Blog

What’s in my birth center bag?

I will have a few different things in my bag, that maybe you wouldn’t necessarily need to go to the hospital, but since I’m giving birth in a free standing birth center, this is what was recommended to bring, along with a few things that I thought would be good to bring. Things to keep in mind, I may seem like I haven’t brought enough of something, but I’ll only be in the birth center for 6-8 hours after our daughter is born.

Babies and Daddy’s bag:

Since they both have less stuff than I’ll have, I’m putting their stuff in the same bag.

For baby:

3 preemie newborn onesies

2 regular newborn onesies

1 0-3 month onesie(not pictured)

A newborn dress, for her to come home in.

One pair of socks

4 hats, in varying sizes

8 newborn diapers

5-6 size 1 diapers

Baby wipes

2 blankets (not pictured)

Nursing pillow (not pictured)

Daddy’s stuff:

Swim trunks

A change of clothes

Socks

PJ’s

Snacks

Phone and charger

Mommy’s bag:

For laboring:
2 sports bras

A robe

Socks

Essential oils and a diffuser

Toiletries:

Maxi pads

Breast pads

Toothbrush/toothpaste

Hairbrush

Shampoo/ conditioner

Hair ties

Chapstick

Granny panties(not pictured)

Coming home:

Maxi skirt (I’ve been told wearing a skirt is more comfortable)

Sports bra

T-shirt

Flip flops(not pictured)

Other:

Phone and charger

Snacks(not pictured)

For snacks, I plan to buy some that are high in protein, and some that are a little more bland in taste. 

DIY Padsicles

Why bother making padsicles?


Let’s go on a journey together… You’re laying in the hospital, birthing center, or the comfort of your own home, preparing to push a baby out of your vagina. Yes, you’re 10 centimeters dilated, but your baby’s head is gonna be bigger than that hole it’s coming out of. So even if you don’t tear, or wind up with an episiotomy, your lady bits are gonna sore, and you’re going to be bleeding a lot. So wouldn’t something to catch all of that blood, and sooth the area down there sound nice? Well, that’s where a padsicle would come in handy.

See, all a padsicle is, is a frozen pad. So you get some comfort, something to help with the swelling, and something to catch all the blood.

Here’s how:

What you need:

Aloe vera gel

Witch Hazel

Lavender essential oil(I can’t​ use this, as I’m allergic, so you don’t have to use it either.)

Maxi Pads(Overnight, with wings are best.)

Freezer bags

Spoon

Instructions:

Open up the pad, very carefully, trying not to tear the package. Lay the pad open and use something to keep it open, I just used my other ingredients to do that. Save the wrappers from the inside as well, you’ll need those later.


Next, apply the aloe liberally to the pad, not just in one spot, but all over. 


Then, Apply about 1-2 teaspoons of witch hazel, and rub that in with a spoon.


At this point, if you want you can add a few drops of lavender, like 3-5 drops all over the pad. 

After this, you can put the wrappers back on the wings, and then wrap back up your pad. 


Finally, put your pads in a freezer bag, and put them in the freezer for after the birth of your little one.


Now you will have something that will make postpartum just a little bit easier.

Second Trimester: Pros and Cons

The second trimester… Definitely was easier in the regard, that I could mostly eat again. Not so easy in other areas, let’s walk through some.

I’m gonna start with the cons first.
Heartburn:

Oh, my goodness the heartburn has been awful. At times, it feels as if I’ve swallowed the sun, and it didn’t sit well, and it’s trying to get out. And that’s putting it lightly.

The only think that has helped even kinda relieve it has been papaya, and almond milk. 

Oh, and you want to know what the worst thing to give me heartburn has been? Not spicy food, no, but milk and ice cream, yeah, the thing that everyone suggests you try to get rid of it.

Gag Reflex:

I have a bad gag reflex anyway, but it has gotten significantly worse with each passing day. I can only brush my teeth at night, and I have to be careful, so I don’t get sick and throw up. 

As a result of this, I have pregnancy gingivitis. Which is very annoying, but working on making it better.

Falling:

I’m not so sure it’s a con, considering if I hadn’t fallen, some of the things I experienced from it, probably wouldn’t have happened, but I’m gonna add it anyway.

My husband and I had just moved, and our new place has stairs. I was literally on the bottom step and fell. I still don’t know what happened. I grabbed the railing and pulled up, which I learned later was not the best thing I could’ve done.

A couple days later, I was in agonizing pain. My hips were out, my shoulder was a terrible mess, because of the fall, and was literally on tears because of it. 

So my advice to you: don’t fall while pregnant, it’s not a good idea.

Sleepless nights:

This one kinda goes hand in hand with the heartburn, but definitely been having a more difficult time sleeping at night.

From the growing belly, round ligament pain, restless legs, and lag cramps, sleeping is just not happening.

Pros:

Sex of the baby:

This has definitely been the highlight of this trimester. Finding out we are having a little girl was so amazing. She moves so much, and is already loved so much.

Feeling baby:

I have been feeling our little one since the first trimester, but now the movement is so much stronger. And she really loves when her daddy touches me, she gets all content and moves, and just loves him. 

Seeing baby move:

For weeks now, I have been seeing the baby move from the outside for weeks. It is the most weirdly amazing thing I have ever seen. Every time she moves now, my whole stomach moves.

4D ultrasound:

We got to see her features. The 4D ultrasounds are out of this world. You can see so much. And we even got to see some of what her little personality will be. She stuck her tongue out at us, and then she crinkled up her nose and got mad. Below I have added a picture of the ultrasound.

So here were my pros and cons. It’s definitely been a better trimester. I only have a few months left now, and we can wait to meet our little girl. 

Henna VS. Commercial Hair Dye During Pregnancy

Before I begin this blog post, I just wanted to say that this post is simply just what I have found, and is not to be taken as an “an everyone must do this, or that…” Type thing. As with anything, this is your choice to dye YOUR hair, and I am not going to criticize anyone who does or doesn’t. -End of disclaimer 
Like most women, as a teenager, I wanted to experiment with my hair. So, yes, I’ve dyed my hair. The first time I dyed my hair, I was about 15 or 16, and it was with henna. Which made my hair super soft, and didn’t damage my hair, and turned it a really pretty black color. And it lasted about 6-8 weeks. The next time I dyed my hair was with commercial hair dye, I was almost 18, I think. I dyed it red, like very red. I did not bleach my hair before hand, and I loved the color. But I did notice that no matter what I did, I could not get rid of the red dye. And it had seriously fried my hair. It has now taken over a year to remove the red dye from my hair, the initial removal included 5 hours of striping and re coloring my hair (the person who did all of that is seriously a life saver, and did amazing not damaging my hair more), and then a few months later, cutting my hair to get what little red was still left out. 

But, since I got pregnant, it has been on my mind, women who dye their hair while they are pregnant, is there a better, more natural way to do it?

Here are the facts:

Henna:

Like I stated above I have used henna in the past to dye my hair. What I know about henna without doing much research on it: It’s a plant based product used to dye hair and skin. Pregnant woman use it often on their bellies, during maternity pictures. And it’s used in weddings. After doing a search, one of the first things I found was this, “Natural henna, derived solely from the plant, and with no added chemicals, is safe to use on your hair or on your skin. This type of henna is brown, and is harmless. It’s often suggested as an alternative if you want to avoid chemical hair dyes while you’re pregnant.” 

The key words I picked out of this were, “derived SOLELY from the plant, and with no added chemicals.” 

For now, we’ll just let that sink in, and we’ll move on.

Commercial hair dye:

Also having used this, I know what it did to my hair. I also know that they smell of harsh chemicals, ones that if you have a chemical sensitivity, would probably cause you issues. I also know, that before using a commercial hair dye, you are supposed to check to make sure you’re not allergic to it, same with henna, but for different reasons. After a quick search, here is what I found: ”

Toxic chemicals and compounds such as resorcinol, paraphenylene-diamine (PPD) and coal tar dyes have all been identified as carcinogenic and mutagenic, and can cause a breakdown of the hair shaft. For a woman who is pregnant, the effects may be even more devastating — it could be harmful to the baby”

Again, I will just let this sink in, and I’ll move onto my final thought.

Final thoughts:

What I would like to ask every pregnant women out there is this, Is the risk of harm to baby so low, that I would decide to sit and put chemicals or any hair dye on my body, so I can look pretty? Like I said before, I’m not judging anyone, I’m just asking you to think about it, and not just take the word of your doctor, that it’s safe. Research please. 

Personally, I will not be dying my hair while pregnant, not because of the reasons above, but simply because my hair needs a break. 

And remember this: whatever you put on your body, WILL affect your baby, whether in a big or small way.


Things all first time mom’s will hear…


“Not possible, you’re a first time mom.” “It’s just gas.” “It’s hard to tell that early, ESPECIALLY when you’re a first time mom.” “You’re baby is not big enough to feel, it’s only an inch and a half.”
The above quotes are things that have actually been said to me, when I started feeling my baby for the first time and people thought it was too soon for a first time mom.

I was about 9 weeks pregnant when I felt what I was pretty sure was my baby girl. Yes, at this point she was very very small, and yes, it wasn’t gonna be a lot of movement, but I was pretty confident it was her. And not long after that, it was pretty much confirmed that I had been feeling her, when I went back in for my prenatal appointment at 11 weeks, and they used a Doppler to find her heart beat. She was right where I thought she was, because I had been feeling her. 

So other first time mom’s out there you will more than likey hear your fair share of absolutely ridiculous things from people. Or hear other ridiculous things from other first time mom’s.

I heard this one about a week ago, “So when the baby pulls on the umbilical cord, can I feel it?” Umm, like, how, like I don’t even know where to start with this one. “If I have sex on Monday will my baby be a girl?” Umm, no… “How many months is (insert number) weeks?” It’s really not that hard to figure out. “Pregnancy brain is not real.” Yes, yes it is, I have it, wait… Do I? Yes, I do, ask my husband.

Trust me, I could go on all day, about some of these things, but there just isn’t enough time in the day to write them all down.

But I think my main point of this post, is pregnant women will feel, and experience things at different rates (except for the umbilical cord thing, that’s not gonna happen), don’t let anyone tell you it’s not possible.

It’s a…

Gender Reveal:

Let me tell you, it has been a long 4 weeks of waiting to find out the gender of the baby. I’m so very happy that we were able to have the appointment for the ultrasound to find out the gender earlier in the morning, because I would have exploded trying to wait all day.

This time the heart rate was 146. So the starting one was 177, the next 156, and now this one. 

Our little Jellybeañ was moving a ton, making it rather hard for the ultrasound tech to be able to get what she needed. But she was able to tell what gender we are having, and that our baby has some very long legs. 

So what are we having? A little Zoé Elyzabeth. She’s adorable and I can’t wait to meet her. My husband and I cried when we found out, because we both very much believed it was going to be a boy. 

We get to see her again in 4 weeks, because they have to do some more measurements that they couldn’t get. She really was moving a lot.

Below is a reveal picture.

First Trimester: Pros and Cons

How Is It? 

A Note: If you are pregnant, I highly recommend the ovia app, it’s great, and gives you day by day updates on your baby. 
You hear women talk about their pregnancies, and usually the first trimester is no fun. Well, you’re going to hear that again from me. 

Everything from aches, pains, migraines, food aversions, constipation, diarrhea, and throwing up. Now let’s start with the least offender, if that’s even possible.

Food Aversions 

Now, normally I wouldn’t think to put this one as the easiest to deal with because I would think that food aversion = vomit. But I’ve found that if I just didn’t think about those things, or if I stay away from smells that made me sick (harder than you think), then I was fine. 

Now that’s not saying that it was super easy. I remember at one point, smelling peanut butter, which I usually love, and literally talking myself out of puking, which worked, but barely, as I was in a confined space with it. 

Diarrhea

Yep, diarrhea is not up there as the worst. Why? Because as a general rule, I’ve dealt with that my entire life, stomach, and gallbladder issues are to blame. Still not pleasant, but easy enough for me to deal with. 

Aches, Pains, and Migraines 

I tell you what, I have never experienced such bad pains, in my arms and legs as I have during this first trimester. Not being able to sleep during these pains were the absolute worst.

And migraines, until I got pregnant I had only ever had one migraine in my entire life, which was after I had my wisdom teeth removed, when I was 18. And that was nothing compared to what I’m getting now. I can’t take any medication because what I’m approved to take while pregnant I’m allergic to. My husband literally came home after work one night to me in a puddle of tears because it hurt so bad, it was making me sick, and I couldn’t sleep. I hope I don’t keep them.

Constipation 

Yeah, constipation is my second to last thing, it has been really bad. And like I said above, I’m used to diarrhea, not so used to constipation. I guess I better get used to the fact, that hemorrhoids will probably happen at some point in this pregnancy. Oh, goody. 

Throwing Up

Now for the very last one. Morning sickness. And by the way, just so you’re aware, they might call it “morning sickness” but it tends to last all day, everyday, for weeks. And don’t go trying to compare it to the flu, if you’ve never had morning sickness. It is NOTHING like the flu. You wake up in the morning and the very first breath you take, you can feel the vomit coming, and before you can get anything in your stomach that is mild enough to keep down, up comes bile, why, because you have nothing in your stomach. Trust me, if you are oh so lucky not to get morning sickness, treasure it for those of us who have had to endure it for months on end. 

Pros:

There aren’t too many that I can think of during this time, but I do have a few, here’s a list: 

Finding out you’re pregnant.

The first ultrasound, and hearing the heartbeat for the first time.

No need for birth control.

I felt my baby for the first time, no it wasn’t gas. 

Going into the second trimester.