January 13, 2011 § Leave a comment
So… it’s been a while. Like 5 months and a bit awhile. What happened in these last few months you ask? Well, I had a baby that’s what happened! I’ve got a lot to say. Bear with me.
My life change’s name is Nadia and as anyone whose met her will tell you, she’s darn gorgeous. She was born Sept. 8, 2010 at 7lbs 15oz at Victoria General Hospital in Victoria, British Columbia. She had her 4 month check up with Doc a few days ago (albeit almost 2 weeks late) and she was in the 75th percentile for length and for weight… wait for it… the 5th percentile 😦 Boo. She weighs an adorably but light 11lbs4oz now. Are there supermodel babies? B/c I think my daughter is one.
Doc recommended we try limiting her feeds to 10 minutes per side (12 if I’m feeling really generous…which I usually am b/c I’m a SUCKER). Structuring a baby’s feeds is highly contentious I have realized. Actually, everything about having babies is contentious. We Mommas take our jobs pretty darn seriously.
Couple of key reasons for this 10 minute per side thing. One- Nadi doesn’t nap, well at least not without a pretty good fight and a sore back for Momma from rocking her for hours on end. Doc says she might likely be able to fight off naps b/c she’s catnapping on my boob so much. How did he know? It’s true, I’ve been a bit lazy where trying to get her to nap is concerned. It’s just so much darn work! And if I let her laze at my boob, I can actually like write emails and make phone calls and stuff. Bad.
Second, she’s quite small for her age which could mean that she’s not eating as well as she could be, again, b/c she’s lazing about at my boob for hours on end. So…. we’ve been doing this 10 minutes thing since we got back from Doc’s office on Monday afternoon. Today is Thursday. So except for her last feed of the day where I let her lollygag about until she is sound asleep (Bad), I’ve been taking her off after 10-12 minutes per side. Funny thing is, occasionally she does fuss but it only takes a small distraction before she is back to her smiley self so I’m thinking she’s not missing out on too much. Plus, a little selfish plug here, feedings take SO MUCH LESS TIME which means I have more time for myself. In any case, I’ll keep y’all updated as to how this goes. We’re going in for a weigh-in on February 8th where our efforts will have either paid off or… not. Wish us weight. And naps. And weight loss for Mama, heh. Hey I can ask!
Other than that, our Nadi sleeps great at night. Her routine just changed (babies are like the weather, don’t like what they are doing, wait a minute) and she is now going to bed between 7-8PM and sleeping until 6 or 7AM respectively. Biggest change there? No night feeding. Until two weeks ago, she was waking after 5-6 hours for a feed and then going back to sleep for another 3 hours or so. I like this new thing she’s doing much better. Not sure my boobs do tho. I wake up with rock boobs. Anyone whose had milk come in knows to which I refer. Ouch! I can’t explain the relief once I get her on and she gets going. It rocks. Pardon the pun. Apparently boobs are really smart though and will adjust to the fact that she doesn’t seem to need a night feed anymore. Eventually.
I wasn’t joking about having a lot to say was I?
A couple of things I didn’t know before having Nadi:
1. Newborns have pooplosions. I had to wipe yellow newborn poo off of Nadi’s nursery wall, window and ceiling, yes ceiling, after one particularly large one once. Nadi’s poops tended to stay inside her diaper after about 10 weeks though.
2. Cloth diapering is actually really great. Before Nadi was born I knew I wanted to put her in cloth diapers but when we bought them, compared to the very small disposables we were using at the time, the cloth looked positively daunting. I mean two pieces AND a liner? Sheesh. But we got used to it and now we’re both loving it. Here are the diapers we have in case you’re wondering:
3. Sometimes you have to wake babies up to feed them! And waking a baby who is sleeping peacefully sucks. A lot. We had to wake Nadi every 4 hours for her first 8 weeks of life b/c of her weight (not that its gotten any better since we’ve been letting her sleep). So if you’re preggo, don’t waste a prayer on eye colour or hair or even on intelligence. Pray you have a baby who loves to eat b/c food leads to sleep and sleep, well, sleep will be a highly coveted thing very soon. Yawn.
4. There are a lot of baby experts. Looking for a way to get your baby to nap? Maybe you’d like to get them on a schedule or you’re wondering what to feed them when solids enter the picture? You have 1,098,355 experts to choose from. Go ahead, choose! Goodness me. Sometimes reading other people’s opinions (which is really what they are when it comes down to it) can be comforting, I won’t lie. Especially when you’re up in the middle of the night again, with a baby who won’t stop crying again, unless they are attached to your boob, you got it, again. But other times, I think reading the thoughts and feelings of others can actually separate you from your own thoughts and feelings and you gotta watch out for that. Having said that, here are some experts I like:
5. Getting out of the house with a baby takes practice. Before Nadi was born, I think I thought that I’d just throw her over my shoulder and we’d head out on adventures every day. Adventures to the grocery store, to Mum & Babe groups, to the park. Um…. not so much! Breastfeeding is not easy (see #6 below), at least it wasn’t for us, and while Nadi was really little, she had to eat every 90 minutes or so or she was pretty unhappy. Try to pack your bag, get baby’s diaper changed and get some clothes on her, get the seat on the stroller, get yourself dressed and your hair combed, find your keys, grab something to eat, put your coat and shoes on, walk somewhere interesting and return home all inside 90 minutes! It’s not easy my friends and until quite recently, I was not very comfortable nursing in public which meant Nadi and I stayed home a lot. So I’d suggest making your home as comfortable as possible before baby is born. Admittedly I’m probably more of a home body than most but regardless, I think it is pretty common for new moms to be home a lot more than they were pre-baby.
6. Nursing may be one of the most natural things in the world to do but it doesn’t come as naturally as I thought it would. The nurses at the hospital actually wake you and baby up so babe can chomp in the first day or so (which may sound annoying but was actually extremely comforting for me). When you go home tho, you’re pretty well on your own. Here in Canada, we have public health nurses who visit you a few days after your baby is home to weigh them, check on breastfeeding (if that was your choice) and share what mom-babe resources there are in your community. My nurse’s name is Pamela. She’s a very nice lady and she came a lot for the first several weeks because Nadi was so little. In any case, she helped us through thrush (see #7), latch issues, sore nipples (yowsa!), sleepy baby syndrome and just provided general support. Thx Pamela. You are my public health hero.
7. Did you know you can get a yeast infection in your nipples? Well, you can and it’s 10000x worse than the kind you get down there. First, your nipples don’t itch, they burn. When your baby latches on, it feels like needles are shooting up your breast and into your armpit (the armpit pain is the telltale sign you have thrush as opposed to just sore nipples). Not only that, the pain persists after the feed is over and ANYTHING that touches your raw, red nipple is the enemy. Doctors prescribe meds for thrush but Nadi and I kicked it the old fashioned way. Here’s how we did it.
I took Grapefruit Seed Extract by mouth. I took a 50 billion probiotic each day and cut back sugar and all other white foods. I boosted my immune system with zinc and echinacea. I put liquid silver on my nipples after each feed and let them air dry. Nadi took a baby probiotic (open capsule and fed to her with a wet finger which she actually really liked though it had no taste; I tried it). And the the thing that made the real difference? Garlic. I take 4 capsules of Kyolic garlic every day with meals and each capsule is equivalent to… get this… 17 cloves of garlic! Woweee. And it didn’t make my breastmilk taste funky or if it did, Nadi likes funky.
Ok I’ll shut up now. Stay tuned for my next post- baby items I couldn’t live without!
June 24, 2010 § 5 Comments
I work full-time. I’m growing a human being. For the most part, I’ve found doing these two very important things simultaneously to be manageable. I’ve been very lucky with this baby that (a.) I had very little morning sickness, (b.) I haven’t put on an obscene amount of weight which I can imagine would make life quite difficult and (c.) generally have had very little discomfort. That said, this past week I’ve had a visitor at night. They come just as I’m growing tired and am lying in bed preparing myself for sleep. The visitor’s name? Insomnia.
In the early hours of the morning as I trundle about the house alone, I’ve given this insomnia thing a great deal of thought. It must be prep for when the baby arrives, I tell myself. This must be happening to me so that I can prepare myself for the sleeplessness associated with a new baby and maybe I’ll be less exhausted once she comes because I’ve had this practice. Well, here’s the thing. I work full-time. At a job where scatterbrains aren’t popular and afternoon naps are discouraged. At the end of the day, I feel like a dish rag. I feel like one of those pieces of gum you see on the sidewalk that has been stepped on so many times that it that the only difference between it and the concrete is a shade of grey. I feel like a discarded newspaper page whipping around in the wind.
It is for these reasons that I am now heading to bed. Yes, it is five minutes after 8 (PM). Yes, the sun is still up. Yes, the only ones asleep right now are small children and seniors. Regardless I’ll be joining them very shortly and will probably be sound asleep and snoring like my Dad when the Hus comes to bed. Good thing we have a comfortable couch. G’nite to all the Mamas out there. And the bellies too.
June 17, 2010 § Leave a comment
Boy time flies when you’re growing a person! I’m 26 weeks and 5 days pregnant today and am pretty sure I “popped” again over the weekend. I’ve deduced this from the wide eyes of my colleagues who happened to see me semi-waddling into work this past Monday morning. I’m looking very… round… these days.
The other thing I am looking these days, according to my dear friends and the odd stranger, is radiant. For the most part, my weight gain (about 15 lbs total, give or take a bowl of ice cream…or two…here and there) has remained moderate and for the most part has been isolated to my belly, hip and thigh area. While normally I wouldn’t be thankful for weight gain, I know that it means my baby girl is getting what she needs and I am super fortunate that A-line skirts, gauchos and black dresses were invented as they make me feel significantly less… round.
Other than round and radiant, I’ve really been enjoying feeling my girl moving around in my belly. She’s very active in the morning while I’m sipping my tea on the couch and have my first snuggle of the day with the Hus and she also really loves to boogie woogie while I’m semi-horizontal and reading just before bed. In the last week or so, she’s taken to shaking a tailfeather while Mama is sleeping at night. My naive hope is that she’s just giving moon dancing a trial run and that she will eventually agree with me that nighttime is for sleeping! Realistically though, she’s probably preparing me for what is to come in just a few short months: sleeplessness! Either way, I feel so incredibly blessed to be carrying this baby and I can hardly wait to see her beautiful face.
Speaking of faces, I think mine is shrinking. I sort of feel like my belly is sucking my head down through my neck, making it smaller and smaller each day. Does the baby need my head too? She’s already got my entire abdomen, my rear end, and as of today, my ankles (which are slowly becoming less separate from my calves). Now my head?? C’mon peanut, cut Mama a break!
Well I’ve had a doozy of a week (as is indicated by that last paragraph) so I think I’ll leave the post there for today. Sending my love to all of those beautiful bellies out there.
June 3, 2010 § Leave a comment
I’ve always been one of those really lucky women with a solid body image and a natural acceptance of her size and frame. I’ve very rarely asked if I look fat in anything. I have confidently worn two-piece bathing suits regardless of the degree to which my body does not look like Pam Anderson’s. I wear form-fitting clothes and like my curvy parts. And I have, throughout this pregnancy, felt very beautiful and mobile and comfortable…that is until today. I’m hoping that it will pass (tomorrow preferably) but today I feel restricted and bloated and well… big.
I have one of these lovely husbands who tells me that I’m beautiful several times a day. This helps. Immensely. Having said that I woke up this morning feeling sort of rotund and so ate a light lunch to compensate and was hungry in an hour so munched most of the afternoon and then, upon arriving home after a long day at the factory, thought a warm shower might just do the trick. All was going well until I bent over to shave my legs and I could only reach mid-calf. Mid-calf! I tried to bend over a bit more but the soccer ball it feels like I swallowed wouldn’t allow it. I tried to bend to the side and thought I would topple right over so corrected myself immediately. Finally after trying everything I could standing up, I resorted to sitting down. But of course before I settled in comfortably I sort of slid down the shower wall and squeaked my way to the ground but not before my hus came rushing in to make sure I hadn’t hurt myself. Sigh.
Then to make matters worse, I got out of the shower and made the mistake of looking at my naked body in the mirror. I hadn’t been in long enough to completely fog out the mirror which is unfortunate in this case. I’ve been collecting a few stretch marks on my hips the last few weeks as I expand and I’ve grown accustomed to seeing them there, almost like those really good friends (of all shapes, sizes and colours) we all (hopefully) have whose presence reminds us that we’re awesome. Well it seems my friends have invited some friends to my behind because there are definitely a bunch of new squiggles that I hadn’t previously met. Great.
Anyhoo, I’ve got dinner on the go and am salivating just thinking about the salmon filets, baked potato and corn on the cob we’re going to get to eat in half hour. Ok, just typing that sentence made me feel better. Sad but true. I’m going to take my swollen-ankled, sausage-toed, water-retaining self to the kitchen to put the finishing touches on our meal. Thanks for listening.
May 28, 2010 § 1 Comment
Ok I’m going to whine. I have a nasty cold. I’m on a work trip. I miss my hus and my bed and my cats. Ok, I’m done now.
Seriously though, I was reading Kate from Boston’s blog the other day (which I love and highly recommend by the way) and noticed she’s also under the weather and put a call out for any advice on safe-for-pregnant-ladies remedies for colds/flus? If you have any, comment here or on Kate’s blog. The sick pregnant women of the world are counting on you!
On a positive note, all the coughing I’ve been doing has got my little girl moving a lot more than usual in the last day. I’m probably routinely waking her up just as she drifts off as her kicks do seem to be a bit more “Mama, you’re bugging me” than her usual “Mama, I need to turn over/do a somersault/stretch my arms and legs/etc.”
Being away from home is hard, especially when you’re sick and pregnant. Anyone have any great coping strategies? Other than over-eating and shopping (and while I’m sure I gained a pound from those perogies last night and got a cute shirt of out of it, I’m still winging for home)?