Welcome to the World Little One

Here it is! The one stop shop for all things baby! Read about our girl’s birth story, our registry, products we’ve loved, my hospital packing list, nurse basket contents, postpartum prep, birth plan contents…all the things! It’s a lot, but for anyone interested it’s here…all in one place, just for you! So let’s get started!

Brighton’s Birth Story

Let me start by saying that Brighton was prayed for and planned for haha she was no COVID Quarantine accident and it drives me nuts when people assume that! We found out we were pregnant at the end of February and it was scary and exciting all at once! We didn’t tell our family until we got home for summer and didn’t announce to the world until later in the summer. With everything crazy in the world it was nice just having a little excitement bubble just for us.

Pregnancy during COVID was weird. Kirby wasn’t able to go to any of my appointments or see any of the ultrasounds. It was so sad!! It was also scary going to all my appointments alone not knowing what to expect, but comforting knowing Kirby was waiting in the parking lot praying for strength and courage for me every time – AND the fact he’d treat me to Panera or Chick-fil-a afterwards 🙂

Monday, October 19, 2020 – the day our world changed forever. On this day, around 8:00pm, we welcomed our sweet baby girl, Miss Brighton Raine into the world. Her name was given to me in a dream at the end of summer/fall of 2019 – just goes to show how God truly knows us before we were formed in the womb. That He knew her and knew her by name. Her name means “the one who is loved”.

My sleep on that Sunday evening was exceptionally restless and I noticed my water leaking so around 1:30am I gave up tossing and turning, got up, and began hammering out some last minute tasks. I did some last minute paperwork for the business, answered emails, cleaned the house, restocked toilet paper in the bathrooms haha, fed and watered Maverick, finished packing our hospital bag and baked cookies because part of me just knew…it was about time.

Kirby woke up early to find me already up and wide awake to hear that I might’ve had my water break. The look on his face…some moments you wish you could keep forever! We thought we’d have plenty of time because the contractions weren’t bad at this point. I bounced on my ball while helping Kirby finish our work season recap sponsor emails haha!

We had a regularly scheduled OB appointment at 10am that morning, so we figured we would find out what the doctor had to say and go from there. I had Kirby pack our hospital bags in the car…just in case. At the appointment they did a test and it was there that our sweet Dr. Bower declared that it was officially time, and called over to the hospital to let them know we were on the way. (Thank goodness we had our bags packed!)

We checked in around 11am. Kirby and I snacked on Subway and I bounced on the bouncy ball – things were honestly pretty chill! But because my water had broken early that morning, they induced me around 3pm or 4pm. Things went REAL fast after that. Faster than the nurses expected. Too fast for the epidural I so badly wanted. So fast that I remember telling the nurse, “I’m pushing and can’t help it” and her responding, “No, no! We aren’t pushing yet!” – Me, “Yes, yes we are!!” haha. I’m so thankful for the team of nurses and my doctor. They were so encouraging and supportive – they were the right ones meant to be in the room with me – they reminded me constantly that I was capable and strong.

Before long little Brighton made her appearance at 6.7lbs and 19.5 inches long. She was born to the end of the song “My Hallelujah” by Bryan and Katie Torwalt – hearing the song now still brings tears to my eyes. “Courage comes to take fears place” I mean…how beautiful. How perfect. The next song that happened to come on was Yes and Amen…declaring how faithful God is as they placed her on my chest. I think we were all touched by the moment, the atmosphere of Holy Spirit in the room, the peace, control, and fight God gave me to do what I didn’t think I could – and you know what? It was worth it to finally see, touch and hold our sweet girl.

God is faithful. I’m still in awe of this small, beautiful gift he’s placed in our arms to raise, love and nurture. I pray constantly that God gives Kirby and I wisdom to be the best parents for her, for grace when we fall short, and for love, hope and joy to reign over our lives and home.

I’ve got to love on Kirby for a quick minute. I’m so thankful for him. He’s such a good dad already to Brighton, so tender and loving, and was such a pillar of strength for me. I’m lucky he is in our life and so grateful he was able to be there for me on that day. I couldn’t have survived it without him and especially the days after. Thank you for doting on me love, for thinking I’m sexy in disposable diapers, and thank you for being such a good daddy to our girl.

I’m also extremely thankful for our church family. If you don’t feel like family with people at your church you’re missing it, you really are, because our Freedom Family has been a God send. They have loved us so big and extravagantly, they have prayed for us, showered us and been there for us in ways I didn’t think people were capable of any more. We are eternally grateful for them and so blessed by their servant hearts and open arms. We don’t often feel like we deserve it.

Sometimes in life you’re also blessed with a Fairy God Mother. Ours showed up big for us in this new season – you know who you are. It will take a lifetime for us to show you know much you’ve meant to us. I’ve cried many tears of plain outright gratitude and love for you. You’ve gone above and beyond. Thank you for loving on us and our baby girl. I don’t even have the words really to express how much it’s touched us.

The Essentials: Prepping for Baby

Ok! Let’s get down to the nitty gritty! If you’re planning to be pregnant or are currently pregnant, I wanted to share my two cents on the items that worked best for us so far. I am a HUGE researcher when it comes to products/reviews, a big planner, and also kind of a minimalist, so with our small space living and traveling lifestyle, I wanted the essentials – and if I was getting the essentials I wanted them to be products that were good quality, multifunctional, would last a long time, and that were decently priced. I didn’t want all that research to go to waste, especially if it could help someone else.

I’ve ALSO included all my checklists that I used to prepare, because let’s be honest, there’s a lot to consider and a lot to remember and pregnancy brain is a real thing haha, so here is everything – hope it helps you, saves you some time, and gets you excited for your own journey!

My Pregnancy Must Haves

Take um or Leave um Pregnancy Tips

  • I tried to keep my eyes and ears shut to “pregnancy symptoms”. Whether from our baby tracking app or from word of mouth advice (which there is literally no shortage of). Personally once I hear something, I imagine it, and I see myself with it (I have a really strong imagination) and then I experience it. If I don’t know I’m “supposed” to feel a certain way or experience something then a lot of times, I don’t. So, I stuck my head in the sand on that aspect a bit and it worked for me personally. Just throwing that out there!
  • Be selective of who you ask advice from
  • Take care of your teeth and skin
  • Enjoy the journey, don’t spend the whole time wishing it was over and miss moments of revelation and growth while you’re in the middle of it.
  • Staying active (walking and swimming) was everything until I couldn’t walk any more haha.
  • You’re capable of way more than you realize.
  • Have grace for yourself and your changing body.
  • Though you’re healing, enjoy time with our baby when you get home. You can set up routines for sleep right away (but don’t worry about a strict schedule and getting all stressed out) – sleep when they sleep.
  • Use your words! Speak, speak, speak. It’s never too early to talk to baby and proclaim God’s promises over him/her and your own body! It makes a difference!

Registry Platform

We used Babylist for our registry. I personally really enjoyed using it, but here are my honest thoughts on the pros and cons.

Pros: You can list items from anywhere/any store (my #1 selling point), it shows people where to find the best price for each item, easy to use, 15% off discount for you at the end to use in the Babylist Store, easy to link to, you can add gift cards, cash funds for diapers or college fund, or even ways people can volunteer to help you with meals or babysitting, etc. It’s super versatile!

Cons: They have a “reserve item” feature that was a little frustrating – as it allowed people to mark items reserved, listing the item(s) as unavailable to others, even if the person forgets about it and never ends up purchasing. Also it was a bit harder for older folks to understand how to use than a traditional registry they can go to a store and print.

Our Must Haves (so far)!

  • Nursery
    • Nuna Sena Aire Playard and ChangerLOVE! We wanted a really nice pack n’ play because we decided to forego a crib with how much we move/travel. This playard is beautiful, easy to assemble, breathable, comfortable, lightweight and easy to package up for travel. Brighton currently takes her daytime naps in it.
      • Would suggest getting a baby changer and a few covers if you’re going the crib route.
    • Portable Bassinet – We didn’t know we needed a bassinet until we brought Brighton home, but it was nice to have something higher (more level to our bed) than the pack n’ play, so I can keep an eye on her easily in our room.
    • Ubbi Steel Diaper Pail + Bags – Keeps the smell contained and special bags aren’t required, so you can use normal trash bags if you’d like or the special Ubbi ones!
    • Hatch Rest Plus Baby Nightlight and Sound MachineWe use this ALL the time!!! It’s easy to use, works amazing for a night light/nursing light and Brighton loves the white noise. When she gets older we can use it to color coordinate the lights with her sleep and wake times.
    • Ubbi Wipe DispenserThought we could do without a wipe dispenser, but nope! This one is nice looking and has a weighted element so you can easily grab one wipe at a time with one hand.
    • Boudreaux’s Butt PasteThis paste is really thick and works fast. Also because it’s so thick, a little goes a long way, so it lasts a long time. Works SO good! Bright hasn’t had one rash using this!
    • Baby Monitor Infant OpticsI liked this monitor because you don’t have to connect it to the internet to use it – which I’ve heard is actually a big safety thing! I also like that I can talk to her through it.
    • Huggies Natural Care Wipes – Huggies for Newborn and Pampers after that – just what’s worked for us!
    • Baby Blankets – I really like Saranoni (and so does baby – they are so soft and will last a long time)
    • Baby Onesies (double zippers) – pretty much all she wore in the first weeks!
  • Loungers and Nursing Pillows – I originally felt like these two were too similar and just opted for the Boppy, but after being home with baby we ended up also purchasing the SnuggleMe and LOVE it!! It provides a safe little nest for her to hang out in keeping our hands free.
    • Boppy Nursing Pillow – UPDATE: the Bobby is just ok for me. I wouldn’t say it’s a must have, I honestly don’t use it a ton outside of the hospital and the first few days – we have used the SnuggleMe more.
    • SnuggleMe with Cover
  • Transportation/On the Go
    • Chicco Key Fit 30 Infant Car SeatEasily secured into our car with the key fit feature and is the only car seat that fits the adaptor for the Zoe Stroller. I was going to purchase a convertible car seat and just be done with it, but I really like the idea of being able to take the car seat with us if needed and take her in the stroller while she’s still little. The convertible car seat remains locked in place in your car and isn’t meant to be carried around. So, I found a barely used Chicco Keyfit 30 (check those expiration dates! Yes, car seats have expiration dates – who knew!) and then we will purchase a convertible car seat in a year or so. We also have the Chicco Convertible Car Seat.
    • Zoe Tour+ XL1 Stroller with Car Seat AdaptorReally wanted this particular stroller because it is really affordable but looks really high end. It is super smooth on the street, really lightweight, easy to fold up, fits easy in the back of my car, and is carry-on friendly for the plane and theme park friendly. You can also expand this into a tandem stroller if needed down the road.
    • Britax Backseat Mirror
    • Car Window ShadesSomething we didn’t realize we needed until the day we brought her home.
    • Something for baby to lay on for Tummy Time – Marshalls/Tj’s has some really good options!
    • Vava Portable Night LightThis is great for the hospital, on my nightstand for night wakings/feedings, and for traveling.
    • Packing Cubes – These were awesome for packing for the hospital and will be so good for trips to help keep everything contained, organized and easy to find.
    • Luli Bebe Monaco Faux Leather Diaper BagThere are literally so many diaper bags out there. I personally wanted one that didn’t look like a diaper bag haha. This bag is BEAUTIFUL and really roomy for all the things. It also has stroller hooks so I can attach this to our stroller handle while we’re out on the go.
    • Big O Key Ring, OventureLifesaver! When I’m holding baby, dog leash, groceries…all the things I can easily have my keys on my wrist and quick to access. It’s the little things….it really is!
    • Ubbi Retractable Diaper Bag Dispenser – This is so amazing for on-the-go. You can throw diapers in here to dispose of if your visiting someone’s home or on the go and not near a trash can just yet. It really traps the smell!!
    • ErgoBaby Omni 360 Carrier – Have LOVED this – one of my most used items.
  • Feeding
    • Medela Freestyle Flex Portable Double Electric Pump and Storage BagsInsurance typically helps cover these – but I’ve loved this pump. I like being able to pump wherever and not be attached to the wall. It’s really easy, holds a charge for a long time, and does what it’s meant to! I was tempted to get the Elvie pump you wear in your bra, but have heard that they’re great until they’re not and that their customer service is terrible, so buyer beware!
    • Burt’s Bees Baby Organic Cotton Burp ClothsThese are smaller than I was expecting, but so soft and have worked for us really well! I’d probably get two packages of these.
    • Bottles – We use Dr. Browns but really REALLY love our Avent Glass bottles, but you have to find what works best for you and what your baby takes best to!
    • The Baby’s Brew Portable Bottle Warmer – Works with our Avent bottles and is a huge lifesaver!!!
    • Philips Avent Drying RackDoesn’t take up a ton of space on the counter (yay!) and holds ALL THE THINGS! Didn’t know I needed this until I began pre-washing all the bottles, paci’s and breast pump parts, but yes, it’s needed!
  • Health
    • Gripe WaterHas helped SO much when she is gassy and upset and can’t sleep. Works so fast and I’m sooo glad I had this ready to go! We started with the Wellements brand, which worked amazing, but it was pretty expensive, had to stay refrigerated and is only good for one month…so I switched to this brand and it works just as well! UPDATE: Wellements is worth it!
  • Bath Time
    • Infant Bather
    • All Tubby Todd Products
  • Swaddles: I suggest getting a few different kinds of swaddles to find out what your baby is most comfortable in. We use all of the swaddles below and like them all for different reasons.
    • Halo Sleep Sacks (2) – The plushy dot velboa is by far her favorite swaddle! It’s her go-to for nighttime sleep because it keeps her warm, is easy for us to take on and off, and keeps her snug. We also got the cotton one for summer and use it currently for day time naps.
    • Love to Dream Swaddle – This swaddle was a game changer when we first brought Brighton home. She loves having her arms up by her face and was breaking out of every other swaddle and causing the other swaddles to come up to her face too much. This was so easy to put on, it gave us peace of mind, and she was more comfortable. Love the zipper!
    • Copper Pearl Swaddle – These are so soft and beautiful. This is a traditional swaddle, which takes a little practice, but we really like them and use them as blankets too. We brought this to the hospital with us.
    • Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit – Currently in this as she transitions out of swaddles. Love! Keeps her secure and she sleeps great in it!
    • Dreamland Baby Weighted Sleep Sack

Other Helpful Things!

  • Take a class to learn about breastfeeding (if you plan to do that), baby CPR, labor pain management tips, and general baby things (how to hold baby, how to swaddle, how to change a diaper, etc.) I had no idea that Kirby didn’t know how to change a diaper until we were in the hospital and Brighton was crying and I physically couldn’t get up to help him haha. So don’t assume your spouse knows!
    • Taking Cara Babies Course – will help you and baby get the sleep you need! Worth it!!!
    • Tour Hospital and Plan Route
    • Ask questions ahead of time to your doctor and of the hospital – see document below for the questions I had. (Also find out if your hospital offers nursery care – someone told me they did this to allow them some time to rest – I wish I had known if this was an option for us!)
  • Prewash all baby’s clothes and all bottles, paci’s and pump parts.
  • Purchase blackout curtains
  • Set up a meal delivery for once you get home or pre-make meals. We were extremely lucky to have friends from church take turns bringing us meals that whole first week – it brings me tears how kind and thoughtful that was – and how much that small gesture really helped! After that first week, we used HomeChef and it was an awesome way to get healthy delicious meals without having to go to the store or require me in the kitchen.
  • Make sure your house is stocked on all of the essentials: toilet paper, paper towels, food staples, laundry and dishwashing supplies, dog food etc. So you won’t have to worry about any of that when you get home.
  • Prep a postpartum basket for your bathroom for when you get home. (You’ll thank me later)
    • For list of items, see link below
    • Sunflower Lecithin – These have been the reason (along with the cooling/heat soothies) why I believe I’ve been able to thwart mastitis multiple times. Have made a huge difference.
  • Prep your hospital bags and make a last minute item list so you don’t forget anything when you’re nervous and getting ready to go in. (Make sure to have electronics pre-charged)
    • For complete list of items, see link below – but here are a few notes…
    • Comfort is definitely key and it definitely paid off to be prepared. Kirby was really grateful I took the time to pack what we did. We used it all!
    • I loved having my fuzzy socks – wore them the whole time
    • The portable sound machine and nightlight were game changers while we were in recovery. The soft light was great for the late night feedings and being able to turn off the harsh, bright hospital lights.
    • The long extension cord/power cube was totally necessary
    • I wish I would’ve gotten long sleeve/long pant button pjs – I took short sleeve because, well, Florida, but the hospital was cold and I would’ve been way more comfortable.
    • Belly Bandit Luxe – really helped my stomach right away start to regain structure – the nurses even commented on it.
    • Nursing and Pumping Bra – I didn’t realize how much a pumping bra helped – otherwise I was bent over holding both pumps for what felt like forever, super uncomfortable! Helped me stay hands free.
  • Make two nurses baskets. These don’t have to be huge, but I can’t tell you how much the nurses appreciate this. It really makes a difference. They even mentioned that it’s one of the best and nicest things you can do for your nurses.
  • Miracle Milkookies – Make or Order – Click for recipe!
  • Have someone lined up to care for your pets, if you have them and make a plan for introducing them to baby when you get home.
  • Make a birth plan – doesn’t need to be extensive and may not always go according to plan, but really helpful to have. Also, make sure you and your husband are on the same page with expectations post baby and boundaries with visitors.

Click below for a printable version of my master checklist! This includes what to include on your birth plan, important questions to ask, nurse basket contents, hospital packing list, postpartum basket item list etc.

2 thoughts on “Welcome to the World Little One

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