Friday, August 29, 2014

What's in my Diaper Bag - Newborn Edition

Hey guys! Three posts in one week? I must be getting the hang of this nap thing huh? Well maybe not because I had to stop writing this three times today because every time I put her down she slept for maybe 10 minutes and then woke up. I meant to write this post before little Emma came, I was going to write it the day I was induced actually, but I think it's a good thing that it came after. I have really been able to see what I like and need with the diaper bag.

For weeks I scoured the internet trying to figure out what to pack in the diaper bag for a newborn. I knew I didn't need to overpack it with a million items, and many moms that I know warned me of unnecessary items, like books and toys, but I still needed to know the essentials of things to have with me at all times. I mean I have never done this before so even asking family/friends and Mr. Google doesn't really prepare you for all the things that you will need to have.

Lets start off with the bag itself. I have two diaper bags. The other one is the bag that I packed for my Hospital Bag and was given to me by my sister in law at my baby shower. When I need to start carrying more items, I will switch back and forth. The bag I am using now it a Petunia Pickle Bottom bag. Its the Sashay Satchel in Classically Crete. I love the print and the fact that it looks more like a purse than a diaper bag. It has loads of pockets and can even convert into a backpack! It's so cute and user friendly. I love the detailing and the comfort of the straps. I haven't used it as a backpack yet, but I am sure is will be just as comfortable. Here's what I pack inside:

1. An extra blanket and burp rag. // 2. A change of clothes for the inevitable blowout and a spare pair of socks just in case her little tootsies are cold. // 3. Custom Wet Bag (made by my wonderful mommy) to store those wet clothes and diaper trash bags. // 4. Extra diapers, wipes and changing pad. The wipes case and changing pad came with the bag! // 5. Pacifier holder and pacifier. // 6. Nursing Pads // 7. Hand wipes, nail clippers, thermometer and booger extractor. // 8. Tissues, boogie wipes and hand sanitizer. // 9. Diaper Rash Creme.

Since there are so many compartments in my diaper bag, I have a whole pocket that's dedicated to my stuff too. It's been advised for mommy to keep an extra shirt in the bag for spit up, puke or other messes but I have yet to do so, hoping I don't regret that! So here's what's in my pocket! Not glamorous but its what I need:

1. Car keys! // 2. Clutch wallet to keep my cell phone, a few cards and ID in. // 3. I am in love with the Extra Watermelon gum....been chewing it for YEARS! // 4. Sunglasses // 5. Makeup Bag: Chapstick, BB Creme, Powder, and mascara. Not pictured is my nursing cover.

Well there you have it. It's not much and I am sure it will change as the life stages do also. I will probably update when it changes. What am I missing? Do you keep a full stock in your diaper bag?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

First Trip and the Custom Cradle

When little miss was about 10 days old we went to spent a couple of days up at my parents house. It was of course just a quick and relaxing trip and we didn't go anywhere but my dad (Papa) hadn't met Emma yet and we just felt that we needed to go. We of course brought the camera, but most of the photo's ended up on my mom's cell phone so I don't have many shots! It was great to visit with my parents and of course this is when we discovered the dairy intolerance also. It was wonderful to introduce her to Gracie, my parents 70 pound boxer who was super protective over her all weekend. So adorable. Emma also got to be a part of her first party! Her daddy turned 31 so we had a cake and candles and sang him happy birthday! He told me that Miss Emma was the best birthday present I could have given him! <3

Sleeping with Grandma

Snuggling with Papa

Happy Birthday Daddy

Gracie on watch

We did end up getting great shots of a truly special gift that Emma received at the baby shower. My uncle built a custom cradle for her. It's truly an amazing piece of furniture. Of course my mom proceeded to make a custom mattress and bumper pads for it in my favorite colors...grey! We like to put her in it when she catnaps and it will be a perfect place for her to rock her own baby dolls to sleep when shes older! I can't believe that this beautiful piece of carpentry belongs to her!

I know that we have many more adventures to come and we can't wait!!!!

Monday, August 25, 2014

First Month Favs!

Since our little girl is almost two months old I thought that I would make a list of all the things that we, as parents, loved during her first month. Since they are so small they really don't start to form "opinions" about things right away so most of these are from mommies point of view. Next month she seemed to give me certain opinions about which products to use! Tee hee. So here we go:

1. My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow: I love this nursing pillow. Honestly it's my nursing crutch and I have a really difficult time nursing without it (maybe I need to start practicing.) For the first couple of days I used my Gia pillow from Dr. Browns, but she kept slipping off or rolling into my breast and it was just difficult to use. At our first doctor's appointment they let me use this guy and we immediately went out and bought it. It supports the baby well and gives a firm place for her to lay, it also has a back support and straps to you so it wont shift around.

2. Lanisoh Lanolin: In the beginning when we were both getting adjusted to nursing, my nipples were cracked and raw! This stuff helped to give me great relief! I still use it ever so often, when we are going through a growth spurt and shes attached to my breast all day, but I don't really use it daily anymore. I must mention that even though it's not pictured, I used a nipple shield to help heal a really cracked and bleeding nipple. I recommend those as well if you are having a problem.

3. My Little Snugabunny Cradle n' Swing: I cannot say how great this little thing is! She loves to lie in it and swing back and forth or side to side! I love that it plugs into the wall so we don't have to spend a fortune on batteries and that it plays soft lullaby's and spins the little birds to for some stimulation. It's great to be able to put her in if I need to eat, or just need to give my arms a break for 5 minutes!

4. Huggies Little Snugglers: We got lots of different brands and styles at my baby shower of diapers so we really got to see which ones we liked. These diapers do a great job of holding in messes without being really bulky. I love that the "wetness indicator" line goes all the way to the back (some don't) and that they are easily adjusted.

5. Carter's Onesies: When we brought little miss home it was ungodly hot. Middle of July means what do we put the baby in to sleep? We didn't want her in long sleeve gowns or long johns so we improvised and made her onesies her "pajamas." They were perfect. Lightweight and really long to accommodate her 21 inch body. They are soft and really durable too!

6. Sprout App: This is a pay app for the iPhone (don't know about android) and I can't even tell you how much I love it! It keeps track of feedings, diapers, sleeping, pumping, medical information and appointments, milestones and it gives you little tidbits on development as well! Great app!

7. Johnson's Baby Oil: Emma started to get a dry scalp at around 2 weeks of age. Well this momma panicked and thought that it was becoming cradle cap. Whenever we washed her hair we brushed her scalp in a circular motion and then applied baby oil all over her scalp. After about a week and a half of this all the dry, dead skin lifted and we have a perfect little head!

8. Aiden and Anais Swaddle Blankets: We swear by these! Along the same lines with the pj's, we wanted to swaddle her without overheating her (I am paranoid about SIDS.) These are gigantic so they can provide a really tight swaddle all while still being really breathable. LOVE LOVE LOVE these.....worth the price!

9. Arm's Reach Co-Sleeper: Since we are all rooming together, this co-sleeper is perfect! She's right there next to the bed so it makes for late night feedings really easy as well as over cautious mommy who just wants to stare at her and make sure shes ok. It's really wonderful and just large enough to not take up a lot of room either!

Monday, August 11, 2014

The First Month

I am sorry that this post comes two weeks late. We went on a little trip and then when I went to finish the post, blogger completely messed up and all my work was deleted! 

I cannot believe that our little girl has been in our lives for a month! It is true what they say about not blinking because they truly grow right before your eyes at warp speed! Here's what been going on for the first month!

Our first week home was relatively easy, but just figuring out her, her needs and our new roles as parents. We came home sleep deprived (who doesn't) and had an interesting first night. D had gone to rest and my M.I.L. was holding Emma. I asked him to set an alarm at midnight just in case I fell asleep so that I could feed her. At 12:15 I woke up in the chair and Emma was asleep with my M.I.L. We said goodnight to her and I went in the room. I asked D to wake up the baby while I went and got some water. He looked at me and said "wake who?" I told him the baby and he replied "what baby?" Pure exhaustion mixed with low blood sugar doesn't work for my hubby. My hormones caused me to break into tears and he woke up and realized what he was saying. Later that same night.....around 4am I finished feeding her and asked D to change her diaper, to which he replied "I just did!" Again half asleep and not realizing that it had been over two hours. Needless to say our first night home was very interesting and comical now. He felt really bad and now when he's a little loopy I tell him to test! We had our first Dr's appointment with an all clear for jaundice, yay!, but we lost 9% of weight from our birth weight. My milk came in the next day and we were able to go back up half of what was lost. Whew! We celebrated Emma's first holiday and first bath all at once on Independence Day. We had an epic mommy and daddy fail. We gave her the bath on the kitchen counter, directly under an a/c vent! Mistake one. Then in the bedroom we dried her off and put lotion on her under a full blast ceiling fan! Mistake two. Needless to say our little girl was cold and really upset! We learned our lesson quickly! But after that she was content and happy on the boob. She's been an alert baby since day one with awesome head control!

Week two was a continuation of the learning curve for mommy, daddy and baby. Figuring out her cues and learning all about breastfeeding. We went up to visit my parents and Papa got to officially meet her! It was a relaxing weekend but we started to have some interesting stools which we cause for some concern and a lot of googling, more on that later. We just soaked her in and enjoyed every minute of her.

Week three. After our check up, the doctor determined that miss Emma may have a dairy intolerance. I was asked to remove all dairy from my diet, which is so hard because milk protein is in everything! After a couple of days things were back to normal, until I made the epic error of eating a chocolate cookie. Back to having the bad poo's. Sigh. Weight gain was not where I would have liked to see it, so we kicked into feeding and eating focus all week. She also had a growth spurt during this week so all she wanted to do was eat anyways. I don't think I showered until someone got home everyday this week. Man is it difficult to try and get a newborn on a schedule. We worked on tummy time, our neck control and started to really love to look at lights. She also started to smile in recognition of things.

Week four was more of the same things. I went shopping and looked through everything in our house to determine what I can and cannot eat. Sandwich bread was the big shocker there, as was salami. We went to the doctor's again and it was determined that she does have a dairy intolerance. She can outgrow it, but it could take anywhere from 4 months to a year to do so. We haven antacid that we give her if her tummy seems upset, but really all that needs to be done is for me to watch my diet. It's pretty strict and difficult, but its not something that I cant do. She is getting so big, and as you can see is starting to hold up her head really well! Our hair also started to fall out! *Tears!* But I know its only temporary and it will grow back.

Monthly Stats:
Weight: 7 lbs 12 oz (14%)
Height: 21 in (per hospital measurement 77%)
Head: 14.25 in (56%)

Eat: We are exclusively breastfeeding and we are doing it on demand. I was told to limit her to 20 minutes on each side, but I didn't feel that was working well for her so I decided to let her go until she is done on one side and offer the other. We had some latching issues at the beginning that caused me some nipple rawness, but I got a nipple shield and it helped to heal her up. Now we don't have any problems and she latches like a champ! I have a breast pump, but I haven't started to use it yet. We feed every two to three hours during the day. Overnight we get one lump that lasts from three to four hours.

Sleep: We haven't set a schedule yet, although I need to start. I think that sleeping in various swings, or in peoples arms either makes her not get a deep sleep, or she is a night owl because without fail every night at 11PM she is wide awake and wanting to look at the lights. Our first couple of weeks was really good, but we seem to be in this cycle. Hopefully I can get her on a nap schedule and try and get those overnight spans to be a little longer. We get a good span from 1AM to about 4AM. We found out quickly that rocking her in the recliner and white noise from either our box fan or the bathroom fan helps to put her to sleep. We also swaddler her to help keep her sleep. We discovered that she hates to have her arms swaddled. I woke up one morning to discover her arm out through the bottom of the swaddle and pushed the blanket up over her face. Thank goodness it was a thin muslin blanket, but we don't swaddle her arms anymore!

Diapers: We are loving on the Huggies little snugglers. We are still using diapers from my baby shower and have only had to buy one package because we didn't bring enough to my parents house....oopsies. We like the snugglers because they do the job without adding a lot of bulk and have only had one "accident" thusfar and it was minimal. We also learned quickly to turn off our ceiling fan while changing her or else we will have more laundry to do. We downloaded the Sprout app for recording input and output, which is also a great way to keep track of how many diapers we have gone through.....a whopping 358 in 6 weeks!

Bringing her home: July 2nd (1 day old)
First Bath: July 4th (3 days old)
First holiday: Independence Day (3 days old)
Held up head: July 11th (1 week old)
Lost belly button: (8 days old)
First Walk: (2 weeks old)
First Smile: (3 weeks old)

Here are some photos from her first month!

Going home!
First Holiday (Independence Day)
First Bath
Looking uncomfortable in her bouncer
First Walk
Sleeping in her custom cradle
Celebrating daddies birthday
Lounging with Uncle Ryan
Lost her belly button
Watching sports with Daddy

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Newborn Photoshoot

Most hospitals have a photographer come in and take photo's of the newborns. Many new parent's don't know how to take photo's or have the energy to take decent photos so it's a nice thing to have when the babies are so new. We were the same. Even though we both know how to take photos and consider ourselves amateur status, exhaustion and forgetfulness played a role in which photo's got taken.

Our hospital has a professional photographer come in and take the newborn photos. I was skeptical that the photo's were going to be any good, because I have seen some of the ones that have been done, considering some hospitals have new photographers come in and they don't always look the greatest. I was highly impressed that our photographer came with a basket and a pillow. She used our blankets and the handmade hats that we received also. I am glad I packed some headbows as well! I fell in love with all the photo's that were taken, minus the ones of me because she came in right after my shower, please don't mind our unkempt look! I love all of them and even though Emma was having a fit because she was hungry, the photographer managed to get some really cute and serene shots of her! We will cherish these always! Thanks to Baby Bella Photography for the great shots of our little angel!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

6 lbs 8 ozs of Pure Sweetness (Delivery Story)

This is the continuation of the birth story of our little Miss Emma Jean. If you missed the first part, you can read it here.

When we last left off our families had gone home to get some rest before I was to start pushing. I had received the epidural and was advised to rest. Due to the fact that my legs were warm and completely numb, resting seemed a little unlikely. D pulled out his bed and lied down to Facebook for a bit. I tried to close my eyes and sleep but many thoughts were running through my mind. About 15 minutes later the nurse came in to do an cervical exam. She said I was between a 4 and a 5 cm dilated. She then left the room, I guess to call my doctor to advise him of my progress. She had come back in and informed me that my doctor wished to start me on Pitocin. I was very uneasy about the Pitocin, considering how much progress I had already made and told her that I would rather wait. She said she would call the doctor back and ask if we could wait an hour and see what happens. When she came back in the room she told me that he was highly advising the pitocin because my contractions were becoming sporadic, from every one minute to every four minutes and back. The medication would keep me on track so that my labor would not stall. After a mini pow wow with D we decided that it was the best course of action to take. She left the room to get the medication, and within 15 minutes I was hooked up to an iv drip of Pitocin and advised to sleep. This was at 11:15PM.

Over the course of the next 30 minutes lots was apparently happening un-benouced to me, remember I am completely numb from the chest down. Side note: I had asked the nurse at what point they turn down the epidural, and she told me that they don't turn it down. Um, yea. I know you do.....every nurse has said that they do! Alarms started to go off on the baby's heart rate monitor. Darin came over to watch it, and it was fluctuating a lot, which had been doing all afternoon and evening. He had a look of concern and stood there for 10 minutes watching it. I eventually looked at him and said, "They are watching the monitors, if there is a cause for concern they will come in here." He agreed and went to lie back down. His head barely hit the pillow before two nurses came in and started looking at the monitors. My L&D nurse checked me and said "I don't feel a cervix." I looked at her wide eyed, then at the clock and said "Are you serious?" I was only halfway less than 30 minutes prior, and now I am completely dilated and it's go time?!?! D jumped from the bed and made phone calls to his mom and my mom to come back to the hospital. He mentioned to the nurse that the pitocin must work fast and she told him that I couldn't have gotten two drops yet. I guess my body was ready for baby to come. She left to call the doctor and prepped me and the bed for pushing. We started "practice pushing" at 12AM.

Even though I couldn't feel anything, I remembered what muscles to use. I still felt like nothing was happening and I kept asking her if I was doing it correctly. She said that I was doing great and D cheered me on, while holding my leg up. At around 1AM my doctor came into the room. There was two L&D nurses as well as a baby nurse, D, and myself. Lots of things were going on around me. All the nurses commented on D's "Dad to Be" shirt and he told them he had a "New Dad" shirt as well. Once everyone was situated we started the real pushing. The monitors were no longer registering my contractions so the nurse had to push on my belly until she felt one coming on and then I would push. At the beginning of pushing I couldn't feel anyone touching my legs, by the time she was crowning I could feel my chest, stomach and legs as well as her head crowning. At one point I remember feeling so tired and I asked the doctor how much longer he thought. He told me thirty minutes and I thought to myself....."oh no, this baby is coming out now!" Three pushes later and she was here, on my stomach purple and screaming. I remember thinking "Oh my god shes here! Wow! She's bigger than I thought she'd be!" The cord was wrapped around her neck one time and being in the birth canal for so long she had a conehead. Her color wasn't returning as fast as they'd like so once D cut the umbilical cord they took her to the warmer to take her measurements and to give her some oxygen. At 2:02AM we welcomed Emma Jean into the world. 6lbs8ozs of pure sweetness, blue eyes and maybe strawberry blonde hair (jury is still out on this one because it changes daily!) Once everything checked out with her, she was placed on my chest for our first skin to skin. Our families came in to meet her and everyone was ecstatic to meet her! So now that I have fully described the entire event, here's little Emma's first photoshoot!

She wasn't very happy with the hat!

Skin to skin, exhausted but elated!

There's the "New Dad" can't read it though! Hehe

Sucking our thumb 30 minutes later.

Dad and Emma skin to skin time!
I am grateful that everything went smoothly. I would have liked the opportunity to go into labor naturally, but this was the easiest induction I have ever heard of! She was ready to meet the world! Thank you so much for all the support over the last 10 months! I will continue to update you all on all things related to baby and of course our lives! Thanks for reading and supporting us!