Baby Buys: Part 2

This post covers the bigger, much needed items we’ve recently purchased for baby including a bassinet, stroller, bath tub, baby monitor and diaper bag.

1. Halo Bassinest Swivel Sleeper – Premier Series in Classic Damask

When I first heard of this bassinet, I thought it was another ridiculously priced baby item that you wouldn’t get much use out of. After visiting my sister and seeing it in action with my nephew, I was sold.

Our bedroom is not very wide. We need a bassinet over a play yard if we are to keep baby in our room for the first few months.  Our bed is also fairly high off the ground. The Halo bassinet adjusts to accommodate the height of your bed; and swivels for easy access in and out of bed. This allows for little to no bending if you end up being a c-section Momma. I also like how it’s see through for visible sight lines to baby. I initially thought the stand would be floppy, but it’s actually quite substantial and heavy.

The Premier series also comes with the following electronic features (batteries required): a night light, 3 soothing sounds, 3 lullabies, a nursing timer, 3 levels of vibration – all with 30 minute auto shut off.

They say the bassinet is good for up to 5 months old or a maximum weight of 30 lbs. My sister just switched my nephew to his crib and he’s 4 months old – nowhere close to the weight limit though.

At most stores in Canada, this bassinet model will run you $299.99 plus $18.99 for a fitted sheet. The model without the electronic features is $239.99. We got ours in excellent used condition for $200 including the crib sheet. If we factor in the taxes (10% in our province), we saved over $150 by purchasing it used. SCORE!

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2. 2015 Uppababy Vista in Georgie (Marine Blue/Carbon)

Our stroller is by far our biggest splurge. We narrowed down the options by reading online reviews, then actually going into the stores and pushing the strollers around.

We had an excellent Sales Associate who thoroughly went through all the features with us multiple times. Yes, that means I went into the store and looked at the strollers MANY times before we took the plurge and swiped our card. We made sure we knew how to use everything and understood why the features were worth it before making our final decision.

Both my husband and I agreed the Uppababy Vista just felt “the best” to us. I know lots of people rav about the City Select, but in comparison, it felt clunkier. We liked the 2nd seat option of the Uppababy, but since we don’t know what our future plans are for growing our family, a second seat wasn’t a 100% required feature. We LOVED the colour choices of the Uppababy and all of the accessories it comes with for no added cost: the bassinet, bassinet bug shield, bassinet storage bag, toddler seat rain shield, toddler seat bug shield, and the bumper bar.

The best part about the Vista was how easy it is to change seat positions and fold the stroller up. Not only that, it’s one of the few strollers on the market capable of standing up on it’s own when folded. The true weight of this model is 27.5 lbs, but neither one of us have had difficulty manoeuvring it. It has one of the best SPF sunshades and includes an extra large basket that holds up to 30 lbs (or in my case – 2 chihuahuas and a diaper bag). A large basket was a MUST HAVE for us and surprisingly, so many strollers have tiny baskets.

At first, I felt a bit silly about buying a stroller that comes with another bassinet. I do hope to use the Uppababy bassinet in our family room for nap time when it’s not being used on the stroller.

The catch with the Uppababy is that some colours are more expensive than others. The pricing generally ranges from $924-964. We purchased this stroller at a local speciality baby store for $964 – a full-priced splurge, but well worth it in our minds.

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3. Boon Naked Collapsible Baby Bath Tub – in Purple

This was one of our first baby purchases. We got it when I was only 7 weeks pregnant.

Our godson has one and his parent’s love it. I like how it collapses for easy storage. I plan to hang it on the wall or the back of the bathroom door when it’s not in use. It’s also eco-friendly – BpA-free, Phthalate-free and PVC-free.

I’ve heard some mixed reviews about the simplicity of using this with a newborn. Some suggestions include using a foam insert at the bottom until baby is a bit bigger. We will see how it works out for us.

I have seen this bath tub go for $69-79 regular price. I found ours at Marshall’s for $35. It was a discontinued colour, but who cares! For that price, I’ll take it.

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4. Philips Avent – SCD570/10 Dect Baby Monitor

This purchase was a bit more impulsive. I had done a bit of research into monitors, but really didn’t know which way I would go. I found this model on sale on and decided to take the plunge.

This is an audio-only monitor. In the age of technology, it may seem odd that I chose to NOT go with a video monitor. I’ve read lots of mixed reviews on the quality of the video monitors. Being a huge tech geek I knew if I went video, I’d want high quality, but I did not want to spend the money on this luxury.

We live in a 4-level split home. There’s only a handful of steps between the main floor and our bedrooms. I don’t ever think I will be that far from our child. Our basement level (4 levels down) is closer than most people’s 2nd story.

I chose this monitor because it’s the top rated audio monitor on the market. It’s features include:

  • DECT technology that guarantees zero interferance with other transmitting electronics
  • High quality, crystal clear sound
  • A temperature sensor to monitor the climate in baby’s room
  • A night light and lullabies
  • Talk-back ability
  • A range of up to 330 metres

Full-priced, this monitor sells for $199 at most specialist baby stores; although, I did find it on amazon.ca for $161.  I got mineon sale for 30% off from West Coast Kids which totalled $146.99 with taxes and shipping included.

philipsavent-DECTmonitor-medium

6. Timi & Leslie 7-piece Diaper Bag Set in Ocean Blue 

I tend to be a Matt & Nat kinda gal. I wanted a diaper bag that is versatile and looks more like a purse. When I found this diaper bag, I was IN LOVE! ❤

This particular style can be worn cross-body or over the shoulder with adjustable, detachable straps. It comes with a changing pad, a zippered waterproof sac for soiled clothes, a clutch that can be used as a wallet or a small purse, an insulated bottle tote, and matching stroller straps.

My husband bought it for me as a gift for my upcoming birthday.  We purchased this item without seeing it in real life. I had never even heard of the brand before. Once it arrived, I was even more impressed! The quality and size is exactly what I wanted.

I found the bag online at Chapters listed at a regular price of $180. We got it sale on for $40 off plus an extra 20% off putting the final cost at $140.80 after taxes ($128 before taxes). A mighty-fine birthday present if I do say so myself!

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To me, an investment in high quality items that have great reviews is totally worth it if you can fit it into your budget. I’m confident that many of our big ticket items – especially the bassinet and the stroller – will retain decent resale value.

Don’t forget to refer back to Baby Buys: Part 1, the items we purchased before we conceived: a high chair, play yard, swing, bouncy chair, and changing pad.

And stay tuned for Baby Buys: Part 3… the nursery!

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24 week bumpdate

How Far Along: 24 weeks and 4 days

Meds: All taken daily – prenatal vitamin, Omega 3 + DHA, Vitamin D, Ranitidine (2x/day), Magnesium (250g at bedtime as per my chiro’s recommendation), Gaviscon for heartburn as required.

Baby is the size of: an eggplant

Best Moments This Week: 

  • Way more baby kicks! Sometimes, he refuses to go back to sleep for a while after I’ve gotten up to pee early in the morning.
  • Seeing my baby bump actually move due to a kick
  • Buying our crib, room accessories and some clothes

Total Weight Gain: 8 lbs total. Didn’t weigh myself this week. 

Maternity Clothes: Ugh. We are due for a super hot summer. I bought 2 new dresses at Motherhood maternity this weekend (including the one in my photo below). All I want to wear is breathable material – no jeans! I also find if I wear my Bella band, it smooths out the B and gives me a bit of added support.

Symptoms:

  • Heartburn and acid reflux
  • Sore lower back and hips from sitting in the car for 10 hours this weekend
  • Hungry and tired – I’m not sure if it’s the heat or just pregnancy, but I’m so tired again.
  • That rash is coming back again 😦

Sleep: Some nights good, some nights bad. Depends on the # of pees and my acid reflux.

Food Cravings: Blueberry bagels, green grapes, blueberries, ice cream

Anything making you queasy or sick: Same as last week – Brushing my teeth still, eating too much, taking too much in my mouth, meat –  plus bending over as it triggers my acid reflux.

Movement: A LOT MORE! Super exciting. Although, jumping on my bladder is really getting old now.

Stretch Marks: Yes on my lower tummy

Baby Bump: Growing and growing…

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Gender: BOY

Labour Signs: Too early.

Belly Button In or Out?: Innie.

Wedding Rings on or off?: Off due to the heat. I’ve noticed a bit of swelling in my hands, but my feet seem ok.

Happy or Moody?: Happy, yet tired.

Purchases for baby: We bought an Ikea crib and a few accessories to organize the room (will write more about that later!). Also picked up quite a few onesies and sleepers from Carter’s on sale for an extra 20% off the last marked sale price. SCORE!

Purchases for Momma: A maxi dress, a skirt and a short summery dress from Motherhood Maternity

Miss Anything?: Bending over without a struggle, eating full meals

Looking forward to: Putting together the crib this weekend

Embrace the change

It’s Friday – a lovely, warm, surprisingly humid on the normally dry Prairies day. I’m struggling with motivation today. If I ruled the world, everyone would have every Friday off in the summer.

I woke up this morning at 6:30 am and had trouble falling back asleep because my little man kept kicking me. I think when I’m hungry the little man is also hungry as he tends to be more active then.

This week must have been a growth spurt for me. I’ve been SO HUNGRY and tired. I eat about 5-6 small meals a day and I’m exhausted by 7-8pm every night.

I’ve also been REALLY struggling with eating meat. My one intuitive friend laughed and told me she isn’t surprised as my little man is quite the “hippie”. It will be interesting to see if her prediction is right.

As the days go on, I get more and more excited to welcome our son into the world. My husband said the other night that he’s most excited to see what he looks like and I can’t agree more!

I also has my first showing of the dreaded red stretch marks. Overnight, a few red speckles made an appearance on my stomach proving that the lines are slowly surfacing. I went through the stretch mark phase during puberty and with any significant weight gain, so it’s not a surprise I got them during pregnancy. I’m going to embrace them. They actually make my ectopic scars stand out less which is an interesting concept. Reminders of our 1st baby blend with signs of our 2nd and work together to create a natural piece of art over the sacred space that nourished my babies. I’ve always believed that each mark on our body tells our story. Now, the stories of both of my children are woven together. ❤

Early tomorrow morning, we are off for our baby shopping weekend. I booked us into a hotel that I often stay at for business trips that has an outdoor pool that overlooks the downtown area. I’m so looking forward to laying on my back in the water and looking up at the sky. I’m also looking forward to making a decision on the crib (I honestly don’t know why this has been so difficult for me!) and finally getting started on the nursery once we are home. Can’t wait to fill you in.

For now, embrace your partners, hug your bellies, and kiss your children. After today’s US Supreme Court ruling in favour of gay marriage, we all need to share the love. Even though there will always been challenges and struggles, we are on the way to a more accepting society – a better place for our children.

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Facing fears during pregnancy after loss

Before we took our hypnobirthing classes, I was struggling with a lot of fear – about the upcoming anatomy scan, reaching viability, etc. Hitting 20 weeks was a huge milestone for me. This timing perfectly coincided with a hypnobirthing class on releasing fears. My husband and I both wrote down a list of anything that was bothering us and released each item through a visualization exercise.

On Monday night, we met with our doula to discuss our birth preferences. I prefer the term preferences because we all know that you can’t plan exactly how your labour and delivery will go.

I told her that my biggest outstanding fear is the potential for going overdue and resulting in a stillborn. I thought this fear might impact some of my birth preferences (i.e natural labour onset versus induction), but that I want to dig deeper into it and try to release it before I make a definite choice.

My doula was very reassuring that fears are a normal process of the journey. She reminded me of the statistics around gestational periods and how we can always use more natural ways to induce labour before seeking medical intervention.

My best friend is due to have her baby next week. She visited her OB this morning to discuss the possibility of induction.  She’s having regular monitoring to ensure that everything is ok.

I reminded her that she needs to trust her intuition. If she feels like anything is wrong, then she should go directly to the hospital. Then I realized, I need to listen to my own advice.

I am a highly intuitive Momma.

I believe that everything will be fine.

I believe that I can have the natural birth I desire if it’s my preference to do so.

I am grateful for every kick my little boy gives me as it reassures me that he’s alive in there.

I am excited to welcome him into our world.

So, I’ll continue facing my fears during this pregnancy after loss, trusting in the process and continually growing as the journey moves on.

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What are your biggest fears? How are you dealing with them? 

23 week bumpdate

How Far Along: 23 weeks and 5 days

Meds: 
All taken daily – prenatal vitamin, Omega 3 + DHA, Vitamin D, Ranitidine (2x/day), Magnesium (250g at bedtime as per my chiro’s recommendation), Gaviscon for heartburn as required.

Baby is the size of: a cob of corn or a eggplant

Best Moments This Week: More baby kicks 🙂

Total Weight Gain: 8 lbs total. + 0.4 from last week

Maternity Clothes: I wore my first maternity dress out to a wedding this weekend. It was just a plain black maxi dress that I accented with gold jewellery and sandals. I love anything comfy these days.

Symptoms:

  • Heartburn – ugh. I need another massage or something because it’s bad again.
  • Sore hips on and off
  • The morning pukes are back. I have puked 4-5 days in a row. Luckily, it’s usually just early morning. I did have one middle of the night puke though.
  • Baby is sitting low and sometimes it’s super uncomfortable
  • Headaches – especially if I don’t eat enough protein or if there’s a rain storm (change in pressure perhaps?)
  • I had a nasty prego rash on my neck for quite a few weeks. It went away when my puking subsided, but it appears to be coming back a bit now. I definitely think it’s linked to hormonal levels.
  • HUNGRY! I still eat small meals, but I need to eat more during the day.

Sleep: Peeing has increased 😦 I get up at least 3x a night now. Pillow fort still rules the bed. I sleep on an incline to help with the heartburn.

Food Cravings: Strawberries, green grapes, bagels

Anything making you queasy or sick:  Brushing my teeth still, eating too much, taking too much in my mouth, meat – I can not eat pork at all!

Movement: He’s was kicking up a storm last week. I think he is having a growth spurt because he’s been less active the past 2 days. Although, his latest antics is jumping on my bladder. Oh yeah – that one feels awwwwwesome. :S

Stretch Marks: Ugh… the lower tummy ones are starting. I can see a bit of red coming through now. Still lathering myself with coconut oil or belly balm nightly.

Baby Bump: Growing and growing…

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Gender: BOY

Labour Signs: Too early.

Belly Button In or Out?: Innie.

Wedding Rings on or off?: On

Happy or Moody?: Happy this week. I’m getting good at knowing my limits before I get overtired.

Purchases for baby: Nothing this week

Purchases for Momma: Nothing this week

Miss Anything?: Not tiring so quickly

Looking forward to: Our roadtrip to Ikea this weekend 🙂

My experience with Hypnobirthing classes

Last week, we finished our hypnobirthing classes. I wrote about our 1st hypnobirthing class, but this covers my overall experience with the course. It was a 5-class series (one night a week for 2.5 hours) followed by an optional 6th class on bringing baby home.

What is the focus of hypnobirthing? 

The focus of hypnobirthing is empowering women to have positive birthing experiences: The course focuses on teaching hypnosis, visualization, breathing and deep relaxation techniques to use during birth. Women are encouraged to trust the natural movement of labour and the power of their female bodies. The birthing partner is taught ways to offer support during labour on both emotional and physical levels.

What were the classes like? 

Each class started off with a check-in. The instructor asked each couple to speak about their experience completing last week’s homework.

Following that, we watched 2 hypnobirthing videos.

Then, the instructor walked us through the concept we were covering that week. We wrapped each class up with a visualization or deep relaxation exercise – done individually or as a couple.

What materials came with the class?  

Did I enjoy my experience? 

Overall, I would say hypnobirthing was a very positive experience for both my husband and I.

Going into the class, I had a ton of fears around my pregnancy and brining my son into this world. Being a rainbow pregnancy, I was scared of what could go wrong. One class actually focused on releasing any fears associated with pregnancy and labour which was a much needed experience for me.

My husband definitely got more out of the visualisation and deep relaxation techniques than I did. I enjoyed being able to share this side of my world with him though. I have a lot of previous experience with subconscious release techniques, energy healing and intuition. I found this part of the class was super easy for me. For most of the participants, it was all new.

Each week, we went home with a set of relaxation techniques to practise as a couple. Although I found the concept of homework to be overwhelming as it was a busy time of the year for us, it was nice to connect on an intimate (yet non-sexual) level.

The last class was the most interesting for me. During this class, we focused on labour end-to-end and discussed how each technique we had learned fit into the overall birthing process. It was also helpful to discuss options for less intervention during birth... which is something I will be discussing with my doula tonight when we meet to discuss our birth preferences.

How was this experience like as woman who has experienced infertility and pregnancy loss? 

I found I stood out in the class, but that may have been more of my personality. I tend to be open and vocal, but I started sharing less when I realized not many people “got” what I was saying.

I definitely had the most fears out of the entire class. As far as I know, no one else dealt with infertility, IVF or pregnancy loss. I had initially thought 2 other women did IVF, but I ended up being wrong. 

At times, I did feel like some issues/concepts were trigger points for me. Realizing this helped me to understand that I will always be triggered in my life. Just because we are expecting does not mean that everything we have experienced to get here has gone away.

Overall, I feel like the concepts I learned in hypnobirthing meld nicely with the concepts I learned in my Yoga Goddess program. There is so much that can be said for relaxation and mind-body healing.

What was my biggest takeaway? 

My biggest takeaway was realizing how empowering birth can be. I found it fascinating how fear impacts the natural labour movements of the body and how with mind-body focus, a woman can actually have an enjoyable birthing experience. Using hypnobirthing does not mean that there is no pain. Hypnobirthing gives a woman techniques to better focus, relax and let her body go through the natural rhythms of labour that it was designed to do.

Do I plan to use hypnobirthing during my labour? 

I definitely plan to use hypnobirthing during my labour. Even if we require medical intervention, I know that hypnobirthing has given me a tool set that I can use leading up to labour, during labour and even after. It also makes me feel reassured that my husband will be a strong support for me.

I can’t wait to let you know how it all works out for us in the end. 🙂

Answering the question: do you plan on having more children?

Last night at our hypnobirthing class, another gal asked me if we want to have more than one child.

I fumbled for words and replied with, “Ummm, ughh, well… we might have to pay for another child. Yes we would love to have one, but we may have to do IVF again”.

If there’s a set of questions that has bothered me since we got pregnant, it’s that: Will you do IVF again? Do you plan on having more children?

When you face infertility, the answer is never simple.

I didn’t plan on struggling to get pregnant.

I didn’t plan on doing IVF.

I didn’t plan on losing our first baby.

We would love to have two children on earth. I’ve always pictured myself with two kids – the perfect family of four. We do have many options to make that happen. Although when you have difficulty conceiving on your own, the options become complicated, emotionally-charged and costly.

The hardest part about these questions is that I feel like it detracts from this pregnancy.

Can’t we be left alone to enjoy growing and bringing our son into the world?

Why do we need to rush life and prepare for the future?

Infertility and pregnancy loss teaches you to slow down; to cherish the small milestones. Deep down, you know that nothing is guaranteed. Life could change instantaneously and completely side-rail your plans. You take life one day at a time, one step at a time.

So, what’s our future family plan?

We aren’t thinking about it.

When the time feels right, we will entertain our options for growing our family.

Right now, we are going to cherish each and every second we have with our son and welcome him with love into this world. He’s our focus right now. We’ve worked so hard to have him.

Our family is growing by one beautiful baby boy – and for now, that’s enough for us.