Sunday, February 27, 2011

Part 2: Labor and Delivery-Items and Tips for Survival

My water broke at around 1:30 a.m (the full story is here). My husband and I were rushing around the house throwing things into bags.....clearly we were not prepared. We had a few things already packed but as we were running around the house in the middle of the night I realized if there is a next time, we need to be ready.  The following list is a result of my experience of labor and delivery in a hospital.

Labor and Delivery

  1. Have bags packed at 34 weeks. You never really know when the baby will come, they have their own agenda. 
  2. Have a bag for Dad with money for the vending machine/gift shop for snacks, a change of clothes, phone charger, toothbrush and toothpaste a pillow.
  3. Bag for Mom: 
    1. Toiletries like those face washing towelettes (then you can wash your face in bed, it's refreshing). Throw in a travel bar of soap and wash cloth, deodorant, hair tie, toothbrush and toothpaste.
    2. Mints and chapstick. I wanted to freshen up every few hours. They let me chew on ice chips but my mouth was so dry that mints helped a bit. All that breathing dries your lips out, too. 
    3. 3 pairs of undies that you won't mind getting ruined. The hospitals gives you these amazingly comfy boy short mesh undies. I actually wore those and never touched any of the ones I brought. Yet, I like to have choices so I would still want to bring my own just in case. 
    4. 5 pairs of socks. I brought a couple different choices: fun patterned socks ($1 at target), 2 pair of ankle athletic socks and 2 pair fuzzy slipper type socks. Hospitals tend to feel cool and I knew my toes would be cold. The fact that you never really know how long you'll be staying (vaginal vs. c-section) I wanted to be sure I was covered.
    5. 3 pair of bottoms (I brought yoga pants that were very loose and loungy.) 3 tops (I brought a tank and 2 loose, short sleeved shirts.)
    6. Nursing bra
    7. Flip flops.
    8. Cell phone, charger and camera. Believe me, you will want to see those pictures no matter awful you think you look at the time. 
  4. Pillow and blanket
  5. Things to do: lap top (watch movies, browse the social sites, read blogs, look at labor focus pics to help keep your mind off of those contractions and play games with your partner), Ipod (to play some relaxation music), books (what to expect when you're expecting, handouts from your child birth preparation class) and 2 magazines (maybe some trashy celeb stuff and, of course, a mommy mag).
  6. Honestly, I was so tired that I did not do anything. We tried to watch a movie but I was too tired because I had gone into labor as I was going to bed so I really had not slept for a day and half or more. BUT, if I had gone into labor in the morning after getting some rest, I can imagine I would have had some energy to focus on a movie or play cards with my husband. 
  7. I don't like hospitals. I wanted to be as comfortable as I could be so that I could remain calm. I wore my own clothes to give birth. I wore a fold down skirt from Old Navy and a comfy, stretchy tank top that could be easily adjusted for nursing. 

  1. Bring your birth plan and share it with your nurses. They will do their best to accommodate your wishes. Accept that things may not go 100% as you pictured but remember that the ultimate goal for everyone involved is to delivery the baby safely. 
  2. Don't be afraid to ask questions or reiterate your wishes. I was sure to ask about the effects of all my options so that I could make the most informed choices. Don't let anyone pressure you into anything. This is your birth.
  3. Be nice to the nurses. They are the ones that do the bulk of assisting you in the birth (I only saw the doc for maybe 30 minutes....she was there to catch Evan and do the repairs.) 
  4. About an hour or so after giving birth, they want you to get out of bed and go to the bathroom (to make sure you can pee). They instruct you to get up very slowly. Do just that, VERY SLOWLY. I was like,"Oh, I've got this," and moved too quickly. I passed out. Pretty much on the pot. Not fun.
  5. After you have rested a bit, take a shower. I made the mistake of waiting to shower until I got home. Not for any particular reason, it just never crossed my mind during my stay (gross, I know). Showering would have given me that refreshed, relaxed feeling that I really needed. 
  6. Let the Grandma's and the Grandpa's hold the baby and tend to the baby for a bit. This will let you get some sleep. Rest/sleep as much as you can here because you will wish you had once arriving home. 
  7. Get breastfeeding help while in the hospital. My lactation consultant was a wealth of information and hand-on guidance. She helped get this new relationship up and going. I was embarrassed at first but then I thought,"This is about feeding my baby. No one is judging me here." 
  8. The hospital will let you take things like the mesh undies, the huge pads that you will need for a bit, numbing spray for your perineum and this lovely squirt bottle to help rinse your nether regions after #1 and #2. Take as much as you can!
  9. Enjoy your new baby!

    Friday, February 18, 2011

    Change 3 Things

    I am in love with cloth diapers. I love how they reduce waste in our landfills, they are healthier for baby (no diaper rash only soft cotton against his bum) and they save us money. Bonus: They are super cute!

    I really like Cotton Babies. They are the makers of my favorite diapering systems: Flip and Econobum. Right now Cotton Babies are trying to raise awareness of cloth diapering and encouraging cloth lovers to spread the word. I wanted to write this post to do my part. I talk a lot about it to people whenever the topic comes up. I wish more mommies knew how easy it really is. I get the surprised look whenever I tell people that we cloth diaper. I get the raised eyebrow and the questions about whether it's gross or not or comments about how much work it must be. Bottom line: You are going to touch poop or have to deal with it's wrath whether you are in a disposable or cloth. It's not anymore gross than disposables and it takes maybe 2 minutes of my time each wash day. You stick them in the washer to rinse, then wash, then rinse and dry. Piece of cake. 

    The awareness campaign "Change 3 Things" is encouraging parents/caregivers to commit to a goal of changing 3 cloth diapers a day. The point is that it's not an all or nothing choice. If you cloth diaper part-time you are still going to see the benefits of saving some money, helping the earth and doing something good for baby. I think this is great thing to do. They even have some great diaper deals so you can try it without having to fully invest in a complete stash. It's definitely worth a try. Heck, my husband does it without a complaint. That says a lot! 

    Check out their blog post on the revolution:

    Wednesday, February 16, 2011

    Follow Me!

    Hi There,

    I primarily keep this blog to record memories, share with friends and family but also to help people out there the way that other blogs helped me. I began reading mommy blogs last year when I was pregnant. I really enjoyed reading their experiences, tips and thoughts on mommyhood. My goal with this blogging venture is to have a place for me to express my thoughts similar to a journal, have fun documenting my experiences and provide tips and ideas for readers. If you have enjoyed your visit, please follow me by clicking on the "follow" button, or better yet, subscribe.


    Monday, February 14, 2011

    Evan is 6 Months!

    Holy Moly! My baby boy is a half year old! This can't be. Where is my cuddly little newborn? He has turned into a curious worldly explorer.

    Dear Sweet Baby Boy,

    I CANNOT believe we have reached the half year mark. You are certainly a different boy than we brought home from the hospital 6 months ago. You are very busy and your top priorities no longer include constant cuddling. You would rather be jumping, rolling all over, practicing pushups or dancing.

    This month was rough/exciting/amazing.

    Feeding: January brought us SOLIDS. This is a huge milestone. We began the month with rice cereal which you weren't to thrilled about. We moved on to zucchini, avocado, carrots, butternut squash, banana, cucumber and sweet potatoes. You really enjoyed the sweet potatoes and the rest were fine but you could take it or leave it. Mommy worked so hard making those foods for you, cooking, pureeing and freezing. Yet, you would rather bypass all of those mushy foods for real food. One night we all sat down to a spaghetti dinner, I held you in my lap (because you aren't all that crazy for your highchair yet) and you grabbed a handful of spaghetti off my plate! You put the handful to your mouth and sucked on the noodles and sauce. You started dipping your fingers into the sauce and sucking them clean. It's clear that you LOVE spaghetti. After that I let you take food off my plate and try it (if it is gummable and you won't choke, of course). You have had beef stew, taco salad, rice and turkey sandwich. It is so funny how you stare at food whenever it's near. It's exciting to see you be so fearless and explorative. You have really shown your independence with food. You DO NOT want us to spoon feed you. You would rather handle the spoon yourself or abandon the spoon for your hands. We still nurse 3 times a day but you do something that surprises me: you bite me! Oh my goodness, it hurts and I can tell when you are going to do it because you pause, look up and puff your cheeks out then clamp down. I am nervous about you getting teeth!

    Another milestone for month 6: sitting! Your balance has really improved this month and you can sit for a few minutes on your own. Of course, I sit behind you just in case you decide to throw yourself back or I put pillows behind you to cushion the landing.

    Activities: You love your jumparoo now that you have touch the ground and bounce. You chew on anything you can get your hands on. Myron, one of our dogs, has become a source of amusement. You smile and stare at him whenever he's near. The other day you stared at him for the longest time while he chewed on his bone, unaware of his audience. You have also done a few manly pushups by lifting your body off the ground balancing on your hands and toes for a quick second. So strong! Since you love to roll so much, diaper changes have become a challenge.

    Rough stuff: You have had a few really tough days this month. I believe they are related to teething and growing. Luckily those rough days are few and far between.

    This has been such a fun month. I know I will miss these times. Something tells me you will be on the move soon. Check out the pics! Look at those cheeks, ADORABLE!

    I love you, dude. I wonder what month 7 will bring.



    Thursday, February 10, 2011

    Makeover may notice some changes around here. I've re-named the blog "My Sunshine" and changed the url to Followers may have to re-follow to update the url in reader etc. I'm excited about these changes in my evolving hobby as a mommy blogger.

    Saturday, February 5, 2011


    I am tired of wanting, wishing, coveting... It is tiring to constantly be wanting, whether it be materials, experiences or changes in life etc. When I want something and get it, I am only satisfied for a bit and then go on to want something else. It's this never ending cycle of wanting and satisfying. When I focus on being content with my life and what I have, I feel....better. Like I can breathe more freely. Like I can really be in the moment rather than thinking about things that I wish were different or how much easier life would be if I had this or that...

    I know this change will help me to feel happier, less stressed and become more present. I want to sink into myself, my life and my role in my family and the world. It's funny because even the idea of wanting to become more content, wanting to focus on accepting things as they are is a "want" in itself. I guess you can never really escape that. Maybe in reality we can never truly get away from wanting. I just want to reduce my wanting to stuff that really matters. Like, it doesn't matter if I never get the pair of shoes that I want but it does matter that I want to spend more time with my family. Maybe it's the quality and frequency of the want that matters. I have allowed my constant wanting to consume me and my thoughts to the point where I am upset and tense. Wanting to reduce my family's expenses is a good thing but focusing on it continuously leaves my mind tired and keeps me from giving my family 100% of my attention. The quality of the want is decent but the frequency is overwhelming and distracting.

    Being content with myself and my life, even for a few moments a day, brings me this inner peace and stillness that leaves me feeling good and even relaxed. Even during a rough day at the office, when I'm behind on a project, if I stop for a moment to breathe and accept that this is the way the day is going, I can move through the rest of the day a little more smoothly and in a more calm way. It's like a quick "Calgon, take me away" moment, no water needed. I think reducing my wanting frequency will help me feel less stressed and help me be a better mama and wife. Now, this doesn't mean I won't be thinking of ways to be more efficient or things to change to spend more time with the fam, it just means I won't let it turn me into the wanting monster.

    So, I am switching gears: I am content with myself and my life.

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