Friday, June 18, 2010

Baby Decisions


With 6 weeks until Baby Agbai's arrival I've decided to do a post on my baby decisions based on all the information I've taken in during the pregnancy, from watching my own mother and from my personal experience with babies after years of babysitting. I've decided to break this post into themed sections:

Books

There really is so much information out there and while it was easy to go on information overload there were really only two books that I found helpful:

A good friend of mine recommended Ina May early in the pregnancy and while I wanted to have a home birth, I appreciate how Ina May explains how to make the most of a hospital birth. 

I read WTEWYE off and on during the pregnancy to stay on top of weekly pregnancy updates as well as the sections on nutrition and exercise. I think it's a good reference book as well when different symptoms and issues arise during pregnancy. If something feels odd or strange I just pick up the book and flip right to it.

Now I did read Belly Laughs and The Girlfriend's Guide, but both were a bit too fluffy, but I took them for what they're worth - light, humor. 

Websites

Honestly, I really didn't have specific pregnancy related websites that I read throughout the pregnancy, but I did like reading 3DPregnancy.com because of the funny, weekly updates on how the baby was developing. This is where I found the updates to put in my Baby Agbai reports. 

Besides that site, I did subscribe to The Bump's and Pregnancy.com's newsletters but I usually just scanned through them. At times if I saw an article that looked interesting I would click through. For example, "what to pack in your hospital bag" or "what baby essentials to buy."

Apart from the guide-type websites, I frequented blogs of moms at various stages of pregnancy and motherhood. A couple of my favorites are:
One final place I did take a peek at was an ongoing thread on Amazon that's about 2 years' worth of baby advice that women just keep adding to. There's some good tips there but it's not organized in any themed way so you just have to click around randomly to find tips. It'd be a good blogger/book project for someone to organize all the info there, but I'm not volunteering for that anytime soon!

Birthing

I keep reading about having a birth plan or creating birth wishes and one of the bloggers mentioned above has a detailed letter that she's giving to the staff at the hospital along with a basket of goodies when she arrives for labor. I've wavered on this because I know that while it's good to make a plan, very rarely do things go according to plan especially when the forces of nature are involved. 

There are some basic things that I've shared with Uka and will put in writing for him to help me communicate to the staff such as:
  • No epidural or chemical pain relief until I ask for it; I'm planning on going drug-free 
  • No pitocin to speed up contractions - my baby will come when she's ready
  • I want the ability to get in different positions such as all-fours or squatting while giving birth; giving labor on your back was created during the Victorian era as a way for ladies to be "dainty" and is the most inefficient position for birth
  • Baby will have skin-to-skin contact with me immediately after birth
  • No cutting of the cord until it's stopped pulsing
  • Baby Agbai will room-in with me; unless there's health complications there's no reason to separate a baby from its mother after birth in another room 

Overall, I think American hospitals treat pregnancy as illness and rush to get the moms in and out as soon as possible. It's not that I want to hang out there myself, but I'm going to go through pre-labor as long as possible at home before going to the hospital (our neighborhood car service comes in 2 minutes and it's a 7 minute drive away). I hate watching the Baby Story episodes where the moms go in as soon as contractions start then they're propped up in a bed for hours on end and finally given pitocin or taken in for a C-section. UGHHHH! That will not be me if I can help it! 

Baby Care 

Diapering  

My mom used cloth diapers with me and it's so amazing to see how far they've come. We'll be using a couple different systems (Bum Genius and G Diapers). It really is more economical, better for the environment and with our washer dryer right by the nursery it will be easy to get the loads done quickly. Our w/d even has cycles for kids and sanitation so I think it'll be a good set-up for us.

Look how cute they are:


Now I came across this Huggies commercial for the new denim diapers. I can't believe this is actually a product:



Feeding 

I am a big fan of breastfeeding and I plan to do so as long as I can. Hopefully until Baby Agbai is one year old. The benefits and the economics make a lot of sense. I'm always surprised when I watch pregnancy shows, especially 16 and Pregnant (not the greatest, I know!) and the moms don't breastfeed, but honestly based on the intelligence level of some of the women on the show it appears they weren't breastfed either. 

I have a library hold on Ina May's Guide to Breastfeeding, and I'm hoping it arrives before the baby does (there are 13 others ahead of me!), but I may just break down and buy it.

Kellymom is a good breastfeeding resource and here are a few benefits of breastfeeding I've learned through them:
  • Breastfeeding reduces the risk of cancer for the mom and the baby girl's lifetime risk
  • Breastfed babies have better dental health
  • Breastfeeding completes an infant's digestive system; a breastfed baby's stomach lining is 15x thicker than a formula fed baby
  • Breastfed babies are better eaters as toddlers
Once baby starts eating solids I plan to make her baby food; my cousin gave me a baby food processor as a shower gift and my sister gave me a baby food cookbook. I also have several storage containers too. I hope Baby Agbai is as passionate about good food as her parents!

Toys

Besides not watching TV, I plan to minimize Baby Agbai's interaction with electronic toys. It seems like everything beeps or buzzes nowadays and I remember growing up annoyed with my siblings' toys that were constantly making noises. Not only do they emit EMFs but they also require so many batteries. I'm a pretty quiet person myself and I don't like the sound of squeaking, chirping toys. 

We don't have any toys yet for Baby Agbai, but Uka and I already made a pact not to let baby toys or baby stuff in general take over our apartment. Her room has a large closet that we'll contain everything in and if we need to bring stuff out we're already committed to returning it back to its proper place. I hate clutter!

Now I do love classic toys, and I've bookmarked a few sites that specialize in them. Here are a couple toys that I plan to have for Baby Agbai when she's ready: 

 
Sleeping 

Uka and I are adamant about not having Baby Agbai in our bed. My parents didn't, his parents didn't, me and my siblings and his all turned out fine. Not only is there the risk of rolling onto the baby (there are hundreds of injuries/deaths from babies in their parents' beds each year), but we're firm believers in the sanctity of the bedroom and especially the parents' bed. It's also the reason why we don't have a TV in the bedroom. Maintaining the sanctity of the bedroom also helps with romance, which we're very much committed to. I've heard so many people say, "Oh romance goes out the window with kids" but that's a choice you make just like anything else. We find ways to treasure those things we find most important for and for me that's romance and intimacy. No compromises!

I don't know anyone nowadays that has the baby in a co-sleeper, but we plan to use one. For those of you who don't know what that is, it's a bassinet that has a side that drops and a harness that attaches to the bed's boxspring:


While we'll have the baby in our room for a few months, ideally we'll have her in her own room around 3 months old. I'm a big fan of setting up a bedtime routine as soon as possible so we'll see how it goes and adjust from there. 

General Baby Products

We registered on Amazon's universal registry and while I've tried to keep it under control there are soooo many products out there for babies. Most of them are pretty useless, but I don't blame companies for trying because many parents and soon-to-be parents seem to be suckers for anything!

I mean do you really need an infant pillow in the shape of hands that makes a baby feel comforted???


When it comes down to baby products I think Baby Agbai will be fine in just a cloth diaper, a boob in her mouth and the love Uka and I are ready to give her. Everything else is just gravy!

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Of course it will be interesting to see how all these baby ideas play out over the next few months and I'm definitely willing to adjust. It'll be good to see a comparison of plan vs. reality. I'm sure I'll have a few wake-up calls, but I'm so happy to have Uka with me along the way so we can learn together. 

I feel confident and ready to be a mother and can't wait to meet Baby Agbai! 


3 comments:

  1. I love that you have everything figured out and ready to go! It will make things so much easier not only once your little one gets here, but they day of her arrival too! I was so glad that I had taken the time to discuss birth plans and everything with my husband instead of assuming he wouldnt be interested (he better have been interested, lol), because it was great tohave someone who could speak for me, and had my back!

    On the breastfeeding book though, if you're not able to get it through your library, I wouldnt buy it. I read two different ones (The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, and The Nursing Mothers Companion) and they really didnt tell me anything that wasn't available on kellymom! It really is an excellent, and very thorough resource!
    I wish I hadnt been scared and went ahead with the cloth diapers! I thought that I would be too overwhelmed at the beginning, and not want the added chore of extra laundry, but most of the ladies that had their babies around the same time I had Izzy did cloth and it went great! I keep telling myself we're going to make the switch, but I keep ending up frustrated trying to wade through all the different types and brands, lol. Someday though!

    In any case, before I write a whole blog post in your comments section, I wish you the very, very, best of luck! It sounds like you guys are ready!

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  2. also, there's something weird going on with your coding around your comments section. I can look at it for you and see if I can fix it if you would like me too! Just email me! christina@beingmrsjones.com

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  3. It is definitely interesting to see how the plans turn out versus reality. We all have to do what works for us and you really don't know that until it is in your face. My plans were very similar to yours but things don't always go as planned.

    I bought a ton of cloth diapers and used them when he was a newborn. Keeping up with them wasn't too big of a pain. I didn't like how bulky the cloth diapers were though when he was tiny. You load them up overnight to prevent leaks and the baby can't even lay flat on his back without his bottom in the air! Makes their clothes fit funny too.

    My investment was all for naught though. My husband was scared of using the cloth and and I kept buying disposables for him until I just gave in. We don't have rashes or too many blowouts so I'm fine with it....maybe the environment isn't though.


    I'm with you on the not sleeping in the bed thing. That is one thing I planned but didn't stick too and completely regret it. We are at 9 months now and he is kicking me in the back at night. The crib is in OUR room and not his own. Ugh! Next time around we will handle the sleeping thing much differently.

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