Preparing For Charlie’s Birth

Baby | Jun 13, 2015

Egreis Gjergjani and son GioYou ever watched that commercial (don’t remember which company) but it’s about the difference between having a first child and a second one…how we are such anal mothers when it comes to our first kid, but then the second one comes around we just wing it and go with the flow..LOL. I find it to be SO accurate! When I was preparing for Gio’s arrival and even after I had him, I had sanitizers on every corner of the house, cars, strollers, you name it. Everything from the nursery, clothes, bottles, diapers, gadgets, all the way to birth plan and hospital bag was so detailed and in excess that it gives me a headache now that I think about it. It was just so NEW to me! I wanted to be as prepared as possible. I wanted to be the best mother I could be, not realizing that being a great mother had little to do with how many bottles of sanitizers you had around or how many onesies you had nicely folded in his closet. But I was stupid then. And I’m sure I’ll look back at this post I’m currently writing and think the same too, for we always evolve, we always mature, we always change and hopefully it’s always for the better.

My pregnancy with Charlie was so different than the one I had with Gio. When I first got pregnant with George, I was living in LA. I was working full time. I was doing the whole long distance dating thing with my then boyfriend. We had plans on getting engaged and moving in together after that summer, but then we found out we were pregnant so we moved those plans to the beginning of summer instead. I went from having a busy, active life to reading pregnancy books on the couch all day long. It was definitely a huge change for me. New state, new house, got married, pregnancy hormones, all of it was so much but I dealt with it by just pouring myself into the family and focusing solely on it. I had a very relaxing pregnancy. No stress for the most part. No issues with the pregnancy itself so that was a relief. But all day long I did not much else other than research everything baby related; made to do lists, to buy lists, found all kinds of baby gadgets, and became a pinterest addict! LOL.

Egreis Gjergjani and son GioMy pregnancy with Charlie on the other hand, total opposite! Every day I am busy with Gio, all day long. As if that wasn’t keeping me busy enough I decided to launch an online children’s boutique, Itty Bitty Toes, at the beginning of the year. I traveled a lot more this second time around than I did when I was pregnant with George. And once I got going on the boutique it was honestly NON STOP! I got maybe 5 hours of sleep each night and all day long I was either working on the online store or doing something with my son. I started having less and less time to do things around the house, which for me is hard because I’m a neat freak and every Saturday I like giving my house a deep clean. I was also cooking less because I just couldn’t find the time to do it. Well,I could but I decided to spend it on what was important to me at the time, and that was IBT (Itty Bitty Toes). I tend to get obsessed and really into it when I start something. If I want to get something done, I put my all into it and while yes that’s great in business, it can also get out of hand. I definitely can so there were times my husband had to literally pull me away from all the calls/emails/and computer in general to get me to relax and spend more time with those that mattered. I lost track of what was important every now and then because I was so excited to start something of my own. I was feeling important again, inside of me. I know that having a job or career has little to do with your self worth and I know I’m loved and cared for, so that’s not the issue. But I’ve been staying at home for 2 years now with nothing to call mine as far as a career goes. So Itty Bitty Toes became my little baby. Needless to say, it made my pregnancy with Charlie go by so fast! I didn’t read any pregnancy books this time around. And I don’t feel a single ounce of guilt. Mainly, because I read all of them a year before haha. But also, now that I am a mother I realize that too much reading, and too much researching, and too much of anything is just not even healthy. I have had to tell myself and truly understand that people have survived for years and years without much knowledge, education, science, you name it. And they’ve done just fine. So I learned to relax and realize that not everything is perfect, never will it ever be, and as much  as we want to be these perfect parents and give our child the perfect little world, truth is we will never succeed at it, because it simply isn’t achievable. And that’s OKAY! A little germ here and there will be just fine!

For Charlie, I decided to turn Gio’s nursery into his nursery. As perfect as it is, because I truly love everything I did in that room, I wanted to change it up a bit so that it had a different feel to it. I switched the rocking chair to a bright red one I got from KidsOnlyFurniture.com; I had a muralist paint some tree branches and red petals on the wall; I had the furniture lightly brushed with gold and every piece of accent that was silver we switched it to gold; I changed the curtains and beddings to a gray/ivory/champagne color. And I intended on changing the pictures that were there to the ones we took with Lori Dorman at my pregnancy photo shoot, but I just never got around to getting that done. So there are still pictures of Gio up there. It’s on my to do list!

George's nurseryI remember with Gio, he barely spent any time in his room. He never really cared for the crib. Slept in it for maybe a few months, but that’s it. I built him a little floor bed in our bedroom so he sleeps with us. And when he was first born I had him sleep in a cradle next to me, so I knew that with Charlie we would take a similar route. This made me feel less stressed about having to finish the nursery or do much to it. I just knew that he wouldn’t really spend much time there. Sooner or later, that room will be changed into a toddler’s room like we did one for Gio. Speaking of which, we decided to give Gio a whole new room with a forest theme. I’ll make a blog post about it later (after I’ve finished it…IF i ever do haha)

Towards the end of my pregnancy, I prepared a hospital bag and a birth plan for my second birth. I did the same with Gio so that was very helpful. Here’s my blog post about my Hospital Bag and Birth Plan I had when I was pregnant with George. If you are a first time mom, you’ll most likely follow my first plan and first bag haha. And I completely understand. You’re most likely feeling the way I did when I was first pregnant. I wanted to be FULLY prepared lol. This time around I feel prepared even if I bring just half of the things, simply because I’ve been there, done that and just the experience alone makes me feel more prepared. If that’s how you are or feel, there is NOTHING wrong with it. Go for it! There’s nothing wrong with being anal about everything, and packing your entire house if you need to lol. There are too many moms who love going around telling new moms what to do and how to do it, that I’d never want to do the same. I share my experiences and what i decided to do…you are welcome to do the exact same or exact opposite. I truly do not care and I mean that in the nicest way possible.

MY HOSPITAL BAG:

hospital bag 3

Let me just clarify that having a hospital bag or not having one is not going to change your birth experience by much. I know some mothers have freaked out over not having their bag with them when they deliver and so on….do not worry! The hospital will provide you everything you NEED. Your hospital bag is just another way to bring things that you are comfortable with vs. what the hospital offers, but by no means is it a requirement or going to make your labor that much better. You’ll be ok without one! If you can, I recommend preparing one so that you can bring all that you love and want to wear versus what they’ll give you in the hospital. Here’s what I brought: (click on the little images underneath the large image to go to the link of each item and see where and how much it is).

– A birthing gown: I bought mine from Etsy. It was comfortable and pretty but more importantly it opened easily so when it is time to hold your baby you can just pull it right down easily.

– Maternity underwear: The hospital will give you mesh ones but I remember from the first time I went through it, I hated how they felt. So this time I bought my own that were cotton and much softer.

– Toiletries: I brought a toiletries bag with a bunch of travel sized goodies such as shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothpaste, tooth brush, hair tie, hair brush, lotion, body spray, chapstick. I never ended up using the shampoo and conditioner. Same with the body spray. I realized it wasn’t necessary esp since I held Charlie for the most part of my stay in the hospital.

– I bought a pillow case just because it’s pretty.

– For Charlie’s outfit, I bought onesies and hats from Kissy Kissy. With George, that’s all I used the first 3 months of his life. They’re expensive but so so so soft. To me it’s worth it.

– I changed into pajamas the day after birth. I got mine from Amazon. Click on the little image to take you to the site. They’re also expensive but so soft that I ended up buying more as soon as i got home.

MY BIRTH  PLAN:

egreis gjergjani birth plan

My birth plan this time around was different from the one I had made when pregnant with Gio. If you’re curious to see the difference between the two check out my post about it some time ago.

The first time I was pregnant I was aiming for an all natural birth. Remember I said as a first time mommy we become obsessed with doing everything organic, natural, blah blah blah lol. Well I was on that same boat. Until I went through it. I had hired a doula and was fully prepared to have a natural birth, but my body decided to go from 1 cm to 8 cm in just a matter of minutes and I never got a chance to experience the normal progression of contractions. Instead I got hit with the transition phase within minutes so that pain was too much for me to handle. So this second time around, I was definitely not going to do the natural thing! I wanted the epidural. NOT A QUESTION ABOUT IT!

birthing CharlieI read all these blog posts on baby center and talked to all these women,both the ones that took the epidural and the ones that are adamant about having natural births and it’s amazing to hear their opinions. I found that the ones that want a natural birth somehow feel like they’re stronger or deserve a fucking medal (excuse my language) for doing it without taking any pain medication. I personally don’t understand it. Sure, you are strong. (I say this now because I just gave birth three days ago without any medication and it was HELL! I have no regrets about it, don’t get me wrong, but no way do I feel like some sort of hero for doing it without drugs). So I don’t get the whole I DID IT WITHOUT DRUGS. Okay, and? I hate to say this, and I’m sure the ones reading this that didn’t take epidural are going to hate me, but you are not a better mother than those who took the epidural. You may be stronger yes and good for you. You have the balls to go with the pain. But there’s nothing wrong with women that decided that pain was too much for them so they decided to opt for the medicine. After all, it’s what it’s there for. Then of course you get the debate going…well epidural can have side effects, blah blah blah. Everything in life can have side effects. Giving birth naturally can have side effects. Shoot, I can totally see moms never wanting to give birth again after experiencing natural birth LOL. That’s not a good side effect in my opinion. I joke…point is, in life everything you do can have side effects. You choose what’s best for you. But there is no need to put others down for making the choices that did that were different from yours. I personally have had both kinds of birth: one with epidural and one without. And If I ever had to choose again, I would DEFINITELY do the epidural. As much as I love that I have experienced both, I can’t say I “loved” the natural birth like some moms say they do. There was nothing loving about it. I tore the F up! I screamed at the top of my lungs. I held on to the bed bars like I was being cut open while awake, it was unbelievable pain. I also went from 4 cm to fully dilated in 7 minutes though, so perhaps my pain was much greater because of it, who knows. But it was the kind of pain I wouldn’t wish on anyone so my opinion is ….choose what you think you can handle! But just know that it is going to hurt if you do it without medicine. Tis all!

The hospital I went to is very pro skin to skin type of parenting. They like to hand you the baby as soon as he/she is born. So I didn’t really have to put that on my plan. They are also very cooperative and like to follow the mom’s wishes when it comes to their perfect birth. Now keep in mind, this is just a guide. This is a “plan”. This is not a blueprint of your birth. It doesn’t mean everything will happen accordingly. So do not get your hopes up. Both the first time and second time, my births went completely different than I had imagined or “planned” and it’s okay. You just have to be open to plans changing because what your body does and what that baby wants to do is not in your hands. So you have to be flexible. I wasn’t so good about it the first time around. I was so upset and cried for days because of it, so I recommend that you don’t get so hung up on your plan. Things can change at any time and you have to be ready and willing to accept such changes. Otherwise you’ll go through birth without feeling great and I wouldn’t want that for you.

Egreis after birth, with Gio

I think I covered it all. As far as why I chose certain things on my birth plan, I recommend reading my first birth plan. I explained all my choices there. I will make another blog post about my birth story with Charlie. I’m waiting on my photographer, Morgan Lang, to finish the entire video (she captured everything).

Until then, nothing but love!

xo,

Egreis Gjergjani

PS. Excuse all typos, grammatical errors, you name it. Don’t have time or patience to go back and proofread and English is my second language so give me a break! LOL.