We have three different carriers and I love each for various reasons.
The blue above is a Hotslings sling. I ordered it last summer when we weren't sure if Ollie was a boy or a girl. I love how easy it is to get him in and out of this one - it's fast and I can do it easily while I'm wearing it. The down side is that it's recommended for babies over 8lbs. We went for a walk and I used it, but had to hold him while he was in it to be sure his airway was open. I think Hotslings went out of business, but you can still find the slings on several websites, just not through the company directly. I bought one of the AP slings - 'adjustable pouch' - and it fits pretty good. It's a little low for my preference, but it's not bad and still comfortable.
We also have a Moby. It is SO comfortable!! The same day as above, we walked again. It was a little windy so that walk didn't last as long, but Ollie was oh so cozy in the Moby. Again, this one is recommended for babies at least 8lbs for the same reason, so I was conscious of his neck the entire time. I liked it better though because it was easier to see him and I could adjust his height in it. The only down side that I've found with the Moby is that it's so loooooong that it's difficult to put on in a parking lot or other place where the floor or ground isn't clean. There must be a trick to figure that out. We ran errands last weekend and I tied it on before we left and just wore it in the car until I needed to get him in/out of it. It worked well, but that would be really hot in the summer.
The last carrier we have is the Beco. Hands down, my favorite. A friend who had her baby just two weeks before me recommended it. I'd planned to get an Ergo, but because I couldn't use the ones above, I needed the carrier ASAP. I could get the Ergo locally, but not the infant insert - which I'd need to use it with Ollie. The Beco came with its insert - and had the same 2-day free shipping, so it was the one we went with. I absolutely love it! I've not mastered getting him out without taking the entire carrier off, but I love that he's comfortable, I'm comfortable and I don't have to worry about him being able to breathe like I did in the other ones.
At 17 days old, he's still not 8lbs yet and I really didn't want to wait to use the carrier. As often as he needs me to hold him, the Beco has been great for me so I can have use of BOTH hands!! Who knew that was such a luxury?! It's basically the same as the Ergo, just a little different with regard to the insert. He'll use the insert until he's 15lbs and then graduate to the regular 'seat' of the carrier. The only thing I've found that I don't like too much about the Beco is the fabric I chose. Apparently the organic cottons aren't color locked so even with washing, they say the dye can come off on light clothing. I'm wearing it today with a white shirt, so it's the test! Hopefully it won't bleed brown all over me, but if it does, I'm wearing a size large maternity shirt that I only wear around the house these days so it won't be a big deal.
Oliver's lion came yesterday! I love the way it turned out. You can't pick the fabric other than the color of the body and I wasn't sure what we'd end up with, but it's perfect! It took roughly 14 weeks - it could have been 16, I didn't keep up - but it was a long time.
A lot of people have asked how my big girl is doing with Oliver... safe to say she's enjoying being the big sister! When he cries, she'll run to him to see what's going on and she's always with me when he nurses. It looks like she's a little jealous since she's in my lap, but she was actually afraid of something and I thought it was fun holding both my babies so I made Chandler take pictures each time! :) I think in the picture of us on the bed she was just hanging out, but I can't be sure since she's afraid of her shadow.
I've been hoping to get these things posted sooner, but I don't often have two free hands! If you've emailed me, I promise I've been trying to write back... I'm better with texts these days because it's easier with one hand :) We just got a new carrier so that may help some... and that's another post coming at some point.
A few things I thought I'd pass to anyone who is currently pregnant...
The hospital gives you mesh panties. Several people mentioned how great these were. In my opinion, they're junk - at least the ones at our hospital... I sent Ollie's Papa out to pick up Depends about eight hours after birth. The mesh panties are a great idea, but they just don't do the trick. Depends come in a 6-pack and I only needed 3 pair. They're great because they are big. I had a S/M - the smallest size, and they were big enough (I was a 4/6 pre-preg) to still use the large (like, mega large) pads from the hospital. It was nice because you could wear them a good 24 hours and just change out the inside pad and still be and feel clean. ... and you can tear them off if they get gross. I think I used them for only one day once home and mailed my other three to a friend who's expecting in the next week or so who's also my size.
Lip balm. Everyone tells you to take this to the hospital for labor as does everything you read - but when you're in that much pain, it's the LAST thing on your mind. Give it to your husband/partner/birth coach and have them be in charge of putting it on you. You will NEED it. Breathing that long and deep and hard... ouch. Mega chapped lips! It's nothing a couple nights of Vaseline won't take care of, but it would be better to just have someone else be in charge of it - period!
A friend wrote me after just having her baby and said to take soft toilet paper. Do it. Why the hospital doesn't think about these things is beyond me. I didn't need the water bottle, nor did I have a lot of pain from my stitches. Blotting is the way to go - but the thin, cheap stuff will stick to you and that is simply not cool.
Once home, you'll still be using thick pads - regular undies won't cut it. I went out and bought Hanes briefs in two sizes larger than my pre-preg size for nighttime and one size larger for the daytime. For me, that was a 7 for night and a 6 for day. The 7s looked humungo, but for the first week they were great for the bigger pads.
The nurses LOVED our treat boxes. One of the nurses came in just to meet the 'famous Oliver who was sweet on the nurses!' It was really fun and I'm SO, SO glad we had them. My tip if you decide to do something like that is to check and see what the shift changes are and how many nurses you will have each time. It should be a simple phone call. We had JUST ENOUGH for our 43-hour stay and if we'd stayed just one more hour, I would have been short due to another shift change. I didn't anticipate the number of staff that we'd have coming in and out of our room. I also started passing them out in heavy labor right when we got to the hospital. I'd asked a friend about how many nurses she had and planned based on that, but she delivered in MD and so each hospital is obviously very different. I should have thought to double check, but in the rush of getting things done I didn't. We had 20 boxes and came home with none.
**edited to add Cottonelle wipes... for obvious reasons; and Colace... take it as soon as you get the baby out! :)
That's all I can think of for now... GOOD LUCK!! (It hurts!)
Before Ollie was born, I wondered how long it would take to not look pregnant. I didn't take a picture in the hospital, but should have. The first day I looked 4 or 5 months pregnant still, by Saturday, I looked 3ish or barely 4 months, and these pictures were taken yesterday.
There's still a lot of skin and a water belly feel - along with a much wider waist, but I'm pleased overall. Between today's weather and just generally wanting to wear my old clothes again, I'm ready to run again! My big girl will be all kinds of excited about that!
This is the best just-after-baby belly shot I have to compare.
I don't know that I'll do another TIBS post - it's been fun to see the weekly changes, but I think it's safe to say that it would be pretty boring from here on out.
For the record, I never did get stretch marks or any itching. I swear by Palmer's. Some people say it doesn't matter if you use it or not because some people will get stretch marks regardless. That certainly may be true, but my skin stayed hydrated and now that I'm not pregnant, it looks better than it ever has. I still love Palmer's. Use it! :)
After laboring at home for 14 hours, we checked into the hospital...
nine and a half hours later, at 1:21am, Ollie was born!
Our midwife was AWESOME... I felt the cord pulse before Chan cut it and we all got a lesson on the placenta... me and Chan put gloves on even... it was really neat to see and feel.
Ollie weighed 7lbs 2oz at birth and 6lbs 13oz when we left the hospital. The sweetest moment was when Pat put him on my chest right after he came out and was crying... I rubbed his face and the minute I started talking to him he stopped crying and turned towards me with his big blue eyes. It was incredible... the most indescribable feeling ever.
I still cannot believe my baby has blonde hair!
Most beautiful baby in the world!
Our amazing midwife!!
'Aunt Bingo loves me!'
We left the hospital early because I could not sleep... 43 hours spent in the hospital and 46 hours that I was awake...
I'm typing the long version of Ollie's birth and including many details. If you would like to read it, email/comment/message me. I am happy to share - I know a lot of people who read this are pregnant right now and even if we don't talk much, please feel free to message me for the long version. The experience was part traumatic and part out of body AMAZING. I'm typing with one hand and wanted to get this post up, but there are a lot of things that I write about in the long version. I really appreciated talking to other friends in detail before it was my turn and would love to pass the favor along.
I'm sure I'll expand a little more on here later, but until then, the long birth story has it all. :) I still have a couple more pages to go before its done, but if you want to read just pass me a note so I know to add you to my list. Some of you are already getting it - want it or not!! ;)
Also - I will be posting one or two more TIBS photos postpartum. I've always been curious about bellies after babies and thought it would be fun to share!
Being pregnant is still somewhat surreal to me, despite that I've had [gulp] nine months to get used to the idea. You'd think that it would sink in to feel him moving, to stand in the nursery, to wash and fold his tiny clothes... I still think that in the coming weeks I'll look down at him and have to remind myself that he is my baby and I was pregnant. Maybe when he's three I'll have come to terms with the fact. Or perhaps in the first five minutes of holding him.
The last few weeks and days haven't been as crazy as I'd imagined them to be... I thought I'd be anxious and unable to think of anything other than being ready to have this baby. Instead, I'm surprisingly calm and at peace just knowing that he will be here in the next couple of weeks. Sure, sooner is better - so is smaller ;) - but for some reason, I'm simply at ease. I'd had some trouble with my back aching in the afternoons and quickly learned that the garden tub is a fab solution. I now have a routine date there for at least an hour at night - and bonus: it helps me sleep!
Tuesday, I had a ton of energy and got lots done. Not nesting, think more just random things like deciding to take a walk and wanting to go here and there as if it were a Sunday afternoon of open houses in Arlington Village. I can't think of a single thing that needs to be done before OP arrives. We went to Trader Joe's and Sam's over the weekend to stock up on food and other necessities; picked up everyone's favorite cereal; Chandler finally packed a few things in his hospital bag; you name it, it's been done.
So far, total weight gain has stayed right at 30lbs give or take a couple. I'm calling it at 30 for now - one appointment will have me a pound or two heavier and another will say I've lost a pound or two. On average I'm right at 30.3 so I'm calling it at 30 - assuming that between this week and when he's out doesn't bring any sudden changes.
Late in posting, but week 39 nonetheless! In two weeks we will for SURE have a baby! Very exciting... today is actually the start of week 40 and still no itching or stretch marks - whoo hoo! I really do swear by Palmer's Cocoa Butter: a giant dollop of thick creme at night; four pumps of regular in the morning. If you're pregnant, do it. It pays off. I've never skipped - not once. That said, I did buy a bathing suit at Sam's earlier this week that's a tank style just in case anything happens in the next ten days or so that might put a damper in my belly skin! ...and because I doubt I'll want to wear my regular suits after having a baby just a few months earlier. The best part, was that it was only $22! I'd found some really cute ones online, but they were $60+ and I just wasn't feeling it...
Keeping our fingers crossed we won't have to do a week 41 post! :)
The photos from today's posts have been from my phone so they're not the best quality... my Mac is upstairs and my PC doesn't have a card reader so the phone will have to do! I have some surprises up my sleeve so I can't show the other half of my photos from this week - but the first part of the week are just pictures of the goodies we have for the nurses at the hospital.
I picked up some plain 12x12 sleeves to hold miscellaneous things and used them for the first time this week for our doctor's office info and insurance papers. I think it will be neat to look back at how much things were and compare one day. I also included our CSP in India. You can read more about that here.
(Mom, click the blue word 'here' to read what that is, I think you missed that post.)
Here's hoping next week will contain some BABY pictures! (If not next week, at least the following!)
I randomly decided to do this earlier tonight and realized all my needles were too small. I haven't been feeling great and refused to go back out, so Chandler decided we could use a nail and hammer it through the eye to make it larger - it was still tight, but I mananged to get the thread going after a little while... Definitely not perfect, but I love the way it turned out! I had a really sweet cream/light blue/beige cashmere romper for OP to wear home, but I'm thinking that this paired with blue pants and his blue/white striped hat might be perfect. I should post the entire outfit, but I think it would be cuter with him in it so I may wait! ;) Until then, I see a few more of these being made around here... (with a bigger needle!)