Ellie and I are getting into the groove of nursing, but she had a severe tongue tie that made it difficult at first. We’ve had to have it clipped twice, because the first time didn’t go far enough. Hopefully this will enable us to have a long and healthy breastfeeding relationship and will prevent any speech difficulties as she gets older.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Graco. All opinions are my own and as always I only write about products I would personally recommend to a friend. Thanks so much to Graco for the opportunity to review this jogging stroller and car seat.
Graco‘s latest development in jogging strollers is the super easy to use FastAction Fold Jogger Click Connect. The name is more complicated than operating this stroller, I promise. True to its name, the jogger folds and unfolds in one step in one second. Amazing. If you’ve tried to manhandle your share of bulky strollers, you know this is a big deal.
The snack tray removes completely so you can clean it well. Y’all know those things get NASTY fast and are so hard to clean when you can’t remove them.
When you fold the jogger (in one step, in one second) it automatically locks and stands and stores upright. As you can see it is much less bulky than some competitors and is a great option for families with small cargo spaces or storage issues.
Favorite Features: the double cupholders, smart phone cradle, and reflectors for night time and early morning safety. What can I say, I’m a details kind of girl. Our previous jogging stroller did not have any of these features, and the cupholder and phone thing was an issue for me. If there is an emergency, I don’t want to have to dig through the basket under the stroller to find my phone.
Least Favorite Feature: the air filled tires. They provide a smoother ride than hard tires, but can also go flat requiring more maintenance.
**Thanks to Julie Harding Photography for the use of photos from the Dallas Graco Party.
One thing I have learned on this journey is that all hospitals are not created equal. Did you know you can find the c-section and VBAC rates for most hospitals online? It’s true. I so wish that I had known before what I know now. I would have chosen a different hospital and OB for my first birth for sure. I really like my first OB as a person, but do not like that she did #3,4,7, and 8 of the “Top Ten Signs Your Doctor Is Planning to Perform an Unnecessary C-Section On You.” The hospital where I gave birth to the Bear also has one of the higher c-section rates in our area at 44.8%. That means I only had about a 55% chance of normal birth at that hospital! Scary. Whether you are a 1st time mama or a mama considering a VBAC, please take the time to look into your hospital’s c-section rate. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends no more than a 15% c-section rate for hospitals, meaning that c-sections are used only in cases where they are truly needed and interventions that can lead to c-sections are eliminated. Unfortunately in most of the Southern U.S. (Texas included), NO hospitals have c-section rates in the healthy zone.
When we first decided to try for a VBAC, I looked into hospitals and birth centers in our area. Jed was pretty nervous about the idea of a home birth, so we decided not to go that route. I called several birth centers in our area, but the one I really wanted doesn’t do 1st time VBACs. If we get our VBAC this time around, I could birth there next time. They did recommend the OB I chose because she is a big supporter of natural birth and VBAC. She also practices at a hospital with one of the better VBAC rates in our area. This is HUGE. In the whole DFW area there are only 4 OBs who are known to be pro-VBAC – Dr. Lawson (my doc), Dr. Cummings (Denton), Dr. Downey (Richardson), and Dr. Weinstein (Frisco). The hospitals where each of them practice have significantly higher VBAC rates than all the others.
So, why is it such a big deal to find a VBAC friendly hospital? I want a hospital where the nursing staff is familiar with VBAC, and knows that it is safe and what protocols apply. A staff that is not familiar with VBAC can sabotage your birth without meaning to, because they don’t know how a VBAC works. I’ve read so many stories through the International Cesarean Awareness Network about women who have had no choice but to show up at the hospital as late in labor as possible so they won’t be forced into a repeat c-section. I did not want to end up in that situation. At Medical City (my former hospital), only 15-16 VBACs are performed every YEAR. That means about 1 VBAC happens every month, sometimes 2 per month. With those numbers, it is highly likely that some nursing staff have never seen a successful VBAC. At Baylor (my new hospital) over 60 successful VBACs happen every year, which means they are seeing 1 per week, sometimes more. That greatly increases the chances that the nursing staff will be familiar and comfortable with the VBAC process.
Here are the stats for my former hospital and my new hospital:
Medical City’s Cesarean Rate: 44.8%
Medical City’s VBAC Rate: 2.82% They do about 15-16 VBACs per YEAR at Medical City. That’s about 1 per month, 2 a few months.
Baylor Medical Center’s Cesarean Rate: 38.6% Sadly, this is one of the lower rates in our area that is covered by our insurance.
Baylor Medical Center’s VBAC Rate: 10.74% They do 60+ VBAC births every year, averaging out to one per week, with 2 a few weeks.
VBAC Rates for Texas Hospitals
Cesarean Rates for Texas Hospitals
VBAC Rates by State – Find your hospital.
Cesarean Rates by State – Find your hospital.
How does your hospital rank with c-sections and VBACs?
You can read all of my posts about Trying for a VBAC here.
Packing the hospital bag for baby’s birth can be a stressful undertaking, so I thought I’d share our checklist with y’all. This is our second go round, and we learned a few things last time. You can read some of my other pregnancy posts here. We are also at a different hospital this time so what they provide will be a bit different. The first thing any mama should do is get the list from your birthing center or hospital so you know what they will give you. Be forewarned though that nothing is free at the hospital and you will be billed for pretty much everything. My hospital does provide each mama with a birth ball for labor, which is handy since they are super awkward to tote around. I’ve found that the trickiest part of packing the hospital bag is that my wardrobe is pretty limited at this point, so there are things I can’t pack til the last minute. Our solution is to have a copy of our checklist on top of the suitcase so we can add those last minute items on our way out the door. I’m a chronic overpacker so I have to try hard to keep it under control for this situation.
Comfy Clothes – lounge pants, nursing tanks, soft cardigans
Giant Cotton Undies (in case they don’t have the giant stretchy ones)
Hair Dryer (didn’t use it last time, but I’m an eternal optimist)
Bathrobe (institutional towels – enough said)
Warm Fuzzy Socks (hospitals are cold)
Loose Fitting Shoes (last time my right foot looked like the Elephant Man)
Clothes to Wear Home (don’t overthink it – all eyes are on the baby)
Phone + Charger
iPad + Charger
Camera + Charger + Lenses
Makeup (see the hair dryer explanation)
Snacks (vending machines are expensive)
Boppy Nursing Pillow
Favorite Pillow (I’m a pillow snob.)
Cloth Nursing Pads (for chafing, not leaking)
Lanolin (see above)
Rice Socks (tube sock full of rice for heat/cold pack during labor & postpartum)
Tennis Ball Socks (tube sock with 2-3 tennis balls inside for massage during labor)
Going Home Outfit
Car Seat (installing it beforehand saves headaches)
Socks (are on our hospital’s check list)
Woombie Swaddler + Summer Infant SwaddlePod (so much easier than a hospital blanket)
Aden + Anais Muslin Swaddle Blanket (mostly for the drive home)
Headbands (purely for the cute factor)
Hats (again, hospitals are cold)
Hooded Sweatshirt or Comfy Jacket (he froze last time)
Warm Socks (see above)
3 Changes of Comfy Clothes
Snacks (he gets hangry if not fed often, a combination of hungry/angry at the world)
Drinks (to avoid vending machines)
What was/is your must have item for the hospital bag? How far in advance did you pack?
Shopping for your hospital bag? Check out the prices on some of our favorite items on Amazon:
I can’t believe we are really almost there. From here on out I’ll do weekly updates until our sweet girl arrives. Because we are trying for a VBAC and lots of people have lots of questions about what that entails, we’ll be live tweeting as much as we can during the birth. You can follow along on Twitter or on the Bare Feet on the Dashboard Facebook page for those updates when labor begins. You can read my other pregnancy 2.0 updates here, and read all my pregnancy posts here. This sweet baby could come any day now, and we are so ready to meet her.
Our second baby is due at the end of April, and we are hoping and trying for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean section). This is one of a series of posts about Trying for a VBAC. There are many reasons why we are heading this direction and I hope to share them with y’all over the next few months. You can read the Bear’s full birth story here to see what our first child’s birth entailed. If you read that story you will get a little glimpse into why we are now on this journey to VBAC and a normal birth. This process has been all consuming for me and this blog is my space to express the way I feel about the whole situation. Many folks have strong opinions about VBAC vs. repeat cesarean, and I hope that whatever your opinion might be you will respect mine. VBAC is not the right decision for every c-mama, and it doesn’t always work out no matter how you prepare. Our hope and prayer is that we can have the best birth possible for our little girl.
Because we are trying for a VBAC and lots of people have lots of questions about what that entails, we’ll be live tweeting as much as we can during the birth. You can read my other pregnancy 2.0 updates here, and read all my pregnancy posts here. *UPDATE* We successful had a VBAC with our daughter, and you can read our full birth story here.
This week I’m sharing our birth plan with you. We worked out the details with the help of our doula, Erica Sosa. She has attended many VBACs and has worked with our OB on a number of occasions. We know that every birth is different and things rarely go according to plan. We still think it is best to have a plan and to share that plan with our birth team so that everyone is on the same page.
– If some induction method is needed, I prefer to try these first: natural induction methods
– IF I request pain relief, I would appreciate some private time to think about which pain management technique or medication I would like to use.
– I would like to use a mirror when I am pushing and may touch my baby’s head when crowning.
– AFTER 2 hours has passed I DO consent to all routine newborn procedures such as weighing etc. I wish to waive the Hepatitis B vaccine.
What was/will be most important to you during the birthing process? How did you communicate your desires to your birth team?
Woohoo, three pregnancy updates in a row! We are on a roll, people. You can read my other pregnancy 2.0 updates here, and read all my pregnancy posts here. We are now entering the home stretch, and are sooo ready to meet our daughter. Because we are trying for a VBAC and lots of people have lots of questions about what that entails, we’ll be live tweeting as much as we can during the birth. You can follow along on Twitter or on the Bare Feet on the Dashboard Facebook page for those updates when labor begins.
What is one thing you wished you had packed/plan to pack in your hospital bag?
It might be time to bust out the old Birkenstocks from college, much to Jed’s horror.
“Minted is a global community of independent graphic designers and an online store that prints and sells the best of their designs in the form of paper goods.”
Minted’s independent designers come from 43 different countries, so the variety of designs is unparalleled. I found so many birth announcements I loved, then found myself looking at children’s and nursery prints, and birthday party invitations. There are thousands of fun options. Pricing is competitive, and if you subscribe to Minted’s email newsletter they often send out discounts and deals. One thing that really sets Minted apart is the quality of the paper. Maybe that sounds silly if you aren’t into paper goods, but my sister and I were discussing this and agreed that out of all the printing companies we’ve used, Minted has the highest quality products. She actually brought it up when I told her I was reviewing the company.
I created 2 inspiration boards for you to check out a few of the options I’m considering for Mini Bear. These are five of my favorite birth announcements, and 3 of my favorite art prints. I can’t decide which I like the best.
I ordered Christmas cards from Minted, and fell in love with their free addressing service. You enter your recipients’ addresses and choose the font, and your envelopes arrive addressed for you. Genius. I’m excited to check this off the list before Mini Bear arrives so that all I’ll have to do is add her photo and birth stats.
Head over to Minted and pick out your favorite products and enter to win a $50 credit on the Rafflecopter form below. You don’t need to have a blog or a Facebook profile to enter, just an email address.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This is the first post in my Baby Bloom Blog Event series. Stay tuned for more reviews, giveaways, and baby themed good times here on Bare Feet on the Dashboard.
**I was not paid for this review and all opinions are my own. I did receive products in exchange for a review.