Friday, February 27, 2009

End of February

My baby:
- was 6 lbs, 4 ounces and now weighs 9 pounds!
- growls when you pick her up.
- mews like a kitten when she needs to burp.
- makes Daddy gag with her diapers.
- is getting used to the bathtub.
- cries when you rub lotion on her.
- almost slept through one night.
- failed miserably the next night.
- smiles when we sing.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

5 Weeks (Over 1 Month)

Overheard at the Spudly household:

Mommy: "Having a baby is like having a pet shark. You take care of the shark. You feed the shark. You may even love your pet shark. But you live in constant fear of the shark because one loud noise, one quick movement, or one false move and the shark will rip your arm off.

"Having a newborn baby is just like that.

"You speak a little too loudly around the baby and then you spend the next two hours dressing a gaping wound from being bitten by the shark. Two hours of crying and screaming and hair pulling (mine, not hers) and changing the diaper and changing it again because maybe that wasn't right and feeding and pleading and rocking and begging and crying (mine, not hers).

"It's best to tread lightly around your little pet shark."

Daddy: (singing) "Baaaa-by shark, doo doo, doo da dooo doooo..."

Thoughts on bottle-feeding:

Now, this may be a controversial subject but I'm going to go for it. I am strictly bottle-feeding my little Tater Tot. I weighed my options and decided that this would be best for both me and the tot.

I am disgusted how people will try to guilt you into breast-feeding your baby by saying that she'll become a mentally retarded axe-murderer with hay fever. Half of having a smart and healthy baby is to love and take care of her and the other half to have a happy and healthy mommy. I truly believed that it just wasn't the right choice for me to breast-feed and that if I did, I would just be miserable. I'd grow to regret my decision and to resent my baby and her constant feeding.

So I saved myself the trouble of trying to learn to nurse, infections, latching on troubles, and enduring cracked and bleeding nipples only to have to give up and feel like a failure. I went straight for the bottle and didn't look back.

I had a moment of post-partum blues one night after a particularly troublesome night and day of trying to get the tot to take enough formula and at the right times. Because I could see how much she was getting at each time, I was obsessively focusing on the amount of each bottle and I was crying in the bath tub, afraid that she was going to starve. I toyed with the idea of trying to start to supplement with breast-feeding because I still had some milk available.

But, eventually, she and I worked out what was wrong and learned to accept that sometimes she's just not as hungry as she may be some other days. Switching to a gentle formula helped too and I learned to let go a little bit. As long as she's peeing and pooping and happy and healthy and chubby - that's all that matters! She's still eating and I need to stop worrying about exactly how much down to the 1/4 ounce!

Don't let anyone tell you that bottle-feeding is so much easier. I just assumed that you stick the bottle in their mouth and it's done, but sometimes it's a long process with the same latching and sucking problems one would have if they were nursing. Feeding a baby can be frustrating, but it is important to realize that no matter how you do it - you're still providing nurishment for your child! I still have a chance to bond with her, snuggle close, and look into her eyes. And I don't feel pulled apart in every direction by being forced to nurse because I can hand Spud a bottle if I want to go have some "Mommy time" and not feel guilty about it at all!

In the end, if she is ever upset that I bottle-fed her, I'll just say that I did it to benefit her because she deserves the happiest and best mommy she can get. It's important to do what's right for you and your lifestyle, and not to let the "Breast-Feeding Nazis" influence you. I was comparing it in my head to being pro-choice. While an abortion may not be my personal choice, I'm not about to tell someone that they shouldn't have one. That's not my place because I have no idea what's best for them in their lives. And bottle-feeding is what's best for me in my life right now.

We'll see what will happen if I ever have any other Taters.....

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

3 Weeks (Almost)

Mommy & Tater Tot Take a Walk
I hate walking by myself. I feel awkward and soon enough I get bored and start talking to myself. Inevitably, I'll be singing away and some guy in his huge, honkin' "I'm from the South and don't you forget it" pickup truck will pull up beside me at a street light. Then we'll have that awkward moment of, "Did you see me singing to myself? I wasn't.. wasn't doing anything.. umm... Will that light turn green already???"

But for some reason, I'm more comfortable taking a walk around town with the Tater Tot. I pack her up in the baby sling and we walk the 8 blocks down to the riverfront. I've done it a couple times now (it's 71 degrees here, in February - don't worry, she's not freezing!) and I think she enjoys it! The gentle rocking while I walk reminds her of being in my belly and she's not in a stroller, away from me, with the sun shining in her eyes and cars and fumes assaulting her. She's tucked away, close to my body, where I can hug her and pat her back if she starts to get upset. Plus, it's good for me to carry a little bit of extra weight to build some strength in my arms and back (as well as all the good exercise from walking!).

The other day, Tot and I walked down to river and passed by the court house. We recently had an ice storm and there are still a bunch of tree limbs and debris on the ground. I noticed people cleaning it up, like they're doing all around town, but then I noticed the van next to them. On the side of it was printed, "Daviess County Prison."

Oh no.

Then I read the men's t-shirts. Their MATCHING t-shirts, as well as matching pants and hats. "Daviess County Inmates." Now, I know that they're paying their debt to society and doing their time and are out on a work-release program because of good behavior and there is a strong possibility that these inmates may be in there for only tax evasion but.... I was walking very close to INMATES! AND ONE OF THEM HAD A CHAIN SAW! A chain saw! To cut up fallen branches ----- and my limbs! Granted, he couldn't get the damn thing to start up but I didn't see an officer anywhere and Joe Convict had a dangerous weapon near my baby!

So, I start talking to myself. "What do I do? Mama, it's ok, they're probably not even going to notice you. There are plenty of people driving and walking by and you're being elitist. Just let it go. Ooh, the 'Walk' sign is going - to the right. I could... no, I shouldn't. They'll know that I'm crossing because of them. Maybe I just... want to look in the window of that shop over there. Yeah, yeah, that's it."

I give Tot a reassuring pat. And sprint across the street just as the orange hand starts flashing.

I'm not taking chances any more.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Week Two & Half

Ideas for upcoming blogs that I think about in the shower:

- Baby products that they should make, but don't.

- The first bloody 48 hours after giving birth that will scare you more than the actual delivery.

- How to train your husband (spouse, baby's daddy, etc.) to know exactly what your baby needs, so he doesn't have to wake you up even on those nights he promises to take care of the baby ALL night for you. Not that you're bitter.

- What to buy with the random $25 gift cards that people throw at you when you have a baby (or get married).

- Foods/drinks you can eat again!

- Things that you thought were once important about childbirth that aren't any more.

......I'll get to them...someday.......

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Week Two

Things I never thought I would do once I had a child:

-Steady the end of a baby bottle on my chin so I could use my right hand. For Cheezits.

-Go to the bathroom and feed/hold the baby at the same time.

-Actually utter the words, "She has nothing to wear!" even with a wardrobe full of clothes.

Get a shower, put on makeup, and not feel bad about leaving her in the crib and turning on the monitor. (Asleep, of course)

-Rely on a sea horse to lull her to sleep - the ONLY thing that works!

-Be able to hum those songs that said sea horse plays over. And over. And over. And over. Again.

-Let her sleep in our bed.

-Pull a travel bed up to the side of our bed and let her spend the night in our room while the freshly painted Tinkerbell bedroom stays empty.