Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Hot Mama Gowns - My Review

During my pregnancy, I kept seeing people blog and tweet about their glamorous hospital gowns. At first I thought it was a silly idea, but when I started noticing photos of the ugly hospital-issued gowns, it started making sense to me. When Hot Mama Gowns offered a chance to wear and review one of their luxurious gowns, I jumped at the opportunity! I thought sure there was no way they'd choose me, so I was THRILLED when I got the email telling me that I would be the lucky recipient of a Hot Mama Gown - and all I had to do was blog about my experience! Many thanks to Deidrea, the founder of Hot Mama Gowns, for this awesome opportunity. Just before I went on maternity leave, I received a Small gown in the LeAnn pattern. The gown was shipped in such gorgeous packaging - I just had to get a photo of it!
LOVE the packaging!

The "LeAnn" pattern

For those of you who haven't already heard, Hot Mama Gowns are the glamorous alternative to the generic hospital gown. They are made of super soft, comfortable 100% organic cotton and are made in the USA. Unlike an ordinary hospital gown, these gowns snap all the way down the back so your booty won't be hanging out for all to see. Plus, there are two individual ribbon-tied panels in the front to allow for quick, easy, and discreet nursing.
(Click here to see the G-Rated demonstration video)
Ribbon-tied nursing panels

I originally had a hard time deciding if I wanted to wear my gown during labor and delivery and risk getting it stained and dirty, or if I just wanted to wait and wear it during my recovery in the hospital. After going through my childbirth classes I ended up deciding that I wanted to wear my own pajamas during Samantha's birth since I wanted the smell and comfort of my own clothes. So, it was an easy decision to save my Hot Mama Gown for after the birth and during my recovery. (The nightgown that I wore during the birth didn't get messed up, by the way!)

After wearing my Hot Mama Gown for a full day of resting and caring for a newborn, it did get a bit of baby poop, cord blood, breast milk and who knows what else on it, so I decided I wanted to change into a clean hospital gown. I figured I'd put it on backwards so that it would be open in front for nursing. What a surprise - there weren't even snaps on the hospital gown. It only had one lonely little tie at the top! If I put it on with the tie in the back it allowed absolutely no access to the front so it was completely impractical for breastfeeding. I ended up taking it off as soon as I put it on! I decided to wear my Hot Mama Gown for another night rather than downgrade to the useless hospital gown.
The Hot Mama Gowns have snaps!!!

The breastfeeding panels were great. Each panel opens individually with a ribbon tie. It was perfect for nursing in the hospital when I was still learning how to breastfeed Samantha. I could easily open one side at a time without having to figure out clips or deal with pushing extra fabric out of the way. It was so easy, and I loved the functionality of it. I got so many compliments from the nurses on my gown. They all said they had never seen such a thing, and wondered where I got it. And of course, I happily told them!
The only downside to my experience was with the snaps that connect the breastfeeding panels to the skirt. After I washed the gown, the plastic snaps just would not stay closed. It wasn't a big deal since the ribbon ties still keep everything closed, but I ended up replacing the plastic snaps with metal ones just to help keep everything together. Otherwise though, the gown was absolutely great and I loved having it in the hospital. I could have actually used a second one for that second day when I REALLY wanted to change my clothes after finally getting a shower!

Hot Mama Gowns are designed to fit every size Mama - even with a bump! The gown expands to fit a pregnant belly and then contracts to fit after labor and delivery. The gowns come in sizes XS, S, M, L, XL, and XXL to fit moms sizes 2-24 (based on your pre-pregnancy size). Sizes XS-L retail for $119 and sizes XL-XXL are $139. They now have available adorable matching swaddling blankets, retailing for $48. I didn't get one of these, but how cute would it be to wrap your baby in a matching blanket!!! Gift certificates are available if you would like to purchase a gown for a hot mama, but aren't sure which size or pattern she would like. The sizes do seem to run large - I usually wear a medium, but I wore a small Hot Mama Gown, and it was definitely roomy enough for me and my belly!

Contact Hot Mama Gowns:

These gowns are so comfortable and versatile that you could wear them much longer than just in the delivery and recovery room. They would work great as a nursing gown at home! I personally didn't choose to continue wearing mine since it's not really the style of pajamas I prefer, but it is definitely comfortable and I will be wearing it again whenever Baby #2 comes along. Thanks again to Deidrea and Hot Mama Gowns for allowing me to feel like a Hot Mama during the birth of my little girl!!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

So sad it's funny.

The other day Samantha was lying on her play mat, having a great time. She was kicking up a storm and waving her arms all around. Suddenly she started screaming as if she was in pain. I ran to help her, trying to figure out what had happened, when I realized that she had grabbed a handful of her own hair, tight to the scalp. Poor baby didn't realize that she was causing her own pain! Her grip kept getting tighter and tighter and she screamed harder and harder. I tried to gently pry her fingers loose, but she just didn't understand what was happening. I wanted to cry with her because it was so obvious she was in pain and at the same time I couldn't help but laugh because the whole situation was pretty funny! I finally got her hand loose and she was instantly calm and completely fine. I doubt she learned anything from this, but I sure hope it won't happen again!!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

Mike and Samantha's first Father's Day was very eventful! Mike had just finished at his temp job on Friday, so we decided to celebrate on Saturday by going to the beach. This was Samantha's first real trip to the beach, other than a walk on the sand, and she loved it! She really enjoyed feeling the breeze on her face and looking at the bright blue sky. The sound of the waves was so soothing it almost put her to sleep. She was a little too excited by the new experience to completely fall asleep though! During a diaper change, the tide suddenly came in and I had to quickly scoop her and all her things up before the waves could drench everything. Such perfect timing, eh? After our beach day, we had some friends over to BBQ. It's always so much fun to have people up to the house!
That night was our friend Jana's birthday, and we took Samantha out for her first restaurant dinner. She did great! We brought a couple bottles along, and we hardly heard a peep out of her. We went to the Old Spaghetti Factory, and Sam loved looking at all the interesting chandeliers. She really loves looking at lights!
Father's Day morning we woke up and made banana waffles for Dad. After relaxing for a while, we headed out for a day at the fair. We had so much fun! Sam slept most of the time, but she woke up when we were in the garden and had a great time looking at everything. She really enjoyed walking across the pond, looking at the ducks. She has started standing up in the Ergo carrier so she can hold her head higher and look around, feeling the breeze on her face. When we got home from the fair, we made Chicken Parmigiana for dinner - one of Dad's favorites. I also made Candy Apple Salad, a tasty treat he found at the deli once, but have never seen again. Yum!
All in all, it was an awesome Father's Day weekend, if I don't say so myself! ;)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Six Weeks

Samantha's First Playdate

Samantha had her first playdate at 6 weeks old. This was a special playdate - the mommies got together to make korker hairbows while the babies played. Samantha was a little too young to really play with the other babies, but she loved to watch them. She was totally mesmerized by watching them play with their toys! She also did great at tummy time, holding her head up nice and high. Not only did she roll from her tummy to her side, but she also rolled back to her tummy again and pushed herself up with her arms.

The korker bows were a bit harder to make than we had planned, but we got some cute ones out of it. We made a yellow, green and blue one to match a couple of non-pink outfits, and a red, white and blue one for the 4th of July!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Another Cloth Diaper Update

First of all, my apologies for my lack of posts lately. Typing one-handed is so painfully slow, I've been avoiding typing any more than one or two lines at a time! Once Sam can hold up her own head, hopefully I'll be able to type with that other hand again. :)

Cloth diapering has been going well so far so I thought I'd update and share my likes and dislikes with what we've been using.

These work well for me, but I don't like to use them in the middle of the night when the light is dim. Mike hasn't wanted to attempt using them at all. The snappi is really easy to use - much better than diaper pins! I keep a few prefolds, a cover, and a snappi in the diaper bags since they are thin and easy to pack.

I LOVE my Thirsties Fab Fitteds. They are shaped just like a disposable, but are soft and fluffy and look super comfortable. I use these in the middle of the night since they are so easy. I also keep one of these in the diaper bag for inconvenient diaper changing locations. I use a Thirsties cover with these. These are easy enough for Mike to use, though they do require two separate pieces (diaper and cover). I want to buy more of these and try some other brands of fitteds as well.

I don't love my Thirsties All In One diapers. I just can't get them to stop leaking around the legs. Some people love them, but they just don't work for me. It's a pity because they are SUPER easy, and Mike liked them too. I've decided to sell my X-Small AIOs for $10 each. They are hardly used, so it's a great deal. I'm hoping that someone who likes them will be able to use them! I have them for sale on Craigslist, (click for link) if you or anyone you know would like them.

We have now been using a lot of pocket diapers. I have a lot of One-Size pocket diapers. Right now they are kind of huge on Sam, since they are all folded up into the newborn size, but I really love how easy they are. I also love that I'll be able to continue using the same diapers on her for a long time!

GroBaby: I really like the GroBaby diapers. They have snap-in inserts, as well as a booster liner. I haven't needed to use a booster yet. The GroBabys come in super cute patterns, which I love. The velcro is nice and wide and soft and looks comfortable. The inserts snap out and can be replaced with clean inserts, as long as the outer shell is still clean. We have had a few leaking episodes with these, so we have to really pay attention when we put them on to make sure that there are no gaps around the legs or waist. I really like that even when folded into the newborn size, these diapers aren't too bulky. So far I am really liking these.

FuzziBuns: I just purchased a few of the Fuzzi Buns One Size diapers. Generally they seem great, and I love how adjustable they are. However, I'm having a hard time fitting them to Sam correctly. I set the leg elastic on 6, and they were way too tight around her thighs. Then I set them to 5, and they were too loose! (Also, I'm confused...the recommended settings for a newborn are 4 in the waist and 6 in the legs. But there are two settings for the legs - top and bottom. Should they both be on 6? Or each set on 3 to total 6?) Then, I thought I had it right, but when I snapped the diaper on tight, some of the inner fleece showed around the legs, and we got major leakage. I know you kind of have to see them on Sam in person to help me get a perfect fit, but any advice would be appreciated!

BumGenius: So far these are my favorites. My only complaint is that when they are folded up into the newborn size, they are huge and give Sam a huge bum. Otherwise, they are super absorbent, very easy to put on, and we haven't had one single leak. These are going to be awesome once she gets a little bigger and we can unfold them into a slightly larger size. I would love to buy more of these!

I really want to try the Apple Cheeks diapers. I'm also interested in Happy Heinys and Kissaluvs. Does anyone have any other recommendations for me? What diapers do you like/dislike?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Family Visit #1 and Sam's First Illness

Samantha had her first family visitors at one month old. Her Grandma and Grandpa and Aunt Joanna all came to visit for a few days from Colorado, and several of her great aunts and uncles from California all came to visit for a day as well. It was a very exciting day, getting passed around from relative to relative!

Unfortunately, Sam had her first illness while everyone was visiting too, coming down with a case of the stomach flu. I had been sick the previous week but I completely forgot about that when Samantha started vomiting after each meal a few days later. When she was still getting sick the next morning, we decided to take her to the doctor to make sure she was okay. Due to her age (4 weeks) the doctor wanted to make sure she didn't have Pyloric Stenosis, a stomach obstruction that can occur between 3-5 weeks, so we took her to Children's Hospital to get a stomach ultrasound. The next morning, the day of her ultrasound, Mike woke up with the flu. At that point we remembered my previous illness, and realized that Sam probably had the flu as well. We still went ahead with the ultrasound, just in case, and found out that her pyloris was perfectly normal and we had nothing to worry about. She was feeling like her usual self by then anyway. Poor little baby though, to have a stomach flu at one month old!

Unfortunately we spread our sickness to my family. (Sorry about that!) Samantha didn't seem to be too bothered by her illness though and had a great time with family. She was still perfectly happy and calm in spite of being sick. Now, in just a couple more weeks, her Pappy and GramE from Ohio will be visiting. July will be a fun and busy month of family visitors!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

One Month

Dear Samantha,

Today you are one month old. I can't believe you have already been with us for an entire month already! You are growing so fast. At two weeks, when we found out that you had already gained over a pound and grown almost two inches, I couldn't believe it because you still seemed so tiny to me. Now I can definitely see the difference though. You have grown out of your newborn-size clothing, and are now wearing the 0-3 month size. I was a little sad to find that you've outgrown your cute little hospital beanie, too. It seemed so sad to have to pack away clothes that you only wore for a few weeks! I'm having fun dressing you up in new outfits now though!

Over the past month, you have become more and more aware. You are awake longer each day, and you love to look all around at your surroundings. You love to lay in your entertainment gym and look in the mirror and kick the hanging toys to make noises. You love it when Daddy comes home from work to play with you. He gets you so excited sometimes that you get the hiccups! At four weeks we decided to let you try having a bottle so that Daddy could feed you sometimes. You are doing great with it! We are amazed at how much you can eat. You love to look us in the eye while you eat - it's very cute! You love to look at faces, and you are learning to make all sorts of funny faces of your own. We are seeing more and more smiles, and you are playing with your tongue a lot now. Sometimes we even hear giggles out of you while you are dreaming. You are going to be so much fun when you start smiling and giggling in response to us!

It is so much fun to watch you learn and grow. We love you very, very much, and we are excited to see you grow even more!