Friday, September 05, 2008

New Parent. New Relationships. New Dynamics.

Baby Blues by Rick Kirkman and Jerry Scott

1 Month, 4 Weeks and 1 Day old

At Birth: 7 lbs 14 oz
2 Month: 11 lbs 2 oz

At Birth: 19.5 inches
2 Months: 23.5 inches

BG had her 2 month check up today. She had her first round of vaccinations and took it like the strong little girl I knew she would. I was more nervous about how I would take it and asked my husband to accompany us. I know it’s my security blanket but I truly appreciate him attending these doctor’s appointments with us. First, it makes the trip easier with an extra set of hands. Secondly, I feel like he is participating in her well being and health. Thirdly, if I have to go back to work, then he needs to start establishing the relationship with her health care providers as soon as possible.

The doctor gave her .6 mL of infant Tylenol before her shots and I had planned to put her on the breast as soon as the third vaccination was given. She was given an oral vaccination and two shots. DH rubbed her head and kept his face close to hers the entire time. As soon as it was over, he scooped her up in his arms and placed her on his shoulder. She immediately stopped crying. She was such a big girl. I thought she’d be wailing forever. He carried her on his shoulder to the car and she quietly whimpered until we got to the post office. While DH went inside, I stayed in the car and breastfed her for 15 minutes.

We also hit a milestone today, during the car ride; she didn’t just cry or suck on my finger. With the help of her toy giraffe, I was able to entertain her so that she wasn’t crying the entire way home. She seems to like it when I have conversations with her toys. So as my husband drove us home and hit traffic, I was in the backseat having a conversation with giraffe as BG watched on.

“Hello, BG’s mommy. How are you?”
“I’m doing well, Giraffe. How are you?”
“Good, thank you. I notice that BG could use some cheering up. Do you think she would like it if I did a dance for her?”
“I don’t know. BG, would you like to see Giraffe dance for you? I think BG would like to see you dance giraffe. Thank you for offering.”

Giraffe then proceeds to dance and move from side to side allowing BG to practice her tracking. We also play the ‘same/different’ game. “Giraffe, I see you have a very long neck. Does BG have a long neck?”

BG seems to enjoy mirroring. In other words, she likes it when her stuffed animals perform an action on me and on her. Giraffe kisses me on the cheek and then kisses her on the cheek. She giggles (sort of) when I do this with her stuffed animals.

I can only imagine what my husband thinks of the conversations in the backseat. After awhile, you can only do so much with an 8 week old who is facing backwards and is strapped in a car seat she dislikes.

For the rest of the day, BG didn’t seem too out of sorts. I gave her the breast the rest of the day but towards the end I felt as if my breasts were spent and running low. As usual, she had a brief nap in the late afternoon but woke up with an ‘I’m uncomfortable’ cry that was unlike her ‘I have a wet diapee’ cry. DH changed her diaper but she was still crying afterwards. We tried putting her on the boob but she just continued to wail so DH gave her .6 ml of Tylenol as per the pediatrician’s recommendation. She swallowed the medication and then I placed her on the boob.

She took to the boob but as I was adjusting the Boppy she let out a shriek again. I immediately stood up and she went back onto the breast. I figured out that the injection site on her thighs must have been the culprit for her discomfort as my elbow and arms would press against it to keep her body aligned around my body during the feeding. For the rest of the feeding, I stood up and held her from the underside to avoid pressure on the thigh area and she seemed much better.

I’m not sure if the vaccinations had anything to do with it but she didn’t go to bed at her usual 7-8pm time. She was wide awake and disliked being anywhere but our shoulders. You could tell she was sleepy because she kept rubbing her eyes but she just didn’t want to be anywhere but our shoulders. After a bottle, two diaper changes and two episodes of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, she finally fell asleep and we were able to place her in her bassinet.

DH wanted us to begin transitioning back to her crib as we have been placing her in her bassinet to sleep for the last few weeks but between the vaccinations and the unusually long time it took to help get her to sleep, we kept with the bassinet.

It’s not that she doesn’t like sleeping in her crib but more of a convenience issue for me. Since I have been trying to breastfeed more often, it’s easier to have her close to me in the bassinet rather than run back and forth to the crib. Plus to save money as air conditioning is a requirement these days, we’ve been hanging out in the same room.
Oh, yesterday my mother came over to visit. She brought some eats, as usual but this time I invited her to come along for our daily walk. I sent DH to do errands as usual to avoid the tension that ensues when you place my opinionated mom with my opinionated husband together. My husband dislikes the comments and criticisms my mother makes around our daughter. In my mother’s defense, she doesn’t know she’s doing it. In my husband’s defense, I agree with him. Sometimes my mom can be a bit biting with them and as with most parent child relationships; a parent’s words can truly affect a child.

My mom, I believe, is aware of this and has thus begun to speak entirely in Chinese to our daughter. Of course I am too chicken to say anything but after yesterday, I think I’m going to begin stepping up. My mom doesn’t mean anything malicious but when she constantly says to my daughter and the people around her that she’s hot tempered and takes after her dad that can and will affect her attitude. As my husband once said, “She’s a few weeks old! How can she be anything but in need of comfort and affection? She’s come into a big world and it is scary even for an adult! Let her develop her own personality without influence.”

Since she dislikes her stroller and car seat, I usually walk her with her in a sling or the Bjorn. However as my mother wanted desperately to ‘bond’ and take photos of her, I put her in the stroller and told her and her husband we have a limited time before she’d begin crying. Obviously this flew past them and they had to learn the hard way what I meant.

“Mom, are you ready? Do you have everything you need? As soon as I put her in her stroller we need to jet on out. She will cry and as soon as she starts, that’s it.”
“Yes, I am.”

As I began to strap her in my mother then decides she needs to go to the bathroom, find her camera, find her phone and borrow a hat. My stepfather also decides this is the time to be conservative and turn everything off in my house. Finally I said, “We need to leave now!”

Of course, by the time we got out to the street, she began crying and it continued. Normally, I jog and weave her through the block to the park to soothe her but my mom isn’t physically able to do so. To appease my mom a bit I allowed her to suggest and implement certain things but we wound up shortening our trip as my mom’s husband looked fairly uncomfortable and my mother’s ‘suggestions’ became a bit too much for me.
“Change her diaper. It’s probably wet.”
“Mom, I just changed it and we haven’t made it half a block yet.”

“She hates the sun. She should stay inside. You are going to make her dark.”
“Mom, a child should not be closed up inside and while the weather is nice, a walk in the park fully clothed is what the doctor prescribed.”
“Well, you know better than I do.”

“You spoil her. She needs to be held often.”
“Mom, she’s a baby. She needs to be comforted and be assured that her parents are there for her.”
“Well, you know better than I do.”

“She looks for you too much. She needs to learn you won’t always be there. Even when others are around, she searches for you.”
“Mom, she’s 7 weeks old. I am her mom. I am her food source. She feels comforted with me. I’m not even going to go into how you want me to teach her mother won’t be there for her.”
“Well, you know better than I do.”

“She’s genuinely crying and not faking it. You can tell by the tears now streaming instead of trickling.”

That’s when I had enough. If DH was there he would have went off. I can hear him now, “How can a 7 week old fake crying? She’s a newborn and she’s in need of something and best way she can communicate to us right now is crying.”

I alluded to the fact that when the time comes when we ask her to come over to watch our daughter for a while, my husband will be the one who will guide her with our desires for her care and she seemed to be taken aback. “Mom, there will be things and ways we’d like followed in the care of our daughter.” “I don’t know if you know this but your husband and I have some tension.” “Mom, a blind man can see that. You know my husband loves you and cares for you but you need to realize that you both are highly opinionated and both of you want to have the last word. In the case of our daughter and our marriage, yes, my husband and I have the last word.”

I’m going to have to continue to tread lightly with this tension but I also need to assert myself as this is my child. I am a parent. I will make decisions that I will probably want to change later in life but this is my life and my child and we are doing what we think is best for our child. I hope my mother realizes this.