Thursday, March 26, 2015

A Night In the Life of a New Mom


As a new mom, you know you're not going to get much sleep. It's just a fact. Also as a new mom, you will have the mind of a crazy person. Partly because of the sleep factor, partly because you don't know what the F you're doing, and mostly because you are so damn terrified of everything that you create anxiety around scenarios that are for the most part, far-fetched.

For example, a few weeks ago, I brought Liam home to Iowa. Early one morning, my niece, Sloan, came in to play. I told her that it wasn't playtime, that me and Liam were sleeping, and to please go find her mommy until it was time to get up. She got mad and left the room. Instead of falling back asleep, I thought about how I felt bad that I couldn't play with her at all hours like I used to. I wondered if she was playing by herself in her playroom just outside my door. I couldn't hear her. Then I wondered if her dad remembered to lock the sliding door to outside, because if he didn't, she could think to open it and go outside. Yes, she was definitely outside. And she didn't have shoes on, or a jacket. And it was below zero. She would freeze to death! I lay there with bated breath thinking about how I'd never forgive myself if we found Sloan frozen outside, and how it would be all my fault because I'd turned her away. Then I heard her playing, and I breathed a sigh of relief. See? CRAZY, and not even just thoughts about my own kids -- I find myself anxious about ALL of them.

Many times in the past 14 weeks as a mommy, I've wished there was some type of device that could record the actual crazy thoughts running through my head. At night is when I find myself having the strangest dialogues. I'm not sure why - perhaps because it's dark and quiet and everything seems scarier when the sun goes down. I do everything from bargaining with God if he'd just let Liam sleep a little longer to contemplating going to the gym after Liam's first feeding of the day instead of going back to sleep (I told you...crazy thoughts).

While the thought process changes based on the baby's age and where is he sleeping, here's what a typical night in a new mom's head might sound like:

10:00 pm: "I'm so exhausted. I can't wait to get some sleep."

11:00 pm: "The baby is hungry AGAIN? Already?!"

11:30 pm: "Alright kid, let's speed it up..."

11:35 pm: "He's so adorable. I love this time with him."

11:45 pm: "Well, that should hold him over until for at least a few hours."

12 am: "Tomorrow, I'm going to workout, go to the grocery store and go on a nice long walk with the baby."

1:00 am: "ALREADY?"

2:00 am: "Oh shit! I fell asleep nursing! Phew, the baby hasn't fallen out of my lap."

2:05 am: "Please God, let the baby sleep until morning."

2:45 am: [You hear the baby cough.] "WHAT WAS THAT?" [wait to see if he starts to cry. Nothing.] "What if he's choking? He's not choking, I'd know if he was choking.

2;46 am: "But I forgot to burp him after he ate last. What if he's spitting up in his sleep and can't make any noises to let me know he's not OK?"

2:47 am: "I'll never forgive myself if he's choking and I didn't check. I might as well, I'm awake anyway."

2:48 am: [After sticking your finger under his nose to make sure he's breathing] "Oh, thank God."

3:25 am: [hear a whimper on the monitor] "Please don't wake up, please don't wake up, please don't wake up."

3:28 am: [baby crying] "God Dammit."

3:50 am: "Please, please, PLEASE: go the F to sleep!"

4:00 am: "He's so beautiful and peaceful when he sleeps. I'll just rock him a few more minutes..."

4:10 am: "I'm so tired." [baby cries]

4:11 am: Sigh.

4:15 am: "Thank God, he just needed his pacifier."

[Watch the baby monitor for 5 minutes to make sure he is asleep. He is. Get back in bed.]

4:21 am: [Baby fusses]

4:22 am: "OH MY GOD THIS KID HAS A 6TH SENSE FOR WHEN MY HEAD HITS THE PILLOW."

4:24 am: [Return binky]

4:28 am: [Hear sucking on the monitor, baby cries]

4:30 am: "I hate that god damn pacifier."

5:00 am: "Why hasn't the baby woken up to eat? Or made a noise? I better go check on him..."

[Put finger under baby's noise. He is breathing and sound asleep.]

5:01 am: "I love you, so much." [Cry a little bit.]

5:05 am: "Why are you crying right now? You're crazy. Sleep when the baby sleeps!"

5:09 am: [Baby cries]

5:10 am: "I knew he'd be hungry."

5:11 am: "Why hasn't my husband woken up once to see if the baby - OR I - need anything?"

5:15 am: "Maybe I'll just shoot for the grocery store and a walk tomorrow."

5:25 am[Baby has fallen asleep eating]

5:26 am: "He is so delicious when he sleeps. I could stay like this forever."

5:30 am: "I should change his diaper, but I'd hate to wake him. I'll just hold him a little longer."

[Lay baby down, go back to bed.]

5:35 am: "But what if he's uncomfortable with that dirty diaper on? I should change it."

5:45 am: "Seriously, why hasn't my husband woken up ONCE this whole time?! Screw him."

5:50 am: "Look at him, sleeping soundly. MUST BE NICE. I am not talking to him in the morning. Oh wait, it is morning and I've been up all night."

6:00 am: "I should just get up and shower right now."

7:00 am: [Hear grunting on the monitor. Look to see baby struggling to escape swaddle.]

7:02 am: [Go into baby's room. He gives you the biggest smile in the whole world, and you forget that you have gotten maybe 2 hours of sleep and that not too long ago, you were promising your first grandchild to Rumpelstiltskin if he or anyone would just let you sleep.]

"Hi buddy! Did you have a good night's sleep? I love you, I love you, I love you."

7:05 am: "I think we'll just stay home today..."

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Liam Albert: Three Months Old

How is it possible that I have a 3 month old baby!? I know I will say that every single month/year, probably until you're a grown adult. Sorry I'm not sorry, but as Mariah says, 'You'll always be my baby.'

Here's what you love and dislike these days:


Stats
We don't have a doctor's appointment until next month, so I attempted to weigh and measure you on my own. By my measures, you're about 15lbs and 24 inches (give or take a few ounces/cm). You're getting so big! You can still wear a FEW 0-3 month onesies, but your little legs are growing and so you seem more comfortable in 3-6 or 6 month stuff.
Look at those cheeks!
Eyes
Still developing, but we think more and more that your eyes are going to be hazel. For now, they are just big, round, dark and beautiful!

Hair: Brown and really starting to grow more and more. You're sporting a touch of a mullet in the back.

Likes

  • You've always loved your hands, but your first has become especially interesting and seemingly delicious these days. You try your damnedest to get that whole thing in your mouth, to no avail. 

  • You love "jumping" and "standing" on our legs, or any hard surface.
              
  • Kicking is a blast!
  • When I lay you on the tops of my legs and bounce them or swing them, you smile and laugh instantly.
  • You love it when I sing and dance for you, probably because I look like such a fool! I make up a lot of songs, but you always calm down when I sing "You are my sunshine." (I cry nearly every time I sing this to you.)

  • Looking in the mirror is always super fun, you little narcissist, you! 
  • "Flying" with dad is a favorite pastime. 

Dislikes
Honestly, there's not much you don't like. But if I have to name a few:

  • You don't like waking up without a pacifier
  • You don't like being tired
  • You continue to hate being hungry. When you are hungry AND tired, it's a double whammy.


Sleeping
Well, you were sleeping great for a while - from about 9pm until 5am without needing a feeding. But in the past few weeks, you've been waking up closer to 2-3am wanting to eat. So, still usually only one nighttime feeding and then you go back to bed, but you've gotten in a bad habit of getting upset when you wake up and find you're without your pacifier. You go right back to sleep when we get it for you - but sometimes you spit it out over and over...and over and over...again.

You nap great - usually 1-2 hours in the morning, 2-3 hours midday and another little catnap in the late afternoon before a 9pm bedtime.

Eating
You definitely eat less frequently for the most part, going about 4-5 hours between feedings when you nurse. The few times you've been left in someone else's care for 8+ hours, you eat about 15oz. You make me work for it, that's for sure!

Milestones 

  • You rolled over for the first time at just 11 weeks old! I set you down for tummy time under the activity gym and walked into kitchen. When I turned around (literally 10 seconds later), you were about to roll over! I made sure you were safe while doing it the first time (you know, so as not to have you roll off the ottoman) and then I whipped out my phone to see if you'd do it again. Sure enough, you did - again, and again! You haven't done it much since that first day, but I couldn't believe you reached this milestone so early!
  • You've also got incredible head/neck and leg strength. You hold your head up so well for your age - we even tried you in the Bumbo seat the other night. You sat just fine, except for your chubby little thighs get you sorta stuck. You can also "stand" on our legs for long periods of time and you love doing that -- you're even starting to jump a little bit.
  • You've also started to grasp and grip toys. You get frustrated because you haven't figured out quite how to let go yet, but you can grab on tight!
Highlights

  • You went on your first airplane ride to Seattle, Washington! We went to visit our friends Kyle & Beth, and their new little one, Griffin, who was born in October. You did great on the plane and we had a blast out there. You loved the outdoors and fresh air -- something we haven't gotten much of being cooped up this past winter.


             




  • You and I went on our first solo road trip! We drove to Iowa City to visit your grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles & cousins for a week while I still had some time on maternity leave. We were very busy getting you around to see all the people who love you most in this world.




You continue to be a very "easy" baby, from what I can tell. I love watching your continued growth and development, and seeing you discover the world will continue to be my greatest joy.
"You're embarrassing me, Mom!"

Friday, February 27, 2015

Liam Albert: Two Months Old


It's unbelievable that my sweet little babe is 10 weeks old! Time moved quickly prior to having a baby, but something about this new period in my life has made time move exponentially faster. (Except for those late nights where he never seems to stop nursing and I just want to go back to sleep...) :)

Liam was "officially" two months old on February 18, 2015. Here's where he's at these days in his growth and development!


Stats
At your two-month appointment, you were 13 lbs, 3 oz and 23 inches long. That puts you up another (almost) 3 lbs since your 1 month appointment and you've almost doubled your birth weight! You're in the 72nd percentile for weight, and are about average for height. Your head, while I can't remember the circumference, is 95th percentile. No wonder we needed forceps!

Eyes: Your eyes right now are hazel. They look green in some lights and brown in others, so we're anxious to see what color they end up! 



Hair: Brown! Thank goodness you've got a lot of it, because it's covering some nasty cradle cap right now.
Likes

  • Motion - whether it's your swing, your stroller, the baby carrier, the car, swaying, walking the halls, rocking or bouncing - moving is the name of the game. You somehow know if we are sitting and "moving" you, and yell at us until we get our butts off the couch and stand up!
  • Talking: You've recently found your voice and you love to chat with us all the time! You're chattiest after a good meal and good night's rest, and especially when you're on the changing table.
  • Your hands: You have been obsessed with your hands since you were in the womb. You are constantly moving your hands and arms, touching your face, touching our faces, sucking on your arms and hands. The only time your hands aren't in motion or by your face is when we swaddle them to your side (you don't love that).
  • Kicking: You're starting to figure out you have appendages from the waist down and you love to kick them! Your leg strength is also amazing and you're able to "stand" and push off our legs with our help for a couple of minutes!
  • Smiling: Oh you have the sweetest smiles, especially the ones that reach your eyes! You have Dad's left dimple and it melts my heart when you smile big enough to see it in those chubby cheeks! You smile so big at us, both when we smile at you and for no reason in particular. To die for.

You also still love bath time with Dad, you've become fond of napping, and you love sleeping with Mommy.
Dislikes

  • Tummy Time: We're working on it. You like it better when you have the help of a Boppy pillow.
  • Your Crib: Again...working on it. We try to have you nap in there at least once per day. You usually make it about 45 minutes before you're done and at that point, we move you back to the Rock 'N Play. 
  • Hiccups: You get them all the damn time.
  • Being Motionless: See above on your love of moving

Milestones

  • First smile
  • First laugh
  • Holding head up
  • Almost rolled over!

Favorite toys

  • Swings
  • Mirrors
  • Bouncy seats
  • Activity mats - You have a couple of these and love to sit under them, looking at the lights. You also like 
  • Wubbanub - not sure if this is a toy, but you love your Wubbanubs! We have two - Giraffe and Elephant! You like having them when you are falling asleep and they are good to soothe you, but you don't "need" them all the time. 
Sleeping
Is getting better! When you go to bed, you sleep a good 4-6 hour stretch. After that, you still wake up at least once - sometimes for your paci, and sometimes to eat. Sometimes you like to cluster feed from about 5-7am, which makes mommy very tired and look forward to our morning nap! On the day of your 2-month appointment (shots!), you slept 8.5 hours. I look forward to when you do that all the time!

You'll sleep just about anywhere, and don't need any specific circumstances to catch some ZZZ's. We are trying to help you establish good sleep habits, and working on transitioning you into your room/crib. You're sleeping most comfortably in your Rock 'N Play and you're doing that in your room. You take about 3 solid naps per day. One in the morning after you eat, one mid-afternoon and one late afternoon. They are usually at least an hour, sometimes two or three! You take naps in your crib, but so far have only been able to last for about 45 minutes before you need to get moved into your RNP. You also sleep SUPER well in your Fisher-Price Cradle 'N Swing. You could stay in there all day if we let you!
Eating
You love to eat and you HATE when your meals are late or cut short. In fact, when you get super pissed, we call you LeAnn: Because you scream like a girl! :) (Parents of the Year!)

You are still eating about 8-10 times/day. You are exclusively breastfed, and take bottles, too, so other people - like Daddy - can feed you! When you have a bottle, you take 4-5 oz, and when you nurse, it can be for 20 minutes or an hour. It tends to make you sleepy and you forget what you need to do!



Other highlights/notes:

  • We went on two trips: One back home to Iowa for a week in January when you were 6 weeks old, and one to Macomb, IL to have a besties weekend with Harvey and Stetson (and their mamas, and SJ). We are going to Seattle in March!
  • Swaddling: Still figuring this out with you. You act like you hate it (see hands comment above), but once you're in and calmed down, it helps you sleep. Once you wake up though, we always find you trying to wrestle your way out of that thing and you get REAL pissed. 
  • You love European kisses - when I kiss you on one cheek, then the other, then the other.
  • You're like your dad in so many ways. Most notably: You will laugh and smile and chat with me for hours, and the second I put my phone in your face to take a photo or record, you stop. Deadpan. SO MUCH LIKE DAD! Stinker.
  • You are super expressive and always make funny faces. I take photos of them all, don't worry.
We love you so much and watching you grow & develop is our greatest pleasure!