Tuesday, March 19, 2019

HOSPITAL BAG, ROUND TWO.


I have a week until my second c-section, and even though my first was also planned and I had watched 400 Youtube videos on "what to pack for a c-section," I still packed ALL THE WRONG THINGS. Pants that I thought would be low enough to sit below my incision (didn't realize what "bikini cut" meant), the boppy pillow, diaper bag for the baby, a razor..lol...

And of course, it's a lot of personal preference, but I really do feel like I learned a lot the first time around, so I'm sort of overly excited about what's in my hospital bag now. I don't think I need to mention certain things like, a toothbrush for example - so I'll skip over some of the basics and just share the good stuff, and why it's in my bag. Some are c-section specific, some aren't.

So let me get to it! (I don't have much time!!)

What I've packed:

NIGHTGOWNS - if I learned anything with my last c-section experience, it was that PANTS ARE A NO. Or, ok. Most pants. I did pack one pair this time, but let me tell you what I learned about c-sections: even if you THINK they are low enough, or high enough, or loose enough - those nurses are coming around to your room what feels like every two hours to check down there, and if you just had abdominal surgery do you really think you're going to be able to lift your pelvis up so she can pull your pants down? Probably not. Even just shifting around in bed is hard enough, and you'll want ZERO pressure on the incision. ZERO. And obviously anything that buttons down will be easiest if you plan to nurse. You're going to basically need to be able to be partially naked at any second, so I think nightgowns are where it's at. 


I'll have a three-night stay, so I got two of these from Target. The first day / night, I wore the hospital gown and loved every second of it. But eventually you remember that the back is wide open and you may want to leave your room.

.....pants - Ok, so I AM actually bringing a pair of pants. BUT I THINK these will work. I guess I'll have to report back, lol -  but I thought for "going home" these would be great. They're maternity so super stretchy, have a high-waistband that can fold up or down and as long as I wear something long enough to cover my butt, you shouldn't be able to tell I'm wearing an adult pull-up. I thought these would be great to lounge around in post-partum too. *VERY, VERY LONG. I cut with scissors.


To wear home with these, I just packed a black nursing tank and a long pink sweater.

Always Discreet Underwear - diapers. Ok, they're diapers! But hear me out! This is what I'd probably suggest the most to anyone, c-section or not - but especially with a c-section! I know everyone raves about those mesh undies that the hospital provides, and I did wear them for a day. But I found that getting the enormous pad they give you to actually stick and stay in the undies was hard. And you're not going to want to be standing up and taking those undies on and off and messing with them. These have the pad built right in, are high-waisted enough that they won't mess with your incision AND stretchy enough for the nurse to pull down and poke around in. I'm not kidding, I wore them at home for weeks too because pads are just terrible.

An eye mask - So many days / nights in the hospital, so many lights. During the day, I found it really hard to nap for obvious reasons. But then at night, the nurses are still coming in and out all the time, so I always had a light on near the door of my room. I'm not sure if it HAD to be on now that I'm thinking about it, but it always was.

Socks for delivery - if you are having a c-section, get yourself some cute socks. My hospital provided a pair of grippy socks, but they were huge...and beige. And I decided not to wear them. Then then THE MINUTE I got into the operating room, I regretted that decision! They keep that place at like, 50 degrees. FREEZING.

Slippers - I wore leather sandels into the hospital and then brought plastic flip flops for the shower last time, but I REALLY wished I had something else. I do have actual slipper-slippers at home, but I don't want to look too granny-granny. These were $5 at Walmart and they'll be perfect for walking back and forth to the ice machine.


These are sold out online, but I did see THESE in store at Target and might be even cuter.

Bathrobe - I like the idea of those fancy, floral robes some girls wear, but that's just not me. I'm bringing my actual bathrobe to wear over my nightgowns in case I feel cold, or that I just need it. A little granny looking, but I find it comforting because you're basically lying in bed sick. So think about what you'd want in that situation. *PS: DEFINITELY NOT a white robe. Dark colors ONLY.

Your own towels - wish this wasn't true because it takes up the most space in my bag, but it's true. It's not a hotel. They aren't known for their nice plushy, towels. I packed one large towel for showering and a hand towel for my face.

For the shower, I packed body wash and a loofah I can just throw out afterwards. Standing up DOES NOT FEEL GOOD, so I thought that would make it easier to suds up quickly. I usually use bar soap, but that felt hard last time. 

Makeup wipes - After Emily was born, I didn't even think about washing my face until the next afternoon and having wipes would have been GENIUS. No one wants those eyelashes you get after you've half cried the mascara off, lol.

Nice smelling lotion - I don't plan on really showering during my stay this time, besides a super quick rinse off, and I don't know - I just think having some really nice smelling lotion will feel nice. (Something natural that won't irriate the baby though.)

Nipple cream - I didn't bring any last time, but I probably should have. I just thought, WOW THIS HURTS A LOT. OH WELL.

Small makeup bag - not for makeup. Well, maybe for makeup depending on what you like to keep near you - but DEFINITELY bringing a small little something that zips up to collect all my crap that would otherwise be scattered on the tiny table that sits next to the bed. You know: pack of gum, chapstick, a pen, phone, the nipple cream lol. Then it's not all out in the open, or falling off the tiny table and onto the floor.

Blanket for John - didn't do this and John ended up going out to our car and grabbing our dogs blanket to sleep with. We didn't ask if we could get him a blanket, and maybe we could have? But I've heard this story too many times so I assume they're just trying to make husbands as uncomfortable as possible as payback or something.

iPad - My hospitals TV channel options were limited - so I was glad I thought to pack the iPad last time because I had that to watch and it was nice to have headphones in and felt like I had some privacy. I just started watching Working Moms on Netflix but decided to save the rest for when I can't sleep at the hospital. Probably good for Facetiming family too, which I did not do, but should have...

CAMERA - OBVIOUSLY. I know. But the pictures from Emily's delivery are my absolute favorite thing in the world. I felt sort of obnoxious at first and I wasn't sure it was going to be allowed, but there are so many people in the room with a c-section, someone will help you. They volunteered to! And they'll even get all in there and get some of the gory stuff if you're into that.

And the reminds me! IF you are having a c-section, they don't want you to bring all of your things in right away, so anything you want before / during / or immediately after delivery you have to bring with you in your purse - like the camera, glasses, grippy socks, etc. Don't pack those in your overnight bag! 

A notebook - something I REALLY wish I had brought last time was a notebook. Just to jot some things down. I think it helped that I blogged about the experience in the weeks afterwards, but I would have loved to have had some words to look back on that were just for me. Like what I initally thought of her, things that John did, what I was feeling. I actually started a journal recently for both the girls, so I plan to bring that and write down all the little things about her first few days.


Things I left O U T : 

Razor - you're not bending over to shave your legs. Shave them the day of surgery and just plan on wearing something long for the last day when the stubble might start becoming visable.

Shampoo, conditioner, blow dryer, etc - Maybe it's because my grooming habits have changed since becoming a Mom, but like I said - I don't plan on doing more than rinsing off during this hospital stay. You don't NEED to wash your hair. A friend of mine once recommended just splurging on a cute headband and rocking it with a top knot, but I don't love how I look in headbands so I'm just going with the top knot part. I may even just bring a baseball hat to go home in if it gets bad, lol.

A water bottle - somewhere I had heard to bring your favorite water bottle? Which sounds like it would be helpful, but mine never left my bag the first time around because the first thing they do is bring you this amazing plastic cup with a handle and a super long straw - and THAT will become your new favorite. PLUS THEY HAVE ICE.

The boppy pillow -  again, something I had "heard" to bring but it was actually the first thing the lactation consultant threw to the side, lol. I used the boppy a lot at home, but with all the pillows they have at the hospital, you don't NEED to drag it there in my opinion. It became just another thing John had to carry in and out.

Belly Binder - I was a HUGE FAN of the belly binder after my c-section, and I wore mine a ton during my recovery at home. But I bought a size small, and the days immediately after surgery I was definitely NOT a size small. It wouldn't have fit until at least a week later, but I didn't know that, so I brought it and it was another thing that never left my bag. Your hospital likely will provide one and one that will actually fit while you're there.

Snacks - I get anxiety over the thought of not having food available, so of course I packed all my favorite pregnancy snacks last time, but I didn't end up eating any of them. I didn't have much of an appetite - especially not for parmesan Goldfish crackers and fruit snacks. The hospital will feed you three times a day, and your husband / sig. other can order you a pizza. I DID however pack a protein bar for John this time - JUST in CASE - because I'm not sure when he'll be able to eat that first day. I fell asleep after my surgery with Emily so he was on baby duty the first few hours of her life and I actually have no idea if he ever ate that first day.

Things for the baby:

This is a short list, and this whole post makes it seem like I care more about fuzzy sliper slides than the newborn I'll be caring for, but people aren't kidding around when they tell you that you don't really need much for the baby. I didn't believe it when I heard that you didn't even have to bring diapers, so I brought a pack for Emily, and nope - didn't need them. Just another thing that stayed in my bag. 

A few long sleeved basic white onesies - I love these things. Get the ones with the little fold-over sleeves too. (Mittens are something I felt like you could live without.) I brought a diaper bag FULL of crap when Emily was born - outfits, hats, bows, socks, nail clippers etc. And all she wore until the morning we went home were these simple white onesies. Keep in mind, they'll probably be swaddled or "blanketed" (..?) the majority of the time too.


One of my favorite pictures ever.

Outfit for going home - You'll probably want to dress your baby in more than just a white onesie though when it comes time to go home. What you bring depends on the weather, but for us here in Texas, just a simple jammie outfit will do. I'm bringing 2 - one in newborn size, and a 0-3 month because I'm not sure how big she will end up being. And yes, they ARE both super cute because you'll want to take pictures of how tiny he / she is in that car seat the first time. 

Swaddles - I really liked the SwaddleMe "PODS" for the itty bitty newborn stage, but EVERY MOM and every baby is different. My hospital gifted us a Halo Swaddle - the kind that velcro them in all super tight, but I just really liked these. For one, she looked like an adorable little glow worm and they were so easy to zip on and off.


ALSO bringing a few basic muslin cloth blankets because you just use them for everything. For baby, for yourself, blanket for you husband, lol..

AND skipping hats because we came home with about 7 the last time, and they actually fit unlike the ones I had brought.

T H A T 'S I T.

The baby really only needs you, everything else is just stuff. 

A few other notes:


All of my things fit in a large duffle bag and then John's bringing a backpack. I've heard some people will literally bring in a suitcase for a long stay, and to each their own - but I felt overwhelmed enough as it was. I think the less I have, the better. 

The "going home outfit"- I thought this was such a big deal. And unless you're having a photo shoot on the way out the door or are Princess Kate, it's not. With Emily, I did my hair, put on makeup, wore a dress (a non-friendly nursing one at that) and then what happened was...we left the hospital, picked up my prescriptions, drove through a drive-thru for burgers and then when we got home I changed into Johns pajamas and cried. I didn't take any pictures, see anyone or do anything that required me to look a certain way. If it makes you feel better, go for it, but not necessary to get all dolled up to walk to the car.

BUT, I should also mention that I don't really have visitors while in the hospital (thank God), so if you do - you may decide to get dolled up. I'll just be lying around for three days and getting ready JUST enough to feel good for myself.

STAY ON TOP OF YOUR MEDS - and get the really good stuff as long as they'll let you.

Constipation - on the topic of meds, this is a true story: the absolute worst part about my last recovery was the constipation caused by those glorious pain meds. I didn't know this was a thing, so I brought it up to my DR. recently and she was like, "oh yes, let's get you two doses of Miralax each day then!" Which they did not do the last time. And I'm sure you could bring your own vs. whatever outragous price they'll charge per dose, so just FYI. Might want to think about that. It's a thing.

Ask for an ice pack - who knows what else I missed out on (seriously, tell me), but on day two when I told my DR. it felt like my incision was burning, she brought me this long re-usable ice pack that ties around your waist and it just felt so good. I used it at home too. Just complain a lot, and see what they bring you.

And if you forget something, there's probably a store around the corner. 

Helpful to anyone? I hope! I'm off now to wrap up the rest of my to-do list, which is basically cram my freezer with food! If I have the time (and energy) I MAY write up a post about the freezer foods I prepped. But don't hold me to it - I don't know life with two kids yet, lol..

Saturday, January 26, 2019

LIVIN' THAT THIRD-TRI LIFE.


Obviously not her, me I mean. But let me rewind to last week for just a second, so I can vent.

Emily had croup. Until like, yesterday.

You don't need to know what it is, just know that if your kid gets it, they will not sleep for a week and be so miserable, they'll take it out on you to the point of abuse. Emily must have picked it up at her last gym class, because she was totally fine one day, then when I took her into the Dr. the next morning (for some tummy troubles) (since all she eats are fruit snacks, probably) she had this super "barky" cough and within 24 hours was taken dowwwwwn.

It was bad. She couldn't sleep, couldn't breath, ONLY wanted me to hold her...

And John was out of town.

So for a week, she slept (kicked me) in our bed. We didn't leave the house. Watched hours + hours of Sesame Street. It was rough. I even kept her away from our only friends for fear of getting them sick too, so I was starting to get a little (a lot) stir crazy, and sleep-deprived...and hey -  wait. This sounds a lot like life with a newborn, no?

Lol.

Ugh. Anyways - this post isn't about Emily living 'the life' in her king sized pillow. (Aka our bed.) It's about all the third trimester things I'm doing to relaaaaaxxx, and enjoy this time. Because I AM COMMITTED TO ENJOYING THIS TIME. Maybe later I'll talk more about how terrified I am, because OH. I am. But for now, these are the days.



First.

Since nothing fits, and I'm tired of rotating (and washing) the same leggings over and over again and because I'm mostly at home anyways watching approx 6 hours of Elmo each day - I've decided that I'm only wearing loungewear from now on. Specificially my robe and this pair of pajamas that I picked up recently on clearance at Target. The most frustrating thing at this point is trying to dress normal. It's just not possible. Not to mention - EVERYTHING IS UNCOMFORTABLE. Will there be a time later in life when I wear jeans again? Of course. I hope. But it's not now. NOW is the time to live in bathrobes and matching pajama sets.

I feel 75, and I love it. *Except for the back pain, which relates next.

...I GOT MY FIRST-EVER PRENATAL MASSAGE LAST WEEKEND !!!

I wouldn’t have even considered getting a massage or any kind special treatment when I was pregnant with Emily, but it's a totally different story this time. When people say that every pregnancy is different I think what they mean is that the first is a breeeeze because you don't have to carry around anyone else's body weight on top of your own growing body weight and you get to sleeeeep and lay on the couch as much you want and take as many quiet, solo baths as you want to. (UGH. I miss those baths when I was preg with Emily. everysinglenight.)

And I am not kidding. That child won't even let me sit down on the couch most of the time. If I do, she screams. (Which is also why I watch so much Elmo, just so we can sit..lol.) And so after the week I had with her when she was sick, carrying her around for days - I WAS DEAD. So John actually called to schedule me the massage and everything, and I didn't argue.





And HOLY MOLY.

I texted John afterwards that either I'm just really pregnant, or it was the best massage I've ever had. I can't even put into words how good it felt. Whenever I get a massage (which is usually only for my birthday or something) I always get an 80 minute because it takes me a good 20 minutes to calm down, lol. And no exception this time - I was actually super uncomfortable at first because, hello. It's uncomfortable enough to be lying naked on a table without a gigantic belly. So it took me a little while to just turn off my thoughts, but eventually I did, and all I can say is that it was just SO GOOD.

SO GOOD.

I thought about hugging the women afterwards, but didn't. And then she left me a cupcake and I decided she was sent to me from heaven. It really is unlike me - but I'm getting two more at 34 and 38 weeks, lol.




AND THEN.

Because I'm being so induldgent, I've also decided to spend my last trimester watching the Bachelor for the first time ever. *And yes, I googled "Bachelor, Demi" and choose this picture based on the robe since it only makes sense here.

I've always been anti-Bachelor / Bachlorette because A.) they're like, 5 hours long. And B.) because I was protesting romance, lol. But when I saw that a new season was starting a few weeks back, I dont know - something inside me just wanted to see what this whole thing was about. Start to finish.

AND I GET IT NOW. It's a thing because IT'S TOTALLY A THING. I'm hoooked.

I love that it's 100 hours long, and takes me all week to watch. I love the stupid romance. I may even belive some of it. (Facepalm.) So consider me a lifer. I will be watching every season, from now on. GOODBYE Teen Mom on Mondays. And surprisingly, John was like, "what? You've never watched the Bachelor!" So apparently he's been a secret fan or something, and he's watching it with me which makes it makes it a million times better because I laugh the entire time. Highly suggest watching it with your spouse.

You can guess who his favorite is. Or I could just tell you. It's Demi. The girl in the robe. (If you're watching, you know.)

Lots of fun.

And then a few non-photographed, not as important things that are elevating my life lately:

1. Risotto. I'm obsessed with making Risotto!
I always thought it was something that was really difficult or expensive to make at home for some reason, but it's actually really easy and there's something therepeautic about having to stir it for 30 minutes. THIS is the recipe I've been loosely following, although I'm sure there are better ones. Instead of white wine though, I use an equal mix of lemon juice and water, and I switch the vegetables up every time. I even got crazy and topped it with roasted shrimp last time. 

2.) Cinnamon in my coffee grounds.
This has probably been done for hundreds of years, I know. But I've been stepping up my coffee game since it definitely feels like a little luxury in my life right now. I actually have it on my list (titled) "before baby" to get some of those fancy coffee syrups because coffee after a night of being a parent, is everything. ANYWAYS - I saw this girl on instagram mix cinnamon into her coffee grounds, and I was like...why have I never thought of this before? Genius.

And 3.) last thing because I'm just winging this off the top of my head now, and Emily will be up from her nap any second screaming to be coddled: I bought this AIR DRY line at Target by Kristin Ess + if you're low maintenance like me, this stuff is GREAT. I don't blow dry my hair anymore, just air dry, braid it overnight and then in the morning I curl a few peices. Am I saying this is a good look? No. I don't know. Maybe. Lol. But I like it! It's only $10, and sort of heavily perfurmed...so something about smelling my own hair and feeling like a lady, just makes me happy right now.

ANNNNND...

I really could go on and on about a few other things like, how much I love my heating pad or the mocktail I've been making every night, etc..but she awake. #elmotime

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

THE BIG BED TRANSITION.


Like most things, I probably have no idea what I’m talking about. And MAYBE no one cares. (It’s ok.) But when you’re a stay-at-home Mom and pretty much only talk to your toddler and other Moms through the Internet - these things can take on a life of their own. And as I sat up the other night (pregnancy insomnia..), I thought - WOW, I should totally blog about this. 

Hahaha.

So let’s talk bed transitions! 

Since we’re about three months out from the arrival of baby #2, we decided to pull the trigger and make the room switch. We went back and forth, and back and forth about - do we buy a second crib? A “toddler” bed? A BED BED? And even though I was pushing hard for a second crib, and then I even liked the idea of a small toddler bed, we landed on a BED BED. A FULL SIZE BED BED. What finally sold me was getting to pick out new furniture for Emily, haha. Johns pitch was basically that another crib mattress was the same price as a full size mattress, and it was too temporary. As in, in two years max Emily would need a bigger mattress. But with a FULL, she can basically take it to college. (Kidding, but maybe?)

I got TONS of advice on this from other Moms and the conclusion I got was that every kid is different.
Every family is different, every housing situation is different and everyone parents differently. So this may not help you or anyone else AT ALL. But I think as Moms we just like to hear other people’s stories anyways. And, like I said - this is my life, so it’s what I have to talk about right now. (WELCOME.)

So Emily - 20 months by the way, got a new “big girl” bed and the baby will get her “baby” furniture. A lot of people suggest waiting until kids either climb out of their crib, or can understand and ask for the transition...which is understandable because there was nothing I could tell Emily to make her understand - but I think we got lucky that she was just like - oh ok, this is happening. I’ve heard some kids will cry at their cribs, wanting in. Or some parents will move the big bed into their room, but still let them sleep in their crib for a while so they can get used to the idea. I read it might be helpful to have her watch us remove the crib from her room. Which we did do - but only because she wouldn’t stay in the other room and watch the Sesame Street episode I put on. She was there for the whole switcharoo and didn’t even flinch when we moved the crib into the room next door. It’s hard for me to say that she wasn’t ready, or that she was, but I don’t think she was overly attached to her crib by any means.



Clearly. Not attached.

*Not a real picture - I thought I'd be sentimental and take some pictures before we moved everything out, and asked if I could take her picture in her crib one last time. Clearly not.

So, no. She never climbed out or did anything that told me she was ready, but she's never been a great sleeper anyway, so it was worth the risk. People keep asking if she's sleeping worse, and the answer is no. But she's also not sleeping any better. About the same.


Other side of the room.

I picked this set out online without seeing it in person and I was pleasantly surprised. It's engineered wood - but it looks real, and who knows how long it'll last! (I don't actually expect it to make it to college, lol.) I got some questions on Instagram about where I got it from, and we get almost everything from Nebraska Furniture Mart, which are only in Omaha and Dallas, but the brand looks like "Little Dreamer Willowton." Or that's the style? Regardless - I'm not sure it's available outside of those two store locations. *And everything else is probably Target.

But enough about decor. If anything is (let me underline and bold this..) not my specialty...that's definitely not it. But maybe now, "sleep training" is.

HA.

Kidding. But we're not doing too bad! I was nervous, but overall glad that we did it now. I got a ton of advice, like I said, (mostly not to do it, lol) - but I really think you just have to work with your kid.

The first night: we kept her same bedtime routine - dinner, bath, milk, books, bed. And let me say it was SUPER comfy to be able to climb my pregnant self into her bed to read books. We used to sit on the floor and Emily would sit in my lap, and that set up was going to last about two more days for me, lol. So, we read the books, then I told her it was "night-night" like I always do. And I laid down with her...

...and l just remembered that I already shared most of this, so let me just let my Instagram stories re-tell the story.





So nothing "interesting" happened, until night THREE when she tried to pull that shit on me again where she left her room one million times. And some kind of instinct kicked in and I parented like I never had before.

A lot - like A LOT of people told me that they lock their kids in their room. So if you're one of those people, don't feel bad. Apparently everyone does it. (But everyone was like, "don't tell anyone, but.....") I wouldn't have tried that with Emily for a few reasons, A.) I'm just not that hardcore. But also B.) because Emily is just too strongwilled. She would fight all night to get out if she really wanted out. So I started off doing what I had been doing - walking her back to her room each time with a kiss and a "night-night." And it wasn't even like she was upset by any of this! She would open her door, and LAUGH at how hilarious she thought she was. And I get it - I'm sure the freedom was intoxicating for a one year old. But after like 20 times, I just sat a chair right at the end of her hallway. To speed things up, and to let her know I wasn't going anywhere. And after TWO HUNDRED more kisses and "night-nights." I stopped playing around...

And this technique will probably only work if your child has attachment items. Which for anyone who doesn't know - Emilys are her two "blankies" which are actually old fleece sleep sacks. (WHY, I don't know. It just happened one day and I didn't expect it to be the big deal that it is now. She will take those to college.) So I took her blankies, and her doll...gave her a kiss and a "night-night" and a "if you don't stay in your bed, you're not getting your blankies." And I left her room...held the door knob, counted to 60 and then repeated. She would scream and cry and NO IT IS NOT FUN. But it worked. I gave her a hug, gave her back her things, put her back into her bed...and she tried that shit three more times before she stayed in her bed, for good.

Just kidding.

She does. But then leaves in the middle of the night...which is where we're at now.

But the fact that I can put her down, and she sleeps for at least a few hours so I can get some quiet time at night is enough for me. What we're dealing with now, is that she comes walking into our room at 1 / 2 / 4 AM...asking for "Elmo?" Or a "baba?" Or sometimes yelling for her binky, which she just left her in own damn bed. (Eye roll.) But none of this really bothers me because I was used to her getting up multiple times a night and having to go to her room and get her out of her crib anyways. So in a way, this is easier. But what's funny is how she zombie-walks, half-asleep, half-running down the hallway into our room. John pulled up a picture to describe what she looks like in the middle of the night...



I've never seen this movie, but the bed head is sort of spot on. After her bath at night, I brush it back and girl's got volume.

So, typically, I let her climb up in our bed (after I tell her no Elmo, and usually have to get out to track down a binky or get her some milk) and bring her back to her bed after she falls asleep. Most mornings, she's somehow back in our bed...kicking one of us in the face - but hey, this is our life right now. And parts of it are pretty funny. Do I miss sleep? Yes. How am I going to do it with a newborn too? I don't know. But it's all a phase, right? Someday she'll be 10 / 11 / 18  and I'm sure not running down the hallway to us, and maybe I'll miss it. 

MAYBE. 
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