January 2010 - Baby Steps in High Heels

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Shots

5:14 PM 2
Shots
Remember when getting shots late in the day on Friday (or sometimes a Tuesday) involved a trendy bar, a shaker of salt, and a wedge of lime? It might not be such a distant memory for some of you, so bear with me … we’re not talking about those kind of shots.

We ended the week with Baby’s 2 month check-up, which included … shots. Now, as I’ve said before, we’re a family that believes in modern medicine. However, I was happy to hear that our doctor uses the preservative-free inoculations. Baby handled everything pretty well, or so I hear. I left the room the second I saw the size of those three (yes, THREE!!) needles they were going to stick into my little girl’s legs. Husband was brave and stayed with her through the whole ordeal, which lasted only a few minutes. Once the torture session ended (for me … I could hear her cries through the wall), Husband promptly brought Sweet, Crying Baby to me so I could soothe her. I know it’s for her own good, but it broke my heart to watch her go from her happy, playful, unsuspecting state to ‘what the hell did you just do to me?’ screaming in a matter of seconds.

Following the shots, Baby had a little swelling on her leg and was pretty fussy for a while. Fortunately for her, a few doses of Tylenol seemed to help. Unfortunately for me and my nerves, tequila shots were not really an option considering that my responsibility to care for my upset infant is what started this whole mess anyway. The next day, Baby seemed to have completely forgotten the whole experience. We traveled to visit family, where she was held ALL DAY. I’m sure the extra love and attention didn’t hurt the comfort phase of her recovery. In fact, I think she really got used to the warmth of being in somebody’s arms ALL DAY … which might explain why I’m currently typing this blog with only one hand.

Everything else went well at the doctor’s office. Baby is up to 21 ½ inches long and 8 pounds 14 ounces, which is almost a whole pound since the beginning of the month! Weight gain is still a big celebration for us. She’s only in the tenth percentile, but she’s happy and healthy!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sleeping through the night ...

1:20 PM 6
Sleeping through the night ...
‘Sleeping through the night’ as defined by single people without children – At least 8 hours of peaceful slumber in the comfort of your own bed interrupted only by the occasional trip to the bathroom or the need to roll over. Hitting the snooze button on your alarm is also an option.

‘Sleeping through the night’ as defined by parents of an infant – Your baby goes 5 hours from the beginning of one feeding to the beginning of another feeding and sleeps in between (you know, during the night).

Well, here’s how that actually plays out in my house:
10:00 pm I go to bed.
10:30 pm Husband feeds Baby. (WONDERFUL Husband. Yes, I know!)
1:30 am In anticipation of Baby waking up per her normal 3-hour feeding schedule, I wake up. Baby is still sleeping, so I do other feeding-related tasks (e.g., pump, bottle prep, etc.).
2:00 am Baby is restless, so I sit in the chair in her room to give her a few more minutes of sleep (it’s been 4 hours at this point).
2:10 am Head jerk wakes me up, and I realize Baby is still fast asleep. I grab a blanket, pull out the recliner, and get comfortable.
2:12 am Baby cries. I get up to check on her, ready to feed her. She’s fast asleep before I even get to her crib.
2:13 am I get comfy again.
2:20 am Baby cries out in her sleep and starts to squirm. I get up to check again, ready to feed her.
2:21 am Baby is fast asleep.
2:22 am I curl back up in the chair and start to play sudoku on my phone. I'm sure it’s only a matter of minutes at this point.
2:35 am She’s still sleeping. I’m not. So, I try to sleep again.
3:00 am Another sleep cry jerks me awake out of my pretzel-like position. It’s officially been 5 hours, so I’m not even going to try to fall back to sleep at this point. More sudoku.
3:15 am Baby is definitely ready to eat now. Diaper. Feed. Swaddle. Rock.
3:50 am And, she’s back to sleep.
3:51 am I curl back up in the chair. No bed for me. I have to hear her breathing, remember. And, no matter how fancy your video monitor is, you just can’t hear those sweet baby breaths over the buzz of a humidifier. They are really handy, though, when you need to make sure nobody has crawled through the AC vents and kidnapped your child (Yes. Paranoid. Me.).
5:30 am Ouch. Stiff neck. Still in the chair. Husband is waking up in 30 minutes, so I take a ‘huge’ risk, grab the monitor and go to bed for a couple of hours.

Moral of the story: Baby sleeping through the night does not equal more sleep for me.

This is how happy babies look when they've slept through the night:


Monday, January 25, 2010

Tales from the Crib

12:44 PM 0
Tales from the Crib
Last night, Baby slept in her crib … in her own room …. all night long.

I, on the other hand, didn’t sleep much at all. Baby is very adaptable. She’ll pretty much sleep anywhere, any time, so long as sleeping is what she wants to do. She’s gotten really good at distinguishing her nights and days, so that has made us very happy lately. There are many great reasons why we decided to try having our little girl start sleeping in her own bed:

1-She just seems to do better on the crib mattress than in the pack-n-play. Of course, she should for as much as we paid for that mattress!
2-Her room is smaller than our master bedroom, and the humidifier seems to be more effective in the smaller space.
3-It will be easier in the long run if she learns to sleep in her own bed now.
4-Blah. Blah. Blah.

It drove me crazy! We might have a super fancy video monitor, but you can’t really tell if she’s breathing on those things! And, yes, I still check to make sure she’s breathing at least 5-6 times at night (and just as many time during the day). Also, her gazillion grunts, noises, and sleep-cries sound much more imperative on the monitor than they do when she is sleeping right next to you.

So, here is how last night really went. I went to bed at 10 pm while Husband fed Baby and took the first shift. I woke up later to take the 2 am feeding (yes, she slept for 4 hours! But, I was up at 1 am just in case). She was actually really sleepy, so I changed her, fed her, and put her back to sleep within about 30 minutes. Yay … I can now sleep from 2:30-7:30 am, right? Wrong. I started in the chair in her room. I needed to hear her breathe. The chair is great for rocking, not so much for sleeping. Knowing that she would be ready to eat around 5 am, I decided to go to bed about 4:15. Instead of sleeping, I watched her on the monitor for the next hour or so. By that time, Baby was ready to eat. I got up and started to feed her. Luckily, Husband came quickly to relieve me and I got a couple hours of sleep before starting the day.

Oh, and yes, I’m back at work. Today actually starts my third week back. Stupid HR paperwork, etc. didn’t approve my 8 weeks of maternity leave, so I started back early. Luckily, I work for a great company and have very understanding and flexible boss, so the transition has been easier than I had anticipated. Anyway, if I ever catch up on sleep and can think of something witty to post about balancing work and motherhood, I’ll be sure to do so. Until then, please enjoy my stories about how my child is already rolling her eyes at my being overprotective and sleep deprived.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sweet, sleeping baby

1:28 PM 4
Sweet, sleeping baby
We have survived several events in the last couple of weeks. I went back to work. I’ve been driving Baby to daycare … all by myself … without anyone to hold her head stable in the car seat that I still think is too big. Baby has ‘survived’ daycare without so much as a single tear upon my departure. I’ve even managed to make it through with only the occasional tear or two. Per day. At least, that’s what I tell myself. The sun is just really bright and sometimes it makes my eyes water. A lot.

Actually, I think it’s really helping her distinguish her days and nights. She’s been sleeping much better at night (knock on wood) in the last week. We’ve been feeding her a little more in the evenings, and she has slept in stretches of 3.5–4.5 hours between the nighttime feedings. If only I could get her to do this consistently so I know exactly what the trick is.

Today, we also survived our second week in a row at church. We learned our lesson after last week’s Great Spit-up Event that occurred about 30 seconds before we were set to walk out the door. This week we were prepared with a cute outfit, matching bow … and a bib. Baby was great in church. She followed the same pattern of being awake for the first half, quietly rocking in her car seat. Then, she slept through until the end. Let’s just say that we very seriously encourage Father Tony to visit every night around 10:00 pm and give Baby the “God bless and be good” blessing!


Tonight we’re going to try letting her sleep in her crib for the entire night … wish us luck!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Haiti Relief

12:54 PM 1
Haiti Relief
So, I thought a great way to help the people of Haiti would be to adopt an orphan or two. Husband did not approve. He said that there is a big difference between adopting a child and texting a $10 donation. Whatever. I think we should all adopt Haitian babies!

Seriously, though, these poor people were hit by a second earthquake today. Death tolls are reportedly up to 200,000. They need our help. These are some great ways to give a little or a lot:

-Text ‘Haiti’ to 90999 to donate $10 to the American Red Cross. It will be charged to your cell phone bill. For larger donations to the Red Cross, visit www.redcross.org.

-Seton Institute. This is a Catholic charity that takes financial donations as well as In-Kind gifts of medical supplies. So, all you medical sales reps should consider this one and alert your employers. Visit http://www.setoninstitute.org/ for more info.

-My aunt sells the Wonderful Wonderbar. It’s an awesome facial cleanser. For every purchase you make, they’re donating to Doctors Without Borders. Visit http://www.wonderfulwonderbar.com/ or email her at Lissa@wonderfulwonderbar.com.

So, adopt a baby, send a text, clean your face … whatever you want, do your part to help the people of Haiti.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Day 2 – Daycare. Day 1 – Gym. Day 730 – Marriage.

1:26 PM 3
Day 2 – Daycare. Day 1 – Gym. Day 730 – Marriage.
Day 2. Today was Baby’s second day at daycare. Again, she barely noticed me leave. Again, I cried in the car. I’ve only called once (so far) to check on her, and they tell me she’s happy as a lark. I’m working on letting go … there’s a slight chance that I will make it until 3:30 before I pick her up. I doubt it. But, I’ll try.

Day 1. Fortunately, I was able to distract myself this morning with my first appointment at my new gym. It was a physical assessment. I failed. Okay, you can’t really fail. But, I failed. I couldn’t do a single sit-up. Really. How is that even possible? I knew I’d be starting from scratch after the hyperemesis, ce-section, etc. However, the actual experience was a little eye-opening. Tomorrow I actually start working out. It’s a good thing I still have a few of those post-surgery pain pills somewhere!

Day 730. Today is my 2nd wedding anniversary! Sometimes it seems like time has crawled by, but mostly it has really flown. To celebrate, we have an exciting evening of diaper changes planned. We’ll toast the day with bottles of Enfamil! Just kidding. Well, not really, but I’m sure we can throw a bottle of champagne in there too! Happy Anniversary, Husband. I love you!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Meltdown Averted!

1:55 PM 0
Meltdown Averted!
Although Baby is prone to nuclear, thermal, high-powered meltdowns, this near miss was all me! I dropped her off at the daycare for her first day this morning. Um, she didn’t even notice I left! She smiled at me, briefly, and continued on existing without seeming to need me at all. So, I sat in the car and cried. Only a little, though.

For those interested, I figured out that the key to leaving your baby for the first time is distraction, distraction, distraction … and a nap. When I left her, I joined a gym, went to the store to buy clothes and shoes for working out at the gym, and finally took a nap. Of course, a ‘nap’ is newly defined in my world as …. Not being able to sleep a wink, but at least I could lie on the couch for 45 minutes without having to worry if she spit out the pacifier again.

I’ve only called the daycare twice since I left her, which was about four hours ago. And, I’m planning to pick her up in about an hour. I think it’s a good start. I’ve only cried a little. Several times. Each hour.

Distraction + sleep deprivation = too tired to melt down, but still able to be an emotional wreck.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Daycare Dilemma

1:46 PM 3
Daycare Dilemma
Okay, so, I posted about our daycare dilemma many, many months ago. Long before Baby was born. When we moved to this smaller town, I just assumed that getting into a decent child care center would not be as big of a problem as it tends to be in larger cities. I was wrong. WRONG. We’ve been on waiting lists since August. We got on those waiting lists after I did a comprehensive, exhaustive search for the best centers in our little town. There are some great ones, and we’re really looking forward to taking Baby to one of them … one day. However, by then, she’ll probably be Toddler.

Today I received a call from one particular center, not one at the top of my list, but not a completely offensive one either. They have an immediate opening. We have to start NOW or they’ll give our spot away. So, we’re signing up. And, I don’t like it. At all.

First of all, what is that smell?! Do you know what I’m talking about? Why do all of these places smell like a Taco Cabana on a humid day just after having the floors mopped with 4-week-old mop water? Really? Even the best ones have ‘that’ smell.

Second, I’m not crazy about my child sharing a swing, bouncer, etc. with other snotty-nosed kids. And, the snotty noses. Why does every kid in daycare have a runny nose? Is this what Baby is in for?!

Third, I paid a lot of money for Baby’s really nice crib that will convert to a toddler bed, then a full bed. A LOT of money. And, they want to put her is something that most closely resembles a cage made of aluminum cans. I’m sure they meet all of the child-safety requirements, but they look pretty scary to me.

We always knew that Baby would have to go to one of these places eventually, but this ‘immediate’ situation is throwing me for a major loop. She’s so fragile. She’s so tiny. Soooo tiny. And, she’s used to having one-on-one attention. From me. ME. Yes, yes, this is the real issue. I’m not crazy about somebody else taking care of my child. What if they don’t hold her the right way? What if they don’t burp her enough or feed her correctly? What if all of this causes Baby distress? Did I mention how tiny she is? And so young! She’s not ready. I’m not ready! I don’t like it. At all.

I’m definitely going to start her on a part-time basis while I’m still off of work next week. Maybe it will be easier if we do this gradually. Any thoughts or advice on how I can hate this situation any less?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Getting Bigger! And, a new level of disgusting …

12:38 PM 3
Getting Bigger! And, a new level of disgusting …
I had a really sentimental post ready to transfer from my head to this blog … all about how I noticed Baby’s ears getting bigger. They’re still just slightly larger than a quarter but I swear they’re growing, and it makes me sad! It’s not always easy to notice these kinds of changes when you spend every day together, but she is changing … so much, every day! She even recently started having real tears. My dad put together a photo montage, and I just can’t believe how much our little girl has grown in the last 5 weeks.

Okay, so that was a little taste of how sappy this posting could have been. However, as usual, Baby had other plans. She has provided us with a new topic for today.

A warning to readers: My life has been consumed by diaper counts and diaper contents for the last 5 weeks. My social filter is a little rusty. If you’re at all squeamish, stop reading now. I’m sure one of the lovely blog postings listed to the right can entertain you for today.

Diaper contents. Right. Or, lack thereof. For several days. Babies aren’t supposed to do too much, right? Eat, sleep, and poop. That’s all. Well, Baby took about a four day vacation from the latter. I was getting worried! And, yes, I blame the formula. Stinkin’ formula!

Well, four days in, Baby finally had a dirty diaper. It was green. It was gross. We changed it and rejoiced. Fast forward a couple of hours to Baby sitting in her bouncer. She’s a little fussy, but that’s pretty typical since she’s due to eat in about an hour. She’s easily pacified (thank you, paci!), but I decided it would be a good time to play and let her get some exercise and tummy time. As I start to pick her up out of the bouncer, Husband hears me groan, scream, etc. The Pretty Purple Bouncer is …. brown, er … green, er … brownish-green. Everywhere. EVERYWHERE. The term ‘blowout’ is a vast understatement for what we were dealing with. It was up to her elbows, literally! I won’t get into too many of the gory details, but let’s just say the experience ended with us surgically removing a cute little outfit from Baby. Okay, well, we just cut it off of her with a pair of scissors, but it felt a little like surgery, a very precarious surgery.

Once the outfit was safely removed, Husband held her down while I used wipes for the initial cleaning. Then, it was off to the bathroom sink. Gone are the days of the careful, sweet, sponge baths that I liked to call spa days. We held that kid right under the running water and then scrubbed her down. Seriously, it was disgusting. Ah, the joys of parenthood.

By the way, thanks to everyone who emailed me their lists. I think I have changed the settings here so you can comment without being an official follower. Somebody, try it out and let me know. :-)