Friday, June 29, 2007

Expert Calmer

I'm not sure where I stand on the scale of "how well one can calm a baby" but I do know that I'm an expert at calming our cats down. It seems that now whenever I hold a cat, I bounce around to make sure it stays happy.

In my defense, Michael does it too.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Lost in Translation

Baby, I believe you're teaching your parents incorrect lessons. The meaning of your message must have gotten lost somewhere along the way. One night you go to bed, basically screaming yourself to sleep, refusing to eat anything and sleep for 8 full hours (that's almost 12 hours without food). Then the next night, you go to bed with a full meal and only sleep 6 hours? What message does that give your parents? Does it not encourage them to starve you in the evenings so that you get a full-night's sleep? I only tell you this because I'm afraid you are unaware of the message that your actions are portraying. Maybe it's not too late for you to verify that you have, indeed, given your parents the lesson you wanted them to learn. Think it over and sleep on it tonight.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Boobs of steel III

If they are usually rock hard at midnight, imagine the result of waking up at 4:00 after the first ever 8 hour stretch of sleep!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Sometimes I look at my baby and think, "How can we be so afraid of such a small little thing?"

However, you'd understand if you heard how ear-piercingly loud this little bundle can cry.

Michael thinks we might be able to get rich if we could figure out some way to convince the Hollywood guys to come out and record her voice. It's the perfect "oh my god, I'm going to die" baby scream. It could be used for fire scenes, or snake bite scenes, or even alien invasions. Anyone have the number for the Hollywood guys?

Monday, June 25, 2007

If you're happy and you know it...

I have recently wondered if I am suffering from postpartum depression. At first, I assumed that the fact that recently I cry so easily was due to hormones or sleep deprivation and was to be expected. It's not like I'm sad or anything. I really do feel like things are going well and that I am an incredibly lucky person to have the family that I have. My baby is the most precious thing I have ever known. So, why do I cry? I don't know. Many times, I don't even have a reason. Strange, I know.

Anyway, the other day I went to the pediatrician to see a lactation consultant regarding some minor but lingering nursing issues. As luck would have it, Ellie freaked out again. This time it wasn't the scale to blame, but rather it was the delay in getting fed (you'd think they would call you back sooner if you're in the waiting room with a crying baby!). By the time we got into the lactation room, my little girl had decided she was surely going to die of starvation. What sucks most about that is the fact that there is a certain breaking point where, once reached, there is no going back.

I hate it when I can't calm her down and this was the second time it happened at the pediatrician. The previous time, they said that they would send us to the emergency room if she didn't calm down soon. No pressure.

Anyway, being embarrassed (if that's the right word) about not being able to calm my baby down was enough to get me crying again and when the nurse came in she asked me if I was depressed because she usually sees upset mothers much earlier in the game, not after 2 months!

I have mentioned it before, how I think I'm too easily persuaded. As soon as the word "depressed" crossed her lips, I had myself convinced that maybe, I am actually depressed. After all, it's only been since the baby was born that I cry so easily, and you'd think that would have gotten better as things with the baby improve (which they certainly have).

However, this morning I woke up after a great night's sleep (Ellie slept 7 hours last night and I had to wake her up this morning), I decided that just as it is easy to convince myself I have depression, it should be just as easy to convince myself that I am not. It may be because of being well rested, but I think I am going to make it this entire week without crying and then re-evaluate whether or not I should do something about it if I'm not successful.

Wish me luck.

Friday, June 22, 2007

A cup of milk, please

Sometimes I'm jealous of the mothers who bottle-feed their babies. They know exactly how much milk their babies are getting. There is no real measurement of assurance from breast-feeding.

Bottle Mom: "My baby will eat 3-6 oz in a feeding"
Breast Mom: "My baby will eat half a cup in a feeding"

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Girl Power

We had our two month check up on Monday, as I mentioned a couple posts ago. Based on her intense breakdown from just putting her on the scale, we were not looking forward to how upset she would be once she actually got the four shots. However, much to our surprise, the shots went quite well. She freaked out, but calmed down within 30 seconds or so. Amazing.

I think this is a sign of her being a true girl. Pain? We aren't afraid of pain. Bring it on! Just don't you dare try to remind us how much we weigh!

Not so fast, little girl!

I'm about to cry. Ellie sat on my lap completely awake for that entire post. No fussing. She's growing up so quickly!

I can do it myself, mom!

I almost wrote a post yesterday about my frustrations on breastfeeding. As it turns out, I think Ellie and I should be further along than we are. In a nutshell, the majority of our nursing sessions are ok. They're not pain-free, but they're tolerable. There are a few times when I can barely feel her and a few times when it hurts like hell. Overall, decent. But not great.

In the end, I decided not to write it because I felt like I was only complaining about the baby, instead of expressing how wonderful it really is to be a mother.

Anyway, I have good news! Or sad news. Ellie is becoming so independent already! As it turns out, I think that the problems we've been having might be from me trying to help her too much. Let me explain.

I noticed that my night time sessions went significantly better than most of my day time ones so I made it a point to try to determine what I'm doing differently at night. The only thing I could come up with is that I do not try to make sure she has her mouth as wide as possible. I basically just present my breast to her and let her do her thing. I'm too tired to put any more effort into it.

During the day, I'm so concerned about good latches that I make it a point to try to hold her mouth open as I shove my breast into her mouth. There is no "here, do your thing". It's all "open wide so I can do it for you".

My little peanut is growing up so quick. I think it might be about time for me to accept the fact that she can nurse without my help. It's just too bad that it took her mom so long to realize it. Can't I keep her small and brand new forever???

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

That's great, Honey, but...

In an attempt to determine the secret to getting the little peanut to eat more, Daddy experimented with different bottle-feeding positions.

Daddy - "Look! I got her to eat more by putting her in her crib to watch the mobile" (could also be replaced by "held her up in the air so that he limbs don't touch anything" or "wedging her head between the sheep and the crib", etc...)

Mommy - "That's great, Honey, but my breasts don't reach that far."

Monday, June 18, 2007

Two Month Check-Up

Today we had our two month check-up (the one where she gets 4 shots:) and it was horrible! They put her on the scale to weigh her, and that started the horrible scream that just echoes like nothing else in those cold, small rooms.

And scream she did. It continued that way through the entire visit. In the end, I had to calm her down by feeding her again. She did a number to my right breast, as I don't think I've ever been this lopsided.

So the visit was hard on me. It is strange how my body reacts to such a screaming baby. My breasts were screaming themselves, saying "let me at her! I can help!"

After the visit, and after the 20-minute-single-breast-feeding, she passed out and was as cute as a button.

And after all that, we return Wednesday evening for the actual shots. =)

Saturday, June 16, 2007


Now that I have a baby to take care of, I suppose it's time for me to accept the fact that there will be decisions I've made in the past that I just can not take back. There are bound to be regrets from one's life, right? Let's put chopping my hair off onto that list. The haircut may have been what I asked for, but it certainly isn't what I had in mind.

So beautiful

Are these not the most beautiful eyelashes you've ever seen?

Friday, June 15, 2007

Yawn Monster

Tell me the truth... have you ever been attacked by the yawn monster? I bet you have. My little peanut hates the yawn monster. Every time she yawns, a scream of terror follows. "It got me! It was horrible! I couldn't stop inhaling and it was painful!" Think about it... then yawn... (as I know everyone must do if they even think about yawning) I bet you can now see why it would be such an unpleasant experience for someone who is new to the whole process.

I love discovering little tid-bits of "the world as seen by a baby". It's fascinating.

On a related, I was originally going to just post Today's random deep thought:

At what age does a person lose their immunity to yawning?

It's quite apparent that my yawns have no effect on my baby. We can be finishing a feeding in the middle of the night, and though Ellie should be passed out, she is wide awake. It does not matter how many times her mommy yawns... She is oblivious to the fact that it's time to sleep.

And as a cruel twist to the topic... her yawns are most definitely contagious.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Today's Lesson: Coughing

It's been interesting to watch Ellie learn about simple things in life that I take for granted. Example: Breathing and eating at the same time.

Step 1: Denial
At first, the result was quite cute*. Cough. Cough. Choke. Choke. Sputter. Sputter. Gag. Gag. Sigh (enter cute fish-face as though she was saying "woah, what was that?").

Step 2: Anger
Then the result was not fun. Ellie soon learned that she really doesn't like choking and it might actually be the worst experience in her life. Cough Cough. Choke. Choke. Sputter. Sputter. Gag. Gag. Scream (enter not-so cute mad face as though she's saying "oh my god, I'm going to die").

Step 3: Acceptance
And finally, she has learned that coughing, too, shall pass. Cough Cough. Choke. Choke. Sputter. Sputter. (skip the gag) Breathe. Breathe (enter a look on her face that says "I'll get you back for this one, world!"). Continue.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Breast-feeding Tid Bit

For all you breast-feeder-wanna-bes out there:

You do not need to hold your breast the entire time your baby nurses. Believe it or not, the world will not come to an end if you let go. Additionally, you will learn that holding your breast, even if it's in attempt to help the baby's latch, can lead to bruises in the shape and placement of fingers on the breast.

I learned this a few weeks ago, but it is nice to be reminded every now and then.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Little Squirt, Big Spray

Though I may complain about the amount of milk my body seems to waste by leaking, I must admit that I know I am blessed. I have a few friends from my support group who are sprayers. Apparently whenever their baby unlatches, they end up getting sprayed in the face. That's crazy! I even have one friend who says she has to undress in the shower because she leaks so much. Thank goodness I only have to be constrained to wearing a bra to prevent major leaks.

We'll add that to the list of "things you never expected to be grateful for" (are you beginning to wonder just how many lists I really have?)

Monday, June 11, 2007

Can you stomach this?

The other day I got motivated to try to get my tummy back into shape. And by "back into shape" I mean "back to the flat yet still flabby stomach I once had." To do so, I decided I would start doing sit-ups and so I got down onto the floor and prepared myself for my first postpartum sit-up.

And what happened? Nothing. Nothing at all. I could barely even do a crunch. It was absolutely shocking how much I lacked any stomach muscles. I just would not move! I've never been great at sit-ups, but I could always do at least 20 or so (please, no applause, just throw money).

So I guess I have my work cut out for me. Hopefully soon I'll be able to get up from a lying position without being dependent on rolling over. =)

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Our evening routine

What are you doing tonight?

Our plans (more specifically, the baby's plans):
1. Scream
2. Scream
3. Scream
4. Burp
5. Fart
6. Burp
7. Fart
8. Unload
9. Eat
10. Pass out

Friday, June 08, 2007

Size Matters

If you're like me, I'm sure you naively believe that having a small baby is the way to go. It must be a common mistake to think that just because the thought of pushing out a small baby vs. pushing out a large baby, the first is the lesser of two evils.

But you'd be wrong. Don't be too hard on yourself. I, too, once was misled to believe such a thing. It happens to the best of us.

Anyway, think about it... the smaller the baby is, the smaller the mouth. Trust me on this one. When breastfeeding, you want the largest mouth possible.

So, now you know. Pass on the word. It would be a shame to let the world continue to have such misconceptions.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Back by popular demand

A picture update.

I cry over spilt milk

10 ounces of milk down the drain. Well, technically, it went down the side of the stove. Don't ask me why that bothers me so much. There is some sense of pride when it comes to the amount of milk I'm able to pump... and to waste some of it is just a shame.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Let me help you

Add to the list of things I didn't know about having a baby:

Given there is a crying baby in the near vicinity, it is impossible for those around to not help in the act of "bouncing to calm the baby". Not only does the person holding the baby bounce around, but everyone else bounces their legs as an act of moral support.

I think the more bouncing there is in the room, the more it must help the baby calm down. Maybe there is a bouncing field that the baby can sense.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Great Lakes

No one likes to wear bras. If you do, you're either a freak or lying. I have always hated them myself, to the point where I snap them off as soon as I get home. The unsnapping of the bra is always joined by a nice "Aaaahhhh" sound. It might be one of the best times of the day.

As I'm sure you know, or at least could assume, my boobs got really big during my pregnancy. They increased almost a cup and a half in size. I thought that was pretty crazy. However, much to my surprise (though I was warned about it), they've gotten even larger since the baby was born.

I found a couple nursing bras that I absolutely love. They are by far the most comfortable bras I have ever owned (I may just wear them forever, even if they're not very sexy). However, as comfortable as they may be, even they need to come off once in a while.

The frustrating thing about not wearing a bra, though, is that I leak more easily. When feeding Ellie, I leak out of the unused side, more so than if I were wearing a bra. But that's not all. I leak when she starts to fuss too. Quite annoying.

The worst part of it, though, is that I think I must dream about feeding her or something, because it's often that I wake up to find myself surrounded by what can only be described as puddles of milk.

This morning, I woke up to the Great Lakes.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Happy Birthday, Mommy

Ellie's present to me:
Two (count that - two) honest, huge smiles. With the exception of a couple questionable smiles from yesterday, these are the first ones she's had. And this time, there was no doubt that they were indeed smiles, and they were smiles for me.

This might very well be the best birthday EVER!

Can we just work this out?

It's obvious that my baby misses me. If she's upset, all I need to do to calm her down is to remind her of what it was like inside me. Wrapping her up tightly and putting on a DVD with loud womb sounds is the ultimate relaxation trick*. Being in her "fourth trimester", I'm sure she wishes she was back inside.

Anyway, the point is this... I know she misses me. And I know I miss her. Can't we just work this out and find a solution so that we can both be happy? Maybe some kind of hidden trap door to my uterus?

* Not sure if I've mentioned it before, but the relaxation tricks come from "Happiest Baby on the Block". I highly recommend it. No, wait, I take that back... let me know if you're expecting, and I'll buy you a copy. No recommendations here. That would imply you have a choice in the matter.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Boobs of Steel II

Why midnight? Why? Doesn't noon sound so much more convenient for us all??