Wednesday, February 25, 2015

What's in my hospital bag

At 39 weeks, my bag is packed and ready for CHP's arrival. I love to gather tips from other people, so if I'm forgetting any essentials, please tell me. We also don't live far from the hospital, so if I forget something the grandparents can always bring it. 

1. Clothing Essentials
My cousin gave me a few nursing tanks for at the hospital and home. I purchased these Target pants in black and gray. They are extremely comfortable and soft, and I also read that dark clothes are key post-partum. I'm also going to throw in my robe for during labor and post-partum in case I want/can walk the halls. I thought about adding a button down shirt for nursing and that might look cute in photos. I also packed the non-glamous items: granny panties, pads, and nursing pads, just in case I need them. 

2. Toiletries & Make-up 
I have a travel kit ready to go and just need to toss in my favorite make-up essentials. I know, I probably won't wear much but after labor and a shower, I think that it'll make me feel better to freshen up. 

3. Slippers & Flip-flops
I put in my slippers for walking the halls and room. The flip-flops are for the shower. No matter how "clean" a hospital looks, they really aren't so these will definitely be used.

4. A bag of hard candy
I've read it's great to have hard candy for during labor when you're not allowed to eat. A bag of mints and ginger chews sounded good to me. I also packed a few protein bars, cheez-its, and gummy candy for J in case he gets hungry during the labor process. 

5. Candy for the nurses
I bought a few bags of assorted candy to have in a basket in my hospital room to give as a thank-you for anyone who takes care of me and CHP. I always like it when families bring us food at work, so I wanted to do the same. I also plan on having family bring bagels or donuts and coffee for the staff while we're there. Believe me, no nurse will say yes if you offer to buy them coffee, but they won't turn down free coffee and breakfast given to them at the nurses' station. 

6. Camera & computer
I need to keep the battery charged for both of these. I think having our nice camera there for CHP's first photos will be great. I also think having the computer will be nice entertainment if we're waiting for a while for CHP.

7. Paperwork, insurance, & ID

8. Hair products
I've already put dry shampoo in my bag and will be bringing my hair dryer too. I think I'll want both of these depending on what my hair is looking/feeling like after delivery. 

CHP's diaper bag
I decided not to pack too many things for her because the hospital will have diapers, wipes, bulb syringe, etc for her. There are just a few personal items I wanted for her. 

1. Boppy pillow 
I'm planning on breastfeeding and would like the lactation consultants to help me figure out how to hold her with the pillow, so I'm prepared when we get home. 

2. Swaddle blankets
I know they have plenty of swaddle blankets but lots of babies have used them, and I want her soft blankets from home. We're also packing an extra one to get her scent on it and send it home with family for Aida to smell before we come home. 

3. Bows, clothes, & hats
I'm so excited to put her in her coming home outfit! It has her name on it and a matching "C" hat. I also packed a few bows that hopefully she can wear if she doesn't have too big of a cone head.

That pretty much covers everything. Mamas, am I missing anything essential to our hospital stay? 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Maternity Monday: week 38

Week 38: 
This is my first week of maternity leave, and I loved it! I'm very thankful I started this week because we got snow, and I would have been nervous being this pregnant braving the snow. Thanks PICU nurses who were there taking care of the kids! 

This week, was the most relaxing week I've had in a long time. It was so nice to stay in pjs, watch the snow, work on some small projects at the house, take naps (since I'm hardly sleeping at night), and watch Parenthood. I did start having cramps/Braxton Hicks but nothing too crazy yet. I had a great appointment on Friday, and I'm hoping we don't make it to our next one. 

Thursday and Friday were packed seeing PICU friends for breakfast at Joule, lunch at Fosters, and coffee at Jubala and Sola. It was so much fun catching up with friends. I've only been gone a week, but it feels a lot longer. On Sunday, we were invited to brunch at our friends with three other couples. We had a great time, and I hope it becomes a new tradition. 

J is the sweetest and keeps doing so much around the house and telling me to relax. It's still crazy to think that in the next week or so we'll be parents. We cannot wait to meet our little girl! 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Maternity Monday: week 37

Week 37, you were a little bit of a crazy one. I worked my last shift this week! After discussing it for a while, J and I decided it would be best if I stopped after this week and had a week or two to relax and prep for CHP's arrival. I worked Monday, and then came down with a horrible stomach bug that night. I ended up missing my last shift on Tuesday and laying in bed watching Parenthood and napping all day trying to keep crackers down. 

I finally started feeling better on Thursday and went out to do some errands and started having contractions! I thought for sure we would meet CHP that night but by the time I got home they had slowed down and stopped that night. 
We got to see CHP at our appointment on Friday. I'm so glad that my OBs have continued to check her growth since I'm continuing to measure behind, and she said that CHP is full term, so she can come any time. CHP is already 6lbs 10oz!

J and I are soaking up the weekends and time together; we're always anticipating that it might be our last days without CHP. It's such a crazy feeling that she could be here today or in three weeks.

We aren't huge Valentine's Day people, but for our last one, we went to my favorite brunch place: Joule. We spent the afternoon grabbing cupcakes from The Cupcake Shoppe Bakery (they made our gender reveal cake), driving around looking at houses, and checking out a furniture store before J made a delicious steak, mashed potatoes, and asparagus dinner. It was a great weekend and might be one of our last. I'm so excited and nervous to meet our sweet girl.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Maternity Monday: weeks 35 & 36

Week 35: The weeks are flying! 

I'm so glad that we've made it to 35 weeks! I know it's irrational but for so much of my pregnancy I was nervous she would come early and have lots of medical issues (I know too much being a PICU nurse). Now, I can breath easier because she's almost full term. 

I'm definitely more tired/get worn out more easily these days, but I actually have loved the third trimester. I love that I am feeling CHP move all the time with big kicks and jabs. And I feel so much better about her upcoming arrival now that house projects are getting done and her nursery is finished.

The best part of this week came on Saturday. I met one of my out-of-town friends for a Pure Barre class, and then we drove to another friends for what I thought was lunch. They completely surprised me with a baby shower! Tracey, my sweet and incredible hair stylist, and the PB girls are so kind and thoughtful. It meant so much to me to spend the afternoon with them celebrating CHP! 

Week 36: After my night shifts this week, we met our pediatrician. I like the practice and am excited that they'll be visiting us in the hospital every day to check on CHP.

For only working two shifts this week, it ended up being a packed week full of fun things. My mom came into town for a couple of days, I got my hair cut and colored by Tracey, I had an OB appointment, and met PICU friends for hot mini donuts and lattes at Sola.

Friday evening and Saturday, I went to IF: Local. I loved IF: Gathering last year and was excited to meet Raleigh women interested in IF. Last year, it was hard to explain my excitement and passion about this conference. So, it was great connecting with women who are excited about gathering, community, and change.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Maternity Monday: Third Trimester

Hello third trimester! And a warning: this is a long post...

Week 29: We're starting the third trimester! I can't believe how incredibly fast this pregnancy has gone. I feel like we only just announced that our family was growing, and now we're starting the third trimester. 

During December, I've been working lots of nights shifts, so emotions and being tired have continued. Outside of flipping, I've felt really great and had energy. I've started getting up one to two times a night for a potty break, and I'm loving being pregnant during the holidays and enjoying tasty foods. I'm also so thankful I haven't experienced any nausea during this pregnancy! I'm excited to also say I've continued working out 3-4 times a week, doing Pure Barre and walking Aida. 

Week 30: Christmas is here!

One huge perk of being in my third trimester is that our families are so sweet and have traveled to us to celebrate Christmas! My in-laws came the weekend before Christmas, and my family came the weekend after.

My SIL and I are exactly two months apart in pregnancies! It has been so much fun to share this experience with her. We cannot wait for Baby Boy P to arrive in April! We loved celebrating Christmas with them, and while they were here we went to Bida Manda, Gonza Tacos & Tequila, cooked a Christmas breakfast, celebrated a "Christmas day" and just enjoyed being together. 

This year, I had to work Christmas Eve and Christmas Day nights. Although, I hate working holidays, this year was sweet because J and I picked what we wanted to do to celebrate together. The 23rd we treated as our Christmas Eve and had a tasty dinner at the Angus Barn. Christmas Eve was our Christmas Day, so J cooked a great breakfast and we opened each other's gifts. J completely surprised me with a Christmas/push gift of a Tiffany's ring! I have been drooling over it for a long time but never dreamed he would surprise me with it now.

After our breakfast, I napped before getting up early for Christmas Eve service and dinner before heading into work. I had a great patient both nights of work and enjoyed celebrating with co-workers. It was definitely a different but great Christmas! 

Week 31: Christmas continues! 

My family came into town for the weekend, and we celebrated Christmas morning again. We loved having time together, and my parents loved going to an Indian restaurant with us. 

A week ago, at my last OB appointment, we had a little scare: I was measuring behind. I love my OBs, and this week they scheduled an ultrasound to measure CHP. Thankfully, she is growing fine and is already 3lbs 15oz! They said that if I measure three or more weeks behind they'll do another ultrasound. Keep growing CHP! 

At the end of this week, we drove to DC to celebrate my sweet, little niece's birthday! We always love seeing her and family. She is the cutest, and I'm so excited that she and CHP will be so close in age. Life is going to be so much fun with two little girls running around. 

Week 32: I'm still feeling great and working out. I've started craving citrus all the time. My new favorite drink is passionfruit la croix with grapefruit juice, and I have to take a sliced orange to work every shift. 

Week 33: We had so many fun events this week! A few of my friends from work threw me a PICU shower on Sunday. Everything was adorable, and I felt so loved having everyone spend the afternoon celebrating CHP's little life. It was incredible! Thanks Amanda, Erin, Julianne, and Lindsay! 

J and I have been going on lots of dates, especially as we get closer to CHP's due date. This week, Wicked was in town, so we had dinner at Piedmont before enjoying the show. It's our third time seeing it, and it seems to get better every time. (Our first time was in DC, and the second was in London). 

Week 34: This was baby week!

Monday, we went on our L&D tour. I'm so glad we know where to go, park, and the process of the birthing suite and post-partum room. I might regret it later, but we decided to skip the eight hour birthing class since I had and L&D clinical in college, and everyone we talked to said it was a long day with not a lot of helpful information. Instead, on Wednesday, we went to a breastfeeding class that was so helpful, and I loved the lactation nurse who taught the class. I hope we see her when CHP arrives.

Over the weekend, my in-laws came down to help us with projects. J finished re-finishing the dresser, so my MIL and I organized the nursery. My FIL and J bought shelving and organized the attic, hung curtains and removed blinds in our dining room. We hung CHP's gallery wall, bought containers, and finished organizing her closet, so all that is left is replacing the light fixture and waiting for her gorgeous rocker to arrive. I hope it gets here before she does but regardless, I'm so relieved that her nursery is now complete and ready for her. 

We're getting so close, and every day it seems more real. CHP moves all the time now, and I love feeling her kicks and bumps. It's fun trying to figure out if she's hitting me with her fists, heels, or legs. Pregnancy is so incredible, and I'm so overwhelmed with how thankful I am for her little life.