Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Post-Weekend Check-In

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a nice long weekend!

I've been in a funk lately, which is why I've been relatively quiet here in bloggy-land. I think it was just a combination of fatigue, grief, and hormones, but I was in an anti-social mood for almost 2 weeks, where I just didn't feel like seeing, being with, or talking to people. I guess I just wanted the world to stop moving for a few days while I caught my breath and processed everything that's gone on in the last month.

So for most of the last two weeks, I spent most of my time alone. Pastor is on vacation so I was alone at work. DH works during the day, so I was alone at home, and I didn't accept any social invitations. It was really kind of weird, because I'm one of the biggest extroverts I know. I will ALWAYS choose being with people over being alone. So this was just weird. But I spent a lot of time praying, thinking, talking with DH, and resting. I think that's probably one of the downfalls of the extrovert--you fill your time and thoughts with so much activity, that you don't often have time for quiet and stillness. I need to be more intentional about carving out time to be still.

This weekend was really recharging. I had tons of time with DH, which is always some of my best medicine. We hung out all weekend together, just doing life. Time with him just refills my love cup so much. He is self-employed in a manual-labor industry, so he works long hours that leave him physically exhausted during the week, so while we see each other, there's not a lot of quality time that happens during the week. So 3 days with him was just what the doctor ordered!

We've been doing little things to prepare for baby Matthew. This weekend, we ordered our carseat and stroller. Aren't they cute? I love the funky pattern and I think it will serve us well for both boys and girls.

On Saturday, we went and registered at Target. It was fun to shop for him. It's still a little early to be registering, but it was nice to go and start choosing things for him. He really IS coming!! Now that he has a gender and a name, everything feels so much more real and imminent.

I've determined that I really like transportation and jungle animals. Not sure where that came from, but brightly colored elephants and giraffes and airplanes and trucks are so cute! (The cars thing makes sense-DH is a 4th Generation Car Guy). But man am I a sucker for cute things!

I have a question for you mommies out there: we're also registered at Babies R Us. Babies R Us locations are far and few between in our town. But there are some things they have that Target just doesn't have, so we have both registries open. But in the cases of products that both stores carry, how do you choose which store? We tended toward Target because the stores are more easily accessible but I also know that Babies R Us is more flexible. Thoughts?

I have another question, too. I originally decided that I didn't want a traditional, full sized high chair. Our dining room is small and high chairs are large. I opted instead for a booster style seat that we could just strap to our regular dining room chair. But when we were at Target this weekend, we found this one which converts from a full size to a booster style. So then I thought the flexibility of that one might be nice. We only have 6 dining room chairs, which are easy to fill if we have company over. So I thought having the legs to make the chair freestanding in cases like that and in cases where I might want to feed baby in another room (would I ever want/need to do that?) might be nice. But I can't decide if legs and flexibility are worth the extra $50. Has anyone ever gone exclusively the booster seat route and regretted it?

We're also still deciding between cloth and disposable diapers. How about this-I'll make all the fun and cute decisions...someone else make the rest! :D

Another question: What are your top 5 baby items?

My piece of advice to other moms: don't let your DH carry the scanner gun! :) You never know WHAT you're going to end up with!

I know I'm doing a lot of this early, but we're trying to space out our major purchases, especially since he is coming right after Christmas, when our expenses are traditionally the highest.

The next big decision we have to make is where to bank baby's cord blood. As I mentioned before, this was a non-negotiable of the Genetic Parents. DH and I had originally intended to donate cord blood, because it is rich with stem cells and we had hoped that if scientists have plenty of access to those cells, they'd leave embryos alone. So, that was hard for us to let go of.

We don't have any objection to cord blood banking. We don't have strong opinions on delayed clamping or anything like that that would affect whether or not cord blood banking was an option for us. In reality, it's probably a wise investment considering we don't have any genetic commonalities with our children. That was the main reason Beau and Sheila wanted it--to preserve some genetic "resources" if you will for the children since we are unable to provide them. Has anyone banked their child's cord blood? What company have you used? How did you make that choice and have you been satisfied with it?

Someone asked me this question in a comment on my last post so I thought I'd answer it here:
We may consider EA, as a life-giving option and also because we will most likely not have a biological child. I worry if I could keep going through failed transfers like yourself. I know how hard it was for us to go through 2 failed IVF's. I know the pregnancy makes it all worth it, any encouragement to why EA is worth all even the losses? If you could you answer on your blog, as I still have not opened up that topic on my blog, I would really appreciate it. If you want to email me, let me know.

I believe EA is a calling. I believe it is something that God places on your heart, and then gives you the resources to accomplish. I don't view it as a fertility treatment or even as a strictly family-building endeavor. I and DH both believe with all our hearts that God called us specifically to this and that these children were always ours in His plan for us. Keeping that in mind makes the losses easier to bear because the end goal of glorifying God and being obedient stays the same in both life and death. I'm no saint, trust me. Loss is hard. I have 5 children in Heaven already, and realistically, probably more who will join them. It's the hardest thing I've ever done, and it hurts every time. Quite honestly, I hate that part of this journey. But, when we adopted these babies, we decided to always want the best for them. And if their Creator has numbered the days of some of them to be shorter than the days allotted to their brother, we believe that we have to trust Him with them, regardless of how difficult it is. We believe that He loves them more than we ever could, and that while we miss them, Heaven is all they've ever known, so they're not hurting. Remembering that makes the losses more difficult to bear. Has this journey been hard? Yes. Exceptionally so. Far more than I ever anticipated. But I can say that beyond a shadow of a doubt, it is worth it. By God's grace, we have 12 children. 6 are now out of frozen limbo and He allowed US to make that happen for them. I love that they're not stuck and frozen anymore. And I love this little boy on the way with all my heart. God gives us the strength for both our joys and our sorrows, and there is great comfort in knowing that we are being obedient to His plan for us. I hope that helps, and I'll pray as you consider whether or not EA is what He has for you. Do any of you other EA mommies out there want to chime in for her? Feel free to comment on this post.

Several of my bloggy friends have experienced recent losses after failed FETs--praying for all of you, friends!

Thanks in advance everyone for any feedback you have on any of my questions!


  1. "any encouragement to why EA is worth all even the losses?"

    For me, there is no difference at all whether or not you have a failed transfer whether your embryos are of your own genetic material or they are adopted. My adopted embryos are my babies. Period. I am their mother. I will plug ahead and give them my womb to grow. When they did't continue to grow durning my past 2 transfers, the hurt couldn't have been more real. But I have more snowbabies who are counting on me, so of course, I will move forward, working at giving them at chance at life as soon as possible with every decision I make.

    PS. I am glad you are out of your funk!!! LOVE the pattern for your travel system!!! So cute! I too plan on registering at BRU and Target.


  2. As far as registering, we didn't really choose where things were on our registries, I actually put a lot of stuff on there twice, once at Target and once at BRU. Really didn't matter to me where things came from.

    For the highchair, we have the booster style. I liked the concept of the booster style, and actually strapped it on to a barstool with a back so it was a little higher. I didn't like our particular seat because of the belt, but that was my opinion. I'll give you more info on the one I have if you want it.

    Things I couldn't have lived without: baby nightgowns for the first few weeks (made the overnight diaper changes much easier), extra bases for the car seat (so we could easily move it from car to car), Playtex drop-ins bottles & my Medela Pump in Style (working mom, here!), Laninsoh nursing pads, and Lansinoh milk storage bags. *ok, that was 6, but the last few go together*

  3. Jen, we really love our table seat (rather than a high chair). It is lovely to have the baby right at the table with you, and they can use a table seat long before a typical booster is safe - think the "not QUITE sitting up alone" stage. :) Ours is a Chicco Hippo table seat (purchased on ebay) and it has lasted us through two children and is still going strong!

    My one "must have" for a new baby is a good sling. Babies LOVE them, and you can have your hands back. :) I don't know how I would have survived without mine. If you'd like one of the ones I make, I offer gift certificates (hint hint to friends) or I can give you my "family and friends" discount if you want to get one yourself.


  4. I did love my wrap with Audrey, it's was fantastic! Not something I couldn't "live without" since I was a working mommy, but definitely something I really loved.

  5. Hi Em,
    Slings aren't comfortable for me since they're worn on just one shoulder and I have so many back/neck problems but I've used my friend's Moby Style wrap and I love it, so I plan to get one of those. Thank you for the sweet offer for your family/friends discount! I hope your business does very well!

    Thanks also for your feedback on the chairs, EL and Em.

  6. I know you have heard from me on the cloth diapering front already ;) But just wanted to say, I really am doing both. I have probably cloth diapered for 4 months of 8 and used disposable the other half the time. (Used disposable especially when out of town on trips and when baby was tiny). I got quite a few cloth as shower gifts and then bought a few so I have enough to cloth full time, but for me there are times I find it overwhelming and just need to use disposables for a time and we fit the cost into the budget. But when using cloth and in that groove, I don't mind it at all either! It isn't hard, although there is extra laundry, but it is great for his bottom and there isn't so much waste.... And the cloth are GREAT to use when money is tighter too. But then the ease with disposables... Truly, do what works for you, whether it is truly one or the other or part time, or every other week... When you get a feel for what you want, let me know (Cloth/disposable, or both! and I want to get you started :)

  7. I registered at both Target and Babiesrus for all of the essential items that they both carried. Then, as I started receiving gifts (which you will any day now if you haven't already), you can go onto the registries and delete what you got from other stores. Plus, you can always return duplicates or if you have too many of one item (like blankets). I have a freestanding highchair and loved it for it's flexibility. I used to feed the kids in the family room so they could be with everyone when they weren't quite on the same eating schedule as everyone else. It was easier to clean and our tray came off so that when they got older we could push them up to the table so they could eat with us. Our old kitchen was EXTREMELY small, but we still were able to put two of them in and leave all six chairs open for adults. If you get a booster, you will need one that reclines for those times that you are feeding a not completely sitting baby. They have those around and they are really nice. I almost bought one when I was pregnant with Kate, but ultimately used the boys' highchair.
    Top 5 baby items:
    1. Pack N Play for sleeping at other people's houses or for setting up a second sleeping/changing station in your own house. Our house is two stories, so while I was recovering from my c-section, Kate would sleep and be changed in one during the day so I didn't have to repeatedly climb the stairs.
    2. Megasaucer or freestanding jumper (for the times you need to confine a crawling baby or when they need some play time)
    3. Sling/Carrier. I had both and used the carrier more often. NEEDED this. I couldn't imagine having a baby without one.
    4. Swing or bouncy seat. I had both, but really could have just had one and been ok. I used them everyday until they sat up so that I could get a break from carrying the baby around all of the time.

  8. Hi, Jen!

    - Dual Registries - I'm afraid I can't help you there, as we only registered at Target and an online place solely for cloth diapers (that was a flop).

    - High chair - We have the stand-alone. It is really nice and very convenient, BUT it takes up a TON of space. I don't know that I'd do it again. However, because it reclines and is more cushy than a booster seat, it does allow younger babies to sit in it, and it's wonderful for babies like G. who have muscle tone issues. So it's a mixed bag. I know that L. has used only a booster seat, and she loves it, plus she takes it everywhere with her. I'd probably do the same a second time around.

    - Five top baby items: Transportation system, Boppy (though I got to try the My Brest Friend once and I liked that just as well or better), Moby Wrap, cloth diapers/burp cloths (for same purpose), diapers, one of those cross-over floor baby gyms (just got one - G. loves it). However, it varies by person - I always bathed babies in the sink and had no need for a baby bath, but L. loved her baby bath - and conversely, I couldn't live without my Boppy, and she never used hers. It really varies by mommy. Oh, and nursing stuff! Lansinoh lanolin and nursing pads (disposable) - lovely, lovely stuff! Such a big help for the early days of nursing. Oh, and a good nursing bra - several of those! I always go to Baby, Mother & More for those (just was there this past weekend).

    Can't wait to meet baby M.! And to see you guys too - I miss you!!!!!!

  9. And a pack 'n play! So convenient for working at the church and at other people's houses!! :)

  10. Jen how exciting to prepare for Matthew! I am a minimilist so my top five baby items narrow down considerably and I find with each baby I get rid of more and more things, babies need you when they are born and that's about it :-) If I have to do five "ish" though I'd say:

    1)A good baby carrier (a moby works great when they are little but not when they get bigger because of the stretch of the fabric, an ergo, or mei tai is AWESOME for 6 months -4 years!)
    2)Tupperware - the favorite toy for all ages
    3) A baby food grinder, seriously consider not buying baby food, this hand grinder is inexpensive, and portable and you just grind what you are eating wherever you are...I've never bought baby food and it adds almost no time to my routine and SO MUCH better for baby (google some of the things they've found in baby food jars!)
    4) Cloth diapers LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE...and they are sooooo cute have you seen these?
    seriously though you'll make up your cost in 6 months and mine have lasted through now my third and going strong!
    5) I am really struggling to think of anything else...if your nursing let me know and I'll make you some nursing pads that are reusable so you won't have to keep buying...and I recommend converting bras you like into nursing bras they fit soooo much better then speciality bras and are soo sooo easy.

    HIGH CHAIR: We have one that attaches to the table (the same as emily's) and LOVE IT doesn't take up a chair, baby right at the table with you and no floor space being comprimised and easy to transport we've never desired anything else!

  11. Jen! Started cloth when Amelia was 3 months old. It was a lota 'fun' finding cute diapers but moved back to disposables when she was about 2. You gotta check out diaperswappers.com if you're at all interested in learning from the 'pros.' Lots of CD mamas out there who know their stuff!

    Secondly, I registered at Target and BRU but realistically people (other than parents) only shopped at Target cuz it was a lot closer.

    Thirdly, baby items....hmmm....small washcloths and white burpcloths (cheapo Gerber brand), good for using a bunch and throwing them in the wash. We love our Fisher Price baby monitor (don't need the video one though some people swear by it), we LOVE the B.O.B. and Maclaren strollers (good for different purposes), and oh, Chicco brand carseat is awesome! Waaay cushier and more quality- feeling than any other carseat I saw. I see you got the same brand...

    Lastly, EA was a calling for us as well. It took us a total of three tranfers and losses of 6 babies before we got to hold Amelia in our arms. Devastating? Yes. Worth it? Yes. Any embryos left? No, we will see them in heaven. But praising the Lord for the blessing He has given us, and we are confident that our daughter Amelia was God's 'plan A' for our family. We couldn't be happier.

  12. Hey Girl,

    Target vs BRUs- Target, hands down. We find them about half the cost as BRUs.

    Diapers- I love my cloth diapers, but I make the system work for me, not the other way around. We cloth about 60/40. We do disposables at night and any time we are away from the house. I basically only cloth when I am home (which is most of the time) and it is convenient. I dont know if you have anything like this where you live (it would be easy to find out), but one of our local cloth diaper stores does something called a 'diaper trial.' It is a 2 week no pressure cloth diaper system rental. Basically you get to try 6-7 different brands and figure out what, if anything, works for you and your babe. Most of the friends I have convinced to try it have known within 2-3 days if it is for them. It is a great way to try out a bunch of different dipes without actually having to buy them. The hands down favorite used to be BumGenius, but I have switched them to the dark side and convinced many that FuzziBunz OneSize is much more versatile.

    Anyway, I am super excited for you and your DH. Lord willing, I will be having a baby 2 weeks before you. It sure is an adventure!

    Much Love!
    Jess Leslie

  13. Personally Target has changed their return policy in recent years even on baby registrys and it STINKS! Babies R Us is awesome in returns. There will be times that people get duplicates on the registry but don't get a gift receipt, Target will only do a max of $20 return without receipts. :(

  14. I love talking about baby gear!

    Obviously, things like a crib and carseat are the ones you literally can't live without, but these are my top-five favorites that I'm glad I don't have to live without. Also, baby number 2 has changed my perspective some and I have new items that I'm enjoying that I wish I had had the first time.

    1. Glider with ottoman: best thing ever for breastfeeding and if you get one with comfortable arm rests you can even go without a boppy. I end up using the boppy more for seating baby comfortably. Maybe it's my body type but it didn't help very conveniently for nursing. After nursing, it is the best for rocking and reading stories. I get more use out of this than anything.

    2. Loving my new stroller from BabyJogger. I had a traditional stroller that was a hand-me-down with the first and didn't have any complaints until recently. However, BabyJogger much better construction, is easier to push, and my favorite feature is it has much better safety features. It also fully reclines so that you don't have to use the carseat when the baby is an infant and the double is more narrow then many so it still fits in and out of the front door.

    3. Got the Medela Harmony this time becuase I didn't like my Playtex Electric pump and really wanted a Medela, but didn't want to spend the big bucks since I'm a stay-at-home mom and don't pump that often. So far, the reviews have proven true and I like it way better than a cheaper electric, even though it's a manual. On the plus side, it's really quiet and you don't have to pay for batteries or look for an outlet.

    4. Got the SwaddleMe for this baby because she loves to be swaddled and I'm just not very good at it and would worry that she would come undone and the blanket would fall over her face. This helps her sleep so much better!

    5. Love the HooterHider type cover-up, though my mother-in-law made me a homemade one, which I would recommend if you or someone close to you is handy with a sewing machine because it's a lot more affordable. I also love the Towel Aprons that you can find online, but this too can be homemade. These make it so much easier to dry off an infant after bathing. So, yes, I'm squeezing in two recommendations here.

    As for high-chairs, we are short on space and got the Fisher-price space saver high chair. I had registered for a traditional but hadn't realized how huge the footprint had become for these and it just wouldn't fit in our kitchen after we set it up. This also converts into a booster and reclines for when the baby is young. If we want to change rooms, we just move the kitchen chair. It is a bummer to give up a chair at your table, but the way I figure, the chair will be his eventually anyways and it is nice to have him closer to us and more a part of things at the dinner table.

    Target is more convenient and more affordable but it is true that their return policy will make you want to pull your hair out.

  15. What a fun topic!
    Okay a lot has changed int he baby gear world from when I had D-man in '95 and PookieBear in '07. Some of my "must haves" have changed, others remain the same. Here they are (not in any order, but if I had to narrow it down, these are my MUST-haves)

    1) glider rocker. I have used the same one since kiddo#1 & still love it! I ditched the ottoman, but couldn't live without the chair!

    2) Medela Pump-in-Style double electric breast pump. I am on my 2nd one and pray to use it again.

    3) Ergo baby carrier-chiropractor recommended. I loved this one and I used it from 4mo- to just recently

    4) booster with a high chair tray. The ones that are free standing are my favorite, but take up too much room. The clip on ones are great, but only worked on one of our 2 tables. I love our booster w/ tray combo and have used it through 3 kiddos. It has an adjustable seat to lower/raise as they grow.

    5) a Graco Pack & Play. I have had other brands, but Grace is my favorite and I got my recent one off Craig*li*t and it was used once I believe. I got a great deal and it had the bassinet & mobile. We opted for that for our bedroom this time and were sooo glad we go it.

    6) Robe*z shoes. THose things are the best. Where were these when the other kiddos were babies. PookieBear could never pull these off and her toesies stayed warm and then when she learned to walk they were the BEST.

    7) Last but not least...a bouncy seat. It is truly a must-have in this house.

    Have fun shopping : )

  16. We are using cloth at home, disposables when we are out.

    This is the high chair we are getting, IT MATCHES YOUR TRAVEL SYSTEM :) IT SAVES SPACE!


    Burp rags-GOOD ONES are hard to find. I order mine personalized and have for years from here.

    Also a BUMBO-can't live without this!

  17. I am a baby product ADDICT. I am a stroller/ car seat expert! (P.S. Chicco is a great brand, make sure the car seat is rated to 30 pounds so you can use it longer. I grew to hate my comparable Graco stroller because it was so heavy, but the huge basket and parent tray makes shopping trips a breeze. Amen to the Baby Jogger rec-- Noah is a HUGE 2.5 year-old and I know we'll be able to use our City Mini for another year.)

    For me, it's the little things I couldn't live without: my Mommy Hook (google it!), the Gerber soft cloth burp rags for spit up and the huge flannel ones as leaky boob lining, my iPhone to stave off boredom during yet another middle-of-the-night feeding session. We wouldn't have survived without our baby swing, but I definitely wouldn't spend money on that until Matthew is here. And I love our rocking chair! I also have to recommend the bebe au lait/hooter hider recommendation - expensive but worth it.

    We did disposable diapers, mainly because I work full-time. One of my dear friends does Bum Genius and loves it!

    We had a Chicco high chair that I liked a lot. It collapsed down really small, but I'm not sure we ever actually folded it down because we used it so much. My mom bought a Space Saver high chair (graco?) for her house, and it was awesome until Noah outgrew it.

    My advice? Get the essentials (and accept gifts!), but don't buy anything else until Matthew is here and you know what HE needs. We bought tons of things (like swaddling blankets!) that we never used because Noah didn't like them. And I wish I had paid more attention to weight/height recommendations when I bought some toys-- Noah is just so BIG that he outgrew things really early. Something to pay attention to in your car seat/stroller quest!

    Anyway, hope that helps!

  18. thought of some more to add..
    We always did disposable, but my sis is doing cloth right now and if we are blessed with another baby to raise, we will be doing cloth. I love the pattern you picked out for your stroller. Registry? it has been so long for me, I don't know what to say there? I like shopping at Target for gifts for others though. Just check BabiesR Us's return policy and then don't worry about returning to Target if they are sticklers about it.

    Have fun shopping!

    I love what you said to answer the EA question. That is where we are. God brought us these children and we are to do everything we can for them as He leads and provides to help them have a continued life. In light of what info we learned from the clinic yesterday, I am going to post a detailed post on the subject of EA as a call from God God-willing this week sometime (we will be on vacation). He does equip and provide and we are patient because we know that these are our children He gave us.