Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Hospital Bag Must Haves

I think every woman has a different list of items they feel is necessary in their hospital bag for when they give birth.  I didn't have a clue my first time around and relied on friends and family members for tips.  Some items they suggested I ended up using, others I found pointless to have.  I also had a whole separate bag packed for Grant with a whole lot of stuff I never even pulled out.

So I thought I'd share what is going in my bag the second time around.  The items I feel like are necessary as I have no desire to pack a bunch of crap I won't need.  All that does is make more work for me unpacking it later.

1. flip flops- you must have these for the shower.  I'm sure the janitorial staff does a great job cleaning showers but I still don't want my bare feet in the same shower that dozens of other people have used.  I bought mine at the end of the season last year for $1.  I have no intentions of bringing them back home with me since I bought them specifically for the hospital.  They will get pitched before leaving, less for me to unpack at home.

2. Travel size shampoo/conditioner/body wash/deodorant-  no reason to have large bottles of these items and if you have no use for them once you're home, just pitch these with the flip flops before leaving the hospital.  Normally I'm not one to waste but I figure after I've been through childbirth I feel like I have the right to waste a little if I want.

3. Nipple Cream- I had a difficult time breastfeeding Grant and while in the hospital they will provide you with sample packets of nipple cream but you will go through it like crazy.  The nurses do their best but sometimes it takes awhile to get more when you run out so I wanted to make sure I had my own this time around.

4. Vaseline in a tube- If you're going to have your little boy circumcised they will advise you to use Vaseline on the area to keep urine from aggravating it.  Once again they can give you packets of this while you are there but if you're like me you will use a crap load every time you change his little diaper to keep him as comfortable and pain free as possible.  Therefore you will go through those packets super quick and it could take longer than you'd like to get more if you're in the middle of a diaper change.

5. Travel size antibacterial gel: There will be plenty of this on the walls all over the hospital but you want to have this at arms length while you're there.  You could be in pain from a C-section or just sore from natural childbirth but either way you don't want to have to get up and walk across the room every time you need a quick hand cleaning.

6. Travel Lotion-  with all the handwashing and sanitizing you are going to be doing, you're hands will dry out pretty quick.  Lotion will help.

7. Nursing cover-  With all the people coming and going to visit you, you will want something to cover yourself if you're going to be nursing your little one.

8. Mini Loafa for showering- I bought a package of these at the Dollar tree when I put together a hospital kit for my cousin.  Now I'm glad I did because I prefer using a loafa rather than the super thin hospital wash cloths they provide for you. 

9. Pajamas- This is a comfort item because the hospital will provide gowns for you to wear but who wants to be stuck in those ugly things for 2 days with everyone you know coming to see you and your new little one and taking pictures.  I was fortunate enough to receive a really nice set of nursing ones for Christmas and I ended up making my own hospital gown, but any comfy pajamas will do.

10. Granny panties- yep you read that right.  The hospital will provide mesh ones, use these while you're there but you will need a pair of your own to wear home.  Don't take your nice ones take the ones you don't care if they get stained and you have to throw them away.   Last thing you want is to ruin your favorite pair.

11. Nursing bras- if you have sleep nursing bras take those because you will want to be as comfortable as possible but any nursing bras will work.

Now for your little ones bag.

When I packed a bag for Grant I packed burp cloths, receiving blankets, multiple outfits, hats, socks, and so many other things I thought I might need.  I used very few of the items I packed.  Here's what I'm packing this time around..

1. Outfit-Don't go nuts with the outfits because it's really not necessary.  One for leaving the hospital and one for pictures if you want it different than his/her take home outfit.

2. 1 Receiving blanket:  This isn't necessary as the hospital will provide ones for you to use while you are there but I like having one in a cute print so I'm taking one of my own, but only one.

And that's it for the little one.  The hospital provides most items you will need, so keep that in mind.

Monday, April 7, 2014

DIY Hospital Eye Mask and T-shirt Headband

I had a few posts I was working on before Eva was born and I had intended to finish them before she came but with her early arrival I didn't get a chance, so I'll be posting those as I get them finished. 

One thing I remember about my hospital stay with Grant is the lack of sleep.  Between the nurses coming in, what seemed like every 15 minutes, and the noise, and the hallway lights, I got a total of zero hours sleep both nights.  This time around I would like for that to be different so I decided to make an eye mask.

Sure I could have went to the Dollar Tree and bought one but what fun would that be when I can sew one myself.  I used the same fabric I made my maternity hospital gown with so they would match.

First I drew a pattern then cut the pieces.  You will need 2 pieces of fabric and a piece of batting.  I used 100% cotton batting because I had it leftover from making nursing breast pads but you can use whatever you have on hand.

Now cut a piece of elastic, mine was 12 inches. Lay your batting and 1 piece of fabric on top of that with the right side facing up.  then place your elastic on top of that pinning it in place. 


I overlapped part of my elastic so it wouldn't get caught in the seam while I was sewing.

 I baste stitched the elastic in place on either side to make sure it wouldn't move out of place.

Now place the 2nd piece of fabric wrong side up (you want the right sides of each fabric piece facing each other with the elastic in between) on top of your elastic.

Pin it in place and stitch all the way around making sure to leave an opening for turning your mask right side out.

Turn right side out and pin your opening closed.

Stitch around the outside using 1/4inch seam allowance, making sure to stitch your opening closed.

Now you're done, you have a super cute eye mask to match your hospital gown and hopefully get a little shut eye while you're there.

I also made a matching t-shirt headband.  I happened to have a maternity shirt I wasn't crazy about wearing and it just so happens that it matched my hospital gown.  I used this tutorial and it's seriously the easiest hair accessory I've ever made, I want to make a dozen more for the sole reason that I can finish them in about 5 minutes.

The tutorial is for a no-sew t-shirt headband but I already had my sewing machine out and didn't feel like heating up the glue gun so I ran mine through my machine to finish it off.

Both of these have made their way into my hospital bag and are just awaiting this little one's debut.

*I was really fortunate this time around and the nurses I had were amazing.  They didn't wake me up for vitals in the middle of the night if I was sleeping which was great.  So I didn't need the eye mask as much as I thought I would.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

My Labor Day Story

I have always loved hearing other women's labor stories so I thought I'd share mine.  Yes I have been a little absent from the blog for about a month and that is all due to my little one making her way into this world.  The story is one reason why I don't like induction, ok I have quite a few reasons why I don't like induction but one of them is I want to have a story.  Something other than, "I went to the hospital at such and such time, they hooked me up to an IV and baby was born so many hours later".  No, I want something a little different, a little more interesting to tell my kids when they get older. 

Years from now this is the story my daughter will hear:

The night I went into labor I had been at my Mom's.  I still had a few days until my due date and had been to the doctor the day before, she was going to strip my membranes in the hope that I would go into labor sooner but once she checked me she said she couldn't because she was afraid she'd end up breaking my water instead.  I was 4 1/2 cm dilated and 75 % effaced, this is pretty typical of the end of my pregnancies.  With Grant I was 4cm dilated for a week before he was born so I was pretty sure I still had quite a few days left before this one would arrive.  I thought that day would probably be the last time Grant would be able to play at Grammy's before the baby came since the rest of the week would be busy with other errands. 

There were no real signs the baby would be coming except I thought I'd lost my mucus plug earlier that morning, still I was in denial.We got home a little after 9pm, and Grant and I went to bed a little before 11.  I'd been having Braxton Hicks contractions that were progressively worse for a few days but nothing consistent and not really painful just uncomfortable.  I had them so often I ignored them most of the time.  I was almost asleep and thought I was having a couple Braxton's when I realized I had been tensing up with the last 2 and actually had to tell myself to relax.  Braxton's never made me tense up before so I timed a couple of them, 11 minutes apart.  It was 11:33pm.

I went downstairs and continued to time them, I had a couple 11 minutes apart then a couple 6 minutes apart.  I called my Mom and told her I thought I was in labor but wasn't having really consistent contractions and just to stay tuned, it was 12:24am.  I considered them not consistent because I was only having a couple the same amount of time apart then the time between them would decrease by quite a few minutes.  This was a stupid assumption of mine.  I called my husband at 12:26am and told him I was in labor, he asked if I'd called my mom to come over and take me to the hospital and why I hadn't called him earlier.  I told him I'd only been having contractions for an hour and I probably had hours and hours of labor left.  He reminded me I was already 4 1/2 cm dilated and I reminded him I was 4 cm with Grant and had 9hours of labor with him.

I called my mom shortly after that because the contractions were getting pretty painful and told her she should probably make her way over, the contractions were 4-5minutes apart, it was 12:47am.  I still didn't have my bag completely packed, because I figured I had a few days to go so I was walking through the apartment packing the last few items I thought I'd need. 

Once my mom and step dad arrived my contractions were about 1-2 minutes apart. I was still under the impression I had plenty of time.  My mom was rushing, grabbing bags and getting to the car and I remember thinking, we seriously have hours to go there's no need to rush.  I had a contraction right before we walked out the door and made it to the end of the side walk and had another.  This should have been my clue, I did not have hours of labor ahead of me.  You would think I'd be a little smarter since I've been through this before.  It was 1:17am.

We got to the hospital, got checked in, weighed, and vitals taken.  As the nurse was wheeling me to a room she told another nurse she was pretty sure I was in labor so she was taking me to a large room.  All I could think was, duh I'm in labor why else do you think I'd be here at 1 in the morning.  I'm not one to make multiple trips to the hospital in false labor.  When I go in it's the real deal.

I changed into a gown, and another nurse came in to check me.  She said, "yep you're at 8-9cm".  My response was "holy crap!".  I thought I was probably at 6cm but never did I dream I was nearly ready to deliver.  Immediately a slew of nurses were coming in and out of my room with the baby warmer, trays of instruments, stacks of papers to go over and sign, etc.  My husband finally arrived, my doctor broke my water, contractions came one on top of the other without much rest in between.  They hurt, like no other.  I didn't have an epidural with my son so I knew what to expect as far as pain went but it's almost like your mind is in denial until you're actually in labor.  I remember thinking why the heck do I not get epidurals, it must be so nice not to feel any of this.

My doctor asked if I felt like I could push, I said I probably could but didn't have as strong urge.  She said she'd wait for me to tell her when I was ready, then she walked out of the room.  It was probably 30 seconds to a minute later, even though it seemed much longer than that when I had a contraction with the strongest urge to push I'd ever felt.  I told the nurse, "I need to push", she said "sorry honey you have to breathe through this one the doctor isn't in here".  If any of you have not had an epidural and had that contraction with the urge to push, you know your body takes over and you can't not push.  I tried to breathe but my body kept pushing anyway.  It was horrible.  My husband kept saying "breathe", I kept saying "I can't" and would push again.  All I could think was, this baby's coming out whether there's a doctor in this room or not.  That was the longest contraction of my life. 

My doctor came in during that contraction but I was still told to breathe through it as they finished doing whatever they felt they needed to do, I was busy so I don't have a clue what she was doing.  That contraction finally ended and my doctor said, "wow that one lasted like 2 minutes", that was the longest 2 minutes of my life.  I didn't even know contractions could last that long.  I was exhausted.  My doctor was doing what's called a perineal message, which is done to stretch the perineum and help prevent tearing.  I'm sure this was a good thing for her to do but to me it felt like she was pushing the baby back in, there was so much pressure I couldn't relax enough to get a good push.  My doctor kept telling my to relax my bottom and I kept saying "I can't".  Finally she looked at me and said "if you relax this baby will be out with your next contraction".  That's all I needed to hear.  The only thing going through my mind was "I want this baby out of me!".  So I took a few breaths and relaxed the best I could.  The next contraction came and I pushed 2 counts of 10 like it was the last thing I was going to do in my life and my baby was here.

The doctor: "It's a girl!"

I was convinced I was going to have a boy so my husband said, "you were wrong, you got your girl".

I was still a little in denial, even looking at her, I couldn't believe I had my girl.  I would have been perfectly happy with a little boy but since my husband said from the beginning this was probably our last baby I thought it would be nice to have one of each.  Of course as soon as she was here I looked at my husband and said, "yea we are done, I'm not doing this again.  Holy crap that hurt!" haha he laughed.

I was so relieved she was here, the pain was over, and so happy I had a beautiful healthy baby girl, I started tearing up.  I remember Grant's labor and delivery but I didn't remember it being that painful during the delivery part, and he was 10oz bigger than her.  I said it after Grant and I say the same now, even with all the pain I would have another one without an epidural.  I know most women prefer the more pain free route, and I honestly can't blame them, having a baby hurts more than anything you will feel in your life.  That being said, I didn't have to worry about headaches and neck pain from the epidural like my cousin did after having her baby, I could get up and move immediately after both my babies were born, and other than typical pain and exhaustion from giving birth I felt great.  It's not the right decision for every woman but for me it's the only way to go.

Eva was born at 2:35am, less than an hour after we arrived at the hospital, and was 8lbs 15oz and 20.5 inches long. I had no concept of time once we got to the hospital and I thought it was so much later than it actually was.  When I asked what time she was born and I realized it was less than an hour after we arrived I was shocked.  I thought we had been there so much longer.

I had said from the beginning of my pregnancy I was hoping for a quick labor and delivery.  Never dreaming of one as short as 3 hours.  I was thinking 5-6 hours would be great, 3 hours wasn't even a thought in my mind.  I told my husband if we were crazy enough to have another baby I would be terrified of not even making it to the hospital.  I'd have to go in with the first contraction I felt.

Now a month later Eva is waking up every 3-4 hours at night and after a few days of her not getting to sleep until 6 and 7 am she's finally starting to get on a bedtime schedule.  I look at her sweet face and think "yea I'd have another one."  My husband still says we are done, I say we will see.


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