What I am packing in my hospital bag

With my second child due in a couple of months, I decided to review all the fun labor and delivery info available out there – most recently Pinterest. There are lots of different posts about “what to pack” and some of them seem a bit much, to me. People and hospitals are different, so to each her own, but this is what worked for us last time, and what I will be packing this time. I would take a tour of your labor and delivery unit and ask questions. Sometimes you have a shared room, sometimes they are small, sometimes you have a shower or a bath, sometimes you don’t. Also, sometimes your recovery room doesn’t have a lot of extra room and some hospitals don’t allow husbands to stay the night. We stayed at our hospital one night – other hospitals require two. If you have a c-section, you will probably stay 3 days. All these factors may effect your packing list.

packing list

 
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Adventures in Breastfeeding + Altered Shirt Tutorial

Little man is 7 weeks old now; where has the time gone!? Actually, much of it has been spent sitting on the couch watching Netflix and breastfeeding. Not many complaints here, though. My wonderful husband has done a great job with most of the cooking and house upkeep so that I can feed Gabe and keep him happy.  Plus, I get to stare at his sweet face on cuddle him. And steal lots of baby kisses, don’t forget about those.

It has been nice, though, that he has started going longer between feeds. It’s nice to have a little break!

Breastfeeding for a new mom can be a bit of a surprise (at least for me and those that I have talked to). Much of the time you expect it to be such a natural thing, but it can be hard work! Between getting that baby to latch correctly, worrying about supply, and having sore and sensitive nipples, it’s no wonder our breastfeeding rate is one of the lowest in the world. Having said that, nowadays there is so many resources available to new moms that can help. Le Leche League and hospital run courses are just the tip of the iceberg – just do a Google search!

Get through some of the tough patches and the benefits of breastfeeding make themselves more clear. Besides the health benefit of the milk itself, the amount of money we save, and the bonding experience, I really think little Gabe would cry much more if it wasn’t for breastfeeding. We are lucky that so far, he has never been inconsolable. If he starts to cry, it is usually because he is hungry. If he is crying for another reason, then breastfeeding automatically fixes the problem. Nothing the boob won’t fix and it’s always a pleasure having a happy baby.

My biggest breastfeeding problem currently? Trying to find clothes I actually want to nurse in (and can afford)! I think I have finally found the solution: altered camis/spaghetti-strap tanks with a nursing bra under a loose or stretchy shirt. This makes nursing easy and discreet and way cheaper than buying specialty nursing clothes. Sometimes nursing tanks don’t offer much support; by altering these tanks it is easy to choose the support you want by wearing it with a nursing bra.

All you need is:

Easy!

All the tanks I used were fitted, so there was no droop in the back. It is so easy to nurse in any top!

He’s Here! Birth Story

I haven’t been on the computer much these last few weeks because our handsome little man has been keeping me busy! Gabriel Joseph was born on May 12th, at 5:22am. We named him after Marc’s father, Joseph Gabriel (which we planned even before we knew we were having a boy) and it just so happens, they share the same birthday as well! Gabriel also decided to make his appearance the day before mother’s day (the day before I was due), so it was an extra special weekend.

Dad holding his son for the first time

Gabriel is currently asleep, snuggled onto my chest; the perfect spot to give lots of baby kisses. We are absolutely in love with him and think he is the sweetest thing ever. He is quite alert, even in the beginning, but he has been quite kind in the sleep department at night. In fact, there has only been 2 sleep-deprived nights, and that was a result of food I ate that didn’t sit well with him (broccoli the first time and Chinese food the second time). He sleeps 2.5-4 hour stretches at night, and usually goes to sleep easily after being changed and fed. We feel truly blessed!

Now onto our birth story, which is not sugar coated, may be a little TMI for some, but it’s the honest truth (click the “more” link under the picture to continue reading)

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Nursery sneak-peak: Refinished furniture

The nursery is just about all completed. I need to put some pictures in frames, but I didn’t want to do the big reveal until I got some sweet baby pictures in them. But I will share with you some of the projects!

We decided to try and find a long dresser to use as a changing table and when looking on Craigslist was a bust, I made plans to hit some yard sales. Marc had never, ever, even once, been to a yard sale! We use to go quite often when we were children, but I hadn’t gone in some time. Luckily for my husband, the first yard sale we hit was a success! We brought home a dresser AND a nightstand for $30!

I sanded, primed, and used a sample size jar of paint to do the night stand. I am stashing all my breast-feeding supplies and burp cloths there since it is near the glider. Remember when I repainted the glider and said how great those sample sizes of paint were? Well, the size and cost is awesome, but the paint quality is not. I realized this after I painted the dresser. I bought a quart of satin paint for the dresser and the difference was HUGE. I didn’t even sand most of the dresser, just primed it, and it only needed one full coat of paint and some touch ups. All the other pieces of furniture I did with the sample paints had about 3 coats and still needed touch ups.

I really wish I would have taken a real “before” picture of the dresser. The old drawers only give you a snapshot. I LOVE how the dresser turned out! The blue was so lovely to work with and so pretty! I bought some regular knobs at Wal-mart and I just love how the dresser turned out.

We saved  lots of money by going this route as well:

  • Nighstand: $10
  • Dresser: $20
  • Primer: $9 (and used for other projects)
  • Sample of orange paint: $3
  • Quart of blue paint: $16
  • 12 knobs: $14

For less than $100 we have two pieces of furniture! You can’t even buy a dresser for that much, and sometimes you can’t even find a night stand for less than $100!

37… or 36 Weeks Along. EDD and Induction Rant

Sunday I supposedly hit the 37 week mark in my pregnancy. Although, when I count from ovulation, I am about a week behind. So really, I am closer to 36 weeks than 37.

Does a week off really matter? I guess only if the little Mr. decides he wants to be in there for 42 weeks (well, technically it would be only 40, since the first two weeks you aren’t even pregnant…). Most midwives and doctors alike don’t want you going past 42 weeks, so if they say I am 42 weeks, but I know I am only 41 weeks, it could be a problem. But we can cross that bridge if we get to it.

I’m feeling brave. Here’s the latest pregnancy picture:

Have you ever done internet research on due dates? It’s pretty crazy. Maddening really. There is really no accurate way to estimate due dates – even with a scan. Even searching “how to estimate due dates’ can get a bit confusing! I know exactly when I ovulated and when the egg implanted (thanks to Natural Family Planning/Fertility Awareness Method), yet the doctors have my estimated (key word there) due date about a week off.

You are considered full term at 37 weeks – 42 weeks (God forbid you go over!), yet two of those weeks you are technically not even pregnant. This logic states that you ovulated about two weeks after you started your period; something I do NOT do, and can vary with many other women.

For those who have absolutely no clue when they got pregnant (often due to hormonal issues; PCOS, Menopause, etc.), they have to depend measuring correctly via sonogram or ultrasound. Did you know that ultrasounds can be 2 pounds off? There is a big difference between a 5 pound baby and a 7 pound one (about 4-5 weeks gestation, sometimes).

So if your doctor estimates your due date 2-3 weeks ahead of schedule, come 42 weeks they want that baby out (even if there is no sign of distress from mother or baby), and you can be induced and deliver a baby that is really only 39 weeks. And not all babies at 39 weeks are ready to be born (hence why you probably haven’t gone into labor yet).

It just amazes me (and annoys me) how much information there is out there about why you shouldn’t induce in almost all cases, yet we live in a time where (according to the CDC) about 20% of labors are induced (another study, placed the rate at closer to 40%). I’m not just blaming the doctors either – mothers play a big part in it as well.

I guess this rant/babble goes along the same lines of why I get so confused when pregnant women make no attempt to educate themselves about anything regarding the health of themselves and their baby during pregnancy. There is so much information out there so readily available, why not take advantage of it? Even 5 minutes on Google and you could learn a few things.

I’m not saying there is no reason to induce, sometimes there is. I’m not getting on a high horse and saying that all women, everywhere, should have a natural, unmedicated birth. I’m saying that no matter what decision we make, it should at least be a somewhat educated one. And if you have internet, there should be no excuse.

It is also very easy to get biased information. If you are searching around on a certain topic, make sure you look at both sides and check your sources. It is very easy to find the information you want to see by how you word the search terms.

Anyways *gets off soap box*

I’m in no hurry for this little guy to make his appearance just yet. It may be uncomfortably warm, painful to roll over in bed, and unpleasant to have feet jammed up in my ribs, but we need to get moved and settled into our new house (which would close already if the selling bank would submit a from). I think my thighs are growing exponentially and it’s getting quite difficult to bend over, but I would rather not have to bring a baby home to a house full of unpacked boxes! We can revisit these feelings if we ever get settled into the new home.

 

Burp Cloths DIY Instructions and Variations

Last night I got the sewing bug and decided to make some more burp cloths for our little guy that should be here in just a few weeks. There are lots of different ways to make burp cloths, but it mostly boils down to two different variations:

Enhanced cloth diaper (to be used as burp cloth), where fabric is sewn onto the middle of the diaper, like HERE and HERE.

and for lack of a better description, a more “from scratch” or layered burp cloth. These burp cloths are usually shaped to fit around your shoulder, or in a rectangle, and utilizes different fabrics on one side and more absorbent fabric on the other side (or double sided flannel).

I made some of the second variety.

I love using Homemade by Jill’s basic template to get started. I like the curve because it allows the cloth to be up against your neck and over your should comfortably. I too, like to use flannel as my go-to pretty burp cloth fabric; I like how soft it is.

Decorative fabric to use for burp cloths:

  • Flannel (my favorite)
  • Fleece
  • Quilting or non-stretch cotton

Absorbent layer/side:

  • Another layer of flannel
  • Cloth diapers (prefolds or the 1-ply, thin layer kind, using 2 layers)
  • Terry cloth/recycled towel

Different variations:

  • Flannel on both sides
  • Flannel on both sides with a thin layer of cloth diaper or batting in the center
  • Flannel on one side, cloth diaper on the other
  • Flannel on one side, terry/towel on the other
  • Fleece on one side, terry/towel, or cloth diaper on the other side
  • Cotton fabric on one side, terry/towel, or cloth diaper on the other side

Directions:

Prewash all fabric and print out template

Cut out a layer of decorative fabric using template

Cut out the absorbent layer or side, or cheat like I do, and lay the decorative fabric wrong side up against it, and sew around the edges, leaving a spot open to turn right-side out.

Trim the edges and turn right-side out.

Tuck open edge inside and stitch around the whole burp cloth

And you are done!

Fleece and flannel burp rags

Nursery Glider Redo, AKA the Weekend Project from Hell

I bought a glider rocking chair and ottoman off of Craigslist the other day for $60. It was in pretty good condition, but I wanted to make it more colorful and match my imaginary, soon-to-be nursery.

After reading a ton of blog posts about refinishing and painting furniture, I felt super confident that this would be easy enough to do.

One of these days our house will finally close and then we can finally move in and get things ready for baby, but until then, I am left with crafting in the spare bedroom and on our small balcony. Hopefully Friday we can sign the final papers!

Here are the before and after pics (excuse the mess, we are packing up awaiting the move):

Glider chair before and after (before I put the arm cushions back on)

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Updates and Cloth Diaper Questions

I’ve been gone for a while from here with all the stuff going on away from the computer.

Still in the process of buying a house, though we should be getting closer to being home owners any day now. The house we are in contract with wants to close on April 16th, which we would love. It’s an older home with some issues that we are trying to resolve before moving ahead, though. Fingers crossed the house closes in time and the baby isn’t early!

Baby is a growing (and so is my belly)! We did our birth unit tour a couple of weeks ago. We have Kaiser insurance and it seems they are really working hard to make it a baby friendly and mom friendly atmosphere. We have been seeing nurse midwives and hope to have a natural, unmedicated birth. It’s also nice that their birth ward is only a few years old and their rooms are large and cozy. They have no nursery, all babies room-in (except if they have to go to the NICU) and all rooms are private, so dad’s can stay the night. While we wanted a home birth (but it was way too expensive in this area with our current insurance) we feel that this hospital will still be a good place to give birth.

I had my baby shower last week and we are so incredibly blessed to have so many family and friends who are generous and supportive. We pretty much have all that we need, except for a few things here and there.

Cloth Diaper Decisions

I have been ordering  a few different cloth diapers this week. I have prefolds, so I ordered a few diaper covers, and a few different pocket diapers. Anyone have experience with the Charlie Banana diapers? Their design says you can put the cloth insert inside the pocket and the disposable insert outside the pocket; can you put the cloth insert outside the pocket as well?

I like the diapers you can get multiple uses from before washing – diaper covers, GDiapers, (which seem a bit expensive to me when you have to buy the inserts, the plastic liner, and different sizes) etc. You can remove the insert or the prefold, and if there aren’t any leaks, you are still good to go with the the cover. I have never used cloth diapers before, being this is our first child, but it seems that you have to wash the other pocket diapers every time you change your child, because you put the insert inside the pocket (Bumgenius, FuzziBunz, etc). Although it looks like BumGenius has a new diaper where you do put the insert on the outside.

There is just so much to wade through with cloth diapers! I know everyone has different preferences and what works for one child may not work for the next.

Any other diapers out there that have no-stuff inserts?

 

Free Printables for the Home!

Since I have a baby on the way and going through the process of buying a house, I have been wasting spending time on the internet looking at home decor and decorating ideas on a budget. I love all the free printables available online! So many cute things that just  need to be printed and framed.

Here’s a list I have compiled (and still compiling) on Pinterest. I have a few invites left if you need one, just send me a message or email.

If you already have an account, Follow Me on Pinterest

Here are some of the free printables you can find on my Pinterest (click the image to view the different printables and links)

A Happy Moment

DePhoMo #2

Yogurt with strawberries and a decorated Christmas tree

Why is this a happy moment, you ask?

For one, a decorated tree in our home makes me even more excited for Christmas and spending time with family.

Two – I’m eating yogurt (my favorite yogurt – Strauss European Whole Milk Vanilla Yogurt served with thawed frozen strawberries because they aren’t in season). This is a big deal because I’m finally, after 11 weeks of feeling yucky, saying goodbye to the annoying “morning” sickness  (almost 17 weeks along!) and able to eat some real food – even if I still have food aversions to meat and vegetables.