19w5d Online Sample Sales for Moms

We’re just starting to put together our shopping list for Baby Z, and because J and I both work full time and already have a dependent who constantly needs our attention in the evenings (our dog, Henry), we don’t have much spare time for shopping.  And like I mentioned in a previous post, babies need a lot of sh*t.

That’s where online sample sales come in!  I’ve subscribed to the below online sample sale websites for kids and tots, and I’ve taken to checking them daily at work (shhhh).  I can’t vouch for any of them yet because I haven’t been on them long enough, but in general, I’m finding that the kids stuff on Gilt has been the most appealing, abundant and useful to us.

In any case, feel free to use the sample sale invite codes here so you can sign up for any of the sales!  Happy shopping 🙂

Gilt Groupe – Up to 70% off retail. Almost half a dozen sales per week, including furniture and toys.  Gilt offers variable flat-rate, domestic shipping on most items via UPS (USPS for PO Boxes and APO/FPO addresses) based on what option you select during checkout. Oversized or special delivery items may be subject to a Delivery Charge in addition to the above standard shipping rate.  Gilt offers two return options: (1) Gilt store credit with free return charge or (2) A refund in the original form of payment minus a return charge that covers the return shipping and the restocking costs for the entire shipment. For return shipments valued under $100, the return charge fee is $9.95. For return shipments valued $100 or more, the return charge fee is $14.95.

HautelookUp to 70% off retail. Sales for kids are sporadic but include toys and footwear.  Shipping is $7.95.  U.S. Returns are eligible for HauteLook credit or a refund to your original method of payment. If you choose to receive HauteLook credit, the return shipping is free. If you prefer a refund, you have to use their return shipping label for $5.95.

Ideeli:  Up to 70% off retail.  What they have is along the lines of what you would see at Saks, Bloomingdales or Nordstrom.   Shipping is generally $9.95 for all items regardless of quantity or value.  Ideeli offer 2 return options: You may choose to receive either a store credit for the purchase price of the item and free return shipping, or a refund in your original form of payment minus a $7.95 return shipping charge.

Little Rue: A relatively new division of Rue La La (under the kids section on the site).  Pay $9.95 once for shipping, and ship free for the next 30 days.  Offers two return options. You may choose to receive either a merchandise credit and free return shipping, or a refund to your original form of payment minus return shipping costs

The Mini SocialUp to 60% off designer clothing and accessories. Sales are updated every weekday.  Shipping fee is $6.95, more for oversized items and to Alaska and Hawaii. Returns within 21 days for store credit only.

Totsy:  Totsy gives moms of children aged 0-7 access to sample sales for children’s wear. Totsy also has a commitment to selling eco-friendly merchandise.  Shipping is $7.95.  All sales are final.

Zulily: This site offers deals for moms, babies, and kids at up to 90% off.  Multiple sales weekly include furniture and equipment.  Shipping is variable according to weight. Returns within 14 days for a refund.





19w4d Prenatal Appointment (20 weeks)

Baby Z and I had our fourth prenatal checkup this morning!  All is looking well at 20 weeks, and Baby Z’s heart is beating steadily at 150 bpm.  Yay!

I’ve learned over the past few months that these monthly visits to our OB’s office are relatively brief and to the point (assuming that all is well with the mom and baby), and it’s harder to get our OB on the phone later on so it’s better to go in now to each prenatal visit prepared with a list of questions.

Below is my list of questions in bold below and our OB’s response to each.  (Note:  I realize that some are pretty goofy…J laughed out loud when he first saw my list :(.  But whatever, I don’t care!  It’s my first kid and I want to understand what’s going on!)

  • Should I get the flu shot?  I actually really struggled with this one.  Getting a flu shot is highly recommended for pregnant women by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the American College of Nurse-Midwives, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and many other organizations, and there is even evidence that getting a flu shot during pregnancy offers your baby some protection after birth.  (Read more about it here).  Since I will be in my third trimester during peak flu season, now would be the best time to get the shot.  What was my hesitation then?  Well, my only reservation in getting the shot was that I’ve never had a flu shot before, and I had no idea whether or not I would be allergic or have a negative reaction to the vaccine.  What’s the verdict?  After speaking with my OB about it, I felt comfortable going ahead and getting the shot this morning.  I’ve had the flu develop into pneumonia a couple of times before in the past few years, and it’s scary to contemplate that happening to me while I’m pregnant.  Also, the flu shot our doctor administered to me today was thimerosal-free (which some people claim to have detrimental effects on a fetus’s mental development, but this has NEVER been proven by either the CDC or the ACOG.)  In any case, my shot didn’t include it.  And so far…no negative reactions (fingers crossed).  I actually feel more mentally at-ease now that I’ve gone ahead with the shot.  I feel that both Baby Z and I are more protected now!
  • When and how often should I start to feel our baby move?  Our OB confirmed what I’ve been reading all along – most moms start to feel their babies move somewhere between 16-24 weeks of pregnancy (on the later side if it is their first child).  But even though I’ve started feeling Baby Z’s movements (last night!), I shouldn’t be alarmed if I don’t consistently feel him every day until around 28 weeks.  I guess I should feel somewhat relieved that Baby Z won’t be using my insides as his own personal soccer field until a couple of more months from now, but for now, I’m really enjoying and treasuring his first movements!
  • Should J and I take a tour of the hospital in which I’ll be giving birth?    Definitely!  I’ll be giving birth at Mt. Sinai on the UES of Manhattan  – a very conscious choice on our part because they have one of the best NICU and pediatric facilities in the country (random trivia: it’s where Gweneth Paltrow gave birth to her daughter Apple and son Moses) – but neither of us have ever been to the hospital.  Per our OB’s suggestion, we’re scheduling a (free) tour of the maternity ward so we have a better idea of what to expect when the big day comes.
  • Should we think about cord blood banking?  Still debatable for us.  According to the American Pregnancy Association, cord blood is the blood that remains in the umbilical cord and placenta following birth.The cord blood of your baby is an abundant source of stem cells which are genetically related to your baby and your family. The stem cells are dominant cells in the way that they contribute to the development of all tissues, organs, and systems in the body.  Banking a baby’s blood and stem cells in a cord blood bank is a type of insurance. Ideally, you will not need to access your baby’s stem cells in order to address a medical problem later on in life.  Parents can opt to store their baby’s cord blood for personal private use or donate it to a public cord blood bank, which could be a life-saving resource for another family.   Private cord blood banking is very costly (running upwards of $2,000 for initial collection, and $200-$300 in storage fees annually), and the chances of a family actually retrieving it later if it is needed is very small. (The chances that your baby will have a stem cell transplant by the time he or she is 10 years old is one in 5,000 for donor transplants and one in 10,000 for a transplant using the child’s own cells, according to a study published in the journal Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplant.)  Unlike private cord blood banking, public cord blood banking is supported by the medical community.  However, there are very strict regulations in which you can donate cord blood and you can only do so at a participating hospital that collects cord blood for donation to public cord blood banks.  What’s the verdict?  J and I would love to donate our baby’s cord blood to a public bank, but unfortunately, our OB told us that Mount Sinai just recently lost their funding for cord blood collection.  We’re opting out of private cord blood storage, but we do know friends who have made the choice to do so.
  • Since our baby’s legs and arms are still so tiny relative to his head and body…could his “kicks” really be his head or butt jutting against my belly?  (In other words…is my son a head thrasher?)  J laughed when I asked this question…and frankly, so did my OB.  Hahaha.  It makes sense to me that since at 20 weeks, Baby Z’s limbs are still small (and therefore, weak) so maybe the thumps I’ve been feeling are coming from his head or his squishy butt instead.  Our OB said it’s possible that it is indeed our son’s head or butt that I’m feeling (take that husband!), but his legs and arms are definitely strong enough at this point to make an impression against my belly too.  So maybe Baby Z is not a heavy metal enthusiast after all…
  • Last but not least…is it just me, or is my son’s penis ENORMOUS in his ultrasound pic?  (see pic below re: the white spot near his butt)  Ok, so I knew this question was (a little) ridiculous even before I asked it, but still…I was just curious!  Unfortunately (or fortunately?), our OB said that the white spot depicts an area of higher density, which makes it more likely to be a bone than his, um, manly parts.  A bit of a disappoint to Daddy Z, but I think we’re both (somewhat) relieved that our son is not (likely) going to make the Guinness Book of World Records for having the largest family jewels around.

Stay tuned next week for our baby’s 3-D ultrasound, when we can finally get a sneak peak at his face!!!   Crazy!

19w3d We have MOVEMENT!

I’m backposting this by a day because I want to document the fact that tonight (Sept 10), J and I felt our baby KICK for the first time!  Actually, make that KICKS (plural).  Baby Z was quite the ninja punching superstar (or perhaps a soccer  kicking enthusiast) around 11pm tonight.  He must have read my blog post from yesterday and realized that I’ve been complaining to the world about his laziness.

This time, there was no doubt in my mind that our little boy was giving us a few nudges in greeting.  Unlike previous flutters that I thought I’ve been experiencing, tonight I felt actual isolated pushes against my belly.  When J put his hand against my stomach, he could feel them too!  There were very light and gentle nudges, but they were definitely there all the same!  It was very cool to experience the movement both within my tummy and externally with my hand.  It was also amazing to be able to share our baby’s first movements with J right next to me!  (Or else he would have never believed me.)

Of course, now that our kid decided to make his presence known, he had to keep me up with his kicking for a good hour.  Sigh.  But that’s ok, I don’t mind!  As long as Baby Z’s kicks don’t turn into a Twilight Breaking Dawn vampire baby moment, I’m perfectly happy to have him dancing away in there.  I feel like doing a little dance myself.  Yay!

19w2d Baby Body Update

It’s been way too long since I last updated this section of the baby blog!  Probably because I’m still in a state of denial about my (increasing) weight.

*How far along: 20 weeks!

*Gender: BOY!  We’re excited, although I feel like a hermaphrodite.

*Weight: 127.2 pounds and going up by the hour, if not by the minute.

*How I’m feeling: Overwhelmed.  I think it’s finally sinking in that I’m having a baby.  A baby that’s going to grow, speak, have a mind of its own, go to school, go off to college (fingers crossed), get married (fingers crossed) and have kids of his own (fingers crossed).  AHHHHHH.  Mainly I’m just worried about the mind of its own part.

*Cravings:  Cheese.  MOAR CHEESE.  I feel like Mickey Mouse.

*Emotions:  A little anxious this week.  I’m more than a little paranoid and worried that I haven’t been able to 100 percent identify Baby Z’s movements yet!  Is he or isn’t he kicking me during episodes of Grimm?

*Sleep:  I’m still getting up every hour on the hour to hit the bathroom!  I thought these potty breaks were supposed to get better in the second trimester!  LIES.  I’m also finding it harder and harder to sleep in on the weekends – is this my body preparing me for the next 18 years of my life?

*Belly thoughts:  My belly is getting bigger every day.  I’m dreading the day when I look down and can no longer see my toes.

*Dreams: Having some, um, indecent ones these days.  But not indecent in a good way – indecent in a way that makes me want to take a shower immediately after I wake up (again, NOT in a good way).  I’ll spare you the details.

*Thought of the week:  Damn you baby KICK ME!!

*Special Moments:  Earlier this week, when J and I were in San Francisco, I thought I felt Baby Z move for the first time and excitedly grabbed J’s hand to have him feel the kicks…turns out that I just had to fart.  REALLY loudly.  So embarrassing.

19w0d Halfway there!

your baby’s the size of a banana!

Your baby weighs about 10 1/2 ounces now. He’s also around 6 1/2 inches long from head to bottom and about 10 inches from head to heel — the length of a banana. 

He’s swallowing more these days, which is good practice for his digestive system. He’s also producing meconium, a black, sticky by-product of digestion. This gooey substance will accumulate in his bowels, and you’ll see it in his first soiled diaper (some babies pass meconium in the womb or during delivery).

(Source: The Bump and Baby Center)

I was a little concerned at how Baby Z grew from being a “mango” at 19 weeks to suddenly a “banana” at 20 weeks (I know that babies grow fast, but this seemed a bit excessive) so I looked it up, and it turns that that up to 20 weeks, babies are measured from “crown to rump” (aka head to butt).  But after 20 weeks, they are measured from head to toe.  So Baby Z is approximately the length of a banana this week!  Crazy!  (I’m also eating a banana as I’m typing this…a little creepy?)

Our next OB visit is next Tuesday, followed by our next ultrasound (in 3-D!!) the following week — we can’t wait!  We get pretty excited by these few opportunities to sneak peeks of Baby Z.

In other news, J and I have signed up for an infant CPR course with HeartStart Training, an official training site of the American Heart Association (AHA).  Obviously, I hope we’ll never be put in the position of having to use CPR on Baby Z, but we figure it’s still better to be safe than sorry.  We looked into several infant CPR classes in Manhattan, and the good thing about HeartStart is that it offers private at-home training courses, which if you sign up for with friends, it actually comes out cheaper than if we attended the classes ourselves at a center.  So we’ve signed up for an at-home (non-certification) class with two other couples who are friends of ours that also expecting (and all expecting boys!), so it should be fun…or as fun as can possibly be, given the topic.

I’m sort of hoping that we don’t have to practice on those fake-real baby dolls that blink and “breathe”…they scare the living daylights out of me – but I guess if we don’t practice on something, it defeats the purpose of the course, right?