Archive for the ‘health’ Category

7 months (catch up)

Monday, June 16th, 2008

so…it’s been a bit since i’ve updated. it turns out that chasing after a crawling baby is kind of time-consuming. the turn in the weather has allowed us the freedom to take more walks and such, so we’re spending a bit more time outside of the house. we also had a wedding to plan, assist, and attend, etc etc.

but anyway, i’m back now, and as long as she stays on the blue mat for the next few minutes, i should have enough time to bang out an update.

we had to cancel her 6 month checkup, so we don’t have 6 month stats for you. we did end up heading to the doctor three times in the past month however (faux ear infection, real stomach bug, delayed 6 month checkup) so we’ve learned that she’s gaining about a half-pound a week. at 7 months she was 16lbs 6oz and 26 inches long. that keeps her steadily in the 37th percentile for height and weight. her head circumference is 42cm, which is a bit above average but doesn’t make her look head-heavy …at least to me ;)

part of that steady weight gain is due to a full-on conversion to formula, rice, and veggies and fruits. she takes about 8 oz at a formula feeding, and more than a quarter cup of rice at those. we’re making our own baby food, which means pureeing and storing in icecubes for use later. she takes 2 “cubes” at a feeding, and often wants more. when that happens, we give her rice because i’m overly-cautious about allergic reactions to too much fruit/veggies too soon. i had them as a kid, and her reaction to tomatoes via breast milk was pretty intense when she was 5 weeks old.

her physical prowess continues to eclipse every other development path. she started pulling and creeping around 6 months and got serious about it a few weeks ago. last week, she decided that getting up on her knees instead of dragging her legs behind her was the way to go. she struggled with getting up there and staying up there, and usually collapsed back down when it was time to move. last night, she had the whole thing figured out. she rose up on her her knees and wobbled to get and test her balance. she gets a few steps now before gets impatient and drops back down to her belly. she hasn’t gone from laying to sitting up with purpose, but she has gotten very close to “accidentally” sitting up when she’s up on all fours and decides to turn. i can’t wait for the look on her face when she finds herself sitting.

her speech development is a bit behind the curve, but i keep reminding myself that’s because she’s so focused on the physical. she can laugh, but does so rarely (although more every day), and while she babbles, it’s most often a string of “ah-bah-bah-bah-bah” than “sets” of mis-matched vowels and consonants. she loves to squeal, and thinks clapping is a riot when you help her do it. if you sing (with the radio, with rockband, or just off the cuff), she’ll smile and laugh and squeal-sing along with you.

naps and food are pretty regular, too. she usually gets about 10-14 hours at night. that 14-hour stretch includes an early morning (6-7amish) snack and then a couple more hours at the end of it. daytime naps depend on when she wakes up, but she’s still picking up about 4-6 hours during the day. up for 3ish hours, down for 2. repeat until bedtime. usually it’s 2 decent sized naps, but if we get an early start, there’s a 3rd nap around 5 pm. naps are generally book-marked with food. on average she’s getting fed every 3-4 hours for 5 meals a day. some days we only manage 4 (because she’s slept through feedings), but they’re usually followed by 6 meal days (with an *early* morning one).

obligatory milestones checklist (courtesy of “what to expect”):
(per usual, only the ones not mentioned as attained in previous months are addressed here)

6 months:

  • (probably) sit without support: at 6 she was a bit shaky, but a few days with the boppy behind her and she’s sitting like a champ. i can even walk away while she’s “up” without worrying she’s going to fall back and hit her head.
  • (probably) razz: can do. all the time. it’s her favorite.
  • (possibly) stand holding on to someone or something: she’s good with holding onto people, but holding onto things is still a bit in the future. she’ll do it for about 10-20 seconds and then collapse downwards or fall to the side.
  • (possibly) object if you take a toy away: not so much with toys, but definitely with the bottle.
  • (possibly) pass a cube from one hand to the other: about 3 weeks ago (6.5 months), she started doing this with purpose
  • (possibly)look for a dropped object: sometimes. she’s not big on the object permanence stuff yet, which comes in handy when we need to hide the empty bottle she’s objecting to.
  • (possibly) rake tiny objects with fingers: we’ve been giving her some little “puffs” to practice eating/grabbing with. she’s pretty solid at picking them up (not so much with putting in the mouth)
  • (possibly) feed self cracker or other finger food: she’s still toothless, so we haven’t done much in the way of solid-er foods like that. she doesn’t really get the puffs yet. that or she doesn’t like them.
  • (may even) creep or crawl: by 6 months she was starting to creep. now (7.25) she’s pretty much crawling and creeping whenever/where ever she feels like going.
  • (may even) pull up to standing: not yet, but she’s started to pull on furniture and things. her arms aren’t quite strong enough. she’ll go from sitting to standing if you’ve got ahold of her arms, though. it’s more of a “push up and don’t fall over” than a “pull” skill.
  • (may even) get into a sitting position: no, but ask me again in 48 hours ;)
  • (may even) pick up tiny object with thumb and fingers: she likes to pluck at buttons and those little puff things. this started about 3 days ago.
  • (may even) say “mama” or “dada” indiscriminately: we’re still working on saying “ma-ma” instead of “a-ma-ma-ma-ma…”.

7 months (most of the possiblies became probablies, but most of the may-evens stayed put)

  • (probably) play peekaboo: not really. again, that object permanence lesson is a bit behind.
  • (may even) play patty-cake or wave bye-bye: she’s started “twitching” her hand when someone is waving bye-bye at her in a very active “do what i do” fashion, so this probably isn’t too much further.
  • (may even) cruise: no. (thank goodness)

(fun fact to know and tell: this single post was written around an impromptu baby bath, second breakfast (apples, rice, formula), nap time, my own shower (because it was nap time), a bit of warcraft, first lunch (6oz of formula), post-nap play time, and nap #2 and took appx 6 hours to complete)

5 months: rice cereal and new clothes

Saturday, April 12th, 2008

no checkup this month, but that doesn’t mean things aren’t happening. after staring at our food while we ate for the last couple of weeks, we finally started her on solids. so far it’s going pretty rocky. she gets about 3 mouthfuls in before she gets bored/angry/etc. by the third feeding, however, she grasped the concept of “open mouth, insert spoon.” what she does with the spoon varies, however. sometimes she swallows. sometimes she gums and grimaces, and sometimes she clamps down and everything goes out the front door.

it’s a learning process this month, though, so i’m not too disheartened. it’s a bit frustrating though. she’s a quick eater, whether she’s at the breast or the bottle, so this solid-food stuff is extra tedious in comparison. we’re also about to start weaning off the breast. i was considering weaning straight from breast to solids, but i think that’s going to take quite a while. for now we’re averaging one “solid” meal and one bottle a day, and i’m not pumping out the excess. we’re not really counting the solid meal as a meal, though. i think in the next couple of weeks, that’ll move to two times a day (consciously, not “averaging”), one in the morning and one in the evening so that i don’t get overly full in the gaps.

sorry, i’m mostly thinking out loud. you didn’t come here for that, you came here for milestones, didn’t you? well, if not, too bad that’s what you’re getting now :)

  • (should be) laugh out loud: this is left over from 4 months. she laughs for certain, but still very rarely. i guess we’re not funny enough?
  • (should be) on stomach, raise chest, supported by arms: rolling onto her stomach in the crib brought this skill up to par within days.
  • (should be) the raisin thing: still haven’t tested this. we don’t really have raisin-sized things around.
  • (probably) roll over (one way): what does one way mean? she can go from back to front and front to back just fine, but is better at one direction than the other
  • (probably) say “ah-goo”: has this one down, but is much, *much* more entertained by squealing and gurgling in the back of her throat.
  • (may possibly) sit without support: not yet, at least not easily, but we’re focusing on that during play time.
  • (may even) pull to standing: no (thank goodness)
  • (may even) stand holding onto someone/thing: she likes to stand on your lap, bounce up and down, or swing her hips like she’s impersonating elvis.
  • (may even) object if you try to take a toy away: i watched her do this at a shower last week. it was highly entertaining
  • (may even) work to get a toy out of reach: that’s how we’re encouraging her to crawl
  • (may even) pass an object from one hand to the other: she’s doing this, but not with purpose yet. usually because she brings both hands plus the object to her mouth, but i’m not sure that’s relevant.
  • (may even) look for a dropped object: not quite up on object permanence yet. she *does* like to take things and drop them out of her crib/car seat/jumper/changing table, etc. it’s a fun game.
  • (may even) rake tiny object with fingers: again, no tiny things, but she will pick up links that are near by
  • (may even) babble: not yet. verbal skills are still far behind the gross/fine motor ones

and a new feature: Kelly’s irrational, unfounded fears for Charlotte this month:

  • autism: it runs in the family and has replaced peanut allergy as the “it” topic for the media. no other reason.
  • crosseyed: also silly, but occasionally when she looks at me, they look a little “off.” i had this problem as a babe, but it was eventually determined that one side of my nose was a bit thicker than the other side, and that created an illusion.

before the next monthly update we’ll have upgraded to size 3 diapers, 6-9 months clothes, and had a baptism. if i get a chance, i’ll tell you about her very first professional portrait sitting. in the mean time, check flickr for some less-professional work.

4 month checkup: the hip

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

before i start, let me say that she’s perfectly healthy and nothing’s wrong. i know that sort of spoils the ending of the story, but i’ve found that starting the story with “they thought/think something might be wrong with charlotte’s hip” means the audience is going to stop listening until you reach the punchline anyway.

so…on with the story!

at her 4 month checkup, the pediatrician noticed that one of her hips seemed “soft.” i’m not sure exactly how/what she was detecting, but a soft hip could imply that there was something wrong with her hip’s development. it didn’t seem likely that anything was wrong, given how well she could stand, kick, etc, and how non-uncomfortable she was. nonetheless, it was decided that she should get an ultrasound to check out the bone structure. at 4 months, ultrasound was still possible. if we’d waited until 6 months, she would have needed an xray to check it out, which is more invasive/risky, etc.

we spent the weekend sort of ignoring what might happen next, and worrying that everything we’d done had caused it. did we put her in the jumper too soon? am i somehow too rough with her when i change her? was all that kicking because she was uncomfortable, and not because she was super-strong? on the way to the appointment, the “what next” thoughts started creeping in. will she need a brace? a cast? surgery? will she be stick with a bum hip her entire life?

while we were getting the ultrasound, she was a perfect angel, and we started into the “she wasn’t always like this, you know” stories. when i got to the part about needing to swaddle her tightly for so long, my voice caught in my throat. was that it? i mean, there was no way we could have avoided the swaddling. we’d tried everything, struggled to get her to sleep for more than a minute at a time, except for when her legs were tightly swaddled. without, she kicked herself awake immediately.

we worried and worried until the technician said everything looked fine. we worried some more until the doctor’s office called the next day and said that everything was normal and they’d see us at 6 months.

and so charlotte had her first visit to children’s hospital and her first ultrasound and we all emerged perfectly unscathed.

breastfeeding: 3 months in

Monday, February 4th, 2008

i think the question of which is easier, breastfeeding or formula is pretty much a wash. i’m sure if you handed a breast to someone who’d been formula feeding they’d marvel at how there’s no cans to buy and no bottles to wash and it’s always right there when you want it. by the same token, all you have to do with formula is mix it up and go, plus you always know how much she’s eating and anyone can do it anywhere you go. plus, while breastfeeding seems normal, feeding her from a bottle seems all special.

i’m struggling with staying motivated to breastfeed. every time someone is surprised or unexpectedly impressed with the fact that i’m still doing it, what i hear is “nobody expects you to still be doing it.” even my aunt, who breastfed for over a year with her children, had assumed i had stopped by now.

i broke a few “rules” of breastfeeding. we use a pacifier to …well, pacify her. we probably wouldn’t have ever started, but thanks to colic, it was pretty much a necessity to keep us sane and her free from unnecessary distress. we use it less often now, but still a few times a day. charlotte also gets fed from a bottle on average once a day or more. usually this comes in 2-3 bottles/day shifts while i’m at work, so she has days where almost half of her meals come from a bottle. add that to the pacifier usage, and even though she’s well past the age where nipple confusion is a risk, she’s getting a bit lazy when faced with the challenge of a breast instead of a bottle. it’s something we can work around/through, but it means breastfeeding is becoming more work instead of less.

and then there’s the cardinal rule of breastfeeding survival that we broke: we’re supplementing with formula. i cannot tell you how many times i’ve read/heard the warnings against the evil powder and how i should put any formula samples under lock and key so that i’m not tempted during a weak moment.

basically, i was faced with a choice. either i’m attached to a breastpump or a baby for a very large portion of some of my days, or we trade out a meal or two a day with formula. even if she was only drinking breastmilk, pumping messes with supply. it’s manageable, but it’s rough. if it was just an inconvenience for me, it would be one thing, but with all the drama about her size, the stress of making sure i was producing enough would be my undoing.

well, thanks to enfamil dropping a few sample cans of formula on our doorstep, the choice became even easier to make. by my calculations, we’ll run out of formula sometime in april…when she’s almost 6 months old and likely ready to start transitioning to solids anyway. to get her acclimated, we’ve started giving her about 2 meals a week (4oz each) with formula, and i’ve encouraged her babysitters to give her a formula “snack” if she eats through the breastmilk before we get home and she’s very hungry. it’s all been in prep for my full days at work, which start this week.

i still want to breastfeed as much as possible until she’s 6 months at least, but i know that the more we supplement, the more difficult it will be to keep supply going long term, and “going back to work” is another key period where it gets extra challenging. i’m also self-aware enough that i’m probably doing a bit of pre-sabotage to try and control when i stop breastfeeding instead of having it fade on me when i’m not prepared.

i suppose i just need to keep focused on why this was the best choice for our family, and remember that buying formula, bottle maintenance, and most importantly, losing that bond are things i don’t really want to do yet.

baby week 10.5: good nap

Monday, January 21st, 2008

they say that babies grow and “learn” while they sleep. well, if not learning while they sleep, internalizing and hard-wiring the things they learned throughout the day. charlotte must have had some good naps this weekend, because she’s a different baby today.

for starters, i noticed that the 0-3 month sleepers were getting a bit short. when i examined the 3-6 month ones, they looked a little long. better a little long than too short, so i washed them up and put them in the dresser. thanks to this week’s poop-quake, we’ve already gone through two of them today, and i must say, they fit much better. she also *looks* like she grew another inch or so overnight, but i’m sure that’s a trick of the eye. she’s a skinny little mini, so they’re a bit wide on her. we’re still keeping the smaller onezies, tops, and foot-less pants out, since they’re not as affected by the length issue.

we also bumped the straps in the car carrier up a notch. she’s much more comfortable now, sitting more upright and much less hunched. i feel kind of bad that we hadn’t done it sooner.

one of charlotte’s favorite toys is a leapfrog seat with a bar across it. the bar has 3 shapes that dangle from it and when you hit them, music plays for about 5 minutes or so. when it stops, you need to hit one of the shapes again to make it go. after a weekend of daddy showing her how it works, today she started triggering it on her own. i don’t think she’s quite figured out that it’s the hand and the shape making the music, but she knows if she bounces around and flails her arms in their general direction, more often than not, she’ll get what she wants.

after the poop-quake rendered the seat inoperable until it gets laundered, i dropped her in her swing to finish cleaning up. normally she looks up at the mobile and track the animals. today, she greeted the with a spontaneous smile and some cooing, as if the were old friends. she has done that before, with the mobile in her crib, but never the swing. she was much more engaged than she’s ever been, and for much longer.

all this added mobility and sight means she’s better entertained by the world around her. this makes her a much happier baby than she was a month ago, and has made it much easier to care for her while doing other things like laundry and blog writing :)

baby checkup: 2 months

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008

okay, so she’s not 2 months until tuesday, but she had her two-month checkup today, so it still counts.

charlotte continues to be healthy. we chatted about various things like developmental milestones, cradle cap, dry skin, and the fact that she kicks like a fiend. the doctor assured us that she was perfectly normal. she also doesn’t have pink eye. which makes one of us ;)

she’s of average length (22.25 inches), but a bit small (9lbs 12 oz). we’re hitting all the numbers (feedings, dirty/wet diapers), but since she hasn’t gained weight as rapidly since the last appointment as she had for the two before this one, there’s some slight concern. it’s likely that the last week’s bought of sickness on my part has caused some of this. turns out dehydrated mommies don’t make all that much milk. we’ll be going back in a couple of weeks to make sure that she’s still growing at a decent clip.

in the mean time, we’re going to make some slight adjustments to her feedings. she’s been averaging about 6 – 8 feedings a day, but when she gets fussy between feedings, we distract her with other things instead of giving her a boob (which *always* works, at least while she’s attached). we’re going to stop doing that from now on, at least when i’m around. i’m also going to always offer both boobs at each feeding, no matter how sated she looks after draining the first one. i stopped writing down all the ins and outs early last month, but i’m going to start it up again, just to prove to me that we’re still on track.

then it came time for the vaccines. one by mouth (with a bit of tylenol to start us off), went very smoothly. i wasn’t too surprised. she’s easily distractible by new/different sensations, especially in her mouth (vitamins, gas drops, etc). then there were shots. two in each thigh in very rapid succession. while it was happening, charlotte and i had a good talk about how they hurt, but it was okay, and they were good for her, so it needed to be done. i’m not sure how much she understood, but it certainly made me feel better. she let out a few cries after the shock of all 4 shots was over that hit completely new pitches and volume levels, but that was about it. she fell asleep before we had made it back to the waiting room to schedule her new appointments. perhaps the colic has taught us how to soothe her quickly, and taught her that pain is temporary and she’ll be fine soon. she slept until we got home and cried a bit more when she woke up. once she had food, however, she stopped caring again.

she’s not any more fussy than she normally is as far as duration or tone, but the intensity of the wails is a bit sharper this evening. it’s like she’s maximizing the capacity of her newfound range. her legs seem a wee bit swollen, but i think that’s largely my imagination.

it’s odd, really, and a bit anticlimactic after all the “just you wait” warnings we’ve received from all of our baby-having friends. i expected all of us to be much more upset over the whole thing.

maybe at her 4-month set?

baby week 7: you mean they’re not all like this?

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008

charlotte and i are almost through our first bout of mommy-sickness. unfortunately, i got a head cold and a flu/bug thing overlapping. also complicating the mix was some daddy-sickness with the same bug. two weak, vomitting people does not a parent make. my mom came over for quite a while on saturday so that ryan and i could rest and charlotte could get the attention neither of us were capable of giving. now all that’s left is the residual cold-related coughing and cranky throat/lungs. i’m hoping this doesn’t turn into a lung infection like so many colds of mine do. we ran into some dehydration-related supply issues with breastfeeding, but i think we’ll be back on track by tomorrow.

the forced down time allowed me to catch up in my what to expect: the first year book, and reading between the lines has taught me a few things. specifically, that we have a “challenging” baby. it’s not just the colic (which, don’t get me wrong, is quite challenging), but apparently she’s extra-active. i hadn’t really thought about it. when we get together with other babies near-enough her age it’s either at over-stimulated holiday events or outings where all babies stay tightly bundled away in their carriers. so i haven’t had much to compare with, and know better than to take such a small amount of anecdotal evidence as any indication.

i’m not really complaining, mind you. for us it’s normal babyness. i know that extra-active has some “perks”, that she’s not alone, or too far from a “norm”, and that some of the active/colic-related habits we’ve gotten into are partially due to choices towards the path of least resistance we’ve made over the few short weeks we’ve been parents. some of that’s going to have to change in the next few weeks as she approaches 3 months and needs some better habits, especially around “nap-time”.

it’s just sort of weird to realize that not all babies kick and squirm and wiggle around as much as charlotte does. that people can put them down for naps without being swaddled, with possibly being slightly awake and the baby doesn’t scream her head off.

if anything, this realization has stopped the almost constant “and some people have two?” monologue that’s been going on in my head. :)

baby week 5: healthy lungs

Monday, December 17th, 2007

so, she cries a lot. i worry that there’s something wrong, since she doesn’t exactly fit the perfect pattern of colic, but i think it’s still colic. she cries about an hour to 90 minutes after probably 2/3 of her feedings. there isn’t any discernible pattern based on what i’ve eaten, although i’ve taken tomatoes out of my diet after learning that both my cousin and i had problems with them, as did our grandmother. most of the time she can sleep through the bad phase, but not always. most of the time a walk around our apartment to look at the lights will distract her into quietness, but not always. i think that’s the “symptom” that has me most convinced it’s either colic or some other “not a big deal” thing (which is really what colic is — a catch all for unexplainable crying that generally goes away after a while). i remind myself when i can’t stand to hear her scream that if it was a terrible thing, pretty lights wouldn’t distract her, nor would rhythmic thumping on her back.

sometimes the crying lasts until we feed her again (and often through the feeding), sometimes she’ll cry herself to sleep, and sometimes a pacifier works. the joke in the house the past few days is that the 17th thing you try is the one that’s going to work. sadly, the pattern seems to be holding. 

swaddling used to be a great solution to the fussy/crying, but she’s learned how to avoid swaddling. the girl has some seriously strong legs. some days she’s so anti-swaddling that any time you set her on her back (to change, to swing, or to cradle in your arms), she starts howling. this may also be belly related. i know when i’ve got bad acid issues, the last place i want to be is on my back. the best way we’ve found to trick her into swaddling is to feed her into a food-coma, burp her quickly and then wrap her up before the fog lifts. of course, dumping a breast’s worth of food in her belly pretty much guarantees that within a couple of hours, we’re going to have to de-swaddle.

they say that colic “peaks” around 6 weeks old, and we’ve definitely seen an up-kick in intensity and duration the past few days. here’s hoping the peak happens soon. 

other approaching milestones are on the horizon as well. she’s learning how to twist her body, which makes changing more difficult, but means that intentional turning over is going to happen soon. at least, once she figures out that twisting is good for more than just demonstrating displeasure when she’s being lifted by her ankles. when she’s not screaming and not sucking on a pacifier, she’s definitely cooing. she can make a few different sounds now, and we’re both consciously repeating them back to her, and also engaging her in a “conversation” when she does it. i haven’t noticed her recognizing me or ryan yet, but it seems that when she’s fussing in her crib and i call out to her to let her know i’m on my way, she calms a bit. she may just be taking a breath. she can see much farther than before as well, which means no more looming over the crib to see if she’s asleep. our presence on the edges seems to disturb her awake. it means she’s much more interested in her toys and swings and such, which has been very useful for entertaining her in this brief moments when she’s awake and not angry at the world ;)

and then there’s the smiling thing. while some people have insisted that she’s been smiling for weeks, i’ve yet to see anything that i’m 100% confident is a true smile. she’s getting quite close though. today while we were on the changing table (her favorite place to hang out and coo) she seemed to be enjoying herself while i cooed and tickled and smiled at her. i certainly had her attention some of the time and her face (lips included) was twitching as if she was trying to do something intentional, but without really knowing what or how to accomplish it.

breastfeeding is still going well. i’m struggling to find opportunities to pump. on some mornings when i’m feeling particularly “full” and she’s complying by sleeping in, i’ll pump a decent amount. the trouble is that for the rest of the day, i feel a bit empty and i worry that she’s not getting enough. logic (and dirty diapers) tells me that she is, but it still worries me.

she’s had a bottle a few times this past week, and gets some quality time with the pacifier almost every day, but i’m quite pleased to report that the breast is still her favorite. every so often it takes her a few sucks longer to get going, but the reinforcement of the let-down seems to be combatting the bottle and the paci just fine.

she’s had quite a few outings thanks to the colic. since the carseat and a drive are often the easiest solutions to her attitude, hopping in the car to head to drive through dinner, the mall, or some other shopping destination has been a sanity-saving solution. i’ve become quite a pro at breast-feeding in the back of the car while ryan watches over us in parking lots. i just wish it weren’t so cold/nasty outside so that we could take some afternoon walks.

and then there’s me, i suppose. i’m learning and trying my best to remember that i’m not just at home and have to tend to a baby, but that the baby is my job right now. it makes me more focused on actively interacting with her and making sure i’m doing things to encourage her development. i struggle on occasion with feeling normal. even though we go “out” most nights, i go from loft to garage to building and back again. i’m never really outside, and never far enough “away” from charlotte to feel like i’ve gotten a break. sadly, even when ryan is “in charge” of her, i can’t shake it. it’s not until i do something that is a physical separation that i even realize i was missing it. then again, when i go more than a couple of hours without holding her (either because we’re running errands or because we’re visiting with folks who won’t put her down) i miss having her in my arms. i think there really is something to that whole bonding/hormone thing ;)

speaking of, i’m going to start back at work after the new year. there’s still some kinks/details that need to be worked out, like how much i’ll be working and exactly what i’ll be doing, but it’s pretty much a done deal. i’m looking forward to the opportunities for “normal”, even if it is work stress, but i’m also a bit worried about being away from her on a regular basis, especially when i start working 8 hour days. fortunately, my commute is about 15 minutes on foot, so i won’t be gone for more than 9ish hours at a stretch. i could easily even see her on my lunch breaks if i need a fix.

this is a really rambling, disorganized post with no real “end.” i blame the mush of watching too much television and the new-mother fatigue that makes me not care enough to muster the energy to fix it :)

post birth: 2ish weeks later

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

this is a hard post to write. i compose it over and over in my head while the days go by, but when i find a moment to actually type it up, i’m usually so drained or beat down, or just…not in the mood that it won’t come out right. we are all very healthy. i think charlotte might have a wee bit of a cold, which isn’t too surprising, given all the touching she’s been exposed to in the last week. she doesn’t seem too bothered by it, other than the random fussing and sneezing. it certainly hasn’t affected her appetite at all. she was 8lbs 6oz at our most recent checkup/weight check, which puts her at over an ounce a day.breastfeeding is also going very well. as i said, she’s gaining plenty of weight. i’m also *mostly* past the painful part of the process. although we’ve mastered the basics, i’m still at a complete loss for how people manage to feed in public. any time i try to cover up as “practice” it doesn’t go well. how can you see anything?! i’m also struggling a bit with the pump. it works great and all, but finding time/opportunity to pump while also having enough milk for her when she’s hungry is a real trick. the whole thing still strikes me as a bit absurd when i think to hard about the fact that there’s a human feeding from a part of my body.and then there’s me.physically i’m doing…absurdly well. as predicted, i lost most/all of the weight i’d gained during pregnancy by the time we got home. granted, it was *only* 15 lbs, so it’s not all that impressive. as the water-weight drained away over the next week, i lost another 15 pounds. thanks to the breastfeeding, i’m still loosing weight. i weigh less now than i have since the first year we were married. before you go hating me too much, please bear in mind that i was very over-weight when i got pregnant, and still need to lose another 30 or so pounds before i reach a healthy weight. i’ve made some drastic changes to my diet since becoming pregnant, and so far, most of them are sticking.mentally, well…being a new mom is rough. i have days full of confidence where i think i can totally pull this off, but they’re interrupted by moments of intense self-doubt, which leave me pretty paralyzed and really distraught. i don’t think it’s much more than the standard “baby blues,” so far. it helps to have a very supportive and loving husband/father around to pick me up when i crumble *and* take the lion’s share of the baby care while i get over myself.the last few days have been especially trying. i think that we might have a colicy baby on our hands. if she’s not sleeping or eating, she’s been screaming her head off. there’s nothing wrong, i’m not eating anything funny to make her upset. yesterday she wailed for the bulk of the day (from about 11:30 to 3:30 when she finally went to sleep), and well into the evening/night (6pm – 2amish with very few breaks). today was a bit better, partially because she’d worn herself out so much, and partially because we knew what to expect. i ended up singing “amazing grace” for almost an hour straight today to try and stave off the fussies. tomorrow i think i’m going to try christmas carols. maybe a little silent night or away in a manger.she’s asleep now, so we’re going to head to bed. when i get a chance, my next goal is to upload a bunch of pictures from the past couple of weeks onto the flicker account, so stay tuned!

week 40: the stupidest day yet

Sunday, November 4th, 2007

so…what’d you do today?

know what i did? i sat on the couch, almost entirely engrossed in a video game next to my husband who was doing the exact same thing. occasionally we’d get up to eat or do laundry or something. sounds like an idyllic sunday, right? (okay, maybe video games aren’t your thing, but you’ve got a thing you’d love doing all day on a sunday instead of being productive)

it was not.

through out the day, every 30 minutes or so, but with a few hour long breaks, i’d have a contraction. sometimes they were weak, sometimes they were not-so-weak. sometimes they’d be 20 minutes apart for a while, sometimes almost 40. they were never bad enough that i had to stop talking or anything. none that were as bad as one i had a few days ago, but for the last … 2 hours or so they’ve been consistently … not-so-weak.

we even had a two hour period where nothing was happening, and then we realized that nothing was happening. not even a peep from charlotte herself. after calming down and waiting patiently/rationally for some sign, she eventually woke up (i’m sure she was tired, too), and moved around enough to calm me down. i’m still not sure ryan’s calm about it.

waiting like this it is the dumbest thing. we’ve had days where there’s been 2-3 hours or so of this. we’ve had nights where we’ve given up and gone to bed in hopes that i wake up screaming in pain or with a ruined set of sheets (don’t worry, the mattress is protected). we’ve not had an entire day where we’ve been teased this mercilessly.

today is the official “due date” and it’s 10:30pm. there had better not be a baby born today, but i sure would like to be going to the hospital before the day’s officially over. neither one of us is interested in going to bed until this either dies down for a few hours, or it’s obvious we’re going to go someplace. i can’t imagine waking up tomorrow and sending ryan to work, if tomorrow’s going to be anything like today was, and i suspect it will.