35 Weeks with a Hospital Tour

35 Weeksbaby is the Size of a Mini-Lop Bunny

I can’t even believe that we have 5 weeks or less to go until Evelynne is here! According to the Ovia app, at 35 weeks the baby is the size of a mini lop bunny rabbit. It is funny because that is the type of bunny we adopted for Danyella over the summer. So the baby is as big as the bunny… just not as furry!

This past week we got to go on the hospital tour of the where we are giving birth. This hospital was so beautiful and pristine and clean! I loved it from the moment we walked in and saw a Starbucks cafe in the lobby. Yes, I will be sending Doug down to get me Starbucks after I give birth because I love my Starbucks!

We began with learning about their security system which I am not a fan of anyone being able to register to come up to the floor as long as they have an ID. I like the system that my previous hospitals had where there was a list of people allowed. No offense but I don’t want everything thinking they can come visit when I want that time alone with the baby before I go home.

The next stop on our tour was the sibling daycare they provide for free. It is open Monday-Friday during the day for when the siblings visit and get to antsy to sit there while the adults are holding or looking at the baby. You know young kids, they don’t want to sit still and Mom can’t really deal with caring for the older kids after just popping out a watermelon. I love this feature because even Danyella would enjoy it with the tvs and video games they have for activities. Only downfall is that if I have the baby on a Friday, I will be out by Sunday so Danyella wouldn’t be able to use it.

Now we get to the fun part….. Labor and Delivery floor! In the past, I was in a room that was labor, delivery and postpartum but this hospital has L&D on one floor and Baby and Mom on the next floor above. This floor has a triage to make sure that labor is active or to determine if the mom needs to be admitted for other reasons. There is one hallway for Perinatal moms that need to stay in the hospital for numerous complications like high blood pressure or gestational diabetes that need to be monitored.

The L&D room is so big and spacious and just lovely. There were so many things that I can’t wait to enjoy while I give labor like the shower with a seat in it. They offer birthing balls to help with labor which I didn’t know was a thing until this pregnancy. They encourage the use of aromatherapy or any other things to aid in keeping mom calm. The TVs are smart TVs so I can play my relaxation music through that and not have to worry about using my phone and ear buds. Another cool feature is the charging station with preset charging ends so if I forget to throw my cord in my bag they will have one.

The nurse that was guiding the tour asked if we had birth plans ready for our deliveries. Of course I said yes because I have been revising mine for weeks. Doug looked at me shocked that I have one ready. Then I told him that it says in the first section “do not listen to my husband about a C-Section” because he supports a C-Section whereas I am opposed to one. (More about my Birth Plan next week!) Also, the nurse went on to explain that they encourage women to labor as much as possible at home which was concerning for me. At my appointment on Wednesday, I spoke to my OB about this and we both agreed that it wouldn’t be a good idea for me because I labor quickly especially with Danyella where I went from 3 cm dilated to my water breaking and her head crowning in very little time. As the OB said , he doesn’t want to hear about me having a home birth or giving birth in a car. Glad we are on the same page then.

Last on the tour was the Baby and Mommy floor. The rooms were just as nice with same great features except the amazing shower. This floor just has a small shower without a seat. Dad or the birthing partner gets a couch that folds down to a bed which was pretty comfy to sit on. I was really impressed with their menu selection for moms for meals. I heard a couple of people say that the food was really good there and it’s not just crappy sandwiches or anything. The hospital encourages that baby stays with mom as much as possible which is a change for me because I am used to preemies in the NICU or Danyella had to be monitored in the nursery because of my Gestational Diabetes. Honestly, I was looking forward to getting some sleep before we take her home. The hospital does require to watch one parenting class a day that are featured on their hospital network. I am good with that because we all could use refresher on parenting a newborn.

Overall, the tour was reassuring and made me feel more prepared for the birthing experience. At the same time, I am scared as H*** about giving birth again and the unknown that each labor and delivery experience brings to a mom. My hope is to have Evelynne before Christmas so that we can enjoy Christmas as a family and not have to worry about going into labor and missing Christmas with my family.

delivery room

 

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Thankful for My Baby Mom Group

When I first became pregnant with this baby, I found different baby apps to chart my symptoms in case I had another miscarriage. One of the apps (can’t remember which one) had a forum with a group just for moms due in January 2018. There were a TON of moms and some of the topics were a little off the wall and crazy. A couple of moms talked about creating a Facebook secret group for some of us to chat and weed out the craziness of the app forum group. I was all about joining this Facebook group!

The group was created when I was about 6 weeks pregnant and as the weeks went on the group grew. Since most of us that started in the group were due in the beginning of January, we began to welcome those that were due at the end of the month. As we became closer as a group, the decision was made to cap the group off at 200 moms which seems to be working for us because we all come from different states or countries (England, France, Canada and Sweden!), from different backgrounds and different experiences. Some of us are older moms, some have more than one child, some are first time moms but we all help and chat with each other. We started to become a family!

We had one incident of drama (which is awesome considering its a group full of hormonal pregnant women!) when some of the moms that were medical professionals (nurses mostly) went crazy over discussions about vaccinations. Instead of listening to what the others were trying to say or having an adult discussion, they basically threw a 2-year-old temper tantrum and started their own group which was supposed to be a medical fact based group. Since they left, we all grew so much closer.

We had a set of twins born first because it was medically necessary for their survival. We have had 2 other babies born prematurely. All 4 baby boys are getting the medical attention they need are fighting hard to push through each day a little stronger. We love seeing the updates the moms give us. We cherish the Ultrasound pictures we all share, the updates, the questions and discussions. We even started a Fairy Godmother exchange to give a little gift to each other for our babies. I can’t wait for my mom to get the custom outfit I had made for her little one!

As we all get another day closer to our babies coming, we talk everyday and sometimes all day. Being on bed rest, they have become my go to peeps to talk to throughout the day or when I need to vent about my pregnancy, husband or life. Some of the moms are scheduled to be induced or have c-sections in the next couple of weeks which makes all of this so real that our babies are coming and for some of us so soon.

This group of moms is a group that will keep going long after our babies are born because we have bonded over the past 8 months. I can’t wait to share my experiences with them of raising this little girl and watch all of our babies grow up.

34 Weeks and on Strict Bed Rest

Tips to be Impeccably Groomed

The past week has been an eventful week between getting a cold, Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving/Black Friday shopping and my OB appointment. Thankfully, my mom does the cooking for Thanksgiving so there wasn’t much I needed to do besides help her.

We had our Thanksgiving night shopping planned out but most of the big items, I ended up waiting until the sales went live to order them online so all we needed to get were the small things. We love Black Friday shopping to stock up on winter pajamas and household items. This year I made sure to get a new bath mat since Max began to eat ours up (memory foam yummy!) and towels with wash clothes that match. I even picked up a new bathrobe to pack in my hospital bag for the baby for only $10!

Problem with being in my third trimester and Black Friday is that I could barely walk around by the time we were done with each store. Surprisingly, Walmart was the store that had the least stress but Target had the rudest people who I just wanted to ram with a shopping cart. Our family tradition was to get disco fries (fries smothered with cheese and gravy) from our local diner but they were closed this year along with every other fast food place except McDonalds. So we got our fries but they were smothered with salt and ketchup. Then it was off to bed for me which was about 10 pm.

Through the day, before we started shopping I really wasn’t feeling well and had on and off contractions but the sleep seemed to help ease them. Since it was Black Friday, Doug had to work at 5am so I had to go to my OB appointment by myself. I figured it was going to by the typical tell the OB what was going on the past 2 weeks, he would check my cervix and I would be on my way. In and out in 15 minutes….

Well that wasn’t the case. We went over my contractions and other symptoms so he decided to do a FFN culture and some other tests that I am not sure about to check whether my body could possibly go into labor in the next 2 weeks. I am measuring about 3 weeks ahead of schedule which could mean that little miss is gaining lots of weight and could be bigger then a watermelon at full-term. (My girl parts are hurting thinking about it).

Then, he decided to run a non stress test for the baby which monitors how the baby’s heart reacts to her movements and my contractions. The nurse kept saying she as doing well especially with my strong contractions but the doctor wanted further reassurance and sent me to another location for an ultrasound. I love getting to see my baby girl with ultrasounds but scary to see her in position to be born. She is head down, face towards my back and low. Everything else including her breathing looked good and the tech sent me on my way. 3 hours later and I was heading home!

The doctor told be he would call me with my FFN results that night and to stay on strict bed rest, meaning staying in bed unless I need to go to the bathroom or get a drink, until I heard from him. As long as I was awake, the contractions were continuing and were intense but when I would fall asleep I would barely feel them. This could mean my body needs the relaxation or that I can handle the pain while I slept which is how I dealt with most of my labor with Danyella. The doctor never called and the lab haven’t posted my results on my account so I am hoping that this is good news.

Since I have been up the past couple of hours (currently 6am EST), I have had some contractions that were intense so I will be continuing my bed rest and hoping I get my results sometime today since our blood lab works 7 days a week. Now to deal with the boredom, oh wait I have homework to do and crochet orders to work on…. never any boredom time in my life! On a bright note, I am bingeing on Hallmark Christmas movies while I am in bed.

 

DIY Painted Tumbler Gift Tutorial

theworldis youroyster.

With the holidays and this baby fast approaching, I have been trying to figure out a cute gift to give my high risk nurses. I wanted this gift to be extra special because they have been so amazing to myself and Baby Evelynne throughout my entire pregnancy. I don’t know what I would do without them.

I have thought about lots of different gifts but I wanted it to be something that they could use the whole year. At the dollar store, I found cute sparkly plastic tumblers and came up with the idea of painting something nurse related on the tumbler then fill the tumbler with another handmade gift.

I found a cute stethoscope picture, printed it out as my guide and painted it on the tumbler. I filled the cup with a messy bun hat that I made for the upcoming, cold Winter season. Super Easy and you can pick any quote or design to make it unique to the person you are making a gift for.

Supplies:

Plastic or Glass Tumbler

Acrylic Paint

Mod Podge or another sealant

Paint Brush

Design you want to paint

Directions:

  1. Clean the tumbler and throughly dry
  2. Place the design inside the cup to follow as a guide
  3. Paint the design. I did 3 layers to build up the color but allow the paint to dry between layers.
  4. Place 2 coats of sealant (Mod Podge) over your design. I used a gloss sealant to create a shiny design.
  5. Fill your tumbler with candy or another special gift.

Using Savings Apps to Save for Vacation #savingsunday

Week 2 of our saving for your family vacation series is about utilizing the savings apps to your vacation’s advantage. I have posted about using the Ibotta app to save for gift cards but this post is going to feature 4 different apps to help you save for your family vacation.

Some of these apps are completely new to me so I am still learning how to use them but they have definitely added to my family vacation fund. The 4 apps are Shopkick, SavingStar, Checkout 51 and Ibotta (of course hehe).

Starting with Shopkick, this app is one that I have had for a while but never really opened it on a consistent basis until recently. With Shopkick, you have earn “kicks” or points by walking into specific stores, for scanning specific products at these stores and for making purchases (this is where you earn the most kicks). This is basically free money for your vacation just for walking around a store that you are already shopping at! Shopkick pays out through gift cards. They have many different cards to choose from but what will be most beneficial for our family is redeeming for Walmart gift cards and then using the Walmart gift cards to purchase Disney gift cards which can be used all over Disney World or redeemed to go towards our balance for the trip. You can do the same thing for your own vacation for restaurants or stores you may visit on your vacation. The only thing you cannot use a Walmart gift card to purchase is a the prepaid debit cards. Use code SAVE627743 or download http://getsk.co/save627743

The next savings app I have started using is SavingStar. This app is handy if you shop at stores that have loyalty cards because you can upload the rebates to card so they will automatically show up in your SavingStar account after you purchase the item and scan your card. For stores like Target and Walmart, you can scan your receipts for the rebates. Once you hit $5 in rebates, you can transfer your savings into a bank account, PayPal account or onto various gift cards.

The third app that I use is Checkout 51. Similar to SavingStar, you can upload rebates to a loyalty card or receipts for other stores. What I like about this app is that not all rebates are brand specific so just buying veggies or meat can save you money. Once you hit $20 then you can request a cash out which means they will send you a check. Be sure to allow enough time to cash out and deposit into your account for your vacation.

Last on the list is my favorite Ibotta! If you read my previous post about Ibotta, I detail how to use them and how great they are. With the holidays approaching they are offering even more stores both online and in person plus bonuses. Do you know how much you can save with Ibotta? So much money in rebates which can be cashed out to your PayPal or venemo account or redeemed for gift cards. This is always my go to app for rebates because I get the biggest payout. Use my referral code, hytctkm, and you can get a $10 welcome bonus. Sign up at https://ibotta.com/r/hytctkm

Our weekly update: This week I used ShopRite from Home to use the $10 off code to pay for the service fee and have less headache trying to walk around the store in my current condition. My budget was $175 which with my paper coupons and digital coupons plus some bonus purchase saving bonuses, I brought our bill down to $130! That is $45 for our vacation fund. Plus another $50 in rebates between all my apps (I am waiting to redeem them until it is closer to time I will use them). I had a few FB yard sale group sales so half of the money was $20. Lastly, I had a couple of handmade orders so half of that money totaled $40. Total for the week is $155! Adding that to last week’s savings and we are at $209 so far which is pretty good considering I had a rough week with my pregnancy and school.

33 Weeks and My Surprise Baby Shower

feelbetter

7 weeks to go or less! It is hard to believe that this time has come already because over the Summer it still felt like it was so far away. Now, we are getting so close and she is getting so big that it is a wonder there is any room left for her to move or for me to grow!

Last Sunday, I was shocked and surprised with a Baby Shower hosted by my mom and mother in law. I was told that the girls in the family (minus our tag-a-long Danyella) were going to have a lunch at my work that Sunday. It struck me odd that my Mom had already talked to Doug about keeping Danyella while we had lunch because why not talk to me first?! Well, that night I woke up from a dead sleep with the gut instinct that this was a Baby Shower. I have been anti-shower because of the stress it is for the person or people planning it and I didn’t want to put the burden on someone. For the next few days, I tried to get out of going to this lunch. Even the morning of this “outing”, I told my mom I didn’t feel good and didn’t want to drive and a bunch of other excuses.

So, my sister picked me up to take me to this “lunch” which stupid me didn’t realize the one section at work was closed down. I walk in and look at the chart to see who was working and where I wanted to sit in the restaurant. All of a sudden my mom tells me to look up…. my friends from work, dance and life were there because it was my Baby Shower. I wanted to cry at first, especially since I had no makeup on and wore crappy clothes in case it wasn’t a shower and my instinct was wrong… no such luck!

I was so surprised to see everyone there including my dance moms and their girls. It was a great time and I am so blessed with all the gifts we got for the baby. I opened so many gifts and she is going to be dressed in the cutest clothes! I enjoyed a nice Virgin Strawberry Daquari and nachos after opening my gifts. Then, I got to go around and chat with everyone which is always nice to catch up. My husband was there and forced to play in some of the games which was funny  but he enjoyed it.

The baby shower really got me into nesting mode with washing all of the new items and getting them ready for this little girl who will be here in a blink of the eye!

 

32 Weeks and a New OB

Connection

So I will be honest I have no idea what a pomelo is so I had to google it… It is a large fruit similar to grapefruit. It was originally native to Caribbean countries like Barbados and Jamaica but is now grown in other warm climates like Hawaii and Florida. So basically my baby is a very large grapefruit.

Well we hit the next big milestone… 32 weeks! Now that I have met with the new OB’s office and can now deliver at the closer hospital because they only deliver from 32 weeks on at that location. I can’t even express how happy I am that I changed OB offices though we are still having issues with the insurance company updating the new plan in the system. This office made me feel at ease as soon as I met with my new nurse liaison. I never even knew these existed for OB patients but she is my go to person if anything happens or I need to ask a question during office hours instead of getting a different person every time I call in. This is biggest thing that makes me feel at ease with my choice.

The network provides a baby book that basically answers every question through pregnancy and the first year of the baby’s life. Plus they have their own app for kick counts, contractions and pregnancy questions.

Then I met with the nurse practitioner that went over my entire history and we made our game plan for the rest of the pregnancy which basically is to keep this baby girl in as long as possible. I am continuing every other week with the OB right now since I see the MFM every week for my shot and vitals.

As scary as switching OB’s offices late in my pregnancy was to think about and trust me my husband dealt with a lot of my sleepless nights and panic attacks, it was absolutely the right decision. Anyone who has doubts about the care they are receiving whether pregnant or not, switch to a doctor that will put your needs and concerns first and don’t be scared to speak up. You are your best advocate for yourself, your body and your mind. 3rd