Welcoming my new Money Hip Baby! (My Favorite Things for Pregnancy, Labor, and Newborns)
Well, this blog just hit a couple milestones. We reached over 10,000 views per month (thanks everyone for reading!) and... I just had another Money Hip Baby!
A little over a week ago I had my second baby, my first totally natural birth (to a 9-pounder, no less). It has been a beautiful experience. I am about 1,000 times less stressed this time around than I was with my first. So in celebration of this beautiful new baby, I thought I'd throw together a list of the things that have helped me the most throughout my pregnancy, labor & delivery, and recovery with a newborn.
I hope you enjoy (and that you'll add your own tips in the comments section)! By the way, if you haven't already liked our Facebook Page, please do so now!
My new little sweetie @ 5 days old. As you can imagine, I am completely smitten
1. The Waiting Game
I know due dates are
just a guideline. But there's something so demoralizing about watching that day come and go, especially when the skin on your stomach is down to one layer in places and rips every time you turn or bend. Yeah, I was ready for this little guy to come.
Me @ 38 Weeks
To help with my complete lack of patience, I created a little game. I call it "progressively more awesome weekends." When you reach the point where you simply can't stand the waiting anymore, sit down and plan a series of weekend dates full of fun stuff you wouldn't otherwise do. That way, it turns your frustration into a win-win. Either you have the baby or you go to that restaurant you love but can't otherwise justify the cost of, etc.
2. Bradley method--Husband Coached Childbirth ($15 from Amazon)
This birthing method was recommended to me by my friend Melanie who'd had a wonderful natural birth with her second baby. My husband and I read the book when I was pregnant with my first son, more out of curiosity than true commitment to wanting a natural birth. When I had my first baby, I had an epidural and without boring/grossing you out with the details, it was a less-than-pleasant delivery and recovery. It was bad enough to cause me to reconsider trying for a natural birth the second time around. I re-read the book (and printed this quick reference guide for my husband to review while I was in labor). I didn't take the Bradley classes, but I took another labor class that had a natural birth emphasis. Long story short, although pushing was horrible (my son was born posterior), it was only twenty minutes (I pushed 3.5 hours with my first) and everything else was awesome. Immediate bonding, great nursing, and an amazing recovery. I'm not against epidurals, but the Bradley Method worked for me.
p.s. I also used some breathing techniques from Hypnobirthing. I found the "breathe in slowly to the count of 20, breathe out slowly to the count of 20" to be especially helpful.
3. Read Birth Stories (Free) - http://naturalchildbirthstories.com.
In addition to The Bradley Method, reading and hearing other people's birth stories was the most helpful thing I did to prepare for childbirth. On this site, you can search birth stories by type (home, hospital, particular methods--Bradley, hypnobirthig, etc.). I wasn't about to have a home birth, so I read all the hospital births instead. I played sports in high school and was a big fan of mental preparation. Reading birth stories was my mental preparation so when Game Time rolled around (and I was really in labor), I'd be ready.
-------LABOR AND DELIVERY-------
4. "Full Term" App (Free) - For Timing Contrations
This is the app I used to time contractions. I love how it shows the length of the last contraction and the averages for both the last hour and the last six hours. Although I hate timing contractions (I'd rather just breathe through them), I see it as my tool to get the labor and delivery staff to believe I need to be admitted.
5. Take Notes
Huge fan of note taking. And now with smart phones, it's so much easier. No pen required and you can do it one handed.
Labor & Delivery - When I wrote up the birth story for my first son, I had a hard time recounting all the details. So this time I took a few brief notes in between contractions with the time and description of what was going on. My husband took over once I was in transition. It may seem silly but it's fun to have it all documented and it makes writing up the narrative so much easier.
Questions for Doctor - Anyone who is able to remember all their questions with little to no sleep, hats off to you. I like to jot down my questions as I think of them and pull out the list when I go to appointments. And there's something about writing things down that helps take that worry off my mind.