Thursday, September 26, 2013

my pregnancy essentials

So the babe is already a month old and I didn't know this didn't get posted!  Here's some pregnancy essentials :)

As I am nearing the end (at least I seriously hope that I only have a few hours/days and not weeks!) I thought I would write a list of my pregnancy essentials.  The items/activities/products that have honestly made this time in my life more bearable.  I was blessed with a relatively easy pregnancy, but that doesn't mean I didn't have rough days.  I have had rough, emotional days where I feel like a beached whale and no one understands why I continually cry for no reason.  My classy emotions have been rearing their ugly heads as my anxiety is through the roof waiting for my body to go into labor.  I keep praying that he'll will come soon and rubbing my belly to tell him I'm ready for him.  Clearly I'm not using the experience to strengthen my abilities to have patience.  Anyway, so I don't continue to dwell on the fact that I am still not in labor I thought I'd make this list.  A look back on what has really helped me get through :)    

Food & Drink

Cheese:  I have loved having good, cheddar cheese.  There's a darling little cheese shop on 44th and France that I frequent after my midwife appointments.  When John would go with, he'd go into the attached liqueur store for imported beer and I'd get cheese.  It does not satisfy my want for a good glass of white wine, but it has been good to me for the time being.  I look forward to going there after baby to try the raw cheeses!
-  Water:  Water is so essential for me, especially during pregnancy.  I drink a lot of it, but I hate using glasses.  I always feel like I have to fill them too often.  John and I also try our best not to use plastic, so from the beginning I was in the hunt for a glass water bottle.  For most of the pregnancy I used a purple, glass Camelbak that I got from REI.  (You can find it here on  I removed the straw from the inside, so the plastic didn't sit in the water, but I loved the suction top.  Two weeks ago it sadly got dropped on the floor of the garage and shattered :(  It hadn't been the first time it had contact with the ground though, so I wasn't surprised that it finally broke.  Since then I've been using a Lifefactory glass bottle that I bought John from Whole Foods.  (This one in orange.)  I like that one because it has oz markers so I can better keep track of how much I have, but it doesn't have a suction straw thing, so I regularly have little water dribbles on the front of my shirt.  Overall I have liked them both and would probably buy another.  It's been great to bring everywhere with me which keeps we well hydrated.
-  Here are just a few items that I had to eat to fulfill my pregnancy cravings:  salad with Caesar dressing, taco salads, peaches, clementines, pickles, cookies 'n' cream ice cream, chocolate covered raisins and Alfredo.  

Walking:  John and I have a 2-mile path we've been regularly going to since we moved to the cities.  It's beautiful and it is just a big loop around a lake/swamp.  Comet seems to really enjoy it as well.  For most of my pregnancy John was also training for Grandma's Marathon, so he would run and I would walk with Comet.  It worked almost perfectly for most of the pregnancy because I was considerably slower than usual.  Comet and I could walk the loop for 2 miles while John could run it twice for four miles.  Closer to the end now I'm slower than a snail, but John isn't training anymore, plus he doesn't want me to walk alone.  It's been perfect for me to get in so many walks because it's good for keeping me in shape and I feel so much better mentally after I get some fresh air and a little exercise.  
-  Prenatal Yoga:  I have absolutely LOVED prenatal yoga at Blooma.  (If you live in the cities it is worth checking out!)  I have met a number of good friends there and it is so comforting to be surrounded by other pregnant women.  During their prenatal classes we go around the room and introduce ourselves (Name, Guess Date, Where We're Birthing and a Random Question)  It's a great way to get to know other mommas and a great way to vent frustrations in a safe environment.  Yoga has gotten more difficult as I've gotten bigger, but I still wouldn't trade it for anything.  Between walking and Blooma I feel like I'm in better shape now than I was before being pregnant.  (Click Here for Blooma's Website.)
Being in Water:  I have lived in the pool we have in our backyard and our bathtub for a lot of this pregnancy.  I love water to begin with, but the weightless feeling of it during pregnancy has been such a blessing.  It's the only place that my back isn't hurting and I can truly relax.  It was a lifesaver on the 97 degree days we had in July.

General Products
Snoogle:  I honestly consider this pillow a lifesaver for my sleep.  It is so comfy!  I know that it will be a staple in our house for the rest of the pillow's life.  It will probably continue to be in our bed and John always jokes that he's going to steal it from me in the night.  It is a little expensive, but I consider it totally worth it.  I was able to use a 20% off coupon for it at Bed, Bath and Beyond which is available to anyone who signs up for their text message coupons.  
BooksLabor of Love by Cara Muhlhahn & Baby Catcher by Peggy Vincent:  I read both of these because I wanted to read birth stories.  They were great.  Not incredibly informational as far as labor and delivery info, but great and inspiring stories!  They were fun to read too because their birth philosophies are generally similar to mine.  The Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy by Vicki Iovine:  I read this one because a dear friend bought it for me.  It was informational, but I thought some of the info was very biased.  The author basically did research among her friends and women who've been pregnant.  It helped me learn a few bits of info, but nothing that was life changing.  I also pulled information from Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy and there's one other one that I can't remember the title.  A lot of books out there about pregnancy have very similar information.  It gets repetitive while reading, but I still enjoyed reading them.  I am currently reading The Complete Book of Breastfeeding by Laura Marks and Sally Wendkos Olds.  It is very biased towards breastfeeding, but since that's what I want to do the information has been very helpful and hopefully useful after this little guy comes.     

One Month!

Happy One Month to you baby boy!  It's been a struggle some days, but boy do I love you! 

Height & Weight:  He weighed 7lb 13oz at three weeks and 8lbs 6oz the day after one month.  He's a big, growing boy :)  We don't have to go back to the pediatrician until two months, so I'll have some measurements next month.

Health:  The first week of Kai's life he dealt with high levels of bilirubin in his blood.  Bilirubin is the product in the blood that makes the yellow part of bruises.  Since pushing took me and the babe so long and he came out sunnyside up he had a huge bruise on his head.  Older people are able to process bilirubin, but newborns are not because their livers are underdeveloped.  If it's not taken care of it can cause numerous problems neurologically.  With that said he had an eventful first week.  He had blood taken at the hospital and then each day for three days after we were home to check his levels.  Poor guy had so many marks on his heals.  His levels were so high he had to have a "bili" blanket.  Poor little guy!  He was a champ and didn't mind it.  We worked hard together feeding/eating/staying on the light and got him off of it within 24 hours!  The home health nurse said that's phenomenal. Other than that Kai is a healthy little man!

Kai hooked up to his "bili" blanket.

Sleep:  Kai usually wakes up twice per night every 2.5-4.5 hours.  He is already sleeping in his crib, seems to like it better than the basinet. Thankfully he did so well with the transition because it helps me sleep so much better!

Diet:  Kai is a milk recovery expert (John's nickname after watching Gold Rush).  He is a wonderful eater!  Breastfeeding has not been easy at all, but I'll write an entire post about that :)

Clothes:  He is still wearing all newborn clothing.  It's amazing how tiny the clothing is.  We have no socks that fit him, they are like bags on his feet.  John had to go out to Carter's to pick up a few more outfits because we didn't have enough items that fit him in the beginning.  He is getting bigger though, so I think we'll be moving up in sizes in a few weeks!

Baby Gear Love:  He loves laying in his play gym, listening to the music and looking at the animals. (We have this one.)  I'm very thankful for that gift.  I have been using some Lil' Joey's infant cloth diapers on and off.  A friend lent them to us and they've been great.  It's been a nice, gradual step into cloth diapers.  I can't wait to start using our other dipes :)

Likes:  Snuggling on daddy's warm chest, singing/listening/dancing to music with mommy, his brother Comet, going for walks and making noise.

Dislikes:  Napping in his crib, waiting for food and when his mom takes too long giving him a bath. 

Social:  Kai is smiling at us!  It's such a wonderful feeling!  It's great to see him recognize our voices too.  He knows my voice and his daddy's voice.  He turns his head in the direction of the voices he's hearing.  He's been trying to mimic John's facial expressions as well.      

Milestones: He's smiling.  He follows objects with his eyes.  He can move his head back and forth while on his stomach.  He eats, sleeps and poops, which is typical newborn behavior :)

Nicknames: Boomer, Kai Bo, Baby Boo Boo, Milk Recovery Expert

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Meet Kai Atticus Hammar :)

Our babe has arrived!  He is actually two days shy of two weeks.  That time has been filled with smiles, tears, exhaustion and laughter.  I don't have time to write about it right now as it's almost feeding time, but I just wanted to share that he's here!  We love him to death and of course think he's the cutest little man on the planet!  Thanks for all the love and support during my pregnancy and I promise there will be many posts to come about this sweet little guy!

Kai Atticus Hammar
Born: August 23, 2013 at 7:40am
Weight: 7 lbs 1 oz   Height: 19.5 inches long

To see his newborn session, click here :)