September 27, 2007 - Thursday
Watching You Sleep
Current mood: amused
So last night Joe and I went into Brandt's room and hovered over his crib for a few minutes to watch him sleep. He was so sweet, laying there ... we could hear him breathing ever so softly. The picture perfect moment for parents. The moments you see in TV commercials where you think parenthood will be the most blissfulling happy thing on earth (of course you are watching these commercials before you have kids and know better). Anyway, there we are so proud of our little boy, so filled with love and admiration and happiness.
Why don't they show that on TV commercials?
September 21, 2007 - Friday
Slippery little suckers
Current mood: awake
Brandt has learned quite a few things over that past weeks. He is definitely more active and into absolutely everything. Bathtime is quite the juggling act ... he tries to crawl and kneel and pull himself up. He's so squirmy and it practically takes both me and Joe to give one little 7.5 month old a bath, as we're both trying to catch him at both ends.
And he's gotten pretty good at pushing himself up to sitting, which doesn't help naptime at all. I put him down to sleep, wait a few minutes and peek inside ... he's sitting up staring at me. This morning I tried for nearly an hour to get him to go to sleep before he finally stayed down and closed his eyes. He doesn't cry or anything, just sits up and hangs out, plays with his pacifier or his bear blanket.
Oh, I forgot that diaper changes are now a wrestling match. He constantly tries to roll off the changing table. I've started changing him on the floor, and thankfully my sister-in-law gave me some very helpful advice: pin him down with your leg. It works so much better.
Seriously ... I'm kind of worried. I have a feeling it only gets worse.
August 22, 2007 - Wednesday
Current mood: curious
I must have lost my mind. For the past two days I've been really wanting to have another baby. I have no idea how this happened. I figured I was so emotionally scarred from those first few weeks after having Brandt that I would not be ready to even consider getting pregnant again for a loooooong time. Honestly, what are the pros and cons of having babies close in age? What are the pros and cons of having them years apart? And does one option out-weigh the other?
I must ponder this further. But I seriously think I'm insane. Maybe I'll try setting an alarm clock to go off every 2.5 hours at night to "remind" myself of how agonizing those first few weeks are.
August 15, 2007 - Wednesday
Current mood: pleased
Brandt is 6 months old ... I cannot even believe how fast the time has flown. In the beginning, the first 7-8 weeks, when life was 24/7 and there was no distinction between night and day other than the sun ... that part dragged on forever. I thought I would never survive the physical and emotional torture that is life for parents of a newborn. I managed to make it through and emerge from the zombie-like state as most new parents eventually do. The next 4 months got so much better and everyday seems to be getting so much easier. I'm so in love with my son that words cannot describe the emotion I feel for him. I understand now how mothers would give their own lives to protect their children. Without question.
On a lighter note, Brandt has started eating solid food, the word "solid" being used quite loosely. More like he's started eating pureed versions of sweet potatoes and pears. And of course, rice cereal. It's definitely been an adventure to transition from 100% boob to being spoon fed. He's taken to it quite well, although mealtime is no longer 15 minutes of boob ... more like 30 minutes of sweet potato being smeared all over his face, hands, hair ... and when I time it just right, he'll cough or sneeze just after taking a bite and I then get to join him with his sweet potato skin care regime. Good times for all.
As of 6 months I'm happy to report that Brandt is a chunky monkey ... 17lbs, 10oz and 27.5 inches tall. Apparently in the 75-90th percentile for height, which I'm hoping he has my dad's height genes, since my dad is 6'5". And his blue eyes ... I thank GOD that he kept his beautiful blue eyes. Everyone thinks he looks just like me, which he totally does. I compared my baby pictures with him and we're almost identical. Poor Joe. I'm sure, though, that if we ever have another kid (although I'm still on the fence about having a second) that baby will look like Joe. Isn't it something like the baby boys look like their moms and the baby girls like their dads? I don't know ... maybe I just made that up so Joe feels better.
And he rolls all over the place. He's so active and curious and interested in everything. My only saving grace right now is that he can't crawl yet, so I can still sit him on the floor with a few toys and know that he can't go too far unless he rolls there. It is nice, though, knowing that he can happily play by himself for a while ... and I don't feel guilty for letting him.
It's true what they say ... I have forgotten those first few weeks. I can't remember him being so tiny, the 6lbs 15oz that he was. I see other new babies at my boob group (breastfeeding support group) and I think that Brandt was never that small ... but he was. In a way I kind of miss that time. I was so worried about everything and had so much anxiety that I don't think I enjoyed him as much as I should have. Maybe that's part of it, though. Looking back now I can remind myself to live in the moment, because before I know it another 6 months will have gone by. And eventhough I'm looking forward to watching Brandt grow and learn, I also want to enjoy him now for the things he's doing today.
He's such a good kid.
June 13, 2007 - Wednesday
Have Baby, Will Travel ... or ...
Mom, AKA: Pack Mule
Current mood: pleased
So Brandt and I took our first plane ride on Monday. We went to Ontario, CA and spent a couple days with Joe since he has been working there for a few weeks. My experience traveling with a 4 month old was actually quite pleasant. We got to the airport and I checked my one (big) piece of luggage. I didn't take his carseat because apparently you can rent them when you rent a car, so that helped a lot. We went through security pretty easliy and then waited at the gate. Brandt was a trooper through the whole thing, considering I had to juggle him back and forth between Baby Bjorn and stroller. He just hung out in the stroller and chewed on a few toys.
The flight wasn't bad, either ... he fussed the first 5-10 minutes while other people boarded, but then he fell asleep and slept through take off and the first 1/3 of the flight. I was worried about the descent because it really hurt my ears, but he seemed fine ... just sucked on his pacifier the whole time. I've heard it's best to try to nurse babies through take-off and landing but Brandt wanted no part of it ... I can't force this kid to eat.
Off the plane and into the bathroom because Mommy really had to go, and then Brandt needed a quick change. We then proceeded downstairs to collect our bag and it was already waiting for us on the carousel. Then outside to the rental car shuttle ... quick trip down the road and Mommy was now driving her very own Chrysler Aspen (courtesy of Enterprise Rent-A-Car). Yeah, my car sucks now that I've driven the Aspen. Although I had my choice of H3 or Expedition or Commander ... not sure why I chose the Aspen.
Anyway, the next day (Tuesday) we decided to venture to Downtown Disney, which is an outdoor mall next to Disneyland and California Adventure. I figured it would be fun to hang out and shop by the parks. Well, if you know me at all you know how much I LOVE Disneyland (not love it like I have to wear Disney clothes or have Disney stickers or stuffed animals or anything, I just love the park). So I casually strolled us over to the entrance area and just out of curiosity I thought I'd ask the ticket lady if I would have to pay full price, you know, because I had a 4 month old who wasn't able to go on any rides. She looked at me like I was nuts and said, of course you can go on rides ... anything without a height requirement ... Small World, Pirates of the Caribbean ... I looked at her like SHE was nuts. PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN?! Heck yeah we were going inside ... so I bought a ticket and rolled us through the gate into the Happiest Place on Earth for Brandt's official first visit to Disneyland. He slept a lot. We did manage to go on Winne the Pooh, Alice in Wonderland, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, and of course, Pirates of the Caribbean. He did great with all the rides, but it was freaking HOT. So we weren't there longer than a few hours. I did, however, get his picture taken with Ariel and Minnie. Check them out in my pictures.
We got back this evening and Brandt is now sleeping. He did so well ... I'm hoping future travel excursions go as smoothly, although I somehow think it gets harder when they're mobile.
April 27, 2007 - Friday
Brandt is 11 weeks old today. I'm happy to report that he has been sleeping well in his crib for the past 3 weeks, and although he still doesn't "sleep through the night", he does sleep anywhere from 4-6 hours at a time.
He's starting to be so much more fun now, he smiles all the time and is quite the conversationalist with his adorable baby language. Joe and I have taken him to the zoo twice, and even though he usually sleeps the whole time, Joe and I have a lot of fun looking at the animals.
My mom came down yesterday to watch Brandt while I went to Gadabout for my first haircut and eyebrow wax since he was born (yeah, I was pretty frizzy). I cut off most of my hair ... ok, not that much but it's definitely shorter (just above my shoulders). Both Joe and my mom were a bit surprised because they thought I was just going for a trim. And they both like my hair better longer, but whatever. I needed to cut it off because it was too long and scraggly and tangly. And it's just hair, it will grow back ... although I'm about to enter that 3 months post partum stage where all my hair will start to fall out, so maybe cutting it wasn't the best plan. At least I'll be cooler for summer ...
And thanks, Heather ... the Gadabout day was so wonderful.
April 5, 2007 - Thursday
Let me clarify ...
I wanted to clarify the tone of my previous post ... I don't hate being a mom. I love it and am so thankful for the opportunity to be a stay at home mom. The part I hated was the uncertainty ... doubting myself and my abilities. Newborns have a way of making you feel like the most incompetent person in the world and I hated feeling like I had no idea what I was doing. I also hated the first couple weeks of breastfeeding because I did get up every two hours to feed Brandt and that was physically, mentally and emotionally draining.
Things are going so much better now, although I must admit the phrase "never say never" definitely applies to me now. Before I had him, I was adamantly opposed to having him sleep with us. Now Brandt sleeps right between me and Joe, which helps with MY sleep because when he's hungry I just roll over and give him a boob, then we both go back to sleep. It's so much easier, although now that he's reaching the 2 month mark I feel somewhat obligated to switch him to his crib soon ... I don't anticipate that will be an easy transition. Also, I said I would never use a pacifier ... that went out the window fairly quickly. Babies like to suck ... it soothes them, and instead of turning myself into a human pacifier I decided to put a Nuk in his mouth. It works quite well to calm him so he can put himself back to sleep.
Anyway, I just wanted to post a little something to clarify my feelings. I realized after I posted the previous blog that what I wrote might be misconstrued to imply that I hate motherhood. I just was hoping to let out some of my frustrations, and I guess I was hoping people would tell me what I had felt was normal (thanks, Heather ... it's good to know I wasn't alone).
March 28, 2007 - Wednesday
The hardest job you'll ever have
Ok, so people can tell you that you won't sleep and that you're life will never be the same and that it's the hardest thing you'll ever do ... and you can nod and smile at them thinking you can handle it. And you can handle it, but only after you live through it first hand. Nothing can prepare you ... nothing that anyone says can prepare you ... the books can't prepare you. I would like to share my experiences from the first few weeks of motherhood:
Why don't people tell you that you'll hate it? Because I did. Is it something no one talks about for fear of being labeled a "bad mom"? I'll admit it. I cried. I thought I would die from lack of sleep. Breastfeeding is probably the hardest part ... getting up every two hours to feed the baby. And those first few weeks all the baby does is eat, sleep, cry & poop. They don't really acknowledge you ... you'll feel like nothing you do can make them happy.
The first 3 weeks I would freak out every evening around 5 or 6pm because I didn't know how the night would go. I didn't know if I'd get a solid 2 hours of sleep ... and I prayed for the possibility of 2.5 hours of sleep. I cried because I realized I would never sleep the same way again. And people talk about the "baby blues" ... I seriously think that the majority of that is due to sleep deprivation. One day I would feel like I had everything together, the next day I would feel completely inept and cry for no reason. I would call Joe at work in tears, sobbing because I didn't know why the baby was crying and I felt like a crappy mom. He was really good about it, though ... very supportive, telling me I was doing a great job and that things were ok.
After about 4 weeks I finally started to feel a little more competent, although I still questioned a lot of decisions about when to feed him, sleep him, etc ... at least I didn't feel so paranoid. I think that's when I finally accepted the fact that I would not be sleeping as much ... and my body finally adapted to the freakish sleep schedule I had been subjecting it to for the past month.
Now that Brandt is almost 7 weeks old I do feel like things are getting easier, and I know they keep getting easier these next few weeks. Don't get me wrong, I love him more than anything now, but for me it wasn't the instant "love of your life" feeling that you see on TV or in the movies. I was amazed when he was born, and proud of what Joe and I created ... but Brandt was still a bit of a stranger to me. We had to get to know each other. And each day we get to learn more about each other ... and I'm so happy to be his mom.
March 3, 2007 - Saturday
It's Been 3 Weeks!
Current mood: calm
Wow, I can't believe it's been 3 weeks since I had Brandt. Time really does fly (except when you really, REALLY want to sleep in the middle of the night but instead you're staying up trying to feed your baby ... then time drags).
The c-section wasn't bad at all ... in fact I highly recommend them. Of course mine was scheduled so I didn't have to recover from a long labor that resulted in a c-section, I just had to recover from the c-section. The worst part of the surgery for me was when they put the betadine on my back before the spinal. The betadine was so cold (REALLY cold) and it felt like they were rubbing it on with a brillo pad. After that, they gave me a shot of local anesthetic and then put the spinal in. Within minutes my legs felt really warm and after I layed down and Joe was in the room, the anesthesiologist told me they had started. I looked at him like, "yeah, right they started ... " and he said, "really, they started." Then I heard my doctor commenting about how skinny my belly was and how she didn't have that much to cut through. Of course I felt the need to clarify that the fat had not deposited itself on my belly, but instead all over my butt and thighs. I seriously felt like Jenny McCarthy in that Weight Watchers commercial (where she said she hoped she had given birth to a 60 pound baby) ... yep, I gained 60 pounds! Side note with the weight gain ... I had already lost 30 pounds by my 2 week check up.
During the surgery I didn't feel that much pressure. After a couple of minutes my doctor held Brandt up over the sheet for me to see. He was in this tiny ball and all purple. They took him over to the table and cleaned him off. While they were doing that my doctor starts to show Joe all my girl parts. I hear her say, "Joe, these are her ovaries and this is her uterus." I was quite surprised at how well Joe did with the blood and guts of it all. He even watched the doctor take Brandt out.
Once Brandt was clean and freshly wrapped like a burrito, Joe brought him over to me and the anesthesiologist took our picture (which you can see in my pictures). That's the last I saw of Brandt and Joe until I was in the recovery room. The nurse did come back in to tell me Brandt weighed 6 pounds 15.3 ounces and that he probably would have been an even 7 pounds but he peed 5 times on the way to the nursery.
The rest of the day was pretty rough, since the anesthesiologist had given me some IV pain medication that made me itch like I had just rolled around in poison ivy. That wasn't a lot of fun. And the morphine they gave me throughout the day made me feel really sick (and let me tell you, it's not a pleasant experience to vomit when you have just had abdominal surgery ... quite scary ... felt like my belly would burst open). But that was the worst of it ... until I had to get up and walk the next morning. That hurt. But each time I got up it got easier, so I forced myself to do it. The Percoset and 800 mg of ibuprofen definitely helped take the edge off, though.
So that's my story. Oh yeah, the morning he was born we still hadn't decided on a name ... they finally made us choose one the second day we were in the hospital because they had to get the paperwork for the birth certificate. It came down to the wire and we still couldn't decide between Logan and Brandt. Obviously you can figure out which one we chose, but for the first 24 hours of his life he was "Baby Boy Bober".