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Monday, June 30, 2008

Seconds

Last night, Baby didn’t sleep. She didn’t want to even though I explained to her that the mall was closed, there was nothing good on TV, and all her friends were asleep in their beds. She wanted to stay up anyway. "Fine by me!" I told her. I had wrongly assumed if she was going to be awake the whole night, it was going to be the QUIET awake. She didn’t want any of that either. She wanted to be LOUD awake. Since she didn't have a stereo to blast or the coordination to turn it on if she had one, she resorted to crying and screaming. She won her argument and we were all up through the night.

Neither Dave or I could get her to calm down at all.

Full belly: check.
Clean diaper: check.
Time on the rocking chair: check.
Comfortable room: check.

Still a "no go" on the content quiet baby.

Fast forward to now.

I slept an hour and a half last night. Not all in a row, mind you. That would have been almost helpful.

At about 11:30 a.m. this morning, Baby informed me she’d like some quiet time in her crib and would I please respect her privacy. I complied.

I got dressed (finally!) and made my way to the kitchen for breakfast/lunch/snack. I was pleased to find in the fridge a storage container of Taco Soup. I promptly served some into a bowl, shredded some cheese into it, broke some corn tortilla chips into it, and microzapped it. Halfway through devouring my taco soup, I realized I was REALLY hungry and would want seconds, but with a short amount of time before Baby would call for her own lunch, I didn’t want to waste time by waiting until I finished eating my first serving to prepare the second serving.

I shoved a spoonful of food into my mouth and pulled out another bowl from the cupboard and filled it with soup. I shoved another spoonful of my first bowl. I shredded some cheese for my second bowl and put it in the microwave. I had 3 or 4 more spoonfuls of my first bowl. The second bowl was ready. I broke chips into it. I finished my first bowl, grabbed the second bowl, and enjoyed the encore while typing this blog entry.

Now, I just need to decide if I want a second helping of children. It’s probably too soon to tell. Or is this the perfect moment of clarity in which to decide?

Time’s up. Your Highness beckons.

Friday, June 27, 2008

"Dave, you're tall..."

I'm almost exactly one foot taller than Adhis. This makes for some funny/interesting situations.

First of all we have a running joke where Adhis says, "Dave, you're tall." whenever she needs to reach something that's too high for her. She noticed that people, especially in my family, were always saying that.

Sometime last year I was searching through our pantry for soup or something and got down on my knees to look on the bottom shelf. And what did I find? A package of yummy cookies. I sat there for a minute trying to figure out why they were stored there. I always hide yummy stuff on top of the refrigerator back close to the wall. Adhis never finds anything there. I guess she figured out that I never make the effort to look down that low.

There have been a couple times that I've been walking through a crowd with Adhis at a store, or at church and I'll turn to look for her and look right over her head and not see her at all. I'll call out her name and then I'll hear, "I'm right here!" I've learned to look down more often.

Once we were clothes shopping at Kohl's and Adhis asked if I knew where a dressing room was. I looked around and saw a dressing room right next to this huge brilliant orange Levi's sign.

I said, "Oh, right there by that orange Levi's sign."

Adhis said, "What Levi's sign?"

I said, "The huge freaking orange one on the wall right there!"

Adhis, "Where?!"

Me, "Right there!!"

That's when I realized that she couldn't see over the clothes racks.

When we were dating we always searched out a step or something for Adhis to stand on when we wanted to share a smooch. So our first Christmas together in 2000, I put together a little wooden stepping stool for her. She loved it and painted it and sealed it. We call it the "Kissing Stool." We use that stool all the time!

Fun Due


With so much baby business lately, I was excited to get out and celebrate the birthdays of five ladies in our 'hood.

Aubrey, Kim, Amber, Marcella, and Summer have birthdays around now and they decided to celebrate by hosting a chocolate fondue party and inviting a bunch of us women to pee our pants.

Wait, no, that was a by-product not the intent.


Chocolate... truths... lies... lots of laughing.


We learned so much about our sisters (and a little too much about a few of them).



Some of the women have streaked, one admitted to loving cleaning bathrooms, some of the women have had many MANY bones broken, another was on the Fashion Team in high school (the wha??), a couple ladies have over 10 siblings, a few have inappropriately (though "accidentally") groped a stranger or two, and... the worst offense of the night... one has been to six *NSYNC concerts!

Sadly, no one actually dated a mortician.

(I was trying to sneak a photo of Cyd and instead was intercepted by my big head.)


(Speaking of Cyd... what the heck was she doing in the group photo? It was obviously past her bedtime!)

We learned a lot of surprising truths about each other and heard a few lies we wished were true. (Who wouldn't want to swim with the dolphins in Australia? Oh... I guess the sister who admitted to being terrified of water.)



How fun to get together! Thanks to the birthday girls for letting us celebrate your special days with you!

Monday, June 23, 2008

It's Been One Month

We went back to church yesterday! HOORAY! It felt like we had been gone forever but everything was still the same. It’s like we hit “pause” the Sunday before we had the baby and everyone but our family froze in time. Yesterday, we "unpaused" time once we got into the chapel and everyone picked up where they left off.

Everything was the same. Well... EXCEPT I was lugging baby stuff through the hallways like a Bel-Air bellhop. AND at one point, I had the urge to pee, but I couldn't go to the bathroom because I had the baby in tow, so I held “it” until I got home. AND when she was hungry during Sunday School, I had to leave class to warm up her bottle of mama's milk even though I was listening to the teacher. AND after Relief Society, I couldn’t just get up and go home; I needed David to show up and help me carry the baby and luggage out.

(Here's baby before church sleeping as soundly as a High Priest during sacrament meeting.)


Odd thing in Sunday School: David fed the baby her bottle, but then he was afraid to burp her in class, so the poor girl just kept spitting up. I think he was afraid of “being rude” if she burped or, heavens, TOOTED loudly in class. He sacrificed the baby’s intestinal comfort for his own timidness. He is so weird sometimes... it’s a family thing. I say, if the baby has gas, the baby has gas. If the ward is opposed to natural baby

stirrings and tootings, they should ban babies. “Families are together forever! Unless one of you has gas.”


(Dress a gift from Heather; Headband a gift from Sheree.)


I felt good being back at church even if I came home buku exhausted from missing the usual daytime feedings and naps. I tried to make Banana Nut Chocolate Chip bread that evening and forgot to put nuts and chocolate chips in the batter. I barely got the bananas in.

[Baby minutiae ahead. You have been warned.]

Baby Adhis is a month old today!

She is almost sleeping consistently in between feedings. Almost. She is feeding every 3 hours during the day and every 3-4 hours at night depending on the alignment of the stars. I am now mostly feeding her straight from the tap (though it still burns to do so) with some occasional feedings from pumping.



At her 2-week appointment, she weighed 6lbs 14oz and measured 20 inches long. Yey! And no jaundice! This photo is of her with a biliruben blanket light, which she used for about three 3 days. Whenever David put her in this, he would drone "Phone hooome..." Every.Stinkin'.Time. For 3 days.

Isn't she the cutest little glow worm you have ever seen?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

FREAKIN' Tired


OK, I've been so FREAKIN' tired I didn't realize I hadn't posted anything this week.

Did I mention I'm FREAKIN' tired? I am.

I don't want to just blog about my baby now that I have one, but I'm still at the stage where I can barely do anything outside of getting dressed, feeding the child, and making sure I eat and drink throughout the day. I have tons of ideas hibernating in my head... at least, a part of me is asleep.

David was gone all week on a business trip. His job had him leaving for California on Father's Day-- his first Father's Day with a baby of his own. How lame is that??? (Don't tell me. I know.)

Baby dictator bans naps!
So... I've been alone with the baby all week after giving birth to her 3 weeks ago. We hadn't established any sort of routine as far as sleep and feed go. That wouldn't have mattered to the little tyke anyway because after Daddy left for the airport, she decided that she'd had enough of this 2-3 hour napping between feedings. One hour or less is all she wanted. (Just wait until I tell her father!) This dictatorship left me with an hour or two of sleep a day. Yeah. This made Mommy very unstable.

Oh, and then Baby Adhis decided to start doing this thing where she stops breathing and turns beet red until I turn her over to clear her throat. Sure, it's a little disconcerting when she does it in the daytime, but it's scary when she does it while I'm sleeping. Ok, she only did it once while I was sleeping. I had been asleep when "something" woke me up. I turned on the light and saw her bright little red face choking and struggling for air. That was enough to keep me half awake for the remainder of the week during the hour she gave me between screamings.

Hooray for visiting teachers!
Thanks to Sheree for watching my bambino on Wednesday so I could take a nap! I didn't think I would be able to sleep that well during the daylight hours. I was wrong (which we all know doesn't happen often).

Lookie what Sheree and Baby Adhis made for me!

I knew something was afoot.


[Posted song: "I Wanna Be Sedated" by Ramones]

Friday, June 13, 2008

Feeling Better

Since everyone has been asking: I’m feeling much better, thank you!
I no longer want to throw my baby against a wall and I don’t wish myself any harm.

Last Friday, I had refused to hold or feed the baby (I was pumping breastmilk and having David feed her). That evening, I saw her on our bed and Dave asked me to watch her while he went to get something downstairs; I looked down at her, erupted in tears, bawled "I miss my baby!" and immediately snatched her up. And that was that. I couldn't be away from her again or fathom hurting her.

For the last few days, I had given my spigots a rest by expressing my milk. A couple nights into this routine, I was feeding Baby Adhis a bottle of breast milk and she went absolutely berserk after emptying the bottle. I calmly tried to comfort her, sing to her, bounce her, but when I cuddled her up to me, I could tell that she was desperately looking for me to feed her sans bottle. I found this curious since she had had enough to eat. I thought, "let me just see what she does" and offered her my breast. She began to eat right away and immediately calmed down. Right then, I realized that though she was getting her food, she missed having long feeding/bonding moments. I said to her "oh, you need your mommy." And that was that. I don't want to hurt me anymore; my daughter needs me.

Now, the husband… Somebody hold me back!

Just teasing. He has been awesome (even if he will be leaving me and baby alone for a week while he travels on business). :::a pout and a scowl:::

Last night, I was at a neighbor’s house with some other women and I leaked (in more ways than one!) about how I was doing with nursing. After all that, I went home, breastfed my baby and had a pleasant less-pain-than-usual experience. Then, it happened again this morning! FAN-tastic!!

So, yes, I’m feeling much better.

Here are some other things that helped buoy me during the Baby Blues:

1) Talking about the blues. Getting it off my chest and out in the open.
2) (Speaking of chest…) Meeting with a lactation consultant as often as I needed and then realizing I should follow my instincts.
3) Getting dressed each morning, even if my choice of outfits is limited to the 5 I still fit in.
4) Realizing that my baby talks in her sleep. The only way she knows to communicate at this time is by making noises that to adults sound like crying or whimpering or screaming. I used to wake up in the middle of the night to feed her because I heard her crying. After a few nights, I realized if I waited but one or two minutes, she’d continue sleeping. She was just talking in her sleep.
5) Drinking lots of water.
6) Hugs from my husband, even when I acted like I didn’t want them.
7) Going to bed and thinking, “tomorrow might be better.”
8) Hearing from other women through emails, comments, phone calls, voicemails, and visits. (For women, social connectivity with other women increases health and longevity.)
9) Accepting that my feelings are common even if they don’t feel normal.
10) Cookies
11) Ice cream
12) Cake
13) Reading books to expand my thoughts. Books I read or started reading during this time to fill my mind:

  • 100 Promises to My Baby—Mallika Chopra (thanks, Clarice!)
  • Think and Grow Rich -- Napoleon Hill
  • A New Earth—Eckhart Tolle
  • On Becoming Babywise – Gary Ezzo, M.A. & Robert Buckman, M.D. (thanks, Brother Smith!)
14) Picking up my guitar after so many months of not being able to hold it in my lap.


I wish I was eloquent in expressing my gratitude for the support you have all been through your words, thoughts, and deeds. Here’s an idea, go out and buy yourselves ice creams cones. You are worth it!

I hope someone or all of you will remember when you are feeling down or dark, that though you may not feel "normal," it IS common and most people will not judge you if you reach out to them.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Nursing the Cheese Grater

I’ve always been in awe of my cheese grater, so much so that I wanted to be its mommy. Love it, cuddle it, nurse it. But since it’s constantly in use, I had to settle for the next best thing. Enter my baby girl. She is quite effective at simulating the nursing habits of a cheese grater. Ladies and gentlemen, she scrapes, she shreds, she grates! What a trooper!

So... how much longer before my nipples stop shrieking in fear from Baby Godzilla?


Speaking of cheese shredders... here is another perspective...

video

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Postpartum Blues

It only takes briefly holding a soul fresh from heaven to feel sorely inadequate. She a holy celestial orb, Me a clutzy dirty rag. I wish I could shake the comparison, but I find it difficult with each passing sleepless night.

As I look down at my sweet daughter in my arms, I feel sorry for her because she didn’t get a very good mom. Sure, we’re both feeling our way through our new life together, but I’m the one whose thoughts meander into the dark woods while hers drift off to blissful sleep. (Ah, sleep. Perhaps, a chance to dream.) I’d heard of the baby blues, but, man, they suck when they are no longer just hearsay.

I’m still waiting for that moment, the one that takes my breath away and wraps me in soft billowy joy as greeting card poetry swirls in my mind heralding thoughts of adoration for my baby and refreshed role as mother. I look at my baby and think, "she’s cute," but I don’t have an overwhelming gush of adoration. I hear it comes in different time frames for different people. For some, it’s immediate love at first sight. For others, it comes after months of sharing a life and growing together, so I’m patient. With time, we’ll share inside jokes and create you-had-to-be-there stories.

I had heard PLENTY about the fears and pains of labor and delivery, so that’s what I had braced myself for. I had heard some about new parent exhaustion, but I had mistakenly thought my insomnia during pregnancy prepared me for the sleepless nights invited by a newborn baby. I had been warned to give breastfeeding an adjustment period, though I had not understood the painful learning curve required to do it. What no one mentioned was the after-party, the gamut of emotions that follow the big event. What happens when you get home and emotions escape like shrilling banshees out of Pandora’s Box?

Everyone is eager to share their labor stories, but no one mentions the real horror stories, the ones about when you get home with your child, you don’t sleep, you can’t think, and thoughts of inadequacy and frustration lead to anger and sadness. I suppose no one feels safe sharing that when surrounded by blow-up storks and well-wishers.

“You must be so excited!” I hear.

“Um, yeah, sure,” I mumble.

I’m not advocating being the wet blanket at the baby party, but surely, the temporary pain of labor is not as vital information as the longer linger of postpartum blues. What a disservice to women everywhere to pretend it doesn’t exist. It leaves many a mom to feel alien, wrong, and even, evil.

I’m completely aware that every woman is different and some may exude only sunshine upon giving birth, but I'm convinced that more often than not, there are women wrapped up in the guilt of their dark thoughts directed at the helpless and innocent creatures in their care. I am advocating that women release that guilt and the hushed tones of the non-Smurfy emotions they experience shortly after coming home with baby. I don’t think we need to each wear our emotional story like a morbid badge of honor, but I do think a frank and open acceptance of the matter would serve each of us better. Suppose that saying "I hate being a mother today" was just as acceptable as saying "I am having a bad hair day today"? We'd feel a whole lot more supported in our developing roles as mothers and actually feel... normal.

At 3 a.m., I sit awake, awkwardly feeding a hungry baby, and I daydream (nightdream?) of sleep. I have the blues today, but I'm learning they are normal and temporary. Boy, I can't wait to again feel Smurfy.