We Welcome a New Baby Boy!

Baby Boy is Here!

Welcome Grandson

our new little

baby boy.

we are thrilled you are here

there is no one like you

little boy.

you are amazing

you are unique.

we pray for you

we thank God for you.

we are blessed

to have

you are in our lives.

May God Watch Over You

and

Always Be At Your Side

Tiny Little One.

Baby Boy

Little Hands

 There is nothing like the birth of a child to show us the miracle that is life itself!

pregnancy at 38 weeks

Pregnancy at 38 Weeks

Pregnancy at 38 weeks

Baby at 38 weeks

Your baby now weighs probably close to 7 pounds at 38 weeks of pregnancy and is almost 20+ inches long … the size of a leek in length. He can grasp and his organs have matured to the point where he is ready to live outside your uterus.

The big question now is when will he arrive?

 

Baby at 38 weeks

Source: Your pregnancy: 38 weeks | BabyCenter

Eye color can be perplexing, at first they may be dark and if they are brown they may remain brown as that is a dominant gene. If your baby’s eyes are gray or dark blue, they may change to green, hazel or even brown but they may remain blue. A baby’s iris, that is the colored part of the eye may gain more pigment after he is born so they may get darker, they more than likely will not get lighter.
Your life is now a waiting game.

  • Make time now to prepare for your baby’s actual homecoming. Get stuff ready, you will be glad you did when you bring him home on that first day.
  • Take naps whenever you can.
  • Spend time with your significant other.

Warning Signs for Preeclampsia

Some swelling in your feet and ankles is normal during these last weeks, but call your practitioner without delay if you notice excessive or sudden swelling of your feet or ankles, more than slight swelling of your hands, any swelling in your face or puffiness around your eyes, or have a sudden weight gain. Also let her know immediately if have severe or persistent headaches; visual changes (such as double or blurred vision, seeing spots or flashing lights, light sensitivity, or a temporary loss of vision), intense upper abdominal pain or tenderness, or nausea and vomiting. These are symptoms of a serious condition called preeclampsia.

“If you have other children, let them help you plan a low-key birthday party for the new baby, complete with a birthday cake and decorations. From their perspective, it’ll add to the perks of having a new baby in the house.”
– Kate

This week:

Catch up on reading about baby care so you aren’t too overwhelmed by all the information you get right after you deliver. The first few days postpartum can be busy and you can be inundated with information.

Okay, I have to apologize for the late post. My daughter delivered this week just shy of 38 weeks. She had a very healthy little boy, who weighed 7 pounds and 7 ounces. He was almost 21 inches long. We call him a compact little newborn. Mom, Dad and Baby Boy are doing well at home adjusting to each other.

One thing you can count on about pregnancy toward the end is you can expect the unexpected and not be disappointed. We are counting our blessings this weekend. I wish you all the best.

Pregnancy at 36 weeks

Pregnancy at 36 Weeks

Baby at 36 weeks of pregnancy

Baby at 36 weeks of pregnancy

Your growing baby…

  • Your baby is gaining weight at about an ounce a day and weighs about 6 pounds.
  • He is probably more than 18 1/2 inches long.
  • Lanugo, the downy hair that covered his body is shedding along with the vernix caseosa (the waxy protective substance that covered his skin in utero).
  • Believe it or not your baby swallows most of these substances which will pass out in his first stool (meconium).

 

At the end of this week, your baby will be considered “early term.” (Full-term is 39 to 40 weeks. Babies born before 37 weeks are pre-term, 41 weeks is late term, and those born after 42 are post-term.) Most likely your baby is already head-down. But if not, your practitioner may suggest scheduling an external cephalic version (ECV). That’s a fancy way of saying that your practitioner will apply pressure to your abdomen to try to manipulate your baby into a head-down position.

 

Your life at this final stage of pregnancy.

IMG_6615

 

Your baby is taking up a lot of room. Eating a regular size meal may in fact be very uncomfortable. Smaller meals more frequently are better at this stage.

When you baby drops into your pelvis (lightening) you may have increased pressure in your lower abdomen. Walking may be more uncomfortable and you may again have to pee more often.

  • Braxton Hicks contractions may be more frequent.
  • Traveling too far from home and your practitioner is probably not a good idea at this point since labor could begin at any time.

Be sure to review the signs of labor with your practitioner and find out when she wants to hear from you. As a general rule, if you’re full-term, your pregnancy is uncomplicated, and your water hasn’t broken, she’ll probably have you wait to come in until you’ve been having contractions that last for about a minute each, coming every five minutes for an hour. Of course, you’ll want to call right away if you notice a decrease in your baby’s activity or think you’re leaking amniotic fluid, or if you have any vaginal bleeding, fever, a severe or persistent headache, constant abdominal pain, or vision changes.

 

“Start collecting take-out and delivery menus from local restaurants. You won’t have time to cook in the early weeks after giving birth. Even restaurants without a visible take-out business will usually accommodate a to-go order (especially if it’s for a new mom!).”

 The stages of labor

  • Fifteen hour labors are not uncommon for 1st time moms.
  • Eights hours is not uncommon for moms with previous vaginal deliveries

3 Stages of Labor:

First Stage:

  • Starts when you start having regular contractions that dilate and efface your cervix.
  • There are 2 phases of the 1st stage of labor, early and active labor.

Early labor ends when you are dilated about 4 centimeters. Active labor is when your contractions are more frequent, longer and stronger.

The last part of the active phase is when you cervix dilates from 8 to 10 centimeters. It is called “transition phase” because you are transitioning into the second stage of labor.

Transition is often the most difficult period of the first stage.

Second stage:

  • Starts when your cervix is fully dilated.
  • This is the “pushing” stage of labor.
  • This stage will last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours.
  • It is usually quicker if you have had previous vaginal deliveries.

Your baby’s head will continue to advance with each push until it “crowns” — the term used to describe the time when the widest part of your baby’s head is finally visible. After your baby’s head comes out, your midwife or doctor will suction his mouth and nose, and feel around his neck for the umbilical cord. His head then turns to the side as his shoulders rotate inside the pelvis to get into position for their exit. With the next contraction, you’ll be coached to push as his shoulders deliver, one at a time, followed by the rest of his body.

  • After your baby is delivered you may feel many emotions including feeling exhausted followed by a burst of energy.

Stage three:

  • This stage begins immediately after the deliver of your baby.
  • It ends with the delivery of your placenta.

This week :

Create a grapevine. Make a list of all the people you want to hear about your baby’s birth — with their phone numbers or e-mail addresses — and pass this along to a friend who can spread the news. That way, when you’re ready for others to know, all you have to do is make one call. Include at least one person from work on the list, so they can spread the word there.

Source: Your pregnancy: 36 weeks | BabyCenter

Pregnancy at 31 Weeks

Pregnancy at 31 Weeks

Yes your baby is now moving a lot more and still putting on weight during this time of your pregnancy getting ready for his entrance into your world.

Pregnancy at 31 weeks

He now is probably over 16 inches long, weighing in at about 3 1/2 pounds and is about the size of a coconut. A growth spurt is about to begin. Fat is beginning to accumulate under his skin. He is able to move his head from side to side and you are probably feeling a lot of movement. His somersaults will keep you up at night…all of this activity is a sign of health.

Your pregnancy life:

  • Braxton Hicks contractions are now part of your life. Your uterine muscles are tightening and relaxing getting ready for labor. These are irregular contractions and only last about 30 seconds, they are infrequent and painless although they may put pressure on your bladder and make you feel like you have to pee.
  • Frequent contractions however could be a sign of pre-term labor and you should call your practitioner immediately if you have more than four contractions in an hour or any other signs of labor.
  • Signs of Labor:
  • Increase in vaginal discharge.
  • Change in vaginal discharge (watery, mucusy, or bloody, pink or tinged).
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Menstrual cramping.
  • Increase of pressure in pelvis.
  • Low back pain especially if you didn’t have it before.

Breast:

  • You might have some leaking of colostrum, if so put some nursing pads in you bra to protect your clothes.
  • You may have to buy a larger size bra.

Boy?

Circumcision or not?

You  might want to have this discussion now and discuss your questions with your doctor since he will be doing the procedure if you choose to circumcise your little boy.

IMG_1150

“I’m 31 weeks along, and at my childbirth classes they’ve been telling us to concentrate on a focal point during labor. Anything from a picture to a crack in the wall or ceiling can work, so long as it helps Mom relax and distracts her from the pain.”
– Becky

Wants and Don’t Wants:

  • Pain medication during labor.

I have definite opinions about this as I was a L&D nurse. My advice is to think about your ideal labor and delivery and try to keep an open mind about medication since every labor is different and everyone perceives pain differently. Learn about your options, discuss with your practitioner, your doula, your nurse, whoever you have that you respect their opinions. Remember there is nothing wrong with wanting to be comfortable during labor and welcoming your baby.

Stuff to get done and out of the way.

  • Packing your bag.

Although you don’t have to get this done right now you might want to gather your stuff and the little things that will make your hospital stay comfortable. Some things to have on hand.

  • Going home outfit for your sweetie.
  • Snacks, my favorite is lollipops during labor, Whole Foods has some organic fruit ones that are delicious.
  • Socks and slippers.
  • Your favorite pillow
  • A nursing bra and nightie
  • A camera, batteries.
  • Clothes for you to wear home.

Annie and Isabel, a company owned by two nurses whom I know, makes beautiful special hospital gowns for new moms. These are my personal favorites. They are great for nursing moms and make any mom feel special after having a baby. They are wonderful for pictures too. Put them on your registry. You can also wear these gowns to doctors check-ups.

pregnancy and delivery

Perfect for Moms

Adrienne will be wearing this one, I am gifting it to her…it is one of the prettiest gowns!

I have seen and personally worn Annie and Isabel Hospital Gowns.

Annie & Isabel Designer Hospital Gowns Are Great For… Pregnancy & Delivery Gift yourself, a friend, or family member a comfortable and gorgeous hospital gown to help the new mommy in your life feel beautiful during this precious time. There are many reasons why having your own hospital gown makes sense. There are even more reasons why having an Annie & Isabel hospital gown is the best choice.
Source: Pregnancy and Delivery

 

Pregnancy at 26 weeks

Pregnancy at 26 Weeks

Wow, time is moving along…your baby is hearing your voice and your significant other’s so he will recognize you both after he is born. He is also breathing amniotic fluid and developing his lungs. Weighing in at about 1 2/3 pounds, he is now about 14 inches from head to foot. Boy baby’s testicles are now descending into the scrotal sac, this process will take about three months.

Pregnancy 26 weeks

Your mom-to-be life at 26 weeks of pregnancy:

  • Childbirth classes
  • Getting baby’s room ready
  • Taking care of yourself, eating right and exercising
  • Your blood pressure may be increasing slightly
  • Watching out for signs of preeclampsia

Preeclampsia — a serious condition characterized by high blood pressure — most often shows up after 37 weeks, but it can happen earlier so it’s important to be aware of the warning signs. Call your caregiver if you have swelling in your face or puffiness around your eyes, more than slight swelling of your hands, excessive or sudden swelling of your feet or ankles, or rapid weight gain (more than 4-5 pounds in a week). With more severe preeclampsia, you may experience other symptoms. Let your caregiver know immediately if you have a severe or persistent headache, vision changes (including double or blurred vision, seeing spots or flashing lights, sensitivity to light, or temporary loss of vision), intense pain or tenderness in your upper abdomen, or vomiting.

  • Your lower back may be achy due to your growing uterus and your shifting center of gravity-your abdominal muscles are stretched and weaker at this point-your joints and muscles are feeling the stress of your extra weight-all of this makes you feel pretty tired at the end of the day.

Some relief measures:

  • warm baths or warm or cool compresses
  • maintain good posture
  • take breaks from sitting and standing too long
  • sleep on your side
  • bend you knees and put a pillow between your legs and use another pillow to support you belly.

Some of these suggestions will come naturally. Over thirty years ago I did these out of sheer common sense…your body sometimes tells you what to do if you listen to it.

“To help yourself relax, immerse your feet in a basin filled with warm water. Add a few drops of scented oil and enjoy.”
– Astrid

Source: Your pregnancy: 26 weeks | BabyCenter

Questions for this time.

  • Do you want to write a birth plan?

Maybe you don’t even know where to go with this idea but it can help you to learn more about labor and delivery. If you are considering using a doula you might want discuss a birth plan with them or with your caregiver and your significant other.

Things to think about in a birth plan:

  • pain relief
  • medication
  • epidural
  • elective c-section
  • unpredictable things about labor and delivery
  • remaining flexible
  • defining your philosophy and writing about how you would like things to go
  • do you want delivery to be somewhat private or do you want family present
  • do you want your partner to cut the cord
  • do you plan to breastfeed
  • 24 hour rooming in with your baby

If you are having a boy, here is a question. Circumcision or no circumcision?

Most of all try to enjoy the remaining weeks of your pregnancy before your baby arrives.

 

Exercises during Pregnancy are Good

Exercises during Pregnancy

exercises during pregnancyDuring pregnancy exercise remains important. Although your labor progression cannot be predicted it is known that a few exercises can help you prepare your body.

There are four specific exercises during pregnancy that exceptionally good.

  • Kegels
  • Pelvic Tilt
  • Squat
  • Tailor or Cobbler Pose

Remember to start slowly and work at your own level for each exercise.

Kegels

These simple exercises are small internal contractions of the pelvic floor muscles. The muscles in the pelvic are support the urethra, bladder, uterus and rectum. These exercises can also help to keep hemorrhoids from inflammation. It may even speed healing after a vaginal delivery. It may even shorten the pushing stage of your labor.

Tighten the muscles around your vagina as if trying to interrupt the flow of urine when going to the bathroom.

Hold for a count of four, then release. Repeat ten times. Try to work up to three or four sets about three times a day.

 

Pelvic tilt or angry cat

This is a one of the great exercises during pregnancy to strengthen your abdominal muscles and can ease back pain during pregnancy and labor.

Get down on your hands and knees, arms shoulder-width apart and knees hip-width apart, keeping your arms straight but not locking the elbows.
As you breathe in, tighten your abdominal muscles and tuck your buttocks under and round your back.
Relax your back into a neutral position as you breathe out.
Repeat at your own pace, following the rhythm of your breath.

 

Squat

Squatting is an exercise long known for helping to prepare for labor and delivery. It helps to strengthen you thighs and open your pelvis.

Stand facing the back of a chair with your feet slightly more than hip-width apart, toes pointed outward. Hold the back of the chair for support.
Contract your abdominal muscles, lift your chest, and relax your shoulders. Then lower your tailbone toward the floor as though you were sitting down on a chair. Find your balance — most of your weight should be toward your heels.
Take a deep breath in and then exhale, pushing into your legs to rise to a standing position.

exercises during pregnancyTailor or Cobbler Pose

This exercise can also help to open you pelvis and loosen your hip joints in preparation for childbirth. It helps with posture and easing lower back pain.

Sit up straight against a wall with the soles of your feet touching each other (sit on a folded towel if that’s more comfortable for you).

Gently press your knees down and away from each other, but don’t force them.
Stay in this position for as long as you’re comfortable.

Exercises during pregnancy can help you feel better not only during your pregnancy, but during labor and delivery and postpartum.

If it okay with your doctor or caregiver do exercise you should give these a try.

Source: Four exercises to ease aches and help with labor | BabyCenter

PostPartum Depression- You Do Not Have to Suffer.

postpartum depressionPostpartum depression …you do not need to suffer through it!

The holidays can seriously effect our mood. After having a baby around the holidays, a bout of postpartum depression can hit hard and come right out of nowhere during a time when a mom feels that she should be rejoicing over the birth of her baby.

If a new mom has recently suffered a loss in her life, the holidays can add another burden of trying to “carry on” when she just doesn’t feel up to it.

Grief combined with the emotions and adjustment of having a newborn certainly can predispose a new mom to postpartum depression because she may already be somewhat depressed.

The following is a post I wrote a year ago.

If you or anyone you know is at risk for PPD this may be a helpful read.

If you are depressed please seek help…in an emergency go to your nearest emergency room.

If you want to find a therapist call your Ob-Gyne doctor for a referral…do not suffer on your own…you do not have to be in mental and physical pain…there is help available.

January 30, 2012 by lorettelavine

POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION

Postpartum depression is a serious problem that can occur after having a baby…it can occur up to one year after delivery. Sometimes the signs and symptoms can just be an overall sense of anxiety and an inability to enjoy your baby.  As a new mom, if you just don’t feel happy you can attribute it to many things especially lack of sleep and the many changes occurring over such a short period of time but you could be suffering from postpartum depression (PPD).

Personally, I did not experience PPD but there were days when I did not feel in control of all the responsibilities of motherhood. It was positively overwhelming. Back in the day…postpartum depression was somewhat overlooked and under treated.  A new mom was made to feel like she  ”just had to suck it up” and get it together. Fortunately, since them that attitude has changed and most obstetricians screen for PPD at the time of the postpartum check-up.

I thought that I would post a list of symptoms of postpartum depression.  If you have more than one or two of these symptoms or are feeling generally depressed for more than two weeks you should check in with your doctor.

The symptoms of postpartum depression are the same as the symptoms of depression that occurs at other times in life. Along with a sad or depressed mood, you may have some of the following symptoms:

  • Agitation or irritability
  • Changes in appetite
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Feeling withdrawn or unconnected
  • Lack of pleasure or interest in most or all activities
  • Loss of concentration
  • Loss of energy
  • Problems doing tasks at home or work
  • Negative feelings toward the baby
  • Significant anxiety
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Trouble sleeping

A mother with postpartum depression may also:

  • Be unable to care for herself or her baby
  • Be afraid to be alone with her baby
  • Have negative feelings toward the baby or even think about harming the baby Although these feelings are scary, they are almost never acted on. Still you should tell your doctor about them right away.
  • Worry intensely about the baby, or have little interest in the baby

via Postpartum depression – PubMed Health.

Premature Babies-How We Treat Them Fifty Years Later

preemie

 

WASHINGTON — Fifty years ago this summer, the nation was transfixed by a medical drama that is now largely forgotten: the desperate struggle to save the life of Patrick Bouvier Kennedy, the first baby born to a sitting president and first lady since the 19th century.

It is hard to believe that fifty years have passed since President Kennedy and Jackie lost their prematurely born son, who died from hyaline membrane disease soon after his birth .

It was a very sad time.

Today, a baby born five weeks premature would have a 95% chance of survival due to all the medical advances since 1963.

Fifty years later,the pediatricians that took care of Patrick Bouvier Kennedy speak out. It is interesting to read what they have to say.

I wonder how the story would read if these events occurred today?

Jackie tried to mourn the loss of her child privately with her family…so tragic that the following November she would be mourning the loss of her husband as well.

 

Tips for an Easier Labor…seriously.

Preparing for childbirth doesn’t just mean hiring a doula and packing your hospital bag; it also means getting ready for what might be the most challenging physical task you’ve ever faced. Improve your odds of having an easier, shorter labor by incorporating these healthy habits during your third trimester:

via 3 Surprising Tips For An Easier Labor – Fit Pregnancy.

  • Eat dates
  • Sleep more
  • Strengthen your legs
Doesn’t this sound easy …it is! Check out Fit Pregnancy’s article for some simple things you can do to make your labor easier. 
Who would not want an “Easier Labor”.
Have any of you ever used any of these tips?
What was you labor like….easier….what you expected or difficult?

How much control do you want during childbirth?

After recently reading a post about “who makes the decisions when you are in labor” my own labor and deliveries came to mind. Alongside were the memories of the numerous labor and deliveries that I attended as a nurse.

When I began my career, my first position was as an L & D nurse at a university teaching hospital in the Bronx. Starting out was frightening and never having had a child I had absolutely no experience of my own.

It was the early 70s and at this particular hospital, many of the patients did not want to be awake for the delivery of their baby.

Today, it is difficult to imagine such a time when moms did not want to control everything  about pregnancy and delivery even before they actually conceive.

The young mom of the 70’s would actually ask to be ” knocked out ” for her labor and delivery. Usually she would add “just like my mother was when she had me”. 

So back in the day, moms, who so wished, were given “twilight sleep” which was a mixture of several medications, one of which caused amnesia. So although a laboring woman could follow commands, move and talk, she had no recollection of what she was saying or doing or what was happening to her while in labor.

Husbands, significant others and family members were not allowed to be with a laboring woman who was medicated with this “cocktail”.

It was a privacy issue….since mom was unable to filter what she was saying. The medication was a type of truth serum of sorts. Sometimes during the stress of labor, a mom would call for someone other than her significant other which could indeed be problematic.

When it came time for delivery…mom would be taken to the delivery room. More often than not, general anesthesia was administered and a forcep delivery was done. Once the anesthesia was given the baby had to be delivered promptly which necessitated the use of forceps.

Natural childbirth, lamaze, and epidurals were the exception rather than the rule at this labor and delivery unit and in many units around the country. This was a standard of practice of the time.

After about a year at this particular hospital in the Bronx, I decided to move on to another university hospital in Manhattan.

It was a not only a change of hospital but I found myself in an entirely different world when it came to the practice of obstetrics.

Most women wanted to be awake for the birth of their baby, many had taken childbirth classes and epidurals were used frequently. There ware still forcep deliveries but there was no general anesthesia used for vaginal deliveries unless there was a complication.

In the 70s, doctors made most of the decisions and were not questioned too much, save for the few women who attended childbirth class with Elizabeth Bing, the founder of Lamaze here in the States.

Elizabeth Bing was adamant about teaching her mothers, who was the “boss” in labor and delivery.  She encouraged moms to advocate for the type of delivery that they wanted, she gave them the tools to help question their doctors regarding any decisions that were being made during labor. It was really the “birth plan” in its infancy. Elizabeth Bing was a physical therapist not a nurse and she was opinionated with very strong beliefs in “natural childbirth”. I had much respect for her and took her LaMaze teacher certificate course so I could understand and support my patients in their effort to have less intervention during their labor and delivery.

The role of the obstetrician is, in my opinion, a very important one especially if intervention is needed. I know the statistics in the United States are not overwhelmingly better than other countries but I also know what I have personally experienced in my own deliveries and while taking care of other laboring moms. These experiences definitely skew my view in this area.

My one child had only an initial Apgar of 1 for a faint heartbeat at birth due to complications of a C-section for a transverse lie (sideways position of the fetus). Upon my arrival in L & D, I was already 8 centimeters dilated, which meant, get the baby delivered before the water broke and the cord prolapsed causing severe lack of oxygen to the baby. It was a scary moment for me and my husband…both of us medical professionals. My doctor moved swiftly while I cried not wanting a C-section but knowing that I needed one. I felt confident in their haste and let them do their work…I was not awake…although every attempt was made to allow me to remain so. The discomfort was just too much…so asleep I went. I did not see my little girl for over 24 hours due to her own medical needs.

As for who should make the calls during childbirth…that is a very complex question with many variables. As best as I can figure, it takes a “Village” to raise a child but it also takes a “Village” sometimes to deliver a healthy baby to a healthy mom. I wish that all deliveries and pregnancies went smoothly and that all doctors could be “kind” at all times with great bedside manners. Unfortunately, we are all human and at a time of “flight or fight” you want someone who is able to “fight” for you and your baby based on good sound medical decisions which sometimes have to be made quickly without much hand holding.

Believe me when I say no one wants a less than perfect child and no one wants to lose a mother or a newborn.

So when you write your birth plan do it with your doctor or your midwife and be comfortable with them making some important decisions when and if it is necessary to do so.

Who Makes the Calls in Childbirth? You or the Doctor? | Being Pregnant.