Friday, March 30, 2012

Five Years...

Five years ago today, I took the most important walk of my life, towards all that would be...

Five years ago today, we shared vows and prayed for what life would be like - together...

Five years ago today, we walked out of a church, and towards all the future would hold...

Five years ago today...and the road ahead has never looked brighter!

Here's to five years and so many more to come!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Things Loved for Momma & Baby - Six Week Edition

Our Tobin is just a little past six weeks and as I am discovering, he already feels like a different baby than he did just five weeks ago! I know when I was pregnant and planning for delivery/baby I scoured blogs and begged friends for their favorite products and must-haves. So, in an effort to help myself out the next time around I will be documenting my finds & favorites,  and who knows, perhaps others might find it helpful too!

#1. My Brest-Friend Nursing Pillow (we’ll refer to this as MBF). It’s been said 1,000 times, so I KNOW I’m not the first to recommend it…but really how the Boppy stays in business, I just do not know?!?! I had a Boppy too and seriously I flung it off of me the first time I tried using it. When Tobin got moved to the NICU for jaundice we were only allowed to have him out from under the bili-lights to nurse, and we were only given 20-30 minutes at that, so of course we wanted that time to be as relaxed and productive for nursing as possible. The lactation consultant let me borrow the hospital grade MBF and I seriously had my mom run to Babies-R-Us before the next feeding so I could have my own. I don’t know what it is, but the thing is magic. It’s been my #1 accessory these last 6 weeks fo sho! 

OH, and a note to all you MBF users. You will grow frustrated by the lack of MBF covers available, but go online to BuyBuyBaby and there are some seriously cute ones! I bought this one and this one and they seriously look like vintage DVF prints in person. You will lactate and be cute at the same time;)

#2. New Momma Bottom Spray. Yes, you read right. And chances are, if you have a vaginal delivery you too will wind up with a new momma bottom. Which is really a nice way of saying you’re in for a face-lift of an entirely different sort - where by the word face you should substitute butt and where we say lift you should substitute again for the words ripped and open. But do not fear, much like Humpty-Dumpty, they do put you all back together again! And when they do, you will love this spray. Now, the whole post-partum bathroom routine has been covered extensively in the blogosphere, and as others have testified, just do it all. All of it. And nab as many of those peri-bottles as you can. My advice is grab one for each bathroom in your house. But that being said, I hadn’t read about this spray and picked it up on a whim two days before going into labor. And while I loved the lidocaine spray they gave me, this was so nice because it was the one item in the routine that didn’t smell “hospital” to me. And trust me, you’re ready to wash that hospital smell off as soon as you get home. 

#3. and #4. go together… From the same over-priced organic line (geesh, I’m such a sucker, huh!?) comes – Monthly Comfort Tea. So, after the birth of Tobin and the emergence of my “new bottom” (see above), I was anemic from blood loss. I was prescribed iron supplements to help and let me tell you…those things are the devil. I don’t know if it was just me, but the iron caused me to become constipated like I’ve never been in my entire life. And you should know where this is going…but constipation + new bottom = no bueno. So, I stopped taking the iron supplements. Only to run a low-grade fever that I am convinced was one part anemia related and one part my body fighting off mastitis. That’s when I discovered this tea, which has iron in it! It was not only gently on my stomach but it tastes GREAT…win-win all around. 

Now for #4, the hospital gives you stool softeners immediately following delivery and you’re supposed to continue taking them to avoid constipation, because no woman who pushes out a baby should have to push out anything else for quite some time…but in my case those stool softeners were a big fat joke. While lamenting to Kelley of my nether-region woes, she shared that she had the same issue of the stool softeners not working and told me to get a vegetable-based laxative. Thank you again Kelley and thank you Target brand vegetable-based laxatives. I bought two bottles. And they worked like a charm. I will have them on-hand immediately next time around. 

#5. Garnier BB Cream – Have you guys heard about BB cream? Apparently it’s the next big thing to be in every woman’s makeup bag…or at least that’s what the March issue of Vogue told me. And as we all know, when Vogue speaks – you listen. They had a list of the companies currently producing BB Creams, and the cheapest on the market was Garnier. So obviously, what’s a post-partum gal to do? Run to her nearest Target to test-drive the goods, that’s what! It’s an all-in-one cream – brightens, erases fine lines, SPF, minerals, plus light coverage for uneven tone (no, I am not being paid by Garnier for this endorsement;)!) anyhow, the stuff really works like it says and I’m using the cheapest one out there…I bet Dior’s is fantastic! But I’ll be sticking to the cheap stuff for now. They really should market this stuff to the post-partum audience, because if all I’m able to do is put this stuff on after a shower – I at least feel more presentable and like a better version of myself. Which you want badly in the days and weeks that follow having a baby. 

#6. – Last but not least for this round, Summer Infant’s RestAssured Co-Sleeper. My-oh-my, how quickly you learn that if you said “I’ll never do x…” when it comes to raising a child, that you will be slapped across the face with you “I’ll never” and you’ll be doing exactly what you said you’d never do. I was in the I’ll never co-sleep camp. But guess what, so far the thing is a CHARM. I mean, I’m in love with it. Tobin, we have discovered, is a mover and talker in his sleep. As a result, he will (without fail) wake himself up from his shenanigans. This sleeper allows us to still training Tobin to sleep by himself and not on or against me, but now I can throw my arm over him and have him sleep for seriously another hour to two hours in the middle of the night before he has enough time to wake himself up from all his moving and shaking. This also gives any new-momma a peace of mind to hear her baby breathing and be able to check on them without leaving the comfort of their bed, so with it we’ve gained the best sleep yet. 

So that concludes our 6-week edition. I think I’ll revisit our list and check back in with a new one come six months…we shall see! If any of my readers have recommendations for the months to follow, go ahead and share your must-haves in the comments section! Suggestions are always welcome!

Stay tuned…more birth story to follow soon.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tobin's Birth Story - Part One

A little preface to share: I started working on this thing like week #2. But I got way out of control. Like I was writing a novella, folks. To illustrate, the full version I had previously started had the birth story beginning over two years ago…and while it did in fact make sense to the story, I decided to err on the side of brevity (and I know you’re laughing because the length of this piece doesn’t seem to reflect such an effort to be brief, but trust me, I spared you!). So, with that being said…here we go!

Monday, January 30th
Lose mucous plug. Note to readers: If the word mucous plug makes you unsettled or you feel as though I’m sharing too much information, I recommend you avoid the rest of this story. Okay, so where were we? Oh, yes. My mucous plug was lost – hooray, me! Or not so much, because as I would learn, apparently I only lost part of it, as I had a mucous wall. Seriously. I must have housed the mucous wall of China in there.

Tuesday, January 31st
Head to my doctor’s appointment, at this point we had shelved the c-section talk because while our little guy was still tracking on the bigger side, my doctor felt really confident in our ability to go for a vaginal delivery, as did I. When I asked her what she thought he would weigh or how big he would be and she gave me the answer of “9-ish.” And I smiled and said, “Okay, we can do this!” At this point, I was all systems go. I was 90% effaced and nearly 2 cm dilated. Things were progressing! As any full-term pregnant lady would likely agree, at this point in the game you are There are no words for how ready I was to get the show on the road. AND I was just so proud of myself – I lost my mucous plug! Now, I knew this could mean nothing, but you so hope it does.  

So after the usual of checking our vitals – which all looked great, I jumped at the chance to have my membranes stripped. After the procedure my doctor told me that I had 24-48 hours for it to work IF it would work at all to help move things along. 

Then she said, “We need to talk about you going past your due date.” And as soon as the words came out of her mouth I was ready for it, in fact I had even mentioned to Ty on our way to the appointment - that we were definitely on track to having the induction talk. Given our past conversations about his projected size, I knew she wasn’t going to let me go much past my due date.

Knowing how likely this conversation would be, I had already proactively been doing everything I could to avoid it and help move labor along – I was on a rigorous schedule of raspberry leaf tea, evening primrose oil, and Dr. Christopher’s Birth Prep herbs. I was a walking herbivore at that point. I was so VIP at the local vitamin/naturopathic store.

Before we left that appointment, it was decided. We were going to wait and see what might happen over the remainder of that week – but I was on the books for an induction on Monday, February 6th at 7 am.

Friday, February 3rd
Membranes stripped for second time. Again we had 24-48 hours for it to “work.” But given the outcome of the last effort, I was doubtful. Depressingly, I was even slightly less effaced than my previous visit because the little guy had actually moved up higher – he was fighting descent at all costs! There is nothing more discouraging than going backwards, let me tell ya!

Out of curiosity I asked my doctor if she happened to be the on-call doctor that weekend, and she wasn’t. Of course! As we said goodbye you could tell we both were fairly certain it wouldn’t matter if she was on-call or not and that we were going to see one another first thing on Monday am when I checked in for my induction.

To be continued…

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

One Month

Yeah, I know...I know...technically his official four week anniversary was yesterday, but I'm going with date birthdays for consistencies sake:) That and it gave me another day to take his pictures, because yesterday we kicked it into overdrive (again) with the eating and the 2-2.5 hour feeding schedule leaves me with little time to snap pictures. But today even with our little guy's love of eating, we managed!

So, a whole month! Can you believe it? I can't. But then there are times where I feel like I've known him forever and it feels so much longer...such a weird thing this new life and adjusting to a newborn. They really are something else, aren't they?

A few quick notes about Tobin at one month:
  • Ummm, he's nearly 14 pounds. Fatty-boom-blatty.
  • He hates (and I mean really hates) burping. And anything associated with the burping process. This includes spitting up. Ty and I discovered that he was actually holding spit-up in his cheeks only to choke on it when we laid him down - stinker! 
  • He loves to be talked to, and is already doing his very best to try and coo/grunt back in response...he's such an attentive listener. 
  • He's still a master of facial expressions, Zoolander ain't got nuthin' on Tobin's rendition of blue steel:) 
But enough with all the words, right? Pictures are SO much more I'll leave you with a couple extras from our one-month photo shoot today;)

We'll be back again soon...