Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Favorite baby items so far

Yes my baby is 6 weeks old. I do not know how this happened. Need to work on a monthly post for him. Maybe I'll do a monthly post on what each kid is up to...

Anyways, here are some of my favorite items that we got for the second kid.

Aden and Anais Swaddle Blankets
These blankets are great! I only have 1 right now but plan on getting a few more. They are nice and light weight. A good covering for Julian to keep him out of the sun. Are fantastic swaddles, especially when it is hot. They are large too so they will work for swaddling for a long time. I love how I can cram it into the diaper bag too. Wish I had these with Evie!

Rock 'n Play
Julian likes to be held. He likes to be moving. He likes to feel close and closed in. I used this at a moms group and was able to get him down for a nap without holding him and bouncing him. Really! Was amazing. I use it 1/2 of the time at night. Try the bassinet first, and when that does not work, I use this. Amazing!

Yoga Ball
This is the one we have. It is a life saver. I had a medium one before for working out, but when your baby likes to be bounced for hours, this is a necessity. Easier to use. You can get better bounces out of it. I love this one since it is weighted and stays in place much better than the non weighted ones.

A wrap is so needed with a newborn. They are close, they can smell you, they can hear your heart beat, and they are swaddled like so they feel like they are in the womb again. It really helps calm Julian down and lets me get things done. Yes it is a hot device. When it is hot and humid like the past few days I try not to use it since yeah we both are covered in sweat (gross I know). Also makes shopping so much easier. I have grocery shopped many times with this.

Ring Sling
(google image search) I made this before Julian was born. Love it. Quick on and off. I made mine out of linen to make it more breathable. I do need to alter it a bit to fix a little annoying issues and to make the tail shorter. But it is very workable as is and I use it a lot. I know I will use this thing for lots of day care drop off and pick up. Here are the instructions I used to make mine.

This is the one I have, a Hygeia Enjoye. I am enjoying it, does seem to get milk out faster than my Medela Freestyle. And since it was covered by insurance, every mom should get themselves a good pump!

White Noise App
I have a white noise app on my cell phone. This really helps calm him quick. I have left it on and have slept with it too. Static.... He seems to like the white noise better than birds, ocean, bugs, etc. Hey it makes him happy so I'll take it!

This thing is a lifesaver if you like hot coffee. I can make one cup and enjoy it without making too much coffee. Yes we have this cheaper one that takes a bit longer to warm up, but it really is not that long. I also have the ekobrew refillable cup. Cheaper to buy grounds and use this.

Mom's Groups - If you have not gone to a moms group, go to one. It is one of the healthiest things you can do as a new mom. A reason to get out of the house. A reason to laugh. A way to realize you are not crazy and what is happening with you and your newborn is NORMAL. It helps give you sanity.

There is one more thing we are debating about getting. A bottle warmer. Julian is very particular. He likes his bottles mommy temperature. So we are looking at one since he gets a bottle nightly to get him used to it. And I know I will be gone and Nick will be feeding him bottles during the weekend. And I know that the kids will be babysat and a bottle will need to be given. Currently it takes a good 10 minutes to warm the bottle, where a lot of the reviews of warmers I see it takes 4 minutes. Could be worth it.

Of course there are a few more things I forgot and want to add:

These are great breast pads! I did not need them with Evie, but a second time nursing mom, I need them this time. They don't show much under clothing. They are absorbent and so soft. I did have issues with bleeding and cracked nipples. Other breast pads would stick to my nipples and I would have to run under water to get it off without pealing off the scabs. These did not stick and helped me heal. I love them.

Lily Padz
Also great breast pads! They really helped with healing. They stick to your boobs so you don't need to wear a bra (I always do now). They really really helped with my cracked nipples. No sticking. They helped with my over supply. You don't leak with them - they apply pressure to your nipples to prevent you from leaking.

Motherlove Nipple Cream

This stuff is so much better than the lanolin they give you in the hospital. Goes on easier. And I think it helped me heal quicker. It is food grade stuff, so it is safe for your baby to ingest if he/she does. Wonderful product!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

First vs Second Kid

After 2 weeks, I have realized a lot of my parenting style has changed since my first child was born. I have learned what is 'normal', what I don't need to worry about, etc. And of course, I have forgotten all the fun newborn stuff over the past almost 3 years.

With Evie, I was trying to make sure she ate every 2 hours. It was tiring, and she was really hard to wake up. When newborns are asleep, it takes so much effort to wake them up. Undressing them, changing their diaper, tickling their feet, blowing on them (heard a good tip to wet finger and put it on their belly then blow on it). It is just hard and none is guaranteed to work. None of these worked on Evie.

But with Julian, I have learned to let a newborn sleep. Never wake a sleeping baby. They will wake up and let you know when they are hungry or when they need a diaper change. Really. If you are tuned to them and they sleep next to your bed, you can catch them waking up and rooting way before they sleep.

I guess that is something else I have learned with already having a kid, the being able to sleep with keeping an ear out for any noises. I did not sleep well when Evie was a newborn, but with Julian I actually sleep. I am not checking if he is breathing as much. I actually sleep at night when he sleeps. Also I am OK with the idea that I can fall asleep while holding him on my chest burping him. I am not on the edge of the bed. I have both arms around him, and I am more sleeping aware I guess....

As stated above, we tried to feed Evie every 2 hours. This was exhausting since I needed to pump, we syringe fed for a while. Then I graduated to a nipple shield and used that for a month. We still supplemented with a bottle here and there.

With Julian he latched immediately. I know how to sandwich my boob to get it in his mouth. I know when his latch is good. I know when his latch is bad. I can walk around while nursing him! I am so much more knowledgeable of the hungry cues and he rarely gets too worked up to eat. He nurses on demand, so at times I feel like he is constantly on the boob, but times where he is not nursing for a long stretch.

Leaving them be
I have learned that I can go upstairs to start laundry while he is downstairs sleeping in the pack n play. Yes I look down to make sure he is ok often, but I don't tote him around with me. I guess this is a bit more freedom and less worry. I have learned how to take a shower (bouncy seat in bathroom) and take one regularly without issue. I am getting more done around the house.

Listening to my body
If I am tired I try to take a nap, or at least relax on the couch. If I am sore I sit down and force myself to not push myself. Really, it is simple, but I think when Evie was a newborn, I felt like I had to do this, this, and this and really let my recovery take longer.

Getting out of the house
I don't know why, but it is so much easier to get out of the house! I know what is needed in the diaper bag and I can quickly get it together. I am not worried if the baby cries, since usually I know what he wants. Also I am now a baby wearing mommy - so much simpler to do things and keeps him happy. I have gone to the grocery store, target, moms groups, etc. I am not afraid to take my baby out in public. This also lets me keep my sanity. Getting out of the house daily is really important. Also for quick outings, yes I bring the diaper bag, but no I do not bring it into the store - So much easier!

Baby Wearing
I have learned that baby wearing is so much easier to do things in and out of the house! I have a boba wrap, I made a ring sling, and I have an ergo. With him being so tiny, I am using the wrap and ring sling. The ring sling is so easy to put on and off, but I feel he is more secure in the wrap. I was very smart and made the ring sling of linen so it is nice and breathable in this heat! I am able to clean around the house, clean up dog poop, etc with him on me. Such a great thing to do!

With my first, I always watched all of Evie's clothing separate. I continued this for a good 1.5 years. Then I started washing all our clothing together. Julian's clothing is already mixed into ours. I use the same laundry detergent (rockin' green) for all our laundry - so why not. Makes laundry simpler!

Forcing myself to eat an drink
This is so important with a newborn. I have so many snacks around the house. Every time I go to the kitchen I chug a glass of water. I know I need to eat breakfast and lunch, and have that food around the house. I think it is helping me loose the baby weight and helping me keep up my milk production!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Breastfeeding the second time around

So starting breastfeeding Evie was not easy. She would not latch. I had to try to latch her, using sugar water or formula and a syringe. Then feed her with a syringe. Then pump. It was a LONG process, and by the time I was done, everything cleaned for the next time, it was time to do it all over again. It sucked. She was starving since she was not eating enough. I would not have made it through it if it was not for Nick. He was a great support and so helpful in those first few days. Then we moved to a nipple shield, which let her latch, but I still pumped and supplemented with that. I believe we were off the shield around a month.

I was able to breastfeed Evie for 22 months. She decided when she was done. Loved it that way. Around a year we only nursed morning and night since I was DONE pumping at work.

Either it is because I am more confident, or my boobs are more prepared, or Julian is more willing, but nursing is going so much better this time around!

He latched right away in the delivery room! I am nursing on demand and not paying attention to the clock. I really think this helped my milk come in early. When we left the hospital (day 2 - monday birth wednesday left) my milk was already coming in! Was great. (Note: it may have helped that I was drinking Mom's Milk tea in the hospital). Funny - but the lactation consultants at the hospital were surprised about how well things were going. They said I was their easiest patient of the day!

Then I started to get engorged on Thursday. Wow this did not happen the first time around. It was painful. I iced my boobs after feeding. Took ibuprofen. And was generally uncomfortable. Friday (or maybe Thursday I don't remember) I went to Target to get soothies. My nipples were cracked. They both were bleeding. Julian was spitting up some digested blood from them. It was such a pretty picture. The soothies helped a lot.

Some of the issue I believe was that:
1 - was engorged
2 - was not using lanolin after every feeding
3 - was overproducing and his latch would lessen after the initial sucks

Monday I switched over from using soothies to using lilypadz and motherlove nipple cream. These are helping so much more. I was having an issue of some milk leaking out and drying on the breast pad/shirt/bra and having to pry my nipple off of it since it was stuck. Have not had this issue with the lilypadz!

I am leaking this time around, which did not happen with Evie. I want to get some bamboobies breast pads. Have been wanting to get some the past few days, but have not made it to babies r us (maybe today).

And here is a lovely picture of me breastfeeding Julian in the delivery room. Nothing is shown that should not be, and breastfeeding is lovely :)

For the past few days Julian's feeding schedule has been around 2-3 times at night (goes from 3-5 hours between feedings). Then continues 2-3 through the day. Cluster feeding starts around 4 and goes to 7. But then is done for a while! Yes I am currently getting sleep!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Introducing Julian Alexander

Julian Alexander was born Monday May 20 at 1:41 pm!

The morning started off normal. Woke up went to the bathroom, started to loose mucus plug (got excited). Was very excited, maybe things are starting on their own!

Got Evie ready for daycare (school). Dropped her off. Then we headed to the hospital to start the induction process!

Got there a tad after 7am. Went straight to our room and I put on a Johnny. Was a corner odd shaped room, but whatever. Sat in bed and they hooked me up to the monitors. Asked questions, filled out paper work (digital), signed (digital), and just got ready.

The OB came in, saw I was contracting some (they said it was about 3-5 minutes apart). At 7:40 am the OB broke my water and said she would see how that went before using pitocin. She noticed that there was a bit of meconium in the water, so he had to be monitored a bit more.

OK the water breaking was different than it was with Evie. The contractions started to get more painful. With Evie there was one big BIG gush. This one there was a gush, but not as big. And I kept trickling out fluid all day. Like got up and even though I was wearing a pad, it would gush onto the floor and down my leg. Awesome.

With the water broken, the contractions did get much more painful. Very quickly I had to concentrate through them.

At around 8 am they had to start an IV so I could get the IV antibiotics. The nurse warned me that my arm would feel it, and she was not kidding. Was a slight burning sensation, and uncomfortable. She gave me a warm blanket to put on my arm, and yes it did help a lot with the pain. Took a good 30 minutes or more to get the bag of antibiotics.

Sat in bed for a few, channel surfed. The nurse got me an exercise ball since I knew I would want to use it. Ordered breakfast (fruit, blueberry muffin, juice).

Got on the exercise ball and kind of watched tv. Was doing some hip movements I knew from dancing for birth class. Really helped me through each contraction. I loved that exercise ball. Did not want to walk, since the contractions were decently uncomfortable. Was nice not to be tethered to the monitors too. Every once and a while she would get a listen to the baby, but that was it.

Around 10 am I decided to get in the tub. The nurse started the water for me and got the tub nice and warm. She fluid locked the IV and I got into the tub. Nick brought in our bluetooth speaker and listened to music and just sat in the tub. It was not as good as I thought it would be. The tub was not deep enough. Did not use the jets, just was not feeling them. Tub at home would have been MUCH better. Stayed in the tub for a good hour I believe. Got out when she wanted to get a listen to the baby.

Got back on a Johnny and hoped into bed for the listen. Then got back onto the exercise ball. It was my place of choice this labor. I would like to say the contractions were 3 or less apart and lasting a decent amount of time. At noon they started a second bag of antibiotics, but this one had lidocaine in it so it was not painful at all. Was able to be on the ball with the IV stand. But still not hooked up to monitors!

At a bit before 1pm they were getting decently painful. Nick could tell I was getting close since he could tell the level of pain I was in. The nurse and I were curious how far I was, so I got into bed and she asked the doctor to come by once she was out of a c-section. Took a while, and laboring was HARD. She came in and I was a good 7cm. The nurse told me that 7-10 goes quickly.

Was trying not to get pain meds. But the contractions were one after another, and the time between there was a dull contraction. So a constant contraction that would increase in pain then decrease but not go away. Asked for Nubain around 1:10 and got it quickly. I felt it. At this point in labor it does not do much, but helped with the duller in between contractions pain level. Was uncomfortable in bed, but did not want to move. Was more comfy when I was on my side, but sat up during a contraction.

Around 1:20 I started involuntary pushing with each contraction. Wow could not control that and was really odd feeling. Nurse checked me and yep it was baby time! She went to find the OB. They were quite busy at that time so 2 of the OBs from the practice were there. The OB that was overseeing me was busy so another OB delivered (and I love her).

Started pushing at 1:30. Was a different feeling than pushing with Evie. Just felt like I had to push harder. And I knew I was pooping...haha... 3-4 pushes and his head was out. Took a break to gather my breath and then 1-2 more and his shoulders were delivered. 1:41 he was born!!! They kept him down there for a minute or two until the cord stopped pulsing then he came to me skin to skin. Amazing feeling. Immediately my heart grew. 8 lbs 3 oz 21 inches long!

Cuddled with him for a good 20 minutes while I delivered the placenta. I had to do some pushing to deliver it and my OB had to tug on the cord. OK that did feel odd feeling her tug on the cord. Took a while surprisingly. Then she started to stitch me up. A small second degree tear. She did a lot of 1-2 stitch cosmetic stitches. Like a lot.

They took him to get checked out. His temperature was a bit low so he came back to skin to skin and piled two warm blankets on us.

Interesting note - I did not shake at all after birth like I did with Evie. Maybe because I didn't have pitocin? Maybe because I didn't have as much IV fluid?

I ordered lunch and ate it with him on me. His temperature slowly started to climb. I got cleaned up and sat in the wheel chair. Then started to feel light headed. Sat with my head between my legs for a bit and slowly felt better. My blood pressure must have dropped when I got up.

We got wheeled to the Maternity area and settled into our room a bit before 3. He started nursing off great! Evie came and visited. She is fascinated with him!

She left that evening with her YiaYia and Papou. Nick stayed with me until 9 and headed home so Evie could have a normal morning. They stopped by the gift shop and Evie got him a little stuffed doggie that looks just like Luna! She was so proud of herself to get him a gift. We had breakfast together and she headed to daycare. Nick came back and hung out with us all day. He was an excellent nurser all day! Around 4 he headed out and got Evie and brought her home to do the normal after school stuff.

Was not bad being alone in the hospital. I sent him to the nursery at night so I could have a deep sleep. Was nice not to have to listen up for him. He was able to get his testing done, vital signs done, etc. I was able to shower before Nick came over in the morning. Yes sending him to the nursery was a great idea and they brought him back when it was time to eat!

We got discharged on Wednesday morning. Julian's weight was down to 7 lbs 12 oz. An expected weight loss.

So in love!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Induction Tomorrow!

Yep scheduled for tomorrow at 7am.

I am hoping it goes as fast as Evie's went. I am a little afraid of the pain again. I don't know why since I was able to handle it well with Evie's birth. Just jitters I guess.

Should be able to sleep tonight. The end is very close in sight.

I wonder if it will be quicker or longer than Evie's induction. I believe I am further dilated than I was with Evie, so that is beneficial for a quicker birth. I know I want to be more active during labor, more moving around.

Evie is officially going to be a big sister tomorrow! So excited!

Friday, May 17, 2013


I think having this kid is so on my mind.

Had 2 dreams (or maybe it was 1 combined).

One was that I woke up so dilated that I could push the kid out from the outside. Funny I know and so not realistic, but that is what dreams do.

The other was (and this is a second time this has happened) is that the kid came out a girl! I want a little boy, but so funny how i keep questioning it.

At most 3 days till this dude makes his appearance!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Giving Up

I have given up thinking that this kid will come on its own.

Yesterday I did lots of stair walking (every other stair), lots of lunges, lots of butterfly stretches, etc. I got some good contractions out of it, but everything puttered out mid afternoon. Blah.

Have not had many contractions since then. Today I had indian for lunch and chinese for dinner, so maybe? But I think I'll wake up to my alarm clock in the morning.

I just doubt my body knows how to go into labor. Or my kids like staying inside. Either he likes this water bed, where his sister isn't climbing all over him (just all over me). It is warm and cozy, and I get that.

I wish doctors were not so hopeful in saying when they think you will give birth. I remember during Evie's pregnancy that they did this and they are doing it again. At my 37ish week appointment, was talking to the doctor and she said that she thought I would be closer to my due date, most likely earlier. Yeah right.

Maybe this weekend. Maybe. If not Monday is the induction. So at most 4.5 days. I hope this induction goes as fast as Evie's was.