Parenthood

Top Ten Items – 0-3 Months

jan 23

Hello everyone!

Welcome back to my blog, or welcome to my blog if this is your first time here!

I’ve decided that since my last post featured my top five times – prenatal that I should also tell you my top ten items during Baby K’s 0-3 months.  Baby K is constantly changing and growing that sometimes items or strategies that worked at one point didn’t work again later.

1. The bouncer

I didn’t even think about where I was going to put Baby K when I was planing my baby registry. so good thing I was given a bouncer at my shower.  This became the item I used the most.  Even when we were going out to visit family, we took the bouncer with us because it was so light and portable and Baby K would sleep in it for hours.  We moved it all through the house to keep Baby K near if we got busy trying to complete other tasks.  It was also great for after feeding and burping him because it would keep him sitting up for a while if we needed our hands free.

2. Breast pump

When my milk came in right after I got home from the hospital I was in agony.  I pumped often during the first couple months after Baby K was born.  I could feed him, and then pump enough to fill two milk freezer bags afterwards.  Eventually, my milk regulated and I didn’t need to pump as much, but it’s still great to have if I need to leave Baby K to go somewhere.  I usually pump a bottle before I go out without Baby K.  HubBee and I attended a wedding early in October and while I pumped before I left, I needed to take my pump with me as we were gone for hours.  My pump could be adjusted to be a single pump and I could also put batteries in it to take it on the go.  When it was a regular feeding time, I went out to the car, pumped, and dumped the milk (which was really sad but I couldn’t do anything with it at the time).

3. Stroller with a bassinet

As we opted into getting an all-in-one carseat, I wanted a stroller that I could get a bassinet to use with it.  The bassinet was great and Baby K often slept in it while he was little.  It had a large canopy that kept him shaded and a bar that I used to drape a blanket over to shield from the sun coming from behind while also leaving a large opening for airflow.  We also used it for Baby K sleeping in the living room when we stored the stroller in the house.

4. Sleep sack swaddle

These were great for bedtime.  We had three and we used them all the time until Baby K fit into his sleepers.   We used them until they didn’t fit anymore.  Baby K ended up hating having his arms pinned, but we just wrapped it under his armpits and it was perfect.  The ones we used are a jersey knit material so they weren’t too warm for the summer and fall months that we used them.

5. Baby carrier

I am glad I picked one of these up as it was handy for wearing Baby K around the house for the odd nap or for taking Aries out for a walk.  Baby K didn’t like the process of being put into it, but once he was in and I was moving around, he would drop off to sleep.  It’s sometimes difficult to put it on by myself though.

6. Muslin blankets

I love these blankets.  They are so versatile and were handy for many situations.  I used them to help block the harsh sun from Baby K’s skin, to swaddle a little, as a blanket in the carseat or in the bouncer, to sit on outside when the weather was great.  I always keep one in the diaper bag because they are great for covering up to breastfeed as well if I want a little extra privacy.  I just knot two ends together and I can drape it around my neck to hang over me.  They also get softer everytime you wash them!

7. OBall

I was planning on keeping brands names out of this but I do feel the need to mention this toy, or anything similar.  Once Baby K started to grasp objects, this was the easiest for him to hold onto.  The ball part has small pieces that are connected to one another that Baby K could hold them with his tiny fingers.

8. Flannel wipes

I handmade a bunch of wipes to use with my cloth diapers.  Some of the flannel I took to make long “burp-cloths” for Baby K’s spit up.  We usually keep one everywhere Baby K generally hangs out and they are very absorbent enough that they wipe spit up well and we can toss in laundry once we are done with them.

9. Books

It really doesn’t matter what books you read when babies are newborns.  Whatever chapter book I was reading at night I started to read out loud for Baby K to fall asleep listening to.  They don’t understand what you are saying yet and newborns can’t see very well so pictures aren’t always necessary.  I saved picture books for when Baby K started staying awake for longer periods and could see a bit better.

10. Changing Pad

The changing station is great.  Baby K loves being on the pad and I always try to keep it fun for him.  Sometimes when he’s upset, I can put him down on the pad and he will instantly be happy, knowing that fun is coming.  I have the station set up in a way the makes it easy for us to change him and it was positioned well so if we had a “poo-cannon” then there wasn’t much that he could get dirty other than the wall and diaper can, both which can be easily wiped off.

There you have it, my top ten items for months 0-3 with Baby K.  I could go on to include the more obvious items, such as diapers and wipes and clothing.  We started cloth diapering full-time when Baby K was about a month and a half.  He was so small when he was born that he wore newborn sized diapers for nearly a month and then we started cloth diapers at home during the day after that.  Once we were comfortable with that we started cloth diapering on outings as well.  Halfway through September we figured out what we needed for overnight diapering and we started doing that as well.  I’ll talk about cloth diapers more another time.

Till next time!

SPark

 

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Parenthood

What I Packed for the Hospital

january 16 header

“What do I need to pack for the hospital?” was a common question I heard pregnant mothers ask when they come up towards the end of their pregnancy.

Chances are, if you check out your hospitals’ website, it will have a list of what to bring for new moms, dads, and babies.  I delivered at Mount Sinai in Toronto and their website had this checklist.

I’m just going to say that I wasn’t completely packed to go to the hospital when I went into labour.  Baby K decided to grace the world with his presence 11 days before his due date.  I was mostly packed but was missing a few important items that were definitely missed such as:

  • Clothes for HubBee
  • Newborn diapers and wipes
  • Clothes to go home in (or better clothes than what I had)
  • Pre-installed car seat
  • A better bag to have everything packed in

I’m sure as I go on I will think of other items.  But first I will explain these first five points.

Clothes for HubBee

All I had packed for him was pyjama pants.  I can’t remember if I packed extra boxers for him or not.  Regardless, he missed having an extra shirt.

Newborn Diapers and Wipes

I’m not sure if this is all hospitals, but sometime in the few couple years they stopped supplying the “tons of freebies” I’ve heard other mothers say they packed from their little port-a-crib’s cabinet.  I’ve mentioned this before, but I was given a doggie bag with a couple massive pads, a couple of diapers, some dried up wipes and sample sized Johnson & Johnson baby products.  The diapers lasted us till the pharmacy opened downstairs and HubBee went to get more.

The checklist told us to bring 20 newborn sized diapers and wipes.  Funny story about this though.  As we had decided to cloth diaper, I had applied for the Huggies freebie that would send a pack of newborn diapers and a sample pack of wipes.  I didn’t bother purchasing any and I was just going to throw these freebies into my bag once they arrived.  (As for the funny part, this pack didn’t arrive until September, and by then we had starting using size 1 diapers and we were getting into the cloth diapers full-time.)

Clothes to go home in (or better clothes than what I had)

I thought to save space when packing, that I would wear the same outfit home.  It wasn’t a bad idea as I only wore it for a few hours total that weekend.  My issue was now this massive pad I was wearing that bulked up my butt.  Yes, I was wearing skinny, pregnancy yoga pants.

Next time, I think I’ll try to wear my baggy sweat pants to the hospital, or try to remember to pack them at least.  I felt yucky enough walking out the hospital that I shouldn’t have had to worry about whether or not people could see my massive pad bulge through my pants.  This is just a personal thing and I kept saying to myself “I just had a baby, I don’t need to care about what other people think.”

Pre-installed Car seat

I didn’t want to install the car seat too early because I had fears that some other dumb driver would hit us and void the car seat before Baby K was even here.  My grand plan was that HubBee and I (but mostly HubBee) would install the carseat during the long weekend in August.  Obviously that didn’t happen.  The carseat needed to be installed while the car was on a flat surface and so HubBee ran into the issue of trying to install the carseat on an angle in the parking garage while I sat in the hospital with our newborn.

I don’t know when would’ve been a better time to install the car seat.  Maybe at the three weeks remaining mark as that’s when I started doing the “come out now, baby” dance.  Next time I should probably make sure it’s installed earlier.

A better bag to have everything packed in

We used a hard cased rolling bag for the hospital.  While I like that it rolled, I didn’t like that it wasn’t convenient to get stuff out of the bag.  As we were in a shared room, we had our curtained area that didn’t leave us a lot of floor space.  It would have been nice to just have a duffel bag that opened wide at the top that way it could just stay on the floor.

The Checklist

Remember the checklist I mentioned above?  I’m going to talk about that now.  I liked Mount Sinai’s checklist because it was actually something that you could check off points as you completed them.  It also had other things to think about that you may not have thought about before.

There’s the obvious things: health card, birth plan (if you have one), clothes, toiletries, hair brush, phone charger, credit card (if you want the private or semi-private room), baby clothes, etc.

There’s not so obvious things: nursing pillow, personal pillow WITH a colourful pillow case, handheld fan, snacks, water shoes, bath mat (for a water birth), pens and paper, labour support items, watch with the second-hand, and extra receiving blankets to help stabilize baby in the car seat.

And then there’s the things that other parents tell you to swipe from the hospital, but they don’t really supply you with anymore, such as: diapers, wipes, and maxi pads.

Something that wasn’t on the checklist that I’m glad I brought was my iPad.  We were able to tap into the free WiFi at the hospital and we watched movies and TV shows on it all day on the Friday that we just sat in the hospital doing nothing.  We also had an extra long charge cord (that fit both our phones and the iPad) that would reach from the wall to the bed while it was sat up.

 

Packing for next time

Next time I have to pack for the hospital I would get a large duffel bag (or a bag that at least zipped on top and opened wide).  A bag with wheels is handy.  I would pack two extra outfits for both HubBee and I (something comfortable to wear at the hospital and something to go home in).  I would still pack the iPad to watch movies because that helped the day pass on Friday.  I still would bring my own pillow, as the pillows were thin and HubBee ended up with both of the pillows.  I would pack more snacks than just the pack of granola bars that I brought.  The hospital was having work done in their cafeteria/kitchen so pretty much all of my food was prepackaged and bland.  There was also no vending machine nearby that I could see so HubBee had to wander elsewhere for food for himself.

I had a birth plan and do you know where it was during my delivery?  In the bag in the car.  It wasn’t anything special, just more like who I wanted in the room and what I wanted to happen if things were to go lop-sided.  Stuff I could have easily communicated to HubBee and my mother before the delivery.  I wont bother wasting the paper next time.

My toiletries bag was far too small for what little I packed.  It is now my wipes bag for diapering on the go.  I would get a bigger one that would definitely fit two tooth brushes and a hair brush in.  Everything was spilling out so I had to fish it all out of different areas of the suitcase anyways.  I also wish I had dry shampoo too as my hair was pretty gross by the time we left the hospital.

I kept all of the baby’s things in the diaper bag, which I was glad for, but I wish that I had bit the bullet and bought the diapers and wipes needed for the hospital rather than wait for a sample pack that didn’t have a delivery date for me.  I think I mentioned before about the Huggies pack that I had applied for that didn’t arrive until September and Baby K had already outgrown the size by then.  I would also make sure to have a newborn sized sleeper.  I didn’t have much for newborn sized clothes and definitely didn’t have a newborn sized sleeper.  Baby K swam in a 0-3 month sleeper that I did bring.  I packed two muslin blankets, but next time I would pack a third.  I used two of the blankets to stabilize Baby K in his car seat (something I had learned at the discharge class if the support pillows that come with the car seats didn’t work).  I would have the third then to cover Baby K.  If its winter next time though, instead of a third muslin blanket I would pack something heavier to cover him in the car seat.  Next time I would remember to have the mirror set up on the head rest to view the carseat.  Even though I sat in the back with Baby K on the way home, HubBee kept asking if he was okay and I think being able to see him in the mirror would have helped him for the drive home.

I’m sure I’ll think of other things by the next time I’m in this position.  But these were definitely the main things I wouldn’t want to forget for the next time.

Happy packing!

SPark

Parenthood

Baby K’s Birth Story

jan 12 header

I felt like I had been pregnant forever.  Most pregnant women probably say that though.

I was still nauseous and taking Diclectin once a day, still throwing up every few days (usually after dinner).  I was constantly hot because of my tiny furnace in my belly and because of the heat in the middle of the summer.  I was tired and finding harder and harder to do my job so I announced the last day I was going to work (July 27th), which was two weeks before my due date on August 14th.

I think some people forgot I do physical labour for my job, some of the physical part involving bending and getting down on my hands and knees to pull weeds and pluck dead blossoms from flowers, then carry said weeds and dead blossoms to my vehicle to dump elsewhere.  Did I mention that it was also the middle of the summer and hot?  It’s crazy how some people judge mothers for leaving work early before the birth of their baby.

That last Sunday in July (29th) after my last day of work was also my Baby Shower.  It was so much fun and it was so amazing seeing everyone that came out!  I was definitely exhausted by the end though.

Monday the 30th was the start of my organizing and sorting.  I still had baby K’s room to set up and gifts to put away.  I sorted through the clothes, put the smallest in the hamper to wash and packing the rest up, by size, to put away until they were needed.  I also noted that I had only gotten one outfit that was newborn sized.  That didn’t concern me though as almost everyone I know told me that they never needed newborn sizes, or if they did, they used them for such a short while that it was hardly worth having them.

Tuesday the 31st, more organizing to be done.  I went to the nearest Len’s Mill Store to get fabric to make cloth wipes to go with my cloth diapers.  I then made the first 1/3 of the wipes that evening.

Wednesday, August 1st, my grandmother who was staying it us since a few days before the shower decided that I needed some more newborn sized clothing.  We went to Babies ‘R’ Us for that.  I also looked at the stroller I want to get, and asked the clerk questions about it (like if they did price match, as the stroller was around $200 cheaper on Amazon, which they did so long as it was a Canadian Store or a “.ca” website).  I was going to wait for HubBee for the stroller, but picked up three more Newborn sized onsies.  I finished the last of the cloth wipes that evening, and washed everything for the baby.

It was this night that I realized something had changed.  My tummy was bothering me and I was up most of the night trying to figure out if I was going into labour or if I having Braxton Hicks.  I had no idea what to expect either way and the soreness wasn’t going away.

Thursday, August 2nd.  I woke up HubBee and told him I was going to go to my OB appointment early.  I hadn’t slept for any length of time all night and something was definitely going on.  HubBee had also predicted weeks ago that Baby K was going to come on August 2nd and I was starting to think this was a real possibility.

We discuss him taking the car to the job site in case I get admitted to the hospital and I told him where the pile of hospital stuff was that he would need to bring with him if that was the case.  He went off to work and I packed a bit more before leaving with my mother for Toronto to see the OB.  I could barely eat, and I was starting to pinpoint a start and an end to the soreness in my tummy, which was starting to look like what little I knew about contractions.  They were about 45 seconds long and about 4 minutes apart.

We get to my appointment and I tell the receptionist that I think I’m having contractions.  Embarrassingly enough, I’m crying at this point.  They get me in to see the OB quickly and to check and see if I’m dilating.

I’d like to point out that I don’t see my OB.  I see one of his fellows, who checks and tells me that I’m not in labour, that my body is just preparing for labour and ends the appointment with a “See you at your appointment next week.”

This does nothing to ease my discomfort, or fears, or whatever it was that I was feeling at this point.  My mom and I get back in the car and drive the hour back home.  I’m still having these contractions and they were still the same as before.  I eventually stopped keeping track of them, expecting them to just end sometime soon since the doctor told me that I wasn’t actually in labour.

I packed an organized for a little while, but I was still sore and having these contraction so I went to lay down.  I finished my mat leave application and put on a movie and tried to sleep.  I didn’t sleep at all and by the middle of the afternoon, my soreness had turned to pain and my heating pad was not comforting me anymore.

I moved to the bathtub and updated HubBee.  The hot water helped for a while, but eventually that wasn’t helping either.  HubBee got home and helped me back to bed and showered while I got ready.  He called his sister, who told him to call the hospital, which he did and they talked to the both of us and told us we needed to go to the hospital (I was moaning and groaning in pain).

HubBee packed the car and helped me in, with a bucket because we had at least an hours drive to the hospital I was delivering at in Toronto.  I think we left just before 6pm, and traffic was bad so it was nearly 7:30 before we arrived at the hospital.

I had realized that I had lost my mucus plug before arriving at the hospital.  I told the triage nurse as much (while crying, mind you).  She told me that I didn’t need to be scared.  I wasn’t scared at this point, I was in agony.  She led me to a room to check me, and told me I was only 1cm dilated.  Say what?

I declared that I wanted an epidural.  Which was something I wasn’t planning on getting at any point.  I think had they told me that I was almost there (or whatever the latest is that you can get one) then I would’ve skipped and stuck it out for the remainder.  All I had were the stories of long labours, waiting for the centimetres to grow until you were fully dilated.  I thought I was in for a long night and I just wanted relief.

The triage nurse left to get a doctor to check me so that I could be admitted.  It was well after 8pm at this point and he finally came and checked me.  I was 3-4cm dilated now and I was being moved to labour and delivery.  The anesthesiologist was there waiting for me and we were well on our way to relief.  It was after 9pm when all of that was said and done and now we were waiting.

During this time the nurses were noticing that after every contraction I had, Baby K’s heart rate would drop.  They kept moving me from side to side and it would help temporarily but then the next contraction would happen and his heart rate would drop again.

An OB came and checked me at one point and said I was already 8-9cm dilated.  Literally, 8cm on one side and 9cm on the other.  I’m not sure how that happens, but that’s what she said.  She said she was going to go and talked to the head OB, who was doing a c-section right then and she would be back.  This was before midnight, and HubBee was still holding onto the hope that he would be right and Baby K would come that day.

When she came back, she checked again and I was now 9cm on one side and fully dilated on the other.  She had been instructed to massage the side to get it dilated as well.  It was almost time to push and HubBee was finally told that Baby K would not be here until after midnight.

Friday, August 3rd.  We were joined by the head OB and it was finally time to push.  It was actually a feeling of something I needed to do.  I knew I needed to start pushing and I asked the doctor and he told me to push next time I had a contraction.  So I did.

After a few pushes the doctor said that I wasn’t to strain my heart, so they weren’t going to make me kept pushing if the delivery didn’t seem to be moving.  Basically, I would go for a c-section.  I had an “oh hell no” moment then, and I pushed.  It was only a couple of pushes later and Baby K was being held up in front of me.  He was wiped off and put on my chest to hold.  It was so amazing finally having him in my arms.

I know they delivered my placenta and I know they gave me a couple of stitches but all I could do was stare at this tiny baby that weighed nothing that was on my chest.

The labour and delivery unit must have been busy because it was after 4am before we were moved to our room in recovery.  We opted out of the private room and got the last bed in a four bed ward.  It wasn’t a big deal as Baby K slept through all of the other babies crying and the other families were discharged or moved to other floors by the middle of the day on the third.  We were not joined by anyone else until the morning of the 4th, but we were preparing to be discharged at that point.

I will do another post on what I packed for the hospital.  I don’t think hospitals give you much for freebies anymore as all I received was a little doggie bag with my peri bottle and 5 diapers and a few wipes that dried up because they weren’t in anything to keep them moist.  There was also a couple of massive pads that when with the mesh panties and a little box of sample sized Johnson & Johnson products.

Stay tuned!

SPark

 

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