Thursday, October 28, 2010

Car seats and strollers and carriers, oh my! (Part 2)

Let me start off by reminding you that I am a huge advocate of "natural" parenting. I don't mean so much the "green" bit, even though I would consider myself a bit "green." What I mean is that I am sort of a hippie in my way of thinking about parenting (which I have mentioned before). We plan on using a co-sleeper with our infant rather than a bassinet, making our own baby food, and carrying our baby instead of our baby's car seat. That being said, if you think anything in this post may offend you, stop reading NOW. :)

I have learned from my parents, who have adopted 4 girls (1 from China and 3 from Ethiopia), that the importance of bonding with your child should never be underestimated. Although it is more of a challenge with adoption than with biological children, I have learned to appreciate the difference between parenting the way my parents have and parenting the way most of America does. They are anything but overprotective, but have taught us ALL to be loving, caring and fun kids... and to be responsible as adults along with all the other stuff too. Having siblings that are much younger than me (we range from age 5 to 22!) has allowed me to learn first hand how to be an awesome parent. Sure, their "style" of parenting has changed over the years, I am sure! But that means that I have learned from their mistakes that they made when they first became parents with my brother and I by watching them be parents to small children NOW...if that makes sense. A lot of people question me about "isn't it weird that your sister is 5 and you are pregnant?" but honestly, I think it's awesome, and it will make me a better parent. are probably wondering what this has to do with carriers and strollers and car seats...

First of all, the process of deciding on all the baby gear was extremely overwhelming to me. What is REALLY necessary? How do you pick a car seat? Stroller? Carrier? My parents have talked to me about this endlessly. And I don't mean shoving their ideas into my head with no turning back. They know me and Nick, and they take our points of view into consideration when advising us...unlike a lot of other people I have come into contact with that think that the way they parented their children is the ONLY way. Plus they have had recent experience with all of this. My mom spent almost 2 hours in Babies R Us with me on Sunday trying to help me sort through all the mayhem (Thanks Mom!)

As far as carriers go, I learned from my parents how important it is to have a good carrier. One that doesn't hold the baby up by his/her "between the legs area", provides skin-to-skin and face-to-face positioning, and is comfortable for both baby and parent. This is all part of that natural parenting bit...carriers that make your baby face away from you are definitely not natural. In my opinion carriers are there to only help you hold your baby and I don't think anybody would normally carry their child so that they were facing away from you. I also want to be sure that if it is just me and baby running errands around town, etc that I can actually put the carrier on myself without assistance.

I originally thought I wanted a Moby Wrap(pictured below) for our infant and then something else for a bit larger child. It is pretty much a long piece of fabric that you wrap around yourself and your baby. But then I realized that I wasn't sure I would feel like my baby was stable in the carrier, and wasn't sure if I could get it on by myself.

My mom had already offered to give me the carrier they used with Toby Ann (an Ergo carrier) but I didn't think you could use it for infants. Boy was I wrong! Ergo makes a special insert that goes in their carriers that promotes a carrying position for infants that allows them to develop properly and of course takes up a bit of extra room in the carrier so it doesn't swallow them. If we get this insert we will be able to use this carrier from birth to 45 pounds comfortably! You can also use this carrier to carry your baby face-to-face, on your back, or on your hip. Check out their website!

Car seats and strollers and carriers, oh my!

Another mostly uneventful week is now complete and we are 17 weeks now!

We have spent most of the past week doing research on the important baby gear that we are going to car seats, strollers, and baby carriers. Who knew this could be so complicated???

Last week at this time we had our minds set on a travel system of some sort, but after going to Babies R Us twice last week (once with hubby and once with Momma) and testing some out we decided that wasn't for us. The strollers are huge and bulky even when folded up (we both drive small cars), and the way the infant seat sits in the stroller is awkward. Lets also keep in mind that I plan on being a "baby-wearing" mother rather than a stroller mom, at least for the first while (more on this later...), so the infant stroller portion of the travel system wasn't AS important to me. We started back at square one, and eventually decided we wanted a Britax infant car seat...only to discover that they are large and will not fit in either of our cars. So what have we decided on? The Chicco Keyfit 30 car seat! It allows infants to be rear-facing up to 30lbs, comes in awesome colors, and has amazing safety ratings (obviously important for our little bundle!).

We still have yet to decide on a stroller, but we do know that we want something light-weight, compact when folded, that works for infants to toddlers.

We HAVE decided on the perfect carrier for us though! The baby carrier post may be a bit long, so I will post it seperately :)

****11 days til we find out what little bit is! Boy? Girl? Any guesses? We can't wait!!! :)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Blood Work Results!

The results from my blood work came back yesterday and...everything came back normally! Praise the Lord! :) The majority of neural tube defects (something like 80-95% depending on the type) are diagnosed by those tests, so that makes me feel much better.

Sorry for the extra short post...just wanted to share the good news!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Sorry for my recent absence.... at this point there is just not a lot going on honestly!

Oh, minus the fact that I am getting huge...and yes, I am aware that I am going to get much much larger and that to all of you out there I probably still look small. BUT it is so amazing that I am finally starting to look pregnant, even to those who don't know I am! (Disclaimer: horrible picture...I can't find the charger for my camera battery so this is from my phone...better than nothing! :))

I also had to go back to the doctor this week for that dreaded blood work... which didn't turn out quite as badly as expected. The phlebotomist that drew the blood did an awesome job, AND it was only one fairly small tube! For those of you who don't know me very well...I HATE shots, blood work, and pretty much anything else involving a needle. I can give shots and draw blood and start IVs all day on other people, but when a needle comes near me that is a different story.

This blood was drawn to test for neural tube please pray that everything is going to come back normally :)

I can't believe how quickly everything is going...just a little more than 2 weeks til we find out what we are having!

Monday, October 11, 2010

getting ready for baby

When we found out about Baby Brown being on the way, we started analyzing our house. What do we need to change? What do we need to get rid of? What do we need to add? etc etc....and surprisingly there is a pretty long list. There are the usual safety concerns that come with having a child in the house, not to mention the huge list of things we have been meaning to get around to fixing or doing or adding for what seems like centuries. Yesterday, we tackled the living room! I have been cleaning out closets and junk drawers of stuff that just never found its place for a few weeks now (I am a freak about organization, so this definitely took some time!) and yesterday we rearranged furniture. We also replaced an old lamp that had seen better days, and added a rug. In my opinion, the rug is definitely necessary with a baby in the house!

This is the "semi-finished" product...some of the furniture still needs to be painted and some of the walls are a little bare for my liking, but it is 100% better already!

Much more to come, be sure of that! This is just the very first step :)

Have a lovely Monday!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

14 Weeks/Doctor Appointment Updates!

I NEVER thought the day would come when I actually look forward to going to the doctor! But when it means you get to hear your baby's heartbeat and get that reassurance that everything is okay, I guess it is only natural to LOVE going to the doctor! :)

I was extremely nervous about going to the doctor this morning. So nervous, in fact, that while I was sitting in the waiting room to be called back I really could have vomited (and no, I am not developing a late case of morning sickness!). I hate the feeling of not really knowing what is going on, and at this stage in my pregnancy the only reassurance that I have that everything is going well is my growing mid-section and my occasional OB naturally, this bothers me. I can't wait until I can feel the baby moving so that I can know that things are okay! Also, Nick did not go with me to the doctor today...he offered, but I decided since it was just an in and out thing that I could be a "big girl" and go alone. Probably did not help with my nervousness!

We got lots of good news at the doctor today! :) First of all, I heard the heartbeat again! 155 (which is normal) and still going strong! The nurse actually had a hard time getting the heartbeat to stay on the Doppler for very long because our little one is already very active apparently, and the pressure on my stomach from the Doppler sort of startled him/her...or at least that's what the nurse said...I have read that if you "poke" your stomach even early in pregnancy it causes the baby to move around. Then Dr. Taavon came in to see me, talk to me and answer questions, and measure my stomach. Turns out I have only gained 2lbs so far, which is awesome!

The next time I go back will be in 2 weeks for blood work to detect birth defects, and of course hear our little one's heartbeat again!

I am so blissfully happy :) It is amazing how much you can love a child before they even enter the world! Life is wonderful, and we are so blessed!

Friday, October 1, 2010

i hate pink and other news :)

Nick and I have very slowly begun to put the nursery together, so I have started doing research
and looking up pictures for modern and magical nurseries. I am not the kind of person who is just going to run out to Babies R Us, pick out a bedding set, and base the entire room around it. I just itch to be a little more creative and start from scratch. (Disclaimer: if you ARE the type of person to do this, that is wonderful! I have nothing against it, but my creative genes- thanks, Mom- are getting in the way!) I also hate pink. If we have a little girl I will lose my mind if we somehow end up with an entirely pink nursery. Pink clothing is fine, just not a pink room! Again, more power to you if you have a girl and a pink room. It's just not for me.

I picture a girls room more like this(my absolute favorite...its from Serena & Lily and the bedding alone comes in at $995, BUT its beautiful and completely re-creatable, and I especially adore the cranes!):

The other challenge is that we can't paint the walls in our apartment, so the "light and airy" color scheme definitely appeals to me.

On another note...I have had a horrible sinus infection this week! There are a few things that I can take for it while pregnant including Benadryl and Sudafed, but being the "green" mother that I am (or as Nick lovingly refers to me as a "hippy" mom...either way is true!)...I just don't really feel comfortable taking either of those medications. I have only taken 4 doses of Tylenol during this entire pregnancy. My remedy for this sinus infection? Herbal tea (which is caffeine free!) and a NetiPot, and of course lots and lots of rest. AND it works like a charm! I think I would actually choose this route of "getting better" over medication even if I wasn't pregnant! :)

AND the countdown is also on...5 weeks til we find out what our little one will be! Boy? Girl? Either way I am happy, but can't wait to find out which we will be welcoming in April!

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend! I will be spending mine in my hometown of Wilkesboro at the Brushy Mountain Apple Festival along with my brother, Tucker, and his girlfriend Chelsea who also happens to be one of my best friends! Don't forget the rest of my huge family...I can't wait to see everyone!