Thursday, December 9, 2010

For Keeps

I have spent my day surfing the web and as a result, have encountered some super great blogs. In my cyber travels, I found this--and in an effort to always know where to find it-- to refer to it when I'm feel like motherhood is beating me down-- I will post it here.

"It is easier to build strong children, than repair broken men."  Frederick Douglass

It is easier to support breastfeeding than pay for the health consequences of formula-feeding for the masses.  You can help a mom breastfeed her baby - so much easier than treating asthma, auto-immune conditions, obesity and the rest.

It is easier to get up multiple times in a night with a newborn than treat an adult with anxiety and depression, whose earliest memories were of being left alone when they were crying for help.

It is easier to use gentle discipline than deal with violence in an adult.

It is easier to teach tolerance to a child than reform a teenage bully.

It is easier to invest in education than in prison systems.

"Easier" does not mean easy. 
None of those things are easy at the time - they're so hard that you might not be able to do them all, every time.  That's ok - we're human.  I've only been at it for 9 months, and I've already messed up on quite a few...that doesn't mean I'm going to give up trying.  Ultimately, over a lifetime and in a society, it's easier than the alternative.

I'm trying to keep my long-term glasses on.  I'm not trying to raise a "good baby" or an "obedient child."  I am trying to raise a strong, courageous, compassionate man...who just happens to be 29 inches tall right now.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Diary of a Zombie Mom, Entry 2

I got up more times last night than I can remember. It’s getting easier- the getting up part. And my boobs tell me that last night was actually a better than usual night. I remember a couple of times I got up last night to smurfing noises, I put a paci in-place and he conked back out. This is rare because he usually won’t take a paci.
His reflex is still bad so I find that if I wrap his arms, he sleeps longer stretches. One of the times I got up last night, I freed his arms. He immediately rolled over, put his fist in his mouth and conked back out for nearly 2 hours!  
At 2am he was ready to eat. I filled his belly and he passed out for another hour.
When all else fails I just pick him up and hold him. I sit in the glider and cradle him in my arms and take in the sight of him resting peacefully in my embrace. One of the best feelings in the world is being there for him and feeling him completely relax and calm in my arms. It’s my desire that he grows up knowing I will always be there for him and it’s beyond my pleasure to make his world a place where he feels safe and secure. Even if it takes me many sleepless months.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Just sayin'

So are chronic cold symptoms going to be the normal with having my little guy in daycare?! Max has a mean case of the sniffles and I woke up with a sore throat! AGAIN! Aghhh! :(

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving Firsts

I had a different baby over the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend. I had a baby that cried, I mean, really cried frequently during the day and night. And it wasn't a cry I was familiar with. This one was very high pitched and screechy; like he was in pain.  Max went for his 4 Month Wellness check last Tuesday and received a few booster shots which gave him major tummy trouble-- the kind of tummy trouble where you just cut the onesie off and go directly to the shower (yes, we actually did this). By Wednesday, the AM dosage of Tylenol had no positive impact on his fever, so we carried him back to the Pediatrician and learned he had an ear infection. Not sure how that happened?! He completely rejected his crib for two nights which meant him and Mommy spent the night is his nursery glider and/or on the couch; and he wanted nothing to do with the breast. Just wanted to cry.

Today, 1 week later, he no longer has a fever, but he still appears to be in discomfort. The daycare told me that he cried a lot yesterday and wasn't himself. Is this still left over from his shots last week? Is this teething? He's drooling a ton and chewing on fingers/hands nonstop-- he even interrupts breastfeeding to chew on a finger. What happened to my smiley happy baby? I miss him. :(

I have him a dose of Tylenol last night and it seemed to help settle him. I probably should have given him some this morning too.

On a seperate note, our Thanksgiving was okay. We had a nice dinner, just our little family, and then against my better judgement, went to the in-laws house in the afternoon. Max and I were happy at home watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in our PJs so getting dressed to go out felt like a chore. And then when we got there, it was very hot, and combined with all of Max's other ailments made for one angry turkey on his first Thanksgiving. :(

Monday, November 22, 2010

My Favorite Breastfeeding Moment

One of my favorite breastfeeding moments happens every night with Max. Around 6:30pm he usually gets pretty fussy, begging for his bath and bedtime. He has always loved his baths and recently learned that kicking causes splashing, which means bath water all over my kitchen floor! During bath time, it’s like something clicks in his mind about what’s to follow: nursing. No matter how much he has nursed prior to his bath, I’m pretty sure the post-bath nursing session is his fave—and mine too! When he realizes what’s next, he starts obsessively sucking on anything he can get his mouth on! My arm while in the bath, my shoulder on the way to his room, his hands or nearby toys while he’s on his changing table getting his pj’s put on—and when that time comes for him and I to retreat to the rocker in his serenely lit nursery, he can’t latch on quick enough! Within minutes he is so totally milk drunk—eyes tightly closed, mouth wide open, and milk leaking from one side! Soo sweet. Reason number 237 why I will not fill him up on cereal before bed, even if it means I get up a few more times at night with him—I can’t stand the thought of parting with this moments.

Friday, November 19, 2010

For Better or Worse

Dear Husband,

I could really use your help. I came to you early this morning for your support. I was feeling completely defeated having been up all night and not having any success with getting the baby to sleep more than a 45 min stretch. All those nighttime hours spent rocking the baby in the glider; all I could think about was how you were all warm and snuggled up in our bed with the dogs, sleeping. I want to sleep too. Just because I’m the cow, I shouldn’t feel like a single parent. Most of the time, I’m convinced that Max wants to nurse because he smells the milk, or because that’s how he seeks comfort from me, not because he’s hungry. When I came to you this morning you said: “Why was the baby crying?! I couldn’t sleep.” … … … That’s insensitive. And you are quick to point out that I’m the one that wanted kids. While that’s true, we are in this together; for better or worse. You say, “This is the un-fun part of having kids”. Yes, but you take the good with the bad, and I’ve already learned that the good is soo good, that you forget the bad.
When I came to you this morning, I wanted more than the hug. I wanted you to say, “Sit the next one out, babe. You’ve been up all night, I got this”. But instead you ask, “What wrong with him? Does he need a fresh diaper? Is he too hot? Is he cold?”. Do you think I don’t have those same queries? Of course I addressed all those concerns and more!
I need help, husband. If momma aint happy, aint nobody happy. You’ve heard that right? Just sayin.

<3 Wife

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Diary of a Zombie Mom: Entry 1

::Jump Jump Jump:: Look at him loving his jumparoo! He’s been in that thing the entire time it took me to cook dinner, eat it, and clean the kitchen! Oh, all this jumping is SURE to wear him out! I bet we get a blissful 6 hour sleep stretch tonight! We haven’t had one of those since October something.
::baby crying:: What time is it? 11:00pm. Okay so he slept for 3.5 hours, he’s probably hungry. I bet if I go fill his belly, he’ll sleep until 5am!
11:30pm: Milk coma established.
::baby talking:: Is it 5 already?! Sigh, no only 1am. Another twilight tea party in his crib. Should I just let him hang out? Eh, either way, no one is sleeping except for the dogs. Lucky dogs. Hi baby, your tricks are adorable—I love that you’ve found your feet, and can now roll over-- and I love overhearing your conversations with your crib folk; however, let’s hang in the daylight hours. 1:30am, that was easy. He’s totally passed out and I still have plenty of time to sleep before getting up for work!
::baby crying:: Did I even go to sleep? I’m in my bed, but I swear, I just got here! Damn, 2:10am, I DID just get here. Okay, baby. What’s wrong? Why are you so restless? Are you hungry? Nope. You want a paci? Eh, for a few mins anyways. Let’s get a fresh diaper.
2:30am: He seems pretty wiped out. Wonder how far this will get me? Should I put him in his crib or wait a little longer? Eh, let’s try. It’s still early enough that I can do this routine again. Damn! Too soon! What’s up with all this thrashing?! Why is he drawing his legs up to his chest? Why is he rubbing his face with his fists? His eyes are still closed but obviously not for long! Okay babe, let’s try this again.
Wonder what’s up with the restless thrashing body movements. That’s new. New probably within the last 10 days. Same with these wakeful nights! Hmm.. is he too warm? Impossible, I’m freezing. Maybe he’s cold? What was he wearing that one night when he slept 6 hours straight? We’ll have to dig out those PJs and see if they have magical powers! What direction was his head facing in his crib, East or West? Some culture somewhere I’m sure would say that has something to do with it.  Is 4 Month Sleep Regression real? Is this teething? Could he have an ear infection I’m unaware of? Has my diet changed—is it the hot chocolate I drink every morning? I’ll strike that beverage and see what happens. Let’s remember to ask the pediatrician about all this next week at his 4 month wellness check. Why does it suddenly feel like I have no idea what I’m doing?
Wha? What time is it? 3:45am?! Ugh, did I really just waste valuable hours better spent sleeping in my own bed, sleeping here in this glider? Ouch, my neck. Yes, I guess I did. Okay baby, into the crib. You’re definitely sleeping now and I have only an hour before I have to get up and go to work. Damn! What about your crib wakes you up? The cold sheets? If I swaddle your arms, you’re pissed because you can’t have them to rub your face; if I leave your arms free, you rub and scratch at your face—both situations wake you.  And there go your legs again, what’s this about? Okay. Come sleep with me in my bed. At least that way I can stretch out and snooze a bit before that alarm goes off!
::baby fussing:: Okay. I gotcha. You and this night are so totally over one another. What time is it? 4:45am. Sigh, alarm in 15 minutes. Okay baby, let’s go watch the news while you get some breakfast.
::baby talking:: Wow, you are so happy at 5:30 in the morning! How can you be this happy on so little sleep?! I LOVE your big ear-to-ear toothless grins! And there’s another one! Are those all for me?!
::hubs in the doorway asking about the night:: I have no idea! I can’t remember! Look at this happy baby!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

4 Month Sleep Regression

I have spent the morning Googling the theory of the 4 Month Sleep Regression and I have to say, I am a believer. Prior to last week, Max was sleeping pretty good. We could count on him to go down about 7:30 pm and sleep until about 1 or 1:30 am, and then wake again about 4:30/5 am. And then something changed. He continued to go down around 7:30 pm, but for the last two weeks, can't make it past 10:30 pm without waking up! My list of potential causes continues to grow: maybe he's cold (the weather has chilled a bit)? Maybe he's too warm (on account of the changing weather, I'm dressing him warmer)? Is he gasy? Is he hungry? Does he want his arms/legs to be free? One things for certain: he wants his mommy... his exhausted, overwhelmed, zombie-eyed mommy.

Honestly, we are getting up so frequently during the night that I can't keep track. I have joked with other mom's at Max's daycare about keeping a prison-like tally everytime I get up so that I can remember when morning comes. But really, what's the point. My boobs will tell me if I was able to get any more sleep than usual. And I'd rather not know if I got less! Some nights I respond to Max, noting that it's about 1am-- next thing I know, I'm opening my eyes from the rocker in the nursery and it's nearly 3am! Did I really just sleep away valuable nighttime hours in the discomfort of this chair?! Ouch, my neck. Yes, yes I guess I did. Sigh, sleep is sleep.

In the 11th hour, I have contemplated whether or not Max's crib could sustain the weight of my post pregnancy body.. I've wished the nursery glider were a Lay-Z-Boy recliner.. I've thought about chucking everything in the office and setting up a second bedroom, with a bed, so that Max and I could co-sleep without disrupting the hubs and two chihuahuas that occupy the Master Bed.

Last night I convinced myself that dressing Max in a long sleeved onesie and using one blanket would be enough to make him comfortable enough to sleep through the night. The power of positive thinking, right? Wrong. It was a bust. Although I do think he was more comfortable, as opposed to wearing the fuzzy fleece PJs. One of the 27,000 times I got up, I found him with a foot in each hand and a smile on his face, just chatting away. Cute in the daylight hours, but in the middle of the night? Not so much. It was 3am when I threw in the towel and took Max to my bed with me. At least then, I could catch a few Z's here and there while Max rooted in my bosom on and off.

I started off today feeling a bit defeated. Not really sure where to go from here and feeling like I have no idea what I'm doing as a parent.  After reading some sleep regression blogs, I feel like my confidence has been restored just enough to get me through another night. It's good to read that Max is right on target with other 4 month olds-- he's just too excited to practice his new tricks rather than sleep!