On Motherhood

 So, since the birth of Baby L, I have literally written 37 blog posts about motherhood. You know, like, in my head. Where none of you can read them. Shockingly, between diaper changing and bottle washing, and being puked on, I haven’t really had a lot of time to actually type things. But lemme tell you, I’m a hell of a mind blogger. If only there was some way to hook up WordPress to my actual brain, you guys would have reading material FOREVER…

Anyway, so yeah. What’s up, internet? I’m a mom now. And it is INSANE.

I have to say, internet, that it honestly is one of the most rewarding things EVER to have a baby and to be someone’s parent but it is also terrifying. I have never felt so truly inept* at anything as I did the first few weeks of Baby

sleep

sleep (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

L’s life. And I don’t say this to scare all of you preggos or to discourage those of you who aren’t yet on this path, I just mean to say that it is WORK. Granted, I would trade this work for any other work I have ever done in my life. Because even though I haven’t slept in my bed on a regular basis in five weeks, it was worth it the first time that little girl smiled at me. (Which may or may not have been because she was trying to poop, but you take what you can get at this age, because she is basically a meatloaf. A really, really adorable meatloaf.)

I knew that the sleep deprivation was going to be hard. And I honestly thought that, given the fact that I hadn’t slept well for several months anyway, (you know, because a ginormous belly does nothing for sleeping comfortably) I could rock the hell out of not sleeping. Because, I was in my twenties once.  (Hard to believe, but it is totally true.) I never expected, however, that my child would not sleep in or on ANY contraption that I purchased for sleeping. Because MY kid was going to sleep through the night right after birth. And she would do it anywhere that I put her, but she would MOST DEFINITELY love her bassinet.

FAIL.

Baby L likes to sleep one of two places: on my chest or in her swing. Period.

This makes sleeping in my bedroom impossible because I can’t sleep with her in the bed (believe in co-sleeping or not, when you are desperate, you are desperate) because MB is a giant and sleeps like he is even BIGGER than he is and is terrified that he will kill her and I can’t move the swing into the bedroom because it is huge and cumbersome and I need it to be accessible if and when I try to do things in other parts of the house. So, internet, I have moved into the living room. (Which, by the way, has recently become infested with spiders of all varieties, and I am totally phobic.This was remedied last week, but HOLY CRAP.) I sleep the first half of the night with Baby L in the swing, swaddled and comfy and after her feeding, she is changed, un-swaddled and sleeps on my chest.  I have to say, even though it means that I barely sleep at all, I rather like the cuddling. Because she is teeny and warm and adorable. And I grew her. So, there’s that…

During the first week, Baby L did not sleep at night at all. Evidently, she was confused about what to do when it gets dark outside and mommy is crying hysterically because she hasn’t slept in four days. Luckily, MB’s mom spent a few days with us after it became obvious that I might never sleep again and, since she works nights and was on vacation, she was able to hang out with the nugget while the parents actually slept. Together. In the same room. It has gotten gradually better and now she is sleeping, sometimes, up to five hours at a time after her bath and last bottle. Which makes mommy very, VERY happy. And if I weren’t so exhausted, I might even do a cartwheel or two about it.

MB has, however, been a huge help when he is home on the weekends and has even let me have the day shift while he sleeps on the couch at night so that I don’t get all delirious and start streaking through our neighborhood or something equally ridiculous. And the crazy thing about sleeping in my bedroom? I feel guilty about not sleeping in the same room with my kid. GUILTY! Can you believe that? (If you are a new mom, you probably can and don’t think I am insane. Evidently, this is a thing.)

Either way, things are getting better, and sleep is becoming something that I do sometimes. Which I enjoy.  And I have a bunch of amazing friends who have either come by to help me get some random things done around the house or have at least been there to answer their phones when I call them and freak out about the fact that the baby has just spit up into my cleavage and it was more spit up than I remember ever having happened before and OH MY GOD is that OKAY? Is my baby sick? Should I call the doctor on call? (Which, mind you, I have done on THREE, count ’em THREE occasions since we brought her home.Yep. I am a spazz. And I’m okay with that, internet. I don’t know how to work a baby! Give me a break!)

I should really get back to my kid now. But I wanted to say THANK YOU to all of you ladies (and gent!) who have commented here, tweeted, emailed or come by to help, say congrats, or whatever. You guys rock my face off! (Special thanks to Kathryn for the cute goodies that I use daily because I MUCH prefer the adorable burp cloths to the gross white ones! I’m a burp cloth stuff elitist now, see what you’ve done?)

Okay, now which one of you is NEXT?!

*Except Math. I am super inept at Math.

Also, you guys should go here and buy some cute baby stuff! Expansion is coming soon, I hear!

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Just a quickie

No, no, no. Not that kind, y’all, I just had a baby, give me a break!

Baby L and I are still in the hospital. We were supposed to be discharged this morning but her bilirubin levels are slightly higher than they’d like and want to keep her under a phototherapy regiment until it gets down to a level they are comfortable with. So far, there’s nothing to be terribly concerned about, but obviously, MB and I are a wreck. If all goes well today and tonight, we should be discharged tomorrow. The alternative is that she could have to be transferred to another hospital in the area for more treatment but I wouldn’t be admitted. We are really, really, really hopeful this will not be the case (the thought of it makes me want to vomit/cry hysterically) and I ask that you keep us in your thoughts so we can take this little girl home ASAP! Thanks to everyone for the comments and tweets and Bloggie love!!! Hugs!!!

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A Mother’s Day Freebie!

I know some of you took advantage, way back in the day, of the free baby carrier promo thing I posted. (Which was SO AWESOME, but I obviously haven’t used it yet, you know, because I have no baby yet* and my cat is VERY uncooperative.) For those of you who are interested, here’s another freebie for mommies or mommies-to-be! A free carseat canopy! Go here and enter promo code CCMOTHER. I haven’t ordered one yet, but I actually have heard good things about these canopies. Most likely, you have to pay shipping but, I hear they are adorable and well worth it!

*DAMMIT.

Getting our Shit Together

When the urge to nest hits you, it is difficult to think of much else. Over the last few weeks, I have had an increasingly strong urge to clean all things. Up high, down low. Pretty much everywhere. The problem with this nesting urge is that it comes at a time in my pregnancy where I am pretty much unable to maneuver my gigantic ass in order to clean these things. I can start a project, work at it for ten minutes or so, but then have to sit down and regain my breath and/or overall body function.

Yesterday, however, solely because MB is now aware that he is on “my fiance is pregnant and overly emotional house arrest”, we got a lot accomplished (read: HE got a lot accomplished, I dusted things that I didn’t have to squat to get to).  We were able to put together our adorable swing, the play yard and the stroller and clean the entire basic living area of the house from top to bottom. I feel relieved. Of course, there is still a lot to do, but progress is progress.

Now the dilemma for me is that we have this play yard just sitting in the middle of the living room as a constant reminder that I AM STILL PREGNANT. We don’t even have a BABY to put in this thing yet. And it makes me more impatient than I already was! (If that is possible.) It is hard enough not to be impatient when something is constantly kicking you in your bladder and reminding you of the days when you were empty and peed like normal people with normal sized bladders.

The next stop on the mother of all to-do lists is to pack my hospital bag. I am super ignorant as to what this bag should contain, however, and am worried that I will either forget something super important or pack like I am going on a vacation somewhere. I know that I don’t need to bring 32 pairs of shoes and I am in no danger of packing a bikini (because I cringe at the thought of THIS body in a bikini), but I am pretty sure I will pack like I always do. Like a crazy person. Because you never know how many sundresses you will need after giving birth. You know…necessities. A friend suggested that I check out a website that has a check list for this type of thing, so I guess that will my plan for tomorrow. I will have to try and work it in between my bouts of intense anxiety.

My mood is, however, improving. I didn’t even burst into tears yesterday. Not even once! And today, when I woke up to find that bees had invaded one of our bathrooms, I did not panic and did not become a profanity-screaming lunatic. I calmly explained to MB that, the buzzing sound I thought was the result of a common house fly stuck between the blinds and the window pane was actually about ten bees which had taken over the bathroom. Then I called my landlord, who is on vacation and probably doing Easter things with his grandchildren and calmly explained that this is not cool at all and that I am terrified of bees and chemicals used to kill bees and that exterminators are busy eating ham and searching for Easter eggs and cannot be bothered, but kindly asked that he have someone fix this tomorrow morning (or I will surely go insane). In the meantime, MB attacked the bathroom armed with some sort of spray and a shoe and all seems to be good for the time being. (And he only got stung one time!) Phew.

God, I am exhausted.

 

 

Like Freebies? I DO.

Image representing Listia as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

Many of you have been mentioning freecycle to me, a website that links you to want ads and offers for free stuff in your area, but I wanted to also let you ladies and gents in on Listia, which is much like eBay, but it is free! I hadn’t been on in quite a while, (in fact, WAY before I found out I was “with child”) but I just checked it out and you can find a LOT of goodies there! Go check it out! (And they have an iPhone app!)

http://www.listia.com/signup/629758

This book was actually recommended to me but, sadly, I did not score a copy yet ( even though I promptly added it to my registry)! It is definitely on my reading list.

Planet Mom

Don’t know what to give that special friend or relative who just found out she’s pregnant? Or the one who thinks she might be pregnant, but isn’t really sure? Or the knocked-up coworker two cubicles down with the really nice dieffenbachia plant? You know the one. The unassuming waif who is decidedly in a state of panic over the news. The one consumed by a myriad of irrational fears revolving around the hideous changes her body is currently experiencing. The one who will drive you fairly berserk in her quest to fire inane pregnancy questions at you till doomsday—which, apparently, came and went.

At any rate, you need to purchase a slightly perfect gift for the baby shower that will inevitably occur in the coming months. Let’s Panic About Babies! (a rollicking, unabashed tome about the wonderment of being with child) is, indeed, that perfect gift. That said, it…

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On Showering

Well, internet, I survived my baby shower and didn’t even have to punch anyone in the throat for molesting my “baby dome” (as MB is now calling it).

The big party was last Saturday (and pardon my absence here but there have been piles of goodies to sort through, appointments and a lot of eating. You know, because…well…eating is EATING.) I woke up Saturday morning (at 6 am), for the first time in a long time, completely sick. And when I say sick, I mean FIRST TRIMESTER sick. I felt ravenously hungry but totally nauseated and disgusting. I felt bloated and horrible and UGLY. So, as you can imagine, I was not too thrilled to have to try and make myself presentable to see all of my nearest and dearest. But, out of this disgusting funk came one of the best, most hilarious moments of my pregnancy thus far. I don’t know if I have mentioned to you, internet, that I can no longer reach my toes. In preparation, last week, for the shower, I attempted to paint my toenails. RED. (Why? I have no idea. My toenails are always done, but they are also always done in a french manicure because…I am really good without stencils and/or a huge belly.) I’m going to cut this short and just tell you that this was the longest process of my life and I believe I may have broken a rib. So, on Saturday, I asked MB (who had offered several times before) to help me to use a glorious salt scrub on my piggies so that they a) didn’t look so heinous and b) didn’t feel like sandpaper. (I know you guys are really intrigued by the state of my feet, so I will go ahead and tell you that, no, they are not yet swelling.) I am weird about feet and people touching mine (or having to touch anyone else’s) and am extremely ticklish, so I kept maintaining that I could scrub my own feet, until the broken rib happened. So I agreed to let MB help me out. OH. MY. GOD.

I situated my gigantic ass on the side of the tub and braced myself, but I swear I started laughing hysterically before MB even touched me. And I laughed like that and squirmed around for an entire 10 minutes while my wonderful, amazing, fiance attempted to beautify the piggies. I told him later that I wished that I would have had the whole thing on video because it was exactly the kind of thing that I would want my daughter to see when I explain to her what kind of man she should pick. One that will attempt to scrub your feet, even if you are dangerously close to kicking him in the face. That, my friends, is a good man. But I digress…

The shower started at one, and despite all of my pleading with friends and family to properly RSVP, many more people showed up than anticipated which turned my mom into a raving lunatic. I, even though I felt like a total crap bag, was pleased that so many people showed up and were so ridiculously generous. My mom and sister (and even my step-dad, who painstakingly fashioned a beautiful banner welcoming Baby L) did a really cute job decorating and the food, I hear, was divine (thanks to my Uncle/Personal Chef) and mom and sister. I was disappointed that I didn’t even get to eat, partially because I was afraid that I might not be able to keep anything down and partially because the house was so crowded, I wasn’t really even able to get TO the food. (Except the cupcakes, because HELLO. CUPCAKES.) I have to say, it was pretty unlike any baby shower I have ever been to (for me) because a) there were men there, which made me feel better about the universe, and b) the only part of it that felt even remotely shower-y to me was the opening of the gifts. (Which took a really long time, but my sister was clever enough to distract guests with Bingo cards, so not only did people pay attention to the gifts, but they weren’t pissed off about having to sit there and do so for hours on end. I highly recommend…I felt less like I was the center of attention and more like I was working at the nursing home again, where I used to call Bingo for the Alzheimers patients. Not that I am comparing my guests to Alzheimers patients. Well…I mean, most of them are not at all like Alzheimers patients anyway. Either way, they didn’t really care about ME, they just wanted that bottle of wine. Can you blame them?) To be honest, though, the whole thing is kind of a blur. It was a really great day shared with really effing amazing people and I really appreciate all of the love we received (in the form of hugs and gifts and belly rubbing).

Now that I have mentioned the belly rubbing, I guess I should touch on that, since I was fairly certain that it would occur whether I liked it or not.

I have to say, I was actually surprised at the lack of belly rubbing. There were only a handful of people who actual dared to rub the dome. And to be totally honest, the people who did, did not offend me. My old friend TC, who I never get to hang out with and with the help of another of our friends, has now ousted me from the “No Babies for Me” Club, was the most belly-happy of the guests and, even though she probably knows and doesn’t care, (she’s a bad ass like that) that I didn’t want anyone touching it, she did it numerous times. And I didn’t even THINK about hitting her. It actually wasn’t as awkward as I thought it might be. But maybe it just depends on who does it. In fact, my mom has only attempted touching my belly ONE TIME. So, how the hell should I know how I am supposed to feel about it. After the shower was over, however, came the real belly extravaganza when my sister, Fish Head and her husband, Mr. Fish Head cornered me in the garage and while Mr. Fish Head attempted to rouse Baby L by singing Phil Collins songs or quoting Hitler (I think this was an attempt to really piss her off), my sister pressed her entire face to the other side of my belly. This, my friends, was a mite awkward. And really, if they hadn’t been Mr. and Mrs. Fish Head, I am pretty sure they would have been swimming with the fishes. Even that, though, really wasn’t the worst thing to ever happen. It was definitely less annoying than stretch marks. So…there you have it. Maybe I am not anti-belly-touching altogether. Who knew?

This used to be our spare bedroom. And then it exploded with baby items!

Anyway, I do want to thank all of the lovely people who came to celebrate our new addition. Sometimes, and I think this is common in people, I forget how many wonderful people I have in my life and not because I don’t appreciate you all, but because there might be distance, or our every day lives have made it hard to be together. You all just reminded me how truly lucky I am and how truly loved Baby L is already. THANK YOU. Each of you for all the love, and the loot!

 

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Of Things to Come

Baby Shower

Baby Shower (Photo credit: GraceFamily)

Now that I have established the much-needed prenatal care that I so deserve (in your FACE, universe!), I have stopped worrying so much about that part of pregnancy. This, as I stated before, is quite a relief. Now, however, I am starting to panic about other things. Because, you know, what else what I be doing if I weren’t completely freaking out?

MB and I are having a couples shower this weekend, thrown by my mom and sister (who, by the way, have been super awesome through all of this and are super excited to meet Baby L). I wanted a couples shower for a couple of reasons:

1. I hate baby showers. It is no secret. I will go to them and I will “ooh” and “awwww” at baby outfits and the like, but I am typically bored and counting the minutes until I can leave and have a cocktail. Spending all of that time and energy watching a bunch of women get starry-eyed over tiny outfits has never been a favorite activity of mine. I hate baby shower games. I don’t want to guess which melty candy bar is in that diaper, people. That’s gross.  Not only that, but why would we waste perfectly good chocolate for the sake of fake poo? Why?! Somehow, the idea of having men at the shower calms me. It makes me feel that some of that “oohing” and “awwwing” will be counteracted with…like…belching…or something. And that makes me feel normal. At least somewhat.

2. I really can’t imagine doing anything baby-related without including MB. He did help me make this little nugget, after all. Besides that, he actually WANTS to be included. And that, my friends, is totally the best thing ever. Because he restores the sanity in me, even when I think I am a lost cause. I feel that MB will also make it easier to take some of the attention off of me. Yes, I am the one with the belly and I am sure that people will want to touch it (God, help me) but at least he can intercept when I appear to be about to lose it.

3. One of my best friends is a dude. And, even though he is not a baby person, I feel that if he wasn’t there, it wouldn’t be right.

There is a fair amount of stress about the shower just because no one ever throws parties for me and I don’t quite know how to act. Aside from the fact that I am all huge and irritable. I mean, come on. Don’t get me wrong, I am SUPER GRATEFUL that my friends and family care so much about the start of my new family to throw and/or attend this party, it just makes things so much more…REAL!

What’s more than that is what comes after the shower. MB and I will have to bring a bunch of baby stuff into our already cramped apartment and then find places for it. And, as I have mentioned before, we are not really fashioning a nursery for the time-being because we don’t plan on staying in this apartment for much longer than 2-3 months after Baby L is born. During that time, I am planning to make do with the space that we have and I fully intend to have the baby sleeping in our room for that first few months anyway.  What will we do with all of this stuff?!

Then there’s after she is born. Oh. My. God. You guys, since I have stopped worrying about healthcare, I have started to think about all the stuff that comes with actually HAVING A BABY. Like…IN MY HOUSE. The diaper thing? I think I got it.  I am going to use a combo of cloth and disposable (at least at first) to save money and, at the same time, maintain some of my sanity and time. But now I am worried about SIDS and breastfeeding and birth defects and premature labor and lack of sleep and the possibility of postpartum depression. Does it ever end, internet?

My question to you, internet, is:

What books would you mommies recommend to walk me through the first months or year of baby’s life? I have been looking into a few but I am just totally clueless as to which ones are the ones to buy. You guys are the authority. Give it to me straight!