Thursday, May 31, 2007

Boobs of Steel

It's really too bad that I can't store some of this milk in my abs because my boobs can certainly get rock hard at times. More specifically, at midnight. Apparently my body and baby have ganged up on me by deciding that would be the time of the day to produce the most milk. Go figure. The result is that I end up waking up with two huge, and extremely hard spheres attached to my chest. Trust me, it's not as comfortable as it may seem.

All this has a side effect that I don't know if most of you have considered... to pump or not to pump? Given that I've produced a lot of milk, let's just say that for some strange reason Ellie decides she'd rather sleep than to take the energy to drain me. Do I pump?

Advantage to pumping:
1. Temporary, but much appreciated relief. Can we all say "Ahhh".
2. Add to my slowly accumulating storage of frozen milk. Mmmm... white gold.

Disadvantage to pumping:
1. It sends a confirmation to my body that, indeed, making gallons* of milk at midnight really is a good and fun idea. We don't want to encourage such behavior. Ugh.

On the plus side... I know that things are going well for us because Ellie is now 10 pounds! Dang, girl! In 6 weeks she has gone from 6 pounds to 10. That's just crazy. Tomorrow she starts kindergarten... she's growing so fast!

* And by gallons, I really mean ounces.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

That's just gross

To add to the list of things that gross me out:

You can see a pulse in the soft spot on my baby's head.

Gross. We'll put that on the list right below "sounds people's backs make when they pop."

Nature got this one wrong

After 6 weeks of breastfeeding, I have maintained the opinion that nature got this one wrong. It would be so much more efficient if both parents could feed the baby. Wouldn't it ensure a greater survival rate, or something?

Heck, there are species out there that share in the feeding responsibility. Take birds , for example. Both parents take turns feeding their babies. It's an equal relationship. That's the way it should be with us.

On the other hand... I suppose it is nice and convenient to not have to go out and hunt, eat, then regurgitate the food whenever my baby is hungry.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Hmm... I take that back

Last night I made an observation about my baby:

"Hey look. The spot on Ellie's nose is getting bigger."


"No, wait. That's just a booger."

Time's Up

It is absolutely crazy to me to think that if I were not taking additional time off to stay home with the baby, then I would have to return to work today. TODAY!!! Isn't that just insane? Look at my baby. She's still so small! There is just no way that she's old enough for me to hand her off to someone else to take care of her! 6 weeks is definitely not enough time. It makes me wish I lived in Europe. Aren't they given months off whenever they have babies? Europeans are smart cookies.

On a related note, I wonder if I'm going to feel the same way when September comes...

Besides, I wouldn't be ready to send her to daycare because I don't have enough milk stored up. How on Earth are you supposed to store a day's worth of milk if she keeps eating all the time?? I guess I have a few months to solve that small mystery.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Smell that?

It has been rumored that when a baby smiles, they really just have gas. I'm not sure I agree with this theory. So far, Ellie has only really smiled as she's falling asleep. I've watched her many times and I know that if she goes asleep upset, she does not smile. She does her "I'm going to cry" look instead. However, if she falls asleep happy, often times with a milk mustache, she'll smile. How can that be gas? I think not.

I love to watch her smile, but much to my disappointment, she has only done so in her sleep. She has yet to smile as a response to us, though that's supposed to happen around 6 weeks (which is now, dangit!). The way I see it, if she can do it in her sleep, she ought to be able to do it when she's awake!

But even so, I love to see it. I love her smile and can't wait to see the real thing, when her eyes are open. On a related note, I also can't wait to hear her laugh and talk (both of which, on rare occasions, she has done in her sleep).

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Approaching Hairline

I know that as all parents are, we are probably biased on how cute we think our little peanut is. However, I'd like to think that I can be somewhat objective and take a step back to evaluate her cuteness factor from the eyes of someone else. In doing so, I do believe that Ellie was absolutely adorable in the first few weeks. She was so small and kept getting so many comments from strangers at stores that I'm sure she would have fallen into the "cute" category even by the strangest of strangers.

However, the other day I happened to notice that my baby is now bald. Or at least she is on top of her head. I was quite shocked because it seemed to happen without me noticing. But one day, I was taking pictures of her and was thinking that it was even more difficult to take a cute picture of a cute baby than normal (you'd be surprised at how difficult it is to get a cute picture of a little baby unless she's sleeping, no matter how adorable she is). Anyway, in going back through the pictures, indeed she once had hair on top of that head of hers.

Poor little girl. She looks like Jean Luke Picard, but I am holding out hope. I like to think that instead of it being a case of a receding hairline, it's actually an approaching one because that would mean it's growing back in instead of still falling out. Only time and more pictures will tell, though. In the meantime, I have to question my certainty on having a super-cute baby, even by baby standards. =)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I want my money back!

I think my baby car seat is broken. Apparently my baby does not pass out in it like she's supposed to. I'm thinking about filing a complaint.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Sleep is good

Today I'm paying the price for letting Ellie sleep all day yesterday. We did so just because it seemed so convenient... but she ended up staying up all night as a result. So now I'm super tired, but am determined to keep my baby awake for at least a good portion of the day so that she will sleep tonight. If she sleeps then I sleep and we all know that sleep is good. I certainly appreciate it more these days because it's quite amazing how much more overwhelming things seem when I am incredibly tired.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

You learn as you go

- You must wear a bra at all times (or at least the times in which your baby might cry) or else you will leave milk puddles in your bed. Your husband may find this to be cute, but then again, you might not be as lucky as I.

- You must put on a diaper tighter than you'd think (even if it looks uncomfortable for the baby) or else you pay the messy consequences.

- Holding your baby tightly to your body does not help in breastfeeding, but it does help in cutting off blood flow to her leg and gives it a nice dark purple color.

- Baby wakes up with the sun. Period. Stuffing her with milk until she passes out an hour before does not change this fact.

- As cute as they might be, baby clothes with collars should just be banned unless you are one of those parents who does not care about your baby's fashion habits because no matter how hard you try, that collar will always be standing up.

- As wonderfully beautiful baby's eyelashes are, they grow in just about the same time as the real heartbreaking tears appear.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Pig is the same as porker, right?

It's been said that Baby Vincent is a pig, but I'm really starting to fear that it may be true!

I think she may just be a porker! My little girl was born so small that everyone was calling her Peanut. She was adorable.

And now she's over a month old! Can you believe that??? Yesterday was her 1-month birthday. UGH! Tomorrow she'll be going to kindergarten!!!

Ok... back to the point... Point is this - She was born so small, but I fear she is no longer small at all. According to my bathroom scale, she weighs 9 pounds! Dang, girl!

To confirm things even more, there are a couple babies at the support group who were born on the same day as Ellie. One girl was born at 8 pounds and a boy was born at 7.5 pounds. Both are the same size, if not smaller than my Ellie.

Don't get me wrong, she's still adorable, and I love her poofy cheeks, but I don't want a fat baby! I've seen pictures of Michael when he was a super chubby baby, and let's just say that I prefer my baby pictures!

Having said that, she's so gosh darn cute!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Picture Show

And for a quick update... here are some pictures. So cute, so many cute pictures. It was hard to narrow it down!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day

Well... I must admit that today was a strange day for me. It was so weird having everyone call me wishing **ME** a happy Mother's Day.

And what a day it has been! We had a very eventful day today. In a nutshell:

We slept in. Then we opened presents (I got a nice necklace with a mom and child inside a heart). Then we sat out in the sky swings eating bagels and enjoying my new flowers. Then grandpa came over and Ellie met two of her aunts. Then she had an explosion diaper, all over Daddy's pants. Then she had an explosion diaper all over Mommy's pants. Then she peed on Daddy's arm. Then we took our first bath. Then she passed out from exhaustion. And now... we are going on a walk.

Strangely enough, I don't think I could have asked for a better first Mother's Day.

I love this baby thing!

P.S. I'm hoping to post updated pictures tomorrow. Prepare youself for the cuteness that will come! So cute, so very cute.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

You're not welcomed here!

This morning I found (and destroyed) my first grey (or was it white?) hair.

My friend said that she started going grey when she had her first baby as well.


Here, carry these...

Last night we attempted our third bottle feeding. The first two went relatively well, other than the fact that it seemed like we were drowning our poor little baby. The third session was the opposite. We think that she got a couple of huge air bubbles into her tummy and just couldn't get past it. The end result was that she was more upset than we have ever seen her. You know those toys that bounce, jiggle and vibrate around on the floor? Imagine a doll version of that, add a finely pitched scream, and you have Ellie.

The poor baby screamed and shook so violently that she ended up passing out due to exhaustion. She never really ate, though it did take stuffing her to my breast to get her to calm down.

This morning I woke up, and stood to use the bathroom. Damn! My breasts were heavy! I ended up carrying them to the bathroom because I was afraid they'd fall off! What a strange sensation that was!

As an update, Ellie was able to have a nice big (and calm) breakfast this morning, so my breasts are back to normal. Hopefully the next bottle will be better.

Friday, May 11, 2007

You don't say...

Ellie: Ahh (what could be considered close to her first coo-like sound)

Mommie: Oh yeah? Tell me more (expecting what could be our first serious conversation).

Ellie: (after giving me a serious look) blkdfjskfsjhit! (loud gooey sound originating from the diaper zone).

Mommie: You don't say!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Do we see a pattern?

I went to a first time mommies support group today and since it was the first meeting, we went around the circle introducing ourselves and our babies and saying a quick little summary of our experience so far.

I was towards the end of the circle (thank god because I hate being first!) and it didn't take long to since a theme in everyone's stories...

"We had a really rough first two weeks."
"Our first couple weeks were incredibly difficult."
"After an incredibly rough start with breastfeeding..."
"Breast feeding was so difficult at first."
"After two weeks, I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel."

By the time it was my turn to introduce myself, I felt like my story of scabbed nipples and a small mouthed baby girl just didn't seem worth mentioning. It certainly didn't seem like anything special.

It really makes me wonder if there is any first time mother out there who never used the words "we had a really difficult beginning" when it comes to their babies.

One thing that did surprise me, though, was the number of women who gave up. I kindof expected formula-fed babies to be the minority in the group, but it was really split down the middle. So many women said something like "it was just too much for me" or "breastfeeding just didn't work out" or "I don't think I could handle another painful breastfeeding-related issue."

So... for all you non-mothers out there... Beware of the first two weeks.

And for all you non-mothers out there... PUSH PAST IT!!! Ellie is only 3 weeks old and I can already tell that I'm going to absolutely love our time together while breastfeeding. The look in her eyes when she is feeding, and the way she just passes out afterwards with a unconcious smile and giggle... really, nothing beats it.

Breastfeeding has gotten better for us, but we still have painful moments. I'm hoping that when Ellie gets bigger, we won't have so many issues, but I am glad I didn't give up during the few times that it crossed my mind.

Even cows deserve showers!

It's quite amazing how without fail Ellie will be sleeping peacefully up until I step into the shower, or go to sit down for dinner. How does she do it? How does she know?!!!

Monday, May 07, 2007

To be stressed or not to be stressed

Being pregnant was by far one of the most enjoyable experiences I have ever had. Granted, I had a very easy pregnancy, one that was not over-run by the standard pregnancy woes like morning sickness. I know I was lucky, but I absolutely loved being pregnant!

Actually, I really miss it. I miss feeling my baby move inside me and I miss the sense of calmness that I always seemed to have even if things got stressful at work. I miss my fingernails. Yes, you heard me correct. I was actually able to grow my fingernails out during my pregnancy! Would you believe me if I told you that I even had to trim them a couple times!

All that is gone now. My fingernails are no more. They were chewed off within days of Ellie's birth.

That being said, I don't think I can really say I'm stressed right now either. No, I no longer have my picturesque nails, but I'm not as stressed or exhausted as I expected to be considering I have a newborn baby to take care of.

Michael and I have been sleeping relatively well. I'd be lying if I said we're not affected by the sudden change in schedule. We tend to have dreams about getting up to feed her, only to wake up and realize we haven't started yet. Those are exhausting because it feels like we have to go through the whole process twice, which means twice as much energy. Not to mention it always makes it seem like she's eating twice as much.

However, she tends to sleep in 3-4 hour spurts at night, which is significantly better than what we have heard.

We've gotten quite a few comments about how calm we seem to be considering our new situation... and I owe that two to major things:
1. Happiest Baby on the Block - the techniques to calm a baby is just gold.
2. Ellie is a patient baby - She really does well when it comes to me trying to get accustomed to things.

So, for those of you who want to know how things are going... that's about it. I am amazed and grateful at how easy-going Ellie is. We are tired, but not exhausted.

I guess the true test of time will be how I handle things once my mom leaves town... =)

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Life as a cow

I had many titles for this post... things like "Jaws" or "Dear God that hurts!" but in the end, I am a cow and that is what matters most.

I had read before that breastfeeding takes a while to get the hang of, but that it's well worth the pain of the first couple weeks... And for my loyal readers (those who haven't given up hope for updates), here is my breastfeeding adventure so far:

We started off on a very poor note. Apparently my nipples aren't exactly, umm... what's the right word? "Erect"? Luckily, they're not inverted, but I never thought I had nipples that would be difficult to latch on to. The things you learn. The things that never used to cross your mind. =)

Anyway, when we got to the Maternal Care Unit at the hospital (our home for a couple days after the baby was born), we asked the nurse if she could help us try to breastfeed the baby. We did not take into account the fact that it was 5:00 am and thus we were near the end of the night shift... a shift that is typically given to newer, less experienced nurses.

Well the nice nurse was more than willing to help out and since I had "short" nipples, she suggested using the breast pump first to pull them out a little. So she attached me to the pump. Sadly, she put on the wrong sized flange and then cranked the pump up really high. Within a few seconds both of my breasts were skinned all the way around the areola. Ah yes, we're off to a good start.

The next couple of days were filled with people trying to help us latch. Ellie had jaundice pretty badly, and so she was particularly sleepy. This created a problem because for the life of us, we could not keep her awake. She could be screaming her little precious head off, but as soon as she touched the skin of my breast, she'd pass out.

Ummm... how am I supposed to feed a baby like that?

So we were doing all sorts of things to try to keep her awake and over and over again, lactation consultants would come into the room, confident that they could show us the error in our ways, only to leave a half an hour later by hesitantly saying "well, you're doing all the right things... keep it up." Umm... but we still can't keep her awake?!

Then there was the lactation consultant who was successful at getting the baby to stay awake, but when I cringed at the pain of the baby's latch, she must have assumed that my pain threshold was low or something because she said "I know that it hurts, but you have to suck it up and get past it." If there is one thing that a future mother should know... it's this: If the latch causes you to do more Lamaze breathing than the labor itself, then something is wrong.

Anyway... when we were sent home, my milk had finally come in (you would have laughed at me if you had seen how happy I was the first time my breast leaked through my clothes... the first and only time I'll be glad for that).

The longer we had Ellie, the better the feeding sessions would go... but it was still painful. She is so cute, yet scary, when she decides she is hungry and is excited that she's going to get food soon. I wish I could type the sounds she makes. "Ah ah ah ah... grrrr... gulp... rarr." Cute yes. Scary, yes.

For a while we had to go to the doctor every day to get her tested for her bilirubin levels (for the jaundice) and every time we went in, we'd ask for a little bit of help with the nursing. One nurse practitioner watched our technique, then man-handled my breasts in a way that I know has never been done before, nor will ever be done again. Her conclusion? "Ah, yes, we have here what we call a 'voracious eater'. She's a good sucker."

Umm... Note to whomever: it is not wise to tell a first time mother that her baby is a "veracious eater". My nipples already wanted to shrivel away at the fear of her mouth approaching them, let alone knowing that she is "veracious!" Images of Jaws come to mind. Literally.

Things have improved, though... I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. We're now to the point where only the initial couple of seconds might hurt, but she'll stay at a breast for 15 minutes or so... which is great. And it only took her a week to get back up to her birth weight. So yay!

If only my nightmares would stop now... Moaning "God it hurts. It hurts!" in my sleep has now replaced the completely bizarre dreams from being tossed into a strange sleep schedule after she was born, but that's for another post.

Time flies when you're a cow

I used to get slightly annoyed with my friends who go off and have a baby and then disappear from the face of the Earth because they're "too busy". I used to think things like "how long does it take to post a quick update? Sheesh!"

Now I know better. It's absolutely insane how quickly the time has flown since Ellie has joined our lives!

We try to still get stuff done. In fact, every day we pick a single thing to accomplish and then hope for the best. Some days we're lucky and actually get that one thing done... like go to the gas station. Fun. Other times, it seems like it takes days to get the one thing accomplished... like it took us 3 days to hang a single picture.

Today I made it my goal to post a couple updates. Look! Woohoo! It's only 4:00 but here I am!

I won't tell you how long "Post an update" has been my single thing to accomplish for the day. =P