Thursday, October 28, 2010

Mommy's little stinker

I'm now in my third week of maternity leave. The first week was pretty crazy, though not as crazy as I had anticipated. We are fortunate to have a baby who does not scream for hours on end. Of course she does fuss and cry occasionally, but she is calmed pretty easily. My husband was home with us the first week and that helped tremendously. The second week, he had to return to work. That meant we had to come up with a nighttime schedule that would hopefully result in both of us getting some sleep.
My husband is a nighttime person and I am a morning person, so I go to bed at 9 p.m. while he cares for Jane. Usually they come upstairs at about 11 p.m. Often Jane is back up at 11:30 p.m. or so, and this is where my shift begins. I get up with her every 2-3 hours, sleeping for short periods in between. I am amazed at how I have adapted to short periods of sleep and have developed the ability to fall asleep on demand. The schedule is working pretty well so far, with my husband getting about 7 hours of sleep before work and me getting between 5-6. Hopefully that will increase before I have to return to work myself! I do sometimes catch a nap in the afternoon so that helps as well.
This week has been mercifully quiet. I had an eye doctor's appointment on Monday and dropped Jane off at her grandparents' to be babysat for the very first time. It was strange to leave her, but wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be. I knew she was in good hands! The past two days the weather has been terrible so we have not left the house. We're just enjoying one another's company and relaxing.
Breastfeeding continues to be a challenge for us. Jane hates it and has from the start. If she's hungry she gets upset and screams, and if she's not completely starving, she falls right asleep. It's been frustrating and disappointing for me. Definitely not the way I expected things to be! I try every day but most of the time we both just end up upset. Thank goodness for my breast pump. Thanks to that, I have been able to give Jane what she needs even though she won't breastfeed. It helps to ease the blow somewhat, but I'll admit that it makes me pretty sad every time I have to give her a bottle. I'm dealing with feelings of rejection and and failure, and worries that others who have successfully breastfed are going to judge me for my failure. Not that it's anyone's business, but it bothers me nonetheless.
One exciting thing did happen this week. Jane's umbilical cord stump finally fell off! Thank goodness ... I was tired of smelling it! The other day I actually threw out some breast milk I thought might have gone bad because I kept smelling something foul when I was feeding her. Turned out that it was just her umbilical cord stump! It stunk pretty badly for about two days before I finally discovered during the middle of the night last night that it had fallen off. It's probably a little sad that I'm thrilled about such a thing, but I am. Now Jane can have her first tub bath and I do not have to hold my nose when I'm holding her!

Friday, October 22, 2010

How to lose 10 pounds overnight

I haven't written here for more than two weeks, but I've had a good excuse. My daughter, Jane, was born on Friday, Oct. 8, her due date. What a lovely daughter to save me from having to deal with all the comments about being overdue! She is apparently very prompt, like her parents. She will fit in quite nicely here!
I had a doctor's appointment on Wednesday the 6th and was pretty disappointed that there wasn't much more progress. I was told to make another appointment for the following Monday and, if the baby hadn't arrived by that time, we'd talk about inducing.
On Thursday morning both my husband and I had gotten ready for work and he had left for work, when I had some concerns and called him to come back home. We went into the hospital for monitoring. We had a non-stress test and ultrasound. Upon reviewing the results, my doctor felt it was best to induce right away, so we did. The induction was a long process and I will spare the gory details. We received wonderful care from nurses and doctors who didn't give up on us (one of the doctors even thanked me for not giving up!) and we ended up with a pretty great birth experience, even if it wasn't quite how I had envisioned it. The main thing was that our little girl arrived safely and she is beautiful. I continue to be amazed at just how beautiful and perfect she is.
We got out of the hospital on Sunday the 10th. Much of what has happened since is kind of a blur, I'll admit. I wish I had had the time to write more often, but between caring for the baby, visitors, doctor's appointments, and more, there hasn't been much time.
Jane has been a pretty good baby so far. She is overall content and doesn't fuss or cry often. She does tend to have a fussy period from about 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., but after that she settles down nicely, waking only to eat and fall back to sleep. Over the past two weeks she has changed so much! It's amazing how she seems to be developing a personality already. She is much more alert than she was two weeks ago. She has longer awake periods and focuses on our faces.
She is growing, too. I swear sometimes I put her down for a nap and when I go to pick her up, she is bigger. At birth she weighed 9 pounds, 6 ounces and was 22-3/4 inches long. At her first pediatrician's appointment on Tuesday, she was 9 pounds, 14 ounces and 23-1/2 inches long. Her height is in the 99th percentile! Needless to say, it is challenging to find clothes that fit her. Although she is about 10 pounds, she is not pudgy at all. She is long and lean, meaning that newborn clothes fit her in every way but length. Often I have to dress her in a onesie and pants, otherwise her feet stick out the end or, if there are feet, she can't straighten her legs. Already she is like her parents and needs extra long pants!
I am enjoying staying home with Jane and the two of us getting to know each other better. My husband was able to spend the first week at home with us and it was wonderful. I can't imagine having done it without him. We've adjusted pretty well this week without him, though getting enough sleep is sometimes a challenge for me. It would help if I could nap during the day when she naps, but usually that isn't possible. I'll admit I'm also tiring of the endless stream of people who want to see her. I'm feeling much better now, but that first week when people kept wanting to stop by or wanting us to stop by was rough on me. Now it's just bothersome. No one seems to understand that when they hold her all day and she sleeps the whole time, skipping meals, it makes life really difficult for me in the middle of the night. I'm probably a jerk for the fact that that frustrates me, but it does. I could say more, but I shouldn't, so I won't. I'd just love to have a few days to try to get on a better schedule without interference. I can dream, can't I?
I'll try to do a better job of keeping this updated, but I can't make any guarantees. I will try my best!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Did you have that baby yet?

This is the week I've been looking forward to and yet dreading. Well, it started somewhat last week. The chorus of "Did you have that baby yet?" and "Are you still here?" is starting to grate. I understand that people are excited, but really ... it does not help and it's annoying. I'm not even due until Friday. Don't people know that most first-time moms go at least a week overdue? Besides, I'd ideally like to make it at least to my due date, if not a week later. That way I don't have to come back from maternity leave until after Thanksgiving. We would also love for the baby to be born on a weekend so my husband can spend as much time at home with us as he can. But, like he said this morning, "She'll come whenever she damn well pleases."
Of course I can say now that I can go another week or two. Last week I wasn't feeling that well and was ready for the baby to come right now. Over the weekend I felt much better and today I'm feeling great. By Wednesday I might change my mind again. Overall I've still been very lucky.
This weekend was fun. We helped my mom move into her new house. The whole process went very smoothly—much more smoothly than I could ever have imagined. We had a great crew and by lunch time on Saturday we had nearly everything into the new house, with the exception of a couple of beds. By late in the afternoon, all the beds were put up and we were putting other stuff away. My mom did a great job of packing and labeling, which made it quite easy. It also helped that we did not have to move her washer and dryer or refrigerator. It was a beautiful day for moving and I think we all enjoyed ourselves. Well, at least I did, but I wasn't the one doing all the hard work! I helped where I could but knew better than to overdo it. By the end of the day her new house already felt like home, and I'm sure we'll have many great times there. It is kind of sad to think that my daughter will never know the farm house as "Grandma's house," but she'll still get to go out there to visit her cousin Seth and his soon-to-be wife, Ashley.

Friday, October 1, 2010

One week to due date!

As long as the past nine months have been, I'm kind of in awe right now that I have just one week left to go before my due date! Our little girl could decide she's ready to arrive at any time now. Never before in my life has it been so difficult to wait for something.
I've finally reached the point where I'm ready to be done being pregnant. Up until now I was handling it pretty well, but now I'm mostly tired all the time. And bloated, let's not forget that! I think even my lips are retaining water, and Fred Flinstone called and said he wanted his feet back. Otherwise I'm not all that uncomfortable. I can manage to sleep for 2-3 hours at a stretch, get up to go to the bathroom, and usually fall right back to sleep.
I did ask my husband to force me to stop going to the gym. I got to go one last time yesterday, and as of today my membership is on hold. It seemed silly to pay for a whole month's membership when I might be only going there for a week, and probably two at most. I also stress too much about going. Even at almost nine months pregnant, the thought of not going, even when I don't feel well, is practically unbearable. What can I say? I'm a crazy person who's addicted to exercise. I still plan to walk as much as I can until the baby comes. The weather is supposed to be nice through next week so that shouldn't be too difficult.
It will be an exciting weekend for us, since my mom is moving into her new house. She started today and we will continue to help her throughout the weekend. Well, everyone else will help her. I'll just be fat and useless. My sister said she might let me slice some buns at lunchtime or something. Otherwise I think it's best if baby and I just observe. Of course, everyone would prefer if they could hold the baby too! Today my sisters told me I could come over, but I had to bring the baby with me. I said of course I'd bring her with me! I bring her with me everywhere I go.