Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - in motion

I apologize for my lack of anything interesting to say the past week. The whole family came down with some nasty bug and we spent a few days in bed. (Not sleeping, mind you, just in bed.)

To make it up to you, I offer a video of my sweet love doin' his thing... as you can see he's a very smart young man with all the contemplating of phyics that he's obviously doing.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Crying over spoiled milk

This post is going to take the place of my of my planned "Pumping the boobs" post, since it includes the awkward work moments & "the freezer stash", but I'm going to leave the tips N tricks up to the real experts.

The worst thing that could happen to a working/nursing/pumping mom, happened to me this past weekend. There was a lot going on, depressing family stuff mixed in with good family stuff that just kept us busy from Saturday morning thru Sunday night. So I will give myself a break and not get into "WHY did this have to happen to meeeee?" It was an ACCIDENT. For once, I'm not going to blame my lack of having my shit together for what happened.

What happened?

The milk I pumped at work on Friday got left on the kitchen counter all. damn. weekend.

Spoiled, sour breastmilk. I get teary-eyed just typing that. Any mama out there who pumps knows just how hard you work for every stinking drop.

I personally spend about an hour during my workday in an office by myself, pumping. (Thank God for my iPod touch.) It's difficult to describe the awkwardness that is pumping at work but (of course) I'll try. First, let me say that at no time do I feel ashamed of breastfeeding or pumping. As I've said before, I love it. I'm proud of the fact that the girls are still going strong. But, it's a little weird when you're in the kitchen washing a breast shield while the newly married, 25 year old attorney is trying to butter his toast. Like I'm an old, haggard, curlers & green faced scary vision of the wife-turns-mother stereotype.


What's MORE awkward is that I email my boss every time I go to pump, because we wouldn't want him to be looking for me. To be clear, I do not have the type of job where something needs to get done this minute. Also, when I came back after maternity leave, I was completely open about the fact that I would need a few minutes twice a day to pump, even offered to have that time deducted from my pay. He assured me this wouldn't be necessary (although I don't think either one of us figured the arrangement would last as long as it has). So yes, I am very grateful that my employer is so supportive.

On the other hand, I have the GUILT. There have been so many times that I'll be sitting there, and something I forgot to do will pop into my head. It's so easy to get distracted, and pumping (at least until the initial let-down) is something you have to kind of concentrate on. So I set up the iPod to get my work email. That way, I'll know what's going on, and what I'll have waiting for me when I'm done.

But even that didn't quell the GUILT. So I set up the phone so that I could answer it while pumping. Weird, yeah... but I don't think the pump is THAT loud, and if it is audible through the phone, I doubt anyone would know what they're hearing anyway.

And STILL, a couple weeks go, he came down the hall and stood outside the door... "Sara, come see me when you're done, ok?"

For cryin out loud.

And THEN: On his way out the door the other day, he asks if I could shorten my trips to the back office. The best I could do was "I'll try." Really dude... there's no way for me to make it squirt out faster. Trust me, I would if I could. I don't ENJOY being hooked up to this think like Bessie every day.

Anyway, the overall point of this nonsense is that I'm sad. Very sad, and mourning the loss of a day's worth of milk. I go through a lot to get it, and I'm also afraid that because of this my freezer "stash" is now gone. Wiped out. There was one?

This makes me want to cry all over again. I worked SO HARD for that! And now it's GONE! I wanted so badly to use that milk to think his cereal, to mix it with his first foods... and it's gone. I have no backup.

So I don't know where we'll go from here, but it's not going to be like I thought it would. Mix the cereal with water? Start mixing some formula in with my breastmilk for his bottles at daycare?

Eh, who knows, but long as I have my boys with me, I know it'll work out.

The clock on the wall says 5:15, time to go home. Tomorrow's another day, which to me just means that the struggle to get through today is over... and here's hoping that tomorrow's battle is just a little easier.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Happy Easter!

Here are some pictures from our Easter weekend, in which Nick had Good Friday off, and spent the whole morning with his favorite playmate.

He looks like such a little man in his button down shirt, especially in comparison to the awkward-but-adorable: GIANT BUNNY HEAD! teeny tiny baby!

And now I realize it will be even more ridiculous when I FINALLY get around to posting the pictures from Christmas. Who needs chronological order? I used to love it but my mommy-brain has killed it dead.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Postpartum Thoughts

First, a picture.
Hey guys. Thanks for stopping by. Check out my chins.

Right then. So here are some post-partum thoughts, things I needed to get out of my head, and random updates... all neatly organized into numbered lists. You're welcome. *wink*

What I learned from being pregnant:
  1. Multi-tasking is practically a thing of the past. As with pregnancy brain, mommy brain is a real killer.
  2. Make lists. And let the small stuff go. Or better yet, let someone else do it. Speaking of which, I'm still working on the 100 reasons I love my son's dad post. Sure to bore everyone to death except for me and him.
  3. Everything you think you know is wrong. What I mean to say is, when you think to yourself: "I'll never co-sleep" or "Breastfeeding in public is weird" You Just Don't Know Until You're Actually A Parent. I think this is what all those (still supremely annoying) people mean when they said "just wait...
Things I wish I could go back in time & change during my maternity leave:
  1. I wouldn't have spent so much time thinking about going back to work. Seriously. I have guilt over how much time & energy I wasted thinking about how short my leave was & how hard it was going to be to go back.
  2. I would've worried less about "getting him on a schedule" - as it turns out, that's not our parenting style. We're breastfeeding on demand, co-sleeping, it's my baby and I'll hold him if I want to type parents.
  3. I should've worked on the baby book. Yes, I only had about 5 minutes a day I felt like I could just tune out, and usually spent that time zoned in front of the TV, but even a start on his book would feel like an accomplishment. And maybe I would've have felt less like I totally lost control.
  4. I would not have left the house til I felt ready - doctor's appointment aside - no shopping at two weeks old, it's too stressful! He was so little! It's not that I totally freaked out or anything, but the whole time we were out it just felt WRONG. I couldn't WAIT to get home. Maybe I won't feel that way with the second kid (yes, it probably will happen)... maybe the scary "brand new" thing will wear off faster.
  5. I really really wish I'd had a cosleeper like this one from Arm's Reach; basically it's a bassinet that attaches to the side of your bed... this would have made it so much easier to
  6. Try out nursing in bed a little sooner... once he had the appropriate head control, of course. But even before that, having him within "arm's reach" probably would have made things feel less like a battle.
*Giving credit where credit is due - I'd like to give a big shout out to breastfeeding because a) I still have not (knock on wood) gotten a post partum period; and b) it requires an extra 500 calories (approximately) to produce breastmilk, which is directly responsible for my weighing less now than I did before becoming pregnant. Woot!

Stuff I loved & am glad I had around:
  1. Cloth diapers for soaking up the barf - everyone says this but it is SO TRUE. All those cute little flannel blanket things are only good as blankets, they don't absorb for shit.
  2. A diaper stacker - I heard these are considered a waste of $$, but ours came with the crib bedding set and I love it!
  3. Colace - A must for post partum pooping. I took it toward the end of my pregnancy, and was glad to have it around after he was born because the thought of pooping made me cringe, and I didn't even have any tears! Just the idea made me go NO MORE PUSHING EVAR. And hey, speaking of bodily functions, take your first post-birth pee in the middle of your first post-birth shower! With all the gross leaking you're doing t's MUCH easier than the whole squirt bottle & blot dry (HA!) system.
  4. Pampers Swaddlers New Baby diapers - they have the stripe on the front that turns from yellow to blue to let you know they're wet. Perfect for newbie parents who otherwise would just change the kid every ten minutes because "does that feel full to you?" "I don't know" "Well maybe that's why he's crying" "Hell, it's worth a shot!"
  5. Gripe Water. He didn't like something I ate? He's having trouble working out that fart? He just plain needed something that tasted like fennel to distract him? I don't know what it is about this stuff but Oliver calmed down within minutes of getting a shot of the gripe water.
Stuff I bought because somebody said I was supposed to, but just turned out to be useless:
  1. Itzbeen baby care timer - I must admit, it was good to have while in the hospital since the nurses are all the time asking how long ago did he eat? It can also let you know which breast you last nursed from, which is a good thing before your milk comes in and one isn't any softer than the other. But, you have to remember to flip the little marker, and it's basically nothing a rubber band on your wrist can't take care of. We've barely used it since we came home. I made me too obsessed with how many hours it's been since he did this or that, which like I said before, isn't really our parenting style anyway, and who cares if it's been 1/2 an hour or 2 hours since we last changed him? If it's dirty, you change it.
  2. GIANT tub of vaseline - guess what? One tube of A&D has lasted way past the glob the stuff on his circ stage and having it around just recently caused me to MommyFAIL. I put it in his hair. It still hasn't come all the way out. But that's a story for another day.
  3. GIANT bottle of alcohol - you guessed it - this didn't get used once. Cause apparently you're not supposed to mess with the cord stump. Like, at all.
  4. Up & Up brand diapers from Target = FAIL. "Try the generic brand of diapers!" they said. "They're just as good as the overpriced name brands!" they said. I now say, "Bull." These dumb things have only a small strip on the front that the velcro tabs will stick to, so with a squirmy baby or a baby with a smaller waist these just don't work because you can't overlap the tabs. And even when they are stuck in the proper spot, it's not very strong velcro and can easily come open.
  5. Walmart brand diapers suck too. The tabs weren't very stretchy and the diaper overall felt cheap and plasticy. Yes, thank you spell check, I know that's not a word. I don't remember any significant leaks or anything, but when he would wet them, they would become very stiff and it seemed like they "filled up" very quickly, almost like the diaper was going to bust open since it had no give.
Honorable mention: the Diaper Genie.
  • Awesome because you can't smell anything coming out of there.
  • Bogus because the refills are HELLA expensive.
  • Awesome because Nick's friend from work bought it for us and he was so excited to get a gift from one of his dudes that he has faithfully emptied the thing.
  • Kinda BS because the lid sometimes gets stuck and oh yeah it has a BIG SHARP METAL cutting thing inside and you have to remember to tie off the end when you empty it otherwise you're screwed.
  • (Awesome because I haven't had to deal with this. See: delegation, first section.)
*For the record: Postpartum hair loss? I haz it. Apparently, it likes to start being noticable around 3 months post partum. Just in time for your kid to get really good at grabbing handfuls! Yippee!