Tall Mom tiny baby: March 2013

Day 89: Celebrating a best friend's birthday

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Day 88: Fun in a photobooth at nine months pregnant

Friday, March 29, 2013


Day 87: Celebrating Youth in Action

Thursday, March 28, 2013

4 Hospitals in 4 Weeks : South County Hospital

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

After touring and blogging about many hospitals and options for birth in Rhode Island, we decided to add an extra bonus stop on our 4 Hospitals in 4 Weeks tour - here is our blog review on South County Hospital!

I have only gone to South County Hospital twice in my life. Once after I deeply cut my foot on a seashell at the beach, and another time at college when I thought I had mono (turned out I was just an exahausted college kid!)

This hospital had lots of parking, and looked clean, new, and was full of natural light. We were welcomed by friendly greaters who directed us to the proper floor.

South County, like Newport Hospital, allows mothers to labor, deliver, and recover in the same room. The room they enter will be theirs until they leave! Talk about convenient.

The equiptment and monitors are kept by your bedside.

And your tiny baby is able to stay in the same room when they need to be weighed and examined.

Two tall closets flank the hospital bed, and this is where you and your partner can store your hospital bags and belongings.

A private fridge with a mini freezer is in each room! I don't know about you, but I would totally want some coffee ice cream in there on standby!

Nestled in your room above a sink is a flat screen TV!

Each room has a mini table and chairs, which is perfect for all of your visitors!

Your room at South County comes with your own private shower. The special fold down seat, and multiple shower heads can be exceptionally useful and relaxing during labor.

Here's the other side of the shower with the different shower heads.

As you can see, the wood floors and natural lighting help make this room feel warm and comfortable.

Our tour ended with what the nurse called, The Grand Finale. The Tub Room.

The first thing we noticed about the tub room was the size! We thought we entered a spa. Towels were hung on the wall, and deep dark wood surrounds an extraordinarily large tub.

The tub room has a calming blue backsplash, as well as shower heads. It is large enough to fit a laboring mother, her birth partner (and probably someone else.)

The tub is very deep, and even has color changing lights! Any woman laboring at South County can choose to use the tub room - and don't worry about being bumped out. The nurse leading our tour said there are between 0-2 births at the hospital each day.

On the left side of this photo you will see two glass planes. Behind them is a toilet and sink. Throughout the room are electronic candles, and extra chairs for your nurses, doula, or extra birth partners. The whole room is bathed in comfort.
Here's what stood out on our tour of the maternity wing at South County Hospital:
  • I've said it before, and I'll say it again - having the flexibility of a private tour was awesome. I called the hospital at noon, and they were able to fit me in for a tour by one.
  • If you are in labor, you are examined on the maternity floor. You do not need to sit and wait in a general waiting area or triage.
  • Very few births each day, which means you could possibily recieve more attention from the staff.
  • Your laboring room is the one and only room you stay in throughout your hospital stay.
  • Private shower in each room.
  • Extra seating in rooms, can fit at least four visitors comfortably.
  • Great reputation. I know several people who delivered at South County, and they rave about their experience.
  • Very clean, and everything looked new.
  • That tub room, oh that tub room! I daydream about taking a trip down to South County just to see it again!

What I felt was lacking:

  • "Far Away" in many Rhode Islanders' opinions, generally if you live north of East Greenwich. If people live closer to another hospital, they most likely choose it over South County.
  • If my tiny baby needed serious attention, he would not stay at South County. He would have to be transferred to Women & Infants, which is 30-40 mins away.
  • Did not see a security officer on the maternity wing, nor did we need to be buzzed in. However, the nurse did tell us that each baby's umbilical cord clamp had a tracking device, and if they were to pass a sensor on the floor, all doors would be locked and an alarm would go off.

Overall, we were very pleased with South County Hospital, and the private tour. I can see why so many people in the southern area of the state decide to birth there!

Have you ever been to South County Hospital? What do you think about the Tub Room?


Day 84: Sweets at Coco Pazzo in Providence

Monday, March 25, 2013


Day 83: Installing the base to our infant car seat


What Is A Postpartum Doula?

My hubby and I attended a "Meet the Doulas Night" hosted by the Doulas of Rhode Island. There we learned about birth doulas, and postpartum doulas. Below is my opinion of what a postpartum doula is and does.

From what I hear, one of the chief complaints new parents have is the overwhelming fear and confusion that occurs when they take home their tiny baby from the hospital. Gone are the helpful nurses, who are there to show you how to hold or burp your baby. Gone is the round the clock support. Now it's just you, your partner, and this squirmy-crying-confused little thing that completely relies upon you. Yikes.

Sure, you can turn to a mom blog or a book, seeking advice. Problem is, they aren't there to physically help you. Maybe your family or friends with baby experience live far away, and can't necessarily show you how to swaddle...or maybe you would become more stressed if they were there looking over your shoulder. Instead, one may feel more comfortable with a doula.

The average price for a postpartum doula in Rhode Island is $20.00 an hour. One can think of them as an expensive babysitter, but they are so much more.

A postpartum doula is like Super Nanny - meets baby guru - meets sanity saver. These women love newborns, and have made it their life's profession to care for the tiny babies, as well as care for the new moms and dads. They do not judge, criticize, or scrutinize your parenting skills. Instead, they guide and support.

First, they check up on and care for the new mom, who is most likely going through some major emotional and hormonal changes. Many mothers feel like crap, are wearing an adult diaper, fear using the toilet, don't sleep, haven't eaten, can't figure out how to breastfeed, are recovering from surgery, and all the while are expected to parade their newborn around their friends and family. No wonder so many moms cry or have postpartum depression issues. Sadly, mom's doctor appointment is generally two weeks after birth. If she is already sad or overwhelmed, a lot of important time has already passed.

A doula will help the new mom feel empowered and confident about caring for her squirmy squishy newborn, as well as herself. They will help with organizational support (something I will most certainly need) as well as help with breastfeeding. They educate new parents on ways to understand and help their tiny baby, and these tips and hands on lessons change as the parents and baby's needs change.

A doula is also a worn out parent's lifesaver. Have a newborn and don't feel like you have time to shower? No problem, the doula is here! Need help making dinner, help with the laundry, or possibly want to fit in a nap? Thank you, postpartum doula. Maybe mom is feeling confident, but her partner could use a bit more encouragment and guidance. Doulas can help there as well. Possibly, you have an entirely gross postpartum personal question that you old never ask your friends (and you know you shouldn't Google). Ask away!

In addition to being a great help to the parents, postpartum doulas are newborn baby experts. While understanding that each baby is unique, they can help translate different behaviors or signs that we as new parents may not understand. They can attend your baby's doctor visits with you, and will help inform you about your different medical options. They are helpful with just about any other circumstance a new parent could face.

Postpartum doulas come to the tiny baby's home, and can spend full days to a few hours each week assisting the new parents. The schedule is something the parents and doula work out, together.

The Doulas of Rhode Island host a free meet and greet once a month. There, parents are invited to watch an informative video, ask questions, and then meet several doulas.

For a list of Rhode Island based postpartum doulas, click this link. There you will find bios, as well as pictures and contact information for the women. If you're thinking about hiring a doula, interview a few.

What aspects of bringing home a tiny baby are/were the most worrisome to you?

Day 82: Already lost a baby sock

Sunday, March 24, 2013


Day 81: Celebrating Itty Bitty's upcoming arrival

Saturday, March 23, 2013


Day 80: Recreating art at Gallery Night in Providence

Friday, March 22, 2013


'An Ode To Sleep-Deprived Parents' Performed By The Sydney Philharmonia Choirs {video}

I had to share this funny trending video with you this morning! Hopefully it will give you a good laugh :)

The Sydney Symphony challenged their Facebook fans to rewrite the opening chorus of Carmina Burana. Matthew Hodge's winning lyrics, titled "An Ode To Sleep-Deprived Parents" took home the prize! 

Granted, I'm only sleep deprived because I'm in my third trimester, and my tiny baby loves to dance around in my belly at night, but I feel like some of these lyrics will be all too true in the near future! 

What did you think of the new lyrics? Any sleep deprived parents out there? 

Day 79: Snow blurs Providence, Rhode Island

Thursday, March 21, 2013


How To Use Babylist - An Online Baby Registry {video}

Is a loved one of yours expecting? Have they thought about setting up a registry yet? Maybe you could recommend that they set one up through Babylist!

Babylist allows parents to register for items - without having to worry about registering at an exact location. They can choose a swing, for example. Rather than you having to worry about going to a certain store, you can find it at ANY store near you. I know that this is exceptionally helpful for people who do not live near a Baby's R Us (the most common place new parents register.) Now, you can purchase that swing at a Baby's R Us, Target, Walmart, or even a local independent vendor.

Babylist will list the items with their prices, and examples of locations where you can get the item. Expecting parents can even write notes like "color doesn't matter, any style will do" which can also be exceptionally helpful to gift givers.

If you know of someone who is registered on Babylist, you'll be able to select their gift with ease. Just watch this video below to see how!

What do you think about a registry like this?

Gallery Night Providence - With Your Host - Me!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spring is here, and that means it is time to shed our hermit/grumpy old bear tendencies, and head out into our lovely world.  If you live near Providence, Rhode Island, I have a perfect event for you!

Gallery Night Providence

Tomorrow, March 21st is the opening night for this free and fun event. It will take place on the third Thursday of each month (March - November) and guests will be lead on theme dedicated busses. 

Parking and the event are absolutely free, and the tour can last up to two hours. Just head to Regency Plaza , park, and get ready for a night full of fun. You'll be able to speak to curators, gallery owners, and even some artists themselves. Some stops will have goodies, snacks, and maybe some wine :) 

I'll be leading tomorrow's 6:20pm Contemporary Art Tour, and may have some of my favorite friends from BIG NAZO join us for the ride!

If you're unable to attend the 6:20 Contemporary Art Tour, fret not!  Tours leave from Regency Plaza at 5:20, 5:40, 6:00, 6:20, 6:40, and 7:00pm - each stopping at 4 galleries. 

Have you ever been to Gallery Night? Would you ever think about going?

4 Hospitals in 4 Weeks : Newport Hospital Birthing Center

The countdown is on until I meet my tiny baby. To help prepare for his arrival, my hubby and I decided to visit 4 Hospitals in 4 weeks in Rhode Island. Our last planned visit was the Noreen Stonor Drexel Birthing Center at Newport Hospital.

The entrance to Newport Hospital is warm and inviting, especially because of their free valet. They don't even take tips!
The entire hospital is bright, clean, and calm. You'll see many ocean references, like the one below.
When you feel like you are in labor, you are first examined in this room. Here they will monitor your contractions, and see if your tiny baby is truly in its way.
If you are indeed in labor (wihoo!), you are brought to your private room. Aside from the blinds on the windows, you will have a view of the town and the ocean. (I know it doesn't look like much because of the blinds, but trust me, the view is stunning, and the amount of natural light in the room is delicious!)

Each labor/delivery/recovery room has their own large shower & jacuzzi style bathtub.

And your own private bathroom for you and your guests.

The simple and yet adorable addition of a wooden headboard to their hospital beds give their rooms an almost hotel like feeling for your stay.

Each room has their own mini fridge. Even though it says "patient nourishment only" you can share with your partner and guests. Or you can hog it all :)

See this ample space? Well believe it or not, this is still the same labor/delivery/recovery room! Tons of space for you to move around during labor, and lots of room for your guests to relax in as they admire your tiny baby.

All of the elctronic equiptment is kept inside of these closet doors. The screens are out when you need them...

And hidden when you don't!

Your partner gets to sleep in the obligatory fold out bed. From what I hear, these are uncomfortable as chairs, but fantastic as beds.
No one is allowed into the maternity wing unless they are buzzed in by the nurses.
The waiting area outside of the maternity section has this adorable children's table. It was so cute that I had to take a picture of it. This waiting room was nice because it was away from the rest of the hospital, and would allow people comfort, a water cooler, and natural light while they wait to be let in to see your tiny baby.

Here's what stood out during the tour of the Birthing Center at Newport Hospital:

  • Ease of having a private tour. I called that morning, and was able to tour the facility an hour and a half later. Having a private tour allows us to move at our own pace.
  • Very few births each day. The secretary who took us around said 0-2 births take place each day.
  • Secure - you must be buzzed in by the nursing station to enter the birthing center.
  • You are examined on the maternity floor, and do not need to wait in a general triage area.
  • The staff were friendly, kind, and helpful.
  • The entire maternity floor felt like a hotel. The rooms were incredibly spacious, had water views, and were beautiful. The simple additions of a pretty headboard for the hospital bed, and white cabinets to hide electronic equiptment made the entire space warm and welcoming.
  • You have one room during your stay - for labor, delivery, and postpartum recovery. No moving to a new room!
  • Private bath, shower, and toilet - in your own room.
  • No limit to the amount of guests attending your birth.
  • A bit of a drive if you live on the mainland, which could ward off unwelcome visitors. Sometimes new patents are overwhelmed by the amount of people who come to see them and their tiny baby. Having extra distance my work in their favor!
  • No nursery- because the hospital strongly believes in babies rooming in with their mom as much as possible. If you do need someone to watch your newborn, he or she will be wheeled to the nurses station and watched by nurses there.

What I felt was lacking:

  • No water births. The rumor throughout Rhode Island is that Newport is the only hospital where you can have a water birth. However, on our tour we were told the last water birth took place back in 2011, and that the doctors aren't too keen on performing them anymore. The birthing tub now sits, unused, in the room where you have your initial check in appointment. I guess the only place to have a water birth in Rhode Island is currently a private residence.
  • If a baby were born prematurely, or needed serious attention, he would not stay at Newport. Instead, he would be transferred to Women & Infants, which is 40 mins away.
  • No VBACS (at least this is what we were told on our tour)
  • A bit of a drive if you live on the mainland. Could be difficult if you are faced with poor weather conditions.
  • No nursery - as I stated before, but some parents may choose to have their baby watched at the nurses station.

Overall, we were impressed with how attractive the hospital and birthing center was. Spacious, ample room for visitors, and an ocean view! I was disappointed to hear about the lack of water births, but was happy with the rest of the tour.

Have you or someone you know delivered at Newport? Would you drive the extra distance to give birth in an environment like this?