Posts Tagged With: baby

Jumping Baby


 There once was this mother, who’s me
Who really like Mighty Leaf Tea
But she liked coffee more
Although not from a store
‘Cause that’s where they charged a big fee.

This mommy had a one year old
Born in December, very cold
The cutest thing ever
And so very clever
But oh! so much laundry to fold!

There are cuddles, stories, diapers
Funny moments, sad, and hyper
On the doctor she’ll poop
And she’ll splash all her soup
Almost like she is a sniper.

This baby always sleeps at night
But not this time, oh what a sight
She’s jumping up and down
Like she’s some sort of clown
So should I fight or should I write?

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A few days ago I experienced a most overwhelming feeling of mommyness. Like in a not so great way. I was flooded with all these negative thoughts about how I missed the freedom of being able to come and go as I please. Don’t get me wrong, I would absolutely never for anything in the world change my status from being a mommy. I love it, and love my baby, and everything that comes with it. It just hit me that my conversation topics with my hubby have dwindled down to poopy potty successes! and what new inedible foods baby tried to eat! and if I’m lucky, what spectacular item is now available for sale at the grocery store! It got to me that I am not going to work and hanging out with adult people. I am not going to school and obtaining an education with like-minded individuals. It got to me that while my baby reached a milestone of crawling around furiously around the house, it meant any extra “fun” things (such as cooking something more interesting than a 5 minute meal) have become almost non-existent.
mom-busy2-mdYep I chose this route. I did go through the career-oriented phase, I obtained a degree, and made a conscience decision to stay home and raise my baby. Although I secretly judged looked down on women who went to work right after having a baby (yes I know certain circumstances call for it, I’m referring to working NOT out of necessity), and thought that they are cheating the system by having somebody else raise their kid while they’re out “socializing” (in the workplace, haha), I now UNDERSTAND WHY! It is incredibly difficult to have the patience and tenacity to handle being a stay at home mom! It’s hard! The daily housewife/mom things start catching up and I realize I’ve become a different person! I don’t want to become less interesting to my husband, I don’t want to be irrelevant when conversing with other people, I don’t want to have one major area of interest that I can talk about.

After blubbering it all out and sharing these innermost almost embarrassing emotions, a solution was reached! I cannot expect to be a well-balanced individual if I’m not doing anything about it! It’s ok to give baby to hubby for a few hours for them to go drive around, etc., while I do my things. Any thing, just without the requirement of heeding to baby at the same time. Once a week, maybe two weeks, I will go through the extra hassle to pack and drive far to hang out with maybe a friend or sister, and maybe have them watch the baby for an hour or two while I go do something. I wouldn’t consider myself socially isolated, I would say it’s more of not having enough time WITHOUT baby present. Even if it’s just for an hour a week! I’ll take that 🙂

I keep thinking about the previous generation, especially in my old country, and how parents dealt with life. It didn’t seem that they had much free time to themselves. Or did they? Perhaps because of the fact that many families lived close together it was easier to have somebody watch kids while you go walking to the store a few miles away? Anyways. God give me strength and wisdom to be the mother I was called to be. Throughout this whole motherhood journey, I keep realizing what a terrible idea it is to judge other mothers and the choices they make. Worst thing you can do. Everybody is just trying to survive and stay sane. I never imagined that I would one day go through feelings like that, where I’m envious of those career-focused moms. I’m still holding on to the greater picture where I want to have the most influence on my child, as opposed to somebody else babysitting or raising my offspring.

Alright, off to another great day!

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My List of What I Learned When Baby Arrived

Ellie (85 of 107)

There are many sites that have Top 10 lists of what nobody told them about delivery, parenthood, babies, etc. I have a list too.

1. Adrenaline rush. I have heard of women being exhausted after delivery, and although I had barely slept for 48 hours, after the baby arrived I napped and was awake for about another full day. Being on painkillers dulled all pain, so I was out and about within hours, using the restroom, greeting visitors, being super excited!

2. Saying “no” to visitors. On the previous note, after we came home, I felt great still, so accepted visitors on a daily basis. In the evenings I was exhausted and within a few days I felt so ridiculously overwhelmed and physically getting sick, that I realized it was time to take a break from people coming over. I wish I blocked a few days for people to not come over at all (see why I didn’t in point 1).

3. Weight. I weighed 2 lbs less when I came home than when I had gone into the hospital. The liquids from the IVs and apparently the birthing process itself made me swell up. No swelling during pregnancy but after, go figure. It took about a week to go away, and then I was just about at my pre-pregnancy weight. My appetite was enormous! I ate so much that I gained a few lbs after a few weeks, so now I’m being more aware of what and how much I’m eating.

4. Accepting help. Being the oldest in my family, I apparently developed a somewhat controlling and high expectations type of personality. I expected myself to easily tidy up the house and prepare quick meals as well as learn how to care for the newborn. All at the same time. I declined most meal plan suggestions (BAD idea), and the people that DID bring something… I am ever so grateful for them! I think if my mom was here, or perhaps a sister who has been through this before, I would probably have her stay for a few days for assistance. I know that if one of my sisters here has a baby, I will have much more perspective: don’t overstay a visit, bring lots of foods, insist on helping!

5. Lowering standards about house cleanliness. Yes, I’ve read lots about taking it easy and not doing too much around the house in the beginning. Well, I’m sorry, but it bugs me to have dirty laundry piled up, sink full of dirty dishes, messy countertops, stuff laying around, etc. It is OK. PERFECTLY OK to take it easy. My husband kept insisting for me to stay in bed or sit and not do anything housework related. People who visited us and have had kids know what this journey is all about. Yet there I was, “quickly” going through the dishes, picking up stuff laying around because “it was on the way to the room”, “being bored”. I repeat, it’s OK, let it be. It isn’t the end of the world. As long as it won’t be like that forever, it doesn’t need to be done immediately. For future note: don’t use dishes, buy one-time use plates, forks, cups.

6. Rest. Because of the post #4, I wasn’t doing too much resting. Which didn’t help me with my recovery. Even though I was on painkillers and didn’t feel too much pain, as soon as I started easing off them, I realized I couldn’t yet. I felt worse later on than I did right after delivery. Recovery takes much longer in this case. For future note to self: Absolutely stay in pajamas for the first week or even two, this will discourage any “work” that needs to be done. Stay off the feet unless ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY (example: restroom, refill water bottle, get a snack). Husband will help, trust me.

7. Pregnancy is much easier compared to what’s coming. The time is also known as “the 4th trimester”. Baby is an angel, very calm and peaceful, however, an infant. Which means lots of care: the diapers, feedings and changing takes up so much time that whatever time is spent sleeping isn’t much at all. Sleep deprivation is an understatement.

8. Breastfeeding is a sharp learning curve. You don’t master it in a day or even a week. Not even a month in my case. Yep I cried sometimes. By the second month it finally got easier. Pumping helped. Definitely not easy going places (plan where to pump, or feed, change of clothes, cloths, etc.) Better to stay home for 2 months to get all this stuff down, THEN start going places where I’ll be for a few hours.

9. It IS possible to go places with a newborn. We went to 5 Guys Burgers as a first “restaurant outing” at about 2 weeks of baby’s age. After that every week or so we’d go out and eat. Baby is sleeping, pumped milk is in a bottle, so 1-2 hour outings totally worked out and helped my sanity level.

10. Baby blues are real. Managing it: recognizing signs, being self-aware, going outside for at least a 10 minute walk daily, putting on some makeup, reading some encouraging bible verses, communicating about it to spouse. Thank God it didn’t move on to the next level.

11. I’m completely clueless about babies. I read lots about pregnancy and delivery. I cannot say the same about newborn baby. Without a doubt several gray hairs claimed my head in the first month of baby’s life. If baby cries: needs food, diaper change, comfort, or sleep. What if none of the above? It could be gas. Or maybe something hurts? What if she’s hot? Or too cold? What if she ate too much? What if the milk doesn’t taste good because I ate something weird? Why isn’t baby falling asleep? Why is baby spitting up? Is that normal? Is that too much spit up? Why is baby choking? What is reflux? How can I manage it? What if she chokes in her sleep? Are wipes too cold for her bum? Is she going through too many diapers? Why is each diaper poopy? Why is she sleeping so much? What is a feeding schedule? When can baby be “trained” to sleep through the night? Why did she catch a cold? What are home remedies for infants? Why isn’t there medicine for newborns? Can she sleep on her tummy, or in our bed, or only in crib? And so on and so forth. Lots and lots of information is available, much of it contradicts itself, people are full of advice, often contradicting what others say. Future note to self: Do research but do not obsess about it and if it sounds too funky, ignore it. People will offer lots of advice, even more so than during pregnancy. Accept it graciously! Doesn’t mean you’ll use it. To answer some of my questions above: reflux management- smaller feedings more frequently, keep elevated during and after feedings, elevated during sleep. This means feeding schedule is somewhat on demand as apposed to very much structured. Sleeping was a struggle for a while: she slept in crib, she slept very much propped up with blankets in a Boppy, slept in our bed, slept in carseat, slept on stomach, slept unswaddled, slept swaddled. Yes, it’s quite the variety but when baby isn’t falling asleep, you try anything to get them to sleep. Now she’s becoming more regular with sleeping on her stomach in the crib. Establishing a light routine of changing, feeding, reading, and placing her in crib so she can have a good night’s sleep. Last few days (at 11 weeks) she is sleeping for 6 hours, has a quick feeding and sleeps for about another 3, then the day begins.

12. Don’t take on too much. I used to think stay at home moms, especially with one baby, have it super easy. This is the time to catch up on projects, continue being involved in church, etc. NOT TRUE. It takes all day long (24 hours) to care for a newborn. They say sleep when the baby sleeps. It’s easier said than done because by the time you quickly brush your teeth or prepare some food and eat it and go to lay down, baby is up for the next cycle of changing, burping, feedings. Note to self: Now isn’t the time to have people count on you. Your baby needs you more, so focus on that. Take on projects after baby is older. You will drive yourself crazy otherwise.

13. How much I missed my own mother. I didn’t expect that one. It’s been so many years I thought I really got over it. It’s not like I’m unable to do things around the house or cannot get answers or don’t have friends; I do have all of that. It just seems that nobody except one’s mother will truly comfort you when you’re beginning the journey to motherhood. One who will take care of you, care for baby, tell you to take it easy, and provide sympathy in the first month or two after baby arrives. The takeaway from this: when my other sisters will be having babies, it is my job to take my mother’s role and do what she would do.

14. What a mother’s love is. I have entered this chapter in my life that is incredibly amazing and fulfilling. One of the best feelings in the world 🙂

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Third Trimester part II

It’s been a few months since the last posting but I have a few thoughts to add to the third trimester experience.

It gets tough. Really really tough. Almost impossible to sleep. I crocheted a ton of stuff to try and keep myself relaxed and occupied. I felt restless. I felt useless because my belly seemed to get in the way of everything (try washing dishes with that thing!) I prayed for the baby to come out early. I walked, did squats and lunges, climbed countless amounts of stairs (God bless my hubby for walking around town on that particular adventure), bounced on the exercise ball. I experienced false labor and went to the hospital where they took a look at how cheery I was and sent me home. Yes, I found TV shows to watch and watched episode after episode (while bouncing or walking in place). Being impatient and not knowing what to expect is quite the interesting combination.

Overall I gained right about 20 lbs. Baby ended up coming on the exact day the Doc estimated. My water broke in the middle of the night and so there were no guessing games after that. It took many hours of labor, getting induced with Pitocin, and baby still wasn’t coming out. The pain became so bad that I requested an epidural which helped tremendously. Turns out baby was positioned awkwardly, where her head was tilted and body wasn’t aligned correctly with the pelvic bone. Good thing the nurse on duty was able to realize that, manually correct it, and within hours the baby popped out. Before the pushing part was a horrible few minutes where I thought I was dying: cannot breathe, too hot, cannot move, oxygen mask didn’t help. The solution to it? Baby must come out (haha). I closed my eyes and focused all my energy on normalizing my breathing and right after that I was pushing the baby out! The most incredible amazing moment is being handed the baby to hold. I really cannot describe the feeling; emotions I didn’t even realize existed flooded my being. Gotta go through it to know what I’m talking about 😉

Since that concludes the actual trimester, I’ll have another post about having the baby be part of daily life!

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Pregnancy News

So the major update on this blog is that I am expecting a baby girl at the end of the year! Few things that I experienced and learned (so far):

  • Mentality and everyday things change, perspectives are different, start to think ahead about how I would handle certain situations.
  • First trimester is tough: feeling nauseous, extreme food aversions, ridiculously tired. All of this without really telling anybody until I’m in the “safe zone”. I could not drink coffee, at all. My addiction just miraculously ended, only to return during the second trimester, but only for small amounts. Anything coconut makes me gag, which is sad because I need to use coconut oil for my hair every few days… What a nightmare at nights when I use it. My sense of smell is super strong even now, at 20 weeks. During the 1st trimester I took it easy with subbing, slept A LOT, and didn’t do any exercise at all. Walking around the house was almost too much to handle. First trimester weight gain, hmm about zero.
  • During the 2nd trimester, my energy returned, I began exercising. I do some Jullian Michaels videos and go walking in the park and do lots of squats. Total weight gain so far: hm about 5 lbs. Belly is finally slightly visible.
  • Food-wise: I am not sure what it means to really crave something so much that you just need to wake up in the middle of the night for it. I “craved” Hagen Dazs vanilla ice cream bars with chocolate and almonds, but when I would eat one, I would get nauseous for a few hours. So that quickly got eliminated. I craved something greater, like pursuing music again. So got an electronic upright piano which I am practicing on almost daily. Something I also really enjoy is Brazilian cheese bread, so whenever I have a chance to drive by their cafe, I stop by and get some. Perhaps that is a craving?
  • Immune system is totally weakened. I got sick with a cold: coughing, sneezing, congestion, etc. It took me about 2 weeks to get over it. I was nervous and thought I might have bronchitis (judging from the amount of coughing that was taking place) and so I called the nurse who told me to take some Robitussin. Didn’t help, and what finally helped was a few home remedies. The first was brewing a large cup of herbal tea and breathing in the steam through the nose and mouth. The second one was a lot messier (and stinky!): put organic honey on heated up cabbage leaves, place on chest/throat area, cover up with a towel, wear a tight shirt on top to hold it all in place, and go to sleep. Very unpleasant way to sleep but the results were amazing!
  • People want to give you all sorts of advice. Some of it directly contradicts what I’ve been reading, so I’ve been learning to accept it “graciously” and being thankful for the “help” I’m getting.
  • Vitamins: I take prenatal gummy vitamins because I don’t like how the other ones taste. The gummy ones don’t have any iron, so I make sure to eat meat during the week. Apparently it works wonders, because my blood test showed high levels of iron (which apparently most women have low amounts of especially during pregnancy). I’ve spoken to a few people about it and they say they had prenatal vitamins with iron, and ate lots of cereal (which is fortified with iron) yet their levels were still low. This made me question the whole concept of how meals are influenced by the culture. Absorption of iron is best when taken with Vitamin C. Calcium inhibits iron absorption. Yet here most people are encouraged to eat low fat milk with whole grain cereal. The calcium in the milk inhibits the iron that’s in the cereal and no benefit at all is taken from that meal. This confirms how my iron levels were high: most of the meat I eat is with veggies, which is full of Vitamin C, so it helps absorb the iron. And also, I cannot prove this, but read somewhere that grains inhibit absorption of most vitamins as well, so it’s almost like we aren’t even supposed to be eating grains with anything, except maybe by themselves? Go figure. I don’t care to make a conclusion on that just yet.
  • Vitamin D: super low levels. My prenatal vitamin provided 100% (400 IU). Doc told me to start taking 5000 IU per day! I went and bought some that same day and then proceeded to research about Vitamin D deficiencies, especially during pregnancy, etc. The shocking information I found was that women who were deficient in Vitamin D had a much higher risk of having babies born with autism or muscular dystrophy (and a few other conditions, but that’s what I remembered). Something about the fact Vitamin D helps the immune system and with making other vitamins “work”. Best way to get Vitamin D is through exposure to sunlight. After more research, I was able to determine that the benefits of sunlight far outweigh any risks associated with sunlight exposure.
  • And last but not least, another one of my conclusions: being gluten-free for a while is what helped me with conception, otherwise I don’t know how much longer I would have had to try or give up. My sensitivity seems to have increased during pregnancy: before I was able to consume very small amounts (example: 1 tsp soy sauce, or chocolate containing wheat [not the crisp or crunch, but inside chocolate itself]) but not so now. I ate a few bites of chocolate which had wheat, and was fine for a few hours. And then the itching on my stomach and back began, and it was just so intense! The “scabs” occurred because of that itching and took over a week to only begin fading. I need to come up with another way of avoiding potential glutenous items at people’s houses. Most of our friends are aware of my condition and serve options I can eat, but not everyone knows to what extend most food has wheat as an ingredient. I am working on thinking up some “diet” where I don’t eat after 6, or whatever a particular circumstance may require. Eh.

    Well this was a long post! I think I covered most of what I was trying to say.

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