Tag Archives: pregnancy

Baby Selene is Here!

Yes, I had my sweet baby girl about a week and a half ago. Finally I have the energy to post about it. I’ve barely been on the computer at all lately!

She was born on January 30 by C-section. I really had hoped for a natural child birth, but as things turned out, she was breech and the C-section was the best option to go with. Such is life. I’d rather have a healthy baby than the most perfect birth plan followed.

The C-section went just fine. I even watched part as one of the lights happened to be so oriented that I could see what was going on. Didn’t tell the doctors that because I wanted to be able to see, and I figured they might move it if I said a word.

There’s something really special about seeing your baby being born, even if it is by a C-section. Thank goodness for epidurals so I didn’t have to think about what all was going on.

She’s a little thing for a full term baby, a mere 5 lb 9.7 oz and 18.5 inches long. Just a tiny bit bigger than her month preemie brother. It’s so much like holding a doll picking her up, especially since my first was 8 lb 10 oz.

I do consider there to be one advantage to that C-section, however. I had already signed the paperwork to get my tubes tied. No more birth control worries!

That was something we had planned. If I had succeeded in the VBAC I wanted, it would have been my husband’s problem, shall we say. But with a C, much simpler to have things tied off and be done with it.

No more considering hormonal birth control or other methods. I really am delighted about that even with the occasional “OMG I will never have another baby” twinge. I know I don’t want or need more children.

She’s great at breastfeeding. In less than a week she put back much of her birth weight, despite having lost close to 10% of it while we were in the hospital. Considering how low her weight is, that was a real relief to me.

She sleeps. I mean really sleeps. Wakes up once a night already. Once in a while twice in the night, but she’s my first good sleeper. Since she’s growing so well I really don’t mind.

Bit by bit I’m feeling better myself.  I really detest incision pain, and I’ve been lucky enough to have tons of help from family. But I’ve been feeling the urge to get some work done again while Selene naps beside me, so here I am.

What Do You Really Need to Bring to the Hospital for Childbirth?

With things getting so close to the end of my pregnancy now, I have to get ready to go to the hospital. Naturally, I looked over what is recommended that you have prepacked and ready to go. It’s been a while, after all, and I don’t want to be too rushed.

I forgot how ridiculous most of those lists are.

I’d forgotten a lot since with my last pregnancy nearly 4 years ago I was sent from a routine OB check to the hospital to be monitored and prepared for an urgent C-section. In other words, no bag. No supplies.

And in my first pregnancy, I quickly found that I didn’t use that much of what I brought. There just really aren’t that many things you need there.


Yes, absolutely. But unless you have duplicates, they’re really hard to prepack. Just keep in mind that you will want your toothbrush, toothpaste and hair brush at some point. The hospital has soap and shampoo as a rule, so if you don’t bring them it’s not the end of the world.

Important Papers

You’ll need your insurance card. You’ll want to have a copy of your birth plan if you’ve written one. Not much else matters.

My husband and I had a birth plan with our daughter, but ended up really not paying attention to it. Sometimes they work out great. Other times… just paper.

Don’t forget a phone book or list. If you have a family member who is willing to call with the good news, you can split up this job so that you mostly call the people you really want to talk to. After giving birth you’re probably going to be tired, so anything that keeps the number of calls down to something reasonable is good.


Most important to me has always been just having an outfit to go home in. But if you want to wear your own gown during labor, or clothes other than a hospital gown when you’re done, pack what you need.

My first time around, I found that I just didn’t feel like changing clothes much of the time, so I spent a lot of time just in the hospital gowns. Also nice that if anything got on them, I wasn’t going to have to wash them when I got home.

A nursing bra is nice to have along, though. Your milk may start coming in during your hospital stay, so have some nursing pads ready too. Oh, the joys!

Your partner may or may not want to bring clothes. My husband always just went home to change. For our first, we were just blocks from the hospital anyhow. For the second, he spent time with our oldest as well as with me in the hospital, so packing clothes wasn’t needed. But that won’t work for every couple.

Labor Supplies

What do you need to make your time in labor comfortable? MP3 players really make bringing your own music easier than it was back when I had my daughter. Some people like lotions or massage supplies, a birth ball, focus object, pillows… you can create quite a list.

Just practice at home first. If something sounds nice when you read about it, but doesn’t work out at home, odds are you won’t want it at the hospital either.


Odds are pretty good that you will have to pay for parking. Not true at all hospitals, but know in advance if it’s true at yours.

Besides, your partner will want to be able to buy snacks and/or meals. The hospital rarely feeds anyone who isn’t a patient there.


Odds are, the hospital won’t let you eat during labor. They’re too concerned that you might have to go in for a C-section, as I understand it. If you want to eat during labor, better do so before you head out to the hospital if you can.

You may be able to enjoy some hard candies and such to keep your throat moist, but that’s about it.

Your partner, on the other hand, will probably need snacks. The hospital won’t care what he eats. But if it bugs you, send him out of the room to do so.

Raisins are a fair choice for snacking after giving birth. That first postpartum bowel movement is not so fun. Making it move a little easier is not a bad idea. Though you probably don’t want to overdo it.

Camera and Supplies

I have my digital camera cleared out, and two sets of batteries charged. I still need to check the camcorder to be sure that there’s plenty of tape, although I don’t anticipate recording the labor. Cozy times with baby, on the other hand….

Baby Supplies

The only vital things are your infant car seat, a going home outfit and an appropriate blanket. All of these can be brought from home by your partner after you’ve given birth. No need to rush on getting these together beforehand if you just don’t have them ready.

The hospital will have disposable diapers and wipes for you, so just skip it unless you really, really need to start cloth diapering in the hospital. Which isn’t a bad thing, but rather more inconvenient than you may have the energy to deal with.

Something to Do After Baby is Born

Hospitals are boring! Even with a new baby beside you waking regularly to be fed, you will get bored. Keep it simple, as you’ll probably have to put down your book or whatever you bring down pretty often as people come in to visit, nurses come in to check your blood pressure and such, baby wakes up and so forth. Boring certainly doesn’t mean restful.

No, You Probably Won’t Use All This Stuff

If you get in a rush and don’t even bring the bag at first, don’t be surprised if you get along just fine with only what the hospital gives you for the first while. The only things you really need in order to give birth are a comfortable place and some good support.

But having things packed means your partner can bring the things you need for after labor pretty easily. No wondering about what you want to wear when you go home. No searching for baby’s first outfit. No wondering what you’d like to do with your spare time.

Ignoring the Natural Childbirth Naysayers

I’m going to try really hard to have this baby naturally. At the hospital still… my husband is finally almost comfortable with the notion of home childbirth as a possibility with the hospital so close, but not for a VBAC.

But what amazes me is how little people who should know better know about VBAC. I had the receptionist at my pediatrician’s office surprised that VBAC is possible.

Yet it’s safer than a repeat C-section, from what I’ve read! At least in the appropriate circumstances, such as mine. I’ve delivered vaginally before, and I had a transverse C-section, rather than vertical. My OB gives me 90% odds of success.

Considering my daughter had a 95th percentile head and her fist up along side it when I pushed her out, I figure I’m quite capable of pushing anything out!

When I mention natural childbirth as my preference to other moms, they just about go nuts, or at least say I am. But I think it makes a lot of sense to at least try for it.

First of all, I did great with my daughter until they put me on pitocin. By the time they finally found the anesthesiologist to give me an epidural for the pain that caused two hours later, I almost had it under control again. But the nap the epidural allowed me to take sure helped.

Second, I want to be able to walk around, squat or do whatever I want as much as possible. Medication limits all that.

Third, I have confidence that I can do it this time. Selene’s doing great, kicking ribs and has plenty of room. I’m comfortable with the sensations I expect to be dealing with, and my husband is very supportive. He’s getting better with the terminology I need him to use, such as sensation rather than pain. Some words will be mine and mine alone to use, just to keep my support positive for me.

And the most minor reason of all… it will save us money. Not really important, and if I really NEED a C-section or medication I’m fine with that, but we pay a percentage with our insurance. If I can keep costs down, I just think that’s smart. That it would be by doing something I’d like to do anyhow is a minor bonus.

I am very determined that this will be my last pregnancy. If things go to a C-section, I’ve already signed the tubal ligation paperwork. May as well finish things off while they’re in there. If not, there are other alternatives my husband and I can go over.

My plan is to go to my mother’s house when I suspect I’m in labor, even a little bit. That puts me close to the hospital and my husband’s work. It’s a nice, comfortable place where I can get things going, almost as good as staying at home. Home being 30-45 minutes from the hospital in average traffic, worse in rush hour.

It’s been interesting educating the naysayers. I had one woman insisting that the uterine rupture risk was far higher than it is. I explained to her the different types of C-section and that the risks are very different for the two.

I’ve explained to others that it is entirely possible to control the sensations if you prepare for it and can move around until you’re comfortable. I won’t say they were converted, but that’s a bit trickier. We are very conditioned in this culture to think of the screaming woman lying down in the hospital bed. That’s not what I want or what any laboring woman needs as a visualization.

My Big Green Goal for 2009 – Greening Baby

I can’t believe I’m nearly 8 months pregnant. Where does the time go?

In terms of being green, there are a lot of things I like to do. But in 2009, my focus is pretty much going to be on greening my baby experience.

Some of it will be pretty easy. I already have the minimal driving habit, although we are going to need a second vehicle. Our current car won’t hold the entire family after the baby comes, and with all the doctor appointments babies need, calling on family for a ride just won’t cut it. It would be necessary too often.

But we are looking used, and fuel efficiency is a big consideration along with budget.

Clothes and many other supplies aren’t a big issue. We have tons of handmedowns coming. We still own our original cradle and crib.

A king size pillowcase makes for a wonderful sheet for a cradle mattress. They’re the perfect size. Just a little trick my mother taught me that saves trying to buy cradle sheets. Crib sheets, on the other hand, may need to be purchased, although I think we still have some in decent condition.

I still have to actually buy my cloth diapers. Time to just buckle down and get the research done so I can finalize my decision.

Then the fun part of explaining them to my mother-in-law. Oh, probably my side of the family too, but I know who tends to be the most vocal about when I do something out of the expected. But cloth diapers really aren’t what they were when she had kids, and I expect that by the time baby is 6 months to a year old, she’ll get it.

At least, that’s how long it took for her to quit complaining about me breastfeeding my first. She does understand the benefits now, though, and is a huge proponent of it. Just took a while.

We’re also looking at making baby food at home. We already own a VitaMix, although I will have to teach my husband to clean it really well. He’s rather trusting of a quick rinse on too many things. Soap and hot water, dear, especially when cleaning something to make it safe for making baby food! Better safe than really, really sorry.

It’s Amazing How Things Change Through the Years

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how differently my husband and I are talking about starting things out with this baby. First time around, there was no way he would even discuss cloth diapers. Now he’s all but insisting on them.

He’s also finally getting it about why I want to make our own baby food when the time comes. It’s more of a cost savings thing for him than anything else, but I’ll take what I can get. He’s always been a fan of my food mill for the second stage foods, but this time he understands about making it throughout.

At least he’s always understood my insistence on breast feeding.

It’s fun having an influence on someone, helping them to understand why they should make green choices. In addition to the changes for baby, he’s learned to appreciate composting and using natural fertilizers on the garden. No more chemicals.

What did it take?

Persistence, but not nagging.

Sharing information.

Making it easy for him to give it a try.

And of course, looking at the two children we have already and wanting it to be better for them. It’s hard for a good father to want anything else.