Category Archives: Baby

How to survive

Clearly I haven’t written a blog entry in a long time. I’ve been busy with Elliot [who is almost 11 weeks old!], and I would rather spend time with her than hang around the interwebs.

Anyway, this is a post by request. We have lots of friends who are preg or planning to have a baby in the foreseeable future. Having a baby means one thing : you need a lot of stuff. I hate lots of stuff. So, this is my take on what you really need for the first few months. Feel free to comment with additions or other recommendations.

Babies don’t do a lot. One thing they do is sleep. For sleeping:

  • A co-sleeper. We have the Arm’s Reach original co-sleeper and really like it. Co-sleeping reduces the risk of SIDS and makes it easier to feed the baby during the night [read: you don’t have to get out of bed. #winning]. I’m also a big fan of the Arm’s Reach because it functions the same as a Pack ‘n Play, grows with the baby, and looks a hell of a lot better, in my opinion.
  • Halo sleep sack swaddle. Probably 2. We really only use one, but it’s nice to have a spare in case one gets dirty. Having a winter baby, we use the fleece kind, which keeps Elliot warm in the co-sleeper without the worry of a blanket. We didn’t swaddle Elliot’s arms at first at the advice of the lactation consultant who led our breastfeeding class. The baby needs to be able to cue that she is hungry and wake up to eat. Something to consider… we do swaddle her now.

Babies also eat… a lot. Luckily not much is required for this. I have a boppy, but don’t use it to feed Elliot. I also don’t use our glider. So, yeah, I don’t actually need anything for this one. I do like these Undercover Mama tank tops though. [Elliot will not use a bottle, so I have no recommendations on that front.] Oh, and I use a Hooter Hider nursing cover when we have guests or we are out of the house. Depending on personal preference that may not be necessary, but I haven’t really ventured into feeding Elliot without one in public even though it can get really hot under there.

Around the house we use…

  • Cloud B Sleep Sheep Snug Rug. We used this a LOT when Elliot was tiny. She loves to lay on it, it isn’t ugly, and I can see her snuggling with it for a long time. It’s also super easy to carry around the house. I just lay it in the floor wherever I am.
  • Burp clothes. 10 is probably a good number. We have 10 of the Gerber Newborn Gauze prefolded diapers plus 4 more that are monogrammed and cuter, but otherwise exactly the same. Make sure to get the gauze ones because they are supposedly more absorbent although I haven’t personally tested it. We try to always lay one under Elliot in case she spits up, but I have a spit up spot on the bed right now due to failure to follow my own advice.
  • Mittens. Seriously one pair is probably fine and we don’t use these anymore. We did need them in the first few days – Elliot would constantly scratch herself. Now we cut her nails [or use a nail file], but I didn’t really feel like doing that in the first few days, so the mittens were a help.
  • Clothes. 10 outfits is enough at any given time. I know people are going to say that babies need lots of clothes, however, it is rare that I change Elliot’s clothes more than once per day. Plus, I do laundry frequently. The complicated part of clothing is that it is impossible to predict the size of the baby before birth. We didn’t have many newborn outfits and most [though not all] of the 0-3 months stuff was too big at first. However, a few newborn outfits was enough because Elliot has outgrown those… plus she could make the 0-3 months things work after just a couple of weeks. The other factor here is that we didn’t use much clothing at first for skin to skin contact and to help the umbilical cord stump fall off. We put her in little kimono shirts, but we got them for free at the hospital [well, free aside from the $18,000 cost of my surgery]. I am a big fan of one piece outfits. I think they are easy and Elliot wears them to sleep as well… Dustin likes the baby gowns [because he changes diapers at night] but I kind of hate them because Elliot can’t go in the carseat, the swing, the bouncy seat, etc with one on. I say skip the gown if you are strapped for cash, but get a couple if not.
  • Baby socks. I don’t really have any that I like or that stay on that great. We have some Etiquette and some from Old Navy, but I’m not really a sock fan anyway. Get one piece outfits that cover the baby’s feet! 😉
  • Blankets. We basically use one and not even that often [mostly when we go out of the house]. We have several aden + anais that we like and may use more in summer, but right now we use this one from their cozy collection. We have gotten TONS of compliments on it because of the weight.
  • Diapers and wipes. I could write a whole book on this. We use cloth diapers and cloth wipes. We LOVE BumGenius All in Ones – they don’t leak, they fit well, and there is no stuffing or maintenance for these [we use the snaps, not the velcro]. We just throw them right in the washer. We used some Charlie Banana newborns and they were terrible [they have a tag sewn in the back, which led to leaking]. We have Under the Nile wipes and a spray that we just spray right on Elliot.  [I am going to start making spray – I just got a recipe, so we’ll see how that goes]. We used two packs of Seventh Generation disposables when Elliot was first born [meconium could stain the cloth diapers and she had to be 8 lbs to fit in the BumGenius].
  • Changing pad. We leave our changing pad in the bedroom and don’t have an official “changing table”. We just throw the changing pad right on the bed and it works great for us. We also have a changing pad for on the go [the Pronto by Skip Hop]… we keep some disposable wipes in it, and it’s been particularly great for changing Elliot in the car when there’s not another option.
  • Wet bags. We use these to store the dirty diapers and wipes. We have two large and one medium, which we use when we are out of the house. I think this is the right number. We have really cute ones by SmittenBaby, which I can’t find for sale anymore. Maybe try Planet Wise?
  • Hooded towel. Just get 2.
  • Shampoo / body wash. We use Burt’s Bees.
  • Wash clothes. Get a pack from Target or something. We only really need 2, but I think they come in a pack of 5 for cheap, so just go with it.
  • Bath tub. We have the Puj and love it. I don’t care that we are going to need to get another baby bathtub eventually. It is so convenient right now… it works great and hangs flat on our refrigerator.

To leave the house

  • A carseat and carrier. We have the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio SIP 30-30 in Pois Grey and love it. It snaps into our BOB stroller, which is necessary with whatever car seat you get. Definitely get an infant seat rather than a convertible. According to our midwife, the infant seat it MUCH safer. Plus you can’t carry the convertible seats, which is a must have feature, in my opinion.
  • Stroller. We have the BOB Revolution SE. We wanted to have only one stroller… didn’t want a jogging stroller AND a mall stroller and an infant stroller and a bigger stroller… too much. The BOB is good for everything. Our car seat fits in (you also need this adapter).
  • A diaper bag. We don’t really have a true diaper bag – I use a leather bag I got for my birthday and I love it. It works fine, and I don’t look ridiculous with some baby patterned bag.

I think that’s really it in the way of must haves. There are a few things that we use to entertain Elliot… I don’t know that you need all of them, but it’s good to have a mix. We didn’t really use any of these for the first few weeks although we should have used the swing.

  • Rattle. Doesn’t matter what kind – we have several. We have used a rattle with Elliot since she was tiny although now she is entertained by it more than she was at first. In the beginning it was good to help her hear noises and turn to face them, etc. I carry one in the diaper bag.
  • Mirror. Elliot loves looking in the mirror, so I carry one in the diaper bag in case of emergency.
  • Brightly colored links. Elliot loves colors and holding things that fit in her tiny hands. These are good for that. Plus I can shake them and she becomes fascinated. They stay in the diaper bag.
  • Board books. She still doesn’t really care about books, but I occasionally read to her anyway.
  • Play mat. I bought this Fisher-Price play mat used [it looks brand new] from Craigslist. The person I bought it from said her baby hated it. Elliot LOVES it. I highly recommend the used route on this one since it’s kind of impossible to predict the outcome… plus they are really ugly [ours is bright, awful colors but Elliot loves them, soooo ?]. This Fisher-Price mat has flashing lights the baby can look at… these make Elliot laugh and squeal, so definitely get that feature. She also likes looking in the mirror, so a mirror attachment is really handy. 
  • Swing. I also bought this Fisher-Price Lil’ Lamb Dream Swing used from Craigslist. Elliot never looks happy in it, but it usually makes her pretty content and sometimes she falls asleep in it even if she looks angry. She used to always fall asleep in it, so it works awesome for a short time. This particular swing has a mirror and mobile above it… Elliot only occasionally notices them, but when she does, she is fascinated.
  • Bouncy seat. Skippy bought this one for Elliot recently… mostly as a kind of portable swing… it’s something easy to put her in that moves and makes her content without me dragging a gigantic swing around every room of our house [upstairs, downstairs, kitchen, bathroom, ugh]. Elliot hated it at first, but she is good with it now. It doesn’t really bounce on it’s own, which stinks… but it does vibrate, which typically is enough to make Elliot happy.

Dustin and I discussed ditching the swing and the bouncy seat after Elliot and getting something fancy like this mamaRoo that supposedly bounces and sways for our next baby. I’m thinking it kind of combines the function of both the swing and the bouncy seat and is still relatively portable. Anyone try one?

So, I think that’s basically it in the way of must haves or should haves. If I think of other things, I’ll come back and add to the post…

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elliot’s birth day

Elliot is two weeks old. I didn’t post much about our birth plan before E was born, even though it’s something we put a LOT of research and planning into [that’s probably a drastic understatement]… we decided to have a natural birth with the best midwife ever at Carolina Community Maternity Center in Fort Mill, SC.

I’m writing about Elliot’s birth now for two reasons.

1. I don’t want to forget it.

2. To all of you jokers who said I would be begging for drugs, BOOM.

So, birthing a baby.

As of the Friday before Elliot was born, I was pretty sure we were having a baby over the weekend. I didn’t feel well and was having random contractions. But, I really had no idea if anything was happening or not.

Saturday morning [January 19th and Elliot’s due date] I woke up a little before 2am with contractions. Our midwife told us if this happened [even if my water broke during the night] to go back to sleep. Well, I couldn’t really sleep, so I went upstairs to take a bath. I thought the bath would help… unfortunately it didn’t help at all. While I was in the bath, Dustin woke up to a “drip, drip, drip”… umm, yeah, the bathtub leaked through the ceiling [the new ceiling in the kitchen]. Very luckily the ceiling wasn’t damaged, but I was banned from taking baths.

After the bath and water situation, I went back to bed. I slept a little, but mostly just noticed the contractions were getting closer together. I was really hopeful because my mom told me I was born in 6 hours. *Note: Elliot was NOT, in fact, born in 6 hours.*

Around 5:30 or 6am, I took a shower and fixed my hair/makeup. You know, because who wants to look awful while having a baby? *Note: I am really glad I did this.*

A little after 7 I finally told D that I thought I was in labor and maybe he should shower just in case. This ended up being a little premature, but, hey, I still had that 6 hour number in my head.

We waited until after 8 to call Damaris [the best midwife ever] to let her know I was in labor. Our plan was to wait on going to the birth center… not leaving the house until contractions were 1 minute long and 3 minutes or less apart for an hour.

The next few hours were pretty boring. Basically, I found out that I couldn’t eat anything… it would all come back up. I walked up and down the stairs a bajillion times and walked circles around the inside of the house. I wanted to go to the birth center, but Damaris said no. Turns out she knew what she was talking about. [= best midwife ever].

After HOURS of walking around the house, I was finally allowed to go to the birth center. We arrived around 4pm and I was 6cm dilated and fully effaced. This was good because Damaris didn’t send us home. That would have been bad. For me.

At 6cm, I was hopeful that we would have Elliot on her due date. But, hours passed. I spent a lot of time in the tub at the birth center [a HUGE jetted tub, which was way nice]… a lot of time on the toilet [everyone told me the toilet was a good place for labor… they were right], annnnd some time walking laps around the birth center. Laying down was extremely painful, so Dustin and the best midwife ever made me do it.

I also spent a good amount of time eating and throwing up. Dustin and Damaris made me eat [shot blocks, clif bars, chicken noodle soup, crackers, a Luna bar…] and then I would get sick. The strategy was that I would get some energy from this. Who knows.

At some point I asked for Damaris to check and see if we were making progress. I have no idea what time this was, but it definitely seemed like we had already spent eternity at the birth center. 7cm. Dude. Not good.

*Sidetrack here*. D and I took Bradley Method classes [okay, we technically dropped out several weeks before the end of class, but we got a diploma]. During class I said they were a waste of time and that we didn’t learn anything new. Not true. During class we learned that there is such a thing as a plateau… you can dilate very quickly or steadily to a point and then it seems to just stop… but not to worry because then all of a sudden you can quickly dilate a lot more. It’s just a temporary plateau. Remembering that is what honestly got me through the rest of labor and it was worth the $200 we spent on class just to learn that one thing.

Elliot was not born on her due date. Obviously. The night continued to pass and we were very very close to being ready to push. I was pretty ready for this little activity to be over. I [by I, I mean Dustin] asked the best midwife ever if there was anything we could do to make this happen. She suggested a coffee enema.

People, this is not something you want to do. Putting coffee in yourself in an unnatural way is seriously not fun. However, due to the fact that I needed energy and couldn’t eat or drink or otherwise obtain energy AND I had been in labor for a solid day, I went with it. And you know, maybe it worked.

Soon[ish] we were ready to start pushing. I have absolutely no clue how long this took, but it didn’t seem too long or bad. [Coffee must have helped]. The toilet was good for this too. Seriously, it’s how Elliot’s head first started to come out. Gross, huh? [PS. This almost made D cry, so how gross could it be?]

We moved to the bed and soon Elliot’s head was really coming out. D thinks it is really important that guys watch this… must have been cool. I know they could see her hair and apparently her coloring. Technically, this was pretty painful, but not really THAT bad because I knew it was almost over.

*I have this sprint to the end program that I do. Sprint to the end is this program developed by my, I think, 9th grade social studies teacher. Then it meant that we would really push ourselves at the end of the semester. I think about it in races to use up all of my energy and literally try to sprint/push to the finish. I used the sprint to the end program in labor too. Why not?*

At 8:42am on Sunday, January 20, Elliot Anders Logan finally made her appearance into the world. She was kind of wiped off and came straight onto me. D cried.

We waited for her cord to stop pulsating and D cut it. Then Elliot ate for the first time [she has barely stopped since].

At this point we waited for the placenta to come out… and we waited… and we waited. The best midwife ever started to get concerned, so I got a shot of pitocin in my leg [pitocin causes contractions].

Nothing happened.

I was also eating A LOT of random stuff, drinking coconut water, drinking ginger tea.

Nothing happened.

More pitocin.

The best midwife ever tried to REACH IN and pull the placenta out. No joke. Pretty painful.

When she tried to pull the placenta out, it started to fall apart.

There had been a LOT of blood at this point. Blood clots gushing out everywhere, best midwife ever scooping them into a bucket… seriously, it was like an episode of Dexter gone wrong. A LOT of blood.

Alas, the assisting midwife called 911.

Soon the ambulance arrived to take me away to CMC Pineville. The best midwife ever went with me [after changing out of her bloody clothes]. D had to stay with Elliot at the birth center so they could finish her newborn measurements. D cried… and this time it was pretty sad.

The long and the short of it is, I went to the hospital. I was okay when I got to the hospital, and they started preparing me for surgery to remove the placenta. The nurse was the best nurse ever… D and Elliot arrived before I went into surgery and the nurse got permission for Elliot to be a visitor [the hospital has a rule against this right now because of the flu…]. Best midwife ever helped Elliot eat again.

After a really long time, I was taken to pre-op. [The hospital moved ultra slow… I was still bleeding]. While in pre-op, I started to feel light headed and told the medical geniuses that I needed blood. They finally decided to rush me into the operating room where I passed out. I’m guessing I had a successful surgery following this… and got two units of blood.

That pretty much sums up Elliot’s birth. Dustin, Elliot, and I spent the night in the hospital, but we were able to go home early on Monday morning.

I’m so glad everything went according to our plan, and everything happened the way we wanted… at least up to the point where Elliot was born. She is perfect and healthy and the placenta surgery was a bummer, but not a big deal in the grand scheme of things. [Yes, we had to stay in the hospital for a night and my recovery was pretty long from the blood loss, but now I’m back to normal.]

And we got to go home with this.

Elliot Anders Logan

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so maybe not exactly what I had in mind…

… but baby real baby is definitely a GIRL.

Girls are so hard.

As in, decorating for one and picking clothes that don’t hurt your head.

After much agony, I think D and I have settled on the direction for the nursery. I say agony because it has been really hard to pick something not too “baby”, something that can grow up without having to re-do EVERYTHING (I’m fine with re-doing things, just not in like… a year), and something that doesn’t make your brain explode from tacky overload.

We’re thinking gingham bedding + blue seersucker roman shades.

Inspiration

Image

Don’t worry – we are working in some pink. In the closet. In fact, I’m painting it today.

We’re planning to pull in some of the red from the bedroom in storage containers + accessories. Kind of Olivia the pig style. No plans to actually use Olivia the pig, but I do admire her style of mixing the pink and red. That fake pig has way more style than Miss Piggy.

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it’s a different world

annnnd I have the theme song stuck in my head.

What a great show. Why doesn’t this come on anymore?

I digress.

Weekends are now a little different in that we split time between house reno work and baby work.

On Saturday, D and I toured the Carolina Community Maternity Center . We decided to go with a midwife rather than a doctor for the birth of baby real baby [as long as everything goes as planned]. More on that later, but we both REALLY like the maternity center. We still want to tour another new center, so no final decisions yet.

We started the day today with breakfast at Toast [typical Sunday]. After a trip to Lowe’s, D worked on electrical in the nursery closet… he also ran some wires for future use. I spent most of the day cleaning, which is a serious endeavor every week due to Lily’s dog hair. We also met with a guy about our patio, which will hopefully be constructed at some point in the very near future. I need a place to sit with a fire pit before fall.

On the topic of a different world, I think I have officially entered one. My pants don’t exactly fit well… or technically button at all, which can be a real challenge. Every week I think things are going to fit a while longer annnnd then they don’t. It’s pretty mind-blowing. And kind of cool. And kind of annoying. The verdict is still out on that one.

We’re going to start posting photos soon… after we start taking them. We are kind of slack. Baby real baby is currently the size of a lemon, so just imagine that. If you are thinking “Harris Teeter lemon or Trader Joe’s lemon?”, the answer is… a 3.5 inch long lemon. Let’s leave it at that.

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baby real baby

Saturday morning D and I got up super early for the Lake Norman Excursion. We both ran the 5k piece then he left on a 40 mile bike ride. Since I am not allowed to road bike, I spent the day with my mom.

Our goal was to find some maternity pants since my regular pants don’t exactly fit well. We found a ton of stuff… including some things for baby real baby.

Every baby needs some sushi to chew on, right?

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resurrected.

The blog, that is.

It isn’t dead… it has just been on… hiatus.

My excuses include the following:

1. D and I went on vacation to Maui. I disconnected and never reconnected.

2. I am tired.  As many people already know, we are growing a tiny baby. Well, mostly me. Anyway, it’s been taking a lot of energy. But now I am feeling more energized.

Meet Baby Real Baby. Yes, that is what we call it. We have to distinguish it from my other baby. The furry one.

Unfortunately for Baby Lily, Baby Real Baby can already do things she can’t. Baby Real Baby can suck its thumb… Lily doesn’t even have a thumb. Aww. Poor Lil.

3. Over the past few weeks, D and I worked on some random projects. Some weren’t at our house. We spent one weekend working at the rental house and one day on projects at my grandmother’s. Not that fun, but my grandmother did give me this, which I have wanted my entire life.

D destroyed an upstairs closet. Drywall to come.

I started removing wallpaper. I found more wallpaper underneath that I cannot remove – previous homeowners sealed it up [even adding plaster over it in spots], so there is no way to remove it without annihilating the wall. I plan to re-seal it, caulk around the edges, and sand the seams smooth.

D installed cedar in our master closet and our front porch speakers.

Anyway, we’ve been up to some stuff. I swear I am blogging religiously again.

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