Five Favorites in the Immediate Postpartum

IMG_0344-001

I’d be hard-pressed to come up with a week that could bring more changes than the last one has, but we’re slowly establishing a new routine.  Here are a few things that have really shown their worth since Maddy was born.

1 Burp rags.  It may sound silly (and perhaps gross), but one of the biggest adjustments for me has been getting used to how wet everything is.  Between an…abundant milk supply, normal baby bodily fluids, and just a few tears, I’m pretty sure the driest I’ve been is when I’m in the shower.  Enter these awesome burp cloths my mom brought with her when she visited.  Terry on one side, flannel on the other, and magic all around.  Plus, she brought about twenty of them, so there’s one in every room at all times (and one on my shoulder).  I’m going to have to steal her pattern and give these as gifts at every baby shower.

2 Chocolate Coconut Almond Luna Bars. These things are dangerous.  I’ve never been an habitual eater of protein bars (the soy flavor is a deal-breaker), but I’ve discovered that they have their place in my food lineup.  During morning sickness, Luna Bars (Lemon Zest flavor, specifically) gave me just the quick boost I needed to feel better, so I picked up a box of these to have on hand for one-handed nursing snacks.  This was a huge mistake, because these taste like Almond Joy bars and are completely un-Lenten.

3 The Boba Wrap.  This post is made possible by approximately six yards of jersey fabric.  I didn’t accomplish much on my first day home alone, but I did figure out how to tie the Boba Wrap and get the baby into it on my own.  She’s still small enough that I can wear her while sitting, which means I can type two-handed while she snoozes.  Once I’m up doing things around the house, it’s going to be equally awesome.  There are lots of knit baby wraps out there, and I can’t remember where I saw this one highly recommended, but it’s a keeper (and not just for the Star Wars jokes that the name will inevitably spawn).  According to the directions, it’s also possible to nurse in it, but the baby in the instructions is at least two, so we’re not going to try that trick for a while.

Update: Apparently there’s such a thing as “too cozy.” As I was typing this, the largest diaper explosion I’ve ever seen happened mere inches from my blissfully free hands. A-goner were the cute outfit – down to socks – plus my shirt and the wrap itself. Did I mention that it’s machine-washable?

4 White noise.  Until we move into a single-family house, I’m going to need ways to drown out the sound of our downstairs neighbors, who seem to have started a hammering-based home business in the last week.  Literally the first thing I put on the baby registry was Scout the Baby Whisperer (not technically his title), whose magic I have witnessed with my nephews.  When I searched Amazon, I saw that he had been discontinued.  Quelle horreur!  I put it on the list anyway; at present, the price of that darn dog makes him literally the most expensive thing on the registry. Right now, my trick is a white noise track on Spotify (I have a whole playlist that’s just the same track over and over).  I was a skeptic, but I’ve been using it myself for the last couple months.  It certainly seems to be working for Maddy, and Johnny has expressed no preference.  Plus, I can get almost two years of paid Spotify for the cost of one discontinued puppy.

5 Food from others.  Between the food my mom left, meals my sister brought, and the greatest soup ever (courtesy a friend from church), we haven’t had to do any cooking for the last week.  Hopefully we’ll be back in the kitchen ourselves soon, but in the meantime, it’s oh-so-helpful not to need to cook.  Proof that we’re all eating well: the first outgrown sweater!

IMG_0338

Linking up with Jenna, who also welcomed a little one to her family last week!

39 weeks, but who’s counting?

Ultrasound1_0004-2

It’s probably just as well for our future children that Baby #1 won’t get a detailed log of every moment of this pregnancy.  I’d hate to start a tradition that I can’t keep up, and far be it from me to foster sibling rivalry before there are even siblings.  Still, I’m a little surprised at myself for the near-total lack of documentation.  After all, I was the kid who filled thousands and thousands (and thousands) of journal pages as a teenager.  I’m going to pass the blame off onto having a full-time job, coping poorly with morning sickness, and then having a mostly-unremarkable pregnancy.

Anyway, here we are at 39 weeks and feeling like maybe it’s time to commit things to paper.  Things are, like I said, pretty unremarkable, aside from the whole miracle of life thing.  I can divide this pregnancy neatly into three phases: pretty miserable for weeks 6-12, then hungry, then hungry-but-stomach’s-too-small-to-eat.  This morning, Johnny summed it up in his own three phases: “First you didn’t look pregnant, and then you looked a little pregnant, and then…pop!”  Here’s the photo illustration of that:

The only real problem to speak of has been my chronically low progesterone levels, which didn’t come as a big surprise.  They required a little help from Johnny, in the form of shots at home.  The poor man never signed up to provide this level of home healthcare, but he really did those shots like a champ, despite the fact that it was his least-favorite two moments of the week.  Trailmix, just so you know, we made a “shots for shots” deal, and you now owe your parents 52 shots of our choice.  Even at the height of side effects and ridiculously painful injection sites, this qualified in my mind as “not noteworthy,” because really, other people do much more difficult things in pregnancy.  And what was the alternative, anyway?  I was oh-so-glad to get the all-clear to stop at 37 weeks, but I’d gladly do it again (that’s good news for you, future babies).

progesterone-6

Sometimes love involves a 1.5″ needle.

What else do I want to remember?  Let’s start with the fact that every day for the last 10 weeks or so, Baby has started dancing around at exactly 1:50 PM.  Like clockwork, regardless of what I’m doing.  I can’t wait to see if this carries over to life outside the womb.  There’s a lot of movement in general, and while I’m sure I’ll miss feeling it, I’m also ready for it to start happening further from my bladder (and lungs, and kidneys).

I’m not sure if I ever actually mentioned the origin of the “Trailmix” nickname, so here it is, for posterity.  When we told Baby’s cousins that we were expecting, Johnny asked then-three year old Bean what we should name the baby, and his immediate response was, “Um, Trailmix!”  Given that Baby was, at that point, about the size of many elements of trailmix, it stuck.  I later explained to Bean that after the baby was born, we’d need to name it after a saint.  He thought for a minute before coming up with “Joan of Arc of Padua!”  We’re reserving veto power.

We’ve got real names all set, except that our boy middle name is a little up in the air.  It’ll probably come down to whether Trailmix is born on a particular feast day.  We just missed St. Gildas the Wise, though, and without that, what’s the point?

The doctors have all been really pleased with things; with the exception of one nurse who made a comment about weight (at the first appointment!), the word “textbook” gets used a lot.  They’re mildly concerned about measurements, so we’re going to do an ultrasound on Friday to check things out.  It’ll be the first one since September, and we’re looking forward to getting one last peek inside.  The deal Johnny and I made at the start still stands: if he can look at the screen and figure out the sex, then he gets to know.  If not, we’ll be bringing two little outfits to the hospital.  Coincidentally, two outfits happens to be about as many as I have left that fit, so come on out, little one!