Monday, April 27, 2015

Packing for the BIG trip to the hospital!!

Well, you hit 36-37 weeks and you start hearing that you need to pack a bag for the hospital, just in case, right?? Even though you would have time during the early part of your labor to get things together, it is better to be prepared!! 

37 Week Belly Belly!

So I thought I would do a quick post on what I have brought before and also what I am planning on bringing this time around. Some of these things I brought last time and were definitely worth it, and a few things are new that I have read about from other random blogs online. I would try to be conservative, you won't be there long, and you will leave with more than you came with!

What to pack for Mom:

Pack a little cosmetic bag with your favorite travel sized items... the bag you see here is a 31 bag. Two of my sister in laws sell 31 bags so I have a TON of it! haha!
  • lotion/body wash
  • shampoo/conditioner - yes you will at some point be able to shower and wash your hair! yay!
  • deoderant
  • floss/toothbrush/toothpaste
  • cue-tips
  • compact brush/hair ties/head band
  • kleenex
  • face wipes - these are nice for when you can't shower or if you have a c-section and can't really get out of bed quite yet to wash your face
  • dry shampoo - in case you don't want to wash your hair again or feel like you can't (I will never forget my mom helping me in the shower after my c-section with my hair! What would we do without our mommies!?)
  • hair dryer - I love my hair dryer, so I'm planning on bringing it hehe!
  • makeup - I don't think I put any on after my first birth but some people feel like wearing it!
  • driver's license and medical cards

What to bring for Mom to wear:
  • Nursing Nightgown - I got this one from Macy's. It has an elastic neck so you can pull it down for easy nursing. I am planning on finding another one before baby comes hopefully! This one looks like a good option on Amazon, very similar to the one I own. I usually don't wear nightgowns, I prefer shorts and a top, but regardless of what birth outcome you have, it will be easier for nurses to take care of things for you! ;0)
  • Robe - You will most likely have lots of visitors! I used this a couple of times to cover up really quickly if we had visitors (like my friend's hubbies! hehe!) that I wanted to be more conservative around!
  • Boy Short Undies - These were the BEST to have after birth with Jackson. I normally wear a size small, but I bought these from Target in a size large. You don't want anything restrictive on you after birth, trust me on that! I read online that this style of undies were great for after giving birth and whoever advised that weren't joking!
  • Nursing Bras - I brought a couple of sleep nursing bras and a normal nursing bra. Medela makes great sleep nursing bras, (I would size up, I normally wear a small but I ordered a medium and it fit well.) and this Bravado bra has been my go to for daily wear. Yes, they are a little pricey, but so worth it and so comfortable, and trust me, you want to be comfortable!!
  • Lanolin Cream - Yes, bring your lanolin cream with you, they won't have any at the hospital and you possibly may need some. 
  • Nursing Pads - I like the washable kind of nursing pads. I don't leak a ton, so these are great and easy to change out and wash. The disposable ones aren't nearly as forgiving for soreness, cracking ect. that can happen when you are first beginning with nursing!
  • Slippers for walking the halls or Flip Flops
  • Going home outfit - I usually bring a couple of things because I don't know what I will feel like wearing. Maternity pants are a good go to, you will still look a little prego when you leave! I am also bringing a high waisted maxi dress, those are pretty comfy too. :0)
  • Some people recommend bringing pads ect for after because they prefer specific brands, but I just used what the hospital provided and they were fine.

Yes Dad, that's my bra online for the world to see haha... 
This is something you need to ask about before you go to the hospital... I got this band from the hospital after my first c-section and it was AMAZING. They wrapped me up in this and it helped so much to support my core after surgery. If it is your first birth, I would just ask your doctor if the hospital provides them. If not, you may want to find some kind of belly binder for after birth. There were a couple of times I took this off for an hour or two to wash it and thought I was going to die. It is totally worth it to buy one and bring with you. This Post Delivery Belt is very similar to what I have and would be helpful for either kind of birth I think. These are also good to just help your body "bounce back" a little faster from what I have read. I have also read that other countries are big on wrapping your tummy after birth to help things go back where they belong, and I would agree that this baby helped things go back down a little faster!

What to pack for Dad:

  • Cosmetic stuff
  • Swimming trunks - two of my friends recommended this because their hubbies were in and out of the shower with them helping with back labor 
  • Flip Flops
  • Comfy Clothes for a few days
  • Tennis balls ect. that you may need to use for labor
  • driver's license and medical cards - you definitely want Dad to be able to go into the hospital with you!!!

What to pack for Baby:

For my first birth I brought my whole diaper bag, I know, overkill! haha... but this time I am just bringing my purse/Mommy bag and packing a few things for the baby in my bag. You really don't need as much as you think, just because the hospital provides diapers, wipes, blankets... most of what you need for your new little one. Just think about if there is anything personal you would like to have with you.

  • Going home outfit
  • Couple of newborn gowns - we didn't do this with Jackson but I am bringing a couple this time. for Jude.
  • Nail file - Jackson's nails were SO long, it was bizarre! Just would have been nice to have this so he didn't scratch his face!
  • Burp Cloth
  • Don't forget the infant carseat!

Some other random things for everyone...

  • Sound Machine - seems unnecessary right? But it's not. I would recommend either getting a white noise app or a cheap white noise machine to block out hospital noise from people in the hallway or next door neighbors. We heard a lot from the people next to us with their new little one, and you are already waking with your own baby or nurses coming to take random vitals so the white noise will be nice!
  • Nursing Pillow - I didn't bring this with Jackson but I am this time. I just used a pillow from the hospital but it was hard to balance him on it and he would slide around easily. This is my favorite pillow, not as big as the Boppy and I only had to pay for shipping with a promo code I found. Yep, it was FREE.
  • Snacks - Bring some granola bars, nuts, coconut water to keep you hydrated during labor, and pineapple juice supposedly is good to help with milk supply
  • Phone Chargers
  • Camera
  • Sibling Gifts - We are planning on having Jackson bring a little gift to the hospital for Jude and one for Jude to give him. Just thought it would be fun :0)

Big brother testing out the sound machine, making sure it works!
So these are just some ideas from a Momma! I hope it helps you plan what you need for your trip to the hospital! It is so weird to think that coming home you will not be prego anymore and you will have this new little human with you!! Happy birthing!!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Preggo Pancreas Probs

So you know those words you love to hear when you are preggo... "you scanned high on your one hour glucose test, we want you to come back for the three hour test..." I heard it with my first pregnancy and now with my second. So like a good little patient I went back for the three hour test with my first pregnancy and they said I was fine... but I had a rough birth and postpartum recovery and have lost a lot of trust with medical care providers since then. Not that I think they are bad because believe me I am THANKFUL for the medical options we have here! So Thankful! But what I mean by that is that I question things now. I don't just do what they do tell me to do, because that is why I had so many issues with my first birth. I just want to be informed, I want to know my options, I want to know if what I am doing to my body is necessary or the best for my health. 

With my second pregnancy, I heard the same thing from the nurse over the phone but I asked if I had other options besides the drink. The drink makes me feel horrible, I feel bad the rest of the day, and my baby goes NUTS inside my belly for that hour or three hours I'm waiting, so it really made me question if this was the best route to take. She was annoyed with me and said she would talk to my doctor and call me back. My doctor said I could get a meter and check my blood for a couple of weeks, because I scanned just two points outside of the cut off. So guess what... HEB has cheap meters, lancets and strips. I spent like $30 and took my blood 4 times a day for a little over a week. Here's why I liked this approach... this is me on a normal daily basis and what I normally eat. I don't normally go drink a glucose packed drink and sit for an hour. I could see at each meal how what I ate effected my blood sugar, and at first things were great, but then we hit the weekend and ate out a couple of times and my blood sugars were soaring! So my doctor had me go to a nutrition class and my insurance provided the meter you see below. So I have just continued to monitor what I eat and it hasn't been that bad! 

The thing with the drink test, is that sometimes it can miss people. The nutritionist I talked with told me this! And personally I think I was missed on my first pregnancy. I normally have very low blood sugar and have to eat often, so my "high sugars" might have been in the normal range for other people if that makes sense.  I gained more weight during my first pregnancy and was much more swollen at the end. This pregnancy I have gained 10 lbs less and have not been swollen at all, and I am telling you that it is because my new doctor "caught" me this time! 

You can also scan high on part of the three hour but not all of it and still not be labeled as having gestational diabetes, per nutritionist referenced earlier. Also, I read some online posts about what is in the drink and it kind of freaks me out that it is U.S. practice to have every pregnant woman drink something that has chemicals in it that other countries have banned and use for flame retardants, chemicals that build up in our bodies and can get into our breastmilk. And we wonder why so many of us have cancer? Sorry if I sound cynical, but I am a realist, and I don't understand why we don't have options as patients that are healthier for us in the long run. I have friends who have used midwives and they have other more natural methods, eating certain kind of meals and checking blood sugar afterwards. Check out this link about the drink itself. The nutritionist also told me that there has been a lot of talk about going to a 2 hour test like they do in Europe, because it is more accurate, but it is very controversial because then more women will be labeled as having gestational diabetes, therefore more it will be more expensive for insurance companies in the long run. See, they really do have our best interest at heart, right?? Eeek!

So, I don't know about you but I have the most horrible cravings for anything baked or sweet during the last part of my pregnancy. Ice cream is my best friend... but not this time around. When I first found out that I had GD, I was a concerned and like great, what can I eat?! But thankfully, I can tolerate some carbs, I just have to count them. The nutritionist class helped show us options for meals and snacks, and basically how many carbs to have at each meal or snack to keep your blood sugars in check. It's really amazing how many carbs we consume without even realizing it! 

I like this diagram from the Texas Children's Hospital Education, it shows you your insulin requirements as your pregnancy goes on. So the farther along you are, the more careful you should be because your body has a harder time processing carbohydrates and sugar since it isn't producing enough insulin. 
The way that TCH advised me to handle my diet, was to allow a certain number of carbs per meal and snack...
  • Breakfast: 15-30 grams of carbs
  • Morning Snack: 15-30 grams 
  • Lunch: 45-60 grams
  • Afternoon Snack: 15-30 grams
  • Dinner: 45-60 grams
  • Bedtime Snack: 15-30 grams
As my pregnancy has progressed, I have tried to cut back a little more just because my blood sugar numbers have been creeping up a little bit. I feel like the name of this game is to just make sure you are spreading out your carbohydrates appropriately throughout the day. Obviously a Paleo diet would probably be most ideal for gestational diabetes, and I tried that kind of diet after having Jackson, but for whatever reason, it has been so much harder pregnant to stick to that! Chalk it up to hormonal cravings I guess! So I thought I would list out some of the meals and snacks I eat just in case anyone else is in the same boat!

Some breakfast ideas...

  • Eggs
  • Bacon, Sausage, Turkey Bacon
  • Yogurt
  • Piece of Toast (Buttered or with SunButter)
  • Breakfast Sandwich on English Muffin
  • Fruit 
  • Omlet

Some lunch ideas...

Grilled Sandwich with side of Fruit
(Watch out for bread, different brands have different carb counts in them!)
Salads are my best friend... Add some avocado, Chicken or even Turkey lunchmeat (heated), some boiled eggs and you are good to go!
Cheese and chicken or bacon quesadilla with a side of salad for lunch!
Some snack ideas...
  • yogurt (watch the carbs, these can be crazy!) with some granola
  • cheese
  • nuts
  • I would also heat up lunch meat and roll up some cheese with inside
  • Sunflower butter - great alternative to peanut butter
  • Guacamole and a few Tostito Chips
  • Tuna fish salad and Rice crackers
  • Fruit
  • Humus and Bell pepper
Some dinner ideas...

This Chicken Margarita Soup is such a yummy soup and so easy to make! I even did a side of mexican cornbread with it!
One of my favorite dinners - spaghetti on spaghetti squash! Don't be intimidated by the spaghetti squash, it is so easy to bake! Just cut in half, pour on some olive oil after scooping out the insides, flip the two halves upside down and bake on 400 for 45 minutes!
Another easy meal, have your hubby grill burgers! So easy to just eat the hamburger patty with some sides! 
I don't have a picture for these two, but this BBQ pulled pork was yummy on top of a baked potato! Just make sure your potato isn't HUGE! I also made these Chicken Caeser Wraps and just had it on salad. My hubby had the wrap part, and you could too, just watch your carbs! Also, tacos or nachos are easy to make as well and something you can monitor easily. You'll notice that a lot of these meals are easy, because at this point I am tired and running around after an almost two year old!! Look on Pinterest for more meal ideas, there are a ton out there!

Couple of other tips... become a plant! Hah, just kidding, but drinking liquid chlorophyll each day, twice a day, helps with circulatory and digestive health. I thought it might be weird but I kind of crave the minty flavor now! Got this bad boy off of my favorite Amazon of course. Came right to my door, the kind of service I like! Lasts for a long time because you only drink 1 tsp per glass of water.

Another tip, suggested by my friend who also has GD... I know, what are the odds that both of us had it when it only occurs in 3-9% of pregnancies?!? She told me to drink milk at night. This helps your body regulate your sugars while you are sleeping and help you with your fasting number when you get up in the morning. 

Well, there you have it, my thoughts on gestational diabetes... Good luck to anyone that has it, because it can be trying at times to manage, especially if your body doesn't tolerate carbs at all! And it gets harder as your pregnancy progresses because of the baby's needs for insulin! Hang in there! It will be worth it in the end when you have a healthier pregnancy and a healthy baby!