A little late.. But I had my Baby!!!!!
Finding the time to work on a blog post has been hard, to say the least. Between breastfeeding, sleeping, eating exercising I barely find time to even get dressed sometimes. With 3 months passed I have so much I want to share with you. From my must haves for the baby and reviews on things I bought for him, to life as a new mom and my diet / work out plan. So lets start from the beginning.
I gave birth on June 12th 2013 to a beautiful baby boy weighing 6lbs 8oz and 20" long via C section due to him being frank breech. Frank breech means his legs are up by his head and his butt is down near my "area". When he was pulled out ( butt first ) his poor little legs didnt know what to do from being bent upwards in the womb all this time so they just flopped everywhere.
At 6 weeks we had to go have an ultrasound done on his hips to make sure they were in their place and growing correctly from being breech. The good news is they are in their sockets but the sockets are shallow. I was told to keep him in 2 diapers / nappies and NOT to swaddle. I must say my mama instincts were right on in this situation because I never really swaddled him from the start anyway even when everyone told me I should [ trust your instincts]! At his 2 month check up the Dr told us he looks fine- but I still keep him in 2 diapers just to be sure ;)
Where I gave birth:
I gave birth at the famous St. Marys Lindo Wing in London where Princess Diana gave birth and most recently Kate Middleton just had her baby boy. When I moved to London from California I had no idea what Dr's to use or what hospital to go to. I got referred to a Dr from one of my husbands friends and the Dr just so happened to deliver at both Portland and St. Marys. At the time I had no idea the Lindo Wing was so famous. The staff was amazing and our suite was huge. The Lindo Wing is very small and private, and their are only 2 suites in their newly refurbished quarters. Yes, Princess Kate Middleton did stay in the same suite I stayed in after delivering. She took out both suites which are separated from the rest and one is bigger than the other ( I got a tour before delivering myself and booked our suite ). I must say I was super excited when I found out she was delivering there as well. I didnt get to take a picture on the famous Lindo Wing steps as we came out with baby Niko because it was raining the day we went home, but I do plan on going back and getting one- for Niko to have for when he is older. My Dr was Dr. TG Teoh and he was amazing. My scar is as tiny as it can be for a breech baby and super super low! Luckily I can still wear my tiny Have Faith Bikinis lol! Dr Teoh was so helpful and understanding my entire pregnancy I HIGHLY recommend him to anyone delivering privately in London.
Delivery room at the Lindo Wing at St. Marys Hopsital
My Birthing Experience:
Having a C section was not bad at all. As most of you know I originally wanted to deliver completely natural but I had no other choice in this situation. Niko was breech for months and hadnt changed his position, and at 38.5 weeks I dont think turning was in his plans.
I was terrified of the epidural which turned out not to be so bad. When I got to the hospital they checked us into one of the delivery rooms where they strap you up to a heart monitor to monitor the baby and your contractions or in my case braxton hicks , which at this point I was having regularly.
They then put these super tight socks on you so you dont get blood clots and to help with the water retention that comes after delivering a baby via c section and or natural but with an epidural. When it was finally time to deliver they walked me down to the "thearte" where they will preform the surgery.
When I got to the surgery room they sat me down on the table and put the IV into my hand. Then they quickly began to start putting in my epidural. Everything was moving so quickly I had no time to freak out and panic. I made my husband stand in front of me while they were inserting the needle into my back. I have a tendency to pass out so I was afraid I would just fall off the table. It was really comforting having him there and helped me keep super still. Once the epidural kicked in my entire lower half went completely numb. I started to panic once they made me lie down on my back as my belly was so heavy plus the strange foreign feeling of NOT feeling your legs. But I calmed myself down knowing this was all normal and finally just relaxed. I just kept thinking " soon I will meet my baby, soon I will be a mom, I need to be strong". Once they got me into place they put up the curtain so I couldnt see all the gory stuff. They then inserted a catheter into my "hoohaa" since I wouldn't be able to get up and pee for the next day or so as they keep the epidural in for 24-48 hours. All the pain meds make you constipated anyway so nothing happens in that region. When in place they them used Iodine all over my belly- my Dr joked it was Soy Sauce lol and shortly after I heard him say "knife please". I couldnt believe this was all going so fast. I swear in a matter or 10-20 minutes he was out. I felt NOTHING. Maybe some tugging and pressure but no pain at all. After the cut I heard all kinds of suction. Having watched C section videos on youtube I knew what was going on and then all of a sudden I heard either my husband or the DR say "theres the water" which I knew meant they had entered my amniotic sack and the baby would shortly be here. MY husband then said "theres the placenta" which really was Niko's ass LOL. The Dr corrected him with "bum" as he was pulling Niko out. The anesthesiologist who was standing right by me asked if I wanted her to lower the curtain to see the baby and I told her yes. Within seconds I heard my husband getting excited and then squealing that to me sounded like a piglet LOL. I looked up and saw my baby for the first time. All his hair, his little mouth and body, hands and legs flailing all around- it was the most surreal feeling ever, total disbelief and yet complete infatuation at that moment. I became a mom and this baby was mine. I made him, he lived in me for 9 months and now he is here. The midwife took him to the side where she would let my husband cut his cord, clamp it and then bring him to me without cleaning him off as I requested ( its better for bonding and finding the nipple if they are not cleaned off first). She then brought him to me for skin to skin and for the first time I got to hold my baby. I never grew up around small children, so this was the first tiny baby I held as an adult. Once he was placed on my chest I didnt know what to do. He felt so small and fragile I didnt want to move him. As soon as they placed him on my chest he stopped crying, peed on me and then placed his hand on my mouth. It was one of the most beautiful moments in my life. Since I was being sewn up and still couldnt feel my lower half I couldnt see much of him since I couldnt move. All i could see was that he had a lot of hair LOL. Shortly after the midwife came back and took him to get cleaned off and warmed up, weighted measured etc. All I could do was lay there and watch. I made a few phone calls to my mom in NY who was anxiously awaiting "the call" at 4 am her time. I then was able to snap a quick pic and post the first picture of Niko to my Instagram Family.
Jennifer Stano - Niko's first picture
Once done being sewn up, they sat me up, gave Niko to me and wheeled me back to the delivery room that I started out in where I would stay for a few hours before going to the recovery suite. Once we got to the room I unwrapped Niko and the midwife was prepared to help the baby latch on to feed but he latched on before we could even assist him. Apparently he read all of the same books I did lol. He nursed for a while and I swear I held him in my arms for 12 hours straight. I didnt want to put him down.
Once settled down
from the IPEN network in the UK met us in my room. There she prepared my raw placenta smoothie which both Alki and I drank. After she was done she then took my Placenta to my house and started a 16hr process of dehydrating my placenta to make raw pills that I would then take for 6 weeks 3x a day. If your curious about this process and why I chose to do this please see my previous blogs. I will say that I am SO happy I did this and I hope some of you get inspired as well.
After all the excitement and commotion, my husband fell asleep next to me, the midwives here gone and I was left in bed with my newborn baby where I was and am completely in love. He was the tiniest most beautiful creature I ever laid eyes on, and he was half of me half of my husband and ours forever.
Niko's first day of Life
Recovery was slow- definitely not like having your boobs done lol. But I was up and walking around the next day in the hospital. I was able to move around with the epidural still in my back. As soon as I got my feet on the floor and stood up I felt this unbelievable weight on my pelvis. I still had a stomach (which was kind of depressing as I thought it would be gone LOL) and it was really hard to move around feeling so much pressure on my incision BUT everyone I spoke to told me to push through the pain and walk, that it will help with recovery and so I did. I was in the hospital for 3 days.
When I got into the car I started to cry. I think it was all a bit overwhelming and felt like I had lost control of my baby. Its hard to explain and put into words what I was feeling. It wasn't depression but I guess I wanted the baby all to my self... Im not sure. It was all just going so fast. I dont know if it was my husband being overly excited and everything just going so quickly but I felt like I wanted everything to just slow down. I wanted all of the moments you see on TV and it didnt happen that way due to the weather being crap and raining. When we got home I was better but it was hard carrying him for 9 months and having him all to my self and now having to share everything.. I hope Im explaining this right and that it kind of makes sense. Its not that I didnt want my husband to hold him or have moments with him bc that made me happier than anything seeing them together- it's just really hard to explain.
Getting Niko into his nursery was so exciting. I had his nursery prepared for a couple of months before he arrived ( and I highly recommend not waiting for the last minute because the smallest chores becomes the hardest) and now seeing him using everything I made and bought and had ready for him was an amazing feeling.
Nikos London Nursery
The day I arrived home my mom and brother had flown in from NY to stay for 5 days to help and see the baby. It was nice having them around but also a bit stressful as I wanted to breastfeed all the time but felt I had to entertain and didnt want them to get bored. I had a maternity nurse since Im living in London and didn't have any friends of family around to help me, I haven't even changed a diaper in my life at this point LOL. Niko's diaper was my first one.... a lot with Niko was my first ever when it comes to babies so having a MN was really helpful especially having had a c section.
My brother and I for a walk with Niko in London
It's one thing to be fat when pregnant BUT another to still be fat when you're no longer pregnant.
I understand its a slow process being that I had a C section for my stomach to go back down but i just feel so self conscious and slightly depressed about it ( being honest ). I gained a lot of weight during my pregnancy... A LOT! I didnt pig out (except my first trimester bc I was so under weight), I didnt eat sweets. I ate a lot of fruit and drank a ton of Milk... healthy foods I would say, but my body just retained so much water towards the end that I packed on the pounds. I have already lost 40lbs but still have another 30lbs to go.. Yes, thats right!
I gained 70lbs in my pregnancy.... 70!
Thats 30lbs shy of my best friend Lilly LOL..I know it doesnt really look like it- I didnt gain a ton of weight in my face, mainly my belly, ass and thighs.
Here at 36 weeks pregnant.
I never appreciated my pre baby body so much as I do right now. All those times I thought I was "fat" or "not good enough"... I laugh at myself now... I was good! And Im determined to get back to my pre baby body but safely and in a timely manner since Im breastfeeding. I have not gone on some crazy strict diet, I waited the full 6 weeks until I started to SLOWLY workout... Like my pregnancy, Im doing everything the best I can. At 8 weeks postpartum I started doing pilates on mats with a private instructor here in Greece and I began swimming laps in our pool. At 145lbs and not much ab control (yet!) a simple beginners Pilates workout beat my ass! But it feels good to start getting back on track as its been 10 months since I really "worked out". 3 months PP ( 14 weeks) my belly has gone done substantially thank god and Im starting to get more muscle tone back throughout my body. Ive never had to work so hard in my life to have a good body- I'm definitely putting in the sweat and tears these days.
ON the left- 1 week PP and on the right 3 weeks PP.
5 weeks PP
A lot of people have asked me on Instagram if I have a nanny.. The answer is yes. I do have a nanny because I am living in London without any family or friends and as a first time mom I needed help. I must say at first having a nanny or maternity nurse was not on my list of things I needed or wanted for that matter. Im a very hands on person- especially when it comes to my own baby. I waited a long time to become pregnant and then a long time to finally meet my baby- I wanted to be 100% involved in everything. And I must say that in the beginning I got really frustrated having someone else handling my baby. I was really emotional and felt like I had no control over my baby. Everyone was doing things for him when I wanted to do them myself. I wanted to make sure that he knew I was the MOM and that he recognized my voice. Still to this day it's not always easy- IM grateful and thankful to have a nanny but theres times I dont want to share him. I guess thats normal. It is nice because it gives me some time to be with my husband and make sure he gets attention too. If I was home and had family and friends Im not sure I would need a nanny- I really love being a mom and even with a Nanny I spend so many hours with him... Im lucky I found someone that I really like and we get along and she genuinely cares for Niko so much. I had to remember that this is all for him. If Niko feels loved 24/7 and is cared for 24/7 he will grow up to be a very secure person.
Many people have different views on how to raise their baby. I never was the person who said " oh, Ill just let them cry themselves to sleep and self soothe". I dont believe in that. They have their entire lives to learn to deal with issue and problems on their own. This is a new born baby and all is needs is love, attention, affection and security. I never let Niko cry himself to sleep and when he does start crying I pick him up right away. There is a book my nanny told me about called " Kiss Me, how to raise your child with love" and its about just that. Co-sleeping, not letting your child cry themselves to sleep or self sooth and studies behind his beliefs. Its very interesting and I believe Niko is such a good baby and very calm because I am very calm and loving. Do what you feel is right when raising your child. If you are into self soothing then good for you- if you're not thats fine too. Do what works for you.
Some of the items I cannot live without for Niko.
As with my pregnancy, everything I am using is all natural. I really believe it made such a difference with Niko and still does. The products below are ones I use and love- I do not get paid for any of this and I am not endorsed by any of these companies. PLease share the products you use and love in the comment section :)
The diapers I and using and LOVE are by Bambo ! I buy them off of amazon and they are my absolute favorite. They are natural, free of harsh chemicals and Niko has not had 1 rash with them. They are soft and thick - My #1 choice
- Honest Company Diapers
I love the designs of the Honest Company diapers and they fact that they too are all natural but the Bambo diapers are much softer.. But I use both
-Honest Company Wipes-
They are free of harsh chemicals and are really soft.
-Nappy Balm- by " The Little Green Sheep - best diaper balm ever. Not 1 rash!
-Weleda products- Sold at Whole foods- I use the whole baby range on him , lotion, shampoo, oil etc
This is a life saver... Literally. Its a portable breathing monitor that clips onto the babys diaper and detects when the baby stops breathing. Niko does not go a night without this on him. After 10 seconds if the baby hasnt moved it vibrates ot remind them to breath. If they still dont begin to move it sets off an alarm so you know something is wrong. I sleep very well knowing this is on him.
I discovered this at Harrods and am so obsessed with it I bought 2. I keep one in his nursery and one in my room. Niko didnt like sleeping flat on his back as he always felt like he was falling. But int he cocoon he sleeps so well. It also prevents flat head... Must have!
I have a portable fan that clips onto anything. I clip it on to his crib, his stroller, my head bored while breastfeeding just to circulate the air. I read it helps in preventing SIDS and also is a consistant calming noise that helps him sleep.
-Prince Lionheart Wipe Warmer POP
I love the POP wipe warmer and so does Niko. ONly problem is every week you need to remember to wet the sponge that sits at the bottom to keep everything moist.
-Primo Euro Bath- best bath for infant and toddlers. I bought the stand as well which makes bath time way easier!
-Stokke Stroller- Love this stroller. Great quality, easy to manuver and set up. A little hard to close but I need more practice. I never close mine lol.
-Motorola Camera System 3.2 screen
By Mommys Bliss. Whenever Niko is fussy or has gas I give him some of this Gripe Water and it works instantly.
-Badger sunscreen - all natural sunscreen
- Anti pressure pillow- Prevents flat head. I use this in his stroller for walks.
Binkies- His favorite ones
Teething- Hylands teething Gel ( so far). We just started teething now. Update to come.
-Favorite clothing for infants
-Favorite online store
Alex and Alexa
Childs Play CLothing
My Birth Video
Im so happy Alki took such amazing footage of our experience. I took the footage and edited a video and we are so happy to be able to share the birth of our son with you. PLease click the video or the link below to watch.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog. If you have questions or comments please leave below.