July 24, 2014

Baby Registry Review

There are a million and one things that you will hear that you NEED for a new baby. To be honest, the average newborn only really needs diapers, wipes, a pack of onesies, bath soap, a blanket, a car seat and a Mom's boobs. However, there are lots of things that make life easier or that you will want to have as they get bigger. Here's our registry/stuff with notes on necessity etc.

  • Crib and mattress - this may be obvious, but you buy these separately. Make sure you pick a mattress that fits your crib properly. 
  • Mattress pad/protector - It was recommended to me to get two of these so that you can make the crib twice (pad, sheet, pad, sheet) so you can just take off one set in the middle of the night. 
  • Bedding set (sheets and crib skirt) - all you need is a sheet, but the sets are just so darn cute!
  • Other nursery decor - rug, valance, curtains, pillow, hamper, etc.
  • Rocker/glider - I like because the nursery is on the second floor and it's the only chair up there. 
  • Monitor - video is incredibly unnecessary but really nice to tell if baby is awake or asleep while she's crying. 
  • Swaddles - Really nice for sleeping. We have both Swaddlemes and a Sleep Sack. My only preference between the two is that the sleep sack zips from the bottom, so you don't have to take them out to change them in the night. 
  • Receiving blankets - you'll probably get a ton, so only register if you want specific ones. Aden + Anais ones are huge but are really nice and thin for summer. 
  • Changing pad and cover - put one of these on a dresser instead of getting a separate changing table
  • Diapers and wipes - one of my showers included a diaper raffle, where you got a raffle ticket for each pack of diapers you brought - it's great! We have so many size 1's and 2's!!
  • Diaper Rash Cream - good to have on hand before it's needed
  • Bouncy seat or Swing - again, unnecessary but nice to have a place to put baby outside the crib. I'd wait to see what motion your babe seems to like and pick between the two. 
  • Play mat - so far Lily doesn't like hers and it will probably get passed on, but we'll see in the next month or two. This is one thing I really regret opening early. 

  • Foam bath cradle- This fit in our bathroom sink for all her first month+ of baths sits on the bottom of the tub now. 
  • Johnson's bath soap - there is absolutely nothing better than the smell of clean baby. 
  • Wash clothes and towels - You can definitely use your own but the little hooded baby towels are so stinking cute!
  • Health and grooming kit - we registered for a kit and then got a nicer thermometer. We use the little brush and the nail clippers the most. We use our bulb sucker and nasal saline pretty often too but those were from the hospital - make sure you take the sucker with you!!!
  • Pacifiers - wait to open pacifiers until your baby comes. Lily only takes the Avent Soothies, which is what Wubanubs use for the pacifier part.  
  • Freezable Teethers - these are for significantly down the road, but why not put it on the registry if you have space to tuck them away?
  • Tub spout cover - Unnecessary. Pure and simple. But our looks like an elephant, so yeah. 
  • Bath scoop/storage and toys - won't need these for at least a couple more months.

Out and About-
  • Clothes - only register for "basics" like that pack of white onesies
  • Carseat and canopy/cover - this is need number one. They're required to leave the hospital and work as a bassinet for the first few weeks if you don't have the nursery finished. My mom made our canopy using this pattern and it's fantastic. Lily went to church at 2 weeks old and it was really nice to not worry about tons of hands touching her because we could just show her off through the peep hole!
  • Car mirror - My dad mentioned this is one "new" thing that he wished they had with me. 
  • Diaper bag - I originally planned to just have a big purse, but decided that we would want to be able to leave the diaper bag at the nursery and still have my purse in service, so we got a backpack diaper bag (pretty much just a backpack with an insulated pocket for bottles) and I got a wristlet that fits in the bag with all her stuff. 
  • Infant toys and books - if you have favorites, register for them, but otherwise just be prepared to return and swap depending on what you get. 
  • Pack'n'Play - Think through if you'll use one enough to be worth the money. We got one because Lily will stay in it if we take a foster placement who needs a crib (foster kids have to have a crib, not a pack'n'play).
  • Baby Carriers - We got a Mei Tai and an Ergo. We haven't used the Ergo yet but Mike is excited to have a "manlier" carrier for trips to the zoo etc. 
  • Stroller - We got a stroller frame from Mike's sister when they had baby #2 and wanted a double stroller. It's great to be able to click her car seat into it and not have to mess with the car seat straps that she currently hates.

  • Burp cloths - we use Gerber prefold diapers
  • High chair - let this wait unless you have storage space for a while. 
  • Bibs, toddler cutlery and dishes - I recommend the Tommee Tippee Easy Roll bibs - Easy to clean and have a giant pocket for missed bites. 
  • Boppy- so far I use this pretty much solely for pictures and not actually for feeding
  • Pump and/or bottles - check with your insurance before purchasing. Our pump came with small bottles but we also got the Avent started set, just in case. 
  • Drying rack - we got one of the ones that look like a garden from Mike's co-worker. I always thought they were unnecessary, but it was really handy when I was pumping multiple times a day.
  • Microwave sanitizing bags/tray - we only run the dishwasher every few days with just the two of us so these were really nice for the in between times.
  • Milk storage bags 

For Mom
  • Nursing Cami's - I would wear these 7 days a week if I could. They're great. 
  • Lanolin - my nurse at the hospital called it chapstick for your nipples and she was completely right. Your nipples likely will feel like really chapped lips and you will want something to help that. 
  • Breast pads - your boobs will leak at some point and it may start before baby is even born. These are great to have a month or so before baby is expected. 
  • Post-partum care stuff - I got almost everything I needed (ibuprofen, stool softened, Tucks pads, dermoplast and some leftover giant hospital pads) from the hospital, so ask on your tour what they send you home with. I had to stock up on pads - I recommend a small pack of maxi overnights, a small pack of regular/lites, and then a box of panty liners. 
  • Nursing distractions - once you and baby have breast feeding figured out you're going to want something to keep you awake during those late night feedings. I went with a couple game apps and a new book on my Nook plus a bunch of movies on Netflix. 

Also see my hospital packing list here

July 7, 2014

Lily's First Month

Big Events 
  • 6/7 - My birthday! (Read about my birth here)
  • 6/9 - Came home from the hospital
  • 6/11 - First follow up appointment - down to 5lbs 9oz
  • 6/12 - 2nd follow up for weight gain - up to 5lbs 10oz
  • 6/13 - Met Great-Grandma and Papa
  • 6/14 - Met Uncle Tyler and Cousin Ben
  • 7/15 - Grandma Sherry went back home after helping Mom and Dad for a week
  • 6/16 - My due date. I went to Baby Basics at Cornerstone, my first trip other than to the doctor
  • 6/17 - Lost my cord stump
  • 6/19 - 2 week doctor's appointment - up to 6lbs 6 oz!
  • 6/22 - Church and then newborn pictures with Katharyne Dunn
  • 6/25 - Grandma Sherry, Melissa and Amanda came to visit, go shopping and have lunch
  • 7/3 - Fireworks in the van (I was eating)
  • 7/4 - Parade for the 4th of July
  • 7/7 - 1 Month Old! Daddy left for a business trip overnight

Size/Percentile: At 2 weeks 
  • Weight - 6 lbs 6 oz (6%)
  • Height - 19.75 inches (33%)
  • Head - 14.06 inches (75%)

Daily Schedule: 
I wake up the first time in the morning about 6:30-7:30, around the same time Daddy leaves for work. Mommy and I usually take a nap until I wake up again at about 9:30. During the day, Mommy wakes me up with a diaper change every 2-3 hours if I don't wake up on my own. After my diaper is changed I get to eat. I usually eat for about 20 minutes, but I like to "comfort nurse" and use Mommy as a pacifier in the evenings. Mom feeds me right before she falls asleep, between 11 and midnight, and then I wake up once in the middle of the night to eat. Sometimes Daddy gives me a bottle that Mommy pumped if she's too tired to hold me to nurse.

Things I Love:
  • Boob. 
  • Snuggling/sleeping on Daddy's chest 
  • Having my arms swaddled (otherwise I punch myself)
  • My duck (Wubanub pacifiers - duck and giraffe)

This Month's Milestones:
  • I've cried real tears since before I left the hospital.
  • I follow Mommy and Daddy's voices by turning my head
  • My eyes rarely cross anymore and I focus on faces pretty well
  • I can hold my head up for about a minute when I'm on my belly
  • I smile at Mommy and Daddy (and after I fart)
  • I don't cry at baths, clothes or diaper changes anymore!
  • Two growth spurts - Mommy was amazed how much I ate!

Highlights of the Month:
  • I eat really efficiently, but only with the shield
  • I have scared multiple people with how loudly I can fart/poop
  • I kept almost all of my hair and the top of my head is finally filling in!
  • I still don't fill out my other newborn sized clothes, but my Carter's brand ones are getting snug now!
  • I slept in the Mei Tai for walks to the farmer's market on Saturdays
  • I stretch out my neck and purse my lips - Aunt Amanda calls it my "turtle face"
  • My baths are all in the bathroom sink, because I still fit laying down in the cradle
  • I usually sleep either in my carseat or in bed with Mom and Dad after middle of the night feedings
Lily's first picture
Drowning in the hospital's clothes
Sleeping on her first afternoon at home
Way too small for the bouncy seat
Apparently Grandma Sherry wasn't very entertaining
Meeting her Great-Grandparents
Family picture!
Dressed up to leave the house for the first time.
2 weeks old
Napping with Daddy
Our little burrito
Fourth of July
Napping through the parade
Dancing with Daddy

July 6, 2014

Lily's Birth Story

Lily's birth story is actually pretty boring typical. After being told that I would be induced on Monday the 9th at 39 weeks (you can read about my pregnancy and the reason for induction here) Mike and I went into hustle mode to have everything ready for Monday. We spent Friday afternoon painting our dining room - yes, I did spend multiple hours on a ladder cutting in the ceiling at 9 months pregnant - and then we went to see a movie for one last date night sans babysitter. We decided later that seeing a really sad (but wonderful) movie like Fault in our Stars is apparently a natural labor inducer. After sobbing my way through the movie, I started having contractions at about 1:30 am (Saturday). I slept off and on for the next couple hours and once I was having contractions every 5-6 minutes, I woke Mike up to head to the hospital. His response to having to wake up at 4:30am on a Saturday? "mmm... are you sure?" "Umm... 90... no, 75 percent... but yes." We couldn't get a hold of First Nurse, so we grabbed our bags and headed to the hospital.
Once we got to the hospital, we got checked in and I got hooked up to the monitors and checked. Turns out I was having minor contractions in between the ones I was counting, so they were actually coming every 3 minutes. I was also 80% effaced and almost 2 cm dilated (I had been 30 and 1 at my appointment 12 hours earlier). The doctor I had seen on Friday (Dr. Downard) was on call over night, so he talked to the doctor on call for the day (Dr. Lines) and they decided that even if labor slowed, they wouldn't send me home without a baby! They got me fully admitted and then recommended we try to sleep for a few hours and see how I progressed naturally. There was too much adrenaline and excitement to really sleep, but we relaxed and watched lots of Property Brothers and Yard Crashers.

At 10:30, Dr Lines came back in to check me. I was 2.5 cm dilated and 90% effaced, so she broke my water to try to keep things moving. That's also when Mike texted family to let them know that Saturday was the day instead of Monday. Labor continued progressing for about an hour, with my contractions getting more intense, but then they started slowing until they were coming every 7-10 minutes. At 1:30, they gave me Pitocin, a synthetic version of the hormone that stimulates contractions. It's an incredibly slow drip, so they only change the dosage every 30 minutes to try to find the "sweet spot" of increasing contractions, but not too far. Because of this, I had been warned that it could take up to 3 hours to get the right dosage. Luckily, it actually only took one minor dosage change, so we didn't have to wait long for labor to start progressing again.

Between 2 and 3, my contractions hit what I would call a 7 on the pain scale, but then again, I really have no idea what a 10 is, so who really knows. Anyway, during that same time Bob and Bev came up to visit, which was great because I was distracted. Mike also helped by reminding me that even though we didn't know how many contractions I would have to deal with, after every one, the number left got smaller. I would never have to have that contraction again. At about 3:15 I hit the point where I wanted something to help with the pain. I felt like if I wasn't hooked to the pitocin (and therefore the monitors) I would have gotten in the whirlpool bath and waited it out to see how bad the pain got, but since I couldn't, I was ready for an epidural. I had been told it could be up to an hour to get the epidural because of the anesthesiologists being in surgery, etc. but it actually only took about 15 minutes. My anesthesiologist was actually pretty funny as he told me about the risks ("1 in 50,000 epidurals lead to severe complications, compared to 1 in 500 births... and this would make the birth part way more fun") and did a great job. I've heard a lot of stories about women who get a little too much in their epidural and can't feel anything, but I didn't have that at all. I didn't have any pain, but did have that Novocain numb feeling from my belly button to my knees. 

My mom and dad arrived as I was getting the epidural, so we got to chat with them for a while before the doctor came back to check me again at 4. The pitocin was definitely working, as I was 4 cm, 90% effaced, and at -1 station with contractions every few minutes and much stronger (according to the monitor - I couldn't feel the pain to tell). After that we all just hung out and relaxed. In the next couple hours Melissa, Amanda, Jenny, Tyler and Ben all came to see us too.

At about 6:30, everyone was going to head to dinner, and I asked Mike to stay at least until the doctor had checked me again. Luckily, when she came to check me at 7:15 I was 8 cm, 95%, and 0 station; so I didn't feel bad for asking Mike to stay. It would have been a bummer if I was still a 4/5! After they had dinner, everyone just hung out in the waiting room so that Mike and I could take a nap. At about 9:30 the nurse came in, thinking I was going to be ready to push based on the intensity of the contractions on the monitors - I was completely asleep! At about 10, the doctor came in and checked me one last time. She said I was ready to go and she could even see baby's head. She was very laid back the whole time, and mentioned that I may have been able to push at 9, but since I was sleeping, it was way better to let my body do the work without me knowing it. They finished setting up the room and at 10:15 it as time to deliver!

Between the epidural and napping on my left side, I had zero function in my left leg. I had some control of my right leg, but when they put my left foot in the stirrup my foot slipped right off. Mike had to reach over and put it back in for me. Mike and Nurse Sarah held my legs for me and we laughed about being distracted by the hockey game on TV behind the doctor in between contractions. Because I had labored so long while sleeping, I really had very little pushing to do. It only took a very minor tear (2 stitches), 4 contractions (12 pushes) and 11 minutes later, at 10:26 pm, we had our baby girl! We looked at her and agreed that she was our Lillian Kay, no reason to pick a different name.

Lily was immediately brought to my chest for all of her initial tests and some cuddles as she got ready to eat for the first time. Unfortunately, she had a lot of liquid in her lungs that she was still working on getting up before she could breathe very well. Not bad enough to need taken for suction, but enough that combined with flat nipples, we couldn't get a good latch to breast feed. Luckily, I had a very good supply of colostrum, so I was able to hand express a half ounce for her to eat from a cup. After she ate, she got to meet all of the family that was waiting to meet her. Grandma Sherry, Grandma Bev, Grandpa Doug, and Aunts Melissa, Amanda and Jenny all got to take turns holding her (Grandpa Bob, Uncle Tyler, and Cousin Ben had gone home for Ben's bedtime).

After family left at about 12:30, Lily still wasn't able to latch, even with help from the lactation consultant, Angie. Because she didn't want to resort to a shield too soon, Lily had another cup feeding. She was then weighed, measured and had her first bath with Daddy and nurse Sarah - I was still waiting for my legs to work again. I was then helped to the bathroom and we all settled down to a much needed few hours of sleep.

The next day, we met with the lactation consultants again and decided to try using the nipple shield to help her latch on and start to figure out breast feeding. It is pretty much a silicone nipple that goes over your own nipple to make it longer and stimulate their sucking reflex. She was able to latch pretty quickly and eat, so it was worth the future difficulty (we'll want to wean off of it later) for her to be able to "figure out" breastfeeding pretty early. She has since been a champ at eating (great latch and efficient eater) but we still have to use the shield. Because she's eating so well, there's no real NEED to wean from it, just that it's one more thing to worry about losing! And now that I'm posting this so late, you'll get another post right away, as Lily is one month old tomorrow!