Archive for the ‘baby things’ Category

#babywearing two ways, a review

I’ve been doing a lot of baby wearing lately. First because it generally puts LP to sleep and second because then I get to hold him close while keeping my arms free. I have two baby carriers, the Moby Wrap and the ERGObaby Sport with the infant insert. Mostly I use the Moby wrap, but today I tried out the Ergo.

I love my Moby Wrap. I mostly use the Hug Hold, although I have used a Cradle Hold too. LP really likes being upright on my chest, so the Moby wrap is great because I can hold him there without my arms getting tired. Makes rocking him back and forth really easy. Putting him in the wrap and walking him around is a great way to get him to go to sleep when he’s upset/fighting it. It is also great for just holding him close while I do things like write blog posts, play WoW, and do basic house cleaning. I’ve decided that I’m not skillful enough yet to do the dishes while wearing him, yet.

The Moby wrap did take a little bit to get use to. It takes practice to get the wrap just right and to figure out how to position the baby in it for maximum comfort. Also, sometimes LP does not want to tuck his head under a side piece, so I have to hold his head until he’s asleep enough to tuck it for him. Also, if he’s upset and needs out now, it can still take a bit to get him out of the wrap, then get me out of the wrap, and then attend to him. Also, the Hug Hold used a lot of the fabric to hold him in place and it can get hot, especially outside in Texas, but sometimes even inside.

For someone who has scoliosis/back problems, the Moby wrap is generally pretty good. I can tie the wrap around my shoulders and waist in a way that works with my curves. I do find myself leaning back a bit when walking around with LP in the wrap.

Moby wrap

The ERGO baby is a very different experience than the Moby Wrap. It’s faster to get the baby into, but has more adjustments to do after the baby is in it. I like that it has a wide supportive base and that the shoulder straps are individually adjustable. However, there were times when I had my arms down that I was worried that one strap was going to fall off of my shoulder (it never did). When walking around outside I felt very supported and my back felt very comfortable. Even with the infant insert, the ERGO seemed cooler than the Moby. More ventilation at this age. Also the infant insert goes above LP’s head, so I have less worry about his head. However, the ERGO with insert is definitely bulkier than the Moby Wrap, and therefore not so good for doing housework/hanging out in. I’m guessing it will slim down when LP is big enough not to need the insert (in a few months).

So over all, the ERGO is great for walking around. I could see us using it when we’re out and about and I know Darius really likes it. The Moby wrap is great for inside the house and for short periods outside. Of course all of this could change as he gets older and the way we put him in the carriers changes. For now, I’m really glad we have both of them.

38 weeks and Mother’s Day

Belly at 38 weeks and 2 days I passed the 38 weeks mark last Friday. I feel like I’m almost at the hurry-up-and-wait stage of things.

Last week I taught my last class and had my last full day in the office. Starting yesterday I’m mostly working from home, unless I need to go in. This is really helpful for me and I’m super thankful that my job is flexible enough to let me do this.

Physically things are going okay. I’m still in a lot of pelvis pain, especially when I move wrong. There’s also this spot in my right shoulder blade that likes to hurt after a little while. I thought it was just being at work all day, but it did it yesterday too when I spent the day on the couch. I’ll just have to figure out the right position to be in or switch it around a bunch. I’m tired a lot these days too. And last week my right foot decided that it would be fun to swell up randomly. Yet another reason I’m glad to be working at home with my feet up.

Mentally I’m doing well most of the time. I’m still nervous about the whole birth/labor experience because it’s so outside of the realm of anything I’ve ever experienced before. But I think that I’m pretty ready to be a mommy, which is something that I had trouble saying just the other week.

Stree is doing well. He has periods where he squiggles and wiggles around a whole lot and periods where he just likes to stretch his foot or his butt into my ribs (so much fun, let me tell you). He really liked last week’s episode of Glee.

At my prenatal appointment on Friday, I was measuring 37 weeks instead of 38 but I’m not really concerned because I think all of those things are estimates anyway. The really exciting thing was that she did a quick ultrasound to double check the baby’s position. It was the first time I’d “seen” him since the ultrasound at 18 weeks (right before Christmas). He is 100% head down (hurray!) and has hair. You could see the little spikes coming off the back of his head. So amazing. Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures and we couldn’t get a clear profile shot of his face because he was being shy and covering part of his face with his hand.

Monkey Bouncer The to-do-before-the-baby-is-born list is coming along nicely. Over the weekend we rearranged the baby’s room. I got the last of the stuff that needed to be washed and put away washed and put away. I even put together the awesome Monkey Bouncer all by myself (with only one easily fixable mistake). The nursing pillows and baby carriers are mostly ready. The last of the things the baby needs are in the bag to go to the Birthing Center and the list for the last minute stuff is on top of the bag. And I installed the car seat base into my car all by myself yesterday. The only thing I really don’t know where it should go yet is the “Whale of a Tub”.

There are tons more pictures of baby things on the Pictures page. For some reason I’m obsessed with taking pictures of everything.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to get to celebrate Mother’s Day this year since I’m not-quite-but-almost a mother. But we did. Darius surprised me with a PajamaGram. It’s a pair of superhero style pajamas that say “Super Mom” and have a CAPE! Then he made me eggs for breakfast. We also went out to dinner to our favorite hibachi place with B and the place gave me a rose because I count as a mom. All of it made me really happy.

Getting prepared

Every day I feel like I’m getting more and more prepared to have this baby/have a baby in my life.

Earlier this week I made my list of things to bring to the Birthing Center. I have my bag mostly packed. All of the baby things that need to be in there (except for diapers) are in there. I have some toiletries and some clothing to wear during labor (if needed). I figure that clothing for myself and Darius, food, and personal items can be packed quickly when labor starts because I have the list.

I’ve also done a few loads of laundry of baby things. All the clothing, blankets, and towels have been fully documented (I had to take pictures of EVERYTHING – will post them soon) and put away. There is a cover on the My Brest Friend. I still need to do a wash of Moby wrap, the Ergo carrier (and accessories) and the Boppy covers.

I’ve been writing thank you cards at the rate of 5-10 a day and sending them out. I only have about 15-20 left to do.

I finally braved looking at the delivery from The Diaper Squad. I took out all of the diapers and things that were in it and put them in the changing table shelves. Turns out those strange cloth rectangles are called prefolds. There were also some diaper covers and a Snappi. I did some searching online and watched a few videos and now have an idea of how to use a prefold diaper with a Snappi and a cover.

Last meeting with my doula is tonight. :)

Still need to reorganize the baby’s room, clean/organize the stuff that was randomly thrown into corners before the shower, put away the rest of the baby shower stuff, and write the last of the thank you cards.

And today I taught my very last class before my leave. Starting next week I’ll be mostly working from home until the baby comes.

First of May

Last year for Beltane, Darius and I jumped a fire and I kissed a May Pole. This year we’re 3 weeks away from my due date. :)

Belly at 37 weeks and 2 daysBelly at 37 weeks and 2 days Belly at 37 weeks and 2 days

Last week I did my first full load of baby laundry. Then I left it in the dryer for a few days by accident, came back and found out that it was still damp two days later. So back in the washer it all went. ~sigh~ Tonight is round two of baby stuff in the laundry, mostly sheets and blankets but also some clothing and things that Darius and I bought today when we went shopping for yet more baby things. Oh that’s right, we got more clothing for the baby, because apparently I didn’t read the list from the Birthing Center of what to bring closely enough and so we had to get some sleepers and some receiving blankets and some hats. We also picked up the baby tub that was really highly rated. And a cute pillow that Darius couldn’t resist.

Yesterday was our last Centering class at the Birthing Center. We talked about all the different ways that labor can start and some of the complications that can happen and what the midwives do about them. We also got to meet the first baby born to our group (last month, she came a little early, but still at full term) and plan for our reunion. We realized that next time we all see each other, we’ll all have little ones which is just crazy to realize.

Had a check-up on Thursday. Brought Darius with me because I thought I was going to have an ultrasound, but it turns out that it wasn’t written on my chart to have one and the midwife said that everything felt and seemed healthy so there was no reason to have one. Guess we’ll see what he looks like when we meet him.

Symptom wise I’m still having a lot of pubic pain. My chiro says it’s because my left hip is forward and slightly rotated. The support belt helps, but UGH and ouch. Also, I have to pee pretty much every time I stand up. I also feel HUGE.

One last week of teaching classes at work and then it’s all project work while mostly working from home for me until the baby shows up, which could be anytime from now until 4 weeks or so from now. And then I’ll be a mommy. I’m still in some disbelief about that.

Darius did something amazing work last night on conquering one of his major fears so that he wouldn’t pass it on to his son. I’m so proud of him. I’d say more, but that’s not my story to tell.

Baby Shower

On Thursday evening my mother and sister came into town. On Saturday we had my baby shower. It was really fantastic and made both Darius and I feel loved and cherished by our friends, family, and community.

Cake pops The shower was dinosaur themed. So mom and I made dinosaur egg shaped cake pops by using a plastic Easter egg and dying melted white chocolate (and also using milk chocolate). Once they were dry, we set up the nest display made out of floral foam and fake moss. Then Darius did a great job artistically arraigning them. Darius’s mother surprised us with a lovely Edible Arrangement that showed up a few hours before the party. It was so thoughtful of her (and very delicious!).

The party itself went very well. We probably had about 15-20 people show up. We had social time for about an hour and then my sister broke out the games. It started with giving everyone a candle and asking them to inscribe a wish for us. The idea is that whenever they think about Darius, me, and the little one they light the candle and send us good wishes. We’re also asking that people light them as soon as they find out I’m in labor to send the good wishes our way. Yes, sometimes I’m a total hippie pagan. We went around and everyone introduced themselves and told us their wish for us, which was really sweet.

Then my sister had everyone put a note card on their head and draw what the baby would look like. Darius and I picked our two favorite and our two least favorite. Then we had a “name the baby” contest and a “guess these random facts about Darius and Athene’s childhoods” while people cut a length of yarn that they thought would be the size of my belly.

Baby Shower Baby Shower Top two drawings

Some of the names that I loved:

Wing Ding
Once and Future
I Dna (read the middle and first name backwards)
Norse Vi
Raymond (Ray)
Don’t Gender Identify Me Frederick (ok…this is from my sister and is a total family in-joke).

What’s really interesting is that Joseph made a few people’s lists. While we wouldn’t do Joseph as a first name for several reasons, the name actually runs in both families and we’ve been thinking about using it as a middle name.

As for the string around the belly, we played it with Price Is Right rules. I guess I must look bigger than I am because almost everyone totally overestimated. There were two people who got it dead on.

The lootThen it was time for cake pops (yum!) and presents, especially as it was already getting late and some people had to leave. We got lots and lots of great things, some from our registries and some not, but everything we got was definitely stuff that we need. One of the gifts that touched me the most were toys and books and things from a friend’s children because they didn’t need them anymore. I know how hard it can be to give up those sorts of things, so it was really sweet. We also got some presents from my mother’s group of “lady friends” who had thrown her a surprise shower the other week. Baby Jayne HatLots of great New Orleans stuff so the baby will know his roots. However, the absolute BEST.PRESENT.EVER. was the baby sized Jayne hat. You can see from our faces just how excited we were by it. Yes, we are nerds and Browncoats and we will have the world’s biggest nerd baby (until he grows up and becomes a jock or something).

Lots more pictures from our shower, some from our camera and some from my mother’s:

My sister also took pictures. Here are the ones from her camera:

Now to actually set up the baby’s room, organize all the stuff that we got, and figure out what we still need.

Decisions and reality

About a month ago, Darius and I met with R from Nurture My Child. She talked with us about different child care options and what we were looking for in terms of daycare. She then went out and did research, identified places that fit within our style and our budget and gave me a packet with information and pictures and things. I’m so fortunate that my work subsidizes this service because R has been great and it has been really been a load off of our mind to have someone look into things and ask questions that Darius and I would have no idea how to ask.

R identified 3 places for us to look at: an in-home, a Montessori, and a general play-based Day Care Center. Over the past week we looked at all of them.

We visited the in-home after all the children had left. It was nice and the director was nice and easy for us to get along with. I think both Darius and I wanted to like the place more than we did. It was also hard to really get a feel for it as there were no children there. I think I’d like to drop by unannounced sometime to see how the director and her assistant are with the children.

The Montessori school was amazing. It was clean and beautiful. The teachers were nice. We both really liked the lead teacher for the infants, whom we spent about 30 minutes talking to. It’s a 3-to-10 ratio teacher-to-student ratio for the infants.They split the infants into two different rooms by developmental age so the older more active ones aren’t in with the little ones. We were there early in the morning, so there was only one infant in the little baby room, but the slightly older baby room looked calm and everyone looked like they were having fun playing. Our only problems are that they don’t do sign language with the babies (but they’re thinking of implementing that based on parent request) and that all the children are in uniforms once they move into the two year old classroom or so. Neither one are total deal breakers and I think Darius and I like the place much more than we wanted to.

The generic Day Care Center was okay. It’s super close to our house, which is a plus. The ratio of teachers-to-students is higher than the Montessori (2-to-10). We visited in the afternoon and there were quite a few children crying…well, really there was one and that one was upsetting the others. The teachers already had their hands full with two other babies, so it was kind of stressful. The other infant classroom was quieter and we got a better vibe from it. Basically this place seems like a place we could leave our child, but it’s not our first choice. It seems like it’s a better place for older children.

All of that being said, we’ve decided to put in applications at all three places. That way if something happens and we can’t get into our top choice (the Montessori school), we still have two acceptable backups.

Yesterday we also interviewed two pediatricians that were recommended to us. The first one had a very neat waiting room with no visible toys for children to play with, which threw us as first, but we really really clicked with her. The second had a bright shiny office with tons of toys and exciting rooms, but we didn’t click with her at all. We have a few more recommendations, but we think that we’re just going to go with the doctor that we clicked so well with. If we end up not liking her, we can always switch to someone else later.

Yesterday evening we (finally) unpacked the travel system my father bought us a few months ago and the matching Pack and Play we got the other week. The Pack and Play took a little figuring out in terms of putting it all together, but we eventually got it. Then we took out the stroller & car seat. I was sitting on the floor fiddling with the car seat when I looked over at the stroller that Darius was setting up. The seat was up and ready for a child. All of a sudden I pictured a child sitting in the stroller and it hit me. We’re really having a baby. One day there’s going to be a child sitting in that seat and we’re going to be responsible for him. It was such an overwhelming moment, one that I really can’t describe. In just six weeks (give or take a few weeks on either side) we’re going to have a baby in our lives and he’s going to grow up to be a child. It’s insane and amazing and overwhelming and scary and so many other emotions I can’t put names to.

Lastly here are two pictures from the Renaissance Faire that Darius and I went to the other week:
Belly at 32 weeks 2 days Belly at 32 weeks 2 days

Centering Shower

Belly at 31 weeks 2 days This weekend was our now twice monthly Centering appointment at the Birthing Center. Other than the “You almost but don’t have gestational diabetes” talk, the private appointment part went well. My blood pressure is good and my uterus is measuring at 31 weeks, which is exactly on target. But the best news of all is that the midwife was pretty sure that Stree is currently head down. This would make a lot of sense as I’ve been feeling more kicking in my ribs and middle abdomen and more gurgling/hiccuping lower down just above my pelvis. It would also help to explain why I’m having some sciatic nerve pressure lately that I can feel on the sides of my hips.

The class part was good. We talked, were shown, and practiced some different positions for labor and talked about what makes good “support people.” We were going to get into pain management techniques, but as often happens with this group we ran out of time.

Teddy Bear CakeAfter class was over, it was time for our Centering Shower. We went over to one of the couple’s houses that was close by the Birthing Center and had food and chatted for a while. Then we had the cake that I had made the night before and decorated that morning. After that it was time for the White Elephant Baby Gift Exchange. Mostly everyone was very polite and there was almost no stealing that happened. We got an owl rattle and an orange pig that makes noise when you shake him. Thinking back on it, pretty much everyone got a gift that suited them well. Then we had a small clothing exchange, where I got a nice top and two cute skirts. Everything that didn’t get taken will be given to a local womens shelter. We left soon after that, came home, and I fell asleep while we were watching Arthur on Netflix.

Lopsided belly

Had my most recent Centering appointment over the weekend. During the appointment I did my 1-hour glucose test to screen for gestational diabetes. I didn’t have any of my normal ZOMG sugar issues problems when I did the test, so I was hopefully optimistic. I guess I shouldn’t have been because I got the call today that I failed it. So now I have to go and make an appointment to take the 3-hour glucose test. Ugh. If I fail that one too then I have to see a doctor about everything and go on a strict diet and all of that. At least I can still deliver at the Birthing Center, so I don’t have that worry.

Baby wise, everything looks to be progressing well. As I mentioned in my last post, Stree has started to become much more active; either that or he’s bigger and stronger so I feel him more. When we were at the Centering appointment, the midwife did some feeling around and told us that it’s pretty likely that Stree’s butt is (or was at the time) hanging out near my lower left side. If you look at my belly you can actually tell that it’s shifted a bit to my left, a little lopsided. Not sure if this is because he’s hanging out on my left side or because of the scoliosis.

Belly at 29 weeks 2 days Belly at 29 weeks 2 days Belly at 29 weeks 2 days

Talking about the scoliosis, the chiropractor has been an awesome idea. I have no idea why I didn’t go to one years and years ago. I just know that I’d be in such worse shape if it wasn’t for him.

In preparation news, we’ve really started working on some of the things that need to get done before Stree shows up. Darius and I have made some really good progress on the Random-Stuff-In-the-Study-Closetâ„¢ clean up and we’re almost ready to move the bookshelves into the study to make room in what will be the baby’s room for baby things.

We’ve also started buying some baby things. We got Stree his very own stuffed dragon that roars when you press his throat, a Halloween costume, the most adorable probably coming home outfit ever (in two sizes, just in case), a hat with ears, and a geeky onesie that we really wanted that keeps going out of stock. I’ll post pictures of some of this stuff soon in case the links ever stop working. I also noticed that now that that the invite to my baby shower has gone out, some of the items on our baby registries are being purchased. It’s kind of like Christmas with presents showing up all the time. I also got myself a maternity pillow because a regular pillow isn’t cutting it and the regular body pillow just isn’t comfortable; I woke up this morning with hip pain after using the body pillow all night.

22 week update

In the past two weeks I’ve started feeling Stree kick. At first I wasn’t sure that that was what I was feeling. It felt like a little gas bubble popping, so I wasn’t sure if it was just gas, the ability to feel my pulse in stomach (which I can do sometimes), or kicks. But they have been happening more and more frequently, especially in the last week, so now I know they are kicks/punches/movement.

Sometimes he is really active and I feel a bunch all at once, or within a few minutes of each other. Sometimes I just feel an odd one or two. Sometimes I just feel heavy in my pelvis, as if he’s just settling down in there for a while. They still come to infrequently and are too light for me to determine any perceptible pattern. And nothing can be felt or seen on the outside yet, but I can’t wait for the day when Darius can feel his son move.

Belly at 22 weeks 2 days In belly news, none of my pre-pregnancy pants (other than yoga pants and leggings) fit anymore at all. I’ve been pretty much living in maternity pants/jeans, yoga pants, and Darius’s pajama bottoms. While I don’t look “to strangers” pregnant, I feel as though I’m finally moving out of the “ate too many cheeseburgers/pizzas” stage to the really looking pregnant stage (except for when wearing a large sweater…but it’s been so cold out lately).

In symptom news, still burping all the time but the hemorrhoids have seem to have cleared up mostly (for now). Also I’ve been getting tired a lot lately again and my back has started hurting on and off. Scoliosis + pregnancy = back pains earlier in pregnancy than for most people. Doing yoga can help somewhat. I have an appointment with a chiropractor on Monday! I am so looking forward to it.

My sister is in town this weekend, loving the pregnant me. We went out yesterday to look at baby things. She bought Stree a couple of cute onesies from Once Upon A Child, which is really really close by. Then we went to Babies R Us to pick up my Dad’s present to Stree. We have a Travel System (stroller/car seat/travel bassinet) now! This is really the only thing that we actually need need need when Stree is born, so yay! After that, my sister and I went a little crazy with the registry gun at Babies R Us, but it was kind of fun. There are a lot of cute things with monkeys on them out there if you want to go all ape over that kind of thing. We also checked out BabyEarth, since it just opened, but it was totally over my price range for just about everything.

Today we went out with my BF in Austin and hit up some thrift stores and Target to look for cute maternity clothing for me. Amongst some of the horrible and very questionable things, we actually found some stuff that was rather cute. It was really fun hanging out with the two of them in general.

I’ve been reading Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, which is even more hippy than Birthing from Within, but it is really nice to read positive stories about natural birth. She has some great points that I’ve been copying down since I’m just borrowing the book from the library, but that deserves its own post.

Webcomic Onesies

Today Darius and I went to the Webcomics Rampage hosted by the Dragon’s Lair. On our way there we stopped at Target and Michael’s for onesies and fabric markers. At the Webcomics Rampage, I asked Randy Millholand, Joel Watson, Jeph Jacques, and Danielle Corsetto to each draw a onesie for me and Stree. This is what they came up with:

Webcomic Onesies

The pictures look a little yellow as I took them with my old digital camera. Mom’s getting me a new digital camera (one that takes video with sound!) as a birthday/holiday present.

Also, here’s a picture of me at 17 weeks:

Belly week 17
How old is Damien?
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