Thursday, January 21, 2016

Packing Our Hospital Bag

Good news! We have internet again!  And we didn't have to pay anything for the repairs!  Yippee!!

I know I said I'd try to drop in here over the weekend, but I was tired and we kept ourselves pretty busy.  Chris had MLK Day off, and we enjoyed soaking up time as just the two of us before our lives change forever (in the best way!) pretty soon.

As our trip to the hospital draws nigh, I thought it'd be fun to share what all we packed in our hospital bag.  I feel like I should provide the disclaimer that our hospital is a little different since it's a military/teaching facility instead of private/for profit.  Nothing is hurried there and we'll have to stay for at least 48 hours after the baby is born (which means a minimum of three days if I labor for a day). They also encourage us to bring our own clothes and a ton of personal items for comfort.  So, I just want to say that even though it may seem like I'm a crazy over-packer (and I may be a teeny bit!), they suggested we bring many of these items at the childbirth class at our hospital!

When I googled and searched on Pinterest about items to pack, I got so much conflicting information!  One list would say I HAD to bring one item, whereas the next list would say never, under any circumstances to bring the same item, that it would just get in the way.  A lot of it was just a guessing game taking into consideration what they will provide at our hospital and what will make us most comfortable.  We may end up not using half of what I packed, but I'm hoping we won't have any "Man, I wish we would have brought ________" moments.  But, even if we do, our families will be here to grab anything from home or the store that we may discover we can't live without.

Once the Mister found out just how much I wanted to pack (after a very lengthy and expensive Walmart trip), he announced he had the PERFECT bag to fit everything.  We're usually not that military couple who carries camouflage bags around, but he has one that is HUGE with lots of front pockets that really was great for this purpose.  He calls it a "Bug Out" bag and he says a family of four could carry everything they'd need into the wilderness with it in the event of a doomsday event. I'm not sure about that, but I can say with a fair amount of confidence that it is big enough to fit all the items a family of three needs for a short stay at the hospital. : ) Here it is all packed and ready to go in the backseat:

- Shampoo, conditioner, and body wash for both of us
- Toiletries (I didn't buy many toiletries - we've just been keeping our deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, etc., in a bag in our bathroom so we can grab it and go in a hurry.)
- Two towels (I've read online that the ones they provide at the hospital can be thin and scratchy.)
- Snacks for Chris while I'm in labor and for both of us once we're in the Mother Baby Unit (Kind Bars, granola bars, ALL the gummies because I was craving them on the day I went shopping, and Pringles)
- A small bluetooth speaker so we can jam out or relax with music we like (I've heard some women totally change their minds about this and don't want ANY distractions, so we shall see...)
- Sparkling cider and a few little plastic cups to toast and celebrate Baby Dixon's arrival!

- Three button-front sleep shirts/gowns that will work for nursing (These are cheapos that I bought with the intention of wearing instead of hospital gowns and throwing away if they get stained.)
- A fluffy robe to wear during labor (Once again, I didn't pay much for it and plan for it to be ruined.)
- Two nursing bras
- Two pairs of fuzzy slipper socks
- Pillow with a patterned pillowcase so we can differentiate it from the ones they have at the hospital (The nurses who taught our class strongly encouraged this one because they have very few pillows.)
- Mesh granny panties : )
- Maxi pads with wings (I think our hospital will provide pads and underwear, but I packed some just to be safe.)
- Facial wipes
- Summer's Eve wipes for sensitive skin
- Nursing pads
- Nipple cream
- Prenatal vitamins
- Chapstick
- Sugarless hard candy to keep my mouth from getting dry during labor
- A top with buttons in the front and comfy shoes to wear home (I plan to wear a pair of maternity jeans into the hospital, so I'll just put those back on to wear home if they're clean.)

- An extra pair of jeans
- Two t-shirts
- Sweatshirt
- Blanket for sleeping
- Gum (I've heard this is a necessity during the close quarters and long hours of labor.)

- A few blankets
- Mittens to prevent scratching
- Three comfy outfits in both itty bitty and 3 month sizes (Our hospital provides paper shirts, but we're allowed to dress her each day if we wish.  I mostly packed gowns that will be easy for diaper changes.)
- Cotton hats to keep her warm

I decided against packing a coat/bunting for her because they'll have us put her into the car seat before we leave and we've learned that it's dangerous for babies to have extra layers on when buckled in.  So, we'll just have to warm the car up and make her really cozy with blankets before we head out.

I'm also going to have my nursing pillow in the car so Chris can run out and grab it if we decide we need it or if I want it when working with the lactation consultants.

We also have her diaper bag ready in the car (just in case we have to stop on the way home) with diapers, wipes, a changing pad, little trash bags, and sterilized pacifiers.

As I've mentioned before, I purchased the Freshly Picked/Love Taza Bringing Home Baby Bundle pretty much as soon as I found out I was pregnant. : ) It includes a nice, comfy robe for me to wear once we're in the Mother Baby Unit recovering and another pair of slipper socks.  For baby, there is a matching hat, swaddle, and little moccasins!  And a laundry bag for our dirty clothes!

That's it!  It may be way too much, but I am relieved to feel prepared.  Hopefully we won't be the first couple to look like we packed our whole house for our labor and delivery adventure!

Oh, and here's the photo I promised from the ball we attended last Thursday (hard to believe it was already a week ago)!  I'm definitely looking 8 1/2 months pregnant, but the Mister is always so handsome in his uniform and I do LOVE my new shoes I bought for the occasion!

Hopefully I'll be back in the next couple days with my 38 week pregnancy update!  I have much to share!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Pregnancy Update: 37 Weeks

Hi, friends!  Sorry I skipped last week's update!  We don't have internet at the house right now.  We have satellite internet because we live kind of out in the middle of nowhere and the service is pretty shoddy.  A few months ago, when we were having trouble with it, we had a part replaced on our actual dish.  I spent a while on the phone with customer support last night and this time it looks like something's broken inside our modem.  A technician is coming on Friday to take a look at it, but the worst part is that we have to pay for the parts and such out of pocket if he does find a problem.  Doesn't seem to make much sense when we're already paying for internet that doesn't work. : ( Sooo I'm at the Panera in Fayetteville typing this because I had to come into town anyway for my 37 week appointment at Fort Bragg.  Since my computer is having serious issues (we're hoping to be able to afford a shiny new computer as my "push present"), I'm on Chris's ancient Mac, which still works well but completely turns off if the charger is jostled at all - hopefully I remember to click "save" often!  So, this post may be a little more abbreviated and hurried than usual because I already have to pee and I don't want to leave all of my belongings sitting out in the open!

Please pardon the awkward selfies!  I decided I was going to have time to blog today at the last minute and took them really quickly before I left the house.  I'm seriously digging this sweater - my mom and sister found it for me at Old Navy for Christmas (it's just an XL, not maternity).  They had intended for me to wear it more for nursing since it's so easy to pull up or down, but I'm really liking it pregnant, too.  It's hard to find clothes I'm comfy but not self conscious in these days.  The jeans are a new pair of Liz Lange maternity jeans I finally caved and bought after my sister made fun of me for wearing the same lighter washed pair every day. : )  We're going to a military ball tomorrow night, so I promise we'll take a photo all dressed up that's not a selfie. 

Baby's size: She's the size of a winter melon, whatever that is, (according to What to Expect and The Bump) or a striped skunk (according to the "weird-but-cute-animals" theme on OviaPregnancy). She's probably weighing between 6 and 9 pounds (whoa!) and measuring in around 19-22 inches.
Very cute!  But I wouldn't want to pet them.  : )
(image from

Weight gained:  I've gained about 40 pounds - 15 pounds more than my original goal of 25 pounds and 5 more than what I wanted to cap out at, 35 pounds.  Oh well!  Like I've said the whole time, I don't feel like I'm making particularly unhealthy choices, I've almost completely lost my appetite this week and have to remind myself to eat, I'm still able to exercise (well kind of, more on that later), and my practitioner hasn't mentioned my weight at all, so I'm not too terribly concerned.  I'm really looking forward to getting the go ahead to get back into the gym after my six week postnatal appointment, but I don't see any point in beating myself up about my weight gain right now.  As long as our baby is healthy and we have a safe delivery, that's all I care about!

Working out: Until today, I've kept up with walking at least a couple miles, sometimes three or four, every day.  However, starting yesterday afternoon and continuing today, I'm having really, really terrible sciatica pain.  I can hardly put any weight on my right hip.  While this is frustrating for a few reasons, mainly that I'm not particularly comfortable sitting still and feel a lot better when I can get up and move around, I'm especially disappointed that this could mean having to cut back on my walking, something I've been really thankful I've been able to continue up until this point.  Hopefully this will be short-lived and baby will reposition and take the pressure off whatever nerve she's bothering soon!  I also did about twenty minutes of prenatal yoga two days this week.

New Symptoms:  Like I said above, really painful sciatica... I've had sciatica pretty much throughout the pregnancy, but this is a whole new level!  It's going to be so strange after I deliver to have hips that feel normal. : )

GOOD HAIR... I'd thought this good pregnancy "symptom" was going to be one I wouldn't have the pleasure of experiencing, but about a month ago my hair totally stopped falling out in the shower and when I brushed it and such (which is a big deal because usually I shed more than my dogs) and now it is SO thick.  There's so much hair on my head right now it doesn't even want to part well!  I'm sure this means that I'm going to bald like crazy after baby is born, but I'll enjoy my luxurious locks until then!

This isn't a symptom I'm experiencing exactly, but my dogs are acting SO weird.  Luellen follows me around everywhere (even more than usual, like even to the bathroom) and just stares at me constantly.  Last night, Hank stood beside the bed and cried after I turned the lights off until I got him to settle beside me and snuggled him, and then he proceeded to sit up and stare at me strangely, too!  I googled to see if dogs can tell when you're about to go into labor.  Apparently they can!  Obviously, nothing happened last night.  My hormones must smell funny or something, though!

As I mentioned last time, I'm just becoming more and more uncomfortable.  Little things like getting dressed, putting my shoes on, doing laundry, etc., have gotten difficult and wear me out quickly.  But I'm so thankful that baby has made it to "full term,"  and I'll deal with the discomfort and fatigue if she needs to keep cooking!

Food aversions: Nothing I can think of!

Food cravings: I'm not really craving anything.  I don't have much of an appetite most of the time and it's often a struggle to think of something that sounds good.  I've been eating a lot of salads, not really because I'm craving them but because I want to make healthy choices when I can.  A few of our family members bought us gift cards for nicer restaurants for Christmas, so we've really enjoyed going out on "dates" before our family of two becomes a family of three and eating big, yummy meals without having to worry about the check. : )

How I'm sleeping: To be honest, I kind of dread going to bed at night because I know sleep is going to be a struggle.  I'm still waking up every hour or two.  I've found that it helps a little to read for a little bit before I try to go to sleep on the nights the Mister doesn't mind me leaving the lamp on.  I'm very lucky that I don't have anywhere to be in the mornings and can sleep in if I need to make up for a rough night.

Feeling baby move: During the days, it's hard to feel her move because she's gone more from sharp kicks to just stretching and pushing as her home inside my tummy gets tighter and tighter.  But at night when I settle down she goes CRAZY.  Last night I swear she was trying to do jumping jacks.  It's both really cool and really strange at the same time.  I'm definitely feeling more like I have a little human in there!

I can't help but wonder how many more of these updates I'll be writing!  It's hard to believe baby could "technically" arrive any day.  My practitioner emphasized today that the majority of first time moms go to at least 40 weeks.  I know of several people who have delivered at 37-39, though, so it's hard not to wonder!  Of course, I want her to stay in there as long as her little lungs need to be completely ready!  However, it's hard not to wish for it to be sooner when I think about how close we are to seeing and holding her!  I feel like I've been "hogging" her for 8 1/2 months.  I'm ready for the Mister and our families to get to hold her and feel like she is "theirs," too.  : )

I'm hoping our internet will be fixed on Friday and I'll be able to post again over the weekend!  Talk to you again soon!