Sunday, December 8, 2013

What Was in Our Hospital Bag

I remember vividly being 30-something weeks pregnant and anxious at the thought of packing our hospital bags.  Don't get me wrong- I was beyond excited.  I was worried about knowing what to pack and being without something once we were there  (never mind that we live 11 minutes from the hospital!), so I stalked list upon list upon list of labor bag items.  I think we did a pretty good job packing, and I had meant to blog our packing list.  Well, that never happened.  But, actually, this works better-now that we are on the other side, I can tell you what we took, used, and never needed.

Keep in mind that every hospital is different, and that yours may provide items that ours did not or vice versa.  We took the birthing and breastfeeding classes at our hospital, as well as the hospital tour, to get a better idea of what we needed. To read my birth story, click here.  I did not attempt a natural birth.  I like drugs.

First things first-I wrote down every single thing we were packing so that I could check it off as it went into the bag.  Also, there were some things we couldn't grab until the last minute because, lets face it-I wasn't going any length of time without curled hair or makeup, canIgetanAmen.

  • Toiletries- we traveled quite a bit this year between vacations, family visits, and business trips, so I keep our travel toiletries ready to go all the time.  Saves a lot of time!  Daniel has his own man bag.
  • 3 Ironed Shirts- You are going to take pictures and these pictures will be in your kids wedding slideshow one day.  Don't shlep.
  • 3 pairs underwear, socks, undershirts
  • Extra Jeans (assuming he would have a pair on when we went to the hospital)

I loved what I planned to wear in the days following Lillie Kate's birth while we were hanging out at the hospital.  I wanted out of that gown as soon as she was out and I never looked back.
  •  All of your important stuff, aka whatever is in your wallet.  We pre-registered at the hospital, so I never needed it, but it was nice to have it in case.
  • 2 nursing tanks
  • 1-2 sleep nursing bras (no underwire, I found mine at Walmart)
  • 2 robes (this was awesome and made nursing so much friendlier!)
  • 2 pajama pants or sweat pants (big size.  I got XXL Old Navy sweats and love them still!)
  • 1 regular nursing bra
  • Toiletries (shampoo, etc)
  • Maxi Pads- Did not use (I preferred the jumbo hospital ones and the newborn dipe filled with ice on my crotch)
  • Sports Bra- Did not use (was for laboring in the tub, which I did not do) (and I need to use a bra because I haven't worn a bikini since I was a toddler when chubby bellies were cute)
  • 3 pairs socks
  • Slippers- Did not use
  • 3 pairs Granny Panties- Did not use (Again, I preferred the hospital ones! Held the pads better)
  • Nipple cream and nursing pads- Did not use either
  • Zip Hoodie- Did not use (those hormones are going to make you wake up in a pile of sweat at 2am. Robe was plenty!)
  • Coming Home Outfit- Again, pictures.  Look cute.  You can ditch it all as soon as you get home. Just make sure it FITS your pregnant belly because you will still look it.
(all of her items were in my diaper bag so I knew where they were)
  •  Going Home Outfit- Pictures.  Make it cute.
  • Nail File- Did not use.  Most hospitals won't give you nail clippers and you always hear about babies scratching themselves.  Their nails are like paper, not matter how long they are.  Bite them if you have to but otherwise, you probably don't need to touch them.
  • 2 Cloth diapers (Only used one coming home)
  • Wetbag- for dirty dipes, didn't use
  • 3 Headbands with bows-yes, used them all!
  • 2 hats- didn't use. Used the hospital "just born" one and then shoved a headband on her
  • Socks- didn't use.  She was swaddled 24/7
  • Scratch Mittens- Didn't use, swaddled 24/7.  Our lactation consultant said not to use them because babies need to root and want their hands.
  • 2 Newborn Outfits- we brought onesies with leggings
  • Burp Cloths- still don't use them
  • 2 receiving blankets- cuter than the hospital ones
  • Muslin Swaddles- are the best.
  • Nursing Cover- never used.  When you don't have visitors, let em jangle and if you do have visitors, kick them out.
  • Boppy- never used.  The nurses hooked me up with 5000 pillows.  It didn't fit around my waist anyway.
  • Pillows for Mom and Dad with colored pillow cases- the hospitals are plastic, no joke. Colored cases so they don't get confused with the white ones from the hospital.
  • Hard Candy, for labor- my breath was awful
  • Vending machine quarters- mostly for Dad, Mom gets hospital food (which was phenom).  Our hospital also had snacks for moms and dads 24/7 like pudding and graham crackers and pop.  We brought $5 and it wasn't enough for Daniel to get the soda he wanted every day! Bring $10.
  •  Hand Sanitizer- Um, it's a hospital.  It's everywhere. Didn't use it. I mean, we used it, just not our own!
  • Tic tacs- Daniel loves them
  • Video Camera- can you believe we never used it!  We used our phones.
  • File folder (you know, the kind with the little rubberband at the bottom) for all the paperwork they give you for baby and to hold your birth plan-which we never really pulled out despite being told in the class that we needed one.
  • Notebook-for keeping track of notes during labor and memories
  • Thank you cards- for nurses and people who bring you gifts (ya, we got one gift don't bank on it).
  • Laptop with labor music- we totally forgot, didn't use
  • Exercise ball to labor on- no way in heck I was getting back on it after back labor.  We brought it in the house after being sent home the first time and never put it back in the car.
Keep this list by the door or on your hallway entry table so you don't forget it all!
  • Makeup (I am so vain, I know)
  • Hair Dryer-Actually, I didn't take mine because I saw they had them in the bathrooms like a hotel.  Wish I would have taken it, because I felt like someone was blowing on my hair with their mouth it was so weak.
  • Curling Iron
  • Camera
  • Chargers for phones and cameras
  • Gifts for nurses- I baked cookies ahead of time and left them in the freezer
  • Sparkling grape juice and cups to celebrate!
Honestly, we were so busy with all of the "new baby" things (like lactation consultants, etc), that we really didn't have a lot of time for anything extra.  I don't even really remember watching TV that much.  We didn't have very many visitors, and I still felt like we had 1000.  Let people visit later when you are home, other than your family of course.  Nurse, nurse, nurse, and love every minute of your new family.

I asked my husband for any advice- all he said was "Mo money".
My tip- take anything not bolted down and ask for extras of everything- even peri bottles.  I know, I sound like total trash.  But, you're paying for it.  Take the newborn dipes, even if you are going to cloth diaper. Ask for extra tuck pads, mesh panties, and hemorrhoid cream. Take the newborn kimono shirts that magically start piling up in your room from the nursery when they come get your baby at 1am every night to weigh them (don't worry, they come right back).
Good luck if you're almost there, and shout out to Amy Jo @ Not too Comfortable for the request!  Praying for you girl!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

One Month Update

You are currently closer to being two months than one, so I had better get this up, eh?

Weight:  9lbs 14oz
Length:  21.5 inches

You love:
  • Taking Baths
  • Nursing
  • Cuddling
  • Swaddles
  • Your hands by your face, just like when you were inside Mommy
  • Having your head rubbed
  • Holding your head up (you have freakishly amazing neck control)
  • Sleeping (you have always been such a great sleeper! You get up every 3 hours to nurse and go right back to sleep, sometimes on your own)
  • Your Daddy.  Wow, do you love your Daddy!  Sometimes I think you love Daddy more than Mommy!
  • Smiling (you did it for the first time between 3 and 4 weeks at your Daddy and he cried.  And no matter what anyone says, yes, it was real and no, it wasn't gas.  You've been smiling every since!) 
  • Farting!  Your farts are so loud.  Louder than Daddy's (but not Mommy's!).  You threw me under the bus at the OB's office and waited to toot until I was bending over and everyone in the waiting room thought it was me.  And I did the whole, "Oh my gosh, I swear that was my baby".  And they did the whole "mmmhmm". Thanks for that.
You Hate:
  • Your car seat
  • Socks and Blankets covering your feet
  •  Hats
  • Being wet or dirty
  • Slow milk.  You like to yell at Mommy's yayas if it's not coming out fast enough.
We think you are a pretty good mix of the two of us.  Daddy's eyes, feet, ears, and skin, and Mommy's nose, lips, hands, and hair.  We can't wait to hear you talk and see your personality more.  I think you are a sweet, sweet little girl.  We know you are so smart- you watch us and imitate us all the time!  Mommy's prayer is that you are humble.

We brought you home in cloth diapers and we love it more than we could have ever imagined!  It is so fun that sometimes your Daddy and I fight over who gets to change you.  He even likes to help stuff diapers, but I don't like it when he helps.  I like to do it!  You fit into your newborn prefolds until you were 4 weeks old, and we finally decided to pack them away when your Daddy yelled "these don't contain her thighs anymore!".  Now you fit into your one size pockets, but we still use some bigger prefolds.  I think it's an emotional thing.  (I will do a diaper update later).

We spent a lot of time texting and calling Nurse Kathy, aka Nana, to see if what you were doing was normal and okay.  We worry all the time!  But you are perfect, and know exactly how to grow. 

You and I, dear one, battled yeast the last 2 weeks of the month, but we have finally kicked it and have been smooth sailing ever since.  We were at appointments with either your doctor or mine every week, but it was worth it.

You have had lots of visitors and everyone absolutely loves you!  Your cousin is obsessed with you and can't wait to play with you when you get older.  Nana and Pop came to visit and made you your first Halloween costume.  You were a pea pod and Mommy and Daddy were farmers!  We ate your candy.  Sorry.  Not sorry.

For your one month birthday, we had a little party and I made the 3 of us chocolate chip cupcakes. You I blew out a candle.  You fell asleep from all the excitement and had your cupcake the next day... via milk.  Don't worry, you will have many many parties and lots of candles to blow out one day.  Mommy and Daddy are already planning your first real birthday so we can make it extra special!

This has been the best month of our lives, Lillie Girl.  You have made us laugh and cry tears of joy every single day.  You make us wonder how people can say this is the hardest month- you are such a lovely girl.  We know every baby is different and are thankful we hit the jackpot with you!  We love you more than you know and are so unbelievably grateful that you are the one we wake up to each morning.  You are our treasure, sweet girl!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Lillian's Birth Story

The Friday night before Lillian was born we were up pretty late.  We had been over at my in-laws for dinner and chatting because my husband's best friend and his wife were in town for their baby shower.  We got home around midnight, but we didn't get to bed until around 2am because I had raging heartburn and our dog had been home alone for hours and needed some play time.

I woke up at 3am with strong contractions.  Up until this point, I hadn't had contractions since week 38ish.  The last two weeks of my pregnancy were pretty uneventful and I kept thinking she was never going to come-almost like a lost package in the mail.  Somehow my hormones prevented me from realizing that was obviously not true and she would, indeed, come out.  I started to time my contractions, but I figured this wasn't it.  They had scheduled me for an induction the following Monday, and while that certainly was never my first choice of how she was going to come into this world, I had accepted it and moved on and was excited to finally meet my girl on Monday.
Come 4 am, I had had contractions for a solid hour, 5 minutes apart, lasting at least 1 minute.  Hello, first time baby = we don't know any better-that means go time!  We took the birthing class at the hospital we delivered at, and that's what our instructor said to do. So, I got up, showered, shaved my legs, curled my hair and put on some makeup through contractions (I know, ridiculous).  I had vacuumed Friday because I was certain "no baby of mine was coming home to a house without carpet lines", so Daniel did some light clean up so that we weren't coming home from the hospital with a newborn to a messy house.

We got to the hospital right at shift change, about 6:45.  We were put in triage and I was "checked"- 90% effaced and 2 cm.  I has been 2cm and 80% at my doctor's appointment that week. I had an hour to make cervical change and if so, we'd be admitted.  After an hour, I had made it to a 3 and was fully effaced, so the nurse exclaimed, "we are having a baby today" and that she was going to let the OB on call know and prep our room.
I was in tears from excitement.  I couldn't believe the day had come and was so grateful my body decided to do this without having to be induced.  I called my Mom and let her know her grandbaby was coming today and that we'd call back later with updates.
The nurse quickly returned, obviously frustrated.  The OB wanted me to make more progress than what I had done and then she'd decide after if it was time to admit us.  I had another hour to make cervical progress.  We walked the halls for a good hour and a half and my contractions got far more intense (so I thought at the time, how ignorant I was!) and were 4 minutes apart.  We went back in to the room to be rechecked, and I thought surely things had moved along.  No. No change.  We had to go home.  We got in the car and I called my mom in tears.  All of my excitement had turned into fear, because I didn't know when we were supposed to come back if my contractions were already 4 minutes apart.  In my hormonal state I completely took us being sent home as personal, so I started crying even harder because I thought the people at the hospital just didn't like me and didn't want to help me.  I mean, what?  Am I too ugly?  Too fat?  You think my baby is going to be ugly? 

By this time it was about 11:30 and we went and ate some Planet Sub for lunch.  We returned home, having decided we would return to the hospital at 3pm for another check (as our nurse suggested) as long as my contractions didn't stop.  I did everything they told me- relaxed, changed positions often, walked, got on my exercise ball, etc.  My contractions stayed at 4 minutes, with a 3-minute one peppered in every once in a while.  They were getting more intense, so off the hospital we went at 3.
Triage.  No change.

We were assigned an -ahem- rather inexperienced nurse who couldn't attach my monitors to find Lillie Kate's heartbeat or my contractions.  She seemed to also be rather confused as to the anatomy of my nether regions, because she was stabbing my crotch in the wrong places trying to find "where to check me" if you catch my drift.  She said I was still where I was this morning and had an hour to make cervical change again.
So, off we go through the halls.  By this time, my contractions were 3 minutes apart and I couldn't walk, talk, or do anything through them.  Sounds good, right?
No.  We get back to be checked again before shift change at 6:45 and I was apparently "less dilated and effaced" than I had been that morning and at my doctor's appointment that week. I didn't know that was possible, but whatever.  Because they couldn't get the monitor to pick up my contractions, neither her or the night nurse coming on believed me when I was having contractions and they sent us home again.  They gave me some pill that was supposed to "calm down my uterus so that I could get some sleep", which I didn't want to take but by that time, if I could really sleep, I didn't care.  I could deal with what the next day brought when it came.  Contractions kept coming closer and closer together, and by the time we were home at 9pm, they were 2 minutes apart, growing constant with no breaks, and I was in back labor.

Okay, I always thought back labor sounded easier than having normal labor pains up front.
There are no words to describe back labor.  None.  I had no breaks in between contractions, just constant pain.  I tried all of the things they told me to do to cope with the pain, but I felt like someone had sledge-hammered my entire pelvis and any time I moved it, it was breaking all over again.  I showered, completely over having makeup or curled hair for my baby girl.

I remember being at my lowest point, sitting on the toilet because I couldn't figure out what else to do, bawling, begging Daniel to just help me.  I felt like destitute.  I felt like I was in need and no one wanted to help and my poor husband was almost in tears from helplessness.  Finally Daniel called the OB, and she called back saying we were welcome to come back in but if I didn't make more change in an hour she'd be sending us back home.  This is getting personal and if she delivers my baby, she is getting pooped on.  I will make it happen.

So, we made it back to the hospital and there is some freak woman in triage who was throwing a fit because she was 20 weeks, had an ear infection, her baby was completely fine and she wanted to be admitted so she could get IV pain meds.
For an ear infection, people.
Obviously this is not going to happen for her.  So, she requested to see every single nurse, charge nurse, the on call OB-evvvvveryone- to chew them out and call them names I won't repeat (okay, so I may have liked her calling the OB xyz since this doctor obviously hated us and wouldn't let us stay.  I'm human, get over it).  Since she was doing this, no nurses were available to hook me up and check to see if my cervix was on board.

So, imagine this lady yelling over an ear ache, whilst Daniel and I are on the other side of the curtain moaning, crying, breathing, and making noises I didn't know I could make from pain.  Finally, someone came in for us.  I remember telling the nurse that she'd have to hook these monitors up on me while I was standing because I couldn't move my pelvis enough to get in the bed.  I looked up once she was done and my contractions were constant.  No waves.  Me:  Wow!  This baby must be coming asap!  Because, you know, I always hear babies come when your contractions are that close together.

I somehow made it into the bed to get checked and I was barely a 4.  As in, maybe 3.5.
That's it.  Throw me down the stairs and kill me because I am done with life.  I just knew we were on our way back home again. Then, some blessed, blessed woman took pity on us, said we had had enough and she was sneaking us into a room so I could get some Demerol and rest.  Every time a nurse came into my room, she had to tell them not to tell the OB I was there so that I didn't get kicked out.  I didn't think the Demerol did anything, but I think I was in and out of it.  I had been in the room for maybe 20 minutes and, at 11:30, my water broke.  Hallelujah!  Can't send me home now, suckas.

The pain got slightly worse, but I think I was in so much pain at that point that I couldn't distinguish a difference.  My epidural was in by 12 and working by 12:15 and Helloooooo sweet relief.  I must have had the most perfect epidural of all time, because I could move everything, lift my legs and butt, but felt no pain.  The relief was so great that I was super loopy (or maybe it was the Demerol)- doing the "hump day" Geico commercial, telling Daniel his sister was swimming with sharks and we needed to save her, quoting Cinderella and begging my nurse to curl my hair.  I was terrified of the catheter and kept bugging the nurse to ask if she had taped it "real gooood" to my leg or if it had been ripped out.  I am still scrubbing tape residue off my leg 4 weeks later.

We got some rest for about an hour or so, but Daniel's snoring woke me up and I remember thinking, if I am not sleeping, neither is he.  I tried yelling to wake him up for 10 minutes, but it didn't work and I finally had to get my nurse to come in and wake him up for me.  He jumped up to my side, concerned the baby was coming.
I need you to get me my makeup and hold up my compact so I can put it on.
At 2:45 am.
Despite my begging for someone to curl my hair, it didn't happen.  We hung out until about 7 when shift change happened and I was rechecked and at 9cm.  The monitor was only picking up contractions every 7-8 minutes and they were very weak, so they were concerned I'd need some pitocin.  I didn't- somehow everything was doing what it needed to be doing.  The OB kept saying she just didn't understand what my body was doing.  Me neither, lady, but get ready to get pooped on (Actually, I really liked her and she was super sweet during delivery) (and I didn't poop or fart during delivery.  Three cheers for me).
The nurse prepped everything around 7:45 for me to "practice" push while she stretched out my perineum, and Lillian was crowning after 2 pushes.  The OB and some other nurses rushed to set everything up, and I only had to push through 2 more contractions, but since they were so far apart we had to wait for them.

And then it happened.  Sunday, October 20th, at 8:23 in the morning. She was born, and we saw her.

Her hair, her face, her arms, tummy, and legs.  She cried right away, and stopped as soon as she was on my chest.  She was perfect.  We held her and we bawled our eyes out, and I thought My Lord, sweet Savior.  He has redeemed our brokenness and walked us through it all.  He used our trials to teach us so much, and we finally were able to see, touch, smell the dream of our daughter.  He watched and formed this little girl for all this time, gave her Daniel's eyes and my nose and lips. He provided for her and protected her from so much already.  So undeserving, I thought, of such joy and love for this little girl, to get to be her Mommy and enjoy all the ups and downs of parenting.  To get to wake up in the middle of the night to feed her, to lose sleeping worrying about her skinned knee or her knowledge of Christ and His Resurrection.  To get to see parts of ourselves in her and know she is ours for always.

Lillie Kate, our sweet girl, you are a dream.  Such a sweet baby you are.  We are absolutely in love with you and are so grateful you are ours.  We pray for you every single day that you will grow up healthy and happy, that we will be a close family, and that above all you will find your identity in Christ.  Life will be hard for you, no doubt in that, but we will be there for you every step of the way.
We love you, sweet girl!
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