Thursday, April 22, 2010

Directionally Challenged

I try to go for a walk with Baby at least once a day, weather permitting. Lately it has been raining on and off, so I haven't wanted to venture out for fear of getting caught in a surprise rain shower.

Baby has an Evenflo Travel Stroller System that I find works great for our daily walks. She sits in the carseat part and can look at me as I push her along. If it gets too sunny, there are two sunshades, one from either direction, that I can choose to put up. Or if she is crying, it does a nice job of muffling her. Seriously. I hate to have people hear her cry. Usually it's just because she is fighting going to sleep. She fights sleep with a passion.

Walking is my only exercise as of late. It's hard to find time to exercise when I am taking care of Baby. When she takes her long nap, that's when I do laundry, dishes, eat lunch, prepare dinner (which we later reheat when Husband comes home), and write my blogs. If I'm lucky, I might lay down for a nap as well (Baby usually senses when I want to do this and thus refuses to fall asleep, so I usually never get a nap.). Therefore, I really do make it a priority to take a daily walk with her. Plus, she gets fresh air and her daily dose of Vitamin D.

Usually I can finagle someone to go along with me. My sister comes, or my mother, or Husband, if he is home at the time (that's rare, though). I don't mind going by myself, because then I can walk as fast as I can. I tried jogging, but this stroller is not meant for such speeds and gets caught. (I'm looking into getting a jogging stroller so I can move a little faster.) However, the real reason I like people to go with me is so I don't get lost. You may laugh, but it is very true.

I am one of those people who can't find their way out of a paper bag. Or around their own backyard. Or, in my case, my own neighborhood. I'm very serious here. Those who know me automatically give me directions whenever I go somewhere. If I drive to the local store, my family members will tell me when and where to turn. And don't get me started on backtracking. I like the feature on mapquest that tells you how to get to a location, then you can switch it to tell you how to get back. I have the hardest time figuring out how to go the opposite of the way I came.

I usually end up getting hopelessly lost and having to call for help. My younger brother, who is usually near a computer, has often gotten my frantic calls of, "I'm on the corner of here and here, and I need to get there, which way do I go?" He will then patiently stay on the phone with me until I find my way back. I have various friends who I call for directions, depending on which town I'm in. As a last resort, I call Husband who will also patiently walk me through which way to go. He looks at me with a mixture of amusement and disbelief, though. We drive around the neighborhood and I ask him which way to go, and he replies that I should know this by now. Well, I don't. I have a disease and I haven't found the cure.

The other day I took Baby for a walk. I couldn't find anyone to go with me, so I went on my own. Instead of taking my normal route, I decided to go the reverse. Big mistake. I ended up taking a wrong turn somewhere. I still don't know where. I told my sister she had to go with me again and I'd show her what I did and she can show me what went wrong. That hasn't happened yet.

Well, I couldn't tell if things around looked familiar or not. Do I usually see this house? Do I remember this fence? Does this hill always make me winded? Was this creek always here? I kept walking and walking, and was starting to get a little worried. This was taking longer than my normal walk, and I knew Baby was going to get hungry soon. After going up and down a hill that I know for a fact I usually don't climb (I think), I turned around and headed back the way I came. Luckily, I hadn't made very many turns to begin with and I was able to find my way back home. Next time I go for a walk I am sticking with my normal route.

My mother tells me my grandmother has a hard time with directions as well, so perhaps this is hereditary. I really hope Baby inherits her father's sense of direction.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I Missed One

When people found out I was having a girl, the giving began. And not just from friends with children. From everyone. I got tons of beautiful items for my baby girl. Dresses, onesies, little pant sweatsuits, headbands, you name it, it was probably given to me. I was so excited for all the wonderful things my baby would be able to use and wear.

A few days before I had Baby, my girlfriend and I organized Baby's room. We put her little outfits together, and arranged the clothes hanging in her closet by size. Her closet was so full I ended up adding another closet bar, making two rows of hanging clothes. Two closet bars completely full. Now you can see how blessed Baby was even before she came into this world.

Periodically I have been going through Baby's closet and rotating her clothes so that she has a chance to wear them all. As she grows out of something I move it to the far end of the closet. Her preemie outfit that she fit into when she was born is back there, as are most of the newborn sizes she has outgrown.

When I move new clothes forward, I compare them to make sure they will fit her. Have you ever noticed how different brands are sized completely differently? Baby is wearing 3-6 months in one brand, 3 months in another, and is still at newborn in some. This can get confusing, considering my closet goes by size. Now I actually have to pull outfits out and hold them up to her, disregarding the size it actually says. I constantly rifle through her clothes to make sure I don't miss any. I want her to be able to experience every outfit before she grows too big. Well, the other day I discovered that I missed one.

It had been hiding behind a six month outfit of a similar color (granted, most of them are pink, so it's easy for them to blend together). It was a cute pant and shirt set. The shirt was white with little tropical flowers, and the pants were pink with a giant flower on one leg. Super cute, but way too small for Baby, being that it was newborn size. I was so disappointed Baby didn't have a chance to model it.

To whoever gave me the cute, flowery, newborn outfit, I do apologize that Baby never had a chance to where it. I promise you that it was through no fault of her own.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Diaper Sizes

Baby skipped a diaper size. Granted, she is growing bigger and bigger every day, but this wasn't due to her growth. Oh no, it was due to me being a new mommy and not knowing any better.

The other day I went over to a friend's house with Baby. Of course I had to change Baby when we were there, so I did it on the floor in front of my friend. My friend is the mother of three wonderful children and has taken care of other babies from time to time. I tend to trust her judgment when it comes to kids, and ask her advice on thins as well. As she saw me change Baby, she commented that the diapers Baby was wearing were too small, and showed me how she could tell.

Why didn't I learn this in my baby care class? Or even my birthing class (we covered baby care in that one, too)? Now that I think about it, nobody even showed us how to put a diaper on a baby. The focus was more on swaddling. I think they were assuming everyone already knew how to put a diaper on. I think that should have been covered, because you just never know.

I used to babysit when I was younger. A lot. I have changed countless diapers in my time, on different sized children. It wasn't that hard, and I had no problem doing it. All the items I needed were given to me and I just went from there. I never had to figure out the specific size that went on the child. It was provided for me.

Now faced with the challenge of correctly sizing my child, I was at a loss. I was going by the weight guidelines on the diaper itself. Did you know that those overlap? So technically a child can fit into two sizes at once. How do I know which one to uses?

My friend kindly pointed out that it's not necessarily the weight, but the fit of the diaper. It needs to stretch wide enough across Baby's tummy so that the flaps on the front of the diaper can meet the back of the diaper. Hopefully that makes sense. I did not know that. I had heard somewhere that it needed to go up to Baby's belly button, but that was it. That explains why most of Baby's diapers had leaked. They were too small.

I went home and switched diapers to the next size up. I told Husband about it, and he told me he could make the other ones fit just fine (I think he was joking.). Now I have a couple of unused smaller diapers. Hopefully the stores will let me take the packages back. Since the switch, I haven't had any more leaky diapers.

Pampers Swaddlers Diapers, Size 1-2 (up to 15 Lbs), Economy Plus Pack, 234 Swaddlers

Monday, April 19, 2010

Boy or Girl (Twice in One Day)

This time it was my fault. I dressed her in a white onesie, no headband, and carried her in the neutral brown car seat.

The first time today was in the waiting room of the pediatric section of the hospital. I hadn't taken the time to put Baby in anything cute because she was just going to see the doctor naked anyway. What's the point? A teenage girl nearby started smiling and waving at us, then told us we had a cute little boy. I said girl, and she apologized and said it was hard to tell. That's ok. It is hard to tell if I don't make it obvious.

The next part was on our way out of the hospital. An elderly lady asked me how old she was, then said she was a nice looking boy. I corrected her and said girl. The lady then told me that I should use Scotch tape to put a bow in her hair so people don't get confused. I looked at her with a funny look, and she said really, that's what she used to do with her daughter. I do believe this was before headbands were invented. But I was polite. I just nodded and smiled, then went on my way.

(I do have a friend who put personal lubricant on bows to stick them on her daughter's heads (they didn't have hair), but that's a different story altogether.)

Two Month Check Up

I'm a big, fat liar. And I think I'm good at it, too.

Baby had her two month check up appointment today. I was dreading it because this is the appointment where she is supposed to get her shots. This is a huge, gigantic, major, extreme, and all the other adjectives you can think of, controversial issue. To vaccinate or not vaccinate? Well, it depends who you talk to, and of course they can all give you the reasons why. But that's another post altogether.

I was so torn and dreading today because I hadn't made up my mind as to what I wanted to do about her shots. I had been putting off doing the research and by the time I remembered, it was ten minutes before we had to leave for her appointment. So here I was on the computer googling everything I could about two month baby vaccinations until Husband pulled me away.

On the car ride there I talked it over with him, and he basically said it was in my hands. Thanks. Now if I choose to vaccinate, I can be blamed if she reacts to the shots. Or I can be blamed if she comes down with Polio because I decided not to vaccinate. Too much pressure.

We got to the hospital and checked in. The nurse led us to the exam room where we undressed Baby and weighed her on the little baby scale. She is now a full 11.5 pounds. I actually thought she would weigh more, but I'm ok with 11.5. It's hard to carry the carseat with her in it.

The the nurse stretched Baby out and measured her at 22.5 inches long. She's definitely growing. The doctor came in and asked us about her habits. How often does she eat (every three to four hours, which is normal for a breastfed baby), when does she go to bed (around nine is what we aim for), and how often does she wake up during the night (every three to four hours). When we talked about times that she wakes up during the night, the doctor was very sympathetic to me. I liked that.

Here comes the part where I'm a liar.

The doctor then asked if she slept in a crib or a bassinet. Last appointment I said that she sometimes slept in the bed with me and got a huge lecture on not having the baby sleep with me for various reasons. I was guilted into saying I would put her in the bassinet or crib from then on.

Well, if you've read my previous posts you would know that Baby still sleeps in the bed with me. Did I tell that to the doctor? Oh no. I told her she sleeps in the bassinet in our bedroom. Then we moved on.

I asked about her elf ears and the doctor just said it is because her cartilage is soft. The ears are already formed and will not grow into a point. I hope she's right. I'm going to be keeping an eye on them anyway.

The doctor then listened to her heartbeat, checked out her limbs and her head, put her on her tummy, and declared her perfect. I already knew that.

The doctor noted her head control and was very impressed. Baby has been holding her head on her own for a while, but I guess it's not that common. Yes, she's advanced for her age and I'm proud.

We also got to see the little growth charts for her height, weight, and head circumference. So far she has stayed pretty much on the same curve, except for her head, which jumped to a higher percentile. She has her daddy's head.

We then talked about the immunizations. I asked which ones she was scheduled to get, and if she could tell us about them. She was actually a lot better than I thought she would be with my questions. She showed us out and then we either went to get shots and then went home, or we went home.

Because this is a public blog and I don't want a lot of judgment about my choice, I'm not going to say what I did at this point in time. However, I can say that I am happy with the choice I did make and feel at peace with myself about it. Hopefully all will be well with Baby because of it.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Boy or Girl?

Well it's happened twice so far. Granted, the carrier I use is a chocolate brown, and the stroller and car seat are a neutral tan color, but when the child is draped in a bright pink blanket and wearing a headband, do you really have to ask?

The first time it happened was at a social gathering. She was wearing a brown onesie with a cute kitten and pink ball of yarn on the front. Her pants were pink with brown polka dots, and Husband was holding her pink blanket under her. The elderly gentleman commented on what a cute baby it was, and then asked if it was a boy or girl. Husband and I immediately said girl, and the gentleman looked a little offended. Then he took a closer look at her and corrected himself; "Oh, I guess she is wearing pink."

The second time it happened I was at the mall sitting on a bench with her. She was wearing a turquoise outfit; a turquoise and purple onesie and matching pants. I had even found a perfectly matching turquoise headband with a little bow to go with it. An older lady came up to me and asked me how old my baby was. Then she told me her daughter was expecting a baby boy in a few weeks. Then she asked if my baby was a boy. Not boy or girl. Just boy. After I told her my baby was a girl, she noticed the headband. I told her that's why I put the headband on her, so it's easier to tell.



Is it really that hard to tell the difference between a boy baby and girl baby? I can understand if the baby is wearing completely neutral colors, with all neutral items nearby, but if there are specific colors involved, just take an educated guess. I can see why we have stereotypes and make colors specific to one gender or another. However, there are still some people who just don't get it. Plus, who would put a headband with a bow on a baby boy?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Woohoo

This day marks a momentous day for me. It is a day that I was able to smile wide and jump up and down with joy. "What did Baby do?" you might ask. Baby who? Oh yeah, the reason for this blog. Well, Baby did her normal Baby things, but this post (not unlike many others) is selfishly about me.

Today I tried on a pair of my pre-pregnancy jeans. If you recall a previous post about trying on pre-pregnancy pants, it was an utter fiasco. I couldn't even get them up over my hips. Well, today was very different. I held my breath as I pulled on a pair of my favorite jeans, and slowly inched them up over my expanded thighs and hips. Then, I zipped and buttoned them. Wait, buttoned? Yes, I said buttoned!

Granted, they may be a pair of ultra low rise, super stretchy jeans, and I may have a muffin top and have to suck in my stomach so I don't pop a button, but let me have my moment here.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Boogers

The booger sucker thing is the best toy for parents. I know, it's called an aspirator, but I can never remember that and it's just more fun to call it the booger sucker. I have a bulb syringe aspirator that we may or may not have stolen from the hospital (I'm pretty sure we were supposed to take it.).

When Baby had a cold not too long ago I was able to use it to help her breathe better. I was able to use it again last night when I could hear her breathing getting muffled. She also started this whistling noise through her nose, which drove me bonkers. So at two this morning (last night, really) I pulled out the booger sucker and went to town.

The funny thing is that I think she sees me get really excited about it, so she smiles and laughs when I do it. Then we play a game of who can get the booger. I try to suck it out, she breathes it back it. This goes on for a few seconds until inevitably one of us wins or she gets fussy and we call a truce until later. It's a game every parent plays, I'm sure.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Can you speak Elvin?

April 12, 2010
I gave birth to an elf. Yes, you read right. I have a baby elf. At least it looks like it, anyway. My baby has pointy ears. Now while this may be cute now, I do not want her being made fun of when she goes to school.

When she sleeps, she lays her head on one side or the other. When I nurse, she is on one side or the other. When she plays, she turns her head from side to side. When doing all of this, her ears turn in on themselves, causing there to be a point at the tip. She has been doing this for a couple of months now, so her ears are starting to form a point at the top. I just noticed this not to long ago. Now when I lay her down or see her lying on one side, I try to push her ear back into its normal position. Unfortunately, this causes her to move her head again, and the ear goes back into its fold. So I try again. And she moves again. It's a vicious cycle.

We have her two month doctor's appointment coming up, so I'm going to ask the pediatrician her advice on this problem. You know, before we go, maybe I can Google it to come up with a few ideas.

A Princess Birthday

April 10, 2010
Today we went to a birthday party for a one year old. There was a really cute princess theme and a lot of people there. We figured Baby did fine over Easter, so the party would be ok. The party was about an hour away, so Baby slept on the way there. We got there and she was starting to get fussy, but everyone wanted to ooh and aah over her anyway. I know a couple of the kids there were getting over being sick, so I was a little worried. However, she is two months now, so she should be exposed to more people.

When she got really fussy I took her to the back room and nursed her. She was really tired, but didn't want to fall asleep. I stayed in the back with her for a while, but she wasn't drifting off so I took her back out.

She got fussy again so Husband took her and tried to rock her to sleep. She was almost there when different noises from the party woke her up. I ate, then took over from Husband to try to get her to sleep. It didn't happen, so we decided to leave and hope that she fell asleep on the ride home. Thankfully she did. That party was not as successful as Easter, even though it was nice to see some friends we hadn't seen in a while.

Sleep in Heavenly Peace

April 9, 2010
I love holding Baby as she sleeps. She used to nurse herself to sleep, but she doesn't do that anymore. Instead she gets really fussy and I know that means she is tired. With my new glider I am able to shush and rock her to sleep. It's so precious to watch her as she makes her little noises and moves around. She is a very active sleeper! She will make little smiles, or cries, or move her little hands. It's so cute and just melts my heart. My Baby.

Hello World!

April 7, 2010
Baby woke up today. That's the only way I know how to put it. She hit the two month mark and she just suddenly seems like a baby now and no longer a newborn. She watches us as we do something, she smiles, she laughs. It's like she's now a little person. It is the coolest thing!

She does regress, though. Husband and I watched The Happiest Baby on the Block by Dr. Harvey Karp to help us with her nightly crying. He is an expert on calming babies and has a strategy of five S's (Swaddle, Shush, Side, Swing, Suck- or something like that). We tried swaddling her and she absolutely hates it, but shushing near her ear helps a lot, as does swinging her and putting her on her side. She responds to white noise when getting fussy as well. This would be considered shushing. When driving I put the radio to static and it helps quiet her. When she is in her swing (it's in the kitchen), I turn on the overhead fan for the stove. That helps her settle down as well. And at night, we run a cool mist humidifier that produces a lot of white noise. She seems to be doing better with her crying at night, but it was not fun. I can't imagine how tough it is for parents of really colicky babies.

Happy Easter

April 4, 2010
I had so much fun dressing Baby up in a cute, frilly dress and matching head band. She looked adorable, if I do say so myself. It was her big debut, so to speak. We decided to take her to church today, and then to an Easter party after.

Despite the fact that she still hasn't had her shots, she's practically two months old so we thought it should be fine. We can't be too overprotective.

Church went well. She slept in her carseat for the first half, then I nursed her for the second. After the service everyone oohed and aahed over her. I loved it.

We then went to the Easter Party. My friend throwing it was very respectful of my wishes and made it clear that no one would be holding her there. There were a lot of families with children and I just didn't feel comfortable with many people holding her yet. Baby was very attentive to everything going on and soaked it all in with her big, blue eyes. Eventually she tired of the action and I nursed her to sleep. Surprisingly she slept for an hour in the back room. When she woke up she started fussing so we took our food to go. She had a big day.

Goodbye Baby Acne, Hello Cradle Cap

April 3, 2010
Baby acne has finally cleared up. I think all the breastmilk may have helped! However, it has been replaced by very dry skin and cradle cap. Cradle cap is like an extreme case of dandruff in babies. It is also caused by my hormones. It looks like she is shedding her scalp and replacing it with a new one. I'm glad she has hair to hide it. Google says to just brush it out with a soft bristle brush, so that is what I have been doing. I also read that breastmilk can help it as well, although I don't really have enough milk to rub into her scalp. I might try a little, though.

The Crash

April 2, 2010
This has been one of the roughest weeks so far. Mother in law (Grandma S) came to stay with us this past week. I had high hopes for her getting Baby to take the bottle. She is so good with animals that I thought it might carry over to babies. Apparently not. It was even worse than that; every time Grandma S held her she would cry. Seriously, like every time.

Baby's baby acne was also at its peak this week, as well as her fussiness. She decided that she wanted to scream each night from around six to nine. Yup, for three hours at a time pretty much every night. Needless to say, it was not fun. I spent most of my time trying to quiet her, and felt bad that Grandma S wasn't getting time to spend with her.

It was nice having Grandma S here, and Husband took off time from work to be with her since she lives across the continent. They were able to spend quality time together. They ended up planting a flower garden and a vegetable garden in our backyard. They also organized the garage. Husband felt very accomplished. I, on the other hand, was also having a rough week.

This week I think my hormones were starting to plummet. Baby and I were on the same page. Before giving birth I had wondered about the so-called "Baby Blues" and worried if I would experience that. Well, the first few weeks after labor came and went and I was flying high. However, this week I just felt really frustrated and perhaps a little let down. Husband wasn't living up to my expectations, and being a mommy was becoming a little more challenging. It doesn't help that she won't take a bottle, so I feel rather trapped. I had a couple of days of crying, talking to my mother, and I feel much better now. I tried to be serious with Husband, and hopefully he understood where I was coming from. I think it's hard for him to understand that it isn't as easy as one might think: I'm not sleeping at night, doing all the housework during the day, and taking care of Baby twenty-four seven. It can get pretty exhausting.

I LOVE the baby swing!

March 31, 2010
I absolutely love my baby swing. It's a Nature's Touch Cradle Swing and it was given to me by a friend of mine who used it for her son. It has this really cool feature where you can choose which way it rocks. We had it going front to back, but Baby didn't like that at all. My friend showed me how to rotate it so it swings from side to side. Well that worked like magic. Baby loves it!

I was putting her down for naps in her crib. She would sleep for maybe half an hour to forty-five minutes at a time. Then I discovered the power of this swing. I put her in there when she start to yawn and she slowly drifts off to sleep. No crying, no fussing, she just slowly closes her little eyes. There she will stay for a couple of hours. Yes, I said hours. It gives me time to get dinner cooked and do a load of laundry, as well as anything else I need to do, like take a nap. Now you see why I love this thing.

Muscle Spasms

March 29, 2010
I had a doctor's appointment today. I have been having very painful muscle spasms between my shoulder blades, and Husband made me schedule an appointment. I've had about three in the past three weeks. They are so incredibly painful that I roll around on the floor in pain until they stop. I'm not kidding; that's why Husband made me call the doctor.

The doctor asked me questions and felt my back. She was thinking of prescribing a muscle relaxer, but changed her mind when I told her I was breastfeeding. Instead she gave me prescription Motrin. It really bugs me when doctors just prescribe medicine. That will just mask the pain, not get rid of the cause. I asked her what I could do physically to make it go away.

She said my trapezius muscle is overworked due to constantly hunching over to feed and hold the baby, which is causing the pain. She gave me pain meds, told me to sit up straight and get a rocking chair. Husband actually just went out and got me one. Now I have a really comfortable glider chair.

Upset Tummies are No Fun

March 26, 2010
I did not sleep well last night. Wait, let me rephrase that. Baby did not sleep well last night, so mommy did not sleep well. She has started this thing where she will scream for twenty minutes or so before bedtime, and nothing we do can calm her down. Usually I can calm her anytime by sticking my boob in her mouth, but the past two nights it has not worked. Then, she wakes me up at three this morning grunting and whining to pass gas and poop. She did this off and on until seven. By then she got it all out and we both fell back asleep til 10. I really have to figure out what I ate that upset her tummy so much. Don't want to go through that again. Needless to say, I'm tired.

Mylicon Infant Dye Free Drops, Simethicone Anti-Gas, 1-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 4)

My Baby is Already a Teenager

March 22, 2010
I never knew there was such a thing as baby acne until Baby got it bad. I didn't even know babies could get acne! According to Google (which is totally reliable, I know), she's one of the lucky 20% of babies who get it. It's the result of my hormones leaving her system. They were floating around in there for the past six weeks until her body decided it was time to kick them out. It is so not pretty, and seems to be getting worse. Her face is all red and pimply.

I just want it gone by next week because Husband's mom is coming in. I want her to see her granddaughter at her best. The best thing to do for it is just keep her face clean (duh!). I also read that putting breastmilk on her face will help it clear up faster. Apparently breastmilk is the cure all for everything. Kind of like Windex from My Big Fat Greek Wedding. I think I am going to try it. Oh, and if you're wondering what breastmilk tastes like, it's like really watered down milk mixed with sugar. It's sweet.

First Time Away from Baby

March 20, 2010
I went shopping with my sister and Husband watched Baby for me. I was gone for about an hour and a half. I left when she was asleep and came home to find her crying in Husband's arms. He tried to feed her, but she only took a little bit before she realized she'd been tricked. This was a different nipple, so I think this one might be more successful than the others we've tried. Oh well, we're working on it! On a positive note, I did get a couple of nice nursing tops while I was out.

Bottles and Colds are a Good Mix

March 18, 2010
I was very excited the other day because Baby finally drank from a bottle. This one was the Nuk Orthodontic. My sister had come over to hang out and I nonchalantly asked her if she wanted to feed Baby. I did not mention the fact that Baby had been absolutely refusing to take it from us. She said sure, and Baby took it. I was so excited that I took multiple pictures as proof that she could actually do it. I told my sister that she was amazing, and was starting to feel hopeful that maybe I could be away from Baby for a few hours and not worry about her going hungry.

Well it turns out Baby had a cold. She had a little temperature, was really congested, and started spitting up a ton (usually she doesn't spit up at all). Everything I read said at the first sign of illness in a child less than three months, you have to call the docotr. So I did, and took her in. $15 later they told me she had a cold and just to watch her. I totally could have told them that! Oh well. They just wanted to make sure it was nothing serious, which I suppose I appreciate. Maybe.

Six Week Appointment

March 17, 2010
Today was my six week appointment after delivery. I brought Baby with me since Husband was working and I didn't have anyone to watch her. Plus, she's still not taking a bottle so she would have just ended up going hungry.

I carried her in the carseat, although I did debate putting the Moby Wrap on. Then I figured that would be silly because where would I put her when I was laying on the table and they checked me? So the carseat it was. I think my muscles were sore after that because I had to park a few rows away.

The appointment went well. The nurse weighed me and took my blood pressure. This was the first time I had been weighed after giving birth. I really didn't want to see how much weight I had to lose. I still don't fit into my prepregnancy clothes, so I know I have a ways to go. Well, it turns out that I had lost twenty-five pounds. I gained forty-two pounds when I was pregnant, and we're just going to round that to an even forty. That means only fifteen pounds to go. But my milk has also come in, and I have cleavage I never had before, so we'll take off another five. Hey, I only have ten pounds to lose. I can do that!

The nurse led me to a waiting room where I had to put on a blue paper gown and sit and wait. The doctor was late, as usual, so I wasn't surprised. Baby was fast asleep in the carseat for the first twenty minutes that I waited, then she woke up crying so I decided to feed her. Of course that's when the doctor decided to make her appearance. Fortunately she said I could continue nursing while she checked me out. Kind of weird, but it worked.

The doctor deemed me healed, which I know Husband will be exceptionally glad to hear. I packaged Baby back up in the carseat and headed home.

Please Just Let Me Sleep

March 12, 2010
For the past week or so I have been up every night from three to six am with Baby. For some reason, those happen to be her witching hours where she acts like the world is against her. Needless to say, I am super tired and hoping she'll grow out of this phase ASAP.

Lunch Date

March 10, 2010
Husband has been back at work for a few weeks and has been begging me to bring Baby by. Today Baby and I went to meet him for lunch. He works about forty-five minutes away from our home, so it's a little bit of a drive. Baby fell asleep in her carseat on the way there, and stayed asleep while I carried her in.

Husband showed Baby off to a few people, and then she woke up crying. I nursed her for a little bit, but then we had to go eat ourselves sine this was Husband's lunch time.

We went to a fifties diner nearby and I carried Baby in the Moby Wrap. I hadn't really used it before, but figured I should start. It's a lot easier than carrying a carseat around. I don't have the muscles for that! With some difficulty, I wrapped the Moby on and stuck Baby in the breastfeeding position. She latched on and I ended up feeding her throughout or lunch. We even walked around afterward and she remained latched. The Moby was great because I didn't have to worry about putting a blanket over her/me (it has enough fabric for that), and it was easy to carry her in. I don't like the amount of fabric it does have, and it feels bulky to me, but it worked.

I said goodbye to Husband at work and Baby and I drove home. Baby decided to scream for the first and last twenty minutes or so, but once I got home I stuck her back on and she was fine.

Nursing in Public

March 8, 2010
Today I ventured out to a restaurant with Baby to have lunch with a pregnant friend. I picked a place where I could sit in a booth and feed her if necessary (remember that this child eats all the time).

I had a nice time hanging out with my friend and sharing my birth story. Baby did great sitting in her carseat, and when I was about halfway through my meal decided she was hungry. I had my Udder Cover and nursed her right there in the booth. I think we were there for a while because the waitress came by and (it seemed to me), tried to hurry us out.

I felt proud that I was able to bring Baby and hang out with a girlfriend at the same time. I'm still a little apprehensive about nursing in public, even though I know I shouldn't be. It's a very natural thing, and it's not like I'm showing myself off to everyone; I'm very covered up.

One Month

March 7, 2010
Baby is one month old today! It's weird how my life has totally changed because of her. I love holding her and nursing her, although I don't love the lack of sleep or not being able to do anything. I am starting to get better, though. I used to be one of those people who could get a lot accomplished at once. Now I am learning how to set reasonable goals so that I can still feel like I am a normal person. For example, one goal for the day might be to do a load of laundry. Or load the dishwasher. Or vacuum. It has been frustrating feeling like I am tied down, but I am learning to take things in stride. I mean, the dishes don't really need to be done at this point in time, and I can just rewear my maternity jeans another day.

Today we decided to take Baby to a friend's going away party. I really wanted to go because I didn't think we would see this friend again and wanted a chance to say goodbye. Husband and I debated about it because Baby is so young and there will probably be children at this party and we really don't want her to get sick. In the end we decided to go, and I am glad we did.

It gave me a chance to get out a see people we haven't seen in a while. Plus, I got to show off Baby. Baby lasted about ten minutes at the party before she was hungry. I then spent the rest of our time there in a back room feeding her. Then we went home. It was nice that a few of the ladies did come back to say hi to me. A note for females with breastfeeding friends- do go say hello to them when they are back there alone. It is nice to have modesty, but company is better, at least for me anyway. Just ask if they mind if you hang out, and you can go from there.

I'll Have a Bottle, Please

March 4, 2010
We have been trying to get Baby to take a bottle so that I would not be the only one able to feed her. I would like to be able to go out on my own, as well as let Husband in on the wonderful world of feeding. I have been pumping and have some milk stored up. I had Googled some ideas of when to do it, and everything suggested around three to four weeks so that the baby did not have nipple confusion. I really didn't want her to prefer the bottle over me, so we have just now started trying. Unfortunately, I'm beginning to think we should have started sooner, as she will have nothing to do with a bottle. We're just going to have to keep practicing. Basically it just takes patience. I may have to go back to work eventually.

Naptime

March 3, 2010
Putting Baby down for a nap is my biggest struggle right now. Once she know she isn't in my arms any more she starts to scream and wakes herself back up. Oh well. We're working on it.

In other news, I tried to put on a pair of my normal jeans this morning. Couldn't even get them up over my hips. What was I thinking trying on a pair of pre-pregnancy jeans? Guess I can't put the maternity pants away just yet.

After I first gave birth I was surprised at how large my stomach still was. It looked like I was still eight months pregnant! I know people had warned me that I wouldn't be back to my normal size, but after pushing out a six pound baby along with some fluid and placenta, I had hoped I'd be a little smaller than that.

Nursing has definitely helped me go down in size. Each week, I look a month less pregnant (The first week I looked eight months, the second week I looked seven months, and so on.). Hopefully this trend will continue. Oh, and nobody ever mentioned how painful it is when your uterus contracts! Oh my goodness, I felt like I was having contractions all over again, and then I had flashbacks to delivery and pushing out a baby and would start to freak out. Thankfully Motrin has been there to save me.

I am a Zombie

March 2, 2010
Talk about no sleep! I've never been this tired in my life! It's not like in college when you could pull an all nighter but have the promise of sleep after class. Nope, there is no hope for months!

I was putting Baby in the bassinet, but she wakes up so often that I get more sleep if she just sleeps next to me in bed. Our current sleeping arrangement is her and I in our queen bed while Husband sleeps on the pull out couch next to us.

I try to put her to sleep at nine, and then I go to bed. Baby wakes up between midnight and one, so I get about three hours solid there. Then she eats, and wakes up again around two. Then four. Then five thirty. Then seven. Then nine. That's when I drag myself out of bed and start the day. I get maybe hour to an hour and a half blocks at a time.

Baby doesn't have to eat each time (only every three hours), but her little tummy wakes her up when she has to poo. It hurts her, poor thing, and she wakes up crying and upset until she pushes it out. I asked the doctor and doctor said it was normal for babies to fuss when they poo or have gas. I have to wonder, though. This seems rather extreme. I 'm not an expert on newborns, but I haven't heard anyone else talk about this. Therefore, I decided to google my little probem (Ah, Google, my old friend, I have returned.).

Google suggested I cut milk products out of my diet to see if that made a difference. A lot of babies have a hard time digesting dairy proteins (dairy is anything that comes from cows). These proteins can stay in my body for a few weeks and come out through my milk. That means no ice cream, yogurt, cheese, and chocolate for weeks! But if it lets me get some sleep, I think I can try it.

I started to cut out dairy, but then Husband's family came in and bought us all kind of yummy foods and I really couldn't say no to their generosity. I'm going to start working on it again and try to eat really bland things and see if that makes a difference. I hope so, then her and I can get some more sleep.

The Ultimate Ice Cream Book: Over 500 Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, Drinks, And More

Grandpa R

February 25 - March 1, 2010
We had our first over night visitors this weekend. My father in law, Grandpa R, came to visit with his girlfriend. I was a little stressed out because I wasn't sure how Baby would do with overnight company. Plus, who wants to breastfeed in front of their father in law?

Grandpa R adored Baby and loved to hold her and rock her and sing to her. It was the sweetest thing. I just know that she will be spoiled, and I am OK with that. When it was time to nurse, I would sit in the recliner with an Udder Cover over Baby. It was awkward, but I didn't want to disappear into another room. Let me just reiterate that Baby wants to be stuck to me All. The. Time.

Grandpa R and girlfriend offered to watch Baby so Husband and I could go out for dinner one night, which was wonderful of them to do. However, Baby isn't taking a bottle, so we can't leave her. I told him to put a rain check on that offer and we'll use it in the near future. I am going to try to start Baby on a bottle this week. I was hoping to do it this weekend, but that would have been overly stressful with everyone here.

Luckily the Olympics were on that weekend. So we watched them. Hours and hours and hours of the Olympics. They're great and all, but I can only take so many hours of curling. Husband and his dad ended up going out a few times, which was nice for them. I was home with the girlfriend, who is very kind and helpful, but I desperately wanted to nap and was too polite to leave her. Needless to say, it was exhausting.

A Temper at Two Weeks

February 22, 2010
Baby had her two week appointment today. She is doing great, and gaining a lot of weight. She is up two pounds from her birth weight. I told you she was stuck to me all of the time.

She wasn't as good at this doctor's appointment. She cried while the doctor checked her out. We were told we have a baby with a temper. Hmm, wonder whose side of the family that comes from.

I'll Have a Hamburger and Fries

February 21, 2010
My weeks and days have been flying by. I have a two week old now! Thankfully Husband has another week off from work before he goes back. He originally had only two, but he requested one more since I am still in pain and not able to move around all that easily. I'm not sure what I will do without him. I seem to have a very clingy child (I don't really mind!), but it makes it difficult to get anything done. Husband bought me a few novels to read so that I'm not just watching TV all day long. He has been very productive, on the other hand. Since he's been off, he decided to organize his office and hang pictures on the walls. He thinks it makes our house look more like a home (we just moved here in November, so we haven't settled in completely).

We have also been taking advantage of visitors bringing us meals. We love it! The best thing to give to a family with a new baby are premade meals. On top of that, feel free to do any housework (i.e. dishes, laundry, yardwork, etc.). Husband and I were talking, and we really don't know how single mothers do it. I am very thankful for all the support I've had.

Read With Your Child

February 20, 2010
I am trying to read to my baby girl. Some may say it is too soon to start, but we started reading to her in utero. Husband would read a book to her every night. Plus, every one of our family members was given a book to read to her when we found out we were pregnant. The benefits are huge! Parents don't seem to realize this. They just think if they take the child to preschool that he or she will be fine. Nope, learning starts at home. Please don't leave everything to our now overcrowded schools.

Germs, yuck!

February 18, 2010
We have a lot of people who would like to come by and visit, but I am a little leery of friends with kids who want to stop by. Personally, I've told them they can come without the children, but no kids at this time. Kids are just little germ factories and I really don't want them giving anything to my precious newborn. No offense to anyone, but let me be a first time paranoid parent.

When we talked to the doctor she recommended not having contact with children until after Baby's had her shots, which is at two months. That makes sense to me. Plus, if Baby does end up getting a fever, it is an automatic trip to the ER. We do not want to go through that again.

Follow Up to ER Visit

February 16, 2010
Days have started to blend together, and I never knew a person could be this tired! When I actually do sleep, it is such a deep sleep that I don't even hear the phone ring. This is completely out of character for me since I used to be such a light sleeper. Not anymore!

Baby had a follow up appointment today to her ER visit, and doctor said all was well. She was such a good girl during her appointment, too! She didn't cry at all and was just staring at everything going on.

I can now stop feeding her 24/7 (one of the ways to help the jaundice was to feed, feed, feed.) Now the problem I'm having is that she still wants to be stuck to me 24/7 and won't fall asleep without me. As I type, she's in her bassinet screaming her little lungs out. We'll see how long I can last. It's like torture!

Scariest Night Ever

February 11, 2010 Part 2
Well, we spoke too soon. This evening she started acting really lethargic and not her normal self. We took her temperature and it was really low again, so we called the advice nurse.

The nurse said to take her in to the ER so a doctor could check her out, since it is not normal. As we were loading her into the carseat she went totally limp, which really freaked us out. We rushed to the ER (FYI my car can go over 100 and we may have a couple of tickets for running red lights), where the nurse was able to wake her up. They then gave her some fluids via IV, drew lots of blood and sent it off to be tested.

They also called the closest pediatricians (this specific hospital was not that equipped yet), couldn't get ahold of anyone there, so they called the pediatricians where we delivered her. They said to bring her in, so they called for an ambulance and her and I rode to that hospital.

They wanted to do a spinal tap as well, but I didn't want to subject her to that just yet and told them to hold off until we got the other lab results. They put us in a room where they hooked her up to a bunch of machines to monitor her and asked us a million questions about our health and her birth. They wanted to watch her for 48 hours to see what she was doing. Husband and I were devastated. We would just hold her and cry.

Finally the lab results came back and they were all negative for any infections. They ended up releasing us a few hours early since she was acting and appearing totally normal. They said it was most likely they jaundice that made her act that way, since jaundice can make babies very lethargic.

Now we are back at home and watching her very carefully, although she seems to be doing just fine.

Camp Hospital

February 11, 2010
Back to the hospital again. I'm beginning to think we should just camp here. Today they have to check her jaundice levels again as well as her temperature since it was really low yesterday and they were worried.

Thankfully, her temperature read normal, and it looked like all was well on that end. Skin to skin contact seemed to make a big difference. We also had the same lab nurse draw her blood again, and she was happy to see us and asked how we were doing. We told her we were much better today.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Pain After Delivery

Did I ever mention how much pain I am in? It hurts to have a baby! I never imagined it would be quite this bad afterward. Sure, I thought I would be sore, but this is insane. I can barely walk.  I now use my Boppy to sit on (I did ask if I would be given one of those donut pillows to sit on, but they told me no.), instead of nurse with it like I am supposed to. Moving from one place to another just doesn't happen. husband helps me in and out of bed.  Thank goodness Husband is taking time off from work. He has been wonderful about getting me everything I need and helping with Baby.

By the way, I love stool softeners. Bless the creator of those! Every time I go to the bathroom is an ordeal. I get to spray myself off with warm water which feels oh so good. Then I get to apply ice and witch hazel pads. I was given hemorrhoid cream to apply rectally, but I decided to pass on that. It just seemed a little too intrusive for me. I won't even go into the amount of blood. I'm really glad I took home the disposable underwear from the hospital. That's all I'll say there.

I was also given a sitz bath. This is a funny looking seat that goes right on top of the toilet. I fill it with warm water and Epsom salt and sit there for fifteen minutes or so. This is supposed to promote healing, and I need all the healing I can get.

I was prescribed Motrin and Vicodin for the pain, but I am choosing not to use the Vicodin for a couple of reasons. One, I've never had it before and didn't know how it would make me act. Two, I didn't want it going through my milk to Baby. For now I'm sticking with the less powerful Motrin.