Maternity

Zipadee-Zip

zipadeezip

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.

Baby Lounger/Chair: 4Moms Plush Mamaroo

4moms

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 :).

Puj Flyte Infant Tub

puj

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.

Labor & Delivery Tips

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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.

Home Sweet Home

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Still no baby, yet.  I’ve been quite anxious because I really don’t want to get medically induced (as of now, I’ll be induced on New Year’s Day).  *SIGH*  So, in the meantime, I’ve been nesting like crazy and picking up things to create a zen (or spa)-like environment for the home.  My favorite acquisitions have been Nordstrom’s hydrocotton towels (which are currently 20% off, by the way), Aveda’s eucalyptus oil, and Deneve’s electric diffuser.

In addition to getting home stuff (for the current and new house), I’ve also been doing some cleaning out.  Locked out of my eBay account for several months because I had forgotten my password (and was unable to reset it because all of my phone and address info was out of date), I finally remembered it today.  It just came to me–like magic.  So, I took the opportunity to list a few items for sale.  All of these things are from my stockbroker days (when the job required me to dress to the nines–like they say, “Always Be Closing”).  Needless to say, being pregnant and a soon-to-be-stay-at-home-mom doesn’t and won’t require as snazzy of a uniform.

People are always talking about post-partum depression.  Don’t know about that but I’ve been feeling some “pre-partum” depression (if you can call it that)–meaning, I’ve been getting panic and anxiety attacks and melancholia about the health of the baby and/or the thought of not having D by my side at all times.  And then I’ll break out in tears just feeling incredibly grateful for having D in my life and finally knowing what true love really is (I know, it’s sappy but I’ve always been a sentimental person).  Perhaps it’s the raging hormones inside me but one thing’s for sure–I don’t think I’d make it through this pregnancy if it weren’t for D.

Down to the Wire

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So the baby’s due in exactly one week and I have a feeling he’ll be late.  Reason being there are a set of things that have to happen before (real) labor which haven’t happened, yet (the “bloody show” being one of them).  Plus, there have been decreased movement from him for the past couple days which has me worried.  That plus the impending move (again) has me stressed out.  I’ve been told, time after time, to stay as active as possible (in other words, walk lots) to encourage the baby to arrive on time but it’s easier said than done (with my cankles, swollen balloon-like feet, and fatigue).

Thankfully, all of my holiday shopping is done.  As far as shopping goes, the only things I’ve been getting now have been baby stuff and things for the house.  Our Turkish towels from Bed, Bath, & Beyond have not lasted well and I discovered the other day that Nordstrom’s hydrocotton towels are actually less expensive, softer, and (supposedly) last longer (in terms of fluffiness and shape).  I placed my order for the new towels a couple days ago and will let you all know how they hold up.  So given the fact that Bed, Bath, & Beyond has an amazing return policy (not as great as Nordstrom’s but pretty close), I took the Turkish towels back and exchanged them for other things that we can use in the new house.  Another discovery for the home has been Archipelago scents.  So far, my favorites are Agave Sage, Bamboo Teak, and Verbena Basil.  In addition to the diffusers, the brand also has a great line of candles.

As for the new house, I’ve been tasked with selecting the design, colors, appliances, etc.  Although I enjoy doing it, it’s also a huge undertaking, especially with the baby on the way.  Architectural Digest has been a fantastic resource for interior design and decorating ideas.  More details to come.

Noodle & Boo Vs. Mustela

mustela

I am just about done with gathering all of the baby stuff in preparation of my due date (Christmas Day).  In doing so, I’ve had to compare two lines of baby toiletry lines:  Noodle & Boo and Mustela.  Both lines rinse off well.  Both lines are supposed to be hypoallergenic.  However, both also have very distinct fragrances.

Noodle & Boo smells quite sweet–I would describe the scent as “very sweet almond oil.”  “Sweet” is the operative word here.  Perfect for girls but not so much for boys (in my opinion).  Mustela (although I believe almond oil is one of the ingredients) smells “cleaner” and less fruity/sweet.  So, I’ve decided to stick with Mustela and, so far, my favorites are the Mustela Cleansing Fluid for Newborns and Mustela Baby Lotion.  I like them so much that I’ve started to use them myself (especially the lotion).

Pregnancy Must-Haves

hautemama

It occurred to me last night that I should come up with a list of pregnancy must-haves to help those who might need some (fashion and beauty) tips.  Of course, every pregnancy (and woman) is different so bear in mind that these are things that have helped me through the third trimester (to get the best deals and selection, start shopping as soon as you start trying to get pregnant; but keep all tags/receipts until after you get pregnant):

(1)  Maternity clothes and shoes.  No need to go crazy here–just a few pieces to put into rotation are fine.  Suggestions include a couple pairs of leggings (great for every day and for all seasons), two to three wrap dresses (easy to wear and, again, for all seasons), hosiery (for fall and winter months), cocktail dress (nothing too fancy–just something to wear for more formal occasions [i.e., weddings, holiday parties, etc.]), rain jacket/windbreaker, winter coat (for fall and winter months), nursing tanks/camisoles (again, great for every day and for all seasons), and comfortable shoes (Nordstrom.com has an excellent selection of wide sizes).

(2)  Maternity underwear.  Bras (go without saying) are definite must-haves.  If you don’t want to stretch out your pre-pregnancy underwear, get maternity panties ASAP (you’ll need them before you realize you do).

(3)  New skincare routine.  Since the first trimester, my skin has gone into overdrive in terms of oil-production.  It’s high school all over, again.  Whether your skin  is changing for the better or worse (oilier or drier), it’s time to re-evaluate and change your skincare routine.  Basics include a cleanser fit for your skin type NOW (versus pre-pregnancy), toner, moisturizer (if you need it), and SPF protection.  My favorites include Dr. Weil’s Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Cleanser, Christian Dior’s Toning Lotion with Velvet Peony Extract, La Mer Moisturizing Cream (yes, it’s pricey, but a little goes a long way; there’s something about that sea kelp formula that WORKS), and Shiseido Urban Environment Oil-Free UV Protector SPF 42 (great for all seasons–if you have dry skin, you can use moisturizer underneath).  Also, your nails will likely grow quite fast so keep a good set of nail clippers on hand.

(4)  Prenatal Vitamins.  This one is self-explanatory.  Of course, use per your doctor’s instructions/directions.  Same goes for your diet.

(5)   Aromatherapy.  Have a scent and/or scents on hand to relax you (especially if you’re prone to pregnancy blues, anxiety, and/or depression).  Whether it’s candles, perfume, lotion, soaps, and/or shampoo, it’s nice to have something that smells pleasant around you.  My favorites include Origins Smoothing Souffle (body cream that smells like mint), pine cones, and  Nature’s Own Essence Peppermint Essential Oil.

(6)  The book, What to Expect: The First Year (Heidi Murkoff, Sharon Mazel, Arlene Eisenberg, and Sandee Hathaway).  Even if you already have other baby books, this is a great resource that offers some interesting perspectives.

(7)  Simple and/or streamlined makeup routine.  Even though I’m less of a makeup fiend than I was during pre-pregnancy, it still helps to have a set of go-to items for days when I want to glam it up a bit (but not take two hours to get ready).  The three main areas that need coverage are face, eyes, and lips.  Basics include a foundation, mascara or false lashes, and lipstick or gloss.  If you’re blessed with flawless skin, all you need on your face (in place of foundation and/or powder) is a good SPF (and maybe moisturizer).  My favorites include Christian Dior’s Airflash Spray Foundation (pricey but a little goes a long way; wear a shower cap and apply with your fingers to get the most natural look; great if you want an air brushed and I-just-walked-out-of-a-magazine look [with every little effort]), Ardell’s Natural Lashes (Demi Wispies), Bobbi Brown’s Long Wear Gel Eyeliner (favorite colors are Caviar, Espresso, and Ivy Shimmer), Estee Lauder’s Automatic Brow Pencil Duo, and Christian Dior’s lipstick and fluid stick (CD’s selection of color is amazing; this stuff glides on and has a subtle shimmer; there’s something for everyone).  If you need makeup brushes, nothing compares to Chanel’s brush line.  Nothing.

(8)  Jewelry and/or accessories.  At a time when you’re feeling nostalgic for your pre-pregnancy clothes (and shoes), I find that there’s nothing that some makeup, nail polish, and/or jewelry can’t fix (and, cake, too–but that’s another topic).  A simple but eye-catching piece of jewelry can do wonders for your outfit (and your mood).  If you’re shopping for jewelry, try to look for something that you would consider passing down to your child and/or children.  This makes wearing (and buying) jewelry all the more meaningful (not to mention fashionable).

Posts Update

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Funny how I go to Whole Foods for one thing (milk) and come out with ten other things (including pumpkin pie, banana loaf, guacamole, etc.).  I  even made a point to eat before my trip.  Such is the marketing genius of the grocery store.

My first real attempt at alleviating some of my back pains–just purchased the Belly Bandit Support Belt (along with another tube of CD lipstick). Will update and provide a review once I get it.

Now that I’m settled in at WordPress.org (from WordPress.com), I’d like to make the following resolutions for this blog going forward:  (1)  More reviews (restaurants, hotels, and baby/mommy gear, etc.),  (2) More poems (this is a favorite, I know, for most of you and me),  and (3) More recipes/food ideas.

Maternity Photos, Etc.

schiele-embraceFYI, I just posted a few of our maternity photos All were taken in San Francisco (beach near Golden Gate Bridge and Conservatory of Flowers).

Lots of errands to run today so will make this entry quick (but, don’t worry, I’ll be back shortly).  How many of you have done a “Guided Transfer” with WordPress.com I’ve been wanting to put various plug-ins on my blogs (all with WordPress.com) for quite some time and realized that plug-ins are prohibited on WordPress.com blogs/sites while are allowed on WordPress.org blogs/sites.  So, being the tech genius and super organized person that I am, it has taken me over a year to finally take action on this and hire someone to install the plug-ins for me.  However, before he can install the plug-ins on my blogs, I have to purchase the “Guided Transfer”, which is currently unavailable because the “team is taking a few days off.”  WTF?  Seems a bit odd when just about everyone is able to work remotely these days and it’s been this way for the past week.  *Shakes head*  Not the way to run a business, WordPress.com.