
Pillow
Cards/ Phase 10
Magazines
Nursing cover
Eye mask
Hard candies/ mintsSugar free Jolly Ranchers, peppermints
Massagertennis ball
ice packs (2)
rice socks (2)
Undies
Bathing suit top
Baby wrap
Cooler for placenta
Towel for car

Baby list:
Car seat
Going home outfit
Hat
Socks
Receiving blankets
Diapers & coversliners
spray bottle
Wipes
Baby bath stuff

Daddy list:
Change of clothes
Pajamas
Bathing suit
ToiletriesToothbrush
toothpaste
deodorant
Snacks
Quarters
Watch/ Contraction app
Video camera & chargers
Still camera & chargers
CDs/ Music
Cell phones & chargersheadphones
Baby K'tan

One item I wished I had: a full size bath towel for showers

Books that I Love


  • Ended up finishing 50 Shades of Grey- liked them :)
  • Time Traveler's Wife (Niffenegger)
  • Thirteenth Tale (Setterfield)- Gothic fiction
  • Her Fearful Symmetry (Niffenegger)- Gothic fiction


"Brit Chick Lit"
  • Sophie Kinsella/ Madeleine Wickham
  • Marian Keyes
  • Jane Green (American)
  • Celia Ahern
  • Emily Giffin (American)
    Series
    • Song of Ice and Fire (Martin)
    • Kingkiller series (Rothfuss)
    • Clan of the Cave Bear (
    • Harry Potter (Rowling)
    • Hunger Games (Collins)
    Historical fiction- Phillipa Gregory
    Dystopian fiction- 1984, etc.

    Teen Fiction
    • Gossip Girl (Von Ziegesar)
    • Pretty Little Liars (Shepard)

      Thursday, November 8, 2012

      My Cloth Diaper Stash as of Nov. 8, 2012

      What's in my Cloth Diaper Bag

      My bag in August 2012

      Tuesday, November 6, 2012

      My Birth Story



      This is the rough, long story of my birth.  It is not yet fine- tuned and is still pretty raw so bare with me:


      On April 29, 2012, I woke up at 2:55 am, don’t know what woke me up, but I felt a gush and I KNEW it was my water.  My due date was May 1st and I had convinced myself that I wouldn’t go into labor early.  I waited for contractions to start and at 3:15 they started.  I called the birth center to alert the midwives and left a message for them.  At 3:35 they called back and told me to call back at 10 am for further instructions but to labor at home until my contractions were one minute long and five minutes apart.  I live about 45 minutes from our hospital/ birth center and was nervous that my labor would go fast, although I wasn’t opposed to a home birth, haha.

      I calmly took a shower.  I was able to shower and I think I had one mild contraction in there but I leaned over and it was fine.  I don’t recall the shower making the contractions feeling any better or worse.  My contractions were not very painful and very manageable so I told my husband to get some rest as we had gone to sleep not long before my water broke and we didn’t know how long my labor would be.  At 7:30 am I had a fairly large breakfast: cereal with soymilk, peanut butter toast and a Baby Bel cheese.  This would be the last meal I ate before my son was born, by choice.  We called my mother-in-law at around 7 and told her I was in labor, as we knew she wouldn’t freak out.  She is also a nurse and knows labor is unpredictable, especially for first time moms.  I told my parents around 10 am, and also my sister.  My parents were at church and didn’t get back to me until 10:30.  My sister came over at that time about 10 and we watched Bridget Jones’ Diary (which we didn’t finish) as my husband made pasta for himself and my sister. At about noon, I was meeting the criteria to come to the birth center and they also said I sounded ready.  My parents arrived around this time and we decided to go. It was very uncomfortable to walk to the car.  We had planned for my husband to drive us (just me and him) but I wanted his support so my mom drove us in their car, my dad drove our car and my sister drove her car.  My mother-in-law met us there.
      When we got to the birth center, I tried to get out of the car but was SO uncomfortable.  I told my husband to tell the hospital I was in labor and to ask for a wheel chair.  He brought me a wheel chair and was taken straight to a L&D room (love my hospital!).  Although I didn’t want continuous fetal monitoring, I knew that they needed to monitor the baby continuously for about 30 minutes.  I was SO uncomfortable on my back but was fine on my side.  I just wanted to make myself comfortable which was still possible at this point but couldn’t because of the monitors.  They checked my dilation and I lost my modesty at this point, for the rest of my labor, postpartum and now.  When they checked me I didn’t believe her when she said I was three centimeters.  I had been in labor for about 10 hours at this point!  They also swabbed to test for amniotic fluid to make sure my water had broken.  The midwife Stephanie, who I hated in this moment (but ended up LOVING), told me they could not admit me because the test came back negative for amniotic fluid and that I was only three centimeters.  She said I could walk around the “meditation garden” to keep things going or go home and labor there.  It still was very uncomfortable to walk so I begged her to let me stay.  I did not want to drive 45 minutes home and then (I hoped) immediately drive back.  She insisted that I could not be admitted but sent me home with a drug to help me relax (I forget the name).  Looking back I don’t know why I agreed as I had an otherwise natural labor but she said it would help me relax which would help me dilate.   I believe this was around 3 pm.  I had been in labor for 12 hours and I was sure my water had broken.  My hospital does not START to think about interventions until 48 hours after a rupture of membranes as long as everything else is fine.
      We left our car there with all our labor and postpartum supplies and my parents drove us back home and went to pick up their motor home from storage.  They wanted to drive back to the hospital in the RV so I could labor there.  My husband and I thought that was a terrible idea but while we were home, they asked us multiple times when we were ready to leave.  It is a terrible thing to bother a woman in labor, people.  We arrived back at home at about 5 pm.  As “my water had not broken” and even if it had, my midwives told me I should take a bath at home.  As I planned on laboring in water and maybe even having a water birth, this sounded great to me.  But when I got in the water, I felt terrible.  I was hot, cramped, could not find a comfortable position.  I immediately got out.  We left the bathroom and didn’t enter it again until we came home after my days in the hospital and the floor was still wet and there were towels everywhere.
      My mother-in-law asked if we wanted anything to eat while we were laboring at home.  We asked for Chipotle and she dropped it off without even coming in, she’s amazing.  I was not able to eat.  The hours FLEW by for me, I can’t believe we labored alone for another four hours.  After the bath I sat on the birth ball wedged against our loveseat, which took the pressure off my bottom.  My husband sat behind me and massaged my back and applied homemade rice heat packs.  When I moved after a while, I couldn’t get comfortable and had to find a new position.  I eventually sat on the couch leaning forward on the birth ball and actually fell asleep between contractions.  I managed my contractions throughout labor by moaning low, as loud as I wanted but knew to keep my tone low.  At about 9 pm, we called my sister to take us back to the hospital.
      If my water had not broken earlier, then on the way back to the hospital it definitely broke.  I’m glad I was sitting on a towel as I soaked through clothes and almost through the towel.  I was “in the zone” on the way back to the hospital and was completely focused in but when my water leaked, I actually laughed and kept saying “oh my god, oh my god.”  It was so much fluid!  I don’t recall my contractions hurting anymore or less due to the rupture.  I was able to walk into the hospital this time and was taken back to a L&D room.  This would be the room where my son was born.  Three of my sisters, my mom, my mother in law and my husband were in the room during my labor.
      I had blood drawn and due to the results I had to have a heplock placed.  I was disappointed about that because I had not tested GBS positive three weeks before but I was anemic, as I was through my whole pregnancy.  The first nurse, Liz, tried to place the heplock twice in my arm but was unable to and ended up squirting my blood all over the bed and my gown.  I hate blood, especially my own and luckily I did not see it but I felt it.  A second nurse was able to place it in my hand.  Another nurse took some of my blood to test.  I soon changed into my swimsuit and got in the birth tub.
      The tub itself was better than I imagined.  It was like a hard- sided foam with a plastic liner over it.  A pillow was placed under the liner on top of the side of the tub and I leaned over it.  My mom, my mother-in-law and my husband surrounded me and held my hands and gave me drinks of water.  They tried to get me to eat but I was still unable to, although I managed a bit of orange juice.  Although the tub itself was very nice, I think I overhyped it in my head pre-delivery.  I expected it to take away a lot of the pain but I’m not sure if it took away any.  My bottom was so sensitive I couldn’t sit but during a contraction I didn’t want to hold my own weight.  I was in the tub for HOURS as I got in on one day and got out of the tub after the sun came up the next.
      After I got out of the tub, the midwife on call had changed to B and I bounced around between the bed in different positions and a rocking chair.  I wanted to lean over the top of the bed but couldn’t get comfortable.  I tried laboring with the birthing bar, again, could not get comfortable.  I liked leaning over the bed but, TMI, was embarrassed because I had to pass gas and couldn’t hold it during a contraction leaning over like that.  I felt like I had to poo most of the time but was not able to.  A couple of times I momentarily fell asleep and would fall RIGHT into a dream and immediately wake up; it was SO surreal.
      Around 2 pm, the nurse, I call Curly Hair, and my midwife came in with some startling news.  When I had my blood drawn the night before, my white blood cell count was high, indicating infection.  Although I did not have a fever and the baby was doing fine, as I had been in labor for about 35 hours at this point with ruptured membranes, they wanted to augment my labor.  Also, it became obvious that my son was partially posterior; his butt was sticking out toward my right side. I was really against induction but figured if we started with nipple stimulation, maybe we could avoid Pitocin.  I was already about 8 centimeters at this point.  My husband started with manual nipple stimulation as a hospital grade breast pump was brought in.  At this point, they decided the baby and I needed to have continuous monitoring.  The nipple stimulation did the trick, for a couple contractions.  Unfortunately, my contractions did not stay regular and they decided I should start Pitocin.  I was devastated and asked my mother-in-law what she thought, as she is not only a nurse but had her second and third babies without drugs.  She thought in this case, a low level of Pitocin to regulate my contractions would probably be for the best.  My midwife also suggested that an epidural may help me relax and fully dilate but I declined.
      I was hooked up to the IV with saline and Pitocin.  I asked if the saline was necessary if I was hydrated because I didn’t want my son full of fluid.  She said it was just enough to carry the Pitocin.  The Pitocin was also set as the minimum level of 1 to start.  I was supposed to lie on my left side for 30 minutes to try to get my son to move toward the left side.  I actually fell asleep between contractions this way.  My contractions began to regulate again but then faltered.  They raised the level to 3 after 30 minutes, with my permission.  They raised it again by two a couple times after 30-minute intervals, again with my permission.  I found a “comfortable” position in the rocking chair with a pillow behind my back.  My mom massaged my head, my sister massaged my back and my husband massaged my hand.  It was as heavenly as it could be in that moment.  When I was back on the bed at one point, my midwife asked if I’d emptied my bladder recently as a full bladder could keep the baby’s head from engaging well.  I had tried on the toilet a few times but hadn’t had to go and thought it was empty.  She palpated my bladder and shockingly said it was very full and if I couldn’t go, they would empty it with a catheter.  I didn’t want one but I did what I had to.  I didn’t look at what it looked like before my nurse, Lindsay, put it in but she showed me as it was filling how much urine was really in there.  It was A LOT!  They said it definitely could have been affecting my dilation.  It burned as she pulled it out and oh my god, when I saw how big that tube was, I am so glad I didn’t see it before.
      At this point I was close to fully dilated and was feeling some kind of urge to push.  My midwife cleared the room for some reason and asked if I wanted them to come back in for the pushing part.  I looked at my husband and decided that we should do it alone.  I started pushing on the toilet and my husband could see the baby’s head.  The Pitocin was raised to an 11, the maximum it was during my whole labor, which is not a lot.  It was annoying being in labor hooked to machines and cords.  While I was on the toilet, my midwife sat on a birth ball in front of me and the ball got caught between the birth tub and the waterspout on the wall and popped.  She fell on her behind and onto her back.  She was in a lot of pain and left the room.  We were left with our L&D nurse to continue pushing.  A while later, my midwife came back and suggested that my husband and I stand on opposite sides of the bed, each holding the end of a sheet, and I squat and push.  This felt so effective: I felt the urge and it felt good to push in this position.  My midwife said it was not productive enough (and I wanted to hurt her) and “made” me get into the bed.  She made me get on my back and coached me to push, which I had not wanted at all.  It hurt my hips and I told her so but she told me I had to push this way.  I attribute her “meanness” to being in pain from falling onto the floor.  This is the point where I don’t remember many details at all.
      I barely remember hearing that my son’s heart rate was dropping.  They tried putting an internal monitor into his scalp twice and failed.  A oxygen mask was put on my face and I started crying, I was so scared.  My midwife told me we need to get him out now.  I pushed my hardest but she said I wasn’t trying hard enough.  She said she would either have to rip me or cut an episiotomy and he would need to be vacuum extracted.  Wow, I never expected that.  I expected to have a serene waterbirth with no Pitocin, no epidural, no episiotomy, no fetal distress.  She ended up cutting me and a doctor stepped in with the vacuum.  He was born in two more contractions with his head turned 90 degrees after two hours of pushing at 9:45 pm on April 30th.  My husband kissed me on the forehead and said with tears in his eyes, he is beautiful.
      My husband did not “catch” the baby.  He was not placed on my chest, still connected by the placenta.  He was disconnected, whisked away to be monitored by doctors I didn’t know came in the room and never even saw.  My husband “cut the cord” by cutting the excess they left in these situations.  He was brought to me, who knows how long later (within minutes) wrapped in a blanket.  I held him as the doctor repaired my episiotomy and the resulting FOURTH DEGREE TEAR.  I did not feel the tear or cut at all but I barely remember any of the end.  I did feel part of the first few stitches but it wasn’t terrible.  I wasn’t as resentful about what happened, as I was so relieved to finally have my son.  He was crying a lot and did not latch right away.  Although my labor and delivery was 43 hours start to finish, it flew by.
      I came back to reality when delivering the placenta.  Funny enough, it hurt!  I don’t remember my son hurting but that boneless sac hurt…  Then we were alone with our nurse Liz and our family was born.  We weighed him, we put his first cloth diaper on, we stared at him.  Liz told me that they would want me to pee within the next couple of hours and I asked her if I could go now.  I got out of bed and walked to the toilet, right after a fourth degree tear!  My sister snuck in and was the first one to see the baby.  We packed up our stuff and headed to our postpartum room and found my parents in the hallway outside our room.  They walked with us and we settled in.

      6 Months Old!


      Robbie is such a big boy, I can't believe he's already 6 months old.  He is now crawling and sitting by himself.  He's even reached up for the coffee table and pushed to standing!  He's crazy!  He weighs about 20 pounds!  He is eating some table food but for the most part, he's still nursing.  He also has two teeth!
      DH and I have switched our work schedules so when I work, he cares for Robbie and when DH works, I watch him.  It is working out perfectly and we still have time to see each other at night.  We haven't left him for an extending period of time yet but we're planning on having a date night soon and DH's mom will watch him.
      Our parents see him a lot.  DH's parents come over a couple times a week to play with Robbie and we take advantage of that time to catch up on cleaning and things like that.  We go over to my parents' house to do laundry and because he's cloth diapered, we're over there a lot!  Robbie just started to notice their dogs and tries to play with them, he even grabbed a handful of Penny's fur.  They are really good with him and either ignore him on the ground or lick him as they walk by.
      He is a really happy baby and smiles all the time.  When he wakes up in the morning he just plays by himself and eventually his squeals of happiness wake us up.  His favorite time is between when he wakes up for the morning and before his first nap.
      Speaking of naps, he seems to be lengthening the time between naps, but not consolidating them into longer naps.  He doesn't have a schedule but has more of a routine.  He wakes up, is ready for a nap in about an hour, naps 45- 60 mins, up for maybe two hours, naps again for about 45-60 mins, repeat a couple times.  But sometimes he may go 3- 4 hours without a nap.  Lately he seems to be getting about a two hour nap in the evening, waking for about two hours then it's bedtime.  Like I said, he absolutely has no schedule and even sometimes his routine is unpredictable.  I don't know how a baby can be predictable, mine likes to keep us on our toes :) 

      Saturday, October 27, 2012

      Sleep Habits


      I've been wanting to document his sleep habits.  Last night, he slept well and has apparently napped very well for DH, as well as being in a good mood.  Usually if he sleeps well at night, we're in for a doozy of a day.  On the other hand, if he is up a lot a night, he naps great!  We decided for every one's sake, it is better if he naps well and has a good day, than a good night.
      At the start, when he wasn't sleeping, he was eating.  If he wasn't eating, he was sleeping.  We were so lucky and were never tired from having a brand new baby.  At maybe 6 weeks, he was awake more during the day and it was a trial getting him down for naps.  He needed to nurse to sleep or be held and bounced for up to an hour.  We were spending more time trying to get him to sleep than he had been awake before he got tired.  But he was sleeping EXCELLENT at night!  He continued to sleep all through the night, waking just a few times to eat.  Around this time he was probably "sleeping through the night (STTN)," sleeping between seven hours to even a whopping ten!  That night I had to wake him up to feed him cause I was so full.  He would sleep by himself in the cosleeper while we stayed in the living room and also when we went to bed.  When he woke to nurse, we would bring him in bed and he'd finish the night/ morning there.  This continued when I went back to work, him sleeping great at night and with us bouncing him to sleep in the Ergo for naps.
      Then about a month after I went back to work, he reverse cycled.  This means instead of eating during the day and sleeping at night, he would eat instead during the night.  It wasn't as bad as it could have been: he wasn't fussing to eat while people watched him while I was at work and only woke to eat at night, going right back to sleep after.  But this was also the time where he started napping great during the day!  So strange!  At the worst point, when he also had a cold, he was up every single hour at night, but would go back to sleep after he nursed.
      Last night he fell asleep in our bed and woke when I would leave.  It was already 11 so I decided to just go to sleep with him.  He then slept for four hours without waking.  After he woke, he nursed to sleep right away; this happened a couple times but I don't really keep track of these wakings.  As long as I get a good couple hours straight and then he falls back asleep right away, I call it a good night.  I am still craving those nights I took for granted when he was sleeping by himself for seven hours straight.  I'm hoping we are on our way back to that.  I absolutely don't mind sharing our bed with him, it is what we planned before he was even born but without one of us in the bed, he doesn't sleep for longer than one sleep cycle.  I want some time to read or watch a full length movie without having to stop it.  Again, I thought that when he was STTN, that it was for good!
      But with babies, you never know!  He has a mind of his own.  But last night was so much better than it has been the last month or so, so I hope it will get better soon, and I know when he a teenager I'll have to drag him out of bed, it won't last forever!