All posts in baby

The Best Advice I Got – New Mom Series

me with Carter

me with Carter

When you are deep into a rough patch with a baby, it feels like nothing will ever get better.  You feel helpless, unable to fix the problem.  Usually, when a newborn cries, they need one of three things: 1. A diaper change 2. Feeding or 3. Sleep.  The difficulty at that phase is the frequency with which these needs have to be met.  As they get older, different needs develop.  Since they can’t talk, it is hard to know which need to meet and even if you do know, sometimes, there is just nothing you can do but hold your crying baby until it passes.  It’s an understatement to say that this can be very frustrating.  We were deep into a sleepless phase of waking up every 2 – 3 hours with a five month old, spending an hour or more trying to soothe him back to sleep only to have him wake up the moment we tried to put him in his crib.  We had a couple over for dinner and they gave us the best advice.  They said, “the first year or two, nothing lasts more than three weeks.” This filled us with hope and relief that this horrible phase would soon be over.  Then our friends added another piece, “Neither the bad times nor the good times.”  Ah, there is the rub.

"I like to sleep on you best of all"

“I like to sleep on you best of all”

We had already experienced a good phase.  At 8 weeks Carter was sleeping 8 hours.  This was a tremendous break through and much sooner than the other exclusively breastfed babies we knew.   I think, with formula or bottle fed babies, you can reach this milestone faster, but every child is different.  So we thought we had figured it all out.  Literally, we said that out loud.  We were so pleased with ourselves….so naive. Three weeks later, the night before I went back to work (I went back to work for 3 weeks before becoming a SAHM) he started waking up at 2 am.  So I started feeding him again and that was when the bubble burst.  Nothing lasts.

Me with Henry, looking very tired as I have been for the past 5 years.

Me with Henry, looking very tired as I have been for the past 5 years.

So, when times are bad, don’t worry, it will only last three weeks.  And when times are good, enjoy them because they won’t last either.  Even beyond the first year, the only constant is change. For the past two weeks, Henry (2 – a celebrated, awesome sleeper) has been waking up at 5:45 four days a week and sleeping until 8:30 the other three days.  He doesn’t want to go to bed and he says he wants to sleep with us (which he never does).  But this too shall pass.  It may take more than a few weeks, but even with a two year old, nothing lasts…though it can seem like an eternity at the time.

Just a cute pic of the boys in their PJs.

There will be blood! – New Mom Series

If you are a dude, stop reading now.

You lucky new moms get to walk around the hospital in a pair of these!!!

You lucky new moms get to walk around the hospital in a pair of these!!!

Ever have heavy flow? Maybe you always had heavy periods and needed extra super duper tampons or maximum strength maxi pads with that blue stuff that prevents leaks like they show you in commercials. Well, hang onto your effing hat* because you have never seen anything like the blood bath that occurs postpartum. You’ve probably heard about the sexy, mesh, granny panties they give you in the hospital. Maybe you are a thong wearer and would never dream of wearing such an atrocious undergarment. Maybe you need to check yourself. Those underpants, while ridiculous, are pretty much your best option for not ruining everything you sit on or near. The sanitary napkins they give you in the hospital are like maxi pads for an elephant. Use them. Are they comfortable? Not in the slightest. Are they sexy? Absolutely not. But girl, at this point, you just don’t have the time to spend cleaning up blood stains all over the place. You have a baby now that has to be nursed for an hour 12 times a day. That’s HALF the day. The rest of the day is spent dealing with the pain from whatever hell happened to you in the delivery room (hopefully just a small tear, but still), eating and hopefully sleeping.  I had a friend who just went ahead and brought Depends into the hospital. Not a bad idea at all, if you ask me. The good news is, the second go ’round, far, far less blood. The bad news is, the plasmatic explosion can last for a few weeks.

It’s really quite awful, the postpartum experience. Almost as soon as you deliver, they want you to pee on command. It had been like a half hour since I squeezed a 7 lb 15 oz person out my “in” hole and they threatened me with a catheter if I didn’t produce some tee tee toot sweet. I was in no mood.  I was like, “Oh yeah? I’d like to see you try to bring a catheter anywhere near me.” I was still basking in the after glow of delivery and our first semi-successful nursing experience when they forced me up, out of bed and into the cold bathroom to SIT! (believe me, you won’t be able to sit) or rather hunker over the potty and try to force myself to pee. I had not had anything to drink for 11 hours.  How could I possibly pee? This was back in the day, way back in 2009, when they didn’t allow you to drink water while laboring (THAT WAS A THING!). I could only eat ice chips! I have never known a thirst like that. Plus I was hot as a fire cracker during the entire delivery. Poor Craig just had to keep putting ice cold rags all over my body at my insistence and I still never felt cool. If you take nothing away from this blog post, please, for the love of GOD, remember this.  You have GOT to bring lip balm! Have back ups! Not since that plane crashed in the Andes mountains in the movie “Alive!” has lip balm been more vital.

After the first horrible night with your new postpartum self, you will start to get used to the way you feel. God made babies so wonderful to reward moms for the horror of child birth and the postpartum experience. Then, a day or so later, they will send you home with your baby, which is the scariest feeling you have ever felt. The hospital will give you a little gift bag with fun stuff like a SITZ bath (oo, sounds luxurious, right? bwahahahaha!), a little squirt bottle to wash your vajayjay with, more of those lovely pads and a house-breaking wee wee pad which you will have to take with you every time you move to a different seat in your house. WIN!  This humiliating  part will be over soon enough. There will be good times.  There will be bad times.  And most assuredly, there will be blood.

p.s. I found a few good lists of items to bring with you here and some postpartum luxuries here.  I would definitely recommend a boppy/my breast friend, and a spray bottle so your hubby can mist you during delivery.

p.s.s. Oh yeah and you may get hemorrhoids!  yay!

*line completely ripped off from SNL, Tina Fey “Annuale” fake ad.

Breastfeeding and the remote – VERY IMPORTANT FOR NEW MOMS!!!

One of my most favorite people in the world, Tara Copeland Eastwick, is about to have her first baby. So I’ve decided to write a series of posts about all those things you just have no clue about the first time around.  The whole pregnancy you are consumed with worry about delivery and what is going on with your body.  And yes, that is important, but I spent zero time preparing for once the baby arrived.  (Actually, I know that Tara has done far more than me already).  I never babysat much, most of my friends didn’t have kids and if they did I wasn’t around them.  I  didn’t even take the breast feeding class (it’s natural, why do you need a class?  Woah boy – did I regret that).  So, hopefully this will offer some insight for new moms and a reminder to seasoned moms of what it’s like to have a newborn.

Breast Feeding and the Remote

I know you are getting a ton of advice right now, but if there is nothing else you remember, do remember this. Before you sit down to nurse your newborn, make sure the TV remote is right next to you because your ass is gonna be macramed to that chair for the next hour.  You may start out watching the Today show, but by the time the hour long nursing session has ended,  you are well into Hoda and Kathie Lee.  OMG – this totally happened to me all the time!  The remote, was on the dresser by the TV, way out of reach.  There was no way I was standing up because once that baby latches on, you really can’t move.  It’s not worth the risk of the baby becoming unlatched and having to go through the whole latching process again (which can take a LONG time).  I got to the point where my body froze up once he latched and if there was any shifting needed, it had to be made in slow, smooth motions all whilst cradling a newborn in my arms – it takes both arms to cradle- which, by the way, gives you carpal tunnel.  Usually I was too scared to move, so I would hold my body for an hour or more in contorted, cramping positions just to make it through.

So Dads, this is on you too.  Make sure she has all she needs before you walk out the door.  Moms have to remember a hundred things for each nursing session (which I had like 12 a day for the first few months): my breast friend, nursing stool, burpees, extra pillows, nipple cream, the baby.  That took all of my energy to remember.  Then I was holding my sweet baby, he was latched and I could finally relax (as much as one can in a stiff, uncomfortable position).  I looked up and Kathie Lee was on TV and the remote was WAY over there.  So, of course, it was Craig’s fault for leaving without bringing me the remote. Breastfeeding is sweet and all.  I really do mean that.  I LOVED breastfeeding even though I had a lot of misery because of it.  But once that first minute, minute and half of awwww is over, you need some TV.  You can’t talk on the phone.  You can’t use the computer.  Can’t look through a magazine.  The only parts of your body that you can move while nursing are your eyes…and your uterus because it naturally contracts while you nurse – neat fact, right? So please, for the love of God, keep that remote close to you. In a way, your life depends on it. You’re welcome