Thursday, January 27, 2011

Part 1: Pregnancy-Helpful Items and Notes

This is part 1 of a series of 3 posts. I want to write this series to myself, just in case there is baby numero dos in the future. A few weeks ago I began compiling a list of baby items that worked for E from birth to 6 months. Then I started thinking it would be helpful to record notes and items that were helpful during pregnancy and birth as well. This way I can refer back to the list as needed so I don't make the mistakes I did the first time around (like wasted money on things that weren't helpful or didn't get used). Also, anybody browsing baby blogs might find this information helpful (I recently found out a cousin of mine is preggo and she might enjoy this). So, without further adieu...the pregnancy list:

  1. Old Navy has the best and most comfortable maternity clothes for a low price. There is a lot more selection online but some stores have a small maternity area. Read the reviews to determine sizing. It's also nice to buy regular clothes that can be worn after baby arrives (like empire waist dresses/tops, stretchy skirts and tops that are naturally loose in the midsection etc). The runners up places are Target and Motherhood.
  2. My favorite clothing pieces to wear were yoga pants, stretchy skirts (like jersey material), flowy dresses, empire waist tops and regular sized tanks. For the office I loved skirts, khakis and dresses. To sleep, I wore night gowns (non-maternity) because I didn't want to be bound up with any waist bands. Also, you will want undies that are unrestrictive like the stretchy Hanes opaque no-lines undies or the maternity undies. 
  3. I wore my regular clothes for as long as I could so I wouldn't have to buy maternity clothes in a small size only to have to buy an even bigger size as I approached the 3rd trimester. I used a rubber band to keep my pants fastened as my belly grew. I'm too cheap to shell out the $20ish for that piece of stretchy material that can hold your pants up. I'd rather spend money on baby.
  4. Flip flops and athletic shoes with good support. For the office, Born shoes for comfort. Sandals for the skirts and dresses and slip-ons for pants. 
  5. Exercise! Even for 10 minutes a day. Mamaste yoga is a free podcast on itunes and I LOVED it. I think this really helped me stay flexible for delivery. They also focus on pelvis muscles to help with recovery. Walking everyday is important for circulation and it increases the oxygen that baby gets since you'll be breathing like you climbed stairs. 
  6. Ward off charlie horses. I got leg cramps often but once I increased my water intake, stretched daily and ate a banana daily, the frequency was reduced. 
  7. Put your feet up. Reduces swelling and feels good on the lower back (this is especially important as you near weight gain of 20 pounds plus). 
  8. Let people help you. 
  9. Lug a water bottle with you wherever you go. Drink LOTS of water. Upwards of 120 ounces per day. Helps boost energy, reduce swelling and reduce pain from cramping due to the stretching of your uterine ligaments (called round ligament pain). 
  10. Take naps. Your body is growing a person and it will suck the energy out of you. Naps help! Plus get all the sleep you can now....
  11. Apply lotion nightly to your belly AND hips to help prevent stretch marks. I only applied lotion to my belly in round 1 and I don't have stretch marks on my belly BUT I have them on my hips.
  12. Take pictures. Even if you feel huge or ugly or whatever, you will want to see those pictures after baby is born. 
  13. For nausea I ate soups, saltine crackers and smoothies. It felt better to have food in my tummy.
  14. Get pedicures and even manicures. Pedi's help your sore aching feet and mani's just make you feel pretty. 
  15. Read. Read baby books, magazines and websites but also read those dramas and mysteries and trashy celeb magazines. Read Jenny McCarthy's Belly Laughs. It's real and hilarious. 
  16. For me, entering the 3rd trimester meant that I had to take my wedding ring off and either wear it on a necklace or store it in a safe place. My hands swelled up so bad that I had a hard time getting the ring off. 
  17. Listen to Pea in the Pod Podcast. It's a free podcast that offers information by week of pregnancy and beyond. I really enjoyed laying down and listening when I was just too tired to read.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

2011 vs 2010

What a difference one year makes!

January 19, 2011

January 19, 2010


Well, I must have jinxed myself with the whole "Breastfeeding Success" post. I have had to admit defeat this heart breaks even thinking about it. See it's always been a struggle since going back to work. The stress, lack of time to pump at work and the drastically reduced number of nursing sessions have really REALLY been tough on our breastfeeding relationship. I fought and fought for it. I would stress every single day about being able to provide enough for Evan's feeding the next day and most days I would just barely sneak by and others I would be short and I would wake up early and pump again to try and achieve the needed amount. Since day one of going back to work I was always just keeping my nose above water. This week I have a cold and added stress at work and stress related to new daycare and my poor baby is going through his 6 month growth spurt....the odds are stacked against me and I've got nothing left. We made it pretty far with a mild amount supplementing during some tough times. I cried last night at this admission. The books say don't beat yourself up if you have to switch to formula. Well, I am. I am proud at how far we have come but I really wanted to make it a little further. This is just another thing that working gets in the way of. I don't look down on people that choose formula or that, like me, have to switch to formula. I just prefer breastfeeding for us because it is FREE and healthy for mom and baby. Also, once we stop my monthly visitor will return......cripes.

I will continue to feed Evan in the morning and at night and I might even try to pump once during the workday just so he gets a little bit of the liquid gold. Yet, I know that introducing more and more formula will wipe my supply out in no time. Since Evan gets bottles at daycare I think he is getting frustrated that nursing doesn't go as fast as the bottle. I knew our nursing relationship would come to an end sometime and I do think I would still be sad. I was just enjoying this phase so much. I am sure the next phase: solids, will be exciting as well. Ahhh these little steps to independence.

Rather than have this post be completely bah-humbug, I should say a few positive things. I am proud to have been able to provide my son with a great start to life through breastfeeding. I was able to help him grow and develop and I am grateful for our bond. I am proud that I continued to fight for it even when things got rough and even when people weren't supportive. I will still count this as a success!

Lets see some pics of Evan to make me smile!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Cloth Diapering and Breastfeeding Success

Breastfeeding: The road has been a bit rough on this journey and littered with speedbumps and even a few of nails. The beginning was especially difficult. The pain, engorgement and the fact that I always had to be the one to feed baby boy (=getting up every hour of the night) and he was tethered to me most of the early days was really hard on me. I wanted to give up on day 2 and each day after that for 2 months. Then. THEN we both just fell into sync and we just got it. Then....I went back to work when Evan was 3 months old and the road got really rocky. The stress, the lack of time to pump at work and the fact that we could only get in 3 nursing sessions a day threatened my supply. I could barely pump what Evan needed while I was away and there were many days I had to mix in formula and I had no supply in the freezer. After the 1st month my supply was quickly diminishing and Evan was super fussy on weekends probably due to not enough food in his belly. We had to supplement with formula a few times and doing this hurt my supply even more. I was sure our nursing days were numbered. THEN! I had some time off of work during the holidays and we nursed often, almost constantly some days and it restored my supply! Now I can keep up with Evan's intake and I even have a small freezer stash. My original goal was to breastfeed for 3 months. Then my goal was to go for 6 months. We are approaching 6 months and I feel really excited and proud that I fought through the tough start and achieved my goals. Now, I will go as long as we can until baby boy reaches his 1st birthday. I really cherish our nursing sessions. I feel awful that I can't be with him during the day and this helps us keep our bond strong. When his little chubby hand reaches up to touch my face it warms my heart and helps me get through those workdays.

Cloth Diapering: I LOVE cloth diapering. I received many a raised eyebrow and comments about how difficult it would be. It's not hard at all! My husband even likes it. We have been in cloth since the end of month 1 (waited until Evan's umbilical cord stump fell off). I really like not having to buy diapers (=saves money), that I am putting something more natural on my child and that I am not adding thousands of disposable diapers to our landfills. We don't have problems with diaper rash (he had a few little spots of it once or twice but nothing awful). They also do a really good job containing Evan's you know what. The few times that I put Evan in a disposable since month 1 (like when we are out and I have to dig to the bottom of the diaper bag for a disposable backup) he has either pooped/peed out of them (=major leakage) or he has developed a rash instantly! Aside from how good it is for my baby and the earth, it's just plain fun. The colors and patterns on the covers are fun and cute! We use indian prefolds with Thirsties duo wrap covers and flip covers. Tossing them in the washer takes like 30 seconds, it's not a lot of work at all. When Evan starts his adventures in solids (=more devastating # 2s) we will use a biodegradable liner that goes on top of the prefold that will make it easy to lift out the doo doo and put it into the toilet. My lovely sitter did cloth for me and E's new daycare is doing it, too! I am really happy that it all worked out. Now....I'm a little obsessed. I LOVE the flip diapering system now. Instead of the prefold it's a thick microfiber pad that tucks nicely into the cute flip covers (no pins/snappis) and it's a system that grows with the baby!

Well there you go. I am a proud parent beaming with confidence. Can you tell I am loving this parenting thing?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Whoa Nellie 1

So, I have brainstorming a bunch of new names for the blog and one popped into my head yesterday that I loved. It's silly but I love it. Ready?

This Is How We Do It

I think it encompasses everything in our lives so I can come to the blog and post about anything and you also won't visit the blog without thinking about Montell Jordan's mid-90s single, "This is How We Do It." I'm going to think about it a bit more but I think it's a good fit.

J and I started P90 this week....We watched a few clips of the P90X and it looked brutal so we are easing into it with P90. Tuesday was day 1 and I am SOOO sore today. I have accepted that I won't be able to commit to the prescribed workout schedule but I have promised myself to do what I can and make an honest effort. J has agreed to workout 3 times a week. I am really excited to have a part time partner because I am really competitive when it comes to working out. It also helps when I want to quit and think I can't go any further, J encourages me to keep going. For me, the purpose of this isn't to fit into a specific size or see a certain number on the scale. It's to feel that strength, to improve my general health and to spend time with my husband. Life gets so crazy and stressful sometimes that I need an outlet and I feel like J and I hardly see eachother because our days are packed with chores and preparations for the next day. I think this is a healthy way to spend a few moments together.

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