The Thoughts of This Mommy

Yesterday Emma hit 7 weeks. Those 7 weeks felt like at least 20. I know that everyone always says it, but it really is true - being a Mom is the toughest job ever! I love it, and I wouldn't ever go back, but it is so hard!

Since Em has already been asleep for an hour and a half I don't have long to get this down.

Going on:

- Tummy time is something that Emma hates, but we have still been doing it and her left arm is getting strong! Of course her neck is too, but we've been watching closely for signs of rolling over and her left arm might get her there quickly.

- Emma laughed out loud in her sleep just this week! I have no idea what she was dreaming about, but it was the sweetest sound I have ever heard!

- I dried up. I was weaning myself down on milk since I quit nursing, but I had thoughts of pumping 2 - 3 times per day to continue giving her the anti-bodies her doctor says she needs. Then this morning I tried to pump (12 hours later) and after 10 minutes I didn't even have an ounce between the two. I've decided to just stop altogether (see my thoughts below).

- My Dad changed his first diaper today, and we didn't stand over him either. It took him a bit, but he got it and did great! He also fed Em for the first time today too! He can tell that we are nervous about him watching her on his own, but he doesn't get too upset about it like we would. Truthfully I know he can handle a couple of hours 3 days a week, but his thought process is that if she's crying she's hungry. I'm paranoid that she will be overfed every day.

- Emma's fusiness is a little better. I'm starting to think that I wasn't giving her what she needed. She'd nurse for 40 minutes, get everything she could out of me, but was only full for an hour or so. Formula keeps her at bay for 2 hours, and she stays calm for the first hour or so after each feeding (if awake).

- I rearranged Emma's room again. Lol. I move things around like every week or so. I just can't get it perfect, but it's getting there. Oh, I am ordering more clothes for her too! I'd rather her have everything in the world, instead of me getting new clothes or things that aren't really needed.


- Nursing. I hated nursing. It hurt. Now I think it hurt b/c my poor baby wasn't getting enough and she kept going and going, but at the time I thought the latching wasn't right even though it seemed to be. The one thing I loved was the closeness, the bonding, the looks from her, the hand resting on her food supply, the fact that she needed me and I could give her what she needed (although maybe not enough). Now that I've stopped, and today I'm pretty much dry, I am so sad at the thought that if we got lost in the woods I couldn't keep her alive. I know, I know, how likely is that to happen? But, if in the winter we run off the road and get stuck and have no way to get out, and my cell phone died, and it's on a back road, I couldn't feed her. You're probably thinking that this wont happen either, but it's much more likely to happen than us being in bug-infested woods. My heart aches over this. It doesn't help that my Twitter girls have no problem making and storing milk (no offense girls!), or that Em's doctor wanted me to nurse for 2 years, or that everything I read says milk is best... I'm hurt that I wasn't good enough for her. That I couldn't give her everything she needed and more.

- Formula. Okay, formula is gross! No, I didn't try it, but it smells like metal. And if Emma spits up it smells like vomit. We've found that any gentle formula is not so gentle for Emma, it's actually opposite! I really like the Enfamil Newborn formula for her, and after 3 mos I think we will switch to Similac Advanced formula b/c I've tried the sample I got for her and she handles it well! It's handy to be able to feed her at any time and any place, and my parents and Gene love to feed her. It warms my heart to listen to my Mom and Dad talk to her as she eats.

- Gene. I worry about how he will handle things when he is by himself for full days. Why? Well b/c even with me being home he slacks off. He will be holding Emma while watching tv, she starts to cry, and he does nothing... until he realizes he can't hear his show anymore. Ugh. I'm contemplating taking the remote to work with me. I lecture him and he assures me he wont be like that, but if he is now then why wouldn't he be then? He better get his stuff together!

- Work. So I decided to go back to work on the 6th instead of waiting until the 10th. After thinking more about it, while I'd rather stay home with my babe, I need to get back so that I'm not even further behind and out of the loop. My issue now is that while I'm away from Emma for just 3 hours I miss her like crazy. How will I ever make it 8+ hours!?! I love her. Why oh why couldn't my workplace be more understanding? I tried to go to part-time, but for some reason they think that I couldn't get my usual duties done in 3 or 4 days instead of 5. My supervisors are all parents, so they should have realized that even in my short 7 weeks I've learned to multitask like no other! There is so much more to this work thing, but I'd better keep my mouth shut about it. ;-)

- Sleep. So Emma is back to 2 times waking per night. She was at one (if any) for weeks, but b/c she's eating more now she wakes more. I HATE waking up in the middle of the night. No, I shouldn't say that. If I wake up on my own I'm completely fine and almost happy. But, if I'm awaken (is that the right word?) by an alarm clock, Gene, or a sweet little baby, I'm miserable and very cranky. I snap at Gene if he asks if I need help, or I'll lecture him if he came to bed too late. I just can't help it. I'm so tired unless I wake up on my own. I have no idea how to fix this. I could have even gotten 10 hours of sleep and I'm still miserable. I will definately be praying for more strength in this area!

Well, my sleeping baby is waking up. Here are a few pics to hold you over until next time!


5 Weeks

Well, Emma is finally down for a nap after the fifth attempt, so I am trying to use this opportunity to blog since I haven't in so long. Normally when she goes down I use that time to finally eat, do some dishes, maybe boil some baby items, etc. But, yesterday I got a lot accomplished so I'm putting everything aside to get some stuff down, oh and watch me some Twilight. :-)

- Emma is 5 weeks old as of yesterday. We are learning a bit more about each other, so we have a few "quiet times" a day now; quiet meaning she's awake and just looking around or playing quietly. This doesn't happen often. Otherwise, she still cries and scream like crazy, still only sleeps about 3 hours a day, and luckily for me still sleeps a total of about 9 hours a night (with feeding breaks of course).

- Speaking of feeding, it's getting a lot better. Besides the pain I mean. She's eating like a champ for the most part now, but b/c I keep trying to push the binkie her latching is getting worse. She does this panicked biting thing when she first latches on, and then pushes herself off a bit. I try to stop her and start over, but after so many tries I'm exhausted and hurting and just let her do her thing to eat and be done with it. After so many days of this I could scream from the pain after each feeding. I'm really hoping this gets better before I give up early.

- I'm struggling with the swaddle. I have two of the velcro swaddles (two different brands), and each one moves itself up over Emma's face within minutes. I try to rig it and roll it down, but that doesn't last. I'm really irritated with it all b/c I read that anything over a babies mouth, even if it cannot go down their throat, increases risk of SIDS. Obviously this is enough to freak me out. But, for the time being the swaddle is the only way I can get Em to sleep so I guess I will continue with it, and wake up a million times to check on her. Good thing she snores so I can at least hear her breathing without staring at her all the time.

- We got Emma a play mat. She loves it! Unfortunately it does not move on its own, but if we sit there and jiggle it for her she can lay there for 10 minutes or so just staring at everything. I love that she enjoys it b/c it's the first thing she has seemed to take an interest in besides boob. Haha.

- She hates tummy time. I try and try and try. On the floor, on the couch, in her crib, in the pack n play, on the play mat... but she just screams. Now, I can lay her on my chest for a nap and she lifts her little head up and looks around all wide-eyed. It is the cutest thing I have ever seen. I wish I could take a picture of her but I've tried and it obviously cannot capture the moment. But, to me the best part is that her little mouth takes the shape of her saying "Ooooooooooooo." I absolutely love this little girl. Anyway, we are still trying tummy time and I really am looking forward to some success there.

- I took Em to my workplace b/c I had to pay for my insurance and I didn't have anyone to stay home with her. No big deal really, except when I got there she started to fuss and some ladies there had to put their two cents in. One even went as far as to ask if I was even feeding her. Ugh. I could go on and on here but for the sake of someone seeing this blog I'm just going to say that I was so ticked off that I almost cried right there. I was so upset that when Em went poo I looked like I've never changed a diaper before. My boss looked super cute holding her though so I'm glad I got to see that.

- There's a lot of pressure out there to breast feed. I'm glad I did/am and all, but it was only supposed to be for 4-6 weeks before I have to go back to work. However, the times that we gave Emma formula I broke down and cried b/c there are so many out there who say formula is bad. I almost feel like I will be looked down on if I stop. I love my baby more than anything, and while I want her to have the best of the best I just don't feel like it will work out well to continue to pump and nurse once I go back to work. I have long, sometimes full day meetings, seminars and trainings. I travel to different offices if need be. I don't always know when it will be, and I can't see me going 8 hours without pumping and everything being the same after that. I keep second guessing my decision. Then I start to wonder if I am being selfish. This is my baby girl. Shouldn't I do whatever it takes to keep her happy and healthy? But, will she really be unhappy or unhealthy if we go to formula? I just don't know what to do. This is my biggest concern/fear/issue right now.

Everyone keeps saying that things will get easier. I see little changes that are better, but then all the bigger, harder things are still there. The doctor assures us that by 12 weeks things will be completely different. We shall see.

Emma should be waking up soon so I'm going to stop this here.

I love my Emma. :-)



2 Weeks

Well, it's Emma's 2 week birthday today. No, we aren't celebrating week birthdays or anything. But can you believe my baby girl is 2 weeks old? I'd like to say that it feels like just yesterday I had her, but in reality it feels like it was months ago.

I've been slacking on the posts lately, what with having a newborn in the house and all. Speaking of newborn, mine seems to be waking up... hang on...

Okay, it's now the day after Emma's 2 week birthday. Goes to show how a baby can change your plans completely, huh?

I'd thought I'd just highlight some things from our first 2 weeks as a family.

- Emma loves the boobie. I decided to try breast feeding in the hospital, as the previous blog descibed, and because I had a C-Section and my milk supply took its time Emma had to spend much more time than normal attached to get the amount needed. Now, she is a comfort nurser. Meaning that when she's the slightest bit upset or tired she wants to latch on and "suckle" (as Gene calls it) until she falls asleep. This is the most time consuming, painful, pain in the butt thing. There are days, like today, where she's awake all day just feeding. Why? Well, even though within the first 20 minutes she gets nice and full, she burns more calories doing her fake nursing so then she's hungry again within an hour. It's a vicious circle, and if she doesn't get her way she screams bloody murder. The doctor told us to let her scream. But, it breaks my heart to see and hear her like that. I love her. I don't want her to be unhappy. Plus, I read that those babies seem to end up with anxiety and self-esteem issues.

**Now it's 4 days after her 2 week birthday. Wow, I can't seem to get through one post these days. Update on the nursing thing - we seem to be learning from each other and we are getting a bit better with feeding and soothing both. However, the soreness is still an issue.

- Emma doesn't seem to cry for anything other than wanting boobie. If she has a wet or dirty diaper we will never know unless we check. She will cry when she's gassy or has an upset tummy, but her way to calm that herself is to eat to try to push it all out, so that doesn't really count. And so far she hasn't cried to be held... We know this one bc if she cries she "roots" so that we know what she's wanting. I'm fine with this piece of info. :-)

- I absolutely hate getting up in the middle of the night to feed Emma. While I was pregnant I got up constantly to pee or even to watch tv., but it's much harder now. I think I get exhausted during the day and just want to sleep all night but can't. It's getting better, meaning the feedings are now only about 30 minutes compared to the previous hour or more, but getting up out of my comfy bed is agonizing. I wish I could be one of those moms that loves her baby so much that it doesn't bother them the slightest. I love Emma more than anything in the world, and I will get my butt up each and every time she needs me, but I love my sleep too so I don't see my grumpiness in this area getting better any time soon.

- While I think Gene is a great daddy, I wish he was able to help more. When Emma gets up at 3am and wants fed, I am the one who gets up to feed her. He says he will give her a bottle, but Em will only fall asleep latched to me. In her 2.5 wks of life she's only fallen asleep on her own twice since home and the rest in the hospital. Those two times took more than 2 hours of bottles, rocking, bouncing, swinging, shushing, etc. I don't see how that will benefit any of us if it's done in the middle of the night. But, alas, with Gene on vaca/leave this week we are going to attempt it bc once I go back to work we will need to share the load. His timing is also the worst. The moment I need help is the exact time he needs to go potty, or he ran downstairs to do laundry, or he's in the shower... Poor guy can't catch a break when it comes to timing. Never could.

- Nobody ever told me that the first few months were so "boring." When I say that I mean that a newborn can't really look at you, or smile at you, or coo, or anything really. To be quite honest it's almost unrewarding. I know each day will bring something new, and it does, but I long for Emma to really see me, and laugh, and coo, and reach for me. I need some attention from her other than boobie time.

- I have the baby blues. I fall apart every day. I cry a couple times a day over things ranging from the news to how much I love Emma. When it's really bad I take a long shower and cry hysterically in private. I think it's all really from exhaustion. I'm almost positive it's not depression bc the nurse at my last appt told me those signs and I most definitely don't have those. But, I didn't think the baby blues lasted this long either. All I know is that I hate for Gene to see me cry, especially for no reason at all.

- I wish I could capture pictures of all of Emma's crazy faces. I seem to miss them all. :-(

- I've lost double the weight I gained during pregnancy. I gained 20lbs total, and as of today I've lost 40. I have no idea how other than BFing and not snacking or indulging. My concern, however, is that maybe my lack of calories is affecting Emma's lack of weight gain. I've been trying to eat more, but it's not easy with a newborn either.

I could go on and on, but for the sake of actually posting this blog I will stop here. Hopefully things will continue to get better and easier as the days go by.