Since I’ve run out of my trusty La Mer lip balm, I’ve decided to give Mustela’s Hydra-Stick a try. This, my friends, is great for both mama and baby. Lightweight, creamy, and, best of all, works to keeps lips and cheeks soft (plus, it’s hypoallergenic). Surprisingly, it’s a bit more creamy than the La Mer balm. Max was getting little flakes of dry skin on his cheeks and the Hydra-Stick took care of it straight away. Verdict: perfect for dry winter skin and/or chapped lips and/or cheeks.
Bracing ourselves for sleepless nights, D and I ordered three Zipadee-Zips before my delivery date. Although the item isn’t recommended for newborns, I thought I would try it out on Max, anyway, and to my pleasant surprise, it actually helped to extend the length of his sleep. According to the founder and inventor of Zipadee-Zip, Stephanie Parker, babies have the Moro or “startle” reflex and this item helps to soothe and/or lessen that effect. Zipadee-Zips are roomy and comfortable pajama/sleeping bag alternatives for babies and I look forward to Max growing up with them. Verdict: Baby registry-worthy.
Although I’m still in recovery mode from the pregnancy, I’m also in 100% nesting mode for the new house. And, yes, I have become a full-fledged linen snob.
For starters, I’ve realized that you do get what you pay for in terms of quality when it comes to things like towels and bed sheets. With that said, I’m still very much a value shopper. Since our current bed sheets are on their last leg, I decided to invest in some Frette linens (used at the Ritz and Four Seasons in Paris). One Kings Lane has some fabulous deals on the brand. I also purchased a couple Frette bath mats for $19 each (not bad for thick Egyptian cotton, eh?). Goal: to create a spa/hotel-like feel for the bedrooms and bathrooms in our new home.
The 4Moms Plush Mamaroo is a fantastic infant/baby chair and lounger. The electric chair has four side-to-side rocking settings as well as musical features. It is pricey ($249.99). However, you can get the infant insert and this chair should last a while in terms of growing with your child. We have this chair in the living room during the day and Max sleeps very soundly on it. The fabric cushions as well as the mobile balls are also machine washable and dryable :).
After dealing with the hazards of the 4Moms Infant Tub (large, bulky, awkward, unstable, and, ultimately, unsafe), I decided to get the Puj Flyte Infant Tub for Max and am very happy with my purchase. The Puj tub is compact enough to fit into most bathroom sinks, is mold and mildew resistant, is BPA and PVC-free, and is slip resistant. I also like the fact that the material is a hard foam. Max hates taking baths as it is and this tub makes the task easier and safer.
Maxwell was born last Tuesday, 12/30, at 6:50PM. I never thought I would experience a love that rivaled that of the one I feel for D. It is quite a powerful thing.
My labor was a difficult one. My water broke on Monday, 12/29, at 2:30AM and we didn’t go to the hospital until about thirteen hours later. Pumped with enough drugs to be a walking pharmacy (Pitocin, epidural, penicillin–just to name a few), I finally consented to having an emergency C-section after three and a half hours of pushing as I was unable to get Maxwell though my pelvic bone. Tears of joy streamed down my face when I heard his first cries.
Up to that day, I’ve read countless blogs and received lots of advice from friends on labor/delivery/hospital tips. With that said, I thought I would offer tips from my own experience to help others:
(1) Pack light–This is contrary to what many advise but I found that we actually overpacked my labor and delivery bag. My suggestion would be to bring the following: two sets of clothes for you and your partner, one set of going home clothes for the baby, a small space heater (hospitals are notorious for thermostat breakdowns), phone and charger, disposable/shower shoes for you and your partner, one set of travel-sized toiletries, wallet, driver’s licenses/IDs, and a case of bottled water. Everything else (including newborn diapers, swaddle blankets, burp clothes, sanitary pads, and disposable underwear) is provided by the hospital. Our hospital even had free room service so hot food was always available on demand.
(2) Drink lots of fluids–Hence, the case of bottled water. In my case, I was pumped with so many drugs that I needed to flush my system out. Drinking lots of fluids (staying hydrated also helps with your milk coming in as well as keeping headaches at bay).
(3) Leave the diapers, take the pads and underwear–A couple friends recommended that I take as many newborn diapers from the hospital as I could as they would add to our collection at home. I discovered that this did not bode well for us as Maxwell outgrew his hospital diapers just a couple days of our discharge (and there were leaks galore). Luckily, I also brought home from the hospital medical-grade sanitary pads and disposable gauze underwear (should have brought home more) which continue to be LIFESAVERS. Both save on time and effort on laundry and provide more than adequate coverage.
(4) Don’t skip meals but eat light–Nausea and pain may deter you from having three square meals a day but force yourself to eat light (having something in your stomach also helps curb the nausea while providing some nutrition for your body and, if you’re breast-feeding, your baby).
(5) Don’t stress over your new body weight/image–In the coming weeks, you will shed lots of weight and inches just by having given birth, going to the bathroom, and moving around (and improving circulation and digestion). It took you nine months to gain all the baby weight. Give yourself nine months to lose it all (you may even surprise yourself). I say this because women (and men) who rush and/or lose lots of weight during a short period of time do damage to their bodies (both internally and externally). In other words, you don’t want to wreak havoc on your organs, digestion, metabolism, and, at the same time, have lots of loose skin to show for it.
(6) It’s the little things–Do little things that make yourself feel pretty. Indulge in your favorite perfume, shampoo, aromatherapy, etc. Get a manicure/pedicure. Style your hair. Sometimes, it’s all about the small things in life.