Slow Turning

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Oh Baby…Packing for the hospital and getting ready for labor

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Getting pregnant was the easy part; getting ready for the baby has been a bit more challenging.

Preparing to get ready for a new baby has proven to be overwhelming, at least for me. Especially as I was trying to determine what I needed to pack for the hospital. Not only did I not know what to expect, I didn’t know what I needed, both at the hospital and once I got home.

In the hopes that this may help someone else, here is what I went through and what I found to be useful.

Am I in labor?

My doctor had told me that I would know I was in labor because the contractions would be unlike anything I had ever felt before. This was true once I was at the hospital but prior to my water breaking, my early contractions just felt like the back pain I get with my menstrual cramps.

In fact the whole day I was in labor I had a bunch of underwhelming signs that could easily be chalked up to late pregnancy symptoms:

  • Spotting – This happened early in the morning but I was 3 weeks away from my due date so I didn’t worry that much about it.
  • Fatigue – I had just recently cut back on my 12-hour workdays and was wrapping up my last day at work. I was tired in general so being tired on the day I went into labor didn’t stand out.
  • Constipation – This was common throughout my pregnancy but it was more bothersome than usual, however, I was getting bigger & more exhausted…everything was harder.
  • Lower back pain – My back was killing me once I got home but it took me 3 hours to get home from work, so I assumed it was due to the long car ride.

After I was home and had been lying in bed for awhile, I called my doctor’s office to get an opinion on whether or not I should be worried. I was more concerned about possible complications than going into labor. The nurse wasn’t too concerned about my symptoms but said to call back if I started experiencing contractions or if my water broke.

About 2 hours later, my water broke. It came gushing out as if I was in a movie.

While we waited for our ride to the hospital (my husband had had a few drinks while working in the yard), we started getting our stuff together. Here is what I packed and used.

Are we there yet?

I live about an hour away from the hospital so there was some thought that went into what I needed on the car ride to the hospital.

Depends – Once my water broke, I never stopped leaking. I wore a pair after my water broke until my ride showed up. I put on a new pair for the drive to the hospital. (I also wore a pair on the car ride home from the hospital.)

Goodnites Disposable Bed Mats –I laid this down on the car seat & put a towel on top of it. (If I had leaked through the depends, I would have thrown out the towel & the pad.) If you have pee pads for pets, they would work just as well.

Is this the penthouse?

For my hospital stay, I read a lot about bringing my own robe and nightgown but for me, it was easier to wear the hospital gown. I was weak, tired, and trying to adjust to having a new baby. The last thing I wanted to do was try to change what I was wearing. Plus, with all of the nurse check ups and bleeding, the hospital gown was just easier. (I also wore the hospital undies. They are hideous but I was thankful for them.)

Cash – I brought quarters and one dollar bills just in case we needed anything from the vending machines.

Extension cord – The outlet wasn’t close for me to charge my phone so this was helpful so that I could stay connected to everyone while I was in the hospital.

Going home outfit – I packed maternity leggings, tank tops, and an oversized shirt. I figured layers were my best option so that I could dress depending on the weather and how I felt.

Nursing bras – I know nothing about nursing bras but had read that it’s good to have 3 – 1 that you’re wearing, 1 for back up, and 1 that is in the laundry. I found this 3 pack and they worked well for me.

Toiletries – I packed my typical toiletries but really only used my contact lens solution & toothbrush/toothpaste. It was nice to be able to clean up when I felt like it.

I did not need socks or slippers for walking around. I was only in the hospital for he required 24 hours and I spent the whole time resting or sleeping. My hospital also provided a bag with all the things they gave me, so packing an extra bag was unnecessary. If I had to do it all over again, I probably would have packed my baby’s going home outfit & blanket in my suitcase instead of packing his baby bag.

Where’s the nurse?

While I was happy to leave the hospital, I did miss having the nurse available at the touch of a button. Even though I was anxious to be alone with a newborn, I was definitely happy to be home. These are some of the things that made being home easier.

Depends – I wore Depends for about the first week I was home. It was one less thing for me to worry about.

Perineal Cold Pack – These were a lifesaver once I got back home since the hospital ice packs were no longer available.

Tucks Medicated Cooling Pads – These were another lifesaver. I kept the Tucks in one bathroom and the pads from the hospital in another bathroom.

Always Maxi Pads – After I stopped wearing depends, I moved on to maxi pads.

Always Panty Liners – After I stopped wearing maxi pads, I started using panty liners.

Nursing nightgown – I love this nightgown. It is perfect for middle of the night feedings. It’s also tight enough to provide some support so that I don’t need to wear my nursing bras at night.

Donut Cushion – I was thoroughly unprepared for the recovery & wish I would have had this sooner. I used my baby’s boppy until the donut arrived.

Where are the instructions?

It’s a joke everyone makes but it really would be helpful if there were instructions. Here are some things that I found useful for the baby once I was home.

Baby classes – I recommend signing up for as many classes as you can. I really enjoyed the breastfeeding and car seat classes. I ended up missing the child preparation class because I was in the hospital recovering from giving birth. (Probably a good idea to schedule classes prior to week 36).

Hooter Hider – This is great for breastfeeding in public or even at home when guests are over.

Baby Carrier – My baby does not sleep while in his car seat while I’m shopping so the baby carrier has been a lifesaver. My friend gave me this one, otherwise I probably would have bought an infant insert for my other baby carrier.

Since I’m breastfeeding, I am thankful to have had the Kiinde breast milk storage recommended by a friend. (I am currently working on pumping, but that’s another story.)

Newborn sized clothing & socks – My baby was almost 7.5 pounds at birth, so it was helpful to have newborn sized clothing. Even though he didn’t wear the newborn size very long (5-6 weeks), I’m thankful he had enough onesies, pajamas, and socks to get him through the early weeks.

Diaper Changing Station – Another recommendation from a friend, but I like having everything for changing a diaper all in one place.

Sensitive skin – Since I have sensitive skin, I have made the assumption that my baby also has sensitive skin and have used

Babyganics wipes & dry cleansing cloths for his diaper changes.   Cosmetics Database has been a good resource for what ingredients are in products.

Baby Swing – I opted for a baby swing instead of a Mamaroo, mostly due to price, but I don’t regret my decision. The swing is great for rocking my baby when I am too tired to hold him and he’s tired enough to sleep but is fighting laying down in his bassinet or crib.

coach-baby-bag

 

Written by rachel

October 24, 2016 at 5:05 am

A Violation of Speed

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What is the over/under on the chances that the Municipal Court of Seattle will actually respond to my inquiry?

Municipal Court of Seattle

Box 34109

Seattle, WA 98124-1109

Hello,

Today (5/13/2015) I received a notice, dated 5/11/2015, that I received a ticket for a violation that occurred on 4/10/2015.

I tried calling 206-684-5600 to speak with Customer Service, however, after being on hold for a half hour, there was an automated message telling me that there was no one available to take my call.

I am trying to get more information about the violation, like where it happened and if it happened in the morning or evening.

I am also trying to understand why notice is not sent out on a violation that happened on 4/10/2015 until 5/11/2015 but I only have until 5/26/2015 to pay the fine before being sent to collection.

Please let me know if there is a better number I can call so that my questions may be answered promptly.

Regards,

Written by rachel

May 13, 2015 at 4:40 pm

What Is Love?

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As I was writing Christmas cards to my nephews, I was stuck trying to tell them why I loved them. Which then got me wondering, what is love?

I don’t love them for anything they do or don’t do. I don’t love them for the way they look or don’t look. I don’t even love them for what they believe in or don’t believe them. I love them simply because they are alive and I can’t imagine having to live without them. But how do I say that in a Christmas card?

Karma

With everything in the news, and all of the debates I’ve been having with friends, I was reminded about the ultimate justice: karma. It is the greatest equalizer when it comes to injustice.

And while karma may take care of past wrongs, a quote from the series finale of the Newsroom seemed relevant to the protests that are currently taking place, “We just decided to.” The movements may not help the people who have already lost their lives, but they just might help someone tomorrow.

So here’s to the players from the:

St Louis Rams: Davin Joseph, Stedman Bailey, Tavon Austin, Jared Cook, Chris Givens, and Kenny Britt

Cleveland Browns: Johnson Bademosi, Andrew Hawkins

Cleveland Cavaliers: LeBron James & Kyrie Irving

Detroit Lions: Reggie Bush

Knox College: Ariyana Smith

University of Maryland: Deon Long

Chicago Bulls: Derrick Rose

Brooklyn Nets

LA Lakers

Georgetown Hoyas

Here’s hoping that in 2015 we are able to turn the page and honor those who have unjustly lost their lives by holding those guilty accountable for their actions.

Jon Stewart - law enforcement

 

 

 

 

Written by rachel

December 15, 2014 at 9:59 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

“Boobs on the Ground”?

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True Boots

Image by al3in_boy,  borrowed from the interwebs. Image by al3in_boy, borrowed from the interwebs.

Many of us are immensely proud of Maj. Mariam Al Mansouri of the United Arab Emirates Air Force who was the first female pilot from her country to fly combat missions over Syria this week. Prior to becoming a pilot, Maj. Mansouri was a soldier in the UAE Army.

The UAE has long been an important ally of the United States, and I have fond memories of Emirati soldiers welcoming me in for meals once or twice a week at Bagram Airfield back in 2006, when I’d go there with my Egyptian and Korean colleagues to eat the best food to be found on a military installation in Afghanistan–plus they welcomed us to play pool and ping pong in their nicer-than-American-standards recreational building. They were profoundly hospitable, and never once did they make me feel any less valued or welcome because I am a woman. And…

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Written by rachel

September 29, 2014 at 9:52 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Far from Seattle, a few thoughts on ‘American Hustle’

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New To Seattle

See update at end of story

In 1980, as a newspaper reporter on the Philadelphia Bulletin,  I appeared one day on a local “Meet The Press”-type TV show panel to ask questions of the guest. And it was quite a guest: Angelo J. Errichetti, the powerful mayor and state senator in Camden, N.J., the down-and-out city just across the Delaware River. He had just been caught in an FBI undercover sting operation taking a $25,000 cash bribe from an FBI informant and helping to arrange for various political associates–including a half-dozen Congressmen and a U.S. senator–to take bribes.  All of it videotaped, too.

Facing indictment in what was known as Operation Abscam, Errichetti couldn’t say much about the case. But at some point–I can’t remember if it was during the show taping or afterwards–I actually asked who should play him in the movie should one ever be made about…

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Written by rachel

January 9, 2014 at 2:08 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Post Marked (by Mark R. Trost)

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This book really struck a chord with me on several different levels.  The style of writing for the book threw me, but once I understood how it was written and what I was reading, I loved it even more.  (Again, it took me awhile to figure this out….and I will put all of the blame on the quality of books that I have been reading of late.  In no way could the blame lie with myself.)

What stood out to me:

Style of Writing

At 800+ pages long, it was a way to keep me engaged in the book itself.

Living Alone

From the chapter Beside Myself.  The quote: “The true casualty is the loss of one’s self of proportion.”  

Since I am an introvert and very private person who has lived alone for so long, part of my fear of letting someone else in is just that. Letting someone else in.  I don’t know that my “secrets” are truly secrets but, when I am home, everything I do is a private matter.  Having someone else around is like an invasion of privacy and every moment is compromised.  It requires me to be thoughtful of another person since it is not just about me and what I want to do, when I want to do it. The other person could make plans that would include me.  

I really am just becoming more selfish the longer I live on my own.  I fear I will only grow more comfortable being by myself and more lonely when I am with other people.

Ending Friendships

From the chapter Ambushed.  The quote (from Fault Lines): “Why can’t you love people who are less than you expect them to be?

In the book, the character walks away from a 30 year old friendship.  They try to reconnect but in the end, the friendship is over.  This bothered me more than I care to admit.  And I couldn’t put my finger on it, until I realized that I don’t consider my friendships optional.  This is somewhat at odds with my belief that people are in our lives when we need them (thanks to Danielle Steel’s The Gift), but there are certain people I will always be friends with.  No matter how long we go without speaking or seeing each other, I know that when I see them again, the time apart won’t matter.  This isn’t true for everyone I know but if you’ve been in my life for 30 years, chances are, you’re in it with me for the long haul.  And this is where Bon Jovi comes in: “Through the years and miles between us, it’s been a long and lonely ride, but if I got that call in the dead of night, I’d be right by your side.”

Religion

The quote (from Creationism vs Evolutionism): “I don’t limit God just because I’m too limited to understand Him.”

Living in a time when people are more concerned with being spiritual and less committed to any faith, it was really refreshing to read about a character committed 100% to his religion and willing to defend it.  Even though I am one of the people who is more about faith than religion, I can’t imagine practicing any other religion.  For me, Catholicism is a religion that gives whatever you put into it.  If I run through the motions of mass, I walk away feeling empty.  However, if I pray and listen and am open during mass, I walk away feeling better, refreshed.

Marriage

From the chapter Gay Marriage: A Civil Argument. The quote: “It is a movement about having the right to be treated with civility.”

I don’t understand how we can live in a country that refuses to recognize the union of two consenting adults who want to be legally bound to each other.  My only that is that, as a Catholic, I am meant to love and accept people for who they are.

Leaving a Mark

The character wanted to leave his mark, especially with his writing, which was his profession.  This probably struck a chord with me more than anything else.  I realized that the past two years have been a blur for me.  No day stands out from another, they all meld into one and I can’t even remember what I did or why did what I did.  I don’t remember conversations or moments.  Thinking about this made me sad.  What is my life if I can’t look back and remember happy times and fun moments?  Even the bad moments are worth remembering if it means I don’t make those mistakes again.  However, I have been so caught up in work, that I have nothing but a blended blur of “stuff that happened.”  Given how little I remember, I am sure that I was even less memorable than the memories I have.  I am not sure what makes me sadder; not remembering or not being remembered.

Valediction

From the chapter Yes or Know.  The quote: “We won’t tell the people we love that we care.”

This reminded me of a conversation I had with my brother.  He told me that he always told people he loved them because he never knew if he would see them again.  Until his words, I never felt that way.  Since then, I tell him, his wife, his kids, and our mom I love them, but they usually have to say it first.  

 

Written by rachel

July 16, 2012 at 11:50 pm

My Dad

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Everyone thinks they have the world’s greatest dad, but I actually did. There is nothing about him that I would’ve changed. If not for my dad, I wouldn’t know what type of person I want to be. He was amazing in every way. He always let me do things my way, until I couldn’t, and then he’d step in to help me finish whatever I started. I think that’s the hardest thing about not having him with me. He’s not here to help me when I don’t know what to do next.

Sometimes I feel as though I don’t know who I am, but I always know who I want to be. I’m reminded of it whenever I’m with my nephews or even someone else’s kids. I think the only way I know how to show them I love them is to spend time with them; there is nothing that means more to me.

Wherever he is, I hope he knows how much I love him. And miss him.

Written by rachel

May 3, 2010 at 9:04 pm

Posted in Life, Uncategorized