Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Hope for Fertility - Meet the Foundation

Hey y'all!  I've been cooking up some awesome blog posts but today I wanted to take a moment to introduce you to a foundation called Hope for Fertility.  Each Wednesday is called Warrior Wednesday and Hope for Fertility features a warrior couple and guess who is featured today?  Why it's The Buns!  

Hope for Fertility is an amazing foundation that is making strides in our community, and dare I say it, they're warriors themselves!  After a six year battle with infertility, they created a foundation that not only helped to fund their IVF efforts, they are now in the process of completing their very first IVF Grant to a couple in need!  Talk about AMAZING!  I am so proud of Tedi and Chase for their efforts to assist a couple in funding their IVF efforts!  I am pledging $100 to Hope for Fertility to support their future grants, which they'll be doing twice a year!  Now let me turn it over to Tedi who can tell you how she got here and what you can do to help a family in need or become a grant recipient yourself! 

Hi! My name's Tedi and my husband, Chase. I blog over at runningwithinfertility.blogspot.com and run a side business selling shirts through my site and also help run a nonproft that Chase and I started. Here's the how and why we started our nonprofit:

Chase and I had been going through infertility for 6 years when we created The Hope for Fertility Foundation. Leading up to the creation of the foundation, friends and family would ask how they could help us, knowing of our struggle. Yes, coming over and cleaning my house, or bringing us dinner is nice, but it's not what we needed, and I'm sure there are many that feel the same. We needed help paying for our fertility treatments, which really was just the cash to pay for in vitro fertilization (IVF). We decided to start a Go Fund Me page. There, people could give a small or large donation to help us offset the cost of our upcoming IVF cycle. In our efforts to raise funds, we got a LOT of negative feedback, people (a lot of who we didn't even know) saying how Chase and I were just asking for a handout, and that it was our "choice" to have children.


After that push back, we decided to have a big yard sale fundraiser with a bake sale, yard sale, character meet-n-greets, food trucks, and possibly a silent auction. We created a little committee and went to work asking for donations for the yard sale. In this process we realized that businesses wouldn't donate to us directly for our silent auction, but they would to a nonprofit. That's when we created The Hope for Fertility Foundation. During our creation as well as doing our big fundraiser, Chase and I were saving up any and all cash that we could, to cover the cost of our upcoming IVF cycle on our own. We created the foundation with just myself, my husband and one of our dear friends. We were able to get the necessary permits, and all the donations that we could to help make the fundraiser a success. At the end of the fundraiser we were able to raise just over $4,000.

 By July of 2016, Chase and I saved up roughly $14,000 in 4.5 months by ourselves. We were blessed by God, and felt that this was His way directing us to help others in need. In our hearts we want to be able to help everyone. We obviously can't help others without sharing our Foundations story first, and getting the necessary donations to be able to spread hope. Since July, our board of directors has created a grant application, and are in the process of deciding who to give the grant to, which is a lot harder than you may think. We have 2 application periods per calendar year, spring and fall, and we just closed our first grant application for the spring grant (Feb 1, 2017). Since The Hope for Fertility is a nonprofit and all of our board members are not paid, we only have what we collect in donations or our fundraising efforts to be able to give grants. For those that have struggled with infertility and would like to give back we have a donate button on our website, which is tax-deductible. We set up an AmazonSmile account, and a portion of eligible purchases made on Amazon will go to us. All you have to do is go to smile.amazon.com and search "The Hope for Fertility Foundation." 

Our mission is to spread infertility awareness, hope and encouragement. We do a lot of that through our various social media channels. We do daily posts on our Facebook page, and they are reflected on Instagram and Twitter. My personal favorite is Wednesday's, "Warrior of the Week." On Wednesday we spotlight a couple who is either in the midst of battling infertility or a couple who has been successful. Each week it is inspiring and gives so much hope as each journey is unique and different. We are always looking for those to share their journey, as it gives a glimmer of hope that we are not alone, enduring the pain that infertility brings. Since we are only a year old, we are still getting our feet wet and trying to find what works for us. As we do this we have been invited to several fertility conferences. This past October our Foundation was invited to an infertility conference located here in Utah which was put on by Utah Infertility Resource Center (UIRC). This upcoming April we will be attending the American Fertility Expo that will be held in Pasadena, CA. We are so excited to be able to meet more couples struggling with infertility. 

 You can connect with us here: 
 Facebook page (facebook.com/hopeforfertility) 
 Instagram (@hopeforfertility) 
 Twitter (@HFfertility) 

 If you have any questions you can reach out to me via tedi@hopeforfertility.org or check out our website, www.hopeforfertility.org. We would love to connect with each of you and hear your story!

I've setup my AmazonSmile account to link up to Hope for Fertility so every single purchase helps to benefit a future TTC Family.  I am so proud of Tedi and Chase and hope you take a moment to follow their foundation and spread the word of their efforts!  

Hugs and Baby Dust Y'all!



Monday, March 27, 2017

Newborn Items You Just Don't Need

As I mentioned in my Newborn Essentials post, the baby industry is booming!  Marketing strategies are in full force to get you what you NEED for baby, even before they're born.  But let's be honest, how do you know if you need an item if you don't even have baby to try it?  Did I just post a list of items you NEED for baby?  Sure I did, but those are merely my suggestions.  It's all speculative until your new bundle arrives.

I fell victim to so many of these marketing strategies myself so I wanted to share with you several items that I bought, found, tried and subsequently DENIED.  Maybe they're your favorite, maybe you are thinking of buying one right now, but don't decide until you've read my Bun Review!  This is my list of items you just don't need for a newborn!

Bottle Warmer.  Y'all...sitting in my kitchen is a fabulous Kiinde Kozii..it creates a "flowing water bath to warm breastmilk and formula, even baby food.  And sitting right beside it is a tall cup.  I can put hot water in the tall cup or I can use the bottle warmer.  One is already in your kitchen ready to go...one comes at a cost of $60.  The Kiinde warmer already has the water in the warmer, so you're not wasting water by heating it, but really, a cup of hot water works the same as any of those fancy bottle warmers on the market.  Is it convenient?  Sure...but do you need it?  No way.

Tons of Baby Clothes.  I knew this "rule" going in but I didn't follow it because I just HAD TO HAVE that cute onesie or that three piece outfit...and I told myself he would wear it. And then I found myself with a basket of unworn baby clothes that he didn't wear and that didn't fit. I fell victim to the "cuteness" of them. And don't think you're safe if you're having a boy!  Industry has picked up on the fact that parents want to have a well dressed baby boy and my closet will prove it!

Fancy burp cloths.  You guys I don't know if you realize this but burp cloths are for spit up. Or vomit. Why do we want to pay extra money for something our babies are going to throw up on?  While writing this blog I checked a few sites and on average for burp cloths cost between 10 and $15.  You can purchase one of my personal favorites, plain white cloth diapers and get a dozen for the same price.

Breast-feeding covers. Udder covers, booby hiders, call them what you want but they charge a lot of money for breast-feeding covers when you can simply use a lightweight blanket or swaddle that'll do the same job.  Worried about it tying? Use a hair tie or barrette. Boom they're covered and when you're done you can cover your baby with it.  Now don't get confused with one of my favorites the milk snob because that's a car seat cover/scarf/breast-feeding cover...a triple threat! 

Baby detergent.  What?!?! But how will you wash baby's clothes?!!  You can use Free and Clear detergent, any brand that suits you will suit baby.  Don't get roped into that tiny tub for a tiny fortune!  
Expensive crib bedding.  I thought I needed it. I spent $300 on it. And GUESS WHAT?!?  I didn't!  My nursery looks just as good with a plain sheet as it would look with fancy crib bedding.  The set I purchased came with pillows and a thick blanket and a bumper pad and even a diaper stacker.  But I didn't need any of that and the return time expired before I learned my lesson. Don't repeat my mistake, focus the nursery decor on the walls and not the crib. 

Now the next two are hotly debated, and surprisingly I have them both. First up is a changing table.  I have a combo changing table and dresser with the top that comes off. I also exclusively change Little Bun on that changing table. So before you make the splurge, consider where you will be changing baby. If you are ok doing diapers on the couch or the coffee table or even the bed, do not waste the money on a changing table!

And that segways to my next item, the Diaper Genie. It's perfect for me because I change diapers in the nursery all the time. If you don't see yourself devoting a specific space in the home to changing diapers, skip this on the registry!  Most people will take the trash out daily anyway so a regular garbage can will dispose of the diapers just fine.

A Pack and Play with ALL the Extras.  Mine came with a changing "station" and a vibrating rocker seat. The thing is, that changing station has to come off the pack and play whenever baby goes in. So off it went, then on it went, then off again. Before I realized I had a piece of baby gear I didn't need.  The vibrating rocker seat was cute but it was so low to the ground and not allowed to be up on a bed or furniture or the like. So I ended up leaving it in the original packaging. That's right, I didn't even take it out of the bag. $155 on a Pack and Play, and I use only the basic PNP. Save the money and skip the extras. Just make sure it can be raised when baby is small so you can have easy access. 

I feel like all I've been telling you is "No, No, No" but the fact is, the baby industry really has us under their thumb. We don't know what we need so we get it all. Then we are stuck with things we don't need or can't use.  Of course you are free to purchase any of the items on this list and you might find yourself needing them or using them. Even I use two items that are practically on every single don't buy list.  

Like I said, the industry is brimming with baby items you NEED but it's up to you to decide what really counts. Don't fall victim to the hype. If you're wondering what my favorite baby items are, check out my blog post My Favorite Items for Little Bun

Let me know in the comments if you fell victim to a baby need you never used!  Help save a sister from purchasing something they won't need for baby! 

Monday, March 20, 2017

My Favorite Newborn Items for Little Bun

The baby industry is a $20 billion industry...yes, you read that correctly, $20 BILLION!  So it's no wonder companies are trying to peddle you everything you "need" for baby when you really don't NEED them all.  There are a million posts out there documenting what a new mom needs for her newborn...so what's one more right?  Let's talk about my TOP SIX favorite items since Little Bun has arrived and let me just go ahead and link you right up to them so you can purchase your own if your heart desires!


The Rock and Play.  Yes y'all I'm another big Rock and Play fanatic (RNP for short).  I use this handy dandy baby contraption for Caiden's naps and to entertain him if I'm in the kitchen or dining room  He likes to stare at me from the chair and it's portable so I can move it around easily if needed.  I keep it in the living-room next to my rocking chair.

We have the Fisher Price Deluxe Newborn Auto Rock and Play in Soothing Rivers. and it was a gift from my mom at our baby shower.  Here is Little Bun napping in the RNP.  It's exclusive to Buy Buy Baby and is available HERE.

This particular model has four vibrating levels, four musical sounds, two rocking speeds and connects to my cell phone so I can "drive it" from anywhere in the house.  The RNP plugs into the wall so I don't have to worry about batteries dying and it's been dubbed the "magic chair" in our home.  To say it's a life saver is an understatement of massive proportions.


The Wubbanub. My son has never been confused going from breast, breast under nipple shield, bottle nipple and pacifier.  We switch them interchangeably and just don't have an issue.  Are we blessed?  Is that an overreaction from other parents? I just don't know.  I can only tell you what goes in my home.

The Wubbanub is a pacifier attached to a stuffed animal which gives it minimal weight to help stay secure in your baby's mouth.  They have lots of animal choices and I have several handy for little bun.  But how do you wash it?  How do you sterilize it?  How do you keep it away from the dogs?

When you open the box, boil your water and drop the pacifier portion in the boiling water for 3-5 minutes.  I sit the stuffed animal on the handle of the pot of water.  I stay close by and monitor, we don't want an animal overboard! Washing is a breeze, you just put it in the washing machine, air dry and when ready, sterilize the pacifier part.  Keeping it from the dogs...well that was a tricky part as I had one steal it right from baby's mouth and another willing to leap across chairs to get into the above mentioned RNP to obtain one.  The best thing to do is keep up up away from dogs at all times.  This saves you washing and sterilizing as well as the cute furry creature from perishing at the paws of your pet.  We love our Wubbanub and dubbed it the Wub or the Nub.  Definitely a winner!  Buy at Amazon HERE...or use one of the 20% off coupons issued from Buy Buy Baby and get HERE...

Medela 2.7oz. bottles.  These bottles are perfect for a newborn!  I received several when we left the hospital and became attached quickly and so did little bun (which is what really matters).  We liked them so much I actually purchased more from Amazon so we could have a good stash.  They hold the perfect amount of breastmilk or formula from 1oz to 2.7oz.  We have tried several bottles including Tommy Tippy, Avent, Playtex, Mam, and Kiinde but these little guys are our top choice.  They store breastmilk perfectly in the fridge and have screw top lids that prevent spilling.  I recommend these for new mom hands down...or boobs down.  Whatever works!
Now that he is drinking about 4oz a sitting I keep two handy for feeding.  Sure, there are 4oz bottle options our there but I really prefer these for our little man.  They are just better for him and that makes me happy.  Whether it's breastmilk or formula, fed is best and this baby likes to be fed from the Medela 2.7oz bottles.  Buy from Amazon HERE.



Swaddle Sure Sleepsacks.  Babies have reflex movements that can be so strong it pulls them from sleep, so it helps to swaddle them.  I have swaddles, I have LOTS of swaddles, and I love them.  But my baby can squirm out of a swaddle..so I was led to this contraption from my fellow mom friend Ashlei...a sleepsack.  I call them baby straitjackets.  But the babies don't mind.  In fact, they appreciate the snugness and burrito like quality of the sleepsack (yum...burrito).  And it prevents those unintentional reflexes from waking them from a slumber.

Best of all, it's husband friendly.  My hubby is NOT a swaddle man and I've seen a few questionable swaddle attempts from him.  But anyone can use a Swaddle Sure and that makes them a fan fave here.  They come in several sizes to grow with your newborn.  I recommend having a minimum of two, one to wear and one to wash.  You never know when a poonami or poosplosion will leave you down a sleepsack.  So I recommend two!  Buy HERE.

myBaby Portable Sound Spa.  The womb is a noisy place for baby and when they come out and get into a quiet room to sleep it doesn't take much of a peep to wake them.  Cue the sound system!  This portable sound machine has six sounds for baby and will run continuously or on a 15/30/45 minute cycle.  It runs on batteries if you're on the road or on an AC adapter if you're in the home.  I can put it in his pack and play, beside his bassinet or even in the backseat of the car.  It's a wonderful way to create a sleeping environment for a baby, whether its naptime or bedtime.  Little bun prefers plain old white noise and I like the ocean sounds.  There are four other sounds including a heartbeat, thunder, crickets and a babbling brook.  The machine helps him sleep and helps me to do dishes, laundry and other noisy tasks without disturbing him during the day and helps us both sleep during the night.

There are lots of options out there for sounds but it does the job I want and it comes at a good price.  Whether you choose a pricier version or a phone app to do the work, I recommend some kind of white noise for both you and baby!  Available HERE.

Gerber Cloth Diapers, Pre-Fold or Flat-Fold.  Now I'm a disposable diaper user and Pampers is our preferred choice but I have to rave about Gerber Cloth Diapers because we use them for EVERYTHING.

The pre-folds are perfect for a barrier between your baby and their changing pad.  I always have one under his bum as a protective layer.  If you're caught with a diaper down and they pee or poo, this cloth will catch them and save your changing pad.  They also are disposable if you have a poo-splosion situation that leave your barrier unrecognizable and covered in poo!  They fold over quickly to use as a "pee pee tee pee".

The flat-folds make perfect burp clothes and cost less than traditional burp rags.  We are really big on avoiding "milk neck" that scene when the milk drips down baby's neck from a feeding, so we always fold one under his neck to protect it.

You can use them for wiping up milk drips from your bottle or from your breast when feeding or pumping...if you're a pumping mom you know that there is cleanup after a session and these are perfect for the job.  In addition, they make great breast pads to use when sleeping and protect your sheets from milk drips.

They're just a really versatile tool for baby and mommy.  I must have a dozen of each that are on rotation in our house and placed in various handy locations for easy access.  For us, they've replaced burp cloths, diaper changing pads, breast pads, pee tents and even can be used for household cleaning rags and a whole slew of other things!  (I don't share between house rags and baby rags).  I get mine from good old WalMart but they are available at Amazon too if you're into ordering online!

And that is my list, my faves, my keepers, my BUY THIS AND YOU WILL BE THRILLED list of items for a newborn to help get you through those first weeks, make that months of baby life.

There are so many favorite items that didn't make my "Top Six"  so let me just highlight a few others here and link them up:

The Milk Snob car seat cover.  It's a car seat cover, it's a fashionable scarf and it's a breastfeeding cover.  They come in high contrast colors which keep baby's attention.  They protect my bewbies from nosy eyes.  They protect baby from nosy people who want to touch (germs people!) and they can cover a milk stain in a flash!  Buy HERE.

Zippered sleep and play outfits which save you in sleep deprived moments from trying to snap clothes back onto a moving target.  They're cute and they're one piece so you're not choosing two items to put on baby...and subsequently removing two items when it's time for a diaper change. When you're choosing sleepers, get the zippers!  I love the options available at Carter's!

Swaddles.  Oh the swaddles.  I love them all!  I prefer the larger 47" x 47" size and use them to swaddle little bun, as quick blankets in the car, and as places to lay when we are out of the house, they're really another highly versatile tool for both baby and mommy.  I think it's impossible to have too many swaddles.  Our favorites are from small Etsy shops like RSM Modern Designs.  Her swaddles are soft and stretchy which really help bundle a Houdini baby.  I have a big drawer devoted to swaddles.

SoundSleeper App...oh I had to sneak in an App for that!  My son is not a car baby...in fact sometimes just getting moving in the car can be a nightmare for me.  BOOM, bring in the SoundSleeper App...it has a few options to soothe baby and THEY WORK.  I Bluetooth it right into my car stereo until he calms down.  Some of the sounds include a vacuum, the long shush sound, short repeated shush sound and a hairdryer...guess what my son prefers...THE HAIRDRYER.  I don't question the madness, I just recommend the method.  Check out this app HERE. Available on Apple or Android!

Summer Infant Tub Seat...this was a late entry, a clincher, a sheer win for Mamma Bun...it almost didn't make the list!  Available on Amazon, this lightweight foldable tubside seat is a lifesaver on your back.  We bathe Little Bun in the bathtub and leaning over had become unbearable for this mamma.   Along comes a gift from friends, this Summer Infant seat, with pockets on the side to keep your body wash and washcloth handy.  This is low enough to be close to baby and high enough to be off the ground.  A must have!  Find it HERE for $15 and it is worth every penny!

These are a few of my favorite things!  Do you have a favorite that I didn't mention?  Did you have a bad experience with something I did?  Share below and let's keep the knowledge flowing.  I think our experience can be the best indicator for a mom-to-be.


NEXT POST....Newborn Items that I REJECTED!  

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Caiden's Newborn Photo Session

Stephanie and Caiden
Oh my heck y'all I can't even describe all the feels I get looking at these amazing photos done by our newborn photographer, Stephanie over at Stephanie Mashay Photography.  Not only is Stephanie an amazing photographer, she is genuine, funny and down to earth.  She puts her all into these sessions and I was just thrilled to be able to watch her in her element, working with her favorite subject, a squishy, adorable newborn.  MY LITTLE BUN!

Little did I know that newborn sessions were so involved and required so much work and setup!  For starters, we had specific instructions to prepare for our session and following them is key to a good photo shoot!  We were to keep Caiden awake for three hours prior to the session and not feed him until we arrived.  It was TOUGH!  We wondered how we would survive keeping him awake and unfed but y'all, it was SO WORTH IT!

Stephanie has swaddles,blankets, baskets and props to the ceiling for her clients. She takes her time setting up each shot to ensure a perfect photo and has a talent for positioning her subjects in the squishiest, most adorable poses.  We spent three hours on our session and it was worth every moment.  Daddy Bun and I were enthralled with her process.  If you're in the Central Florida area and looking to do some newborn photos, or you know someone who is, Stephanie Mashay Photography is where to go!

Without further gushing, which is hard not to do, below are our newborn photos done by Stephanie!



















I am just overwhelmed, these last photos of Daddy Bun and I were so amazing!  I will definitely be shouting her praises from the rooftops for years to come!  This little baby was ten years in the making, a decade from start to finish, proof that sometimes waiting is exactly what you have to do for perfection.

Thank you for sharing this moment with me.  And a special thank you to Stephanie Mashay Photography for her talent, hard work and amazing skills!

Friday, February 10, 2017

My Hospital Bag...After the Hospital

Now that I'm back in the blogging world, at least as long as Little Bun is napping, I wanted to share with you my REVISED Hospital List.

What did I use?  
What did I miss?  
What never left the bag? 

For a quick recap, I revisted my blog over at No Bun in the Oven to check out my Hospital Bag post.  I made a pretty comprehensive post about what was going in that bag!  So how did I do?


Let's check it out and to show you what I over-packed, I have struck through any items that didn't even leave the bag.  Next we'll talk about why we didn't need or use them.  As always, consult your hospital about what they provide and take what makes you comfortable.  This is an experience where your comfort needs to be a priority.  So if it takes a backpack or a chauffeur with luggage, do what works for you!  

For Mommy:
Labor Gown, After Delivery Gown/Robe, Slippers (rubber sole)Soft grip socks, XL panties, Post baby abdominal wrap, Pillow/BlanketSleep maskToilet Paper, Coming home outfit, Nursing bra. 

  • I bought black slippers which fell down into my hole of a bag and by the time I took a shower I did not care what my feet touched.  I just wanted a shower.  
  • It was hot for me and the last thing on my mind is putting socks on my feet so guess what, those soft socks just sat there with those flip flops! 
  • Don't even get me started on the post-abdominal belly wrap, first of all that thing did not even fit me and second, after my doctor performed his "uterus massage" which is code for smashing and shoving your uterus from your rib cage to your lower abdomen, the last thing I wanted was any type of constriction!  
  • I didn't even need my blanket because, again, it was hot and the hospital was more than willing to provide me with blankets if I was cold.  
  • The funniest thing I packed was a sleep mask because I don't know why I thought for a moment I would get sleep!  If it wasn't Little Bun crying to be nursed or a nurse crying to take my vitals, I just didn't get any sleep in the hospital!  
  • Oh and toilet paper...after shoving a baby from my lady bits, having second degree tearing and stitches putting me back together, I did not care what paper was touching my lady bits, as long as I could have the Dermoplast spray...and the nurses were generous with that!
My labor gown and after delivery pajamas and robes were much needed.  I had a few sets of clip down pajamas with matching robes and my labor gown that allowed breastfeeding to be easy.  It was much more comfortable to be in "my things" instead of the scrubby hospital gown.  Also, I didn't like the fancy mesh panties the hospital provides.  I did much better with my extra large Granny panties so if you're like me, take a few pairs of those to get you through it!  My pillow was a lifesaver.  I used it to nurse, to rest and to pretend to sleep and I would never go back to the hospital without my own pillow again!  Even if it was an extra trip to the car (thanks babe) it was worth the comfort.  Obviously you need to come home in something and don't think it's going to be your pre-pregnancy clothes.  I had a pair of leggings and an oversized shirt and they were perfect.  Don't forget a nursing bra, although I didn't even wear a bra until I got dressed to head home.  Hey, they've seen my lady bits on parade, might as well see my "bewbies".   

Toiletry Bag:
Dry shampootravel soap, washcloth, toothpaste/toothbrush, face wipes, moisturizer, brush, deodorant, mints, Chap-stick.

Surprisingly, the hospital provided me a toiletry bag (another reason to check with the hospital about what they provide)!  It had body wash, shampoo, toothpaste and a toothbrush, lotion, even dental picks!  I didn't need to use much from my bag but one thing you want to MAKE SURE you have is Chap-stick!  All that labored breathing is going to dry your lips out and you're going to want to have something that is not chapped (since your lady bits will be just that, chapped!) 

After care meds:
ColaceVitaminsHonest Nipple Balmgel nursing pads
Y'all...I didn't use one of these items!  Every day my nurse brought my vitamins and my nipples hadn't had enough exposure to a feeding baby to begin to need the balm or gel pads.  Save those for when you get back home!

Makeup Bag:
Foundation, Powder, Bronzer, Mascara, Eyeliner, Gloss, Eyeshadow, travel mirror.

That's right, I brought it and used it, every piece of it...except the lip gloss, I just used my chapstick.  If baby was sleeping and I was feeling like poo, I got out my travel mirror and put on my face and I felt so much better.  People may say that is vain, that I'm too concerned with how I look, but to those people I say, I'm doing what makes me comfortable.  If you have an issue with that....just don't take any makeup.  But don't shame someone if you wouldn't do the same.  Aren't there enough mommy wars going on in the world? 

For Daddy:
Daddy shirt, Toothbrush/toothpaste, Comfy pants, Pillow/blanket

WHOOPS, guess who forgot the pillow and blanket for her hubby?  THIS GIRL!  I am a master packer and I was supposed to have everything ready to go but I forgot those two items for Daddy Bun who didn't mind at all, as evidenced from this photo of him sleeping with the blanket I brought for Little Bun.  And let me tell y'all, I would have killed to be sleeping on that tiny couch instead of the board bed I tried to sleep on in the hospital.  I still cannot believe the crappy bed they make poor pregnant women spend hours "sleeping" in as they prepare for labor.  Now we live 20 minutes from the hosptial so Daddy was able to go home and shower and change clothes so he really didn't need much, just a comfy pair of pants to sleep in.  

Electronics: 
Phone charger, iPad and charger...which we used the chargers religiously as we had to keep in touch with family and friends checking on Little Bun and Mamma during labor, delivery and after birth.  Sometimes I had as many as 14 text messages to answer and finally I just gave my phone to Daddy Bun and asked him to be the messenger!

For baby:
Foaming hand sanitizer, Post birth gown/hat for pics, Coming home outfit/hat, Mittens 
Two swaddles, blanket, Binky clip and binkyBoppy

I needed my own foaming hand sanitizer, in fact I was adamant that was a huge priority for me...annnd I didn't even take it out of the bag.  FREE SANITIZER provided by the hospital, one for the bed, and the biggest container stuck right on the wall.  No need to bring your own, they stock plenty and refill as needed.

I was lucky that our son didn't have claws when he came out and his hospital onesies came with built in mittens so no need to unpack those.

Two swaddles...because the hospital didn't have a plethora of those striped swaddles on hand and in drawers under where the baby slept....oh wait, yes they did.  I never used my own swaddle because most of mine are massive and I just didn't feel like wrapping the baby around and around and around and around again with a giant swaddle.

Binky clip and a binky...guys, first of all, I have nothing against pacifiers, my son is napping with one right now.  There is no "nipple confusion" for him as he's drinking milk from my breast, from a bottle and has a pacifier...but the lactation consultants at the hospital said NO BINKY.  I'm still here to say that my baby is one of those babies who has no confusion between the myriad of things I put in him mouth to feed or soothe him.  Don't want to use a pacifier? DO NOT USE ONE.  Just don't side eye me for using one on mine.

And the Boppy pillow, an extra pillow brought with the intention to help me nurse the baby.  Well, my bewbies are massive, I mean, they're probably twice the size of his head, so while working on his latching technique the "football hold" seemed to be the best breastfeeding position for baby.  And that didn't really work with my Boppy.  So back down to the car it went.  If you're blessed to not have bewbies the size of melons, try the Boppy, it works great for other feeding positions.  For me, it was a NO.  

I totally recommend a little outfit for those newborn pictures.  I got mine at Milk and Baby  and do not regret for a second having that little "Here I Am" outfit!  We brought along a special blanket made by Melissa at Black River Boutique and it also came in handy for us.  And obviously your child cannot come home naked, though they can wear the hospital white tee shirt that is provided.  So be sure you have a going home outfit for the little nugget! 

Basket of Snacks for Nurses:
$25 Amazon Snack Pack, Basket, Bow, Thank You Card

OK mom fail here, I totally forgot to order the snacks to thank my amazing nurses.  And they were amazing, every single one of them.  I thanked them profusely every time they entered or exited my room, but if you're looking to say thanks in a different way, anything that is made to feed several people would be an amazing treat for the staff.

Other:
Car seat, Box in case we get flowers etc!

We didn't get any flowers at the hospital but we did get this amazing ginormous canvas bag that was used to fill it to the brim (and more) with all the goodies from the hospital.  Here is a brief list of the things the staff provided me when we left.
  • Dermoplast, witch hazel pads, cotton pads, mesh panties, 4-5 hospital blankets, Medela nursing bottles, diapers, wipes, nasal aspirator, supplemental formula (we had to supplement since my milk didn't come in), and even more hand sanitizer. 
When I say they were generous I mean that they came back in and said is there anything else you might need, as though I had any more room to pack something else!  I heard rumors of the things they provide, and THEY ARE TRUE...at least for my hospital they were!

So let's recap, what should you bring for the hospital?  Well FIRST, talk to the hospital.  Ask what they provide.  Make sure you aren't duplicating anything unless you require it for comfort (like a pillow or blanket).

Mom: comfy PJ's and robes, these are a must have for me!  A pillow, XL panties, a going home outfit, toothbrush, toothpaste, brush, CHAP-STICK, and makeup if you desire.  Yes.  That is all.

Baby: hospital newborn outfit for photos, going home outfit, blanket and a car seat.

Dad: comfy pants to sleep and lounge (unless you live further, daddy might need more in that case)

Electronics: phone charger

Misc: Thank you gifts if desired for the nursing staff


 Thanks for checking out this update y'all!  Next week I'll be posting about Postpartum Care.  Oh boy, that'll knock your socks off!



Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Our Birth Story

Hey y'all, so here I am, Mamma Bun...what an amazing feeling, to have survived labor and delivery.  Let me tell you, I distinctly recall staring up at my husband and saying...please, don't make me do this anymore.  I want to go home.  In short, labor and delivery was the most exhausting and painful experience I've ever been through!!  I thought getting pregnant was hard, I mean it took nine years just to do that!  But then came labor and that my friends, that made getting pregnant look like a walk in the park.

So let's talk about it.

Let's start by saying I had a pretty easy pregnancy.  I spent the first trimester napping and dealing with heartburn.  I didn't have morning sickness or all day nausea like some of my friends.  The second trimester was much of the same but added swollen feet to the mix...what a bummer, all those cute shoes in my closet and I was walking around with elephant cankles and wearing one pair of orthopedic flip flops.  By the third trimester, I picked up acid reflux to go with my heartburn, slept sitting up every night, even more swelling if that is possible, and narrowly passed my gestational diabetes test. 

By week 34, my doctor was unhappy with my protein levels combined with all that swelling and high blood pressure and diagnosed me with pre-eclampsia.  We started doing twice weekly NST's to monitor baby's health while we waited.  He decided we would likely deliver early, which was OK with me as a growth scan determined that my "Little Bun" was more like a linebacker.

So at my NST on January 19, he came in and said "let's get you checked in for induction today".  TODAY?  I had done it, meeting Little Bun was so close!  And I could say that I worked every day until I had the baby!  I anxiously went home, took a shower, made sure I brushed my hair and then took my I'm going to have a baby photos...see below.  Here I am at 37w1d and I'm so excited I can barely stand it!

Daddy Bun and I headed for the hospital to get the birthing show on the road.  In my head I was the Pregnancy Unicorn.  I would arrive at the hospital, I would labor for a few hours, I would push for one set of contractions and the baby would slide out like a baseball player heading into home base.



We checked in and I was all smiles, even though my nurse blew out two veins trying to get in the IV.  By the third time (always a charm) we were good to go.

Oh boy was I wrong!  Just look at my naive excited face, no idea what is in store or how long it will take...makeup all fresh and hair all brushed...HA, just wait!



Since I wasn't dilated we started with Cervidil.  This handy dandy lady bit insert is designed to get your cervix "ripe" for labor.  Just a quick insert and I could go to sleep while my cervix did all the hard work.  Now, when the doctor put that in, I saw the Cervidil.  It was like a little shoestring, small and compact, I thought this is going to be easy.  I didn't see any razor blades attached to the Cervidil, but when he went to insert it, that was all I felt.  Tiny razor blades slicing me from inside.  I verified with the doctor that I was not bleeding from the insertion and the realization hit me...if this hurt going in, how bad would this baby hurt coming out???

They turned off the lights and I tried to sleep on the most uncomfortable bed I've ever been in.  I'm pretty sure they just found a few board lying around a construction site and stapled a toddler mattress to it.  My hips don't lie and all they said was OUCH!  Was this a joke?  Did they purposely want to deny me sleep the night before I would be sliding a baby out of my lady bits?

And speaking of Little Bun, he was hooked up to the monitors but kept dancing around in my belly, which caused him to fall off the monitors, so the nurse had to repeatedly come in the room and shuffle the monitors and I around on the board bed.  Needless to say, I slept from 5:00 until 5:45.

Happy Epidural Face...more naive excitment
January 20, at 6am they started Pitocin.  I'd heard about Pitocin and was a little leery but I trust my doctor.  They started me at level 1 at 6am.  The day wore on slowly and so did my contractions.  At 2pm we were at level 12 and I was dilated 2cm and effaced 70%.  I was also in pain.  So the doctor said I could have my Epidural.  I was already feeling a little delirious as I was on 45 minutes of sleep.  But I powered through waiting for the Anesthesiologist...he took two hours.  Turns out a lot of ladies were on the floor giving birth.  The Epidural was easy, a quick prick in the back, a little jiggle here and a shimmy there and BOOM, I was ready to lay back down.  Here I am with my Epidural face.  The pain was dissipating and contractions went to a dull hum.  I thought, OK I can do this.  Let's have a baby.




Five hours passed before I was ready to start pushing.  It had been 24 hours since they put in my IV.  I was running on ice chips and 45 minutes of sleep.  That naive excitement was replaced with frustration and I was ready to have this baby!

So I pushed, and pushed, and pushed...I watched the hours tick by as I pushed through every contraction.  We tried holding the back of my thighs, we tried the metal bars on the side of the bed, we even played a little tug of war using a bed sheet.  Little Bun was not making much progress.  At midnight, I looked at Daddy Bun and said GET IT OUT.  I want you to do this...I'm done.  (as if he could somehow take over for me).  My body was exhausted.

Another half hour ticked by and my doctor came in, he encouraged me to push a little more...telling me we needed one good push to get him out.  Whew, I started a second wind...one good push?  I could do that.

So a contraction started and I pushed.  For 30 seconds I pushed with everything I had...and nothing.

The doctor said just one more...so we waited, my Pitocin at Level 22, my contractions almost five minutes apart, I waited...and pushed with everything I had.

And do you know what he said...he said I needed one more push...I thought back to two pushes ago...WHAT A LIAR!  So being a trooper I pushed with everything that I had and I felt the most horrible excruciating pain I've ever felt, where was the Epidural I wondered?  He was crowning! I said CROWNING??? I thought that was his shoulders!  I had to sit there for five minutes with baby crowning while I waited for another contraction.  This was it (sure it was).  This would push him out (he said that already).

The contraction came.  I pushed.  I pushed like there was no tomorrow.  And his head came out.  The pain subsided a little.  I pushed again, and he flew out like a cannon.  The doctor said whoa, look at all that hair.  They handed me my Little Bun.

But he wasn't breathing well and before I knew it he was whisked off my chest and into the hands of several doctors and nurses.  I stared at my hubby, bewildered...what's wrong with our baby?  Fear set it as I listened intently to the doctors and nurses across the room, but their words were incoherent to me as I lay there exhausted.  I  stared at my hubby, begging him to tell me what was wrong with our baby.  We waited to hear his cries, and after what seemed like hours, he was crying.  Little Bun had some amniotic fluid in his lungs which affected his breathing, but he was just fine.

And somewhere between the exhaustion and fatigue, I held him as hubby held me and we looked on to our little miracle together, overcome with joy.  What a day, and night, and day!  





In the end, I have to say this was the most difficult and exhausting thing I've ever been through.  But I was a trooper and with the help of my hubby, my mom and my stepdaughter, I got through it and delivered our miracle baby boy...

Caiden Thomas Maul
Born January 21, 2017 at 1:07am
8lbs. 12 oz. and 21" long

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Welcome To Raising Little Bun

Hey y'all!  Welcome to Raising Little Bun...the blog about what happens AFTER the bun comes out of the oven.

First of all, if you've been following our journey you know that I am Hunny Bunny and after nine years of struggling with infertility, my hubby and I took the plunge into the world of science and by way of IVF conceived our Little Bun.

If you don't know about our journey, I encourage you to check out my blog No Bun in the Oven and look at About the Buns.  My original blog began as a way to document our journey and give people a glimpse into the world of infertility and raise awareness to the struggle 1 in 8 couples go through to have a baby.

After a successful cycle, I cut back on blogging because I felt guilty for sharing my pregnancy journey on a blog about infertility.  But now that I've managed pregnancy and childbirth (more on that experience later) I created Raising Little Bun so I could pick up the virtual pen and start writing.

So welcome back y'all!  I hope you missed me as much as I missed you and I can't wait to share all about what it's like to Raise Little Bun!

Hugs and Baby Dust Y'all!

Hunny Bunny