prepping to care for yourself

One of the things I completely didn’t think about while pregnant is the extreme change that MY body was going to go through when I gave birth. I was more then ready, willing, able, and capable to care for a newborn baby – but what about me. One of the hardest things I discovered post baby is that I really needed someone to take care of ME too. Thankfully I had a wonderful husband, mother and tons of other friends and family to help. I was stubborn though, I tried to do too much, too soon. I wanted to be the best mom possible (who doesn’t?!) and didn’t want to need someone, but I quickly discovered that I did. I have a few friends who are expecting babies soon so I want them and all soon-to-be moms realize that the phrase “it takes a village” is very true, and that you should trust in your village! Here are a bunch of random things that I learned from experience, hope they are helpful!

What to bring to the hospital (there are plenty of amazing lists and I won’t begin to attempt to copy but here are a few things I think are most important):

  • Slippers/warm fuzzy socks/flip flops – hospital floors = yuck! and cold!
  • Notebook and pen (or be prepared with an app on your phone to use to keep track of everything like feedings and diapers and medication for yourself, there are a lot of things that are based on a schedule and it’s very hard to keep track of!)
  • An old but big and fluffy towel from home; your own shampoo & conditioner & bodywash – the hospital grade is usually terrible (Thanks Emily)
  • Your own pillow!!! (bright/patterned pillow case so they don’t try to clean it and it will be lost forever)  I brought an airplane/neck pillow too because you’re doing a lot of upright sitting during labor and recovery. I also brought the boppy pillow which I found very helpful for breastfeeding but also for tentative/nervous guests (and Dads!) visiting you and holding the baby for the first time.  (Thanks Emily)
  • You don’t necessarily need to bring this with you but perhaps prepare a pile of your favorite maternity clothes for you to wear the first few days post partum. If you have a c-section someone can bring them into you – since you are there for 3-4 days after a c-section you will have more visitors and more photos taken in the hospital – call me vain but I wanted to be in normal clothes asap. I understand if you are only in the hospital for 2 days then you don’t need it and can wear the hospital gown, but by day 3 or 4 I wanted to appear somewhat normal.

What to buy from the drugstore so you don’t have to send your husband out searching to CVS at midnight after you get home from the hospital and there isn’t a plethora of items at your disposal (didn’t happen to me, but did happen to my poor brother, he is still traumatized I think).

  • PADS. Big, huge, large, with wings. And smaller thinner ones and then panty liners too. It goes on for weeks. Literally. Yuck.
  • Dermoblast*
  • Tucks pads*
  • Witch hazel*
  • Colace – it’s a stool softener – gross but so needed – you can take before delivery too to get your body ready
  • Nursing Pads**
  • Lanolin – nipple cream**

*Due to my c-section I didnt really need to use these things and therefore can’t explain too much, but they are to help if there is tearing/irritation “down there” – eek. If you don’t have a friend to talk to about it – ask me! Or ask a nurse after delivery – they are there to help!!

**If you plan to breastfeed you’ll want these things to help your body adjust.

Things to steal/take from the hospital

  • Everything that isn’t tied down – as stated above – you/your insurance paid for everything so TAKE it. diapers, wipes, formula, pads, swaddle blankets, hats, disposable underwear, bring an extra bag for it all!
  • You will also get a spray bottle thing from the hospital – to spray instead of wipe! oh yeah I went there – ask for two if you have two bathrooms!

Other things to buy for you:

  • at least one size up (two if you know you are going to have a c-section) yoga pants from old navy – you will still look / feel pregnant in the stomach area for a few weeks – accept it, wear the yoga pants and move on
  • at least one size up (two if you know you are going to have a c-section) (just make sure they are big and loose and comfortable!) – hanes cotton underwear – go to Target and buy a 10 pack – it’s all you will want to wear for a few weeks – then you will want to toss them!

With all that said – try to remember that you really have been through a traumatic experience. If it is an eight hour or 48 hour experience your body deserves a rest. Take the first two weeks and seriously recover. Make sure you have someone to help you pretty much 24/7. Your husband, your mother, sister, friend – ask for help and ask now. Two full weeks. If you do that – you will feel SO much better. Sleep. Eat a lot and eat whatever you want. (Speaking of eating – if people say that they want to bring you food, say thank you and request a specific day so that people don’t bring it all at once!! We had so much food for the first week, then week two we had nothing!) I did NOT do this. When my husband went back to work at day 9 I thought I could and wanted to do it on my own. I regret it. I never felt too terribly overwhelmed because many people stopped by often (my mom especially) but looking back I wish I had relaxed and let people help me. I had many people who wanted to be there for me but I was being too prideful. Let it go. You just had a baby. You brought life into this world (go YOU!) – now give yourself some time to rest and recover so you can be the best mom to your beautiful baby.

Do you have anything to add?

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30 things a day for 30 days

I need a jump start. I need a fresh start. I need to lose this weight. I need to feel better about myself. I need to be more productive. I clearly need and want a lot of things. Starting Saturday I will be doing 30 things a day every day for 30 days. (I have a mini surgery on Thursday so I am giving myself Friday to recover before starting.) 30 days to create a habit. Blog post for accountability.

  • 72 oz water
  • exercise (20+ min) (walking counts!)
  • eat a fruit
  • eat a veggie
  • skinny girl cleanse
  • log into my fitness pal
  • take a vitamin
  • NO diet coke
  • NO alcohol
  • 10 minute meditation(quiet time, quite music, snuggle with a sleeping Lyle)
  • 10 minute read (pleasure reading time!)
  • 1 hour no phone/comp (1 hour straight during the day with no connection to a device!)
  • 1 hour or less TV (1 movie / day on the weekend)
  • “I love you” Greg (was going to be kiss but I realized he is traveling, so an I love you will have to do on days I can’t kiss him!)
  • kiss Lyle
  • make Lyle laugh
  • sing a song
  • dance to a song
  • my365 photo (take on iphone and post to app)
  • get dressed (some days when I’m home all day this is tough!)
  • brush teeth
  • weigh myself
  • brush hair
  • lotion face
  • lotion hands
  • bio oil belly (silly stretch marks)
  • make the bed
  • email/text a friend
  • wash countertops
  • no clothes on the floor (in the bedroom, my bad habit!)

Okay so from January 21 through February 19, I can do it, right?

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weverb11 day 1

More info on weverb11 here. 

Choose one word.

Encapsulate the year 2011 in one word. Explain why. Imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2012 for you?
______________________
Without question the word to describe 2011 is buoy.  Buoy is defined as both a noun and a verb, and for me it can also be defined as a baby.
The baby story was told here. Greg wanted a boat. We both wanted a baby. I wanted the baby first … so our baby-to-be-born was nicknamed buoy.
As a noun buoy is defined: An anchored float serving as a navigation mark.
           It is nice because our anniversary is January 2 – so each new year is a new year to our marriage. Easy to remember the date and easy to keep memories straight. 2011 was our second year of marriage. We didn’t have a “bad” first year (2010) but it was definitely crazy! We moved into our new house, which promptly got flooded (twice), we went to a whole bunch of weddings and flew all around the world (Greg even got stuck in Germany due to that ash cloud, remember that?). We had visitors galore and went through a short stint of trying to conceive.  Some people claim the first year is the hardest year of marriage and for us it was a happy whirlwind. With that said 2011 was more solid. More this is where we are. This is where we are staying. Sure it was still a little crazy as I was pregnant for most of it, but I think it is a better way for us to define what our lives will be like. Yes, we still traveled, but not as much. We spent time with family and friends, but also with each other. I hope 2011 is a good “navigation mark” because it was a pretty amazing year.
As a verb buoy is defined: Keep (someone or something) afloat. 
            Greg kept me afloat throughout my pregnancy and labor and delivery. He was there for me supporting me, boosting me up, keeping me from drowning in my pregnancy hormones. The idea of our little man Lyle also helped to keep me moving and motivated to live life to it’s fullest. I think Greg would agree that we spent a lot of time this year staying above water. Work for him has been intense and I think I have kept him stable and helped to remind him the important things in life. Lots of things came on our plates but we managed them all by helping each other stay afloat.
To look back on 2011 I hope the word that will describe the year is successful. Greg has a big year ahead of him with work. I too am heading back to work at the start of 2012 and hope to successfully manage working 3 days and staying at home with our little man 2 days. I want to be successful in all aspects of our life.

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the induction that wasn’t (birth story part 2)

I had a feeling in my gut all weekend that I had kept to myself. I just had that mother’s intuition they talk about. I knew that my baby wasn’t being  born on Monday. We hadn’t talked directly to the doctor after the appointment. A nurse scheduled us for this induction – now she had been a fabulous nurse my entire pregnancy – SO awesome – but for some reason I just had that feeling. All weekend long we were happily telling people who asked “oh wow when are you due?” – “Monday!!!”  But in the back of my mind, I just knew it wouldn’t be happening.

Five am Monday morning came and we were up and jumping in the shower. Running around the house packing things and re-packing things. Happily talking about how our baby would be born this day. We took one last belly shot and a video of Lyle’s bedroom before he officially arrived. Off we went.

We arrived right on time at 7am, checked in with all the paperwork, were directed to our labor room, got changed into the gown and met our nurse. She asked a bazillion questions and I finally started to think to myself, this might actually be happening. Around 8am everything was set and we were told the doctor would be there soon in order to get things started. I had been told I would go straight to pitocin and they explained how it worked. They would slowly increase the amount of pitocin by 2ml every 15 minutes. We texted close family – woohoo here we go!

Then the doctor arrived.  Mind you this was not my doctor but someone else in the practice, I knew that it wouldn’t be my doctor that morning but I wasn’t concerned as my doctor was supposed to be on in the evening and I knew full well this was going to take all day – She asked a few odd questions – “what was the reason for the early induction?” “what exactly did Dr. K say to you?” “who scheduled this with you?” – Long story short because reliving it kinda sucks – we were too early for a non-medically necessary induction. Though there was a chance of shoulder dystocia and he was measuring very big – it still was not medically necessary and the hospital (and the practice) do not do inductions before 39 weeks. The nurse should never have scheduled me.

Yup – the nurse should never have scheduled the induction. Remember that mother’s intuition? No induction. Cue tears. So many tears. I had already told work I wasn’t coming back. I had told everyone I saw/texted/called/breathed next to that I was having a baby on Mondaaaaay! Oh it was the worst to get BACK in the car with all of our things, with our cute-as-can be car seat … empty. Huge let down. Speaking of huge, I was huge and uncomfortable and ready to have a baby. So ready.

The only good thing to come out of Monday was that while the doctor was waiting to hear directly from my doctor (just to be sure she wasn’t missing something medically necessary) she stripped my membranes. This was an experience. Imagine your typical cervical exams, but about 7 times worse. But as you’ll come to find out … the stripping did it’s job to get things started …

(how’s that for a cliffhanger!)

and because I can’t leave on such a sad note …

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big little man – (birth part 1)

{It is hard for me to write this – because I want to write a beautifully written, loving post dedicated to the most life changing day of my life – so bear with me as it might take a few days to get through it all.}

Since week 30 my stomach’s fundal height had been measuring 2 weeks ahead. I was told by many people not to get excited about an early birth because of this — it is just one of many types of measurements. I also knew the date of conception pretty accurately so I was sure the date wasn’t two full weeks off. So August 24th was still the date we were going with.

The weekend of my 35th week I was blessed with a family baby shower. It just so happened that a cousin of mine was due the week before me – so we partied together. Additionally, that weekend coincided with my grandfather’s 95th birthday – so there was a party to celebrate him too! My grandfather delivered hundreds of babies in his life as a doctor, he also raised nine children, and watched nearly 30 grand children be born. These two new babies are his 12th and 13th great-grandchildren – so he knows a thing or two about pregnancy, babies and birth. The first thing out of his mouth when he saw me “You’ve dropped – you have two weeks.” Very straight forward, very matter of fact.  I said “oh no, 5 more weeks!” He said, “Colleen you’ll have that baby in 2 weeks, I promise.” So … my mind started to get excited. I tried not to get too excited but, hey, he knows what he is talking about, right??

At 36 weeks we had maternity photos taken. I felt huge and looked huge … but the photos are beautiful. (I am so so happy I took them … I just wish we had done them about two weeks earlier.) The photographer was amazing and quickly put a few teasers on facebook which I shared saying “four more weeks!” – Welp, once again, the many friends and family in both the medical field and those not – said “oh wow, you’ve dropped – that baby is coming early!” or “wow! four more weeks?!?  I don’t think so!”  Once again, don’t get me excited people, I. have. four. weeks.

So then at my next doctors appointment she told me we would definitely need to do an ultrasound at 38 weeks to be sure of his size since once again he was measuring big. She started mentioning things like shoulder distocia and c-section, something I obviously wanted to avoid. So the wait for that ultrasound was long and frustrating. Finally the day came, my bags were packed  and we went into the ultrasound room — lights went off, cold gel went on, technician ready, measurements made, size determined — 8lbs 15 ounces at 38 weeks. Holy cow people that is nearly 9 pounds. They supposedly gain 1/2 a pound a week! That’s 10 pounds by 40 weeks!  HOLY CANOLI!  So there was more talk about c-sections, inductions and a “call me and we’ll talk about next steps.”

Tears. Lots of tears. Lots of confusion. Lots of phone calls to my mom and other mom’s who had c-sections. And then a decision between Greg and I – let’s try for an early induction and see if my body can do this on it’s own. I wanted to try for a vaginal delivery. I wanted the opportunity to feel contractions. (what was I thinking!? ha) I wanted to not have abdominal surgery.  We called the doctor the next day (a Friday) and she wasn’t available to talk – but they scheduled us for Monday – okay people we’re a go. Monday induction. 38 weeks 4 days. This was really happening.

We spent the weekend cleaning the house, preparing for a baby, and attending the wedding of a friend (yes, seriously!).

Sunday night we got the call to get the timing of our induction — be at the hospital at 7:00am. Okay, we are ready. We are ready to meet our big little man.

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He’s here!

Lyle Edward

born 8. 18.11

7:49pm

8 lbs 15 oz, 21.5″

After a 36 hour endeavor, our big little man entered the world via a cesarean birth. When he was born the two things I heard (from my seriously out-of-it state) were his tiny little baby cries and the many doctors and nurses saying “he’s a big boy!” I was able to nurse him within the first hour of his birth, which just happened the only item on my “birth plan.” We both passed all our tests with flying colors and left the hospital the required four days later.

He is now a healthy, happy 1 month old baby – can you believe it? Because I sure can’t. More unedited posts to come including the induction that never was, the birth, the recovery (still ongoing!), the baby stuff. baby clothes, Greg back to work, am I going back to work?, weight loss after birth, maternity and newborn photos … anything else you’re interested in? Let me know! Glad to be back to blogging.

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buoy’s bedroom

Here it is in all it’s iPhone 3 glory!!  We are about 90% done with the room with a few final touches to be added that you will see as I go.

Our second bedroom upstairs is a really big room so we are lucky to be able to keep a guest bed in the room. (I’m sure there will be some nights that at lesat one of us sleeps in here!)  The valence came with our bedding set; the quilt at the end of the bed was made by a family friend; and I hope to continue to add to a big pile of pillows for him to play with in the future:

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Here is the other side of the room — hello CRIB!  Along with the crib you see a set of shelves that we had from years ago that fit and match perfectly. There is also a little basket full of toys in the corner. I ordered another valence to match the other for this window … it’s on it’s way:

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Here’s the dresser and changing table, along with an Ikea mirror (that still needs to be painted!)  … the furniture is from Walmart!! It’s amazing.  You can kinda see the little thing that holds the diapers that I thought I would hate but I actually like hanging on the side of the changing table. The top drawer is full of changing “needs” and the other drawers have tons and tons of clothes! This little guy is ready to be a fashion plate.

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This bookshelf is another basement find from my first apartment after college. It’s perfect for this spot. Not theright color to match the rest of the furniture but it is on the other side of the room so it’s not too bad. Here you can see our most adorable turtle lamp ever(!), the sound machine, scent warmer, Make Way for Ducklings book and beautiful frame from one of my best friends; lots of soft lovies and future favorite books!

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Closer look at the crib area. That’s the moses basket he will be sleeping in for a while; a hand made blanket (from a coworker); the shelf with the video monitor; the bedding set (we have a breathable bumper for when he is out of the moses basket, this one if just for show I guess. We are trying to figure out what (if anything) to put over the crib. I’ve had some people scare me about things falling off (the crib is pulled away from the shelf wall so if things fell they would go fall to the floor) the wall so maybe we will do the wooden-letters-spelling-the-name thing, you know, when we tell people the name!

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More shelves and baby toy basket … along with the closet. With doors. I had grand plans to do the curtains a la Young House Love, but in the end we didn’t find any that really worked with the room and the white doors look so much better!

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And now the part that needs some work … the space between the mirror and the shelf will be a wall of frames. The frames are purchased, but the art to go in them – not so much. I’m working on it. Greg is desperate to get them up but I don’t want to put up *more* empty frames. (If you’re good you’ve counted 3 so far in the photos above!) Must get to ordering. Etsy here I come.

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The last but certainly not least. This corner currently holds the Ikea frames that will go up on the wall, and an under the bed storage container … but very soon, thanks to my in-laws, this will hold a rocker/recliner/glider in one! Oh my goodness I can’t wait. I actually think it is sitting at Walmart (for real guys, I never shop at Walmart, but their baby stuff is like crack and so inexpensive!!) waiting to be picked up by Greg’s big truck.

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oh! and one more thing! A rug!! The rug is ordered and on it’s way as well.

Okay so there is buoy’s bedroom. With 15 days until the due date and some pretty solid pre-labor feelings I am ready for him to come play any time now!

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