Can’t Tell Me Nothing -Baby Review Edition

It’s funny when you become an expectant parent.*

There is just so….much…shit…to choose from. Really, there is.

And every company is like a drug dealer…’Hey baby…you know want this high chair. It’ll make you feel real good.’

So, today’s post is about the hits and misses of things we had purchased or used over the past two years. If I can save you a bit of heartache (and money!), I’ve done my job.

Let’s start off with the Misses:

Pacifiers

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Seriously, this kid has never used a pacifier in his life. Any picture of him with one in his mouth, he spit it out very shortly afterward. The pacifiers and the pacifier clips we bought were a complete Waste. Of. Money.

Pampers

My son and Pampers just never mixed. Despite being told by many that Pampers were better for boys, I have to disagree. My boy and his blowouts were legendary in Pampers. While he may occasionally leak in his Huggies, he has never had a blowout in them. I have to say no to Pampers. That also includes the wipes. I found the wipes were dry.

Swaddle wrap

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My kid is an anomaly. He’s never liked being swaddled. Even in the hospital, he would kick out of them (real talk!). So while we only purchased two, it was a waste of money.

Cloth diapers

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This is probably the only item on this list that’s both a hit and a miss. I went into great detail on my experiences with cloth (see To cloth diaper or nah? for a refresher). Now, I’m not saying cloth diapering was a waste of money and time. If anything, it’s actually saved us a ton of money (which is why this is also a hit). However, cloth diapering, like many things natural, takes up a lot of time and energy. From finding the right cloth diaper, to cleaning them (which also takes up a lot of time) to having the financial means to build a stash, you have to be full-blown committed to it. Don’t pursue cloth diapering because it’s the ‘in’ thing to do and all of the cool kids are doing it. There is nothing wrong with strictly using disposables. Do your research and decide if this is something you really want to pursue.

Pack n’ Play

Honestly, we used this more for storage than anything. It was actually donated to us by family and I’m really glad we never paid for it. I don’t think Bear even slept in it and he really was not a fan of being inside it at any given time. So for us, this was a no-go.

Baby Rocker

This isn’t the one that we received but we were donated one similar. Again, Bear didn’t care for it. He spent a couple of minutes in it before he had enough.


 

Now that we know what I hated, let’s talk about what I lurved

Huggies

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For some reason, my kid has taken a liking to Huggies. They hold a lot more and as a result, are also a bit more expensive. However, they do the job. I never had an issue with Huggies other than running out.

Boppy

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There are many breastfeeding pillows out on the market today. And it seems like there’s a new one debuting every year. Yet, Boppy has always held its own and remains one of the best ones to purchase. I never had any issues with my Boppy and it came in very handy during those first few months. Highly recommend.

Wipe Warmer

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Bear was born during the fall and even in the hospital, he didn’t take too kindly to cold water on his bum. Some think wipe warmers are a waste of money but for us, especially in the colder months, they’ve been right on time.

Aden + Anais Burping Cloths

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Now, this is a pricey brand. It doesn’t matter if you purchase them from Target, Amazon, or where ever, you’re going to be spending some money. However, this cloths are the business. I have wiped Bear’s mouth full of guacamole, mac n’ cheese, spaghetti, and these cloths are still white! Can’t beat that! Get them! It’ll change your life.

Portable Rocker

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This came in very handy when Bear was a newborn and even now when he’s a toddler. While we didn’t pay as much as it’s currently being advertised, we definitely can say we got our monies worth. If you have to get a rocker for your child, I suggest getting one that can convert to a toddler chair.

Sophie the Giraffe

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Now, Sophie is expensive. When we purchased her, she was a little under $20 and now I’m seeing her retail close to $30. She, however, works and is a saint when you kid starts teething.

Child restraint/Leash

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I have to admit, I love this product. I didn’t think I would but I honestly do. It gives Bear freedom and lets him explore his independence while we still have a firm grasp on him. As he’s becoming more and more independent and resisting the stroller, it’s definitely come in handy.

Cloth diapers

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Again, as I said before, cloth diapers did save us a ton of money and trust me, you feel that relief each time you do laundry. Cloth diapers also double as swim trunks so save your money to purchase special swim diapers!  Now, we live in an apartment so we don’t necessarily have to worry about a water bill. If we lived in a home, it might be a different story.

So, those are my hits and misses. If you’re expecting, wait until after the baby shower to shop for the big ticket items such as strollers, cribs, etc. You’ll be amazed how much people are willing to donate when they hear you’re about to have a baby. Many of our items (big ticket and small) were pure donations from friends, coworkers, and family.

My advice is a lot of baby items are space-consuming so ask yourself if it’s something you really need. Chances are, you don’t. The next post I will share some of my money-saving tips!

 

*Not currently pregnant but seeing what happens in life!

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It’s Been Awhile

Let’s see it’s been about three weeks since I’ve last updated. Well, a lot has happened since then. Namely this:

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To fully tell the story, I have to backtrack a little so bear with me here.

Saturday, November 9

Over the weekend, I saw my OB and had a special trip to Labor & Delivery (L&D) for a NST since my blood pressure was becoming alarmingly high, mix in with a little nausea and just overall yuckiness.  Go to L&D and turns out everything is okay. In fact, while I was at L&D, I was contracting; not enough contractions to warrant being in labor but enough where they were noticeable. My OB comes in about an hour later to check on me and sends me home. He calls me that following Sunday to make sure I’m doing alright.

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Me right before the Saturday OB appointment. Despite my smile, I was feeling pretty miserable in this picture.

Monday, November 11: Now this is when the bullshit started.

I go to my OB’s office late Monday afternoon (he’s courtesy enough to be open on holidays). My blood pressure is once again through the roof so my OB sends me straight to L&D for a NST. I wasn’t allowed to eat before I went so I had to go there straight from his office.

Keep that in mind: I wasn’t allowed to eat anything. 

So M and I go to L&D where we’re informed we have to wait a while so they can get a room ready for us. The secretary tells us 10 minutes. Well, 10 minutes turned into 15, which turned into 30, which turned into an hour. So imagine a full-term pregnant woman, who hasn’t eaten anything since breakfast, isn’t allowed to eat anything, is waiting for a spontaneous NST at her doctor’s orders? Yeah, you’d be pissed off too.

I finally went ballistic and went home. I left. I’m not sure how long it took for everyone to realize I wasn’t there but my phone started blowing up about an hour later from my OB to the L&D nurses begging me to go back. The only reason why I went back is because I didn’t feel Yoda move that much. We went back to L&D around 11:30 PM and returned home around 2 AM. Everything was fine. I was ordered to make an appointment with my OB first thing Thursday morning. Fun.

Wednesday, November 13

M decided to take the day off and take care of household items. We go on what would be our very last twosome date to a local pizza parlor. We both feel it’s the calm before the storm and just enjoy the day with each other.

Thursday, November 14

I go to my OB’s office first thing Thursday morning. My blood pressure once again is through the roof, no to mention, there is protein in my urine for the first time this pregnancy. This immediately puts me as a candidate for preeclampsia and my OB told me to go straight to L&D. No NST this time – I’m getting prepped for a c-section.

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Excited because I knew what’s going to happen!

We checked into L&D and this time they’re ready for me. I get changed and I have a set of nurses taking my vitals and what-not. One of the nurses graduated from my alma mater, Azusa Pacific, so she has student nurses with her, also from APU. That’s pretty cool. I immediately took that as a sign from God.

We had a chaplain come in right before the surgery to bless the delivery of Yoda’s arrival and a good surgery for me. And then it was on!

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M being his usual silly self

I got wheeled into the operating room and I requested jazz music to be played during the delivery. I told the anesthesiologist that anything else would hype me up. I was given a spinal block and once again, I just didn’t like that shit. Needles and my back just don’t get along. But the spinal worked and I couldn’t feel anything below my chest. The sheet was pulled up and my OB asked me if I could feel anything. I told him no and he replied with, ‘Good because I just made an incision.’ (It’s funny now.)

M was let into the room and sat next to me with camera in tow. Minutes later with a few tugs and pulls, my OB holds up Yoda and says, ‘Here’s your baby!’ The moment was surreal. It honestly felt like I won the lottery.

We have our first family photo and I’m a little out of it. A lot of drugs are in me but I managed to smile:

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This photo below, I honestly don’t remember taking. I was that drugged up:

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Here is the photo we debuted to everyone on our respective Facebook pages:

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I told you he had my lips. 🙂

Yoda’s going-home outfit:

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Here is a photo of me, one week postpartum:

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Yoda’s official name is Bogdan Michael. Bogdan is Russian for ‘given by God’ and Michael, in honor of his big brother, Ethan, who shared the same middle name.

During the hospital stay, I kept getting asked if Bo was my first baby. I answered yes even though it wasn’t true. I didn’t want to go through explaining to each person about Ethan and I most certainly didn’t want to cloud a happy moment with sadness. I didn’t feel bad about lying, however. I’m very protective of Ethan’s memory and I would rather lie to protect him than be honest and deal with uncomfortable reactions from people.

My surgery recovery is going as expected. I’m always sore but it’s manageable. I’m on Vicodin and heavy-duty Motrin that I take twice daily. I’m not allowed to pick up anything heavier than Bo and that’s fine by me. I recently got my staples removed and Bo had his first pediatrician appointment the other day. Other than getting used to no sleep, everything is great. I can honestly say my life is perfect. 🙂

My parents weren’t able to come up due to other issues that I’m glad had nothing to do with my brother but I hope they can come up soon.

Needless to say, this blog will go from talking about my pregnancy to raising a biracial, multi-ethnic baby in Los Angeles and being a ‘first-time’ mother.

Scream

This kid is stubborn.

So it’s been almost two weeks since my cerclage was removed and well, I’m still very much pregnant. It wasn’t too bad except for when I suddenly fell sick. I didn’t think it was a big deal but apparently my OB did. I saw him today and he checked me. The good news: Yoda is still locked and loaded. The bad news: He’s not low enough to warrant an induction.

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Yeah…

See, I asked him if Yoda could be induced on his due date (18th). Well, my OB had other news for me:

I don’t want you going past the 14th.

 

Granted, my reaction was pretty appropriate:

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Yoda’s head is already measuring 41 weeks. His body is measuring over 39 weeks. Combined with me being sick suddenly and my blood pressure being unusually high, my OB was very concerned about me going 40 weeks. In short, the longer Yoda is inside, the sicker I become. 

Twisted.

Whether I’ll be induced or have a c-section, it doesn’t matter at this point. I just want my son alive and healthy. That is all.

Future Baby Mama

For those wondering, Future Baby Mama is the title of a Prince song. I love Prince. Have you ever seen him perform in concert? Ah-mazing! You really need to go check him out sometime in this lifetime.

It’s Hump Day, Bump Day…let’s goooooooooo!

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How far along? 38 weeks, according to LMP.

Weight gain/loss?  None. No weight gain at all entire pregnancy.

Symptoms: A ton of Braxton-Hicks. A ton. They tend to occur at night for whatever reason, leading me to believe that I might go into labor in the middle of the night. A return of nausea and vomiting which is not sitting well with me at all. I’m actually slightly nauseous as I type this. I read it was a potential labor symptom but guess what? I’m still pregnant so I might have to call bullshit on that one.
Mood: Tired and anxious.
Sleep: Not much. Been getting up to go pee a lot more now.
Best moment of the week? Hearing news that Yoda is officially locked and loaded but now it’s just a waiting game.
Sex/Name of baby? Boy. His name is definitely Bogdan (Bawg-dan). Bogdan Michael.
Food cravings? Nothing really.
Belly button status? Still an innie but shallow.
Movement? A lot of it. Very active when I first wake up and throughout the day.
What you miss? Sleeping through the night! Getting up to pee several times really sucks!
What are you looking forward to? Bringing Yoda bear home from the hospital. I’m really looking forward to what motherhood will bring.
What are you nervous about? I just want my baby to be alive and healthy.

Rock the Casbah

So much to do and so little time…

Or maybe a lot of time….who knows at this point?

I started researching babysitters/caretakers. Since I’m a writer, I plan to take a few weeks “off” to adjust to motherhood, but plan to be back in the swing of things come January. My situation is a bit different. Technically speaking I’m a SAHM (stay at-hom mom) but reality speaking, I’m not. I bring in some quite substantial income from my writing and I do other things besides housework. I like to refer to myself as a Glorified Housewife and the title fits. Not quite fabulous enough to have my own fake reality show but still awesome to not worry about working a conventional job ever again, should I make that decision.

But Mommy will need a break.

I signed up on care.com to find a sitter. I posted that I’m currently expecting and looking for someone to start watching Yoda bear starting mid-January 2014. The pay would be somewhere between $10-15 hourly and that person would watch him one day a week for several hours.  I figured it was better I made the post now instead of pulling out my hair and trying to do it when I’m nursing or sleep deprived. Immediately, I received 10 responses! Ten! Isn’t that incredible?

Now is the fun part. M and I decided to get a nanny cam since the sitter will be in our home. We also need to do background checks on all of the applicants. Depending on when I’ll go into labor (yep, still preggo), the potential babysitter will meet with me (or us) when Yoda is already here.

Exciting times.

Normally, it would be easier for me to pawn off our kid to M’s parents but there are a few things wrong with that equation. One, they live on the Westside of LA and feasibly, that doesn’t make any sense unless I’m making a special trip out there. Two, and I cannot stress this part enough, I’m trying not to be like certain members of my family. In my opinion, the best role models are the people you’re trying NOT to be like than the ones you’re trying to follow their example. If you’ve followed my blog, you know who I’m referring to. (And yes, I did read some more Joel Osteen to calm me the &$#* down, though I’m still a bit heated – more on that later).

Hopefully I can start talking with some applicants this week. It’s been a week since my cerclage was removed and well, I’m still very much preggo. It’s not a bad thing other than regular nightly Braxton-Hicks and a sudden bout of nausea and vomiting this morning. I consulted Dr. Google and found it could be a sign of labor. Of course, I didn’t go into labor, hence why I’m making this blog post.

So back to my family drama because there’s always some. My mother is currently sick. Yeah, a real inconvenient time to get sick and she’s trying her best to get better as soon as possible. She sounded sick on Friday when I first spoke to her and when I chatted with her briefly tonight, she really didn’t sound any better. I told her to stay home if I go into labor and she’s still sick. She then told me she wouldn’t be allowed inside the hospital anyway because she would be considered contagious. 

Now pay attention to that last line.

She goes on to tell me how she’s still taking care of my nephews and had to drive my licensed and physically-abled father to an appointment today. Yeah, She’s still sick. She’s contagious. And certain members of my family are on that, ‘Fuck it. You still gotta help me’ mode. 

LOL.

See, at this point all I can do is laugh because this is a situation that’s occurred so much and will continue to occur, I no longer have the anger or the want to get angry in me. I’m about to give birth; I don’t need that shit. Talking with my mother also made me realize that under no circumstances whatsoever, will I ever move back to Palm Springs. I don’t want to be anyone’s free babysitting service. I don’t want to be anyone’s Morgan Freeman to their Jessica Tandy; I’m already playing that role. I don’t want anyone to get comfortable with the fact that I’m somehow available. When you’re over 100 miles away, people immediately take you out of the equation. I want to keep it that way.

Most importantly, I don’t want to be punished for being responsible because certain people are irresponsible. No ma’am. No sir.

I want to end this post on a positive note. My cousin, Angie, gifted us with a ton of baby clothing. A ton! I told her we had enough of 0-3 month clothing but I wasn’t sure how long Yoda will fit those, should he fit them. She gifted us a bunch of 6-9 month hand-me-downs in really good condition! Now that’s the family I can get behind! 🙂