Irony. It happens.
This morning I started to write a post about how my baby is glued to me. She demands to be nursing or held all hours of the day, and has reached the point of sleeping with me as she wakes up and cries the second I place her in her own bed (ridiculously light sleeper or she has a sixth sense that tells her she’s in bed alone). After attempting to carefully transfer her slumbering form in a number of scenarios and failing for five hours straight I said the hell with it and put her in bed next to me. She cries if I’m not carrying her around or simply snuggling her when sitting. While feeling loved and needed is incredibly uplifting, I was becoming frustrated with my inability to accomplish any household tasks, even ones I don’t really want to do but that are sitting on my to-do list causing unnecessary anxiety.
Eric and I went to a baseball game this evening and were gone for six hours while Eric’s mom watched her. We prepared for the worst and gave her enough milk for several meals as she’s been demanding to be fed more frequently (like almost hourly) and I gave her some reflux medicine also as we were sure she was going to be a handful and Eric’s mom would need everything we had to help her get through the evening.
I of course was a sad wreck, thinking about my little bundle, hoping she was OK, missing the downy soft hair on her precious little head that I love to soothe. I managed not to lose it, but only barely. Throughout the game I reminded Eric a gazillion times that I missed my baby.
But Aria…she was just fine, sleeping the majority of the time and taking a bottle with no qualms (we’d only tried it out on her once, so I was a little concerned). And she only ate once and was able to be put into a bassinet to sleep for awhile.
I did manage to have a good time, and it was nice that we were invited (for free!) and had our first date since Aria was born. It just was hard.
But apparently only on me.
(A picture texted to me to show she was fine.. Also that she will take a pacifier from anyone but me)
I’m deeply sorry, Aria. I know someday this will be terribly embarrassing, but I think it is the greatest contributor to my falling in love with you.
When it is time to nurse, she gets so excited. She’ll roll her eyes a little, smile some, sometimes lick her lips, and open her mouth real big when she sees where she’s headed. Sometimes she looks up at me and just has this ecstatic look in her eyes, especially after trying via screams to tell me that, ‘no, I don’t want to play or be changed or to go to bed, I’m just hungry, dammit,’ that says ‘yes, thank you, finally!’
Then she watches me. She lays there and we look into each other’s eyes and it’s just so sweet. She also does her little hand dance. Where will they end up? No one knows! But why does she persist in pinching her own cheeks? It can’t feel nice.
I’m sad that it seems she’s the most adorable at dinner time and no one sees it but me. And I’m not about to post pics or videos.
And she’s always in the best mood after. I can do just about anything with her on a freshly full tummy. I love to wipe her face off and listen to her blow raspberries into the cloth.
Babies are gross. Stuff’s always leaking out of somewhere, and they have no shame in how loud their farts are. And they’re actually expected to make audible burps at the end of each meal – no wonder its hard to train etiquette later.
But they’re so forgivable…
So it’s mostly true what they say about not being grossed out by your own baby. All of a sudden poop isn’t so gross, and I suppose is instead a thing to be celebrated. Actually, Aria’s poop smells sweet.. No not like roses.. like buttermilk or something. That’s not the adoring mother claiming a perfect child speaking, it’s actually a noted attribute of breastfed babies: baby poop
Do you have any idea how many websites there are dedicated to baby poop?
So yeah, her poop doesn’t gross me out, except when I’m swapping out diapers with her feet held up and she projectile poops onto everything. That’s kinda gross.
I’ve also been peed on in a similar manner, but realize I can’t complain as it’s rare and nothing compared to boy babies.
She also likes to pull away mid-nursing and spew/fling milk slobber everywhere. It’s messy, but doesn’t gross me out.
And of course her spit-ups, which never seem to happen when I’m actually burping her and am prepared with a cloth. Rather, one time she did do it when I was prepared but she had managed to wiggle herself all the way across my chest and spat up over my arm and onto the bed sheets below. That was pleasant.
Lastly, other, less expected juices. Like from the belly button. Oh and even her boogers don’t gross me out.
Something is wrong with me.
I thought it was supposed to be impossible to spoil a newborn… Somehow I’ve managed to…
So the nightly routine that begins at 10 takes typically two hours. It begins with nursing, then she falls asleep and I carefully transfer her to the bassinet. Ten minutes later she wakes up and starts crying. I try rocking her, singing to her, cuddling her, changing her diaper.. The only thing that gets her to stop crying is to nurse again. And again I wait until she’s completely out and try transferring her again. And usually the second time is even less successful than the first because she’s distrustful so she wakes up and cries almost instantly when she hits the pad in the bassinet.
The third time she falls asleep nursing I give up and put her in bed with me. And when she wakes up she throws her arm onto me and goes right back to sleep.
I’ve created a cuddle monster who will only sleep in bed with me. This becomes rather difficult because I’m afraid of squishing her, so I don’t sleep the most comfortably or soundly. And I don’t want her to fall out so I sleep pretty much in the center of the bed and she gets my side, which Eric hasn’t yet complained about, probably because it’s better to sleep crammed together than to not sleep at all.
She’s in a much better mood when I let her sleep with me. In the middle of the night and in the morning somehow we wake up sweeter and more understanding of getting ready to nurse than when she’s in her bed, as that just becomes a sad scream-fest.
I know its not the safest, but I really don’t know what to do. She’s so happy next to me, and so miserable in the bassinet. Even swaddled, or unswaddled, with or without a pacifier… Nothing matters. She doesn’t care a lick what she has on, what position she’s in, etc if she’s in bed next to me. As long as she opens her eyes and sees she’s here she’s content.
It’s touching, really. Makes me feel special…. Which mostly counters the feelings of a mother who is a failure at getting my baby to bed.
Eric decided to try out our new baby carrier the other day, mainly to give me some time to do things I wanted to do that required two hands and attention to detail.
So we figured out how to strap her in and he went off and did his thing and I mine.
We’d heard wonderful things about these carriers, that they are supper supportive and comfortable, and best of all allow you to snuggle baby while having your hands free. I can’t wait to try it out but have to wait until my incision is fully healed as the hip strap sits right on it.
Anyway, here’s a video I took. Eric had her for awhile but for a good portion she had the hiccups. It was so cute to see her little head bob every time she hiccuped, and you can kinda hear her little noises. At this point Eric had stopped to play games on his phone, which is the other noises you hear.
My baby loves her hands. And has since day one.
Whether it’s putting them in her mouth or just plastering one or both to the side of her face, she loves to have them nearby. Probably the first words she’ll learn will be “get your fingers out of your eye” as I’m constantly removing them while nursing.
In fact, Eric was determined to swaddle her with her hands at her sides but every time she managed to have her hands free before he could finish. So we gave up.
She learned pretty quickly how to use those hands to hold a pacifier to her mouth… And also to chuck it when it wasn’t what she wanted. I think she may have figured out the pacifier is just that, and it no longer appeases. For a short while it did the trick, even if we received pouty, tear beaded eyes and pitiful, angry whimpers while she madly sucked. It was cute and heartbreaking at the same time.
Its been hard keeping her nails filed down some so she doesn’t scratch her face so much, and man are those things sharp when she decides to pet my neck.
She also likes to hold hands while nursing. They say a baby’s grasp is strong enough to hold her up if one were to try dangling her from her clenched fist. I’m not going to try it.
I must agree with her…she does have cute little hands. I may be as taken with them as she is.. Or close, anyway.
Get with it, mommy.
Clearly I have a lot to learn about babies. My mom kept saying, “get on a schedule, get on a schedule,” and I hesitated, procrastinated, even had analysis paralysis from trying to evaluate her feeding time data.
So Aria took matters into her own hands, and at least at night we have a routine. We can be happily playing but at 10:00 the waterworks start. Even if she just ate 45 min before, 10 means feed me and put me to bed!
And happily most nights she sleeps for roughly 3-4 hours between meals, wakes me up, eats and goes back to sleep. We’ve had some rough nights, but that’s usually because mommy falls asleep while nursing and throws everything out of whack… Like only nursing on one side so we get hungry again sooner, or doesn’t wake up to put Aria back to bed until its practically the next meal time.
During the day is an entirely different matter. I’m not a routine person, and in fact have thrived on change and throwing schedules to the wind. I make sure I don’t do everything in the same order in the mornings, just to keep it fresh. Maybe today I’ll go to bed now and shower in the morning! I know.. it’s dangerous living. But it’s what’s made me happy for several years, and one of the reasons I love traveling.. Just keeping things different.
And now, Aria. Who is determined to break me. So for the moment our nights have been hashed out, but during the day we eat when the baby gets hungry, which sets the time table for everything else going on. Which, I will admit, is hard. Today, for example, I fed her in preparation for going out, but afterwards we took too long to get ready, so had to wait until she was done again later before we could go.
So we may not be the most organized of parents..but Aria’s helping us through it.
I wondered what kind of mother would I be, while pregnant. I was planning and hoping I wouldn’t be super overprotective, and would allow others to hold her, watch her, and take her places without worrying incessantly. I wanted to be that mom that says, “its just a scratch, she’ll be fine,” or could still think about other stuff instead of nothing but baby and if she’s OK.
I knew I wouldn’t know what type of mom I was until I actually had her, but really wanted to be a good, but reasonable mom.
While still in the hospital, when she was about a day old, they gave her to me to spend the day, hanging out in my hospital bed, practicing nursing, and generally just bonding. The nurse came in to ask when the last time I had fed her, which had been awhile since she was still sleepy newborn and I wasn’t exactly producing food for her yet. But once the nurse left I noticed Aria was rooting some, and kind of blowing bubbles. I pulled her over to try nursing, which was still an experiment with a vast learning curve for the both of us, but as I tried to help her latch I noticed she was straining and changing colors. My baby started to turn red, then purple! I started screaming out “nurse!!” repeatedly while pushing the call button at the same time. Eric came running out of the bathroom asking what was wrong and when I told him our baby was purple he ran out into the hallway. At the same time they answered my buzz to see what I needed and I cried out again that my baby was purple.
Two nurses rushed in with Eric hot on their heels and took her and suctioned out her mouth. This whole experience happened over the course of maybe a minute or less, and I think Aria had technically started getting her color back as soon as they took her from me, but it was terrifying nonetheless. They said it was a ‘goober’ which generally only happens in the first two days of life, but they were going to take and monitor her for a bit anyway.
I also heard later that it could have just been her straining trying to get the first bowel movement out, which I heard was a lot and a big mess. Still…my baby turned purple and did not appear to be getting air.
From that point on I keep wanting to check that she’s still breathing… That my baby is alive. I just need to check that my little Aria is OK, and then I’m OK.
I do let visitors hold her and don’t correct them on anything. I’m pretty sure moms and grandmoms and friends are careful enough that they won’t let anything happen, so maybe there’s hope for me yet. As long as she keeps breathing…
Oh my goodness I’m a mommy blogger!
And the title of my blog is certainly fitting. I knew people joke about less sleep, but boy they weren’t kidding.
I think the first thing I learned from Aria is how often she needs to eat. The nurses in the hospital gave me a paper log to keep but I would forget to write it down and would lose track of when and how long we nursed for. But the real trial began when my milk came in and all of a sudden it became simply imperative that I feed her at exactly the time she becomes hungry, which is right around every two hours during the day.
I decided to let technology help me and downloaded an app that let’s you keep track of which side, for how long, and reminds you that its feeding time again after two and three hours. But I swear its defective because every time I look it it’s saying we’re only 15 min until the next feeding time.
The day slips away so quickly when portioned off in meticulously measured out little two hour increments.
I really can’t complain though because she does go longer at night. Not to mention that after the first two nights of being at home, where there was literally no sleep to be had for the indescribably weary because her days and nights were flipped, we managed to find a compromise. The deal we made was that I promised to feed her when she wanted and would get up at night to keep her sated, and in return she’d allow herself to be worn out during the day and would sleep all night long except for feedings and diaper change demand-tations.
It was a trial of wills before reaching this agreement, which I was sorely losing. Not only was I exhausted, and neither Eric nor my mom, who is staying with us for a few days to help, could help because I’ve got the
money milky bags, but also it was exceedingly painful to do the necessary sit ups to extract myself from bed to tend to her… which I did repeatedly when she refused to return to slumber-state.
The second night of this culminated in an early morning appointment with her pediatrician, and I was running on about two hours of interrupted sleep, and frustration, and c-section pain that was exacerbated by the nightly workout routine. And also hormones. While I was standing at the counter checking Aria in I had to excuse myself and turn aside so that I could weep silently to myself. My mom came to see if I was OK, and another lady behind the counter handed me a tissue.
Well the appointment went fine, she was measuring great and was checked off as a healthy baby, but she had to make sure the doctor knew how malnourished she was by sucking on the doctor’s hand as she tried to hold her up.
I think the best part, however, was when I was checking out and scheduling the next appointment, and the lady said, “and you might want to look at this” and handed me a brochure on post-partum depression. (According to that I just had baby blues. Yes, I read it. Just to be sure, you know)
So Aria and I made our pact, played throughout the day and before bedtime she got extra helpings, and, good to her word, after each nursing session she went right back to sleep.
We’re working on night four of this arrangement and so far we’re both in agreement that this is a much better way to live.
Now we just have to work on making the day longer so two hour bites don’t eat up the whole day and leave behind that empty calorie feeling.
PS thank you to my friend Dana for your helpful tips on how to keep her sleeping through the night
We were on our way to the operating room. Eric was covered in scrubs and mask, I in my glamorous hospital gown. As they wheeled us along I kept asking if he was with us, and also my loyal nurse who’d stayed with me the entire day and promised to stay to the end, despite it being well past the end of her shift.
Along the way it really sunk in what was about to happen and I started getting really scared. By the time we arrived I was shaking, and they made Eric wait outside until they’d given me the spinal.
I’m horribly inflexible and they wanted me to curl forward and tuck my chin, which I simply couldn’t do. They kept saying curl more so they could get it between my vertebrae, and I kept crying, “I don’t bend” because I don’t. My nurse asked me, “what’s your name?” and I told her, then she asked ,”and what are we doing here?” I cried, “hurting me!” Then I heard her ask, chuckling, “does that count as verbal consent?”
It was painful, like cold pressure, and I couldn’t stop crying and shaking uncontrollably. The anesthesiologist said it was OK to feel lots of pressure, but sharp shooting pain was bad.
Not a minute later it felt like lightning lancing down my left side and leg and spreading outward. I screamed out, “sharp shooting pain! Sharp shooting pain!!”
I don’t recall what happened after that but soon thereafter I was stretched out on the table with my hands strapped down, straight out to either side. They started putting up curtains and brought Eric in, who immediately grabbed my hand.
I remember lots of weird feelings as they pulled and pushed and moved things around. Thank goodness I couldn’t actually feel any slicing or organs being removed (do they really take stuff out?), and it felt like an eternity of just shaking, asking Eric and the doc by my head questions, and shaking some more. The doc said that when I felt lots of pushing, the baby would be out shortly after.
Quick side note: one of the checks during attempted labor my doctor estimated the size of the baby in trying to determine if she would fit and said she couldn’t be more than 7 lbs. I had a hard time believing that, having been convinced she’d be at least 9 lbs.
Anyway, after a million years I started feeling them pushing really hard on me, and it lasted awhile… Then all of a sudden we heard a baby cry. I looked at Eric and in a shocked, desperate way managed to voice, “that…that’s our baby…” and started tearing up…which brought tears to his eyes as well. It was the strangest sensation, knowing that somewhere, beyond the blue curtains, from my temporarily numb and paralyzed body, a baby had been brought into the world and she belonged to me.
We heard them yell out “8:34 pm” then “6 pounds 15 ounces… You can’t get any closer than that!” I managed to ask loud enough for them to hear, “is she cute?” to which someone replied, “she is! She’s pretty” then some comments around that if they didn’t think the baby was cute they came up with something like ‘they have a nice round head..’
Someone(s) took the baby to another part of the room and started doing stuff to her while the others put me back together, and again it felt like eternity. They offered for Eric to go look at the baby but I selfishly told him he had to wait for me. He stood up to take a peek and blurted out, “she has big feet!”
Then we heard them counting.. “16..17..18..19..” And it stopped. “Why did they stop at 19?? Does she not have all her toes??!” But Eric explained they were counting tools to make sure nothing was left inside me. Oh.. Well that’s better than missing a toe. Another bout of counting and something was missing…. No wait it was on the floor.
Eventually I was coerced into letting him go see her (by someones that I couldn’t see but who could see Eric peeking) and he went and got her and brought her over to my head where I looked over my shoulder at her. It was all so surreal but I think my shaking began to ease at that point. Eric looked like such a proud daddy that my heart melted.
Finally I was back together and they took the curtains down, whisked the baby away and sent Eric from the room. They dragged me onto a stretcher and wheeled me off to recovery, where I’d spend a while being monitored.
The normal maternity recovery rooms were under construction so we ended up in a very empty part of the hospital which was dark and deserted that late at night. Eric made the comment that it felt like we were in the morgue which caused the nurse and myself to remonstrate, but once all the sensors were attached and they couldn’t get a reading on me and I was told to sit very still because it was saying I wasn’t reading right Eric retaliated, “see? Its fitting we’re in the morgue” which made them laugh.
I spent the wait staring at my toe saying, “move!”
I think it was over an hour in there. I asked for my cake and was told I’d get it when we got to my room. However…I wouldn’t be able to eat it until tomorrow. Really? I gave her the baby and she was still holding out on my cake!
We finally got to go to the room and my nurse got me all situated, gave me my cake which said ‘welcome baby’, a card signed by the whole team, and some other stuff like a baby book, then said her goodnight.
Soon thereafter they brought my baby. And boy was she hungry. She was sucking madly on her sleeve, the nurse’s hand, whatever was in range of her tiny little mouth. They handed her to me and I looked at her helplessly and asked, “what do I do??”
The nurse showed me and after a few failed attempts we managed to figure it out, my baby and I. And when she was sated she smacked her lips a couple times and let out this big sigh. I wasn’t really sure what to think of her, but that was certainly adorable. I stared at her for awhile and had all sorts of mixed emotions, but Eric was enamored with her from the moment he first held her.
Someone put benadryl in my IV to counter the anesthesia which was making me try to rub my nose off, but it made me groggy. Around 2am after all sorts of checks and questions and other stuff, they whisked her away. I was beyond passing out at this point and again I think my answers to their multitude of questions amused someone.
The rest of the stay was a challenge as I healed, gradually learned how to feed, then swaddle, bathe and change the diapers of my baby, cried for no real reason, and survived the questions and pokes and prods of nurses or residents at all hours of day and night. Its true what they say about birthing taking away all your dignity as I let countless folks see my boobs to help me learn the best ways to feed her, or help me pee once the catheter was removed, or see me in little but a bra and hospital granny panties… All my modesty was out the window except for when family and friends came to visit.
That first day Eric and I agreed upon the first name Aria, but we didn’t finalize her middle name Grace until the day we checked out, which we found out later made us ‘that family that couldn’t pick a middle name’.
During those days I discovered how much I liked just having Aria lie next to me on the bed after feeding, where she would sleep peacefully with an expression of content, or let me snuggle her on my chest with her arms and legs tucked up tightly, my little froggy, with her head under my chin. She grew on me rather quickly, my little easy-going snuggle.
By the time we were to go home on Wednesday Eric and I were pulling out our phones to take pictures of every little thing she did.
It was all worth it. The Lord has blessed us with a sweet baby who is easily consoled, loves to cuddle, and has the most angelic look when I feed her, which no longer freaks me out to do.
I think I’m in love 🙂