Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Entertaining, Educating & Occupying

1 Month, 3 Weeks and 6 Days

I had my post operative check up today. The biopsy came back negative, thank you Jesus.

I also met with a neighborhood mom’s group today for the first time. I was deathly afraid BG would cry the whole time but she was great. She was quiet up until the last 10 minutes as I was walking home. Then again, I stretched out the time between feedings so I understood why she was fussy.

It was wonderful to meet with women who are in the same boat, sort of, and share anxieties, humorous anecdotes and neighborhood gossip. I know this sounds stereotypical and a little sad but once you become a mom your world and world views change. You love your friends who are single or who are without children but there are some things that only parents can understand. I now understand why there are some things moms don’t share with expecting moms. It’s partly because you don’t have the time to share everything but it’s also because prior to having a kid, you wouldn’t believe the advice or stories.

One mom in the group said she swore up and down that her apartment would not be inundated with baby gear. She quickly learned otherwise. It made me think of the silly things I thought before I became a mom. One thing that quickly snapped into my head was how I thought that I could catch up on my scrapbooking during my maternity leave. Even when friends with babies told me that they would be eating every 3 hours, I naively thought, ‘Great. I’ll feed her, change her diaper and put her to bed. That should give me plenty of time before her next feeding to work on a page. I mean what am I going to do with all that in between time. I need to occupy myself.’ I just cracked myself up typing that. Moms, feel free to laugh at my innocence.

It felt great to get together with women who understood if I had to stop after 30 minutes to feed my kid or change her diaper. There is also an understanding that time is relative to baby so there is a 20 minute courtesy. If we say we’ll meet at 9, we all wait until 9:20 because we’ve all had the poopie explosions or last minute munchies. When I schedule things with folks who don’t have newborns or who had them ages ago, they don’t understand the time it relative to baby mentality and I feel rushed or pressured. Plus there is that “she has to eat again?” issue. Yes, we may go out together but don’t be surprised if after an hour, she needs to eat again or we need to stop every 30 minutes to do a poop/pee check.

I wonder if my husband’s Dad’s group is as helpful to his psyche.

So while I was out at the doctor’s and my pilgrimage to Buy Buy Baby and Trader Joe’s, DH had some daughter daddy time. I left him with 3 full 4 ounce bottles and an emergency 3 ounce stash which I gave him as a buffer. I figured I’d be back after 3-4 hours and if she kept to her every 2 hour routine, she’d be fine with eats.

I fed her at 12 noon, pumped and kissed my two kids (ha) and went to the doctor’s. Of course, the doctor had me waiting for 45 minutes bottomless in the exam room. By the time I was finished with my appointment I had spent 3 hours at the doctor’s. I beelined to TJ’s and BBB, grabbed the essentials and drove home hoping to avoid the rush hour traffic.

When I got home, DH had nearly finished giving her the 3rd bottle. BG practically polished off 3 4-ounce bottles in 5 hours! I don’t know if that’s normal as I’ve been giving her the breast for awhile now but it made me think of my time with BG. Yes, I feed as needed. I am not scheduling her but there are times when I know she’s not hungry and she’s just needs stimulation. For example, if she ate a healthy meal 20 minutes ago and she fusses, she’s not hungry. I check her diaper and if she shows signs of sleepiness, I swaddle and soothe her. If not, I entertain her by singing with her, practicing her vocals, doing exercises with her or play with one of the many toys she has. By doing this, I can usual satisfy her and she doesn’t get shoved a boob 20 minutes after a full meal.

With DH, a bottle seems to be the resort to after a diaper check. Another mom told me her husband does the same. I suppose since I’m the ‘cow’, I try to ascertain other means of entertainment other than the nipple.

I’ll end today’s train of thought with this humorous but unanimous rant from the moms: Why is it a mom can hold a baby and go to the bathroom/brush her teeth/get a drink/eat a sandwich/get a burpcloth/{insert action} and when a dad holds a baby mom is asked by the dad to get a drink/make a sandwich/get a burpcloth/{insert action}. I swore I was the only woman that rolled her eyes whenever my husband asked me for ‘help’. The one request that really gets to me is the 3am-baby-is-crying-wake-up-mom-so-dad-can-pee request. What do you think I’m going to do after you wake me up to hold my crying child? Yes, I’m going to stick her onto my boob. She’s hungry. I’m not going to just sit there in the dark with a wailing child. Besides, babies have a homing device. It’s pitch black and yet she can find my breast without opening her eyes.