Monday, June 30, 2008

Back to square one?

I called my daycare lady today and she is out of town until for an unknown time. She could be back by the time I need her or maybe not. Great. Her situation is really sad and I sympathize with her but I have to do what I have to do. So, I'm back to square one in finding a provider. I have six weeks to find someone. This is why I worked on this before I went on maternity leave.


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Healthy sleep rituals

Now that Ben is one month old, we're supposed to start healthy sleep rituals. When I mention this to my mom friends, some give me great ideas why others are like "rituals, ha, you don't need no stinkin' rituals." One constant is he is usually nursed and swaddled but that's usually the same for his naps. I think that bathing him is a pain, esp since he doesn't get dirty and we give him a bath three times a week anyway. If you have good ideas or think rituals are stupid, leave a comment.

For the most part, he's sleeping good 5 nights our of 7. Some nights, well, he is fussy and wants to sleep on mom but that is stopping because I can't sleep. Last night was the best night ever. He went 4 hours, then woke up every three. I didn't even wake Brian up to help me so he got a good night of sleep.. As soon as he was swaddled, Ben was out. I pray this continues.

When is this kid going to stop eating every two hours during the day? I can't get things done like my house cleaned for our in-law visit in a few days.

Friday, June 27, 2008

The joys of friendship

Since posting my goals post, many have offered up their babysitting services and EUREKA! Brian and I are going to have a drink tomorrow night alone without baby. It's a first step and exciting one. I have wonderful friends and I am thankful for that.

Ben is 5 weeks today. Next thing you know, he'll be driving.

Ben definitely has a schedule. He is usually awake from 8-10 am and 5-8 p.m. He naps the other parts of the day. I'm excited to see how this changes. I hate to jinx this but he finally is taking naps in other places than the sling or my chest. I think I'm just getting more patient and identifying when he's actually asleep. It also helped that I read you put a calm baby in the swing or bouncy chair -- not a cranky one. I'm learning more and more each day.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Today's quote

On sleep deprivation...

"being tired comes with the miracle of being a mother."

Monday, June 23, 2008

Weekly goals

I realized last week that Ben and I need goals. For example, yesterday, we stayed in the house all day. By the time my husband got home from a previous engagement, I was going crazy all couped up on a nice day. I should have went for the walk. I have two really good front carriers but fear is keeping me from doing this. Then I realized, I need to make a list of things I need to accomplish to try to feel like I'm a human again instead of the milk factory (I love being the milk factory but sometimes, there is more in life). So here goes my goals for this week.

* get out with the baby at least once a day. We are not trapped and he's easy to transport.
* walk 4 times a week with baby and dog because I need to excercise and Charlie is feeling a little neglected.
* pump once a day. Milk production is in overdrive -- I won't say much more than that plus I need to start banking it for the daycare lady.
* ask for help. This mainly applies to my husband. I need help around the house big time and instead of playing his guitar, he could help me out by spending 5 mins doing something else while I nurse.
* do yard work once a week.
* get a pedicure. My feet look horrible.
* find a babysitter and make a date with my husband. (I have no idea who but I have to find someone)
* Think positive thoughts. Ben is a happy baby. Ben is a happy baby. I am a good mother. You get the picture.
* Have more patience.

I think that is enough.

On a positive note, I got Ben to sleep in the crib finally by myself. My husband has mastered this technique and today, I successfully figured out the trip. It takes a good swaddle and some good rocking to get the kid into a deep sleep.

All in all, I feel more confident than I did 31 days ago. Progress!

Happy 1st Month

Dear Benjamin,

Today you are one month old and as your mom, I can hardly believe it. I can't imagine my life without you and your daddy. You've come along way since the day you were born and each day, you show us your little personality. You are mostly a happy baby but lately you've become a little needy. Before, you'd gladly go in the swing or vibrating chair and fall asleep no problem, now you just want to be held and good thing mom has a variety of slings because though I love you, I'd go completely nuts if I had to hold you all day. You go to sleep no problem in the swaddles at night. Note to self, swaddle baby during the day for naps.

We are slowly getting back to normal with our lives. You got to go to Balloons Over Bend and the Bite of Bend along with the Farmer's Market. You also had a meltdown in Trader Joe's so I think it will be a while before you go out with mom to the store again. You're not to fond of going to see your pediatrician even though you get to see your buddy Diana. You also get to see all your pals at Mom's Mornings though you probably aren't aware of Mom's mornings, since you're napping mostly.

Since I spend 6 hours a day feeding you, Daddy steps and is a big help. He is in charge of burping and diaper changes and even gets up in the middle of the night to do this and put you back to bed. He's better at swaddling and nap time than I am but I'm learning from him. He's such a pro and you're a lucky little guy to have such a supportive daddy.

I can't wait to see what the next month brings, little barracuda (yes, that is your nickname -- you went through a growth spurt and were eating every two hours).


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Harley Baby

The things we do to entertain Benjamin around our house ....

Air guitar

Air guitar
Originally uploaded by Shanlee
Benjamin already has amazing style in music. This onesie is courtesy of his cousin Marci in Arizona.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Sleepy time

Sleepy time
Originally uploaded by Shanlee
4 weeks. My, how you've grown, Benjamin.

Thank goodness for the swaddle

Benjamin is 4 weeks old today. Can you believe it? Me neither. He's over 8 lbs meaning he can hang out in the Baby Bjorn on walks, around the house and so on. He is beginning to recognize the "milk factory" (meaning me). Brian gives him a bottle around his 9 p.m. feeding so I can get a few hours of sleep before feeding him at midnight and when Ben saw me sitting in the glider, his eyes got wide and he was all excited. When I went to get the boogers out of his nose, he recognized the dreaded blue booger picker and let out a cry I've never heard before. As I mentioned, he is getting a bottle of breast milk at night from Daddy which Brian looks forward to every night.

He is on somewhat of a schedule. He is awake in the morning and afternoons. He was eating every three hours but I think he's going through a growth spurt meaning he's eating every two -- let's hope today is the last day of this.

Since we brought him home, he's been sleeping in the vibrating chair at night but I drew the line yesterday and told my husband we need to buck up and swaddle him so he'll sleep in the crib and longer. It didn't help Ben had gas last night (remind me not to eat chickpeas again). We received a Halo SleepSack as gift and now he's big enough to use it we tried it out. The sucker worked like a charm and he was out in seconds and sleeping in his crib. He even slept an hour longer than usual.

I know what I'm getting friends for now on when I have to buy a shower gift.

I am feeling more comfortable with taking him out places in the stroller and that will change now he can go in a front carrier.

Breast feeding is going OK. It was going good until the last few days of being hungry every two hours. He sometimes is so hungry he gets to excited to eat which is frustrating but we get through it. Most of the time this happens in the morning when I wait until the last possible moment to get out of bed and feed him.

It's surreal having a child. I can't believe I am a mother. My brother even said I sounded like an informed parent yesterday.


Before we know it, he'll be 18.

Friday, June 13, 2008

You are my sunshine

I can not sing that song. If I sing it, I cry because it's what my mom used to sing to me as a kid. The story goes that when my mom was pregnant with me, she was pretty sure I was going to be a boy. She had three brothers and my dad had all brothers so she was convince that she was having her second boy.

When my mom went into labor, my dad got nervous (my dad told me this story) and they went for Mexican because my mom knew they wouldn't let her eat. The day I was born there was a huge snowstorm and in amazement she had a daughter, she watched the snowfall and sang that song to me.

Memorial Day weekend 2007 we spent it in Portland. We had the most amazing short vacation of eating, drinking, shopping, we told ourselves we'd do it again. It also was around the time we were trying to have a baby. As we walked through the Saturday Market, a street performer started singing "you are my sunshine." I thought for sure I was pregnant but ended up I wasn't. I always thought that was some sort of sign until it dawned on me last night.

I was so sleep deprived, my husband ordered me to pump some fresh milk for him to feed Ben and take a nap. As I laid there, trying to sleep, he started singing that song and it dawned on me -- Ben was born Memorial Day weekend. I heard that song last year in Portland Memorial Day weekend.

I still can't sing that song because I think of my mom but I know she's watching above looking over her little grandson.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

20 days old

What the past 20 days have taught me is that this baby changes everyday. He's more awake and alert and he's getting a little fussier but I must admit, I knew it was going to be hard but it's harder than I thought. Last week he'd sleep three hours a night btw feedings. Now he's alert until midnight and wakes up every 2 hours to eat though he did sleep from 5 - 8 a.m. this morning. I know it gets better and I can nap during the day but man, the changes, if they are tough on me, imagine how tough it is on the kid.

We started tummy time yesterday which he didn't really mind because he likes to sleep on his tummy on mommy so he of course, went right to sleep. He also likes the Gymni too. I just set him down and he looks at all the bright animals and at himself in the mirror though I don't think his eye sight is that great yet. He doesn't fuss one bit either so as I sit in his room on the computer, he's playing away.

Tomorrow Ben will be three weeks old. I can hardly believe how fast it's gone!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

This is his "perplexed" face

Today, Ben and I went to mom's morning which is fun because I learn that it's ok to have your newborn sleeping in the vibrating chair and that it's ok to "hit a wall." (I totally did yesterday). He also now weighs 7 lbs!!!! Woo hoo!

Ben is more and more awake now. This photo is a face he makes often when he is awake on his newborn lounger. I think he looks perplexed or maybe he is thinking "interesting." This kid can lay on that thing for a hour and not make a sound but just look around.

God, I love him.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Where is the baby?

Each night, my husband wakes up in a panic ... "WHERE IS THE BABY?" One night he told me I was sleeping on the baby (I wasn't. The baby sleeps in his crib). It has become an nightly occurrence in the wee hours of our sleep deprived nights for Brian to think that either he's sleeping on the baby, I'm sleeping on on the baby or the baby is missing in the bed. It was sorta funny at first but now, it's just getting annoying.

Ben is doing great. He is having more moments of being awake and is eating better. He weighed over 6.5 lbs when we took him to the pediatrician on Friday.

We are getting more sleep. Though I'm breastfeeding, my husband still gets up and helps by burping and putting the baby to sleep. He is way better than I at putting baby to sleep and burping. Last night, after having a fussy moment, I forgot to set my alarm to wake up and feed him and we woke up at 6:30 to little noises on the monitor. He let us get 4 hours of sleep. Woo hoo!

Well, off to feed to baby. The dog and I are going to attempt to take the baby for a walk.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Little smile

Little smile
Originally uploaded by Shanlee
This is the closest I could get of Baby Ben smiling. He is definitely more awake and alert during the day now. I am wondering if this means he will sleep better at night. He was wide awake last night from 9 - 11 pm and again this morning around the same time.

We thought he'd like a pacifier but he doesn't care too much for them. He loves his swing and vibrating chair and sleeps in his crib. I can't believe he will be two weeks old on Friday! Yesterday I found out he weighs 6 lbs, 8 oz. We'll see how much progress he makes when he has his check-up on Friday!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Baby Ben's birth story

I will try to make this as brief as possible not to bore anyone, so here are the details on how Ben came into the world.

Wednesday night, May 21, I was very itchy and thirsty. One call to my friend and she told me to alert the doctor as this was not normal. My doctor concluded that I needed to come in for blood drawns, urinalysis, blood pressure check and non-stress test.

So, I got ready for work on Thursday and went to the doctor. Everything came back fine with the exception of the blood pressure checks which were as high as 172/101 and all over the place. My doctor then told me that I needed to go to the Family Birthing Center for more tests and I was to go on bed rest until our little guy was born.

When I got to the FBC, they started checking my blood pressure every 5 mins along with the baby's heart rate. I called worked teary eyed and told them I couldn't come back. I was feeling really guilty about this. Then my husband showed up and was ready for the challenge of taking care of me for a week. Then we got the news from the attending OB -- I wasn't going home until I had the baby.

At this point, child birth was the furthest thing from my mind. I wasn't scared of it but now the panic of actually delivering a baby set in. In the back of my mind, I prayed I didn't need a c-section. I told no one this and no one mentioned it to me. So they admitted me to the FBC of the hospital and my husband ran home to drop off the car, gather some things and get the dog taken care of for a few days.

The plan of action -- try to dilate my cervix with meso (sp) and then start pictocin Friday a.m. In the mean time, I had to have my blood pressure checked every 30 mins and I couldn't eat anything but clear liquids. The last thing I ate was a bowl of Cherrios with strawberries at 8 a.m. I rested, my husband watched movies on the computer.

At 1 a.m. after three doses of meso, they decided to start the pit early and break my water in the morning. I slept all night until 8 am when the attending OB came in and broke my water. I thought she was giving me an exam (at this point I was dilated at 2 cm) and then a warm gush of water and the contractions started. At 10 am I was calling for the epidural. I knew I wanted it but I was really scared of getting it but the doctor giving it was awesome and I hardly felt a thing until they injected my IV with fentenal (sp) and I felt the most drunk I have ever.

At noon, I was only dilated 4 cm which was so frustrating. Then I threw up and made the comment that I felt I had to pass a bowel movement. (the only times I threw up during this whole pregnancy was on labor day) The nurses checked right before 1 p.m. and BINGO, I was fully dilated and effaced.

I pushed for 100 mins. I won't lie, it was hard even with drugs. I needed oxygen. I wanted to give up. I tried to focus on seeing the little man I've been carrying for 37 weeks. Then Brian could see the head -- he was so excited and then came the news that the cord was wrapped around Ben's neck. I knew this might happen and was prepared as alot of my friends have had this happen lately. Then he was out and I got to meet him for a whole 10 seconds before they started working on getting him cleaned up.

This is the scary part -- he was grunting -- which indicates a tear in his lung. Before rushing out with him (my husband tagged along), I got to see him again -- grunting. Everyone assured me that he will be fine and in my heart, I knew he was OK. He had my mom looking over him and Brian with him.

Brian took some photos and brought them back to me while I rested. Our pediatrician explained the situation that there was a tear which repaired itself within two hours but needed to stay in the NICU over night for observation. I wasn't allowed down there until I could walk and pee on my own (nice side effect of the epi) and I cried. When they took me to the bathroom at 8 p.m. (5 hours after he was born), I fainted and couldn't pee but I think the tears I cried to see my baby convinced them to wheel me down to see him.

Though it looked really scary, they handed me my little guy with wires attached monitoring his lungs and heart. I even got to feed him and he knew exactly what do to. I was only allowed to be with him 20 mins because I couldn't walk or pee still and the nurses told me to come back and get some sleep. So that's what I did until 4 a.m. I spent most of the next day in the NICU holding him and feeding him until he was released to my room.

It's amazing how much you could love something like your 6 hour old baby. I was worried about bonding and I instantly knew I loved him.

We left on Sunday. Saturday night was pretty wild and we got no sleep. I learned a little more about breastfeeding and we watched the baby care video while getting checked out.

So, that's the story. Sorry it took me so long but getting on the computer and writing blogs or twittering have taken a back seat to taking care of the baby.