I am overjoyed and thrilled to introduce Hermione Adison Mercer born Saturday April 27th at 1:41 pm.
Doug and I are over the moon in love with our perfect little girl. I cannot wait to share the story of her birth with you!
I am notorious for my packing anxiety. I like to pack for trips well ahead of time so that I can edit, re-pack and re-pack again. For our wedding I started packing almost a month beforehand to make sure I did not forget anything! With my penchant for planning ahead it should be no surprise that my bag(s) for the hospital have been packed for weeks. It’s so much harder to pack for one of the biggest trips of your life when you have no idea when you will be leaving on it!
There are many check lists floating around the internet of what to pack for the hospital. Some of these lists were very helpful to me, while others seemed way outdated. Who needs a calling card when everyone has cell phones??? After many attempts, below are the items I decided I just had to have when we welcome baby girl into the world! There are a few un-pictured items such as the car seat and my birth ball that are already waiting for us in the car. Like I said, I like to plan ahead!
No way am I going to put on a standard issue hospital gown to bring my daughter into the world. Luckily, thanks to this hot pink number from Pretty Pushers I don’t have to. This disposable delivery gown is super soft and has openings in all the right places for exams and monitors, and even an epidural ( if I end up needing one).
Although my doctor, doula and Doug all have copies of our birth plan, I tucked an extra one in my bag just in case. I fully realize that my hopes and dreams for my birth may have to go out the window, but it is still comforting to have a “wish list” in writing.
In order to personalize my birth experience even more I am bringing my own sheets, pillows and blankets with me. I have two sets of brightly printed sheets (one for labor and delivery, one for the overnight stay) packed, some nice firm pillows, and a blanket as hospitals are notoriously chilly and their blankets thin and scratchy. I opted for printed sheets so they would not get confused with the hospital’s own.
I have no idea what I am going to find helpful and comfortable while laboring so I packed a variety of calming, comforting items:
I have been told that women tend to get cold feet ( literally) during birth, so I packed a comfy pair of slippers to walk around in. I also threw in a pair of flip flops just in case the opposite is true for me!
I have a variety of attire options for my overnight stay in the hospital. From loose sweats, to nursing tanks, to night gowns I think I have my bases covered!
After giving birth I am sure nothing will feel better than washing my face and hopefully ( depending on how the birth went) my hair and body. My toiletry kit is packed with all of my favorites from CV Skinlabs, Nine Naturals, Kahina, Acure, and Soapwalla!
Doug and I are very excited to use Honest Company products on our little girl. Their diapers are adorable and as earth friendly and clean as you can get. Same goes for their wipes, baby shampoo and lotion. I packed a small supply of their products to bring to the hospital so we can get her started using them right away and avoid her coming into contact with any less than ideal, standard issue hospital products.
Not pictured is the outfit she will be coming home from the hospital in, she asked me very nicely to keep it a surprise until she arrives!
I am a sort of, kind of, semi superstitious person. I will not panic over a broken mirror or a black cat. I do refuse to call my unborn daughter by the name we have chosen for her. Doug calls my belly by her name all the time and it freaks me out a little bit. This may seem strange since I have fully finished her nursery, stocked closet and all but to each her own right?
One superstition I have grown more attached to recently is that full moons can bring about labor. I have heard stories from friends, nurses, and my own doctors about babies being born on full moons. Some say it has to do with a change in air pressure, tide and gravitational pull. Some say it is more primal than that. Either way tonight is a full moon so we shall see if baby girl decides to make a slightly early arrival!
As my pregnancy draws to a close I have been trying to really focus on preparing myself for labor and delivery. I have been resting as much as I possibly can and eating for strength and energy. Recently I have become very dependent on healthy snacks. The bigger my baby gets, the less room I have to fit big meals. Eating for two? Forget about it! My stomach and the rest of my digestive system is so squished that eating a full meal is nearly impossible.
These protein bites or Pronut Holes (protein doughnut- get it?) as Doug named them are the perfect pregnancy nibble. I keep a batch of them in the fridge and grab one or two whenever I need a little pick me up or protein infusion. I definitely plan on having some on hand to eat during early labor, whenever that may be!
Baby showers can evoke lots of cutesy images. Diaper cakes, onesie painting stations, and a very pregnant mother-to-be to be at the center of it all. While this might be a dream for some expectant women it was not what I had in mind for my own shower. Even at eight months pregnant I am still a girl that loves putting on a sexy dress and heels and going to a cocktail party. So, when my mom and sister offered to throw me a shower I had a few requests: it had to be a Saturday night, there had to be cocktails for my guests, the food had to be light and healthful, and it needed to be somewhere I could feel appropriate in a cocktail dress, big statement earring and heels.
To say my shower was perfect would be an understatement. I got to spend an evening with my closest friends and family eating great food, laughing, and celebrating the little girl we can’t wait to meet. Plus, it was probably the last time I will be wearing 4″ heels for awhile!
The evenings menu was focused on light, delicious plant based dishes (with some fish) that would satiate without stuffing the guests. My sister let me work with the kitchen at Soho House to fully customize a menu that fit my tastes. The chefs were incredibly accommodating to my ideas and suggestions for creating a very SJM menu!
There were large crudité platters with fresh guacamole and salsa for dipping.
Many of the typical passed hors d’oeuvres on the catering menu were not items I would eat. So, I got creative and made some suggestions to the chefs about what to pass during cocktails. These chilled shots of gazpacho, corn soup and avocado soup were refreshing and delicious!
Using cucumber rounds instead of crackers or chips as a “vessel” these bites of ratatouille and sun dried tomato tapenade were the perfect crunchy, savory morsel.
The buffet style dinner featured many vegetables including these two fresh salads, an assortment of roasted vegetables, and grilled corn (which got me so excited for summer).
Dessert was a very special treat. Miniature bites of heaven from Pure Food and Wine! There were brownies, lemon bars, tiramisu and cookies. I think many of my guests didn’t even realize their dessert was raw and vegan!
While my shower may not have been typical I did stick to one tradition- opening baby gifts! My friends and family were all so incredibly generous. My little girl is now fully stocked with clothes, gear and everything else a tiny person could need. I especially loved this “I Love Veggies” bib we were given!!!
This past week has been truly tragic and shocking. I have spent the past five days watching the events in Boston unfold with sadness, shock and horror. Every picture and video on the news is of a street or neighborhood I know well and have memories of. Boston holds a special place in my heart and is the only place other than NYC that I have ever called home. I hope that all of this tragedy serves as a reminder that life is short and precious and that we should all focus on love and kindness towards each other.
As I count down the days of my pregnancy I realize I have not shared many “bump” photos. Now that my bump is a full-grown baby hotel, I thought I would share just how pregnant I am. These photos were taken by my dear friend Mia McDonald (who also takes the majority of the photos on my site), the afternoon of my baby shower. Enjoy!
Copyright 2011 - Sara Jane Mercer