How We Prepared for Channing's Arrival

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As I approached the presumed last 12 weeks of my pregnancy, the Roswell OBGYN doctors and nurses encouraged me to look at the classes offered at Northside Hospital and to sign up for a couple that peaked my interest.  Unlike many new moms, I’ve had a lot of experience with infants; thus, I wanted to choose a class that would teach me something new. After spending an embarrassing amount of time reading all the class descriptions, I decided to start with Baby Essentials.  A couple weeks ago I was over at my friend Jenn's house - I should mention Jenn has four kids, three of whom are under age two.  While sitting on the floor in her little one's nursery, Jenn attempted to teach me how to swaddle. After watching intently and practicing a couple times I had some serious concern about remembering how to perform blanket origami on my own. The Baby Essentials class description clearly stated that swaddling was one of the key components of the class, I was sold.

The week of the class, my husband was out of town for a work function (I promise he doesn't really travel all the time), so I decided to take the class on my own.  I assumed the class would be mostly mamas-to-be; I was wrong and pleasantly surprised to find many daddys accompanying their pregnant wives. Each participant’s station was set up for a couple and included two dolls and booklets of information.  As the class got underway, everyone introduced themselves, sharing their baby’s due date; everyone was between 20 and 35 weeks. Since Patrick wasn’t in town, I took copious notes and photos to share with him later. Admittedly, I also shared with the class that my husband was out of town; despite the ring on my finger, I didn't want others to assume I was tackling parenthood alone. 

 April, the class leader, taught me so many things about hospital expectations, working with lactation consultants, how to fold a diaper around a healing belly button, what to expect in your baby’s first diapers...and more! When we saw Channing’s first poo, I said, “Its meconium!” We covered nail trimming, car seat installation and safety check, household baby-proofing, which Patrick and I will tackle between now and Channing’s discharge, and so much more.  Did you know your supposed to have an official car seat safety check with a certified technician? We didn't. Channing’s birth may have been different than expected, but the things I learned during the three-hour class still apply.  Patrick and I had planned to attend Northside’s Mommy and Daddy Boot Camps before we became parents; however, Channing unexpectedly arrived eight weeks and five days early and I only had one class scheduled before Channing's arrival.  Sometimes its easy for me to procrastinate; especially, when I feel like I have tons of time to do something or that it isn't really necessary.  I can't tell you how many times I've made up excuses not to take an additional yoga training; in fact, I contemplated attending the Laughing Lotus Restorative Yoga Intensive the same weekend I delivered. Praise goodness I wasn't on a plane or in NYC when Channing arrived!  Having an idea of what’s going to happen in the hospital and in the first few days of your baby’s life, makes all the difference.  Even if you think its unimportant, educated yourself.  

Interested in learning more about Northside Hospital’s classes? Check out all the classes, and descriptions of them, here.

Every day is a new experience for us as parents, and we will continue to document our #NorthsideBaby experience, as we watch Channing grow and get stronger, and prepare for her homecoming.

P.S. I learned how to swaddle!

Channing sleeps snuggled up in a  Z-flo in an incubator at the Northside Hospital NICU, so I haven’t needed to test my swaddle skills much yet, but when she comes home I will be ready! I even bought a doll for my husband to practice on, so he’s all set too.  If you’re expecting a little one of your own or have a hard time mastering swaddling, hopefully, this step by step guide will help you.


 Lay the blanket out like a diamond (one corner at the top, bottom, left, & right) then fold the top corner down toward yourself

Lay the blanket out like a diamond (one corner at the top, bottom, left, & right) then fold the top corner down toward yourself

 Take the bottom corner up and over your babies left shoulder and tuck the extra fabric in behind your babies shoulder, but in front of the blanket your baby is lying on

Take the bottom corner up and over your babies left shoulder and tuck the extra fabric in behind your babies shoulder, but in front of the blanket your baby is lying on

 Tuck the fabric behind your baby 

Tuck the fabric behind your baby 

 Position your baby so the top of the folded blanket rests at her shoulders and below her ears. Her head should not be on the blanket

Position your baby so the top of the folded blanket rests at her shoulders and below her ears. Her head should not be on the blanket

 Draw the fabric from the top right down across your babies torso making the fabric folds resemble a v-neck - it won't look perfectly symmetrical

Draw the fabric from the top right down across your babies torso making the fabric folds resemble a v-neck - it won't look perfectly symmetrical

 Tuck the remaining fabric into the little pocket you've created below your babies left shoulder

Tuck the remaining fabric into the little pocket you've created below your babies left shoulder

 Wrap the blanket over your baby and tuck the left corner beneath your babies left arm (keep your babies left arm out)

Wrap the blanket over your baby and tuck the left corner beneath your babies left arm (keep your babies left arm out)

 Take the additional fabric from the right and pull it all the way across your baby to your left - there should be extra fabric extending past your babies right side

Take the additional fabric from the right and pull it all the way across your baby to your left - there should be extra fabric extending past your babies right side

 Voila! You've swaddled your baby

Voila! You've swaddled your baby

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored blog post and I was compensated by Northside Hospital. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Carly Grace Milyo

Born in New York City,  Carly Grace grew up in Atlanta and graduated from The Westminster Schools.  Carly received her Bachelor of Science in Human Development, and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Virginia Tech in 2012. During her college career, Carly began practicing yoga as an escape from her intense ACC Cheerleading training. The rigor and requirements Carly upheld as an ACC athlete combined with the social expectations and action packed schedule expected of an Alpha Phi left Carly depleted both physically and mentally.  Before Carly found yoga, she used running, partying with friends, and restricting her diet to maintain a sense of control in her life. It was Carly's true desire to find more purposeful and authentic friendships and to invest her time in cultivating her greater well-being and spirituality that lead her to yoga. 

The creativity and physical challenge of yoga captivated and inspired Carly. Yoga was the first thing Carly practiced where the perfect-ten mentality was not required; in fact, perfection is the antithesis of yoga principles.  After hanging up her poms poms and retiring from her ACC Cheerleading career, Carly quickly found herself  invested in the In Balance Yoga Community in Blacksburg, VA.  With encouragement and affirmation from Studio Owner, Becky Crigger, Carly set out for New York City to train with Dana Trixie Flynn at Laughing Lotus Love Skool.

Yoga Alliance 200 E-RYT, Carly has studied and practiced with many influencers and teachers all over the United States.  Carly currently teaches Thunderbolt Power Yoga®;  a powerful alignment based vinyasa flow inspired by some of her greatest influencers including, Dana Trixie Flynn and Baron Baptiste.  Carly infuses creative ideas and sequencing into her classes. Her purpose as a teacher is to inspire people to move like themselves. Carly is committed to helping students be audaciously playful in both their practice and in their lives. 

You can catch Carly Grace teaching at her studio Thunderbolt Power Yoga, at off-site events such as the infamous FIT Yoga Series with Carly Grace at W Atl Buckhead, at music festivals, corporate conferences, and more!  Be sure to look out for Carly's quarterly Boombox Power Yoga® Class offered alongside a live DJ, accompanied by her pink boombox, and enhanced with a 16 inch disco ball. 

In the mean time, you can follow her adventures on instagram (@yoga__barbie) or give her a wave when you see her drive by in her infamous pink jeep!