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Monday, August 10, 2009

Mommy Poll


Today is 7 weeks before my due date. Although I am seemingly close to becoming a mom I was quite surprised when a lady at the gym said, "You look like you're expecting very soon." This comment is quite the opposite of what I usually hear, "Where is baby G?"

Anyways... Michael and I gave up are initial plan of waiting until Baby G arrives to get presents for her. Over the past few weeks we've started to collect a number of items and have been preparing her room. It's been pretty exciting :)

I've realized I don't know what I need. When people ask what I still need I am never quite sure what to say. In the early stages of pregnancy I was warned about all the advice I'd receive from other moms, friends and complete strangers. Funny thing is, I actually haven't noticed that too much. Believe me, I'm not upset about the lack of belly touching or advice from strangers but I thought it might be useful to ask a few questions.

Also, over the past few years the cord blood banking has been a hot topic. We haven't quite figured out what to do about this and it seems like most other parents felt the same way when they were deciding.

So, I've decided it's time to ask a few questions of the mothers out there and see what they have to say. I thought it might be useful to myself and my other friends who are pregnant for the first time or will be in the future...

1) Did you bank your child's cord blood? (do you have an insightful reason why or why not)
2) What was the most useful item you had as a new parent?
3) What was the least useful / dangerous item you had as a new parent?
4) How long did you wait to work out again after giving birth? (what did you do first)
5) What was the most useful information you received from another mother?
6) What was the best thing your S.O. did for you before / during / after labor?

Thanks for the feedback!

11 comments:

Summer said...

1) Did you bank your child's cord blood? (do you have an insightful reason why or why not)

No. It was too expensive and is very very very rare that it's actually used. Plus, it requires that the cord be cut BEFORE it stops pulsing and I didn't want the cord cut that early (which is too soon).

2) What was the most useful item you had as a new parent?

A sling and/or wrap style carrier.

3) What was the least useful / dangerous item you had as a new parent?

The swing. But, you never know. Some babies are swing babies, some aren't. We wore Emmaline a lot.

4) How long did you wait to work out again after giving birth? (what did you do first)

I think I ran at around 6 weeks. Don't do too much too early and if you start bleeding heavily after the initial bleeding tapers off, STOP and rest. The first 30 days: 10 days in the bed, 10 days on the bed, 10 days near the bed.

5) What was the most useful information you received from another mother?

Sleep when the baby sleeps. Don't try to do too much.

6) What was the best thing your S.O. did for you before / during / after labor?

Brought me whatever I needed without complaint.

Cris said...

Michelle-

1) we did not bank the cord blood--didn't even really consider it. we're pregnant again and won't do it for this baby either.
2) Most useful gift--baby sling. Charlotte loved it and it allowed me to get stuff done around the house as I had two free hands. She ised it until she was at least 6 months old.
3) Least useful gift--diaper genie. I had heard this before the fact but got it anyway. It was a terrible product and was soon collecting dust in the basement. We just use a small trash can with plastic bags from the market.
4) Useful information from another mom--watch tv while breastfeeding :) It can take forever.
5) The best thing Jason did was take two weeks off from work, but not consecutive weeks. He was home a week, then my mom was there, then he was home another week. Helped me get on my feet slowly as a new mom.

One more peice of advice--go to the moviesw now! We miss going to the movie theater, you simply can't do it unless you have a sitter.

Good luck!

Teresa said...

1. We tried to bank cord blood, but because of an issue I had with the placenta, they couldn't get the blood. Like Summer said, it's expensive and rare that you would need it, but we both felt that we would feel terrible if we did need it and didn't have it. Still not sure what we'll do with the next - probably won't bank. You can always bank with the next one if the need arises.

2. Useful item: Ergo carrier (with infant insert)... like a sling, but much, much easier to deal with and easier on the back. Some people like the sling, but I couldn't wear it comfortably. Also, the kiddopatomus swaddlers were a lifesaver.

3. Least useful: Baby B'jorn. Very uncomfortable.

4. I started walking after a couple of weeks, but only a little. Pursuant to doctor's orders, I didn't run until about 10 weeks after. If you do too much too soon, you will be forced to rest even longer, and you can feel the effects of exercise, even just walking. Doctor allowed swimming after only four weeks, so I did some of that. VERY hard to find the time/energy, even with doctor clearance, when you're really sleep deprived, no matter how much you want to.

5. Useful advice: arrange for lots of help, spread the help out, and don't be afraid to ask for help. Let things go. It seems like forever at first, but they are babies for such a short time. Just enjoy it.

6. Best thing S.O. did: just be there, be supportive, listen, tell your wife how much you love her and appreciate her. Take over when it gets to be a rough day or night, even if it means coming home early from work or getting up at 2am when you have early meetings.

Okay, maybe a little too much advice, but you asked, and it's been very recent for me. Most important thing I can say... it is a huge adjustment and very hard at times (I could have never imagined how hard). Go easy on yourself, and cut yourself some slack. It's not in your personality (or mine), but I was much, much happier when I just let things go.

Sally said...

1) Did you bank your child's cord blood? No. It was expensive and I didn't know of anyone that did.
2) What was the most useful item you had as a new parent? A few things: Bjorn carrier b/c I liked going out so it was more comfortable to hold her and have 1 free hand; Aquaphor baby ointment and the body wash; pump; Boudreux's Buttpaste
3) What was the least useful item you had as a new parent? Baby powder-never needed it when she was <6mo and when she started getting rashes, the butt paste works wonders..just use regularly.
4) How long did you wait to work out again after giving birth? After a week, walking to get out; 3 weeks: easy on the elliptical; 6 weeks, light jogging, 8 weeks, normal running but lots of water to make up for the loss since i was nursing.
5) What was the most useful information you received from another mother?
Sleep. RElax and don't try to do everything or pick up from your normal routine. Ask when you need anything or advice.
6) What was the best thing your S.O. did for you before / during / after labor?
Stayed home for a week and worked from home the 2nd week.
7) (sorry, i had to add this) What to do before labor: stock up your fridge/freezer with prepared food for the first few days/weeks or as backup. Don't worry about cooking . Spend time with your baby.

Good luck Michelle!

Elizabeth said...

1) Did you bank your child's cord blood? (do you have an insightful reason why or why not)
No - it was/is expensive and the chances of needing it are extremely slim.

2) What was the most useful item you had as a new parent? With my first baby, the swing was great - she took long naps in it when she wouldn't sleep anywhere else. With my second, the electric breastpump was helpful - we had issues with getting her to figure out how to eat, plus she was jaundiced so we had to supplement with formula for awhile.

3) What was the least useful / dangerous item you had as a new parent? Probably the kid leash my mother-in-law gave me - I'm still wondering about that one. I think it got donated to Goodwill still in the packaging. LOL

4) How long did you wait to work out again after giving birth? (what did you do first) With my first, 2-3 months and with my second, 6 weeks. I usually do cardio/weight DVDs at home. It just depends on how good you feel.

5) What was the most useful information you received from another mother? Have an epidural (worked great for me, but it's a personal choice). Sleep when the baby sleeps - no matter how trashed you think your house is. :)

6) What was the best thing your S.O. did for you before / during / after labor? Kept quiet by my side and let me do my thing.

phuong said...

1) Did you bank your child's cord blood? (do you have an insightful reason why or why not)

No. I was too lazy to even look into it. I figured if they had to advertise it that much, it probably wasn't necessary.

2) What was the most useful item you had as a new parent?

Baby carriers - Ergo for later, Baby bjorn for the beginning. We carried Michael a lot because we take public transport and the stroller is hard to deal with there.

Also very useful were light cotton/thin flannel receiving blankets for swaddling. Michael was a spitter so burp cloths were a must.

3) What was the least useful / dangerous item you had as a new parent?

Definitely the diaper pail. Better off using the normal trash that gets taken out more often and then wrapping the poopy diapers in a plastic bag from the grocery store.

4) How long did you wait to work out again after giving birth? (what did you do first)

I am not the person you should ask about this! :o)

5) What was the most useful information you received from another mother?

Allow others to help you! Accept offers for meals, help with laundry, etc! Your job is to rest, feed your baby, and bond with her!

6) What was the best thing your S.O. did for you before / during / after labor?

He helped me without ever complaining. He stayed up late with the baby so I could sleep. We were lucky in that we both had 1.5 months off of work together with my mom so we had a lot of help with Michael.

Missy said...

1. no banking of cord blood; copy everyone else's answer

2. useful item: bobby (breast feeding pillow); carrier of some sort; baby jogger.

3. least useful: baby monitor- I ended of checking on my babies in person because I didn't trust the monitor.

4. I think it was 10 days after Taylor was born I first "jogged". very slow and easy. swam about the same time (I think); bike 2 or 3 weeks (the bike seat really wasn't bad). emily was c-section...very light run 2 weeks after (10min) because I had to do my traditional Run Into the New Year...I wouldn't recommend it though. PS: you bleed alot after whether or not you have a c-section (or episiotomy/tearing). just read everyone else's answers here...maybe I'll look up what I did (it's been so long) in my journal...if it is much different than I posted I will let you know. Definitely was taking it easy even though I was "working out". The only way Taylor slept was in the baby jogger.

5. useful advice: cherish every stage your child is currently in...the time really does go by so fast.

6. best thing husband did before/during labor: be near me but not mess with me! he gets very queezy anyway, he wouldn't really be useful.

Good luck!

erichollins said...

I don't have a baby, but I've also heard the advice of sleeping when the baby sleeps a lot as well.

Natalie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Natalie said...

1) Did you bank your child's cord blood? (do you have an insightful reason why or why not)

We did bank cord blood. Our reasons were that it was a relatively inexpensive life insurance policy in the event our little one contracted a disease that could be treated with cord blood. That said, it was expensive but we did a 12 month financing plan and that made it reasonable. Also playing strongly on why we did it, a disease impacting our family can be treated with cord blood.

2) What was the most useful item you had as a new parent?

Swaddles - the ones with the separate body piece and then wings (you can leave the body piece on when the baby is awake and you are nursing etc).
Summer Video Baby Monitor - life save now that our little one is getting big. We can hear her and see to better understand what is wrong and whether to intervene.
Microwave sterilizer bags
MAM Pacifiers
Blanket that goes in the car seat and zips around baby - probably not as applicable for you but great for cold NE winter

3) What was the least useful / dangerous item you had as a new parent?

Baby clothes that go over the head - ones that snap or zip are way better!

4) How long did you wait to work out again after giving birth? (what did you do first)

Can't really advise on the workout, but I was able to drive after 3 weeks and get someone from the airport but I would have been better off not doing it (I had a c-section). For me, and alot of moms, you find a whole new level of exhaustion that you didn't know existed. Really, take the time to take it easy! I know I was back to work full-time at 10 weeks and I wish it had been possible for me not to have been. It is just a big experience!

5) What was the most useful information you received from another mother?

Sleep when your baby sleeps. Relax. Don't worry about the little things - house cleaning, laundry, etc. These are the longest days and the shortest years.

6) What was the best thing your S.O. did for you before / during / after labor?

Was supportive and involved. Frank has and is still doing great with taking care of the baby! From his first hold while they were putting me back together to his feeding her this mornign while I jumped in the shower. Being involved is the best thing they can do!

Good luck and don't wory too much! You will do great and I am so happy for you - it is a wonderful, amazing experience!!

Mich said...

Thanks everyone! This is some very useful feedback.

I think my mom & I are going to design some slings when she comes down next month. I'll have to look for some patterns.

I'll be sure to come back and re-read these comments when I start to feel guilty about the messy house