Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Hospital List / First days home

There a lot of different sources on hospital lists for mom / baby. I kind of obsessed over our list the first time, then never really packed a bag, and honestly can't remember what we cobbled together to bring to the hospital. Whatever it was, it was fine.

This time, it felt like a different experience because I knew the date and time we would be arriving at the hospital (most likely) and I knew there wouldn't be any labor and delivery time and that I would be recovering from a c-section. So, perhaps a little different ...

In case you care, here is what my list included for a repeat c-section, with some notes about the ultimate usefulness of these items:

Bag for Baby
Bag for Dad / Significant Other
Bag for Mom
(lots of bags, but helpful to have stuff separate and easy to find / bring in from the car when needed. Also, stuff accumulates at the hospital - good to have extra packing room coming home.)

Two cute swaddling blankets (never used)
Going home outfit (brought a preemie outfit and a 0-3 month. Ended up with preemie choice for a 7lb baby)
Couple of kimono style shirts and pants (never used)
Baby hats (never used, just used hospital provided)
Boppy (left in the car, never ended up bringing it in)
Breast pump (had ready at home just in case. Ended up using hospital grade pump and a kit of parts they provided)
Gift from baby to older sibling(s) if you want
So ... sounds like baby doesn't need a bag.

Dad / Significant Other:
Whatever he throws in!
Changes of clothes, toiletries, extra charger(s)
Extra pillows for mom and dad with patterned pillow cases to keep separate from hospital

Plastic folder / envelope for papers (super helpful. Brought insurance paperwork, hospital directions, copy of advanced directive. Placed all the various paperwork that accumulates during the hospital in one place to bring home)
Robe (didn't use. I'm not a robe person and didn't start now)
No-skid socks (didn't use, had flip flops instead)
Nursing tanks / bras, breast pads (used all of the above - brought Large tanks, could have used XL to account for engorgement. Got lanolin from lactation consultant)
PJ pants, nursing tops with short and long sleeves (I wore my own clothes on day 2 after I showered, was nice to have short and long sleeve options depending on room temp)
Toiletries (lip balm, good smelling travel shampoo, spare toothbrush and toothpaste, hairbands / headbands, extra contacts/glasses/eyedrops, face cleaner wipes). I had packed with spares of most everything and threw in a few essentials at the end. The face cleaner wipes were so nice when I couldn't get out of bed. Wish I brought hand lotion and a small mirror.
Makeup (never used)
Gum - may help with digestion / gas
Going home outfit - just wore the same thing I put on the morning we came to the hospital. Comfy and black, seemed slimming, though not so much.
Underwear and pads - I made sure to get undies that came up over my incision and brought my own thinner pads
Camera / chargers / batteries (we just ended up using our iPhones, so easy! We had 2 chargers, which were in frequent use. Plugs aren't all that convenient in hospital rooms - I read somewhere about bringing a short extension cord, which we didn't do, but you could)

Ahead of time:
Get a pedicure / manicure (I almost never treat myself to this, but it was nice to have pretty  hands and feet when the rest was, well, not so pretty)
Put a waterproof crib pad under the sheets on your side of the bed in case your water breaks
Treats for the nurses - 2 batches for day and night shifts. If it's homemade, bring the recipe! We had awesome nurses and the first time we gave them some cookies before we left, but it's nice to have the ability to plan ahead to bring something. They all commented on how nice it was and I'm sure we would have had great care anyway, but it's nice little insurance. :)
Baby-tracker app for phone. I was an obsessive note-taker with Ellen and now I use the "Eat Sleep" app for iPhone and it fulfills all my note-taking desires. :)
Baby books - read up on sleeping or feeding or whatever it is that you've gathered. I always think I'll have time after baby is born, but it quickly falls to the bottom of the priority list. I have a lot of books, but this time around I skimmed Baby Wise and The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems.
Check on your vaccines, especially for fall / winter babies: flu shot for everyone who will be around baby regularly and TDAP booster if you need it.  

Things to have on hand at home:
Since you won't be getting out anytime soon, grab these things before you deliver:
Slippers to have at home if you don't have any
Some zip up or button up tops that are big enough - just got a few fleece jackets from Old Navy
Extra lanolin - one tube for upstairs and one for downstairs if you need it. Use it EVERY time you nurse / pump
Extra pump parts - have everything on hand and sanitized, including bottles. I pumped much earlier this time than the first time and it was nice to have everything ready to go
Milk bags for freezer if you are breastfeeding (in case you pump - hang on to that stuff!). I think Lansinoh are easiest to use. 
Vitamin D drops for baby - recommended if breastfeeding
Pump hand sanitizer in any room you think you'll need it. I'm not generally a germaphobe, but I am with a newborn in RSV / flu season
Gas X for mom - I don't remember this from last time, but my gas pains in the hospital and at home are almost as bad as my incision pain. Tums / antacids won't work.
Miralax if things aren't, ummm,  moving (especially if you are taking pain meds)
Pacifiers if you think you'll use them, perhaps a few types (see my pacifier try-out post here). Ellen always liked the Nuk, but started out with the green Soothies pacifier from the hospital. We never got one (or even saw one) this time, and I had the Gumdrops pacifiers at home, which Georgia prefers.
Some kind of swaddle system - blanket / Kiddopotamous SwaddleMe (what we use) / Miracle blanket (have heard great things). I feel confidant swaddling with a blanket in the daytime, but I get nervous that blankets will get loose overnight.

Be aware:
My hands, wrists and feet were CRAZY swollen. I don't remember this the first time, but I also didn't get so many fluids prior to surgery because it was semi-emergency. My doctor suggested it's those first few bags of fluid you hang on to for a while.
If you have carpal tunnel in your pregnancy, it lingers for awhile. Like, almost 3 weeks later, my fingertips are still numb. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Screeching halt

I feel like about 17 days ago my life came to a screeching halt. For the best reason, of course, but a serious 180 degree turnabout in my schedule.

I am a person who likes to keep busy. Not in the work-out kind of way (but, damn, that would be useful), but rather I feel like I need to keep my hands and my mind busy. I always have some type of "project" that I'm working on.

Pregnancy and nesting exacerbated this in a serious way ... I wasn't sleeping well, so I was up early. I had lots of time to work on stuff. My almost 4-year-old was pretty independent and generally willing to run errands, so we had busy "home days". I completed virtually everything on my to-do list and felt pretty accomplished.

Fast forward to having an extra child, who isn't super easy to run-around with, and no sort of daily schedule and it all feels kind of strange. I'm not waking up at any specific time and when I do, I'm zombie-ish. Sometimes my first cup of coffee is at 9 or 10am and I feel like my day starts around lunchtime, which kind of feels awful. I don't remember this with Ellen, and perhaps it was because I was adjusting so much to just having a baby around. Now I feel much more confidant with the baby, leaving me feeling like I should be accomplishing more.

It's ridiculous, I know. Keeping my girls fed and happy and healthy is my most important task, always at the top of my to-do list. I just felt it was worth sharing that this was an unexpected adjustment with child #2 ...

So, you may find that I post more here about "new mom" things, or at least "second time mom things" and you may wonder why I'm spending my time on this. One, I hope it's helpful to someone else (you know I love to research things and I always find other people's opinions helpful). But two, and just as important right now, it gives me a "project" - something quick and simple and it's preserving my sanity.

So, for that, thanks.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Baby girl

I've always hoped for two children. While Ellen fit our family perfectly, I always wished that she would get to experience having a sibling. As it goes, we were so busy with her toddler-hood that I was never sure when or if another baby would fit in. As a planner (no, PLANNER), I thought I could pretty much control how this would all work out. My first lesson in being a parent of two is that "planning" and "control" are laughable. Celebrating holidays with Ellen has been beyond fun, but as we near the Christmas season, I must admit that I always felt a tiny pang of longing. I didn't buy stockings because I wanted there to be two matching ones. I couldn't wait for siblings in Christmas jammies. It should come as no surprise that those two things were tops on my To-Do list after bringing Georgia home. I'm happy, thankful (so thankful), and feel like our family is finally exactly as it was meant to be.

I summarized my first pregnancy here, so same story, second verse:

Hoping, wishing, waiting. Waiting, waiting, waiting and waiting some more. Pssst - it's positive. A huge smile on the inside, a cautious smile on the outside. Feeling good, then not-so-good, then pretty good again. Ultrasound 1, 2, 3 .... 8. Everything looking as it should - still nervous. Good looking nuchal, frankly scary-looking 3D ultrasound. We're having another baby! (Shhh ... Ellen doesn't know). It's a boy, right? It's gotta be a boy. "Mama - I'm ess-ited about your baby"- heartbroken, then so happy to share the news with a happy big sister (who ordered a girl baby). Cupcake bows and Spiderman bows. Surprise ... it's a .... GIRL! Serious sweet tooth - gummy candy extravaganza and homemade s'mores. Nightly. Haven't gained as much weight as the first time, until, 8 pounds in 1 month? I'm sure the scale was broken. Sciatica. Tired - OH SO TIRED. Growth looking good? Well, not so much. Moderate panic - nest, nest, nest. Oh, kidding, she looks just fine - fat around her belly (takes after her mother). Feeling good again, develop a plan to stock the freezer. To the gills. Time to do laundry - where did all these blankets and burp cloths come from? Are 25 pairs of tiny socks enough? The closets are clean, the house is clean, the freezer is full. Will she wait? Not a contraction in sight. Pass time with my feet up on the couch. Halloween distraction. Please no Halloween birthday. Goodnight sweet Ellen, when we see you again you will be a big sister. No big deal, just waking up at 4:45am to have a baby. It's calm, casual, breezy - so different from the first time. Waiting, waiting, waiting again to see your sweet face. "What a beautiful round head! And, so much hair!" Here she is ... looking just like Ellen! A quick cry, then quiet - my sweet, patient girl taking it all in. We all were. Happy beyond belief. Relief beyond belief. The new normal - life as FOUR.