Friday, February 26, 2010

What happened?

I have my six week follow up on Monday! What happened? It seemed like yesterday I was coming home from the hospital. Now I only have a couple of weeks left of my leave! It feels like it flew by.

I am a little nervous about returning to work. I am returning part time, so I am only going back three days a week, hopefully for eight or ten hour shifts. I am nervous about leaving AC. I am leaving him with my mother, who loves him to pieces. He has also visited her often, so he is familiar with her. My mother also loves babies. But I am afraid that he will be awful. I am afraid he will cry the entire time, or my mother will be unable to keep up. I hope I am worrying unnecessarily. Hopefully he will do fine.

I need to find someone who can watch him for a few hours during the week so I can run errands or go to the gym, and hopefully serve as backup when my mother is not available. At least I have some time, but I should start asking around about that now. I get the feeling that it is difficult to find good drop in child care for an infant.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Hooray! Baby sleeps!

I love it when baby goes down to sleep! I know he does not sleep very long, but he is so much better when he gets the sleep he needs. I also get a break and some "me" time! I think I will be listening to a lot of music. He seems to like music noise better than talking noise. Which means that our NASCAR races will likely be muted while he is awake. He did not do well with Daytona last week. Sigh. At least we can watch them, though. I am not missing much by not hearing the commentating. There is only so much intelligence coming from Darrell Waltrip and crew. Listening to music during the race may be an improvement.

I was thinking the other day that there is really a silver lining to having a c-section. I get a couple more weeks at home with the baby. That will be really nice! It sort of feels strange right now just getting to be with my baby. I love it, but it feels weird to me. It is all baby, all the time. It can be difficult for me to get time to take care of myself. I am learning to ask Hubby to give me a break. I need to get better at asking and letting others do things. That is not something which comes easy to me. I have started to leave little AC some. I went grocery shopping without the baby last week. Hubby did fine with it, for the most part. AC did fuss almost the entire time. I hope it gets better! I plan on going to a mother's group without the baby this Tuesday evening. Hubby and I have even been out to dinner without the baby. I hope by the time I have to go back to work, I will be all right leaving him for the day with my mother. (And I hope she will be all right with him for a whole day!)

I am still me underneath all the mothering. This is something I need to remember, and find space for. Mother is just another label I wear. It does not change the fact that I still relate to infertiles. I still actually consider myself infertile. Considering how long it took us to get pregnant the first time, and the fact that male factor was part of our problem, I doubt I will get pregnant again without help. If it does happen, I will consider it a miracle. I guess anything can happen.

Being a mother does not change the fact that I am a nurse. I love my work, and I want to continue to do it. While I would like as much time as possible with the baby, I need time for myself personally and professionally. When I went through counseling several years ago, I talked about the women role models I had. My mother was a stay at home mom. Her job was caring for my sister and I. My aunt was a working woman, and childless. My aunt has graduate degrees, a steady job, and a full life. Somewhere along the line, I decided I wanted the best of both worlds. I know it is difficult to achieve, but I think it is possible. I married a man who will support me as I find the life I want. I am still working on finding how I want to do things. It may be a continuing journey to find the life I want, and I am starting to learn that it may look different than what I thought.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Because I have two hands...

I thought I would post really quickly while baby is napping.

The LLL meeting went well. It was great getting out and talking with other mothers. I realized that I am actually doing well with little AC. It was nice to have the support of a group, and great to have good role models for breastfeeding. Many of the women breastfeed their babies for over a year. I may have to try to go regularly, if nothing else for the interaction with other mothers.
It was also a great first outing with little AC, because I could breastfeed as needed. Children were everywhere, so my child was not the only one crying and fussing. A great place for AC to interact with other children and people.

I need to email the leader of the other mother's group I am interested in. I may try to make one of their meetings over the next month.

I think little AC liked getting out and about today, and I may have to get out more often with him. I do not know what to try tomorrow. Maybe I will try Target tomorrow morning. When my parents get back in town, I may try to go there for lunch next week. That may work better for my parents anyway. My mother has had retina surgery, and her vision will be off for a while. She may appreciate me driving.

I got to walk Gertrude today! I put little AC in his sleepy wrap, and off we went. I think Gertrude appreciated it, even if the walk was short because of the cold. AC gets cold really easily, and any cold air that gets to him make him upset. I wish the weather would warm up so we could take longer walks. I think it will do everyone good!

Since I have the time.

Well, not a lot of time, as I lose track when I messing around on the 'puter!

I am going to try to make a La Leche League meeting this morning. I actually need to get ready to go, as it takes longer to leave when there is a baby in tow. I hope the meeting is useful and the women are nice. (And not lactation nazis!) Maybe I will even stop by the store on my way home. Or not. I may just come home, eat lunch and try to nap. We will see. I am sure it will do me and AC good to get out! I did not get out at all yesterday!

Hubby and I decided that little AC does better when I pump at night, even if it is just one breast. We think it helped him (and us) sleep last night. So I will try to pump before going to bed tonight, too.

Off to get ready to go! Hope everyone has a great day!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Since I am up anyway...

I am going to try to post one handed. Since I have nothing better to do while I am waiting for little AC to go back to sleep. I was disappointed he would not tolerate nursing side lying tonight. I could be sleeping now, or at least lying down. Instead, I am sitting in the glider waiting for baby to go to sleep. Darn it!

AC has been growing by leaps and bounds. He has outgrown his newborn clothes, and is working on outgrowing the 0-3 month clothes, too. I think he is going to be a big boy! And he loves to eat! There are times when I cannot get him off of me. He loves looking around at everything. He is holding his head up very well, and has started making new noises. We think he is sort of sensitive to sound, as he likes to stare at the speakers on his rainforest swing. His one month md visit is coming up on Monday. It will be interesting to hear what the pediatrician has to say about his development.

The job prospect has not called me back, and I have no clue if they will. I am trying to trust that the right thing will work out for me, whatever that is. While I would love the teaching position right now, I do not think it would be so bad to go back to my old job. Especially if I can do it part time. I really love being an OR nurse, and I kind of miss my family of co-workers, despite the dysfunction. (But what family is not dysfunctional?)

I really need to find a mommy group. I need to get out of the house and connect with other people. Between the snow and the baby, it has been impossible for me to get out much. This Thursday is a LLL meeting I may try to get to. I may also look into the local Mothers and More group. That group appeals to me, too. Probably because it supports mothers as they transition and change direction in their lives. I read "This is Not What I Thought It Would Be" and have been interested in Mothers and More ever since.

Because I am home so much, I have re-discovered the Olympics. I watched curling most of the day today, and I still do not understand it, but it is neat to watch! I also caught some of the men's figure skating before falling asleep. I think the music soothed both baby and me. I am sure I will watch more tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sleep deprivation is in the house.

Both Hubby and I are exhausted! For the past couple days, little AC has been up and cranky from about 11 PM to 1 AM. It is a team effort to keep him soothed and and calm. And he is tired! The only good thing is that he is fairly easily soothed. When he is calm, he yawns and slows down. You can tell he is tired. He is usually back to sleep before 2 AM, which is small comfort when Hubby has to go to work for a full day. Both of us are hoping it gets better soon. I read several places that fussiness peaks at 6 weeks, and then it gets better. We are halfway there, as little AC is about three weeks right now.

We are fairly sure the fussiness is not colic because he does calm down within a couple of hours. The soothing techniques we are using do work, he just does not fall asleep. He may have his nights and days confused? Maybe I should try to wake him to feed him every couple of hours. That has worked the one day I tried it. Maybe it will work better if I do it for more than one day. It is difficult when you are very tired, though.

We suspect his fussiness is due to gas, so I am back to giving him simethicone to help him pass it. It does not help that I am crappy burper. It is difficult for me to get him to burp, and then the gas just builds up. I try him sitting up in my lap, and over my shoulder. Every now and again I get a small or medium burp, but that is about it. I have increased the forcefulness of my patting. Gentle does not seem to do it, I think. Of course, I am not having a lot of luck either way, so I am not sure how much it matters. He is breastfeeding, and supposedly takes in less air, though with my overactive let down, I suspects he gulps regularly which causes him to take in air. I wish there was an easy way to burp a baby!

I finally got to play with my pump yesterday. I pumped three ounces from one breast! Hooray! It works, and is easy to use! Now I can stockpile milk so that Hubby can feed the baby from time to time. Also I can try leaving the baby for a while, and getting out of the house on my own. I hope I will feel better leaving him if I know he can be fed. Maybe we will try a bottle this weekend. I am not really expecting too many problems. Keeping fingers crossed that it will go smoothly.

More snow here today. I decided to stay home, rest, and hide. Hopefully baby will let me nap this afternoon. I finally figured out the side lying breastfeeding position, so at least I can rest when I feed him. I just wish it worked between 11 PM and 1AM!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Becoming a Parent

I never thought I would become a mother. Hubby never thought he would become a father. Even during the pregnancy, the idea of us becoming parents just never seemed real. Our minds could not make the jump from pregnancy to parenting. Hubby told me that he thinks about the future with little AC, and he realized that there is a whole future to think about. I know that he will not be a baby forever. But we will get to watch him grow and develop into his own person. I think that is really neat.

Another thing that amazes me is that little AC is a fairly good baby. He gave me so much trouble in utero, that it is nice to have a fairly well behaved baby now. (And I hope I did not just jinx myself by writing that!) So far, he has been relatively easy to calm. Once his immediate needs for food and elimination are met, I find that the baby carrier and the Fisher.Price Rain.forest swing are really helpful. We also have a couple of glider rockers which help to soothe the baby. He really likes the rocking motion. And I went and bought some appliance sounds from It seems to help, and prevents a sleepy father from driving around with a baby in the car.

Breastfeeding is going well. Once he gets latched, for the most part, he does great. We do have some problems with over active letdown, though. Sometimes he does not like the fast letdown and will fuss at the breast after only a couple of minutes. I am trying to lean back farther when I nurse, and position little AC so that he has to work against gravity. I am also putting him back on the same breast for an hour or two so that he is more likely to get the hindmilk. He also seems to prefer a quieter space for nursing. I guess he still has to work really hard to nurse.

I forgot to mention that I got a call from a job I applied for in the fall. Apparently they are hiring now, and they would like to interview me for an adjunct teaching position. Hooray! If benefits come with it, I may jump at it. It may make my other job grumpy, and I may owe them for carrying me during my leave. Teaching would be much better for me right now with the new baby. Especially if it is part time! And there may be a full time position down the road. We will see what happens. Benefits are going to be the sticking point, I think. They should call me in a week or two to set up an interview. (At least that is what they said on the phone.)

Dogs are doing great with the baby. They do not get upset when he cries anymore, and we have let them back into the bedroom. That has made everyone happy. I missed our dogs, but I needed space from them just for a little while. It is really nice to have our family back together. We are still working on walks. Walks are easier with the sleepy wrap, though. When it is not snowing, I sometimes get to walk a dog! I have been doing some training with both Gertrude and Oscar, which I think helps with Gertrude. She likes the face time with me.

In baby development news...
Little AC was awake in his swing for a while today. It was great to see him looking around. He looked at the mobile above the swing, he looked at our dogs as they came up to look at him. He looked all around the room. Both Hubby and I loved watching him. It was better than TV! He is almost three weeks old, so he is not quite ready for play, just yet. He is still trying to understand the world around him. And that is all right.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

All by Ourselves.

I finally got the birth story finished, but it posted strangely. You can find it here.

We have a week without parental help. My mother is off to have retina surgery in Charlottesville, and MIL has hurt her back and is unable to come down and visit. We were not expecting to be completely without help this week. I think both Wade and I are a little bummed that MIL is not able to come down. We were looking forward to having the help.

The snow and ice we are getting are not helping matters any. Not that I can drive yet, anyway, but it would be nice to get out if I wanted. Right now I feel like I am trapped by the snow and my recovery from surgery. I hate feeling so useless. I have to spend a lot of my time caring for the baby, I am unable to get other things done. I feel like I need help to do anything. Not to mention, I am very tired from being up in the middle of the night to do little AC's night feedings. He is in the middle of another growth spurt, so I have been nursing a lot! Hopefully a bath tonight will help him sleep better tonight. I need a night to recover and get better sleep!

I have to mention a baby carrier I started using recently. The Sleepy Wrap is easy to use and actually puts the baby to sleep when he is in it! I may start using it more often in the afternoons when I am not so tired and can walk around more. I highly recommend it. It really works!

Off to rest some more while the baby is sleeping!