Monthly Archives: April 2017

baby

Crew Stedman Bethune

April 20, 2017

He’s here, he’s here!

Last Friday, April 14th, we welcomed our SON, Crew Stedman Bethune with wide open arms at 1:43pm. Arriving on the 42 week mark (WHEW), he was a much bigger baby than anyone could have guessed (over 9 lbs!), when my midwives had been predicting a 7, MAAAYBE 8 lb. baby. We are so, so overjoyed to see this sweet face & meet the little one that we feel like we already know so well. He is such a little sweetheart, & mama & papa are already completely wrapped around his tiny fingers.

We’re also overjoyed to be out of the hospital & slowly figuring life out at home with Crew. He is an absolute dream come true, & we honestly can’t believe we get to keep him. His face is just the best thing I’ve ever laid my eyes on, & getting the “mama” look from him honestly fills my heart till it bursts, over and over again. He loves staring at Jared’s face, & we’re figuring out breastfeeding at a seemingly great pace. Jared has a couple more days left at home with us, & even though his paternity leave has flown by WAY too fast, I’m SO grateful he had time off at all as we navigate this new way of life.

nursing dress: Loyal Hana

I can’t believe he’s finally here. I have so, so many posts to share with you but we’re taking our time & soaking up these newborn days as much as we can. Thank you for the well wishes! I’ll be back with 48237987234 photos from now till forever. He’s just really cute.

baby / pregnancy

Hospital Bag Essentials

April 6, 2017

weekender: Madewell | robe: Plum Pretty Sugar | nursing dress: Loyal Hana

Still waiting on a baby around here, so I figured I would go ahead & share what’s in our hospital bag since I’ve got the time! Post-baby edits in italics! 

FOR MAMA:
Things
Water bottle – Bringing my trusty BKR bottle, at least in the car for the drive over… It’s rather large but I shattered my smaller glass bottle at my last midwife appointment (RIP), so this guy might stay in the car. — This did indeed stay in the car.
Coconut water – This always made me feel better when I had terrible cramps, so I figure that might apply here, too!
Pillow & blanket – A lot of my friends have recommended bringing an extra blanket because of room temperature, but I am also a freak that would rather bring my own bedding to hotels. Sleeping on mystery pillows also really skeeves me out, so these are two things I WISH I could leave at home, but must have. I’ve read to make sure you bring a colored or patterned pillow case so you don’t forget this when you pack up! — Next time around, I’d bring TWO blankets from home – One for labor & one for the post-labor hospital stay.
Extra bag – Saw this on a couple different hospital bag guides, mostly for the extra things the hospital gives you to take home, & any gifts that friends/family bring by. — We brought a reusable grocery sized bag & could have used another, believe it or not!
Toiletries –  Glasses, contact stuff, deodorant, brush, travel shampoo/conditioner, straightener, face wipes, chapstick, hair band, basic makeup, dry shampoo, lotion, toothbrush/toothpaste
Mama care – I’m bringing this cream & this spray.
Perfume – This sounds so silly but I have a super strong pension for scent memory, & I want to attach a smell to the first couple days of newborn wonder.
Phone & phone charger – I have every intention of Jared being in charge of contraction tracking on his phone, so once labor starts, the plan is to pack up my phone & charger in my bag.

Clothes
Big, cozy socks – This is the one thing I’ve heard over & over from friends with babies!
Open front pajamas – I found some button down sleep tops at TJ Maxx for ~$12
Robe – I’ve been so excited to wear my Plum Pretty Sugar robe for baby time since I got it 5 years ago, & I think it’s going to be really lovely to wear something pretty after giving birth.
Black undies – This has been a big recommendation, too. I picked up a cheap pack of black granny panties from H&M that I can toss as needed. — I didn’t end up using these until I got home
Flip flops – I hate being barefoot, period, so when people recommend things like flip flops, I listen.
Slippers – Aside from ^^, this is also just a comfort measure for me.
Belly support band – For after labor. I went with this one based on reviews, but Zulily has had a bunch of deals for these so check that site frequently! I’m excited because the one I got is three separate pieces, & I’ve heard that the hips wrap feels SO good after birth. — Also didn’t use until we were home
Nursing bra & nursing pads – I’ve heard & read mixed reviews on whether I’ll actually need these IN the hospital (assuming we only have a 2 day stay), but I have this bra & these pads in my bag, just in case. — Bra, yes. Pads weren’t necessary until I got home & my milk came in.
Maternity leggings – They say you leave the hospital with about a 6 month pregnant tum, so I’m bringing my favorite Blanqi leggings to wear when we head home.
Loyal Hana nursing dress – I am SO excited about this dress. It’s comfortable (I wore it at 8.5 months pregnant for a Tart wedding & it was GREAT) AND nursing accessible AND so chic.
Oversized sweater – This was a doula recommendation, so you bet this got packed. — Bring two!
Some extra clothes – I packed just a few extra oversized shirts, leggings & my white slip on Vans as comfortable options. Who KNOWS what will feel comfortable?? I want options 😉 — Options were a good call! 

FOR BABY:
Carseat – Can’t leave with a baby without it! We have this carseat & were able to schedule an appointment to get it installed at our local police station, which was lovely in this city hustle & bustle!
Swaddle blankets – I’m bringing two.
Onesies – I’m probably overpacking here, but I have 4 onesies packed, heh. It’s April in DC, & the weather is bonkers, so I have long sleeve AND short sleeve kimono onesies in the bag.
Hats – I am bound & determined to keep that awful pink & blue hospital cap away from my baby’s head. I’m bringing two hats, but one is a bonnet for our going home outfit.
Mittens – Based on recommendations from friends! — Didn’t NEED these, used them maybe twice?
Socks – Of the tiniest H&M variety. Too cute.
Going home outfit – I am so positive that our going home outfit is going to be waaaay way too big for baby, but… We’re going to try to make it work.
Footprint paper – Some people bring a baby book but I am not even pretending that I would keep up with a baby book, so I don’t have one. Instead, I got handmade paper off Etsy & am bringing that to have them stamp little footprints on. I’m not even sure I’ll do anything with this, but I’d rather have it than not, & having this framed is a way more realistic option for me. — They didn’t footprint him in the hospital so we did this when we got home.

OTHER THINGS:
Birth Plan – We’re super excited to be at a very “baby friendly” hospital, where a lot of the natural birth practices that would typically go on our birth plan are already standard procedure. But! We still put a plan together, & I found this site & this site to be very helpful guides as we talked through what we wanted to include.
Maternity registration paperwork – Read this stuff then read it again. I revisited the website our hospital has set up & realized I’d missed a step, then in reading the paperwork found a document that required witness signatures from people other than relatives or hospital employees! We would have been up a creek, so definitely knock this task out of the way while you have time.
Insurance & ID 
Playlists – Our doula recommended putting together three different hospital playlists: 1) A fierce playlist (lots of Beyonce) 2) A chillout playlist (lots of Feist) & 3) an instrumental playlist (lots of the Pride & Prejudice soundtrack) — Didn’t use these until AFTER baby was born!
Bluetooth speaker – We have this one packed in Jared’s bag. — Super glad we had this for the post baby stay.
Camera 
Go-time last minute packing list – Let’s be honest, I’m not packing my makeup or toiletries because I’m still using them. I wrote out everything that needs to be gathered once we’re getting close to leaving for the hospital so Jared can either help me pack up or do it completely on his own while I get through… Whatever I’m going through 😉 This includes things like water for the car, my favorite chapstick from my purse, and some treats that are staying in the car until we’ve got a baby.

The most helpful guides I found on Pinterest all included post-hospital notes about what was actually useful, what was missing, & what could have stayed at home, so I’ll plan to revisit once this baby has made its big debut. (Soon. Hopefully.) — The only thing I can think to add was that Jared ended up bringing his laptop for work & it was SO great to have that around to watch Netflix before & after! 

Come oooooon, baby!

DC / out & about

out & about: a visit to the cherry blossoms

April 1, 2017

We’ve known that the cherry blossoms blooming would be THE sign that baby time is almost here ever since our due date was adjusted for the 15th time by the midwives. I had scrolled back in my Instagram feed to see what we were doing at this time last year – We were at the cherry blossoms. Right at this very spot, in fact. It was Jared’s day off & I got off work early, so we rushed down to the Tidal Basin to catch the blooms at peak. From our old apartment, it was about a 30 minute walk & we had a bad habit of always trying to sneak our blossom visit in right as the sun was starting to set. It was chilly. We had tacos when we got home.

This year, our visit to the blossoms was much more relaxed. With such weird spring weather, the blossoms bloomed a little early, & we used some of Jared’s weekend to take a trip down to the basin. It counted as another free pre-baby date, & since it was a Monday, there were waaaay less people there than there would be on a weekend. It was HOT, & when Jared left my side for 3 seconds to scope out a bench to sit on, I managed to trip over the tree roots, skinning my leg & twisting my ankle like a hot mess 9 month pregnant girl. So we sat, for a long while 😉 Injury aside, it was so nice. Even though I walk at approximately 1/4 of the rate I usually do, it felt like a very firm just-the-two-of-us moment. Filled with “Next year…” imagining & cooing over the other babies visiting the blooms.

Now that it’s April, & specifically, now that we’re more than halfway through April Fool’s Day, I’m officially okay with this baby coming any day. Still not in any rush… I don’t feel so uncomfortable that I’m wishing away quiet evenings or slow Sunday mornings with just Jared. Our days of two are coming to a close & we are SO excited to meet this new person that will be our everything, but I’m also so very sentimental about closing this chapter of Jared & Kelsey. It has been a wonderful 6.5 years of us-ness.

… & at the same time, it has been a long nearly 11 years of wondering what our future babies will look like, & we are so. close to knowing the answer. All in good time.