Tuesday, February 28, 2012

7 things brand new moms need to know

Babycenter.com is a parenting site that my sis introduced us to at the beginning of our pregnancy and I am so happy she did!  I can’t begin to tell you the invaluable information we have come across on this website including the article that I want to share with all you moms-to-be today!  This is a post by one of Baby Center’s guest bloggers and I think it’s a must read for any expectant parent.  Enjoy!

by Cindy Dyer
Mothering is a challenge, no matter how well prepared you think you are. Now that I’m on baby number five, there are a lot of things I wish I’d known when I had my first newborn.
Here’s the list I’m planning to send to my younger self when our household inventor (builds that time machine he keeps talking about.
1. There’s no such thing as a perfect birth. Yes, most births are fairly straightforward, medically speaking. But when you’re the person doing the pushing, it doesn’t always feel that way. You might be less stoic than you thought, for instance. (Not me, of course.) Or your birth plan might not pan out. When it’s over, don’t let unfulfilled expectations ruin your happiness. Focus on your baby!
2. Brace yourself for hormonal moments. The day after I had my baby, I became a slobbering, quivering bundle of nerves. I’d never felt so hopeless in my life. I handed baby over to the nurse who was caring for us, blubbering “Take him. I can’t do this.” It wasn’t until my next birth that I realized that it’s normal to feel crazy on the second day.
3. It’s OK to ask for help. Practically throwing your child into the nurse’s arms is really bad form. If I’d asked for help sooner, instead of trying to figure it all out for myself, I’d have had a much easier time of it.
4. You might not “bond” at first. So much is made of the magical bonding time immediately after birth. It can be wonderful, but sometimes a new mother gets to that first moment, looks down at that wee baby face, and feels – well, nothing. As I found out with my second son, sometimes bonding takes a while. If you don’t get that surge of puppy love right away, wait for it. It will happen.
5. Loosen up and PLAY! Did I mention that I was uptight with my first baby? I was so wrapped up in feedings, changings, and naptimes that I forgot to revel in the scrumptious baby-ness of my son. Save yourself some regret and sing to your baby. Play peek-a-boo. Kiss the toesies. Munch on those tiny fingers.
6. Read to your baby. Newborns love to hear Mommy’s voice. Get into the habit of reading to him now. You’ll want to stock up on Dr. Seuss, eventually, but for now, whatever grown-up book you’re interested in is fine. He doesn’t care what you read, as long as it’s your voice he’s hearing.
7. Don’t blink. The days may drag by–sleep deprivation can do that—but the weeks and years fly. It won’t be long before he won’t let you hold his hand in public anymore, and you’ll be wondering what happened to your helpless little baby. Spend as much time in the moment as possible. Someday even the hardest nights will be sweet memories.
I am going to do my best to keep these things in mind.  We’ll see how it goes! ;)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Gracie’s Nursery

Baby girl’s nursery is finally finished and not a moment too soon!  On Monday we’ll be 37 weeks, which means that we are officially considered “full term” and good to go at any time.  I would prefer that Grace stay put for at least 2 more weeks but only she can decided when the time will come to meet her mamas.  We’ve been pretty much done with the nursery for a few weeks now with the exception of hanging the curtains and the video baby monitor.  G took care of these last to-do tasks this afternoon following breakfast and I’m so glad all is finished. 

This morning after waking up, we chatted a bit and laughed at that the fact that we both dreamt about Gracie all night.  I’m thinking this is a sign that we’re feeling ready!  Following our dream talk we jumped out of bed and have been working like crazy since.  I believe that this is what people often refer to as nesting and in our case, this whole nesting experience is something that deserves its own post.  I plan to post about our adventures in nesting soon...

I'm sure that if you were to ask most moms-to-be, they would tell you that they always knew what they wanted their nursery to look like.  This was not the case with us.  The only thing that we really knew going in was that we wanted to incorporate a tree decal that we purchased years ago, and that we did NOT want everything covered in pink.  With this being our initial plan the rest just seemed to come together very organically.

While we didn’t have a plan going in, we are both in love with our baby’s room and I’m sure she is going to love it too.  Thank you to our wonderful family and friends for helping to make Gracie’s room the beautiful little place that it is!

How your baby’s growing: 37 Weeks

Your baby is now considered “full term,” even though your due date is three weeks away.  If you go into labor now, her lungs will likely mature enough to fully adjust to life outside the womb.  (Some babies need a bit more time, though.  So if you’re planning to have a repeat c-section, for example, your practitioner will schedule it for no earlier than 39 weeks unless there’s a medical reason to intervene earlier).

Your baby weighs 6 1/3 pounds and measures a bit over 19 inches, head to heel (like a stalk of Swiss chard).  Many babies have a full head of hair at birth, with locks from 1/2 inch to 1 1/2 inches long.  But don’t be surprised if your baby’s hair isn’t the same color as yours.  Dark-haired couples are sometimes thrown for a loop when their children come out as blonds or redheads, and fair-haired couples have been surprised by Elvis look-alikes.  And then, or course, some babies sport only peach fuzz.

Friday, February 24, 2012

{This Moment}

{This moment} – A Friday ritual.  A single photo – no words – capturing a simple, special, extraordinary moment.  A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Work Baby Shower

This past weekend was super busy but so much fun!  Our awesome friends at work kicked-off our weekend by throwing a baby shower for our little gal.  I know that I’ve posted in the past about how great our co-workers are but it’s worth mentioning again because they are such great people.  Georgia has worked at the University for over 13 years and I just celebrated my 6th year anniversary.  This tells you a little bit about how much we enjoy working there. :)

One of the things that I absolutely love about our organization is all of the community outreach and philanthropy we are involved in.  The biggest of these events is called, Newborns in Need.  This is an annual community event in which we collect new baby clothing, diapers, car seats and other baby items for families that don’t have the economic means to purchase these essentials for their babies.  I’ve been to about 10 of the baby showers over the years and it always warms my heart to hear stories of all the families that are impacted through this philanthropy.  As we visited and opened gifts at the shower, I couldn’t help but think about how incredibly blessed we are to have a supportive family and co-workers that love and celebrate our little family!  I thought about all of the young mothers in NM that have to brave parenthood on their own and have to do it with little to no family support or money.  I can tell you that after working to bring our own little one into the world and seeing things from the parent perspective, I am going to do my best to contribute even more in the years to come.

We were so touched by all of the special gifts our friends made for Gracie.  We received the most beautiful handmade blanket and baby scrapbook as well as a handmade knitted owl.  Grace was also given more books (which you can never get enough of) and precious little girly outfits!  I think it’s safe to say that the gift that surprised us the most was our car seat and stroller!  This was the one item that we still had yet to purchase and we really weren’t in a position to buy for another 2 weeks.  We were overjoyed when we open this last big gift and set it up first thing when we got home.  Thank you all so, so much!

On Sunday we met up with my BF Elena in Old Town to take our maternity pictures.  Elena started her photography business about a year ago and from the moment that we found out we were pregnant, I knew I wanted her to be the one to take our belly pics.  As luck would have it, Elena and her family came to NM for a visit this week and it happened to be right when G’s belly really popped which made for some great pictures.  Thank you Elena so much for capturing these memories for us.  We can’t wait to see how they came out!

We spent the rest of the weekend cleaning house, assembling baby gear and finishing Gracie’s nursery (pictures coming soon)!  All that we really have left to do is finish our Baby Basics classes at the hospital, clean a bit more and pack our hospital bag.  Everyday I am just amazed that we are nearing the finish line.  We can’t wait to see our baby girl's beautiful face! 

Here is how Gracie’s growing @ 36 Weeks:

Your baby is still packing on the pounds – at the rate of about an ounce a day.  She now weighs about 6 pounds (like a Crenshaw melon) and is more than 18 1/2 inches long.  She’s shedding most of the downy covering of hair that covered her body as well as the vernix caseosa, the waxy substance that covered and protected her skin during her nine-month amniotic bath.  Your baby swallows both of these substances, along with other secretions, resulting in a blackish mixture, called meconium, will form the contents of her first bowel movement.

At the end of this week, your baby will be considered full-term.  (Full-term is 37 to 42 weeks; babies born before 37 weeks are pre-term and those born after 42 are post-term.)  Most likely she’s in a head-down position.  But if she isn’t, your practitioner may suggest scheduling an “external cephalic version,” which is a fancy way of saying she’ll try to coax your baby into a head-down position by manipulating her from the outside of your belly.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I’m kind of freaking out.

But before I tell you why I’m freaking out, check out this picture of Georgia lookin all cute at work. 
I LOVE that belly!

Well, we’re half way to 36 weeks folks.  Typing this makes me a bit nervous given the fact that 3 of our friends at work recently told us that they had their babies at 37 weeks – say WHAT?!  When they dropped this baby bomb on us they were so nonchalant about it.  They were like, “yeah, we had our babies at 37 weeks which could totally happen to you by the way."  I know it sounds bad to say I’m not ready… but I’m not ready.  Not yet anyway.  We still need to deep clean the house, take our baby basics class, get the diaper sprayer, set up baby’s bassinet in the master bedroom, add about 500 bucks to the baby fund, get the car seat and hang Gracie’s curtains.  I’m sure I’m forgetting some important things that need to get done but even that short “to-do” list keeps me up at night!  Grace, please give your moms at least 3 more weeks!  Thank you honey :)

We are at the point in the pregnancy where we have to see our OB once a week and today was the first of the once a week appointments.  Georgia gained a pound bringing her total weight gain to 1.5lbs and the baby is measuring right on track, which is great news!  They checked to see if G is dilated at all and thankfully she is not – praise Jesus!  My poor lady had to get a shot that I too have to get next week and let me just tell you… that needle was NOT small.  Apparently, there were quite a few cases of whooping cough in NM last year so it is recommended that all adults who will spend a good amount of time around a newborn baby get the pertussis vaccine. When it comes to vaccines for baby Grace, we also really want to limit the amount of vaccinations she gets in her first 6 months. We know how important vaccinations are but we also know that some are unnecessary at such a young age and ultimately we can wait until Grace is a little bigger and can better handle all the pokes.

Overall, things seem to be moving right along and I have no doubt that the next month is going to come and go in the blink of an eye, which is precisely the reason I’m kind of freaking out.  I’ll have to remember to breathe, just breathe.    

How your baby’s growing: 35 Weeks

Your baby doesn’t have much room to maneuver now that she’s over 18 inches long and tips the scales at 5 1/4 pounds (about as heavy as a honeydew melon).  Because it’s so snug in your womb, she isn’t likely to be doing somersaults anymore, but the number of times she kicks should remain about the same.  Her kidneys are fully developed now, and her liver can process some waste products.  Most of her basic physical development is now complete – she’ll spend the next few weeks putting on weight.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Visiting the NICU and NEW pics of baby girl

On Friday we toured the NICU and had a follow-up appointment with Gracie’s Perinatalogist.  Georgia arranged the tour for us so that in the event that Gracie does have to spend some time in the neonatal intensive care unit, we are familiar with the surroundings.  I’m so glad that she set this up for us because we now know our way around the unit and got the opportunity to meet one of the doctors that could possible care for baby girl.  The doc that gave us the tour let us know that Grace may not even need to go to the NICU but that if she does, it will likely be a routine measure to check her hearing and breathing.  As we left the NICU on Friday and got into the elevator, Georgia looked over at me and said, “I’m pretty sure that we won’t be seeing any of these people again”.  I love that my wife is always so positive and I’m praying she is right!

I was very much looking forward to this appointment with the specialist because it’s been over a month since we last had an update on Gracie’s growth and development and had pictures taken of our little gal.  We met with a new doctor and technician during this visit and they got some great pictures of Grace.  Georgia and I were completely surprised by how big our babe has grown!  We obviously knew that she would get bigger over the past 6 weeks, we just couldn’t believe how much her little body and face could change in such a short amount of time, it’s so exciting!  Our technician said that she passed all of her tests with flying colors!  Grace weighs 4lbs 13oz and is measuring in the 39 percentile, right on track.  The tech was great and really took a lot of time with us while taking pictures of Gracie. 

Once again our little gal covered part of her face in these pictures just like she has before.  The good news is that we were able to get one shot of her face that actually shows her cleft.  This is something that until Friday we had yet to really see.  We also got to see how long her hair has grown!  It’s hard to tell what you’re looking at in the picture below but the little arrow in the picture is pointing to the back of her head where she has what looks like a TON of hair!  The other stuff in the ultrasound pic is shadows and fluid.  I just love that she has hair.  

Every time I see her face I fall in love all over again.  For one, she looks just like Georgia – it’s amazing.  I love her lips, her nose and her chubby cheeks too!  

Our beautiful girl :)  

In other news, my BF Sara and her husband Vince welcomed their first born, Olivia Alexis Tuey into the world on Friday!  Congratulations to you both, she is absolutely beautiful!  Love you guys!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

34 weeks & some baby Q&A

:: Georgia @ 34 weeks ::

Georgia has officially been pregnant for 240 days – wowzers!  If you ask her how long she’s been pregnant she will likely tell you, FOREVER!  She is feeling good but growing a bit tired of being prego.  The new thing these days is for her to wake up at 4am and pretty much be up from that point forward.  The other day I was up at 4am too (because she woke me) so we decided to make eggs and watch cartoons.  I know… we’re weirdos.

Here’s the latest according to G –

240 days… how’s that going?  Things are going good, I feel good most days and baby really seems to be growing fast now.  I still have over a month to go but everyday I definitely feel more ready.  I’m just doing my best to not think about giving birth right now… I’ll think about that when the day comes ;)

You seem to be getting your appetite back and you’ve even started eating chicken again!  Are you having any cravings or aversions in month 8?  I still can’t cut my chicken breast up but things don’t taste as weird and unsatisfying as they used to. I also feel like I can eat more even though I know I have less space in my tummy.  As for cravings… I guess I’ve had a bit of a sweet tooth.  I’ve been mainly craving ice cream.  Speaking of sweets, I finally finished an entire drink that was something other than water the other day.  I drank an entire sweet tea and it was so good!  

Anything exciting take place over these past 3 weeks?  We had our baby shower, which was so wonderful!!  It’s just great too see how loved Gracie is already and she’s not even here yet.  Over the past couple of weeks her movements have changed and are much more frequent.  I feel her all the time which is great because I worry less.  She always let’s me know when she’s up :)

How is baby prep going?  What’s left on your to-do list?  Baby prep is going great. I’d say we are way ahead of schedule but we do need to do one major deep cleaning before baby arrives.  I haven’t felt up to it but maybe my lady will start feelin it soon.  She did just go out and buy a new vacuum, lol!

What are you most looking forward to in the next month (aside from baby’s arrival of course)?  I’m looking forward to eating a ham and swiss sandwich from Dion’s once baby’s here!

Month 9, here we come!

How your baby’s growing: 34 Weeks

Your baby now weighs about 3 3/4 pounds (like your average cantaloupe) and is almost 18 inches long.  Her fat layers – which will help regulate her body temperature once she’s born – are filling her out, making her rounder.  Her skin is also smoother than ever.  Her central nervous system is maturing and her lungs are continuing to mature as well.  If you’ve been nervous about preterm labor, you’ll be happy to know that babies born between 34 and 37 weeks who have no other health problems generally do fine.  They may need a short stay in the neonatal nursery and may have a few short-term health issues, but in the long run, they usually do as well as full-term babies.

Gracie’s Baby Shower

If there is one thing that we know for sure, it’s that our little gal is SPOILED (and very much loved)!  Weekend before last, Grace was showered with gifts by our fabulous family and friends.  This shower is something that both Georgia and I have been looking forward to for such a long time and we owe our mamas a HUGE thank you for making it such a beautiful day for us!  We couldn’t have asked for anything more.  
Thank you moms :)

With the ridiculously unpredictable weather we have here in New Mexico, we knew that the shower would need to be inside and the first place that came to mind was our office building.  In hindsight, I’m so glad that we decided to have the shower at UOP because it gave us plenty of space to work with and the opportunity to decorate the night before which was nice.  Our friends are awesome and actually took time out of their busy Friday to help me, G and my mom decorate.  Together we were able to make the space look less like an office and more like a baby room! 
I just loved the way it came out.

The day went by fast but was so much fun!  Our lovely menu was made up of signature dishes that have been family favorites for years and everything was absolutely delish!  I was especially impressed with the yummy desert table… If you can’t tell, I have a sweet tooth and an unfortunately passionate love of food (as does Georgia)!  He, he ;)  Aside from the tasty treats, one of my favorite parts of the day was opening the handmade blankets our friends and family made for Grace.  My great grandma Chris and my mom made baby girl a beautiful owl quilt.  Nana knitted her a colorful blanket and some of Georgia’s cousins and one of her close friends made the most beautiful girly little blankets.  They are all so special to us :)

For the shower we went with a book theme asking all of our guests to bring their favorite children’s book signed instead of a card.  I’m so glad that we asked for books because now Gracie literally has an entire library full of wonderful children’s books with special messages to her inside each one.

Gracie’s baby shower was more wonderful than we could have ever imagined and I could easily fill 3 posts with every beautiful detail!  More than anything we just want to thank everyone for celebrating the arrival of our daughter.  We are so very thankful for each and every one of you. 

~ Here are a few more pictures of the day ~

Gracie is one lucky lady :)

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