Saturday, October 29, 2011

Foot rubs

Today we have confirmation of a fever.  We also had our first simultaneous wake up. Both DD and DS woke up crying.  It was a thrilling wake up for both DH and myself.
The hardest part for me is I know that breastmilk will ease my daughter's discomfort but because this virus is contagious, I need to stay away from her.  I'm contemplating pumping and giving some to her to not only soothe her throat but to also give her added immunities.  We'll see how long this virus sticks around.  Something tells me that it shouldn't last too long.
I've been giving her soothing baths and back rubs with aromatherapy. She seems calmer and more at ease after the massages. I'm a big fan of massages especially during illness. It reminds me of my maternal grandmother. She was this 84 lbs woman who could give a mean massage when I was ill.
At night, she's been asking DH to rub her feet.  Apparently this is now becoming more and more routine.  I find it kind of humorous especially since DH isn't a foot fan.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Day 10: Juggling Parenting

DS and I have been doing a nurse-in in bed.  Trying to ramp up his growth and solidify latching.  It also is great for bonding, of course.
I forgot about the nurse-ins.  I recall how common it was during newbornhood and how they picked up during growth spurts.
We started another organic pattern.  Every morning, during my am nurse-in, DD comes in and lays next to us and chills until she says, "My tummy hurts.  Can I have some French toast?"  We are starting to learn and differentiate between a tummy hurts because I'm hungry, tummy hurts because of poops or tummy hurts because I don't feel well.
Oh and I'm coming to the realization that I'm going to have to let go of potty wiping soon.  I'm going to have to suck it up and trust her to do a good job on wiping. For the most part she is really good with it but I'm just not there yet with not doing the 'let's make sure' wipe.
I know this is all me not her. She's ready. I'm not. I don't think DH is ready either but at some point in order to allow her to grow and to build her self esteem, I have to move on. Plus, she's been consistently going to the potty without telling us these days.
Oh, we figured out that she's not regressing; she's sick.  Her first real illness came 10 days physically appeared 10 days after her brother's birth.  She has the coxsackievirus.  Joy of joy.  Thankfully it's only manifested itself so far with a fever and a rash on her foot, butt, hand and face.  No sores within her mouth so far thankfully.
Aside from being grumpy, she's been a trooper.
DH and I have had to enact quarantines and explain how she has germs that we need to keep away from her baby brother as he is still building his immunities. She's been understanding and aside from the occasional, I want Mommy, she's been good.
So DH has been hanging out with DD while I nurse-in with DS.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pile on that Mommy guilt

9 days old
I'm not sure if this is the regression you read about amongst siblings or what.  DD is all kinds of funky and is in a major mood.
DH and I decided a few nights ago in a completely organic fashion that splitting nighttime parenting would be the best means of survival.  So for the past three nights DH has been focusing on the bedtime routine with DD while I tackle nighttime parenting for DS.
I'll admit, I miss doing the bedtime routine with DD but I know this is temporary.
I've had to let go of our routine and DD has had to adjust to a new routine with DH.
Maybe that's what it is and it's not regression.  I honestly don't think my DD is the type.  I know to expect some minor adjustment but I believe I know my daughter enough to say with certainty that she's been awesome and extremely excited and mature with siblinghood.
I wonder about regression because she's been waking up 3-4 times a night with DH and screaming for nursing.
It's probably more of a new routine and missing me more than anything else.  It's not like she can nurse with DH.
Of course this doesn't make me feel any better.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I can grow people.

4 oz gain in 2 days equals breastfeeding empowerment
Holy Moly, there is nothing like seeing your baby grown with the help of your breastmilk to make you feel like you can do anything.
Walking down Central Park West with my newborn in my hands, I had a Cheshire Cat grin knowing I'm helping my baby grow with all natural breast milk.
Today was his first sponge bath home.  I know it took us awhile.  In all honesty, the strength and energy to bath two kids was at a low and we figured the child that runs around and rolls around in dirt and whatnot took priority when it came to deciding who gets a bath.
Oh and I lost my phone somewhere in my child's room.  Any parent will tell you this is a daunting thing.  There are a million cubbies in my child's room and she has a tendency to 'put things away' in boxes and bags and what not.  She's like me in that respect.  Problem 1 was I lost it in her room somewhere.  Problem 2 was I turned off the ringer and vibrate as I lost it during bedtime. Problem 3 was it only had 43% battery life left. Problem 4 I was extremely sleep deprived when I lost it and cannot trace my steps back (I'm crazy weird and can retrace my steps with high accuracy when I'm at my peak form.) I was juggling bedtime for DD and nursing DS at the same time and Problem 5 My daughter likes to put things away in bags and boxes. Problem 6 She's been out of it and can't recall if she took it. 
Still I"m taking it in stride and haven't panicked…….yet.

On the same day DS received his first sponge bath at home, he also received his first shower.  Is it just me or are baby boys more apt to pee and poop themselves than baby girls?  Since he's been born, I've had to change his clothes at least twice because he peed on himself or poop went up his back. I've used more wipes and wet gauze to wipe him down than I recall with my daughter.  I'm also hand washing and pre-treating stains on a nightly basis.

His first shower consisted of DH holding him up while I gently rinsed his bottom with the spray nozzle in the kitchen sink.

Oh and my son is a pooping machine.  I can't explain how many times this kid poops.  His first poop on day zero of life was a three popper.  Every time I wiped his bottom, more came out.  It was like a soft serve machine.

Oh we've also hit the umbilical cord smell phase. It's an awful smell.  DH couldn't take it anymore and as soon as it was just hanging by a thread, he took it off.

DD is taking to being a sister and her new role in our family.
She tells me when DS is crying or pooping. She tucks in DS and gingerly puts his blanket over him in his swing. She read Sammy the Seal to DS. She also asks to help with baths and diaper changes.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Protecting my son from gender stereotypes already

7 Days Old and already attending his first concert.
Today I'm not as engorged, thank goodness.
We've also seen an uptick in peeing and pooping always a positive sign when developing your breastfeeding relationship with your offspring.  (By the way each child is different so give yourself at least 2 good weeks to work on your breastfeeding relationship before you completely panic or go off the deep end.)
This go around, my confidence and knowledge (read and experienced) seems to be paying off.  Yes, breastfeeding is hard work but I know it's worth it and it's helping me bond even more with DS.

On the relativity front, I love my MIL but she's bothering my family for pictures after we told her that we are still trying to acclimate and bond and will be cocooning ourselves to give us the leisure to do so with our new son.
What drives me nuts is not only that she calls my family not to gab and rejoice but also because I know what she wants.  She doesn't want photos to know the usual stats (weight, length, etc).  She wants to know what color hair and eyes our son has even though we've told her time and time again this changes during infancy and sometimes beyond.  She's so transparent sometimes it really ticks me off.  I know she means no harm by it but she really is obsessive about certain things.  I try to be nice but sometimes you can only keep quiet for so long.
The other thing that drives me nuts is that she has received the first photos already and the response was "The photos are small." or "I can't make out details." (Details is hair color and eye color.)  I also know she asked several folks who have seen our son for photos and information about hair and eye color.  One person gave her the usual stats and her response was, "I don't care about that.  What color is his hair and eyes?"  

Maybe I wouldn't be so ticked if she was interested in the photos to gawk and fawn rather than to confirm the child is what she deems "golden".
I know she doesn't mean it that way but in a way she does but not in a malicious way.  It's just the way she is.  I'm trying to be understanding about this but at the same time, just as I have had to put my foot down on some of the old school gender stereotypes she's try to press on our daughter, I know this is only the beginning of a long line of gender stereotypes I'm going to have to protect my son against in the future.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Who's more anxious about me pumping, DH or MIL?

6 Days Old

DH is obsessed with pumping.
He keeps asking me when I'll start pumping.
He asked me that when DS was 1 day old.
Now I know with DD I was obsessed with pumping. I pumped like a pumping fiend. I pumped longer than anyone I know.
It doesn't mean I liked it. I did it because I needed to do it. I wanted to be sure my child had enough milk and I was constantly afraid I wouldn't have enough.  (I wound up with freezers full of milk.)
Honestly, I'd like to nurse for awhile before I have to begin my relationship with the pump again. It's not a thrilling feeling to be hooked up like a cow to a mechanical contraption and watch it suckle at your teets.  Plus, I know trying to find the time to do so while juggling a toddler and a newborn is going to be big fun.
For now, I continue my small goals like I did with DD.  This week's small goal, get DS back to birth weight and work on latch and compressions.  So Hans and Franz will have to wait awhile longer.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Day Four: The Leaky Boob

Today is the second full day home together.  We're still trying to become accustomed to each other and meshing our routines.
Today is also the day my milk starting coming in.  Big fun.  So now I'm not only swollen down below, I'm engorged up above.  Sexy.
Today is the day we start venturing out.  We had a day to try to settle in a little and now we're adding the lovely bonus of going outdoors.  I personally think this is a good idea not only for the parents mental health but also for the newborn who needs natural sunlight.  It also helps to avoid claustrophobia.
Today was the first time I packed a diaper bag for a toddler and a newborn.  I forgot what it was like to pack the bag.  Unlike the past where I planned everything, I winged it again.  I forgot the toddler snacks but that's ok.  DH forgot the portable potty.  More on that later.
The one thing I've been telling myself for this pregnancy was to let go.  So I'm trying.
We had a pediatrician appointment at 3pm so I decided 2pm would be a good time to start getting the family dressed.  Well, I thought it was a bit late but to be honest a wave of postpartum sleepiness hit me like a tidal wave.  So from 1:30-2:15p, TG, BB and I snuggled in bed and had a nurse-in.  TG was loving it.  She cuddled next to me and pulled her blanket up and gently hugged her brother.
I finally found the energy to get up and I began with the letting BB know that TG and I would get dressed first and then come back to help him get dressed.
I think it's important to show TG that BB isn't the priority all the time so when possible I try to put her first in our to do lists.
We got TG dressed and then I took the opportunity to get dressed as well.  Now, that didn't mean I got to change my clothes.  No, getting dressed these days means I slapped on some deodorant and put some nursing pads on.  Still this was a big accomplishment.  I'm usually the last on my list and today I put myself in the middle.
I shoved a bunch of clothes and diapers in the diaper bag and by that time, DH made it home.
He packed the kids in the stroller, bundled BB figuring that he really doesn't need to get dressed as he's swaddled most of the time and we were running 20 minutes behind schedule.  He put our dog in her home and we beelined to the doctors.
The rush of cold, crisp autumn air felt great but the my soreness was still something to contend with.  I used the stroller as walker.
Juggling the baby, toddler and grown up paperwork at the pediatrician's was a sight to behold.  At one point the front desk clerk asked me my first name and I couldn't remember it.  I joked that you can tell that I gave birth this week and she smiled and giggled.
Thankfully God was looking out and DH found a parking spot right in front of the doctor's office.
The check ups went great and TG was phenomenal with her flu shot.  I was so proud of her.
She expressed that it was scary but that she knew it was to help her build her immunities.  Every day she amazes me with her growing maturity and knowledge.
DH had a great idea of having TG and I spend some time at her favorite museum, AMNH, while he beelined home to pick up the portable potty.
He dropped us off and we walked around and explored the museum.
I was glad to spend some mother-daughter bonding time especially since her last week was rocked but I will admit walking around for an hour and chasing after a toddler was hard physically.  Not only were my breasts filling up, my crotch was on fire.
I powered through though knowing it could be worse and we visited the jellyfish, bison, mountain goats and pronghorns.  We even double backed and said goodbye to all the animals we saw before exploring Teddy Roosevelt Park.  TG heard the sound of an instrument and we went exploring to find where it came from (south) and what type of instrument it was (brass-saxophone).
DH met us on Columbus and we did a quick potty break for TG and then beelined to meet Uncle D & Aunt J for dinner.
It was going to cut into bedtime but I felt we needed a break.  We met at a family favorite and in a strange but soothing moment, I spent the evening under a painting of a nursing Peruvian mother, nursing my own child.  BB didn't stir a bit.  He slept or nursed for most of the meal and only stirred when it was time for us to head home.  The conversation was great and the food was delicious.  
We left a little over the meltdown period of TG but it was ok.
We made it home and in some SuperMom move, I was able to bath TG, nurse BB and get the bedtime routine going for TG before DH came home.  Oh and I was able to sneak in a teeth brushing and face wash for myself!  Go me!
It was nice to be able to be a part of her bedtime routine again and to bring a little more 1 on 1 time with TG back into play.
I came outside and although the place was still disheveled, it was a manageable disorganization.  DH looked pooped.  We sat semi-cuddled on the couch for 20 minutes before he went to bed and BB woke up.
Now I'm spending the night focusing on latching techniques and sleep.  I'm squeezing in a nap or two in between for me too.  Dishes and laundry can wait tonight.  

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Day Three: First Full Day Home

Today is my first full day home with the family.  It's the day we try to learn and build a routine together.
It's the day I like to call the family bonding day.
We made this a no visitor day so that we could leisurely and openly learn and bond.
It started out with TG coming in to greet BB and I.  We were in bed nursing-in and enjoying the sun rising.
The day was not a day without stress.  Like with anything new, there were bumps but we made it through together.  The added bump was the fact our home is still extremely topsy turvy.
I'm hoping that most of the disorganization (at least the outer disorganization) will be cleared today.
It's the kind of disorganization in which you just have to buckle down, concentrate on one thing at a time and just go for it.  When you can accomplish one task, it gives you the fuel to continue to the next.  
It was hard work, especially as I'm still very sore but I refrained from over exerting myself and congratulated myself for small accomplishments to fuel the mini-tasks I set out for myself.
We ended the day with a nice meal and some cuddling.  In the middle of the night, TG asked to sleep with us and so we had a family bed in.  DH, TG, BB and I and even Tasha the dog were together.  DH placed a small rug next to the bed to allow Tasha to sleep nearby.  This was a real treat for her and I think she knew it.  She didn't leave the rug and didn't dare make a sound except for the sound of a snoring coming from a restful night's sleep.
I think everyone enjoyed the sleep however little or more we each received as we all woke up smiling and greeting each other in a very pleasant way.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Day Two: Discharge Day

It's sad when you don't look forward to discharge day.  Ok, I look forward to it but I also know that it's the end of just taking care of myself and my newborn son.
For this mom, a hospital stay post partum has become a mamacation.  At least at the hospital, I didn't have to worry about anyone but myself and BB.  I could focus my attention on learning about BB.
I personally like Day Two to be a quiet day with low visitors.  I don't mind 1 or 2 but I feel at at hospital when you have more than 4 people in your room, it's way too much when you are running on very little sleep.  I have been trying to be more open though as I know that the next few weeks will be crazy and folks may not understand the need and desire to have some privacy.
Still, Day two is also a very hard day for mom and baby.  Why?  Because day two is usually the day that your newborn child realizes that he/she is no longer in the comforts of your uterus.  They have been calling that home for 10 months now and they are someplace foreign.  This is the first day of many where your newborn will especially need birth bonding and will stick to you like glue. 
Personally I think it's one of the most important days of the first week.  Along with immediate skin to skin and nursing post delivery, day two helps forge that bond and trust even more so between mother and child.
Naturally all this skin to skin and cuddling means the loss of sleep for mom.  This is the night that your child will stick to you and prefer to sleep in your arms.  And so after kindly kicking folks out of my room, I hunkered down for a long night of holding my newborn, nursing and channel surfing.
At the home front, DH said it was a similar situation where TG woke up several times.  This was the second night her nighttime routine was rocked and naturally I'm guessing she was wondering when it would return back to normal.  I hope to be able to share her nighttime routine by the end of the week.  We'll see.
It was a rainy windy day for discharge but that's ok.  The rain and crisp air felt nice.
We weren't able to take any photos like we did with TG.  Partly because we didn't want to get our camera wet and partly because we were juggling a newborn and toddler and various bags and strollers and a new infant car seat which by the way has levels.  How awesome is that!
DH did take a photo of the gas prices like we did when TG came home.
We came home and I tried to settle as best I could amidst the chaos of a topsy turvy home.  I think I did as best as I could under the circumstances.
Now I must rest. TG has been great but I also have a toddler who has been slowly testing her limits again as her routine has been rocked for a third day.  I also have the newborn who has a new environment to acclimate to.
Note: Newborn isn't keen on dog licking.  Heck, I don't blame him.  I'm not keen on it myself.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Thoughts on delivery day

Anyone reading what I was going through the last few days knew it was going to happen soon.

It began at 4:48am.  The back contractions hit and I spent the next 2 hours in a warm bath.
When I felt that lovely poop pressure I knew it was time to go.
We made it to the hospital at 7:35am.
I was already 8cm dilated station 2.
I started pushing at 10:15am.  v3.0 was born at 10:51am.
The ring of fire was fierce.
Felt more now than before.
Was extremely empowering.
Felt like I was in control once I let go of the everyday craziness.
As soon as I realized I had to let it go everything fell into place.

It was just like the reading.  Have no anxieties at all but in prayer and petition make your requests to God and the peace and serenity will surround you.

I used an sketch on the wall of a nursing mother to focus.
Baby boy latched fairly well and rooted well.
We nursed immediately and then again at 2, 4 & 6.
He seems to sleep well and enjoys sounds.  He seems to be in tune with me.  If I'm relaxed he is relaxed.

DD was darling and so mature. She held my hand during the contractions.  She held her brother immediately.
She asked great questions and is just an awesome daughter and sister.
She told DH to drive safe and for me to sit and buckle my seat belt.  She told me that I should breathe and it will be alright.
At the hospital she was smart, inquisitive and compassionate.
She napped well after everything. She was calm when we woke her up.
My brother came to watch DD and keep her company while I pushed.
She loved her present from her brother (a Corolle doll) and was excited to give her brother his present (a baby giraffe).
DH was exhausted but he seemed to be more in tune with me as soon as we were in the hospital.  He was always there and his eyes gave me such support especially when I was scared or mid push.  He'd hold me and encourage me lovingly.
It as weird texting and tweeting during labor but  it kept me calm and allowed me to let my body relax and open my station quickly.
It was as if I had a network of folks cheering me on electronically.
I visualized opening and relaxing and knew that every contraction ended after a Hail Mary and an Our Father.
The sound of DS' heartbeat also relaxed me tremendously.
The most empowering moment for me was when I made the decision to press forward contraction or no.  I made the decision. I knew my body was ready and I was strong enough to do it.
I was also grateful to see the doctor who delivered DD was on call and would be delivering DS.

Afterwards I was so jazzed and empowered I walked around the maternity ward and allowed my uterus to contract more.
I can feel the contractions as I type these thoughts.  They are like cramps now. It's more annoying than painful.

The nurse met me as I rounded the bend and she said she was looking for me.
DS is sleeping well and doesn't mind noises either.  He seems to be inquisitive and wants to know what sounds are when he is awake.
He had a serious poop (3 big quantities in one diaper change).
No pee change for me yet but I'm sure it will be soon.
On the subject of too much information, speaking of pee, I have pee anxiety.  I know I have a full bladder but it's just not coming.  Well finally tonight after everyone left I was able to get a good pee going.
My night nurse told me to relax and I visualized my uterus contracting.  This helped get me ready to go.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Birds of a feather is what I need now

Fed up and done.
House is a total wreck.
DH moved bed next to windows leaving them wide open without screens. 3yo threw stuff out window. We have no clue what. I'm not comfortable with the bed so close to the windows.
I can't work because Internet down.
I can't surf because internet down.
Can't watch on demand because it's down.
Can't clean up because DH wants tot to sleep in her wreck of a room now.
Have no idea where anything and I mean anything is.
And I still don't have any of my post partum stuff to pack in hospital bag because it's the last thing aside from install infant car seat on my husband's to do list.
He feels tired and in a time crunch. He hasn't slept and he wants a haircut.
I sympathize just a little but know he put this on himself. I have bigger fish to fry.
I have a sick toddler who's world was just rocked and will be rocked once again once the newborn comes that only I seem to realize.
I have DH trying to impose timeouts because he is tired and frustrated. He's not considering that timeouts don't work and they especially are not warranted when you keep the child up past her bedtime and change her room and her routine at 10pm.
I have no maternity pants left to wear and I'm wearing out maxipads like you wouldn't believe. (I'll spare you the gruesome details and will only mention bloody show and mucous plug.)
I'm being told to hold in the baby as if this is my decision.
I have no comfort in sleeping now.
I'm made to feel as if wanting to spend these last few days relaxed and stress free as unrealistic.
I'm even made to feel bad that I want to take my daughter out to a performance.
I just want to live in the bathtub now.
My toddler has had a less than ideal three or four days now and I feel awful about it.
I want to go and hide somewhere.
Sad part is tomorrow I will suck it up and continue to do what little I can do to try to make my home a little more comfortable for me.
I know my husband is trying. It is his way of trying. He means well and I appreciate it.
I just need organization right now. I need calm and peace and my husband does not live in calm and peace through organization.
This is the time when we are two very different people and it's not in that balance each other out way.

Soon to be Dads take note:

Tip for husbands, SOs, soon to be dads:
If you make it to week 39, do not make it a project weekend.  Make it a take your mommy to be to a movie, a show, or something fun and leisurely weekend.
It doesn't have to cost much and doesn't require too much planning.
Make it a stress-free weekend for her and a weekend where she can just smile and have fun.
She's going to need it and appreciate it.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

I need a wife.

I'm alone again. It's the loneliness a woman gets to just before delivery. It's the place where it's best when she can be given as much opportunity as possible to get mentally and physically prepared. It's the time when stress points should be reduced. Everything should be stable in her world so she can create her safety bubble.
Unfortunately I am not there. I don't have a safety bubble. I'm still being thrashed about in the chaos. I'm trying desperately. Right now my only solution is to focus on everyone else still and forget about me.
This is where I feel like I'm giving #2 the short end of the stick. Essentially I need to prepare for the job ahead for her/his benefit and I can't.
House is a mess.
Husband feeling a mess.
I'm trying to keep some sort of semblance for daughter.
Daughter now has cold I have to care for her and worry about.
Again where is there possible time to think about and attend to me and in effect this baby that's growing inside of me.
I feel like no one understands how big this is and how much I need the support more than ever.
All I'm given is "give me more time."
I have no control over this or my home. I'm being bounced around in a pinball machine.
I'm human.
I'm a woman and I am strong but if ever a woman needs a wife it is now.

Friday, October 14, 2011


Place looks like a sty.  I can't find crap.
Bag isn't packed.
Husband keeps mentioning how he'll never get anything done.
I'm so done.
So done.
Between 38 weeks to 42 weeks, a man should not start a new goddamn project.
This is his second go around and he's still doing this.
In fact, I feel more alone this time around than #1 and I'm freaking surrounded by a grown adult male, a toddler girl and a toddler dog.
The place a is freaking mess.  I tripped twice and almost slipped once.  My daughter slipped and fell twice.
Does he see anything wrong? No, just that he can't get anything done in the time frame he wants. 
To make matters worse, I've been having to go to the doctors by myself with my daughter and today the stress of it all got to me and my BP was elevated and I had to hear potential bad news by myself.  (Thankfully it turned out good.) Still I'm pregnant and emotional and I'm feeling so terribly alone.
4cm dilated
90% effacement
AFI 14

The sweet sleep spot

It pisses me off to no end how people don't respect my child's sleep routine.
It's a natural routine that her body created.
If she doesn't have a nap, she needs to be in bed by 7pm or she misses her sweet sleep spot.
The sweet spot is the time period before a kid is overtired and thus becomes wired.
Once you have a kid who is overtired you get a child that's too tired to sleep. He/she starts playing and using her/his smarts to avoid sleep.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

What not to do when your wife is about to squeeze out your offspring

Here are some things a man should avoid especially when their wife is in the third trimester of pregnancy and if you need to be told this, your wife probably is praying the blockhead gene (it's called compassion, get some) isn't passed on to her offspring.
1. Don't start some ridiculous project like changing a sink, retiling the bathroom or spend an entire day at Ikea when she is 39 weeks pregnant.
2. Don't tell her you can't get anything dome because you are either busy with your other children or getting her another glass of water.
3. Don't buy a boatload of crap without getting rid of crap and finalizing getting a boatload of crap for the new baby.
4. Don't treat your wife like she can still run a marathon when she can't even get up the stairs during a commercial break.
5. Don't ask her what is wrong when she takes 15 minutes to make it to the car.
6. Realize she is sacrificing her body and mental health to incubate your offspring.
7. Don't tell her she wanted this.
8. Don't decide to fulfill or try to fulfill some man-boy dream during the third and fourth trimesters.
9. Don't make her feel like she's a burden.
10. Make her feel like she is as precious as she is.
11. Don't leave her alone for an entire day with a toddler and a house turned upside down because of some project you are compelled to do.
12. Realize that a baby needs to be close to his/her mother and probably will room for her/his newbornhood.
13. Realize this will cause some strife with the other children.
14. Don't make her feel as if you are neglected. You will be neglected for some time. Deal with it especially if you have not spent any time at all during the pregnancy thanking her or treating her like she should be treated.
15. Run a warm bath for her just because.
16. Don't be an ass and forget to thank her or hug her or kiss her belly or talk to your child in utero.
17. Make fun of how big she is but no when to stop.
18. Be considerate and offer to fill out the grownup paperwork or read the grownup paperwork. Betcha didn't know there was a stack of papers for pre-registration at the hospital and the pediatrician.
19. If she gives you a book to read, read it and don't make a snide comment.
20. Offer her a massage or even just to hold her hands or the small of her back when she's waddling.
21. Bring home ice cream, grapes or whatever it is she's craving just because and without asking.
22. When she asks you to bring something home, don't forget.
23. If you forget, don't forget the next day.
24. Or the next day.
25. Or make her go out and get it herself because she's tired of asking.
26. Don't make her feel like she is supposed to 'man up.'
27. Don't make her feel like she's alone even when you are sitting next to her.
28. Don't make her feel like she would be better off staying in her room by herself.
29. Don't make her wish to stay an extra night at the hospital so she can feel taken care of.
30. Don't make her feel like she has to do more than she's already doing.
A co-worker said to me,"She is my delicate egg. She is carrying my daughter and they are both so fragile." I smiled and internally chuckled at the innocence of 1st time parents but inside I was little jealous.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The pressure cooker needs her space.

I have a confession to make.  I cannot stand how my husband sleeps with the television on.  It pisses me off to no end.  I hate how he leaves the lights on full blaze.  I hate how he has the volume on the television at 11.
If I had my way, he'd have his own room to sleep in just so I wouldn't have to deal with this.
I get that he misses me.  I get that he wants his wife back but I'm 10 months pregnant.
You're not getting your wife back any time soon buddy.
Rooming with the baby is the recommendation at the hospital and sleep sharing is preferred for breastfeeding mothers.  You're going to have to deal.
And I'm sorry that it takes you 200+ days to figure this out.
I'm sorry that it takes your wife being unable to physically do things like walk long distances, pick up your toddler and even sleep for your bulb to go off that your second child is coming soon.
During the time your wife needs the most support and the most calm, you feel it necessary to upheave her and require her to deal with your chaos.  This isn't the first freaking time.
DH: I don't want to be dealing with this when you are all post partum.
Honey, I didn't want to deal with your realization at 38+ weeks.  That's why I kept asking you to do what needs to get done in August and September.
The first time was so traumatic it has left her second pregnancy floating on a cloud of 'now what is my husband going to do?'
Fine, I'll deal.  Things will work out but for a man who is so worried about stressing out your offspring (Thank you Endocrinology class), you seem to be offering a lot of opportunities.
I'm tired of it.
Still I push it back because I need to survive.  I need to do what I have to do for my kids.
I love him deeply and will forever push these darn feelings back because it's not malicious.  It's not intentional.
There is a reason I may not know but there is why it is what it is.
I didn't marry myself for a reason.  Everyone needs a counterbalance.
Right now though, I really just wish I had calm and peace but I suppose that's the funny thing about the 10th month.  When you think you are and should be calm, restful and at peace, it's actually the primer for the chaos that a newborn brings.  The sleep deprivation, the anxiety, the apprehension, the suspense, all starts now not after the child is born.  It''s like a brewing kettle.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Do not cross Mama Hen especially when she's 10 months pregnant

I spent most of the first year of life for my daughter sleep deprived. My husband decided it was his time to do his thing and spent many nights working or sleeping to spend the day working.
This meant I was responsible for night time parenting.
I did this out of necessity.
When I went back to work I continued the nighttime parenting duties mostly to bond with my daughter but also to avoid any grumpies from my husband.
See I get grumpy but when it comes to parenting I probably suck up a lot more than he does. It's just the way we are. It doesn't make him less of anything.  Not to be gender whatever but from my experience most moms suck it up better than dads.  Life changes for both but women are really not the same people they were before child.
I just rather take care of it then hear the wrath later.
It's like when I'll go out of my way to do something just so I don't bother or hear about it later.
It is partly due to my upbringing I'm like this and partly me not liking grumpasauraus.
With #2 my husband has these ideals. I gave up on ideals when I spent a night up with our newborn with only The Exorcist to keep me company.
It's why I haven't prepared any meals for post partum.
It's why I stopped crying about the lack of family photos with fetus.
It just is. I can't change it. I'm the only one that feels it. Just suck it up.
There are some ideals I'm passionate about and mostly because they are survival mechanisms for me.
I'm a strong advocate for attachment parenting. I'm a firm believer in breastfeeding. I believe in the benefits of sleep sharing. I believe children have rights and are smarter than folks believe them to be.
Breastfeeding has always been important to me in a clinical aspect but it became even more emotional for me knowing how difficult it is and how personal it is.
It also kept me connected while I was physically away from my child.
Sleep sharing started out of sheer survival. I needed sleep. I was the only one handling nighttime parenting and I simply couldn't function without sleep. Then I read about the benefits and also experienced some of my own.
Later it became apparent to me sleep sharing was something that bonded me with my daughter especially when I couldn't be with her during the day.
Attachment parenting became instinctual because of these things and I found myself leaning more and more towards this form of parenting without even knowing it had a name.
My husband is an API-er for the most part but he hates labels. Plus he has ideals that are formed mainly for societal pressures that clash with mine.
So I'm left to wonder what is it going to be like for me with #2?
Am I going to be alone again? I think yes which means I'm clinging on to my beliefs and survival tactics.
DH swears no and that things will be different. Personally what we have done so far seems to be working and I am happy. He thinks it's working but he still wants things to lean more towards his style.
My gut instinct it to follow what I believe is right for my child and me. I know that sounds exclusionary but in a sense parenthood especially in the very early years is.
I just spent 10 months closer than I will ever be with another human being. You can't just break that.
I'm probably more apprehensive about how this is going to affect marriage and my relationship with my best friend than how this will affect me or how it will affect my relationship with my daughter.
I've voiced it months ago and said it has made this pregnancy less enjoyable but I persevere.
I know come what may I'm going to stick to my guns. I'm not sure if DH realizes this.
I may be too chicken to outright say it but I know I'm going to do what works best for me and my baby. I know I will sacrifice and I will probably sacrifice more than is asked but I need to be comfortable and secure in my decisions and actions and I will not make them to appease another person.
This is too damn important to me.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Forget about ABCs, What about helping our child learn about emotions & EI?

I just finished a mandatory training session for work.  One of the items they kept emphasizing is the lack of emotional intelligence in the world.
In my line of work, everyone is fairly book smart.  I jokingly mention these uber-geek scientist types may lack proper synapse alignment when it comes to EI.  It's true though for some.  Common sense isn't common and emotional intelligence isn't emphasized.
As I'm going through the session, I realized that subconsciously that is what my husband and I strive to help our child (and soon to be children) develop.
Over the weekend my husband commented on how one of our child's playmates reacted to another child's crying by saying repeatedly, "Stop crying.  We don't cry."
He was taken aback by this statement.  We have never told our child that it isn't ok to cry when she's hurt or frustrated or whatever.  We've always felt is it ok to feel the way we feel.  We should never feel we need to surpress our emotions especially when we are just learning what they are.  Heck, as adults, we still trying to grasp the intense feelings emotions play in our lives and actions.
We've always made it a point to say to make her emotions feel validated.
This throws off my mother but that again, we parent differently and in a different age.
For us, we want her to be aware of her emotions and learn what they are.  We also want her to have the freedom to speak about them and express what she can with the small but every growing vocabulary she has.
TG: I'm sad and crying because I'm frustrated.
We thank her for explaining to us how she feels.  We appreciate that she explains to us and if she can't find the words, we try to talk it out.
We're also at the point where we're learning about actions and the actions we make based on emotions. We want her to learn to self-regulate but not based on do this not that or because we said so.  We want her to know the outcome is in her hands.  She has empowerment to manage her feelings and the outcome of said feelings.  This is complicated for an adult.  Boy my husband and I have our work cut out for us. LOL
We let her know that it's ok to be frustrated.  It's ok to be angry.  It's not ok to throw objects or hit or punch anyone when you are frustrated or angry.  Many times she'll ask us why.  We explain that we don't hurt people because of our frustration or anger. You can be angry at someone but what does hitting do?  Does it make you feel better?  Does it make the other person feel better? Would you like to be hit?
Our latest in this concept is throwing objects.  She has the power to choose the outcome.
If she throws something out of anger or frustration or sadness, I take it away for a bit.  Most of the time it's her lovey or one of her stuffed friends.
She started this in the wee hours of night when she couldn't settle down on her own.
I nicely told her, "You throw, I keep.  You have the power to choose what happens next."
Now she still throws things now and then.  I think that's normal.  Heck, if I could throw my shoe when I'm angry, I probably would.  I think it's reduced the amount of times though that she's thrown things since it started.
We are also trying to instill empathy.  This is becoming harder as she's growing older because now we have to deal with personalities of fellow toddlers.
Which goes back to DH's observation that another playmate said to another playmate, "Stop crying. We don't cry."
During the same playdate, TG asked her friend if they could hold hands and walk home together.  He said no.  He didn't want to hold her hand.  She asked for a hug.  He said no.
She didn't seem hurt but she did seem to have questions about it.
Later, she asked me why and I explained sometimes people aren't ready just like when she isn't ready to share her scooter or tricycle.  She seemed to understand it a little better.
I think that's why she's exerting her power now when DH asks her for a hug or a kiss.  Sometimes she'll say no.  Sometimes she'll say yes.
This whole emotional intelligence thing is much harder than anything on our things to help your child learn list yet it's something I think is imperative and important to emphasis and work on.
My child will learn to read.  My child will learn to do complex mathematical calculations (and I am so not looking forward to this as I'm not the most proficient in math or chemistry.).  There will be folks that will help us with these concepts but we as the parents of these little humans must be the primary models and guides to the complex map of emotions that we as humans have.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Where are the boy toddler dolls?

I've been wondering if my daughter is ready for the next level of doll ownership.  My answer came this morning.
This morning, my daughter found out our dog ate the face of one of her baby dolls.  This doll looks like a cross breed of Two Face and the weird baby spider from Toy Story.
You'd think a 3 year old would think her world was shattered.
My daughter asked for her doctor's bag and slapped a bandage over the mangled part of the baby doll's face, told us the baby needs quiet and rest and placed her baby doll in his crib, tucked him in and turned the lights off.
I think she's ready for her next doll.
We're not big doll folks but we do have a few.   Most are cloth dolls.  We're concerned about PVC and phthalates and reduce the amount of plastics in our home.  She does have a Corolle and we seem to be happy with the overall company.  They do have plastic parts but the body is cloth.  Plus they follow EU regulations which I'm a bit more comfortable with.
She waited until she was older to avoid any potential gassing issues and she has never been a type to mouth things so I'm a little more at ease with Corolle than others.
I'd love for her to prefer her Waldorf type dolls but let's face it, she's a toddler in the US.
Anyway, she's been asking for a boy doll.  She actually told me all her baby dolls are boys.
Problem is I don't think there are many dolls, let alone Corolles that are toddler boys.  It's very sexist if you think about it.  I'm sure they aren't mony makers but I'm pretty sure there is a  market.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Like Mother, Like Daughter on memory & organization anyway...

Tot pulled out the board games today and I can see how she's progressed and grown. Although waiting ones turn is still occasionally forgotten and the rules are slightly altered, she's starting to understand the concepts and plays Brown Bear and Memory with me.
Most notable is she is definitely showing signs of understanding and using her memory to locate the items that she has seen before. This means a lot to me, not only developmentally but also allows me to see that my child does have a fairly good memory. DH, I love you but your memory and spatial relations are less than stellar. I'm glad she's showing signs that she has good retention and navigational skills.
I also like that 3 out of 4 times, she said she needed to put away her game and pieces so she can play with the game again later.