Monday, September 29, 2008

Owie Wowie

You can file this one under TMI but I have to share what's on my mind today.

My nips hurt.

Not the licked-by-a-kitten, scruffy kind of hurt. More like I'm-a-two-dollar-hooker-on-a-good-day kind of sore. Or maybe that would be a bad day? Anyway, you get my drift. I can barely stand the sensation of my breast pads rubbing against them. My first instinct is to cup them and protect them from the elements, until I realize that my hands are capable of afflicting the same agony.

Can we say OWWWWW?! Guess I need to break out the Lanolin again. I haven't needed it since the first week or two after beginning the Great Breastfeeding Expedition.

For the past few days - and nights - Nate has been quite literally attached to my boobs. Big shocker. We all know they are his most favorite toys in the whole wide world, which have the added bonus of providing nourishment. But lately, it's been so bad that should I remove the boob from his mouth, we get maybe 5 minutes of happy time before I have to plug him back up to quell the wailing. Stubborn child won't be satisfied with a pacifier. Should I offer the colorful apparatus, he shoots me a look of disgust, as if to say, "you must be joking, woman. Fetch me a breast and stop this nonsense!". Just when I thought we might be out of the woods with the whole colic thing, I again found my butt firmly implanted in the recliner all weekend with my girls on display. I felt like a human keg.

Growth spurt perhaps? Homeboy has been gnawing on his hands and slobbering profusely whenever he's actually not nursing. Cute, check. Confusing, check. I'm not sure if he just likes the way they taste and feel or if he is truly giving me a hunger cue.

Tell me it's not teething. Not this soon. I beg of you.

Because, if it is, my poor twins may just detach themselves from my body and run off to a land far far away.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Hell Week

So, I've officially completed Hell Week. No, I'm not a Navy Seal. But my first full-time week back to work has left me in a haze.

Under normal circumstances, I would easily be able to manage everything on my plate. After all, I know my job like the back of my hand. Normally, it would be second nature for me to put out fires and correct mistakes. But after 9 weeks of looking at nothing but poopy diapers and my newfound boobies, the paperwork and media requests have become overwhelming. I am unsure where to start with the list of tasks ahead of me and so I space out. I find myself easily distracted whether in the office or at home. It's as if I've acquired ADD and any shiny object diverts my attention. My heart is at home and my head tries to follow but I keep it on a short leash. I have no choice but to focus and take one thing at a time. Easier said than done, but I need to prioritize. After all, the bills have to get paid somehow and I'd prefer to do it without taking my clothes off. Especially with all the momma flab. Oh, and my morals and values of course.

On Monday, from the minute I awoke, I was on a mission. I frantically cleaned all the bottles in the house by hand and sterilized them. I wrote out detailed instructions for my mother on how and when to prepare the bottles, which breastmilk containers to use and how much at each feeding, how to use our backup formula if she should run out of breastmilk, where to find bibs, burp cloths, etc., how to work his numerous soothing contraptions, as well as a list of numbers to contact me or DH should something go awry. Yes, I became THAT mother. The overly paranoid, protective one. After all, it's not like my mother raised two children. I reasoned to myself that Nate is different. He is a high needs baby (I know, which baby isn't? - but tell that to me in my hysteria) and she needs to be adequately prepared for a day alone with him.

I decided to nurse him before I left and as I was burping him, he gave me a big smile and even a hint of a laugh. It brought out the waterworks I was determined to hide. Again, I had to walk out the door without kissing him. Just trusting that all would be fine. I hated leaving him when he was in such a good mood but I reminded myself I would be seeing him in just a few hours, agonizing as they may be.

Of course, the day went off without a hitch, despite my nightmarish visions of calamity. I called to check in at lunchtime and he had just woken up from a nap. He didn't eat much over the day (about 7-8 oz. total in 9 hours) but I was just happy he didn't flat out refuse. And we also didn't have to resort to formula! When I came home, he was asleep in his swing, so content. I breathed a sigh of relief.

Tuesday and Wednesday were remote days. It was difficult to plan phone calls around unpredictable nap times and to type one-handed while Nate was on the boob but we somehow got through it. I definitely felt moments of guilt when he would cry and it would take me a few minutes to finish up what I was working on to come to his rescue. Or when he would look at me with sheer frustration as I tried to nurse him and type simultaneously, like "this is uncomfortable mommy!" Or when I would look down at him in his bouncer (which I'm pushing with my foot as I type so as to get more than 5 minutes use out of it) and he would be staring back up at me as if to say, "pay attention to me, mommy!" It's so hard because while I want Nate to always come first, there will inevitably be times in which tending to his needs will be delayed. Something's gotta give. Hence, the impending guilt and feelings of selfishness.

I wish I were like that octopus in that air freshener commercial so I could have 8 free arms to cook, clean, work and take care of my baby. Alas, I only have 2 and I have to do the best I can. Even if my best isn't good enough according to my standards. I am a bit of a perfectionist so I want to excel at the mommy thing and the career thing. My fear is that I'll be subpar at both. And I really really don't want to fail at either. Talk about pressure.

After two days of trying to balance the scales of justice, I was honestly ready for a mental break. Working in the office is hardly guilt-free but I don't have the added stress of watching my baby stare at me with beautiful, big puppy dog eyes and pouty lips as I put together media plans. I don't have to peer at the clock as I hold him in my arms. I don't have to apologize profusely for not being responsive enough. Nothing makes me feel more helpless.

Thursday was Daddy Day and again, I woke up with a sense of mania - preparing bottles, organizing toys, strategically placing burp cloths and blankets throughout the aparment. While I trust DH wholeheartedly, I sometimes worry about him being alone with Nate for extended periods of time. He doesn't have as much patience as I do for the crying and battle of the wills. He often raises the white flag as if he's under duress and hands him off to me during the witching hour. So naturally, I was afraid of what it would be like when I wasn't there to relieve him. But, like Monday, it went better than I expected. He ate a little more for Daddy than Grandma over the course of the day (about 10 oz.) but still not as much as he does from me. No surprise there. When I came home, he was chillin' on Daddy's lap, listening to the sounds of Baby Vivaldi while intently watching DH code. We had success.

Friday was another remote day and I felt refreshed and ready to tackle the tasks at hand. There was light at the end of the tunnel. If I could make it through today, we could have 2 whole days together with no interruptions. That proved to be enough motivation to get me through those final 8 hours and through the ribbon to the finish line. *key Chariots of Fire soundtrack*

The bright side of Hell Week is that it has made me feel more at ease leaving Nate. I still get sad and sometimes the tears still flow - or least threaten to - when the clock strikes 830am and it's time to leave. That's just the momma in me. But I know that I'll come home and he'll still be in one piece.

It has made me realize that it doesn't make me a bad mother to make the most of my time away. I can *gasp* enjoy myself and indulge in a cup of coffee and adult interaction and conversation. All the while knowing my boy is in good hands. It's a nice thought but I don't flatter myself that he even notices a vacancy in our residence those 2 days per week. As long as he's fed that is.

But best of all, it makes me cherish my time with Nate so much more. Those first few seconds when I step through the doorway and see his face are indescribable.

Friday, September 26, 2008

2 Months

Announcement: This was supposed to post yesterday but Mr. Overtired Crankypants paid a visit and didn't allow me to hit the publish button. So here goes - better late than never, right?!

My munchkin is 2 months old today. I feel as if someone has hit the fast forward button on the remote of my life. It's amazing how much he's changed in such a short time. I hardly recognize him from his birth pictures. 9 weeks later, he's no longer my peanut. More like a cashew now.

I went from never believing I'd actually have a baby to never believing there was life before Nate. So surreal. It feels so natural - the three of us. As if it was always meant to be this way.

Each day is better than the last.

Without further ado, here's some baby goodness (with video!) from weeks 7-8 to tide you over:

7 weeks

8 weeks

2 months and getting bigger everyday!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A Note To My Netheregions

Dear Ms. Vadge Ina:

First off, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your years of dedicated service. You have been a loyal laborer of my sexual will for almost 10 years. For 2.5 of those years, you endured countless pokes and prods from a hodgepodge of guests, some of whom were quite unsavory. Tools like the cheap plastic specula, who forced you to reveal your depth and left you wounded and abused. Or the ultrasound wand, who invaded your privacy like a date perusing your medicine cabinet. But let's not forget your comrade, Captain Willy and his merry seamen. While they were known to be quite demanding in their entry, they always made sure to show you a pleasant evening.

You have also exceeded my expectations with your performance in the delivery of my son. To ensure his safety, you put yourself in harms way -stretching and tearing to accomodate a passerby of much larger-than-usual proportions. I could never thank you enough for your fortitude and for withstanding the inevitable battle scars of such a complex task.

After years of dutiful compliance, it appears that you have suddenly become disgruntled. Fed up with a lack of accolades perhaps. You have been absent from mandatory meetings. Your passion for your job has been noticeably void. You seem melancholy and droopy, as though you've been wrung and laid out to dry. You've declined all visitors, including your companion K.Y. and your dear lover, Captain Willy - who is heartbroken I might add. He has tried to be gentle and tender and you still resisted his advances.

You just aren't yourself. We're curious and worried about you. We miss the old Vadge. The carefree, extroverted girl who took everything in stride. This introverted loner that you've become is not the Vadge we've come to know and love.

As I am unable and unwilling to find a substitute for your position, I urge you to seek the help you need in order to overcome this dark depression. If there is anything I can do, please feel free to respond.



Dear Ms. Ina:

Thank you for your timely reply to my earlier inquiry. You have brought to light several miscommunications that need further examining.

I was unaware of the dispute you had with the Hormone department. Unfortunately, that division is grandfathered in with the X chromosome and despite numerous grievances, we have been unable to successfully change their processes. I understand they can be quite cumbersome to deal with but my best advice is to ignore their antics and not let them infect you with their attitude.

I was also oblivious to your contention with the Breastis'. We have assigned them to a special project in the Breastfeeding unit which could account for their overstimulation during all hours of the day and night. I understand how this might affect your workmanship and will take special care to assist you as needed so that you may fulfill your tasks.

I appreciate your assurance that this variation in character is only temporary and that you will return to your regular schedule in time. We welcome your reprisal as the Vice President of Intimacy.



Thursday, September 18, 2008

I Will Survive

C' know you were singing the gay-riffic disco tune when you read the title. Or at least humming it. Admit it.

Anyway, since I am writing, you can probably assume I survived my first day back at work. Yes, it was only 4.5 hours instead of my usual 8, but you have to crawl before you can walk.

You would've been proud. I only cried a little on my way out the door, as I went to kiss my boys goodbye. My husband told me not to cry and it would be okay - which only emphasized my anxiety. Nate was dozing off in his swing with the tender orchestration of Canon in D playing in the background. I couldn't even bring myself to kiss him goodbye, as the tears started rolling. I just had to walk out the door and take a deep breath. Concentrate. Just a few hours, I repeated to myself. You can do this. Nate is safe with Daddy and will be well taken care of. Just relax. Go with it.

I drove to work and cranked up the radio, singing along to jams that would distract me. When I pulled into the parking lot and turned off the ignition, I felt the the tears sting behind my eyes, begging to flow. But I squeezed them back, pretending to be strong. I repeated my earlier inner monologue to prepare myself mentally for the undertaking. I put on my glasses, took another deep breath, and walked briskly into the office. The surroundings seemed eerily familiar. Everything as it was before I left. Some things never change, I said to myself. It was amazing that I had a major life-altering event and yet for everyone else, it has been business as usual. And suddenly I felt at ease.

Everyone greeted me with a hug and asked me how I was feeling. The women complimented me on how good I looked for just having a baby. They inquired about Nate and of course, I gushed, as any proud momma would. We probably spent a good 30-45 minutes shooting the breeze. I actually felt good. A surge of confidence swept over me. I can do this.

I had a brief meeting with my boss in which she gave me the scoop on everything that had occurred over the past two months. I was praised for how organized I had left my files. Apparently, things had been quite hectic but had now become manageable. To my delight, I'm not going to be slammed upon my reentry. I have a gentle reintroduction into the working world.

I sat at my desk, and felt a tinge of sadness that my leave was officially over. But I quickly recovered and shifted into business mode. I had about 85 emails to sort through and I just dove in head first. I surprised myself at how much I remembered and how easily my routine came back to me. I had fleeting thoughts about Nate throughout the day and I pictured his sweet face as I pumped. I missed him intensely but at the same time, that desire to see him and hold him motivated me to push on. Before I knew it, it was time to go home. After saying my goodbyes (and enduring jabs from my co-workers as to whether I would stay true to my word and come back on Monday), the first thing I did was pull out my cell and call the hubby. Everything was perfectly fine. My little oinker had even eaten 10 ounces in my 5 hour absence. From a bottle!

I grinned as I drove home. I did it. I made it through my first day. If I can get through a half day, I can surely make it through a whole one. Right? Right?

And believe me, as soon as I opened the door, I raced in, picked up my boy and held him so close. He gave me a big toothless smile and it lit me up inside. It made everything worth it (even if he only wanted me for my boobs. Men.).

Distance - even 20 miles - sure does make the make the heart grow fonder.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Back to Work Blues

Okay, I know I said this would be a Wordless Wednesday, but I lied. I need to get some things off my chest. I need girl talk. It'd be much more fun if we could all go out for pedicures and watch Sex and the City reruns while we vent but I'll have to settle for the online version.

You can probably tell from the title of this post that I will need some cheese with my whine. So, let's sit back with our Brie and crackers while we you sip your finest Pinot Grigio. Here goes.

I realize how fortunate I am to have negotiated the flexible, gradual-return-to-the-land-of-the-living schedule that I have. Working 3 days from home and 2 days in the office. My mom and DH will cover the 2 days I will be away so we can avoid daycare. Nate will be left in the best possible hands with people I trust dearly. And I won't have to sacrifice my career or put our family in financial ruin.

Sounds like gravy, right? So, what's my major malfunction?

Mentally, I am just not ready to go back to work. I love my job. I love my boss. I love my co-workers. I love the people I work with. It's the perfect job. I'm. just. not. ready.

I've technically been working the past 7.5 weeks but in a totally different capacity. I'm not utilizing my college degree or making those gargantuan student loans worthwhile. Instead, I'm relying on instinct and feedback. I'm not developing media plans for total strangers clients. I've been a caretaker to my darling son. And I can't think of any more important job. Everything else seems so trite or menial compared to this new position I've acquired.

I've enjoyed being a SAHM. I don't have dinner on the table every night when DH comes home and our 3BR/2BA apartment is in complete disarray. Dishes in the sink. Toys strewn across the floor. Laundry pouring out of the hamper. I'm certainly no 1950's housewife. But I could care less. I adore spending all my time with Nate. Catering to his every need - even if I'm flustered because I don't know what that need may be. Being there for his first milestones - holding his head up, batting and kicking toys, smiling, cooing. We've just begun recognizing a routine amidst the chaos and now I'm about to switch it up again.

It's a cocktail: half guilt and half sadness, sprinkled with a little fear. I wish I could quit and stay at home full-time. We may even be able to swing it on DH's salary alone. But we couldn't afford the same lifestyle. We'd have to penny pinch and live paycheck to paycheck. And I don't want that for our family. I don't want to put the sole financial burden on my husband if I can contribute. Giving up my job would put us further away from buying a home, especially in this shitty economy. I want to give my son the world and I simply can't do that if I'm unemployed.

I worked so hard to put myself through college (while working full-time) and graduated summa cum laude prior to getting a great job as a senior media buyer in advertising, a notoriously tough field to break into. If I give it up now, when I'm young and near my peak, it will only be that much harder should I try to get back in later in life. I've been in the water for a while now and it is warm and comfortable. If I get out, the water will chill and it will be really difficult to jump back in. A resume gap will stick out like a sore thumb to employers. And unfortunately, despite the feminist movement, the glass ceiling still exists. Few advertising execs understand the need to put a career on hold. Especially if I plan on having more children (which we hope to). As a woman who wants both a family and a career, I have to think about these things. I can't base my decision on emotions alone - as much as I'd like to.

I look at Nate and I cry because I realize I can't always be there for him - this is the first step in letting go. Because I'm going to miss our time alone together and, most likely, it will never be this way again. Because I'm worried our bond will not be as strong once I add work into the mix. Yes, I'll be home 3 days a week. But I won't be able to devote all of my time to Nate. I will have to prioritize my time and put in my 40 hours. There will be times Nate will come second. And it is hard to fathom that. I feel guilty that I won't be able to tend to his every need. And I'm scared that I won't be able to excel at both. I'm scared I may have lost the passion that made me so desirable to my employer because I have something else to be passionate about. I'm scared I may not be able to be the overachiever I've always been when it comes to this.

I hate that it all comes down to money in the end. I wish I could get paid in smiles and hugs.

Tomorrow is my first day back at the office - just for a few hours so my boss can brief me on what's been going on in my absence. Monday is my first full day back. Truth be told, I'm dreading it.

I'm sure it will be fine and it's just the anticipation that makes it so disheartening. After all, moms do it everyday around the world. Some go back as early as 6 weeks and I've been lucky enough to have 2 more weeks off. I have to suck it up. Be strong.

And go buy that lottery ticket - just in case I hit the jackpot. A girl can dream.

Wordless Wednesday: Mommy Initiation

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


A pumping mom is not far removed from those of a bovine variety.

Let's think about it. I have tubing and horns attached to my udders (okay, we call them nipples and areolas in these parts) as suction stimulates the flow of milk at mid-tempo. Even the pump motor taunts me with a continuous soft, slow "moo" .

I have to hand it to exclusive pumpers. Breastfeeding isn't exactly a picnic but it seems so much easier now that I'm in my groove. No bottles, valves, membranes or flutes to wash. No need to remember storage guidelines or watch the clock as you follow a rigid pumping schedule. Breastmilk fresh from the tap is always at the perfect temperature and requires practically no cleanup, aside from my overactive letdown that gags Little Man and sprays him in the face if he should suddenly pull off. You know that carnival game where you squirt the water at the bullseye to see who can reach the top the fastest? Yeah, well I could be a champ and I don't even need the gun.

When pumping, I find myself eyeballing the drops. Counting the ounces. Cheering on the boobies. I turn it into a competition. Which boob will give the most milk in the fastest time? Lefty is almost always the winner so I find myself rooting for underdog Righty. After a feed, I can usually get about 2-3 oz. but I've gotten as much as 6 oz. when Nate only fed off Righty and Lefty was engorged (the things I get excited about these days...). My little piggie eats about 3-5 oz. from the bottle now so I need to do a good bit of pumping to provide 4 bottles on those days I will be working in the office.

For me, the scheduling is the hardest part. Nate falls asleep after almost every feed so it is hard to put him down and pump immediately. He is clingy and needs to be held ALOT. If he wakes up shortly after I put him down, he wants to dream feed to soothe himself back to sleep. In other words, I top him off so he gets that much more milk drunk. His feeds can be so sporadic (one boob vs. two, 1 hour vs. 3 hours apart) that it makes it hard to predict a safe time to pump. I don't want to pump and then have only an appetizer if he decides to wake up demanding a 4-course meal. Needless to say, I don't have much of a stash built up for when I return to work next week. But I'm hoping to correct that problem this week. I've been drinking Gatorade left and right (the electrolytes can boost your supply!) and I'm considering getting some Mother's Milk Tea to help me out temporarily. I am not opposed to supplementing with formula, if needed, but I really want to avoid it if I can and stick with exclusive breastmilk.

It's just hard to manage all of the details and I'm hoping that, like everything else, it will get easier and more predictable as time goes on.

BTW: No more nursing strikes so far. Whew. And he is now taking a bottle quite willingly when we offer it. Go figure.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Colic Sucks

It's 11pm. Do you know where your kid is?

My boy is in my husband's arms screaming his head off. Tomato face and all. This happens almost every evening between the hours of 8pm and 11pm. Sometimes a tad earlier or a tad later but always the same scenario.

He's been fed. He's been changed. He's been played with. He's been walked around and bounced. We've played music and turned the lights down low. We've put him in his swing. We've cuddled. We have exhausted almost all of our standbys to no avail. Putting him on the boob does tend to work but it also makes him spit up profusely, as he isn't really hungry but inevitably swallows the unwanted milk. I'm not sure if he just gets overtired or overstimulated or if it is true colic. Whatever it is - it stinks. I feel so helpless as Nate cries and there is nothing I can do to soothe him.

DH is losing patience. Fast. But he refuses to hand him over to me for help. He insists that the baby wants me, even though I assure him he would cry just as much in my arms. I know deep down inside, he'd probably cry a little less. But that's just because I'm the mommy. Mommies have that intuition. That instinct. Or in my case, they develop it as they get to know their little one. We can make things better. We're boo-boo fixers.

Of course, Nate prefers me slightly at this point. (1) I'm his food source. (2) I'm the one who has been home all day with him for the past 7 weeks. The only time I've left him is for an hour to get my hair cut while DH babysat (and believe me, I was dying to get out of the salon the minute I walked in).

DH, on the other hand, only had a week of paternity leave before returning back to work. He was supposed to have 2 weeks off but his work requested he return early. Yes, they are asshats but I have a whole 'nother post in the works about that. He works close to 50-60 hours a week, including some nights and weekends. He also cooks dinner every night for us after his 9am-6pm schedule. He's exhausted in the evenings and wants to unwind by working out, watching a movie, playing a video game or listening to some music. So, I take the baby and give him the R&R I know he needs. On weekends, he is the fundamental family man but it is really the only time he has one-on-one with Nate. At least when Nate is in a good or semi-good mood.

I want them to bond. But it is hard when the baby is crying and I can see the frustration written all over DH's face. My first instinct is to swoop in and take over. But I have to step back and I have to let DH learn for himself. I have to let him be the daddy. Even when he is obviously screwing things up (i.e. pouring water in the baby's eye during bathtime), I try not to nag. I've had to let the little stuff slide and realize that he is trying. It may not be up to my "standards" and I may not always agree with what he's doing (i.e. not using wipes after a pee) but I have to let him do it. I can offer suggestions or recommend things that have worked for me (i.e. "Have you tried holding him chest-to-chest? That seemed to help last time.") but that's as far as I can go. And it's not easy. But I realize Nate needs to be able to rely on and trust his father. He won't be able to do that if I'm always controlling everything.

It's funny how before Nate came along, I was the impatient one and DH was always the calm, cool and collected one. My how the roles have changed. It's like giving birth tamed me. Not that I have infinite patience but it certainly takes a lot to really upset me. I can take a lot of crying, screaming, fussing, etc. before it really gets to me. DH on the other hand can only take a few minutes before he starts to lose it.

Ahh, the sweet sound of peace. The boy is finally down. Only took an hour this go round. And DH has just breathed a sigh of relief. A much needed confidence/ego boost. There's another colic slayer in town.

Nipple Confusion is Not a Myth

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the ENEMY. It may seem like just an ordinary feeding device primarily used for babies but if you look closely, you will see horns and a pitchfork. Allow me to explain.

When Nate was 4 weeks old, we decided it was time to introduce a bottle. Breastfeeding was going swimmingly and we needed to prepare for him to take a bottle for when I had to return to work. I bought the best pump on the market and I was determined to do all in my power to ensure a smooth transition.

Well, my son has had other plans.

He flat-out refused any nipple other than the real thing. We tried bottle after bottle and artificial nipple after artificial nipple but he wouldn't have it. Playtex. NUK. Dr Brown's. Breastflow. MAM. Nuby. Adiri. All were a no go. He would mouth the nipple - and sometimes gag himself - before contorting his face to show his displeasure as the tears began. If I made any more attempts to move the horrid silicone and plastic contraption to his lips, the crying would amplify to a shrill scream - to the point where he would be gasping for breath. Yes, all this over a "ba-ba". As you can tell, I have a drama king on my hands.

So, for weeks we have been fighting this battle. And we have made some progress after being painfully consistent. I've endured hours upon hours of wailing, hitting and hair-pulling as he demanded a boobie. I've cried tears right alongside him and wondered if I would have to tell caregivers to syringe or cup feed him in my absence. I mean, I'm flattered that my boobs are in such high demand but although they are portable, they unfortunately cannot be detached.

Over time, he has conceded somewhat. He will drink from a bottle now - but usually takes many breaks to finish just several ounces. He will even take various kinds of bottles. He still fusses and whines but at least I know he won't go hungry if I'm not around.

So, we thought we had everything under control. How foolish of us.

For the past few days, we've enlisted the help of the Soothie, to live up to its name during Nate's typical colicky hours of 8pm - 11pm. It worked wonders. I no longer had to be a human pacifier and could relax in the evening without trying to comfort an inconsolable baby.

Well, last night, after a few hours of paci love, Nate refused the breast.

You heard correctly. REFUSED the BOOB. The boob he courted for so long. The boob he couldn't resist was now being resisted full-force. He would shake his head violently and refuse to latch, all the while sucking his fingers, bobbing his head and displaying every hunger cue in the book. I was so worried that something was wrong with him that I took his temperature and even looked inside of his mouth to see if there was something causing him pain. Nothing - all normal.

Meanwhile, it is 1am and DH and I are at our wit's end after countless attempts to woo him. DH decided to fix a bottle while I did my best to comfort baby. Wouldn't you know that he sucked down 2.5 oz. in the bottle as though he were a starving orphan?

I just broke down sobbing. I felt so rejected. How could he do a complete 180 like this? What went wrong? I thought about the last time I had nursed that day and kicked myself for not being more involved in the experience. For taking it for granted. What if that was the last time I would breastfeed my son? Sure, I could exclusively pump if I had to but I wanted the bond of nurturing him with my body. I cherished that bond we had and now I felt it had been compromised.

Thankfully, the nursing strike ended overnight after some sleep. Maybe some rest helped him to affirm his affection for the boob. But all day today, I've been walking on eggshells. Hoping he won't wean too early or get confused with all the nipples we have floating around. Hoping he'll still prefer the original tomorrow. And the day after. And the day after that.

Who would've thought it could be this complicated?

Friday, September 12, 2008

7 Weeks Minus 1 Day

48 days ago, I gave birth to the most beautiful baby boy ever. Of course, I am a bit bias here.

It's amazing how fast he has grown. His face has already changed and everyone comments on how "big" he's gotten. My big boy is most likely 11 lbs. by now. He has been in size 1 diapers since 2-3 weeks old and is filling out 0-3 month clothes. Where did my little guy go?

He can hold his head up really well - not so wobbly anymore - and finds faces, ceiling fans and lights especially fascinating. He's very strong and loves to stand up - assisted of course. I knew his legs would be strong from those huge kicks in my belly. He's started cooing and even had his first responsive smile yesterday. For grandmom. Not for mommy and daddy despite their endless efforts. Little stinker. At least he knows who to impress. My mom went right out to BRU to buy him a present.

I admit it makes me a little sad to see him get older. Each weekly milestone makes me proud but it is also tinged with sadness as the time goes by so quickly. I hold him and try to memorize how his body lies on mine. I examine every detail of his toes and fingers and try to emblazon it in my mind. I breathe in his baby scent (or is that Johnson's and Johnson's?) and try to store it so I'll never forget. The little things that make this newborn phase so special and romantic.

But as I implied in an earlier post, the romanticism is regularly interrupted by reality. Spit up. Vomit. Poo. Pee. Colic. Reflux. Pumping. Feeding. Soothing. It's all in a day's work for a mom. I may still be on maternity leave but it's a job in itself to decipher the needs of a tiny, albeit adorable person. I'm getting better with noticing his signs. When he's hungry, he becomes a human bobblehead (watch the teeth! That noggin is dangerous) and slobbers on his chubby fingers. When's he's tired, he cries excessively with bursts of "oh" mixed in and the only solution is to stand up and hold him chest to chest while bouncing rhythmically. When he wants to play, he'll get wide eyes and stare around, looking for anything that might be more stimulating than my mug. When angry, he furrows his brow, pouts and pumps his fists in protest. It's hard not to laugh when Mr. Fussypants reveals himself.

One of the things I expected to be the hardest has actually turned out to be rather pleasant: sleeping. Nate is a great sleeper. Granted, we are co-sleeping - which I swore I wouldn't do but after fighting the bassinet and crib, here I am - but he can go for a 4 to 5 hour stretch at night between feeds. We usually go to bed between 10 pm and midnight and he'll wake up around 3am and again around 630am or so. The result is a well-rested mommy, daddy and baby. I know eventually he needs to move to his own room. But right now, this works for all of us. Especially for breastfeeding in the wee hours.

I've heard through the grapevine that 3 months is the magic age when you can start scheduling. When everything just falls into place. So, while I miss the days that pass, I look forward to the days that follow. Everyday, more of his personality shines through and I get to know my son a little bit more. How could you not love that?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Baby Goodness

And because I owe you...


Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


I never thought the old adage "hope for the best but prepare for the worst" would ever apply to conceiving a baby. After 2.5 years of heartache and loss, there were times I honestly believed I may never be a mother. Times that I never thought I'd have a blog devoted purely to parenthood. That I was destined to write about my wonky ovaries forever. I began to wonder if the hope I held so much stock in was nothing but a falsity.

And here I am.

Here we are.

I've made the transition from infertile girl to infertility grad. Since July 26, 2008, I am officially a mommy. A boy mommy. And now I attempt to become a mommy blogger.

Much like when I started my old blog, I'm not sure where this will lead. I'm not sure I'll have anything interesting to post or new to share that another mom hasn't already discussed in greater detail or with more wit. But it will be a learning experience. Possibly for those who stumble across my path as well as for me. A way to document these precious moments before they fade. And maybe - just maybe - it can be entertaining as well.

We'll have to see what the future has in store.