Some of My Favorite Items for Baby

It truly seems like the season for babies in my little corner of the world as my mailbox has been inundated with a steady flow of baby shower invitations lately. Having an infant of my own makes me feel kind of like an expert at baby stuff as I’m still ‘in the know’ about the latest and greatest, life-changing, must-have items for baby. I’ve learned a lot over the past year and have realized that babies really don’t need all that stuff that are advertised to mommas-to-be. Seriously, between wipe-warmers and changing table pads, what do you really need?!? If you’re expecting a little one and creating a registry of your own, or if you’re looking to purchase a baby shower gift, read on & I’ll share with you some of my practical favorites.

This time last year I was busy creating the baby registry for my own sweet bundle of joy. I spent HOURS scouring mommy blogs and websites for advice and reviews of baby gear to make sure I made the best possible decisions for my little guy. After a few days of searching sites, I really wished someone would just hand me a list of everything you really need for baby. I found myself stuck between two extremes when it came to baby necessities–“your baby needs all the gadget”s, or “your baby just needs diapers”. I knew there had to be some middle ground & that’s what I was striving for as I created my baby registry.

First and foremost I wanted to make sure the items I purchased for my sweet bundle of joy were safe; if I read a review alerting me to any kind of dangerous or potentially unsafe scenario, I immediately switched gears and looked at other items.

The next important aspect I looked for in baby gear was baby’s impression of the product. Some products look good and sound great in theory, but in real life don’t really live up the hype–I found this to be true as I read through reviews of several items. Quite a few ‘must-haves’ had less than glowing reviews and indicated that baby just wasn’t interested or didn’t like the item, even after many experiences with the product. If I read more nays than yays, I marked that item off my list, and looked elsewhere.

Another biggie I looked at when making decisions about baby gear was the price. I tried to be realistic and practical when planning for my little fella’s needs and resisted the urge (the sometimes ever-so-strong urge) to go overboard with extravagant, excessively overpriced items that he would outgrow in just a couple of months. Some blogs and baby planning websites listed only high-end products as necessary for baby–I know babies are expensive, but some of these items crossed into ridiculousness. Honestly some of these sites made me feel like I was destined to be a sub-par parent if I didn’t splurge for the bouncers and bassinets that could be controlled by my smart phone or the Keurig-like automatic baby formula maker. I’m sure these items may make life a little easier for mom & dad, but are those items necessary for a happy baby??? Again I looked to product reviews to help me make these important decisions and more than often than not found that, although the bells and whistles are fun for moms and dads, some babies liked the high end products and others did not. What if my little guy fell into the group that didn’t care for the item that cost the equivalent to six months worth of diapers? I decided that diapering my baby for six months while he bounced in the less expensive bouncer–with great product reviews–was the best decision for our family.

Finally, after all the researching and comparing, I was ready to commit to items and officially add them to my baby registry. I felt that I had finally found my middle ground & I’m happy to share with you some of those items below.

Please note that I’m sharing items that work/worked well for my baby and our family. All babies are different & have different preferences. 

Gear

I chose a travel system because I wanted an infant carrier as I felt this would be useful for our family’s lifestyle. This particular travel system had great reviews and a good price. My little guy is almost 9 months old and he is still using the infant seat, however we will be transitioning him to his car seat within the month. We have gotten lots of use out of both the infant carrier and stroller and have been extremely pleased with the performance of both. The carrier is easy to use and maneuver and, most importantly, my little fella feels cozy and secure in the carrier. The stroller is durable, fits well in the back of our small SUV, is EXTREMELY easy to open, comfy for it’s precious passenger, has plenty of space for his stuff as well as mine, rides well on smooth and rough, outdoor terrain, and is very lightweight. I could not ask for more in a carrier and stroller.

In all honesty, a bassinet is not necessary. A Pack & Play would do just as well situated in the bedroom until you’re ready to transition your baby to his/her own crib. However, I wanted to keep my newborn in very close proximity to me without co-sleeping–co-sleeping just wasn’t an option for us as my husband pretty much does somersaults in his sleep. The Pack & Play would’ve been situated too far from my bed for my liking, so I opted for a bassinet instead. When I began researching bassinets, I found that I needed a mobile bassinet that I could move easily when I needed to get in and out of bed. This Delta bassinet had everything I was looking for: comfy for baby, easy portability with lockable casters, a storage compartment underneath for easy nighttime diaper changes and feedings, a dim light, and music (I didn’t really use this option as I found a couple of favorite children’s music stations on Pandora that my little guy & I love), and the price was definitely within our budget. This bassinet worked beautifully for us & I was sad when my sweet boy outgrew it & graduated to the mini-crib (still located in my bedroom).

Okay, I must admit that when it came to bouncers & swings, I had my heart set on the 4 Moms Mamaroo…but the Mamaroo has a hefty price tag at $269.99. I searched Ebay and secondhand children’s stores, & while I found some okay deals on used Mamaroos, when it came to making the purchase I just couldn’t justify spending that much money on something my son would use for only three months. Additionally, there was no guarantee that he would like the Mamaroo, so I began searching for more affordable bouncer alternatives. The reviews on this Ingenuity bouncer were good & it seemed to be a solid product. The bouncer worked well for us. My son was happy and content when we placed him in the bouncer, and he loved investigating the little toys dangling above his head. It was very lightweight and easy to move from room to room and fit nicely in small spaces. The music, nature and heartbeat sounds were soothing for both baby and me. I am glad we chose to go this direction as we were able to use the leftover money on lots of diapers. #LotsOfDiapers

Okay, so everyone may not be interested in going the mini crib route, but when my fella outgrew his bassinet I was not ready to move him to his nursery AT ALL. In fact, he is 8 months old and still sleeping about two feet from me in his mini crib. A Pack & Play would definitely work well for a sleeping option, but I didn’t want to transport the Pack & Play from living room to bedroom each morning and night. I wanted a more permanent sleeping arrangement (at least for the time being). I researched sleeping options A LOT when my son began getting close to the weight limit on our bassinet and found no suitable alternatives (at least for me). Most sites I visited suggested moving baby to the nursery once he/she outgrew the bassinet, but NOPE, this momma wasn’t ready for all that. Finally, I came across the mini crib while searching Amazon one evening & knew this was the solution to our dilemma. Just like any change in routine, adjusting from the bassinet to the mini crib took some time, but my little man finally began sleeping through the night. This mini crib has three adjustable height levels and plenty of room growing room for my guy. The crib is a lovely addition to our bedroom and matches our furniture perfectly. We will also get use out of it for years to come as it also converts into a toddler bed and daybed–we felt this was well worth the cost of the crib.

The Pack & Play has been very useful for us. During the newborn days, the bassinet feature gave our little guy a place to rest safely in our living room. Nowadays, he loves playing with his favorite toys on the porch in the Pack & Play. It’s easy to move, collapse and open back up, & travels well. For us, this has been a must have item.

Nursery

Honestly we didn’t purchase a lot for our nursery. I re-purposed several pieces of furniture for my little guy’s room instead of purchasing brand new items. In fact the only new nursery item we needed was a rocker, and our rocker was a gift from my parents–so technically my hubby & I didn’t buy any nursery furniture.

Baby Relax Hudson Upholstered Wingback Nursery Room Rocker


This rocker is a beautiful addition to our nursery & it’s quite comfy. I’ve spent hours rocking my little guy in this rocker & it has held up well; in fact it still looks & feels brand new. When searching for a rocker I looked for 1. Durability, 2. Style & 3. Value. We were a bit more extravagant with the rocker as I knew we would spend a lot of time in it. This rocker has definitely not disappointed.

Just because we didn’t spend a lot of money on the nursery doesn’t mean we didn’t create my dream nursery. I absolutely LOVE the nursery we created for our little man & I will dedicate a post solely to our nursery in the near future–stay tuned.

Feeding

Dr. Brown’s Bottles

We used several different brands of bottles with our little man & realized that, for him, Dr. Brown’s were the best. The vented system inside the bottles prevented a lot of air from getting into him, which, in turn, really helped with reducing painful gas & spit-up episodes. He has had no problems whatsoever with gas or spit-up after using these bottles. Because of the unique vented system, Dr. Brown’s bottles do have a lot of pieces included with them, so it does take a bit longer to clean them than other bottles, but the extra time is definitely worth it. Dr. Brown’s also are a bit more expensive than some other brands, but the few extra dollars are worth it when it comes to the comfort of my baby. I’m so glad we discovered Dr. Brown’s bottles & I highly recommend them!

Summer Infant Classic Comfort Wooden Highchair

I wanted a high chair that was. 1. Comfy for baby, 2. Durable, & 3.would grow with my little guy. I decided to go with a wooden chair as I felt it would blend well in our dining room as the wooden chair offers a classic look. We have been pleased with this chair as it has exceeded expectations. Clean up is a breeze as the fabric insert is machine washable & the tray is dishwasher safe. Most important, my son loves this chair–he’s always excited when it’s time to get in it & he’s happy & content during feedings. Great Highchair, good value, lovely finish, HAPPY BABY!

Diapering

Diapers. Lots of diapers. Every size. All the diapers.

I’m not pinpointing a specific brand because all babies are different when it comes to what works best. We learned through trial and error what worked best for our son & this is my advice to all new parents. What works for us may not work for you, so take advantage of all those different brands you receive at your shower to determine what works best for your little bundle of joy. #LotsOfDiapers

Wipes. Yep, you’ll need lots of these too.

Same as diapers–use different brands & determine what works best for your baby & you.

Bathing

4 Moms Infant Tub 


I fell in love with this tub from the moment I first saw it. I love that it has a digital temperature feature so you don’t have to worry if baby’s water is too cold/hot. I also love that the dirty water is automatically filtered out & constantly replaced with clean water–this is ESPECIALLY nice when baby has a diaper explosion & nothing but a bath will clean that mess.

However, I did not love the price of the tub & felt it was out of my tub price range. I frequented our local children’s consignment & secondhand stores & as luck would have it, I found this tub at one of my favorite stores for a fourth of the original price. SCORE! I was thrilled to find the tub I wanted at a price well within my budget.

Folks, shop consignment & secondhand whenever possible–babies outgrow everything too quickly & consignment  items often look brand new (& many times they are)!

Clothing

Four words = CONSIGNMENT and SECONDHAND STORES. Seriously, they grow so fast that they’ll barely have time to wear everything in their closet. Use that money you save by purchasing secondhand clothes on diapers. SERIOUSLY. #LotsOfDiapers

Miscellaneous Goodies

Wubbanub

My lil guy did NOT prefer pacifiers. However, the Wubbanub was different. When he wouldn’t take a traditional paci, he had no problem with his Little Fox Wubbanub; the design made it easier for him to handle & he didn’t spit it out as often as a traditional paci.

Infantino Go Gaga Tummy Time Mat

My little man has enjoyed this tummy time mat since back in his newborn days! He began noticing himself in the detachable mirror at one month old & loved the little attached toys on each side of the mat. As he gained neck strength and head control, he enjoyed admiring himself that much more. The attached toys still keep him engaged at 8 months old. The little cushion provided much needed support for him as he worked on strengthening his core.

Infantino Go Gaga Playtime Pal Giraffe

Mirrors, chew rings, crinkle features–what’s not to love?! This has been one of my little man’s favorites since we first brought him home from the hospital. I cannot say enough good things about this toy!

Dr. Brown’s Teether Ridgees Giraffe

My son began teething at 3 months old; however, his first tooth didn’t pop through until the six month mark. No matter, he needed something to help soothe those aching gums from the get-go, so we tried this Dr. Brown’s teether. I was so impressed by how well Dr. Brown’s bottles worked for my little man that I chose to go with the Dr. Brown’s teethers and was not disappointed. My son reaches for this teether throughout the day, and it helps keep him comfortable when new teeth begin irritating his sensitive gums.

Various Receiving Blankets

I’m such a fan of the receiving blanket & I use them all the time! I purchased a bunch of these in bulk at consignment stores for practically nothing. I found that they are better burp clothes than the traditional burp cloth because they’re bigger & easier to lay across my shoulder. I use them to lay under my guy during diaper changes, after bath drying towels, & of course as a blanket for my little guy. Receiving blankets are definitely on my must-have list.


 

All the items listed above have been lifesavers for me over the past 8 months. As you create your own baby registry, I hope these ideas are helpful for you & help alleviate some of the stress that can accompany that process.

What are/were your must-have baby gear & items??? I’m always interested in hearing opinions and advice from other been there, done that moms!

Thanks again for visiting & I’d love to chat with you about your fave baby stuff!

Lori :)

Let’s connect on social media! You can find me on Facebook at Becoming Dr. Lah, on Twitter @Lah1219, on Instagram @becomingdrlah & on Pinterest at lorilah

 

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Putting It All On Hold

Seven months. That’s how long I’ve been a mommy to this precious baby boy napping soundly on my chest. Today we’re enjoying this warm spring day by playing & relaxing on our porch–I honestly don’t think there’s a sweeter way to spend the day. As I sit here slowly swinging my napping son on the porch swing, I’m amazed by how fast the past seven months passed.

My son too quickly grew out of that cuddly, sleepy newborn stage & is now smack dab in the middle of becoming more & more mobile & independent. The thought of how fast this happened seriously blows my mind & makes me want to hold onto every precious little moment ever so tightly.

I know with each passing month he will reach for me less & less as his independence continues to grow–a thought I can hardly bear. So today I choose to put everything else on the back burner & hold my son tightly for as long as he will let me hold him. Today we will cuddle more and worry less about life outside the warm cocoon of our home. No emails will be answered today, my phone ringer is switched off, and Facebook doesn’t exist on a day such as today.

There are plenty of household tasks waiting for me to accomplish once I walk through the threshold of our porch door. Those tasks, however, will have to wait for another day, because today nothing is robbing me from time away from my precious son. Today I am breathing him in and studying his sweet face and all those little blonde hairs on his head. I am holding his little hands as he sleeps and I’m making mental notes of how those sweet little fingers look curled around mine. I am ever-so-carefully massaging his tiny feet and wondering where they will one day travel. His head is nestled gently on my shoulder and I hear nothing but the peaceful sound of his rhythmic breathing and I am brought to tears thinking about this gift God has entrusted to me.

Although I will have to eventually return to my daily chores and responsibilities, today I choose to put it all on hold in order to truly hold my baby while he’s still a baby.

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Let’s take the opportunity to slow down and enjoy our loved ones. Let’s not feel guilty about spending an afternoon loving those we love instead of racing to ‘get it all done’. After all, in the grand scheme of things, time spent with those most important to us is the most important thing; and when we reflect back upon our lives, these will be days remembered.

Thanks so much for visiting and have a blessed day,

Lori :)

Let’s connect on social media! You can find me on Facebook at Becoming Dr. Lah, on Twitter @Lah1219, on Instagram @becomingdrlah & on Pinterest at lorilah

 

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Cabbage Beef Soup on a Cold, Snowy Day

After enduring a crazy warm December, winter finally arrived in our little corner of Tennessee. I know many of my friends and family members enjoyed those freakishly warm December days, but not me. I’m thrilled that the cold temperatures and snowy precipitation has infiltrated our region as I absolutely love the gray days of winter. I find such comfort in the warmth of my home when it’s cold and dreary outside.

Today was one of those perfectly lovely winter days. Outside the air was cold and crisp with the occasional snow shower drifting by, but inside it was warm and light and extra cozy. I don’t typically take my Christmas decorations down until the end of January, so the glow of my Christmas tree added an extra layer of coziness to this beautiful day.

The only thing that can make a day like today even more perfect is a big pot of soup simmering on the stove. So, guess what I did today? I made soup…a huge pot of soup. One of my favorite soups is cabbage beef soup–it’s delicious and very satisfying and it’s wonderfully low in carbs…win, win. Even my picky hubby loves this soup, and folks that’s saying a lot.

If you’re looking for a super simple, satisfying soup recipe, this is definitely the one for you. (I was trying to see how many S’s I could use in the sentence above…just in case you were wondering.)

Cabbage Beef Soup

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2.5 pounds ground chuck — you can use as much or as little beef as you like
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 2 stalks of celery plus the leaves
  • 1 onion
  • 1, 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 14.5 ounce can of stewed tomatoes
  • 14.5 ounce can of kidney beans — you can leave these out as they add a few more carbs to the soup
  • 3 1/2 cups of water
  • 1 small head of cabbage
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons garlic powder
  • 4 teaspoons of beef bouillon powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 stick of butter

HOW-TO:

  1. Brown meat in a large stock pot.
  2. Dice the green bell pepper, celery with leaves, and onion and add to the stock pot while the meat is browning.
  3. Drain any excess fat.
  4. Add the cans of diced tomatoes, stewed tomatoes and kidney beans to the stock pot once the meat has completely browned.
  5. Add water.
  6. Chop the cabbage, and add to the stock pot.
  7. Add the garlic powder, beef bouillon, salt and pepper.
  8. Stir everything together and bring to a boil.
  9. When the soup begins to boil, immediately turn the heat to low, add the stick of butter and cover the stock pot.
  10. Allow the soup to cook, covered on low for at least an hour
  11. Stir the melted butter throughout the soup.
  12. Enjoy.

cabbage beef 2

Looking for other low carb soup recipes for these cold, winter days? Try some of these out:

Low Carb Chili

Lower Carb Hamburger Vegetable Soup

Low Carb Japanese Mushroom Soup

Low Carb FAUX Potato Soup

Let’s connect on social media! You can find me on Facebook at Becoming Dr. Lah, on Twitter @Lah1219, on Instagram @becomingdrlah & on Pinterest at lorilah.

Thanks again for visiting and enjoy these winter days!

Lori :)

If you enjoyed this post, please share it! To share, hover over the HEART symbol below & chose where you’d like to share. 

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And Just Like That, We Are A Family Of Three

I’ve not posted anything in awhile, and for that I apologize. However, I hope to fill you in on the last few months in just a few short paragraphs, and some really cute pictures, then I plan to get back to blogging as usual.

First of all, and most importantly, I’m thrilled to report that baby boy arrived healthy and happy in October–three days before his due date.

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Baby boy weighed nine pounds, five ounces and was twenty-one inches long

Secondly, I follow a lot of mommy blogs and I am impressed that so many mommy bloggers somehow find time to not only update their blogs regularly, but have their birth stories posted mere hours after giving birth. I am not one of those mommies. Since baby boy’s arrival, I’ve been lucky to find time to shower, much less blog. Baby boy and I have found somewhat of a routine over the last three months, and I am hoping this will allow me to blog on a consistent basis…and shower regularly.

So, let’s get up to speed already…

My Pregnancy

I found out I was pregnant on February 6th of last year–click HERE to read my announcement post. Although we had tried to get pregnant in the past, my hubby and I weren’t actually trying to get pregnant when we finally got pregnant. To say the least, we were pleasantly surprised and absolutely thrilled when the pregnancy test revealed those two precious pink lines.

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How did I reveal the pregnancy to the hubby??? I’ve seen the well thought out pregnancy announcements and cute, clever Pinterest-y reveals, however I decided this would be best:

announced

Yep, it’s a text. I told my hubby we were pregnant via text. I was way too shocked to be creative and he was way too shocked to respond.

I was considered high-risk throughout my pregnancy, mainly because I was over the magical age of 35. After 35 you’re considered elderly in the world of obstetrics–“elderly primagravida” to be specific. Early in my pregnancy I was also kind of labeled ‘gestational diabetic’, but not really. I know that doesn’t make much sense, but one entire blog post will be dedicated to that confusion. I will say, however, I had absolutely no symptoms of gestational diabetes throughout my entire pregnancy. Okay, moving on…

My pregnancy was fabulous–baby and I were healthy throughout and everything went precisely as it should. We had no surprises, no health scares, no strange conditions, no abnormal ultrasounds, absolutely nothing out of the ordinary happened during my pregnancy. Given my high-risk status and the spiel given to me by one of the nurse practitioners early in my pregnancy, I was pleasantly surprised to have such an ordinary pregnancy.

I gained right at forty pounds during the pregnancy. Thankfully, by my 6 week postpartum appointment I was back down to my pre-pregnancy weight; however, my body IS NOT back to its pre-pregnancy status. My mom tells me it will take awhile and some work to get rid of the baby belly…awesome.

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Again, because I was considered high-risk, I had a lot of ultrasounds throughout my entire pregnancy and my doctor kept a close watch on baby boy. From the first in-depth scan at nineteen weeks, he measured larger than his gestational age–a trend that continued throughout my pregnancy. At each growth scan he was estimated to be in the 97th percentile, and at 32 weeks it was determined he was already 6 pounds. My final growth scan was at my 38 week checkup and the plan was made for me to have a scheduled c-section since baby boy was estimated to be almost ten pounds, and liked to switch between the transverse and head down positions daily. My doctors were wonderful and I had faith they were making the best decision for our health, so we scheduled a c-section for October 7th at 8am.

During my very last OBGYN appointment before baby boy’s big arrival, one of the doctors decided to shake things up a bit and scare the living daylights out of me. Up to that point, everything regarding delivery was upbeat and positive; however not so much that day. She told me to expect to get an infection after the c-section; her exact words were, “It’s not a matter of if you get an infection, but just a matter of when.” Next, she told me that I would probably develop blood clots and they would try to put me on preventative medication, but insurance probably wouldn’t pay for it, in which case we would try baby asprin and hope for the best. Lastly, I should expect general anesthesia, because the spinal doesn’t always work. In the case of general anesthesia, I would be put completely to sleep and my hubby wouldn’t be allowed in the operating room. So, two days before my scheduled c-section I received all that news and got to dwell on each of those possibilities until the moment I was wheeled into the operating room for surgery. To make this already long story a little less long and to take away the suspense:

1. I did not develop any infection whatsoever; not even a sign of infection. My c-section incision healed beautifully.

2. I did not develop any blood clots, and my insurance paid for preventative medication.

3. The spinal worked great and my hubby was by my side during every step of the c-section. Strangely, he watched the procedure and thought it was cool. I don’t even know what to say about that.  #Gross

Unforgetable Pregnancy Symptoms

First Trimester:

Extreme fatigue. To the point that I had to nap after getting up in the morning, brushing my teeth and walking from the bathroom to the couch.  #ImNotEvenKidding

Dizziness. This was one of the first symptoms I experienced, and the symptom that prompted me to take a pregnancy test.

Moodiness. This lovely symptom lasted the entire pregnancy. Come to think of it, it’s followed me right into postpartum.  #LuckyHubby

Morning sickness. I didn’t experience a lot of morning sickness, maybe ten days tops. However, I did have an extremely sensitive gag reflex which resulted in quite a bit of nausea. Good times.

Loss of appetite. I had absolutely no appetite during the first trimester. Some days it was all I could do to make myself eat a bowl of chicken soup and saltines. I was on a very bland diet during those early days and couldn’t stand the thought of food.

Second Trimester:

My first trimester symptoms actually lingered until the seventeenth week of pregnancy. When they finally subsided, the following symptoms replaced them…

Really weird pelvic pain. I hadn’t had any pain during the first trimester, so when I began feeling some pressure I was concerned. My doctors, however, assured me it was all completely normal. The pain was my body’s way of preparing for birth.

Round ligament pain. This was another concerning sensation, but, once again, my doctors assured me this was nothing to worry about. Everything was being stretched and moved around to make room for baby, and I was definitely feeling every stretch.

Heartburn. It was if I had swallowed a blow torch.

Baby movement. This was DEFINITELY the best part of pregnancy. I began feeling baby boy around the eighteenth week of my pregnancy, and it was something I will never forget. His little movements began as bubbling sensations, and progressed into full blown kicks as my pregnancy progressed.  #BestFeelingEver

Pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel. Imagine my confusion when I woke up one morning and couldn’t close my right hand. This was due to excess fluid in my hands and wrists, and it lasted until baby boy was born.

Hello appetite. My appetite returned with a vengeance during the second trimester, but I kept it in check. I added some complex carbs such as whole grains and lentils to my diet, but did not indulge in sugary, carby foods. Battling pregnancy cravings was a hard thing to do, but somehow I was able to refrain from giving in to the temptation.  #TheStruggleWasReal

Cravings. The only consistent craving I had throughout my pregnancy was for Texas Pete Hot Sauce. I ate that stuff on everything. #Everything.

The second trimester is supposed to be a time of renewed energy…or so I read somewhere. I had a small burst of energy during my second trimester, but because of the pelvic and round ligament pain, it was short-lived.

Third Trimester

Pelvic pain and round ligament pain continued. Some days were worse than others, but I never had anything close to debilitating pain.

Swollen ankles and feet. By the end of my pregnancy, I had developed some lovely cankles. My doctors assured me that the swelling wasn’t excessive, even though it seemed excessive to me, and was just typical pregnancy-related swelling. However, thanks to a lecture I received early in my pregnancy from a certain nurse practitioner, I was sure that I would develop preeclampsia. I freaked out if I had anything remotely close to a preeclampsia symptom. My blood pressure was fine and I never tested positive for protein throughout my pregnancy, so my doctors assured me all was well and the swelling was normal.

One vision disturbance episode. Okay, so vision changes are another preeclampsia symptom, and this one really had me freaking out. I had just gotten home from an OBGYN appointment where my blood pressure and protein level checked out fine. I walked in the door of my house, went into my dark bedroom and got on my phone. I was reading an article on my phone, in the dark, when it happened. I saw a zig-zag pattern in my line of vision that would not go away. Finally after a minute or so, I rubbed my eyes and the pattern was gone. So what did I do??? I googled preecclampsia and vision changes. People, googling symptoms is never the answer. After freaking out more, I finally talked to my doctor’s office and once again, they assured me all was well and sometimes a brief vision change is just a normal part of pregnancy…and one probably should’t read in the dark. #WhoKnew

Painful baby movement. During my last month of pregnancy, baby boy flipped daily from breech position, transverse position and head-down position. When a nine pound baby decides to flip, you feel it. Once again I had to be reassured by my doctors that everything was fine. I’m sure my OBGYN’s office was glad when my baby was finally born.

Fatigue. Fatigue returned with a vengeance.

Sleeplessness. I was so tired, but could not sleep no matter what I tried. I bought a pregnancy pillow to help me get comfortable with my huge bump, and it worked beautifully; however, I still couldn’t sleep. My mom said third trimester sleeplessness was nature’s way of preparing moms to be up all night once babies arrive. Nothing, absolutely nothing prepares you for the all-nighters once baby arrives. #JustSaying

That may seem like a lot of symptoms, but I would go through every single one of them again in a heartbeat. There’s nothing quite like a healthy pregnancy, and each symptom reminded me of how blessed I was to be pregnant. It was a wonderful nine months.

Delivery

As I mentioned earlier, baby boy was delivered via scheduled c-section. I was to be at the hospital at 6am on the morning of his delivery, so the hubby and I were up by 5am and out the door by 5:30am. Surprisingly, I slept really well the night before my c-section–it was perhaps some of the best sleep I had gotten throughout the duration of the third trimester. We loaded our bags for the hospital into the car the night before so we wouldn’t have to worry anything that morning.

My mom met us in our driveway and followed us to the hospital that morning. When we arrived, we were escorted to our suite and the fun began. I changed into the hospital gown, sat on the bed and waited as the nurse took my vitals and hooked me up to the fetal doppler. That morning was the most we had ever heard baby boy’s heartbeat and we enjoyed every minute. While listening to his heartbeat, I enjoyed those last moments of feeling and seeing his sweet movements, knowing that in just a couple of hours he would be born and I would never have that opportunity again.

After all the vitals were taken, the IV was inserted and started, baby boy’s heart rate was determined and it was time for the big show. Up to this point I had been so very anxious about the c-section after my doctor’s visit earlier in the week. I worried about post-surgery infections and blood clots, but at that moment–the moment I was being wheeled into the operating room–I was terrified that the spinal wouldn’t work and I would have to go through the c-section without my hubby by my side. He was escorted into a separate room to wash up and dress in scrubs and I was taken to the operating room for the preparations to begin. As I moved onto the table for the spinal procedure, a calm washed over me and I knew everything was going to be fine. I knew the spinal would work, baby boy was going to be healthy and I was going to be healthy after the surgery was completed. I know the Holy Spirit was with me during that time as I felt His calming presence throughout the morning, reassuring me that all was well.

After what seemed like an eternity of pricks in my back, the spinal was completed and I could feel nothing from my chest down. My hubby was brought into the operating room and I was so thrilled to finally see him again. The nurse told me to expect some pressure during the c-section, especially when baby boy was born. She said the pressure would be intense at times, and she was there to administer pain medication as needed. She was not lying. I’m pretty sure that intense pressure and pain are one in the same; at least they are in my book. However, it was all worth it when I heard baby boy’s first precious cries and finally got to see his sweet face.

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Hubby and Baby Boy…and my arm

I requested pain medication. All the pain medication. Seriously people, pain and ‘intense pressure’ are the same thing. Anyway, after baby boy was born and I was able to see him, I fell asleep while the doctor closed me up. I woke up right as they were about to wheel me out of the operating room and remember my doctor telling me that he closed everything up well so we could do this again soon. #Seriously?

When back in my room, baby boy was brought in for skin-to-skin time and our first breastfeeding experience. Honestly, that day was a blur to me because the pain medication kept me in a daze. If I didn’t have pictures documenting that day, I probably wouldn’t remember much after the c-section.

However, the next day I was awake and alert and so thrilled to finally have my sweet baby boy in my arms. Those first few days were so surreal–this blessing that I had prayed for and longed for was finally in my arms, and he was happy and healthy. Our hearts were full.

Our days in the hospital were good days. The entire hospital staff was wonderful with baby boy and me; they were attentive and thoughtful. We couldn’t have asked for better care during that time.

Even though we enjoyed our stay at the hospital, we were thrilled to finally take baby boy home.

Life With Baby Boy

The first few days home were a bit chaotic as baby boy was jaundiced and had to make daily trips to the pediatrician for that first week. He also had to wear a biliblanket to help reduce the jaundice. The biliblanket was effective, but not conducive to cuddling.

After a few days baby boy’s bilirubin level had gone down and the jaundice was on its way out, and we were able to start figuring out life with baby.

For the first four or five weeks, baby boy had his days and nights mixed up, which meant he slept all day and he and I were up ALL.NIGHT.LONG. Thankfully during that time, my mom came over every morning at 8am and watched him while I was able to get some sleep and rest up for another all-nighter. Finally, at about the five week mark, he began sleeping during the night and staying awake during the day–we were all thankful for this little breakthrough. He’s a great little night sleeper now, and typically has a six to seven hour stretch before waking to eat at night.

Baby boy sleeps in our bedroom beside my side of the bed in a bassinet. I can easily see him and hear him throughout the night, and this gives me so much peace of mind. I don’t know what we’ll do when he’s too big for the bassinet as this momma is not ready for him to sleep in his nursery. Co-sleeping is not an option for us as we move around way too much to add a tiny human to the mix.

As I said earlier, I follow a lot of mommy blogs and, for the most part, I find much of the information shared in those blogs helpful and insightful. However, I have learned over the last three months, that you just have to figure out what works for you and your baby and go from there. I’m always in awe of those mommy bloggers who set strict schedules and are somehow able to keep their babies on those schedules. I’ve found that for me it’s easier to follow my little guy’s cues: he eats when he’s hungry, sleeps when he’s tired and plays when he’s awake. We don’t have specific times set aside for these activities, I just follow his lead. In doing this, we’ve actually created a nice little routine that works beautifully for us.

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We’re still figuring this whole parenting thing out, but my hubby and I are enjoying every moment. It’s hard to believe that three months have passed since baby boy came into this world, and it’s even harder to believe how fast he’s changed over the course of those three months. I know he’s going to grow up so fast and we are trying to savor these sweet baby days with him. We are thrilled to be a family of three.

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I hope this post makes up for my seriously long absence from the blogosphere, and I plan to get back to blogging as usual now that baby boy is here and we have established a nice little routine.

As my life changes and evolves, my blog will change and evolve as well. I will be adding a Life as Mommy section where I will share everything I’m learning and loving about my new role. Don’t worry, I’ll still be writing about everything else as well, I’ll just be adding my mommyhood adventures to the mix. Stay tuned to Becoming Dr. Lah, it’s going to be an exciting journey. Believe me!

I’ll leave you with just a bit more baby cuteness before I go…
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Connect with me on social media! Find me on Facebook at Becoming Dr. Lah, on Twitter @Lah1219, on Instagram @becomingdrlah & on Pinterest at lorilah.

Thanks for visiting & please be sure to subscribe to my blog so you can get the latest updates!

Lori :)

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22 Weeks Down; 18 To Go!

Once again, I apologize for my crazy long blog absence. The last few months have been a whirlwind of activity…and by activity I mean doctor appointments (lots of doctor appointments). My OBGYN is very proactive & I’m thankful for their diligence & watchful care. Thankfully my pregnancy has been great & baby is extremely healthy!

AND, by the way, baby is a…

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BOY!!!

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My precious baby boy

Here are a few stats about my pregnancy thus far:

Symptoms:  Finally the terrible 1st trimester symptoms subsided around 17 weeks (THANK GOODNESS)! However, they were replaced with a few weird pregnancy symptoms. Recently I’ve developed pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel & every morning wake up unable to close my right hand (so weird). Pregnancy brain is also in full swing! I’ve never had a memory problem…until now. If I don’t have a reminder (or several reminders), the event/fact may as well not exist. People, the struggle is real. HORMONAL. My hubby would probably tell you this is the worst of the pregnancy symptoms. I have cried more in the past few weeks than I have in my entire life & everything makes me cry–Walmart commercials (weird, I know), episodes of the Golden Girls, my sweet Chihuahua’s innocent eyes, random songs on Pandora, pretty much everything. Typically, I am NOT a crier AT ALL. Like I said, the struggle is real.

Food Cravings: I’ve not had any crazy cravings throughout my pregnancy. However, over the last few weeks, I have developed a crazy appetite (a definite change from my lack of appetite during the 1st trimester). One minute I feel fine; the next I am starving. Yesterday I woke up at 4am with a growling tummy & had to eat something.

Baby Movement:  At my anatomy scan, I found out that I have an anterior placenta (the placenta implanted in the front of my uterus instead of the back). An anterior placenta doesn’t pose any health risks, but it does cushion baby’s movements; making it more difficult for me to feel his punches, kicks & jabs. I can feel subtle movements very low and to the sides, but that’s about all for now. Hopefully as he grows larger, his movements will become more pronounced & forceful & I’ll be able to feel him more often. I feel him a few times everyday, but look forward to feeling full-blown baby gymnastics. I can, however, feel him on my bladder from time to time–this is a very strange sensation (haha).

Maternity Clothes: For the past month or so, I’ve been wearing maternity clothes & I’m truly enjoying the experience! Maternity clothes are seriously the most comfortable clothes EVER! I’ve found some great deals at Destination Maternity, JC Penney & Old Navy & regularly receive coupons via email for all three. If you’re looking for cute maternity clothes at great prices, be sure to check them out!

Baby Clothes & Such: My mom was so excited to finally find out the gender of our sweet baby so she could commence shopping! She’s already bought our little guy quite a few things including these cute goodies:

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It’s needless to say, but this lil guy is going to be spoiled (not only is he our only child, he is my parents’ only grandchild).

Baby Bump: This is a picture from 21 weeks, but I still look pretty much the same this week: 😉

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Hopefully I will do a bit better in the future with my blog updates (I shall try). In the meantime, be sure to follow me on Instagram as I update it throughout the week.

Friends, I sincerely appreciate your prayers during this time–they mean so very much to me! :)

One more picture before I go…
Here’s my sweet furbaby Charlie’s newest t-shirt:

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Thanks for stopping by & have a blessed day!
Lori :) 

 

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