PostPartum Skin Care

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Daily, Friday Finds, HEALTH, Health and Fitness, LIFE, My Pregnancy, New Mom Experience, Other, REVIEWS

NON-TOXIC SKINCARE

A year after having a baby and I think I am finally in a good place when it comes to my personal care routine. {I am always searching for better products, though, so I will keep updating you if I find something superior}

I still don’t have time to do certain things regularly, especially now with my new website, Daily Mom.

I don’t get to shave legs unless I am going out somewhere semi-important.

I forget to moisturize my body more often than I care to admit, and that is one of the biggest things I need to work on.

I wash my hair only if I know that I will be leaving the house. Or when it’s really dirty.

I put my make up on at the same time or when I want to look more put together at home.

I like to prioritize and personal care falls somewhere in the middle on the priorities list. However, one thing I have done over the last year is assemble a good “team” of personal products that I use, love and swear by. They help me be a little bit more of a woman that I want to be without having to put too much effort into it. I’ve been mentally writing this post for 6 months and each month I would add something else to it.

In fact, in the last week, I’ve had a chance to try out some organic and natural hair products that I am quite impressed with that you can read about on Daily Mom in the coming months. I am thinking about going on a mission of finding more obscure products and brands you don’t see in retail stores and trying them out. If only I could find time…

In the meantime,

This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: PostPartum Skin Care

The Art of Making a Baby © 2014 - All Rights Reserved

Baby’s First Year: Expectations vs. Reality

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Alexis, My Pregnancy, New Mom Experience

            expecvsreal

We’ve all been there.

Daydreaming about what life with a baby would be like, without truly knowing what to expect. Thinking we “know” how things will turn out, but in the back of our minds knowing that it will be different. Now that Lexi is 1 YEAR OLD, i can look back at the year of babyhood and see things for what they were.

I don’t think Andrew and I were off base when imagining what life with a baby would be like. I think it’s that we couldn’t FEEL that difference until said baby came along.

All the negative “just you waits” from bitter moms were met with an eye roll. All the good-hearted ones were a drop in a bucket of the attempt to imagine our life with the baby.

I don’t think you can know what it is going to be like. No matter how hard you try. I think you can picture it, but you cannot FEEL it. So here’s what WE thought life with a baby would be like. And here is how we were wrong (or right).

Keep in mind that our experience will most likely NOT be yours. Your baby might sleep 16 hours a day and be the newborn you read in all the books about, nurse like a champ from day 1, fall asleep in your sling or contently stare at the mobile while you go around your business. That was not our experience. Nor was it the experience of millions of other parents. Because every baby is UNIQUE!


LABOR & BIRTH

Expectations:

I had hoped that Hypnobabies would help me get through labor but I was prepared for it to go whatever way it would, since I had read/heard how unpredictable it is.

Reality:

This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: Baby’s First Year: Expectations vs. Reality

The Art of Making a Baby © 2014 - All Rights Reserved

I am so excited!

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Best for Baby, Cooking, Daily, FASHION, Friday Finds, FUN Times, GET FIT, HEALTH, Health and Fitness, LIFE, My Pregnancy, Nursery, Other, photo, Photography for Mommies, Pre-CONCEPTION, PREGNANCY, PREGNANCY FASHION, Pregnant With Style, Real Life on Instagram, REVIEWS, travel

The time has come for you guys to learn about what it is I have been working on so hard for the last 6 months. FEBRUARY 28th!

DAILY MOM

I’ve mentioned this name in passing a few times, but I doubt many of you noticed or paid attention. However it is now a huge part of my life that I am incredibly excited about. It took a lot of work and it’s almost here and you, guys, get to be the first ones to see it. A new portal that will hopefully stand out in the sea of mommy-oriented websites. I first came upon the idea for the website when I was sick of wading through hundreds of useless posts that sucked me in and wasted my time on big corporate website ( you know the ones I am talking about, those with scandalous news and celebrity gossip).  One post that has the potential of helping me as a mom and a woman among 10 posts of useless (but admittedly entertaining content). I wondered if there was a place for a website that doesn’t try to entertain, but tries to help. I instantly thought of Pinterest and how awesome of a service that is. My next thought was “I wish there was a blog like Pinterest, where all that awesomeness was delivered to me daily in a blog format into my email or RSS feed.”

DING DING DING

(that was the lightbulb over my head) Now over a year later after the initial idea and 6 months of grueling work along with my kick ass team of moms, Daily Mom is here.

So what is Daily Mom?

This is how we define it!

This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: I am so excited!

The Art of Making a Baby © 2014 - All Rights Reserved

The shape of you. The shape of me.

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Alexis, GET FIT, HEALTH, Health and Fitness, LIFE, My Pregnancy, New Mom Experience, photo, PREGNANCY

IMG_9001

The title of this post might give you an idea of how much Dr. Seuss I read on daily basis.

Ok, so I’ve been asked to write about this multiple times and I have looked forward to writing about this, as well. Kind of. Sort of. The only but is that I don’t really have much to say on the topic of postpartum body and getting in shape. I have done absolutely NOTHING. :( So I’ll write a bit about what changes my body went through from pre-pregnancy to now and what I am planning on doing about it.

There are a few “quirks” about my body that need to be known to understand where I am at after giving birth.
Number 1: My strong spot is my abs. It’s virtually impossible for me to gain fat in my tummy. And when I gain weight, my belly is the LAST thing to grow (after boobies) and even then it still has some definition to it.
Number 2: My weak spot is my legs. That is the first place where I gain weight and it shows immediately. So the rest of my body will be fine, but my legs and face will show whether I am heavy or thin.
Number 3:

This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: The shape of you. The shape of me.

The Art of Making a Baby © 2014 - All Rights Reserved

Blooper Reel {from Gender Reveal}

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Alexis, FUN Times, My Pregnancy, VIDEO

If you watched and enjoyed our Gender Reveal from exactly a year ago, you might just as well have fun watching this.

I almost dropped this project for lack of time, but when I was cleaning out my video folders, I just couldn’t bring myself to delete the blooper shots, so I made a GAG REEL out of them.

It’s a good reminder of how much fun we had shooting the Gender Reveal video.

And it so happens that I made it in time for the  anniversary of finding out the sex of our baby!

This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: Blooper Reel {from Gender Reveal}

The Art of Making a Baby © 2014 - All Rights Reserved

Reader Question: post baby body

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in My Pregnancy

Hi there – I hope this isn’t a crass question… I’m a soon-to-be first time mom as well, and am curious/fearful about weight loss after. You were very open and vulnerable about weight gain leading up, and look great now; i’m wondering if you’re planning to write at all about your body post-baby?

I haven’t written anything about it because there’s nothing to say so far (and time is at a premium). I haven’t worked out and haven’t lost much until now. A measly half a pound a week or so.
I have resolved to start my work out routine on Monday along with some healthy dieting (good bye cookies with justification of “but I’m breaaaastfeeeeeding”).
I will try to keep a semi-regular feature with the progress, though obviously I can’t promise too much consistency.

To be honest I’m really excited about looking skinny again.

This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: Reader Question: post baby body

The Art of Making a Baby © 2014 - All Rights Reserved

“Mommy and Me” Photoshoot and Boob Design Maternity/Nursing giveaway

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in My Pregnancy, PREGNANCY FASHION, Pregnant With Style, REVIEWS

OH-MY-GOD!!!!!!

If I thought it was hard to take pictures when I was pregnant ( you know the whole “gather up the energy, put make up on, wash my hair, possibly style my hair, put clothes on, go somewhere pretty to take pictures), well it is twice as hard trying to get a good picture with Alexis in tow. I still have to do all the preparations listed below, all while she’s hopefully sleeping, then pray for good mood on Alexis’ part, so that all the pictures didn’t look like this

And even when she’s in a good mood, how on earth do you get a 2 months old to pose? You don’t! So you take a million shots hoping that at least in ONE of them she’s going to look decent in and you don’t have a closed eye or busy shushing her. It’s even harder with Alexis because she tends to make all kinds of faces that might look cute in real life, but definitely don’t when they’re frozen on a photograph.

So nowadays, I have to be content with 1 photo out of about 100 that looks good. And after yesterday’s Mommy and Me shoot, this is The Photo:

Fast Food

I think the result is decent considering yesterday was a fussy day!

We’re both wearing a Mommy and Me set from Boob Design, my absolutely favorite item in their store. If you’ve been reading my blog since I was pregnant, you’re aware of my undying love to this brand. I think they have the cutest maternity  clothes and absolutely THE BEST nursing wear on the market. They just opened their US store which makes it impossible for any pregnant or nursing woman to resist buying something. I wasn’t planning on running another Boob giveaway, but after numerous requests from readers, I finally have it ready. So enjoy! It’s open internationally and anyone who’s pregnant or nursing or planning on becoming pregnant or has a baby can enjoy Boob Design clothing. I also have a DISCOUNT CODE if you plan on purchasing something. It’s 20%OFF any purchase except for Outlet and it’s valid till April 12th. Use BOOBDESIGN-APRIL-20% code to get the discount.

Some of the other Boob items that I have:

 

So for those who aren’t familiar with Boob Design ( and note: this is not a review, I just love them this much), their nursing dresses, tees and tanks have a special pocket that opens up without exposing your belly so you can breastfeed in public without the darn cover-up. They are definitely my prefered online retailer of nursing clothes. I’ve nursed in Boob tees in public and it’s a breeze!

It’s funny that I had to nurse Lexi during the shoot, but it looks damn good, doesn’t it? You open the top pocket and latch the baby on- VOILA! No boob hanging out :) Most items are made out of organic cotton or  lyocell and are very nice to touch and are very stretchy ( which is a key to baby onesies, because Alexis has developed hatred of clothes going over her head, so I have to stretch the neck to make sure it doesn’t touch her face as I put it on)

Fast Food

So here are a few other photos taken that I am somewhat ( but not fully) happy with.

Fast Food

This was taken after the shoot, while I was putting Alexis to sleep in the stroller (more on that later)

Fast Food

BUY IT:  Use BOOBDESIGN-APRIL-20% code to get a 20% off discount until April 12th.

WIN IT:

So now, due to popular demand, I present to you a Boob Design giveaway.
There will be 3 winners of $150 credit to Boob Design Store each. The contest is open internationally and there’s a new entry that can be entered in once a day.

BELOW ARE THE GIVEAWAY RULES
and Mandatory Entries: {read carefully}

There are two mandatory entries, after which you will have additional entries available,
and 2 daily entries for which you can come back to enter daily.
The winning entry will be verified and the winner disqualified if the action is not found or if the mandatory items are not fullfilled.
Make sure to notate how you’re following the blog in the extra info field (entry #1). The entry won’t count if that information is missing.
Please make sure to visit Boob Design facebook page and write on their wall what you’d buy if you won.
The giveaway is open to INTERNATIONALLY. See the rafflecopter widget for additional terms and conditions.

UPDATE: You can now log into the Rafflecopter through Facebook or just by using your name/email.

If you have a blog, there’re 2 entries each worth 10 points ( post our button on your blog’s sidebar and blog about the giveaway)

{If you’re not sure how to use to enter, feel free to watch this video tutorial or email me at contact {at} prebabyblog {dot} com
Otherwise, make sure to read everything carefully. Click the DO IT link first, then I’VE DONE IT once the action is completed}


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: This is NOT a review.

This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: “Mommy and Me” Photoshoot and Boob Design Maternity/Nursing giveaway

The Art of Making a Baby © 2014 - All Rights Reserved

Birth Story Part 2

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Alexis, My Pregnancy

Before reading Part II, please read Birth Story Part I

(…) We called the nurse to do a cervical check.

I’m 3.5 cm 50% effaced!

No progress! Twelve hours of intense frequent contractions did absolutely nothing!

My first thought was “Thats it! I want an epidural!”  I was too tired and sleepy to fight any longer. And as if by command, before we were even able to discuss it or tell the nurse, my contractions started spacing out. They were coming 4-5 min apart. It was like my body’s way of telling me to relax.
In retrospect, I can see that I wasn’t able to effectively relax during contractions (even though I thought I was). Instead my body had to work really hard against my tension (hence no progress and super strong frequent contractions) which is exactly what I was trying to avoid by doing hypnobabies but obviously it didn’t work for me.
I think if my body was given a chance to rest, the contractions would have picked up again but I was so exhausted and sleepy at that moment, I didn’t feel I had the energy to wait and see even through spaced out contractions, so we requested an epidural. Cynthia administered the IV drip, and after they made us watch this silly 70s video, my anesthesiologist came in and took care of the rest. The procedure was painless and I felt relief almost instantly. Aaaaaahhhhh! It’s easy to become an epidural convert when the relief is so immediate.

Later, when I was going through the photos taken during labor, I found this photo immediately followed by the one below it.


{It’s like a commercial for medicated birth}

The first thing I tried doing was SLEEP! Oh the glorious gods of slumber! It was great! I didn’t really get to sleep for a long period of time but just resting for an hour made all the difference.

Soon the nurse shift changed and a new nurse, named Jackie came in. She was actually  a hypnobabies trainer. She was a goofy woman and luckily now that I had an epidural, I didn’t mind joking around.

She talked to me about getting some Pitocin to get the labor going since an epidural slowed it down a bit more as well. I suggested we wait an hour or so and then see. Realistically, with enough time my labor would have picked up on its own but none of us wanted to sit around and wait till that happened. We wanted Lexi and we wanted her now. {Funny how impatience can get the best of us}

We figured if in a few hours it doesn’t pick up, we’ll be ok with a low dose of Pitocin. I wouldn’t have wanted to have Pitocin to start the labor, because it would sabotage my chances of  laboring without pain relief but since I was already hooked on an epidural, it didn’t really matter much, as long as it was administered wisely.

My OB came in to talk to me in about an hour and I repeated what I had told the nurse. That “generally” we don’t mind starting a pit drip, but we’d like to wait an hour to see what my body does on its own.

I have to mention that at the hospital my nice sweet OB was more bossy and strict. It wasn’t a bad change, per se, but I did feel like i had less say in the matter than before. So after an hour of lack luster contractions we went ahead with the first low dose of Pitocin.


Contractions picked up quickly and were coming regularly. The goal was to up the dose every 20 min until they come every 2-3 min apart again. As far as I remember we upped the dose 3 times.
Pitocin was first administered at 10am and I was fully dilated by 2pm. The whole time I just hung out on my phone, not feeling a thing waiting for the drugs to do their job.

Around 2 pm- 2:15 pm we were ready to push. Her head was right there. After every push it would come out and then get sucked back in. We like to say that the first thing that was born was a curl of dark hair! Before we saw Alexis, we saw her curl for a few contractions.

It was really frustrating to push while numb. I felt helpless and ineffective. BUT it WAS painless. I clearly remember thinking (and still do) that while the pushing with an epidural was frustrating, I was not sure I wanted to experience it without, seeing all the stretching my OB was doing there- Yikes! Speaking of stretching, I won’t go into gory details, but it appeared that my OB was in a hurry and wanted to speed up things a bit ( he had to make a call to his office saying he’d be there in 30 minutes) and used his hands “freely”. My husband believes it was one of the reasons why I got 1 tear ( 1st degree). In the end, we decided that we didn’t mind, because him stretching me out meant less pressure on Lexi’s head and since I didn’t have a painful recovery, it was all for the best.

After about 30 minutes of pushing her head came out and it looked sooooo little! Before she was even pulled out completely, she started crying. She was so alert the whole time. She was immediately placed on my chest where they sucked liquid from her nose and mouth and Andrew started drying her off. I didn’t want to post more graffic photos on here, but there are 2 photos in particular that don’t show anything per se, but are pretty cool since it was the exact moment of Alexis being put on my chest with the cord still attached. The photos are blurry and bad quality but they mean the world to me. You can see them here:  Photo  Photo 2

Then he wrapped her in one of our Bambino Land organic blankets and put a hat on her. I just remember her looking soooo scared and helpless. And there was so much love for her in that instant. Like I said before we didn’t feel overwhelming love, we felt this calm deep feeling of knowing we’ve always loved her- like a “duh” feeling. She was soooo sweet and adorable and scared and she needed us to keep her warm and safe and comfortable. She just lay there on my chest frantically sucking her fist. It almost makes me cry just thinking about how scared she must have been.

 

{Organic Hat and Recieving Blanket is by Bambino Land}

The rest was a bit of a blur. I breastfed her- she latched onto my boobs like a Hoover vacuum and killed my nipples that first time.

After some bonding time when everyone left us alone, the baby nurse came in to weigh her and do routine procedures.

We were so wrapped up in this little girl we had been waiting for for so long that we didn’t even bother to ask her measurements.

After a while I got put into a wheelchair and with my baby in my arms wheeled up to the recovery floor.


It was almost unreal to have this tiny being in my hands- the one who spent 9 months inside me, submerged in water, upside down, with food and oxygen delivered to her, perfect temperature, no outside influence. It’s her little feet that stretched across my abdomen, her butt that stuck out whenever we touched it.

I spent the whole post partum time at the hospital wearing a designer hospital gown by dearjohnnies. I didn’t feel comfortable putting my own clothes on, because anything loose would feel too bulky under the covers and let’s admit it, pictures wouldn’t have turned out half as good if I wore the hospital provided one. Once again, just like Pretty Pushers gown, you can read about dearjohnnies and win a gown for yourself here.

Those first days before my milk came in on day 2 Alexis ate every 2 hours and slept sporadically (mostly stayed awake and alert) and pooped 1 and 2 diapers a day (which was exactly what I read and everyone tried to tell me was wrong). The next day Andrew drove home to pick up my mom, who stayed with us at the hospital for the day. She even held Alexis in her arms for a few hours just so that we could both get some sleep.

We both didn’t sleep at night because Alexis wouldn’t, so we weren’t even up to having visitors at the hospital – we were so exhausted from days of no sleep that started before delivery. To add insult to injury, medical personnel for some reason thought it was a good idea to keep coming in at night, turning lights full on and cheerfully and loudly announce that it’s time for them to take Alexis temperature right as we FINALLY put her to sleep.

One night this doctor comes in (after we had spent hours shushing and rocking her and finally got her to sleep) and insists on turning the brightest lights in the room and waking up Alexis because she needs a full body exam since “it’s been 24 hours”. It made no sense to me….  After he wakes her up and undresses her, he looks at the name tag and non-challantly announces that he’s got the wrong person. Lol I was ready to kill him right there and then.

{Swaddle in both pictures is by Bambino Land, purple onesie is by Best Baby Organics}

Originally, we were hoping not to introduce a pacifier until breastfeeding is established, but this girl LOVED and NEEDED to suck, so we gave in. It’s funny now because she spits every single one of them out.

Whenever they needed to take her somewhere to test her hearing or anything else, Andrew went with them. We never let her out of our sight and never let her be without at least one of us.

On day two We got cleared by both OB and ped to go home. By then I felt relatively good and had almost no bleeding. My body was still sore and it was a bit hard to get up but in the excitement of going home that got completely overlooked. I took a shower, brushed my hair, put some make up on and got into my going home dress, put my favorite cupcake footie on Alexis and felt like a new person, a new family, going home.

We only took a few shots on the way home and I would have really liked to have had Alexis out of the car seat, but they wouldn’t let us out that way. I still looked about 6 months pregnant going home (Thank you Boob Design dress for not making it obvious!), but by 2nd week I was back to “visibly” semi-flat stomach.

I loved driving home in the backseat with Lexi holding my thumb, only 2 days old and so adorable.

All in all, I consider my labor experience to be great, despite not doing it med-free and ending up with Pitocin. I got to labor for 10 hours without medication, I experienced the relief of an epidural without any side effects that sometimes follow it, I would totally do it again and pretty much with the same plan of action: try to get through it without pain relief, but in the end get an epidural if it’s too much to handle.

My next post will be Reflections on Birth Experience, where I’ll try to write my feelings and thoughts about the process, Hypnobabies, my hospital bag, the epidural and so on.

This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: Birth Story Part 2

The Art of Making a Baby © 2014 - All Rights Reserved

dearjohnnies Designer Hospital Gown Giveaway

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in My Pregnancy, PREGNANCY FASHION, Pregnant With Style, REVIEWS

Dear Johnnies is another hospital gown meant for a slightly different purpose during labor and delivery.

This one you wouldn’t want to get dirty- it’s so pretty with its patterns and colors. It is designed exactly like your standard hospital gown so few hospitals should have a problem with it. But instead of dingy hospital colors and twisted old ties, you’ve got bright happy patterns AND ribbons (love it).

Every gown comes in a cute little matching pouch. The gown has arm and back snaps along with ties all the way down the backside for easy medical access, but without revealing all of your goods.
As soon as I was transferred into my postpartum recovery room, I couldn’t wait to change into my cute pink gown. It wasn’t even a matter of not being comfortable in anything else. I just wanted to look and feel pretty after going through a beautiful but, let’s admit it, dirty experience.


And then of course it allows for much more pleasant hospital photos. Try to imagine these same shots with a green patterned standard hospital issue gown. Yuck!
Not the same! Not the same!


HOW TO GET IT:

BUY IT: You can purchase any of the styles on Dear Johnnies website  with 20% OFF until 4/15/12 by using the promo code PREBABY2012

WIN IT: You can enter below to win a gown from Wellesley collection! You can also like their FB page and follow their Twitter for news and discounts.

BELOW ARE THE GIVEAWAY RULES
and Mandatory Entries: {read carefully}

There are two mandatory entries, after which you will have additional entries available,
and 1 daily entry for which you can come back to enter daily.
The winning entry will be verified and the winner disqualified if the action is not found or if the mandatory items are not fullfilled.
Make sure to notate how you’re following the blog in the extra info field (entry #1). The entry won’t count if that information is missing.
Please make sure to visit Dear Johnnies’ Facebook Page and write on their wall which design you’d choose if you won.
The giveaway is open to US residents only. See the rafflecopter widget for additional terms and conditions.

If you have a blog, there’re 2 entries each worth 10 points ( post our button on your blog’s sidebar and blog about the giveaway)

{If you’re not sure how to use to enter, feel free to watch this video tutorial or email me at contact {at} prebabyblog {dot} com
Otherwise, make sure to read everything carefully. Click the DO IT link first, then ENTER once the action is completed}

 

 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Disclosure: I was not compensated by Dear Johnnies. I received this gown in exchange for an honest review. All the opinions represented here are 100% my own

This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: dearjohnnies Designer Hospital Gown Giveaway

The Art of Making a Baby © 2014 - All Rights Reserved