Jul 15, 2020

Baby Prep Update: Night Nurse!

We hired a night nurse! 
15 weeks pregnant

I'm 15 weeks pregnant now and so relieved to start checking things off of our to-do list. I can't believe I'm already in my second trimester! There's so much to read, learn, and prepare before our little alien's arrival and I just know the time is going to fly.

We ended up hiring our night nurse through the Frances Stewart Agency (note: no one I shout out in this post is compensating me in any way for it, I'm just trying to leave helpful links for other moms-to-be and moms out there). A friend recommended them to us and we liked that they have a long record of great placements. We also liked having the extra insurance that if something does go wrong with the particular night nurse we hire (like she's suddenly unavailable, gets sick, etc.) they'll help us find a suitable replacement and we won't be left scrambling by ourselves.

When considering the pros and cons of hiring a night nurse, these were our thoughts. 

Night Nurse Disadvantages

First, the big con - it's just one more unfamiliar person in the house. I'm the sort who gets uncomfortable when the housekeeper is in, because there's a stranger in my home and it's not just family, so having someone who's there every single day (well, night) for months and months isn't something I'm too excited about. On the other hand, she's going to be a huge  help and we're going to need it.

Night Nurse Advantages

My husband has a stressful job and while I won't be going back to work full time after birth, I do plan to continue acting and writing. To manage those pursuits while trying to keep our (super fresh, we're newlyweds) marital bliss, we'll need to be well rested. I wanted someone to help me out at night, because I know my husband is going to need his sleep and won't be able to be a big help on weekdays/-nights. 

Another big pro for us was that our night nurse will help with sleep training. We're first time parents, so having someone who's been around the block a few times (or rather, been sleep training babies for the past 20+ years) will be really helpful. She'll come meet us at our place from the very first night that we bring our little alien home from the hospital and help us out for the next 4-6 months, though she anticipates that sleep training should be pretty much completed around the end of month 3. 

Questions to Ask Night Nurse Applicants

She'll be taking care of our baby with us, so it's important to pick the right person! We cared about what certifications she has, as well as that she had 20+ years of night nursing experience, plenty of families who've rehired her for their second and/or third babies, and started out as a midwife in her home country before moving to the States.

I also asked about her specific sleep training methods, as everyone does something differently, as well as what she does when babies cry and are inconsolable. I asked about her experience with colicky babies and first time parents. I made sure she wasn't allergic to cats (we have two). I asked about her schedule and what hours constitute the night shift for her. I asked general personality fit questions. We had a long conversation and got to know each other. She'll be almost a part of the family for quite a while next year, so fit is so important!

Finally, we extended an offer. And she accepted! Check, one thing off the list.

Next up: doula. I'm not tied to the idea of a natural birth (I'm a total wuss and feel like I'll bail as soon as the pain hits) but I really want to try to avoid an epidural if I can. I want the faster recovery of a natural birth and I'm also super worried about getting 'wet tapped' and ending up with the dreaded epidural headache. Being able to move around during and after labor would be a big win, too! So, anyway, I'm trying to find a doula now (assuming my hospital allows more than just one support person when January comes - fingers crossed that there's no second wave of coronavirus).

postpartum food prep
Another service, though quite different, that I've pinned for my postpartum period is Rawvolution food delivery. I've actually been enjoying it quite a bit now, especially whenever the morning sickness kicks up. I cook for my husband daily, usually both lunch and dinner, but lately I just can't stomach anything I cook. I seem to have an aversion to anything I make!

I love that Rawvolution has healthy, fresh, organic food that's nutritious for both me and our little alien (important now as she's incubating, as well as after birth since I'll be attempting to breastfeed). The food all comes ready in weekly shipments, so you just grab a packet out of the fridge, transfer it to a dish, and enjoy whenever you're hungry. From the few friends I have who've already had children, as well as all the books I've been reading, it sounds like the first few months with a new infant can be exhausting and getting a healthy meal in can be really challenging. Rawvolution will be a godsend!

Some people like to prep freezer meals, but I'm too noncommittal about food preferences to do that. I like that Rawvolution puts out a new menu every week, so I can see if I want the food from the following week, and then you get new, fresh food each week (Monday if you're CA local, Tuesday if you're getting it FedExed to elsewhere in the USA). Best of all, there's no prep needed - you don't even need to heat the food up! It sounds pretty perfect for those weeks when I won't have any time to myself during the day.

Rawvolution Turmeric ChopThe menu rotates constantly, but my favorite dishes are the turmeric chop (mmm), sunflower sea salad, enchilada blanca (be still my heart - might just be my favorite food PERIOD), falafel wrap, no-bean hummus, and big matt with cheese. 

They also include two delicious, raw vegan desserts with each week's delivery! My favorites are the pecan crumble (like my favorite pecan pie, but full of good-for-us ingredients), superfood energy balls, and chocolate coconut brownie. 

You can use the code 'DANAI' for $10 off your order. I don't get anything if you use the code, this is not a promo, but you get $10 off your order and how sweet is that?

I'll wrap this post up here, because I (a) am getting hungry and (b) have more baby books to read. Have a wonderful afternoon!

Did you have a doula? Was it worth it? What about hypnobirthing?


  1. A night nurse will be so nice for you to have! It was rough going to work some days after being up so much at night!

    1. I can imagine! At the beginning, it sounds like I'll be up anyway (if breastfeeding works out) since you apparently can't pump before bed and then just not feed all night without affecting supply, but having her there will speed up that process/putting baby back to bed since we aren't planning on cosleeping.

  2. Ahhh super jealous! I was so sleep deprived those first several weeks, I would have done anything for some extra help overnight. Congrats!

    Green Fashionista

    1. Thank you! I want to try to breastfeed, so I imagine there'll still be plenty of waking up in the middle of the night, but I'm very grateful that I'll have some help!

  3. A night nurse is really going to come in handy with sleep training!

    Le Stylo Rouge

  4. I am super impressed with how organized you are! Sounds like you are thinking of everything. I don't think I realized there was such a thing as a night nurse...but wow, having one will be such a blessing. My daughter has a 6 month old, and they could benefit from a night nurse even now. At least once or twice a week!!
    I am wanting to try Hello, Fresh just because I am sick to death of cooking during this pandemic. Will it ever end??
    I had both of my daughters in the 80s in military hospitals. At the time, they did not allow pain meds of any type...all natural childbirth only. I took Lamaze classes with my first daughter and from what I read about hypnobirthing, Lamaze is similar. I was instructed to have a focal point that I stared at the whole time I was in hard labor. With the first daughter, I stared at a target and put myself into a kind of trance. With my second daughter I stared at a picture of my first daughter!! The labor was very manageable and my recovery was pretty quick.

    1. Congratulations on your grandchild! And I totally understand the recipe exhaustion - I'm actually writing a little post about that for next week. I think we all feel like we've cooked about a billion millions in the past four months of locking down, between all the daily lunches and dinners!

      Oh my goodness, didn't even *allow* pain medicine? That's so intense! As much as I (very much) want to try to avoid an epidural, not having the option would freak me out. But I'm so glad that you had good experiences and I hope I can stay strong and tough it out! That quick recovery is definitely the carrot!

  5. I think I am going to love your blog! I love healthy eating but am stuck in a bit of a rut - so looking forward to reading about your raw Vegan dishes. You are very lucky to have a night nurse - being super exhausted due to sleepless nights affects every aspect of your health and life. You've made a great 'investment' in your family. I will be interested in hearing all of the sleep tips! I had midwife prenatal care; unless you are high risk you get to choose your care here in the UK via the NHS. I was pretty 'hands off' in that I had 24hr + of contractions where I was pretty much left alone and didn't want any intervation at all and then 1/2 hour before the pushing part I caved and got pethidine - which was useless adn just made me sleepy and my baby's heart rate dropped - so it was a case of 20 mins of pushing to get him out! This was really the only part the midwife got involved in, but it was needed! She had to break my waters for me etc. Will look forward to reading more about your journey! Are you on bloglovin?

    1. Thank you! I'm not exclusively raw vegan or anything close to it (especially now that I'm pregnant, I believe that a well-rounded diet is important) but I love eating plants - they're delicious and they make me feel good! That's the ideal combination. :) And thanks, I'm so glad that we found a night nurse we like! Not being sleepless zombies for half a year will definitely be a big help in enjoying settling into being new parents. I love my family so much and the little one isn't even here yet!! I'll definitely share any sleep training tips I pick up from the night nurse. The ending of your delivery story sounds stressful, but otherwise it sounds like it went well - congratulations! I'm trying to minimize interventions, too, but we'll see what ends up happening... I'll write it up afterwards! I am on bloglovin: https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/living-learning-eating-3188256


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