Sweater: Banana Republic Cardigan (pre-pregnancy)
Blouse: Moherhood Maternity- Sleeveless Pleated Maternity Blouse
Jeans: Old Navy- Full Panel Skinny Jeans <– Maternity Essential
Shoes: (not shown) TOMS- Earthwise Slate Classic <– Maternity Essential
Sweater: Banana Republic Cardigan (pre-pregnancy)
I just received an e-mail in my inbox from TheBump.com informing me of the 10 must-dos before labor. Now, we already have a list of our own but I was curious to see what they had to say. Here are their 10 must-dos:
- Take a birthing class. This we have already done. We took a birthing class, a couples yoga for labor and birth class, a natural baby care class and a breastfeeding class.
- See a movie. This is on our list to do especially since we have a few passes that we need to use up! Now what should we go see?
- Know the breastfeeding basics. As I mentioned above we took a breastfeeding class and we also briefly talked about breastfeeding in our natural baby care class.
- Pack your hospital bag. This is something we still need to do and it is on the agenda to do this weekend. What did you pack in your bag?
- Program important numbers into your phone — and your partner’s phone. This is something I was just telling Neil that we need to do, he needs to add our doulas number and our placenta encapsulation persons (not sure the technical name) number into his phone. We both already have all the birthing center and midwife numbers in our phones.
- Freeze some meals, or round up takeout menus. We haven’t done this at all yet. I planned on picking up some easy frozen options at the grocery store soon, such as veggie burgers, sweet potato fries, frozen veggies, etc. We also have a CSA that starts next week so we will have lots of fresh veggies to make up salads and quick meals. We did stock up on almond butter and quinoa on our last Costco trip which are both great to have on hand. What are your favorite meals to freeze?
- Get a crib and wash the sheet. Well we have the crib and it’s been set up for awhile. We also have a pack n’ play which will be set up in our room and likely used at night for the first few months. I spent all evening yesterday washing baby clothes and baby accessories.
- Install the car seat. Another thing that needs to be done. This weekend we are planning to clean out the car and give it a good vacuuming, etc. and then we will be ready to install the car seat.
- Make a labor playlist. We started thinking about this last week but I haven’t worked on it much lately. This is on my list of things to do as well as finding a good set of speakers to bring with us since our birth center only has a CD player not an mp3 hookup.
- Read a novel. Honestly I don’t know if this is going to be possible in the next four weeks to do. I have a number of parenting/baby books I want to read but no specific novels right now.
What is on your list of things to do before labor? In addition to those listed above we also want to get the house as organized and clean as possible, work on a number of blog posts and find time to do a few more “just the two of us” things.
[babymoon] n. last big child-free getaway
When it came to deciding on whether or not we would have a babymoon, we flip-flopped back and forth for awhile, trying to decide whether we needed to take one and if it would be financially responsible to take one. Just when we had decided against doing a babymoon for financial reasons (it’s so expensive to travel in February/March!) an opportunity to travel to South Carolina came up. My parents had made a last minute decision to rent a condo in South Carolina for the month of March and invited us to stay with them for a week. Now this was not what I had imagined our babymoon would be (beach front, just the two of us, romantic), but it was an opportunity for us to get away, take a trip to a new place and do it inexpensively.
Since we would be spending our time sharing a condo with my parents we decided that we would make sure to make a little time for ourselves. We ended up decided to have a ‘babymoon date’ to Charleston, just the two of us. We rented a car and drove the two hours south from Myrtle Beach to Charleston. It was a beautiful day and we spent it walking around the downtown, enjoying the sites, the water and a romantic and delicious lunch at S.N.O.B.
Although our trip wasn’t what we had envisioned our babymoon to be it was a wonderful last big child-free getaway.
- Plan ahead. If you know that when you become pregnant you’d like to take a babymoon make sure to budget in advance for your trip. We had taken a trip before becoming pregnant and unfortunately that didn’t allow us to have our ideal babymoon.
- Travel between 18-24 weeks. I recommend this for a few reasons the first of which is comfort, you will be so much more comfortable, have more energy and be able to enjoy your trip more during this span of weeks. Another reason is that airlines and cruises often do not allow you to fly/cruise after a certain point, although you can talk with your pre-natal care provider and request written permission for the airline/cruiseline. Lastly, if you are driving to your destination sitting in the car can become really uncomfortable fast and may require numerous bathroom breaks.
- Relax. Rather than taking an adventurous trip or plan on visiting a number of attractions chose a destination that allows you to sit back, relax and just enjoy each others company. Plan a spa day, spend the day sitting by the beach or pool and just unwind.
- Pregtastic Podcast: Babymoon Boom
- The Bump: 10 Babymoon Tips
- Pretty Little Mustache: Babymoon-Puerto Rico
- KathEats: Babymoon- Jamaica
- CaitlinHTP: Babymoon- South Beach
- Carrots and Crackers: Babymoon- Kiawah Island
- Heather’s Dish: Babymoon- Denver
- Daily Garnish: Babymoon- Vegas
Our Babymoon Gallery
When it comes to birthing classes, there are a variety of options. From hospital based classes, naturally focused birthing classes, and those that are combinations of both. Some specific types or methods taught in birthing classes include the Lamaze Method, Bradley Method, Hypnobirthing, Birthing From Within, BirthWorks and The Alexander Technique. We were really interested in taking the 12-week Bradley Method class, which teaches natural childbirth and partner-coached childbirth, but unfortunately there is no one who offers these classes in our area (or even the state). What we did have for options was pretty limited and many of the classes that were available focused more on hospital births (ones with medical intervention) or were really focused around the procedures/what to expect at the local hospital (Fletcher Allen, which we won’t be going to).
Left feeling frustrated and not wanting to drive the 75 minutes to the hospital we will be giving birth at for childbirth classes (each way for six weeks), I finally reached out on twitter for some ideas on what to do. To my delight, a few people came back and suggested that I look into local doulas, as many offer childbirth classes in addition to their doula services. The next day I was at Healthy Living Market perusing the local services board and ended up taking home four doulas’ business cards to contact about classes. One doula contacted me back to let me know she was available to teach birthing classes and we signed up for two four hour sessions. We also signed up for her natural baby care class (and also eventually hired her as our doula). In addition to taking private birth classes I also read Birthing From Within, and Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth and Neil read The Birthing Partner which we will discuss further in future posts.
So what did we learn? Since we spent eight hours discussing a variety of topics I’ve decided to condense what we learned into the top 10 things we learned, here they are:
- Sign that labor may begin soon: Examples of this are backache, cramps, PMS symptoms, nesting urge, upset stomach, and baby “drops.” However, as a reminder these don’t mean that you are going to go into labor right away these are just signs that your body is preparing for birth.
- The Labor Process: We discussed how labor begins (always good to know), what to expect in early labor, active labor and transition. One of the most important thins from this part that we learned were the preliminary that labor may be about to begin which include bloody show, water breaks and Braxton-Hicks Contractions and positive signs that labor has begun which include a gush of amniotic fluid, progressing contractions and dilation of cervix.
- What to take note of if your water breaks before you arrive at the hospital:
- Time your water broke
- Amount (was it a gush? it is leaking?)
- Color (you want it to be clear if it isn’t call 911)
- Odor (there should be no smell if there is a foul odor immediately contact your care provider)
- Hydration: making sure that the woman is hydrating throughout labor.
- Encouragement: encouraging the woman throughout labor.
- Lights: making sure that the lights are dim.
- Protect: being the protector of the room and making sure to keep a safe space for the woman.
- Sounds: being aware of the sounds and trying to keep the outside/unnecessary noise to a minimum.
What others are saying:
- “We took Bradley Method with our first. Ended up having a c-section after 36 hours. Took no classes with our second and had a natural birth after just 12 hours.” -CK
- “Hypnobirthing worked well for me. I’m terrified of medical situations in general and the hypnobirthing techniques were really useful and allowed me to have a drug-free birth.” -AD
- CaitlinHTP: Pre-Birth Review of Bradley Method
- KathEats: Thoughts on Childbirth Class
We took our birthing class from Doula Sarah Campbell of Mother Rising Childbirth Services.
I was planning to write about my Top 10 Labor & Delivery Fears but as I began to write this post I found that only three fears really stood out for me.
- Not making it to the birthing center. I know that this baby is not going to come in a matter of minutes and our midwives have assured us that we are fine to head down when I am having contractions around 5 minutes apart but the 75 minute drive to our birth center still makes me nervous. I do not want to have the baby in the back of our car!
- Having a C-Section. At 31 weeks, we found out that the baby was breech and although there was still plenty of time for them to turn, I was still nervous that they wouldn’t and I’d end up with a c-section. A c-section means a longer recovery time and I really want to have a natural vaginal birth. After regularly doing supported bridge and other poses that are meant to help with a breech baby, the baby turned head down.
- Laboring forever. I mean honestly who wants to labor forever? I know I have little control over how long I do labor, but I am hoping that it isn’t for hours and hours on end.
What were/are your labor and delivery fears?
Baby Bucket List: a list of things you want to do before having a baby
When we first got together, Neil and I didn’t really think a child was in our future. And, for the first few years of our lives together, we had never really discussed having children. After a year of marriage something changed and we both started to get a little baby fever and we began to consider what life would be like if we did decide to have a baby.
As our second year of marriage progressed, we started to seriously think about having a baby and what that would mean for us. We also discussed the things that we would like to do before we started really trying to have a baby. Essentially, you could call this our “Baby Bucket List”- a list of things we wanted to do before starting a new life with a baby. However, as you will come to learn sometimes, life has a different plan and that makes completing everything on the list a challenge.
Our Baby Bucket List:
- Travel: We’ve done more than our fair share of traveling over the last four years of marriage between countless trips to Boston, yearly trips to Portland, Maine and NYC and a few big trips including Christmas at Disney World and an Eastern Caribbean Cruise.
- Savings: Our goal was to have a substantial savings before even trying to have a baby and this is one goal we have accomplished and are still maintaining. We both know that having a baby is an expense and since we have always planned for me to be a SAHM/WAHM a good savings was completely necessary before a baby came into the picture.
- Stable Jobs: Over the 6 years that Neil and I have been together I have been a student and have held two different office jobs and now have taken on work doing a number of freelance jobs and am a self-employeed health coach. Neil has had three different jobs- one contract job, one job that he left when we moved to Vermont and his current place of employment which he has been at for over four years and is doing really well (he even just received a promotion). Both of us feeling comfortable with our work and having financial stability makes having a baby so much less stressful.
- Finish Health Coaching Program: One of the big things for me was that I wanted to finish my health coaching program before we had a baby. I completed the program in February 2011 and even went on to complete the immersion program in March 2012 (while pregnant!). By becoming a health coach I can do work that I am passionate about and I am able to make my own hours and work from home even while having a baby (with some necessary support and help as well).
Run a half-marathon together:While Neil recently finished his first half marathon, this is the one item that I was unable to complete. Honestly, we didn’t plan to get pregnant this past fall, however, we knew that it was a possibility that we could get pregnant at any time and we were comfortable with that. Not thinking that we would I actually signed up for two different half marathons, the first of which we had to defer to this coming November because Neil had a bike accident and the second was this past March. Since I ended up having awful morning sickness my entire first trimester running took a back seat and I did not complete the March half-marathon. Moral of the story: you can’t plan for everything.
Do/did you have a baby bucket list? What is/was on your list?
- We still haven’t seen where the birth will happen. We still haven’t been able to tour the birthing center. At our appointment this past Friday morning the entire birthing center was full! Now we’re getting worried the baby will be here before we are able to tour.
- Uncontrollable emotions. At our last midwife appointment we discussed the worst case scenarios for two different reasons I might have to have a c-section. The first was the “we’ve tired absolutely everything but you aren’t progressing” scenario which results in a much more calm transition to c-section than the emergency. The second scenario is the emergency c-section, which after hearing their protocol/procedures around this left me feeling a little traumatized and I burst into tears. This is only the second time during this pregnancy I have ever spontaneously become so overwhelmed with emotion that I burst into tears. I already knew the reasons for a c-section, that there is always a possibility and the general info on how it works but it was really overwhelming to hear what could happen to ME. Luckily our birthing center/hospital as a 16% cesarean rate which is half of what the national average for c-sections.
- Aching hips. I had been doing really well with my hips and sleeping but this past week my hips have been killing me!
- Babyshower – On Saturday my best friend, Cate, hosted a baby shower for Neil and I. It was a wonderful party and we will be writing about it later this week!
- Tackling the “To-Do List” – We have lots to get done on our “Before The Baby Arrives List” and this past week(end) we were able to accomplish a number of them (some of which are weekly tasks) including laundry, cleaning out the fridge, dishes, and organizing. We still have a lot more I want to do to get the house in a good place so that we can maintain some sort of order but it’s a start!
- Head Down. The baby is still head down! After finding out that s/he was breech at 31 weeks, we had been a little worried that s/he wouldn’t flip. At our last appointment, s/he had flipped but there was still time for them to move again. At this point, our midwives say there is about a 2% chance that s/he won’t stay head down (or a 98% chance that they will!)!
- Date night. Neil and I went out for date night on Friday, something we are trying to do as much as we can before the baby gets here. We went for our traditional prenatal appointment day date at American Flatbread and had a great meal and great conversation. We then headed to Burlington waterfront for his work’s annual summer party(Studio 54 themed) and stayed until the tent was evacuated due to severe thunderstorms. While we missed the rest of the party (the original Village People played!), it was great to get out and see everyone dressed up and even catch up with people for as short of a time as it was.
Meet the Family:
- Mom: Lindsay
- Dad: Neil
- Daughter: Edith Mary
- Baby #2 Due 7/2014
You may know us from Lindsay’s blog, Running With Tongs, where she writes about fitness, healthy living, recipes, and (lately) weekly pregnancy updates. We’ve decided to take on our own family blog a place for us to write about both the ups and downs of parenting, tips and tricks and doing what comes naturally (whatever that might be).
How did we end up here? Alright, let’s rewind a couple of years. You may be wondering “How did they end up as this family of three to be?”? It really is a story of love conquering international boundaries and all else that you would find in an artsy love story.(OK, I may exaggerate, maybe Vermont and Canada isn’t exactly USA and Europe). We originally met in 2005 in Fredericton, NB, Canada where Neil lived and Lindsay was visiting friends. We exchanged a couple of MySpace messages over the next year, but nothing major. Although, it would seem we were destined to meet again. We spotted each other while Lindsay was meeting a friend across the road from Neil’s apartment. Later that night we ran into each other at open mic night at a local bar. We started dating and got pretty serious, pretty quick. Eight months later, in May of 2007, we were engaged. Over the next year, because Lindsay was graduating school, Neil looked for and found work in the US. In April of 2008, Neil started working in Burlington, Vermont and we were married just over a month later on Memorial Day weekend of 2008. It’s now, 2012 and we find ourselves expecting our first baby in July. I hope you enjoy following our adventures as new parents and maybe even learn a thing or two as we relate all of the ups and downs we encounter as new parents. Update: Our baby girl arrived on July 9, 2012!
Have a question you’d like us to answer? Leave a comment below or e-mail us!