Feelin All the Feels

I’ve been super emotional this week! P had his 9 month check up, and I was kind of upset about it being the last one before his 1 year checkup. I know you might think I’m crazy… But it’s ok, I already know 🙂 As we were waiting for his Dr to come in, he was chewing on my chin and it hurt more than usual. I decided to inspect things so I stuck my finger in his mouth to feel around. I was greeted by a sharp little tooth. My baby’s very first tooth. Most mom’s would probably be excited, but I was sooo sad! This tooth was one of his very last baby milestones and I just don’t know if I’m ready for him to be a toddler.

Since the tooth erupted he’s been sleeping much better and in a better mood overall. I’m glad he has finally gotten relief, so I’m not going to tell him he has to go through that more than 20 more times 😦

I’ve been planning his 1st Birthday party for a few months now, and I’m almost halfway done buying supplies and decorations. I can’t believe how fast time is flying by!!! Although I would have another baby tomorrow, we aren’t planning another until P is in school. I think that may be why I’m taking it so hard that he won’t be a baby much longer. I plan on cherishing every single second of his life as an itty bitty and spoiling him as much as I can. We are doing a babywearing photo session next weekend, so expect lots of cute pictures of me clinging to my baby… While I still can ❤

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Cheers to the Freakin Weekend

Weekends mean something entirely different these days than they have in the past. In highschool I looked forward to them because it meant I had 2 days to hang out with my friends, sleep in and sneak alcohol in the house. In college the weekends were a time to catch up on lost sleep and unfinished homework and spend time with my fiance. Once I got married, got a house and full time job I looked forward to weekends to catch up on housework and laundry.

These days, I spend my weekends cuddled on the couch watching Mickey Mouse in the midst of my messy house. I get up at 7 am, because much like his mother was as a child, P is an early riser. I couldn’t care less that I have no less than 10 loads of laundry I could be doing, and it’s not an issue that I don’t have dinner planned. I spend 40 hours a week wishing I was home with my tiny boy watching him grow and learn… I wouldn’t trade these weekends for anything in the world, It’s the only time I get to focus on nothing except being this little boy’s mommy. Time is going by faster than I ever imagined and I’m going to cherish every second of my son’s childhood.

Boys will be boys… Even at 8 months old.

When I found out P was a boy, I wasn’t thrilled to be honest. I had no clue what I would do with a little boy! I’m not a girly girl, but I’m not really a tomboy either. Nonetheless, I had a little boy in my belly and I was going to have to figure it out! Fast forward 8 (almost 9!!) months, I have a crazy, hyper, rambunctious little boy and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

He scares the shit out of me. He’s really into climbing these days and I have a mini heart attack every time he starts to lose his balance. Since he started crawling he has used his head as a bumper, like it doesn’t even phase him when he rams it into stuff. Its amazing. He has a bruise on his forehead that only starts to fade before he bangs it into something else.

He’s all boy already, and I can’t wait to see what kind of adventures I’m in for!

#wearallthebabies

Babywearing is my favorite thing to do. My family doesn’t understand it, and my friends think I’m weird… But it’s amazing. I have been wearing P since he was about a month old. I started out with a narrow base walmart carrier, and I was damn proud… I wore that thing everywhere! I quickly learned that the narrow based non-ergonomic carriers were hard on me, and not comfy for baby but everyone has to start somewhere!

A friend added me to our local babywearing group on Facebook, and I was so overwhelmed with all the different types of carriers! So, this post was born to help any potential beginning babywearers navigate the waters.

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Buckle Carriers AKA Soft Structured Carriers (SSC)

These are the most common and easiest option to start with. My favorite brand is Tula. They’re super comfy for long wears and adjust in every way imaginable to accommodate wearers of all sizes. You can do front carries (shown above) and back carries. If it weren’t for our Tula I would have probably lost my mind a long time ago, not even exaggerating. P doesn’t like to go to sleep most of the time, but falls asleep within 10 minutes in the Tula… Its magical.

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Ring Slings

This was our second type of carrier, and almost as easy to use as the Tula. It requires a little more adjusting and tightening to get the seat just right, but can still be done in under 2 minutes or so. I got the ring sling to wear when I wanted to be a little more “aesthetically pleasing”. I’m self conscious about my hips, and SSC’s make them look larger than they actually are… Just so ya know. You can mainly only do front carries and hip carries (shown above) in a ring sling, though there are some youtube tutorials for back carries If you are a brave soul. There are many brands of ring slings, and they can be made from many different materials, so a bit of research will be useful to decide which sling is right for you and your baby. The one pictures is a Tula cotton/tencel blend and worked just fine for me and my 15 ish lb baby.

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Stretchy Wraps

These are good for newborns, up to 15 or so lbs. They aren’t comfy or as safe with larger babies. It’s only recommended that you do front carries with a stretchy wrap, as they can slip easily and if baby is on your back, that’s clearly not a situation you want to be in. I actually made this particular wrap from some knit fabric I bought at Hobby Lobby. I wasn’t sure if I would like wrapping and only planned to wear it around the house so that worked for me. There several brands of them you can buy for less than $50, Moby seems to be the most popular.

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Woven Wraps

Last but certainly not least is woven wraps. These are the most versatile carriers in my opinion. You can do front carries, hip carries and back carries. These carriers have the largest learning curve. There are hundreds of different carries you can learn- quick ones, easy ones, fancy ones, ones for wiggly babies, ones for babies that lean etc. The possibilities are endless. We have only had our woven wrap for about a month, and have only mastered two carries in that time, but it is quickly becoming a favorite for it’s comfort and versatility. I put woven wraps right up there with my Tula, second only because it is more difficult to learn.

New Mommy Regrets

This post is a bit of a bummer, because frankly, I just need to talk about these things. You’re my captive audience, so congrats/sorry! I have been told time and time again that I’m too hard on myself, and every new mom learns a lot of hard lessons with her first baby. I can’t help feeling like I’ve let myself, my family and my baby down with a few things though.

I was very up front during my pregnancy that I didn’t want to be bombarded by visitors at the hospital or at home after baby came. Hubby had saved a week of vacation to take off and spend with us and I wanted that time to be perfect. I was such a bitch about visitors that nobody except immediate family and very close friends came to the hospital, and only our parents came to the house. I had envisioned the 3 of us lounging around cuddling and enjoying our short time to do nothing more than be a family. While I did enjoy that time very much, I wanted to show my baby boy off and I found myself wishing someone would come visit us. When I tried to get family to come over they thought I had been guilted into inviting them and they weren’t actually welcome, so they didn’t come. I plan to be more inviting and open next time around…. Adjusting to being a family is something that takes time and is a precious thing, but sharing your new baby with family and friends is precious as well. I wish I could go back and change that now, but I can’t.

I also gave up too easily on breastfeeding. I had a vision of how it would go and got discouraged when it didn’t work out. P didn’t latch on at all… I tried around the clock in the hospital with and without a nipple shield. He latched a few times for a couple of seconds but once he did he would stop sucking. I started supplementing formula in the hospital, and I don’t know if I will ever forgive myself for it. I think I would have been more determined to breastfeed if the formula hadn’t been so easy and convenient. The nurses kept encouraging me to keep trying and told me it would get easier once my milk came in and he realized he was getting food. That wasn’t the case… He still didn’t latch despite the fact that I had an abundance of milk. I pumped a little bit, but between feeding him his bottles and trying to keep the house in order I just wasn’t pumping often enough. I was only giving him a bottle or so a day of breast milk, and had stopped trying to get him to latch. I was giving up and I hated myself for it already. It took several months for my milk to completely dry up, and it breaks my heart that I wasted it. I’ve looked into relactation, but at this point it would be practically impossible without prescription medication. Just another thing I will be more determined to do next time around.

I then went on to tell a little fib at my 6 week checkup. “Do you have any signs of postpartum depression?” “Nope.” I wanted so badly to break down and sob about how sad, lonely and down I was feeling, but I once again took the easy way out. I have always struggled with depression, so I knew from the time I decided to have a baby that PPD was probably going to be an issue for me. In my crazy little head I thought that if I told my Dr I was indeed suffering from PPD, she would think I was going to hurt my baby and take him from me. Though I found myself getting very upset sometimes, hurting my baby or myself was the farthest thing from my mind. I should have been honest about the way I was feeling and gotten help much sooner. I wasn’t able to enjoy the first 8 months of my son’s life the way I should have because I had too much pride to admit that I was depressed. Please don’t make that same mistake.

There are a lot more trivial little things I wish I had done differently, but these are the big ones. I’m sure this list will continue to grow as I learn and evolve in my mommy journey. Though I wish I had gotten it all right for my sweet little P, I will be better for his brother or sister in the future because of the lessons I’ve learned raising him.

“Can you not just pull him out of me?!” -The Birth Story

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Overall, I had a pretty uneventful pregnancy. I did have morning sickness for 33 weeks, ended up losing 10 pounds and failed my first sugar test… but other than that things went as smoothly as they could have. I had a really good relationship with my OBGYN and she respected my one and only wish- a vaginal delivery unless absolutely medically necessary. My baby measured big from the beginning, so him becoming too large was a concern for my natural birth plan. We agreed upon induction after 39 weeks if my cervix was starting to thin and dilate on it’s own. At my 39 week check up, I had indeed began to dilate (a whole 1 cm!) so we scheduled my induction for a few days later on December 17th. This is a long story, and I urge you not to read of you’re anywhere near giving birth, and if you choose to do so, that’s on you!

I began having cramps the night of December 16th around 9 pm. They weren’t really bothersome so I went on to bed. I woke up around midnight with cramping that was a little more urgent but still not unbearable. I couldn’t get comfortable so I decided to take my big self to the couch and not disturb my sleeping hubby. Within a few minutes of leaving the bed I started to notice a pattern in the “cramps”. I decided to time them, and they were consistently 2 minutes apart! I’ve mentioned before that I’m an idiot, but it really became evident to me when I had been in labor for a few hours and not realized it. It was time to wake the hubby.

“Pookie… I think we may need to go to the hospital.” I whispered through what I now knew was a contraction. He didn’t hear me. I started shaking him and told him again that I needed to go to the hospital. He eventually got out of the bed, but apparently didn’t think I was really in labor because he refused to put the dog outside before we left the house. He even took a shower. But alas, we finally ended up in the car. The contractions were getting worse every time and were still consistently 2 minutes apart. I was honestly afraid I was going to give birth in the car, and my hubby was over there driving 55 still thinking I wasn’t actually in labor.

When we finally got to the hospital and into a room the first thing they did was check my cervix. I was… wait for it… TWO CENTIMETERS. I was sure I was dying and honestly couldn’t stand up or talk through the contractions and I was only 2 cm. Wow. This was going to be a long night. After they put me on the monitors and confirmed that I was indeed in labor we called the family. I asked for the epidural immediately and that is a decision I’ve not quite decided if I regret yet, or not.

The nurse anesthetist prepped my back and I leaned forward and held on to a nice CNA named Lisa. Lisa kept me informed of what was going on behind me, although I kind of just wished she would shut up. I was terrified. First, she numbed my back with a few shots of lidocaine. Then she proceeded to push as hard as humanly possible on my spine find her “sweet spot” for the epidural. All the while keep in mind that I’m still having these hellacious contractions. Once she found the spot she wanted to insert the epidural the real fun began. Each time she would try to wiggle the little needle down my spine she would hit bone and send horrible pains down my legs. She tried inserting the epidural in 5 different locations with no success. I was panicking and began to sob uncontrollably which made things much more difficult on all of us. I was going to have to deliver with no epidural. And the IV pain meds weren’t even phasing my contractions, let alone the actual delivery. The nurse anesthetist said she was going to try and insert at one more location and if she wasn’t able to get it in she would call the Anesthesiologist in and that could be a while. Thank JESUS she got it the 6th and final time! It only took seconds after it had been successfully inserted for the precious medicine to start flowing and relieve all of my pain. Literally. All of it. It was amazing. After 2 long, horrible hours I had an epidural and I was ready to roll!

I was progressing pretty quickly at this point, about 1 cm per hour. Time was passing so quickly for me it was unreal. It was already around 5 in the morning by this time and family has started to filter in. I was glad to have the company and I was in good spirits. I was still a little nervous and not ready to give birth so I was thankful we still had 4 or 5 cm’s to go.

My aunt was a L&D nurse at the hospital I was in for over 10 years and only recently left there, so once she showed up I had my own personal nurse and it was pretty great. She offered to check me since it had been a while and against everything I had ever thought before in my life, I told my aunt she could check my cervix. It actually wasn’t awkward at all and she was very professional. She told me my water was bulging and they could speed this up really quickly and went and grabbed another nurse (who still actually worked there). They came back in and the other nurse checked me and looked at my aunt and said “I think I can snag it” and proceeded to break my water. She looked up at me and said “well lookie there, your water broke while I was checking you!” and winked at me. These crazies just broke my water! But I wasn’t about to complain, I was getting excited. But the atmosphere changed quickly. My aunt rolled me onto my side and put the oxygen mask on me. The other nurse was frantically adjusting the monitors and talking to my aunt in nurse language I didn’t understand. They had lost his heartbeat and couldn’t get it back. I was again, panicking. They grabbed an OBGYN who happened to be walking by my room at the time, and she placed an internal monitor. The sound of my sweet boy’s heartbeat soon filled the room again and everyone breathed a collective sigh of relief. I had enough of this stressful labor stuff and was ready to get it over with!

I was still making good progress, but the hours were still passing. Before I knew it, it was afternoon and I still didn’t have a baby. I also realized around this time that it was my scheduled induction day! Baby P took matters into his own hands, and I was glad for that. Nothing else eventful happened until I got to about 8 cm around 5 pm.

“I can feel my legs.” My aunt asked if I was sure and assured me that I didn’t want to be completely numb because I wouldn’t be able to feel the need to push. I was still skeptical so she came over and wiped my arm with an alcohol wipe and asked how it felt. It was very cold. She then wiped my leg with it and it felt warm. So I agreed that all was well and I was still sufficiently numb.

Before I knew it, I was fully dilated and it was 6:30 pm. I was feeling a ton of pain at this point. It literally felt like my tail bones were breaking. I was desperate to push. But just my luck… The Dr on call was in surgery and couldn’t deliver right then. Once I knew this, I swear to you the pain got 100 times worse. I yelled at a nurse and asked “Can you not just pull him out of me???!!!” among other things. It was unbearable. I was sweating, shaking, nauseous and in so much inescapable pain I couldn’t stand it. Misery. Pure misery. My body had taken control of the situation and was pushing on it’s own. The group of nurses that had assembled in my room kept telling me not to push. I couldn’t stop it. I wasn’t in control anymore and everything was a blur. The Dr finally got to my room and the nurses put my legs in the stirrups, and sure enough, I was crowning. 3 pushes later my 7 lb 11.2 oz little miracle was born at 7:50 pm. My husband cut the cord and I cuddled my tiny precious baby while I delivered the placenta. It was a rough 23(ish) hour labor but it was worth every second.

Just a few minutes after my son was born and they were cleaning up the delivery mess, Lisa (the sweet CNA from the epidural hell) asked a nurse to come over to my bedside and look at something. There in a puddle of liquid on the floor was the tube that had been delivering the precious numbing medicine to my epidural. That’s why everything had been so painful. I felt it all. I had NO EPIDURAL. After all that trouble it ended up coming disconnected during the water breaking-no heartbeat fiasco. I was livid, but survived and had a healthy baby boy to show for it. I ended up with 13 stitches and hemorrhoids the size of grapes and spent the next few days telling everyone that P was going to be an only child because there was no way in HELL I was going through that again.

It’s true what they say, that you forget all about the pain. Until I wrote this all down it had all but faded from my memory. Every time I look into my baby boy’s eyes I know it was worth every second of pain, and I intend to do it all over again in the not so distant future 🙂

5 Times I Became “That” Mom

Before I had my son I would point out things I would never do once I became a mother on a daily basis. I had great intentions of never being “that” mom. I very quickly learned that I was an idiot, and I was going to do all of those things and then some. You will have your own list of things you swear you will never do, and you will find yourself doing most of them and not even realizing it, I promise!

1. Co-Sleeping: “My baby will never sleep in my bed!” umm yeah… That’s a great plan if you hate sleep and enjoy looking like a zombie. Soon enough, you will learn that the tiny little baby will somehow sleep 100% better when snuggled up in your bed.

2. Modest Nursing: “I will never nurse in front of other people.” Seconds after my son was born I had my boob out nudging his lip with my nipple attempting to get him to latch. Not only was I cool with nursing in front of people, I had become ok with exposing my entire breast in front of various family members. It happens.

3. No Pacifier!: “I will never give my son a pacifier, only lazy uninvolved moms use them.” Actually, moms who are hell bent on never co-sleeping and find themselves with an inconsolable 2 week old that won’t sleep or stop screaming at 2:30 am will find themselves searching through boxes of shower gifts to find the pacifier they were pissed someone brought to the shower. That was a rough 2 weeks, let me tell ya!

4. Going back to work- it’s no big deal: “I don’t understand these moms who make such a big deal about going back to work, you know it’s going to happen 6 weeks in advance!” I found myself sobbing uncontrollably with my sleeping baby on my chest the night before I was suppose to go back to work. I also found myself rationalizing my thoughts about trying to figure out how long I could make it financially by selling my left over Percocets from the delivery.

5. Babywearing: “How lazy can you get?” I’m a major advocate of babywearing these days, so much so that you’re probably going to see an entire post about it in the near future. Moms who wear are far from lazy… Running around with a 20 lb infant strapped to your chest is definitely no easier than pushing a stroller! The sense of content and calmness it brings to your child is amazing, and it leaves both of your hands free to fulfill all of your other mommy duties!