Read This… A Lot

I plan on reading this article at least once a week.  I think it puts parenting into perspective so well.. especially if you only plan on having one child.  Every moment is precious and should be considered so.  Enjoy this article… and grab a tissue or two.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/devon-corneal/parenting-lasts_b_1874086.html

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You Will…

new mother

 

(Thoughts from a mother of a one month old)

You will…

…Get poop on your hands.  I always assumed that this only happened to people who weren’t paying attention to what they were doing, or who had super squirmy older children who thought diaper changing time was play time.  I was wrong.  Poop has the ability to get everywhere, and it will.  Recently it was all over baby girl’s back, onesie, feet, and my hands.  Not to mention the time I found some on her shoulder.

– …Beg a baby to let you sleep.  I know, it sounds insane, babies don’t understand begging yet, but you WILL beg and plead for sleep.  Last night, at 3am, as I was running on two hours of sleep, I held my little girl and begged her to go to sleep.  I tried making a deal with her too.  “I am going to nurse you ONE MORE TIME, then we are going to go to sleep for at least an hour!  Okay?  Please….”  No such luck, but I guess it was worth a try.

– …Not believe how much the baby relies on you.  This parenting thing is not a joint effort… yet.  Yes, my husband holds her for an hour a night, and for a few hours on the weekend (like right now so I can blog), but for about 23 hours a day, that baby is on me  This is mainly because I exclusively breastfeed.  How else is she supposed to eat?  These boobs must be on call 24/7.  I suggest that if pumping works for you, you do it.  If formula sounds like a good option to you (I think about switching over at least 10 times a night) then do it!  No one here will judge you.  Get some sleep, share some responsibility, and keep your sanity!

– … Be grateful for two hours of sleep in a row.  Remember sleeping for eight hours straight (I don’t) and still being tired?  Yea, enjoy those moments, my soon to be mommy friends.  Eight hours of sleep seems like a dream to me right now.  It’s almost hard to believe that, in the past, I’ve had times where I slept for over 12 hours in a row.  Wow,  How many years until that happens again?

– … Need to buy wee wee pads.  Just for dogs, you say?  No chance!  Wee wee pads are a lifesaver, and not just for boys either.  As soon as we take the diaper off of our little lady, she says “Ah, fresh air!  Peeing into the wind!  Oh, and pooping! Ah!”  Yep, sometimes multiple poops on the pad in one changing.  Sometimes I wonder if she’s playing a trick on me.  No chance all that poop could fit in something so tiny!  Here is the link to the ones I ordered.  We’ve gone through about 30 of them so far (maybe more?).  I could not imagine having to wash the changing pad cover that many times within a month, could you?

weewee

– …Change a diaper right after changing a diaper.  Poop explosion and a pound of pee, diaper change successful!  Pick up the baby, smile at her, watch her give you a strange look aaaaand…. the sound of another poop explosion.  This goes along with the “how does she fit all of that in there?” thing.   We have had up to three diaper changes in five minutes.  Amazing!

– … Never hate anything more than cluster feedings.  Ah, the current horror of my existence.  Nothing will make you feel more needed, frustrated, and confused.  “My baby needs to eat, but my nipples are going to fall off.  How has this been going on for five hours??!”  This is what runs through my head during these terrible times.  By the way, these times always take place at night.  Usually between 6pm-midnight (or longer).  Biggest break between feedings?  Maybe 30 minutes, and the feedings are about an hour on each boob). Pure torture, for both of us.  Being constantly hungry makes her upset, and being constantly milked makes me upset.  There is nothing you can do but continue through it and hope the next night goes better.  Or turn to formula…. (still considering it…)

– … Wonder how anyone could ever have more than one child.  Seriously?  People do this while they have toddlers? HOW?! WHY!?  I don’t know how it’s possible.  I can tell you right now that I am not cut out for it.  If there is a second in our future, which I’m not sure there will be, it won’t be until she is in school.  Maybe college? …. yea, probably won’t be a second.

– … Be amazed by how much you love your baby.  Despite the poop, pee, cluster feedings, hundreds of diapers (can’t wait to start cloth!), crying, and lack of sleep, you will love this little creature more than anything on the planet.  Despite how mad you are at the lack of sleep, you will look at her/him and know that you are the one who has to make this little thing happy, and you will do that.  And, somehow, you will do it with a smile!

 

So, one month down.  What will the next months teach me?  Hmm…

 

Happy One Month, Baby Girl!

My little, beautiful Emmy is one month old today!  I cannot honestly pull the “where did the time go??” thing that everyone else seems to do.  It’s felt like a month.  Sometimes, with sleep deprivation at its worst, it’s felt like a year.  Not in a bad way, more in a “it’s felt like she’s always been here” type of way.  She is my amazing baby girl and I love her.

I’ve decided to do her monthly pictures featuring a 12 month hat.  Each month we can see her grow into her hat.  It’s my take on the -picture with a stuffed animal- thing that is so popular.  I wanted to change it up a bit.

I cannot wait until she has some intentional smiles for me!

One Month 1 One Month 2

How Does This Happen?

I was expecting things to be messy with a newborn.  So far there has been a ton of pee and poop, which sometimes ends up on her feet, and sometimes ends up on my hands.  There is also a mess in the kitchen, because putting dishes in the dish washer is not a top priority.  There is laundry everywhere.  It’s clean, but it is certainly not folded, hung, or put away.  The one thing I never imagined was how our bed was going to transform.  It is a disaster.  No matter how pretty it looks at the beginning of the night, it will look like 15 dogs have been romping around in it all night by morning.  There are extra pillows piled behind me so I can prop myself up while nursing in the middle of the night.  There is an extra blanket behind me (in the pile of pillows) so I can pull it up around me while I nurse because the air vents blow right on me.  Somehow I keep stealing all of the blankets, which is weird because I hardly sleep, why do I need ALL of the blankets?

This is what my bed looks like in the morning…  Bed with baby

That green thing is our comforter.  I don’t know how this is happening either.

To Start A Paci?

My husband and I are trying to figure out when to start a pacifier.  Right now it seems like she is actually eating when she’s on the breast, not just using it as a pacifier, but who knows?  We had originally not wanted to start a pacifier at all, but when it came down to the possibility of a pacifier vs thumb sucking, I think we’d rather have a pacifier (at least that can be chucked out eventually — even if it is a battle).  The pediatrician says that four weeks is a good time to start one, as breastfeeding should be established by then, but I’ve read a few things online that suggest waiting 6-8 weeks if you exclusively breastfeed to insure that your milk supply is well established.

I’m beginning to feel that everything with babies has 10 different “right” answers.  For those who think there is one way or no way, that is just not the way these things work, unfortunately.

So, when did you start your baby on a pacifier?  Or, if you chose a no-paci way of life, why and how is it working out for you?  I’d love to hear your stories!

Impromptu Photo Shoot

This morning I decided it would be a very nice day to take a couple black and white pictures of our baby girl.  It was a quicky deal, done with my phone, but a couple of them turned out very well.  Beautiful baby girl!  Also, she looks great for getting hardly any sleep last night.  I did not hold up so well after my sleepless night!  Good thing I don’t go out in public yet, I would definitely frighten the villagers.

 

bnw 1 bnw 2

One Handed

Typing one handed is starting to become the norm.  This little one eats like a beast, so my other hand is always busy holding up a giant boob.  Who would have thought that I’d have boobs so big they would make my hands fall asleep due to lack of circulation?  Impressive!  I am about 75% boob right now.

(Ah, the hand has been released by the sleeping baby, I can now type with two hands!)

So, life with baby is going well.  This is actually my first FULL day alone.  Two weeks ago I did two half days by myself, but my in-laws came in to town that Friday and just left this morning.  Usually I would be grumpy having company in town for so long, but I was so grateful to have someone to just sit here and chat with me during the day.  I didn’t rely on the help too much because I didn’t want to get too used to having help.  My mother in-law would watch her while I showered and hold her a bit during the day, but I was always around and ready to pull out a boob.  (Did I mention she eats like a beast?)  Today I’m finding it strange to realize that I am going to be home alone with two dogs and a baby… every… single… day.  I know that when she’s older, and we have more things we can do (play dates, grocery shopping, mommy and me classes), I will be a little less bored, but for now I’m just trying to find interesting things to watch.  I suppose I’ll be a TV junky for the next couple months.

She is starting to become a little person, as opposed to a little blob.  She will now look at whoever is talking to her.  That was so neat to see at a party we went to this past weekend.  We were only there an hour, so it wasn’t really a “party” for us, but the husband got to have a beer and I got to see a couple other new mommies.  It was a good time.  Her head control is getting much better.  She HATES tummy time.  She also hates her swing.  What is wrong with this girl?  I’m just glad that she likes her bassinet.  That is the only thing I really NEED her to like.  I would like for her to like her pack and play a little more, but she will at least sit there and stare at the ceiling and chat to herself for a little bit before she gets moody.  Yes! She is starting to babble a little!  It’s adorable.  I have no idea what we are chatting about, but she seems really interested, so I make sure to ask her lots of questions about it.  I imagine she’s saying something like “I really like to eat.  Eating is fun.  When do I get to eat again?”

We also now have a belly button!  Her umbilical cord stump was accidentally flicked off by the husband fell off last night during a diaper change.  Not that I really worried about it, because I know it didn’t hurt her, but it’s nice to not have to worry about it during clothes and diaper changes.

That’s all for now.  I’m sure we will have many new adventures and updates in the weeks to come, so I hope to update much more frequently (most likely one handed).

 

First Time On The Pump

Well, I decided to try the pump today.  Since my mother in-law is still in town, I wanted to try it out while I had a little help.  The verdict?  Well…

I pumped for 15 minutes per breast and got a total of .5oz.  Eep.  I was quiet concerned.  I told my husband that pumping might not be for me.  I actually ended up being able to express more by hand into the bottle.  I mean, not more, but more per minute.  I poured my pitiful little bit of milk into a bag and put it in the freezer.  Luckily, my husband remembered the pediatrician telling us that I may not get a lot out of the pump the first few times I use it.  I don’t remember this, but I will blame sleep deprivation.

I was expecting some pain/discomfort from the pump, but luckily I had none.

I will continue to eat lots and drink lots of water and hopefully my boobs will be able to produce enough milk to fill a couple bottles so that my husband can feed her every now and then in the evenings.  (Especially once I am okayed to take baths again.  Woo!)  Also, the grandparents want to be able to take care of her for a few hours at a time so that my husband and I can go out together.

So, I guess I will try pumping after each feeding, but that makes me worry that my boobs might feel the need to explode while I’m sleeping.  I can’t get any less sleep and still be functional.  Maybe I’ll just try to pump twice during the day.  That shouldn’t make too big of a difference?  We shall see!

 

 

 

I Do Not Miss It….

…being pregnant, that is.

I know many women who say that they loved being pregnant.  I’m not sure if it is just the attention they love, or the feeling of the baby moving inside of them, but whatever it is, I must say that I am not one of these women.  I loved feeling her move and grow inside of me, but I much prefer watching her move and grow on the outside.  Being able to interact with her will always outweigh wondering what she was doing in my belly.  The constant worry of “has she moved enough today?” was enough to drive a person to insanity.  Yes, I much prefer her on the outside.

In the past three weeks since having her, I have gone down 25lbs (I gained 35 with her) and I feel amazing.  I can walk up stairs without getting winded.  I can get up off the couch without help.  I can sleep on my back.  I do not have constant back pain and gas.  The list goes on and on….

So why do women miss being pregnant so much?  Am I missing something?  I didn’t even have a difficult pregnancy.  The doctors even commented a few times on how empty my chart was.  I constantly heard “wow, you sure have had it easy!”  So what’s my problem?  Am I not in tune enough with my inner mother?  Should I be worried that I wonder if I’ll ever want to be pregnant again?  Or will I eventually forget how uncomfortable pregnancy was and want to do it all over again in a few years?  Perhaps I should erase this entry so that I don’t scare myself out of trying for a second one day… hmm….

 

Breastfeeding… So Far

Well, so far, breastfeeding has been pretty easy for me.  Emmy was eating within 10 minutes of being born.  Latching and sucking like a pro.  The nurses were actually quite impressed, as was the lactation consultant.  The hardest part for me (and maybe her) has been the cluster feeding.  For those of you who are unaware of cluster feeding, it is torture.  This is when the baby is either A. trying to help your milk come in during the first week, or B. when they are going through a growth spurt.  The cluster feeding that went along with helping my milk come in was the worst.  Hours and hours a day for a few days.  My nipples were destroyed.  Every time she began to root (move her tongue around in her mouth to signal hunger) I would want to cry.  I knew her latch was going to cause extreme pain.  I got through it though.  No more scabs on the nipples.  Yes, scabs (gross).  Now the cluster feedings are just sort of irritating.  They comes out of nowhere when I am finally getting comfortable with her every 2-3 hour feeding schedule, all the sudden we are up for four hours feeding in the middle of the night (just like last night).  All in all, I think I’ve been pretty lucky.

I am having to wear breast shells to keep my nipples perky (apparently they are flatish and can cause problems latching).  These are fairly comfortable for being big, plastic, hard covers that I have to constantly wear.  They were also a lifesaver during the scabby nipple time.  I tried wearing pads once and lets just say that pads stick to scabby nipples….. ouch!  They are good for catching the leaky milk too, although they do have air holes at the top, so if you bend over the milk will leak out all over you.  I finally got the bright idea to shove tissues in the bottom to absorb the milk.  No leaking all over myself for two days now! Boom!  These are the shells if anyone is interested or thinks they may need them for flat or inverted nipples, or just to keep your nipples from touching things.  I have the ones with the smaller holes.  If you ask for them at the hospital, they will give you some for free!  http://www.medelabreastfeedingus.com/products/592/softshells

Now, onto the mental state of breastfeeding.  The feeling of being trapped is sometimes overwhelming.  I get nervous when I need to take a shower.  I just feel like she’s going to start screaming and only being fed will calm her.  I can’t stand to hear her crying, so being in the shower with shampoo in my hair is not the time I want to hear her getting upset.  I guess once the cluster feedings become less and less frequent, I will feel more comfortable doing things (like showering, laundry, cleaning, etc.).

I think, overall, I’m doing well.  Not sure if I’m going to make it to a year (49 weeks to go!) but I am going to try to go as long as I can.  I really don’t feel like paying for formula, but once she’s on solids and only needs a couple bottles a day, it may not be so bad.  We shall see! Only time will tell!

Good luck to all you breastfeeding mamas out there!