Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Product Review: Udder Covers Revisited & Promo Code

Before Andrew was born, I posted a review and some pictures of my Udder Covers nursing cover HERE. At that point, aside from a bit of shoddy sewing, I was pleased with the $8.95 cover. Now that I am actually breastfeeding, I am in LOVE with it!

I use the cover everywhere I have to nurse in public--friends' houses, coffee shops, you name it. The light cotton fabric keeps me and baby covered, while the stiff collar allows me to retain eye contact. Sometimes he does get too hot under there, though, so I uncover his legs and still retain my modesty. (Let's face it though, when you become a breastfeeding mother most modesty goes out the window.) Also, the cover washed great in my laundromat, which is no small feat!

Sure its still a bit strange that they are perpetually sending out offer codes through which you can get the cover for just s&h ($8.95) and a gift set of cover, breastfeeding bracelet, and washable bra pads for $5 plus s&h, but, since I've come to love the cover, I have come to not question a deal that lets me get one for cheap, cheap, cheap!

I actually kind of wish they had more colors to choose from... if they did, I'd definitely buy another one.

If you're interested in buying from Udder Covers with a promotional code, type in PLANNING for the nursing cover and BABIES for the gift set deal.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Product Review: Boppy Changing Pad Liners

Boppy Pad Liners - The Boppy Company  - Babies"R"Us

Changing pad liners are a must--especially since our little boy likes to surprise attack once his diaper is off! I anticipated this while registering for my baby shower and asked for Boppy pad liners from Babies R Us. ($12.99 for a pack of 3)

The liners I have are perfect in theory. They are waterproof, save you the hassle of changing your pad cover with every mess, are machine washable/dryable, and are not too expensive. But here's the catch: they roll up like a scroll after the first wash, necessitating that you unroll the liner each time you put baby down for a change. ARG!

Since both line-drying and machine-drying caused the liners to roll, I see no way to avoid this except ironing the liners. This tired mama is just not in the mood for that!

I DO have a boppy liner that came with a changing pad cover gift set though that does not roll up and is just WONDERFUL. This liner is softer than the 3-pack liners and has a contrasting outer stitching that coordinates with the sand cover.

The strange thing, however, is that I got the same gift set in sage and it came with one of the annoying liners from the 3-pack. If you order a gift set, I'd be sure to inspect what kind of liner it comes with.

Boppy Cover - Sand - The Boppy Company  - Babies"R"Us

According to the Babies R Us website reviews, it seems that Boppy has realized the design flaw in their liners and has corrected it. So, if you purchased your liners recently and they roll up, I suggest you pop them right back into their packaging and exchange for the new and improved product!

If you bought your liners from BRU and don't have your receipt, here's a little trick: just add the liners to your online registry (create a registry if you don't have one) and manually enter that you received them. Customer service will accept returns on merchandise purchased from your registry, even if you don't have a receipt.

Happy diapering!

Extra 20% Off of Sale Items at through March 27

Just passing along a coupon code for an extra 20% sale items at the
Gap online this weekend! I'm using this as an opportunity to get out of my maternity clothes and into some nice new nursing tops. And, there's great baby and kids gear on sale too.

Enter L1CMBXQ7VQG1 at checkout and you're good to go!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Hospital Newborn Photos

One thing I forgot to mention in my birth story (HERE & HERE) was that I wasn't offered hospital photos of my baby after giving birth at LIJ. While I wouldn't have necessarily ordered a huge photo package, I would have loved to have been given the option!

I can't blame this on the hospital though, as it seems that the outside photographer, Our365, didn't visit with everyone. When I logged onto the hospital's online nursery (a cool concept, because you can send curious relatives to the site) it seemed they skipped whole days at the hospital. Annoying.

Luckily, my family is camera-happy so we have lots of photos of Andrew in his first hours, but if you want a formal hospital photo wherever you give birth, you may need to ask. Perhaps have you significant other remind you to ask for the photographer or write the request down in a birth plan and bring it with you. I know I wasn't thinking about anything but getting to know my baby and the whole thing just slipped my mind!

Some photos from when Andrew as brand-spanking new:

Monday, March 8, 2010

Part 2 of Andrew's Birth Story

Continuing on! Sorry if I left anything out... this story was just getting too long and out of hand!

When the time finally came to push, our delivery room at LIJ burst into full medical TV show mode! The table was raised high, bright overhead lights were put on at the foot of the bed, and the room was filled with 2 nurses, 2 residents, and, eventually, Dr.'s Charnes and Kanarek's covering doctor, Dr. Sturim.

Without going into too much detail, I pushed for 22 literally breath-taking minutes and out came Andrew at 12:02 am! He was 7 lbs 2 oz--a far cry from Dr. Charnes' 9 lb estimate--and had red hair. They placed the baby on my chest, my husband cut his umbilical chord, and then the nurses whisked him to a nearby table to clean him up, weigh him, and take his footprints (you get a copy of the footprints when you leave). Meanwhile, Dr. Sturim took care of delivering the placenta and sewing me up--thank God for the epidural!

Dr. Sturim was super nice, but it was my nurse, Jillian, who really supported me the whole way through. She was the one who held my hand earlier while the epidural was inserted and coached me and my husband through the actual delivery. She was AMAZING. She also tried to bend the hospital rule which allowed only two delivery room visitors so that my dad could come in to see the baby, but was stopped by her (evil) supervisor. I was a bit sad, but Jillian made sure to wheel the baby past my dad on his way to the nursery.

So, after spending an hour alone with Andrew before he went to the nursery, nurse Jillian came by to clean me up and prepare me for transfer to the postpartum ward. Oh how I missed Jillian after that! I felt a little bit lost in postpartum--a nurse swung by immediately to show me where and how to use the bathroom and to ask if I needed pain medication, of course, but after that it was my roommate who basically showed me where to find diapers, extra pads, the dinner menu, etc.

The nurses in postpartum kind of just assumed I knew what to do with a newborn. I thought that they would make sure I knew how to diaper, feed, and bathe Andrew, but you have to be sure to ASK OFTEN for that kind of instruction. Maybe we caught the nurses on a bad night, but my roommate and I felt a bit neglected and my roommate was even told "no" when she asked to be taught how to bathe the baby! Also, we weren't told we couldn't carry our babies into the hall but needed to push them in their bassinets. We were yelled out when we left the room not knowing this... whoops.

They also threw a ton of paperwork at us to fill out and didn't explain much. For example, I was told I needed to watch a video on shaken baby syndrome and fill out a form proving that I had, but nobody would tell me how to watch that video! I was also sent off down the hall to slide Andrew's birth certificate application under a mysterious door... I really was so confused!

Also, on top of being sore like I had run a marathon and unsure about how to take care of a new baby (depsite reading a million books and taking classes), I couldn't figure out how to get the baby to latch on for breastfeeding. The lactation consultant I requested came by and squeezed my nipple really hard, grabbed Andrew by the neck, and shoved him toward my boob, before she finally left saying that we should give it a rest and try again later. Eventually, I just asked the nursery for a bottle of formula because I was afraid Andrew would starve!

Checking out was also a bit of a mess. They wanted me to stay another night, but I opted out of that because I had actually already spent two nights in the hospital (Andrew was born right after midnight.) So, they took FOREVER to get me the forms to leave. They kept forgetting forms and finally, when we could leave, it took forever to get transport.

All that said, my transport was such a nice guy and when he wheeled me out into the sunshine of that unusually balmy January day, I was just overall happy to have a healthy little man and to be healthy myself... and I thank LIJ and my doctors for that.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Andrew's Birth Story & Thoughts on LIJ

As promised, our little boy's birth story, which I'm breaking up into two parts because it is looooooooooong!

On January 14, my husband and I headed to Dr. Charnes' office for an ultrasound to determine the size of our baby. I was 6 days past my due date, and Dr. Charnes found that my amniotic fluid was low and estimated that baby Andrew weighed 9 lbs (yikes!), so off to Long Island Jewish she sent us for an induction. (Dr. Charnes actually said to us during the u/s "Lisa, I think your pregnancy is ending today..." before launching into the explanation, which scared the hell out of us!)

After stopping at home to pick up some last-minute supplies, we drove calmly to the hospital in New Hyde Park. The hospital is undergoing a bit of construction on a new women's center, so we decided to bypass the parking garage for valet parking at the hospital's entrance. The valet cost--like $12--was totally worth it. (Note: Unless you find a spot on the street, you're going to have to pay for parking at the hospital. Annoying, I know.)

The hospital lobby was super crowded, but I was strangely calm and we made our way to the delivery side of the maternity ward, which was thankfully peaceful. I checked in at the nurse's station, saw Dr. Kanarek, who was on-call until later that evening, and was soon set up in a delivery room. Then, Dr. Kanarek did a preliminary exam and he estimated baby to be no bigger than 8 lbs--I was so happy to hear that!

The delivery rooms at the hospital are really small and we only had one visitor's chair. Be sure to ask for another chair if you are going to have two people in the room with you for the long haul. My mom and my husband just rotated, however, since my labor progressed relatively quickly.

Getting hooked up to the antibiotics for Group B Strep and the pitocin was a piece of cake. The nurse inserted the IV super delicately and they slowed down the antibiotic drip when I requested it because my arm was hurting (completely normal with antibiotic). My husband kept an eye on the contraction monitor and about four hours into the induction, I decided to get my epidural. That's when it got a little rough!

The anesthesiologist's assistant came in to take my medical history. After I mentioned some back problems, he launched into a speech about not recommending I get the epidural because I could hurt my back during pushing, not being able to feel when I was in a painful position. Despite him being super stern about it, I decided to go ahead and get the epidural anyway. The insertion was scary, especially because they wouldn't let my husband stay in the room and I kept feeling shooting sensations down my left leg (again, completely normal), but I held onto my amazing nurse Jillian for dear life and soon I was pain free... for awhile!

At this point, I was about 5 centimeters dilated and Dr. Kanarek came in to break my water. I spent the next couple of hours dozing, watching some TV, and flipping over to my side after a scare when baby's heartrate dropped, and about 3 1/2 hours later the returning pain and pressure meant that it was finally time to push!


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Our baby is here!

Sorry for the long delay between posts! Our baby boy was born a week after his due date on January 15 via induction and its been both a wonderful a hectic seven weeks getting used to being a first-time mama. Now that the little one is taking semi-regular naps and we have breastfeeding almost down to a science, I hope to resume our regular posting schedule!

The next post will be a review of my birth experience at Long Island Jewish Hospital in New Hyde Park. Funnily enough, neither Dr. Charnes or Dr. Kanarek were on call to deliver my baby. But, the attending doctor and the LIJ nurses (who did most of the work anyway) were wonderful. The postpartum care, however, left much to be desired...

I'll also write soon about our pediatrician, Dr. Paul, who practices in both Glendale and Astoria. We are super pleased with him and are glad he was suggested to us by a friend (I never did quite get around to interviewing any of the other pediatricians I researched. Oops.)

I'm looking forward to future posts and imparting some of the still-limited mama wisdom I'm gaining. My but the learning curve is steep, but I hope you'll learn along with me!