Thursday, April 30, 2009

Still Balding

I had planned a post on hair loss but G beat me to the punch. There are things you don't know when you get pregnant. Someone at work just happened to mention that my hair would fall out in clumps after I gave birth. I did not sign up for that! I am sure my husband appreciated 9 months of a hair free home though. My hair has now been falling out for three weeks. It started right after my son turned 4 months old. I have an awful habit of raking my hair with my fingers, I always get at least 1 hair. It is like a compulsive tic, usually I get 10 hairs. Will I have any left? I honestly didn't notice that my mane looked any nicer when I was pregnant. By the way, this tic will freak others out - they to do not know that postpartum's long list of pay back includes bald spots! Perhaps I should weave a bird's nest.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

When to start solids...

When your little one turns 4 months old the pressure for solids starts... people start asking you if he is on solids yet. There is a rumor out there that rice cereal at night makes babies sleep longer. BUT every scientific study proves it doesn't. What do you do when your pediatrician tells you that that is true though. Supposedly, an infant is ready to swallow some where around 5 months and 1 week. On the other side you have the breastfeeding champions with their banner for 6 months of only breast milk. Like many things in the parenting realm you are not given a one size fits all answer, it is your choice. We will probably start on some weekend between 5.25 and 6 months. We said we were going to start several times after work but then we get tired and forget. I will give you updates!
We started sleep training last night so that will be our main focus for the next two weeks (remember if you have a baby that slept through the night early to NOT complain about other sleep issues, the sleep deprived will want to throttle you!).

Monday, April 20, 2009

Soon I will be bald

When you are pregnant, your hair gets thicker - nice bonus, right? All the pregnancy books talk about it. Of course, they fail to mention that a few months after your baby is born all your nice, thick hair starts falling out. Every time I wash or brush my hair I lose a handful or two, and now that my son has taken to grabbing and yanking my hair every chance he gets, I figure it will only be a few more weeks until I'm as bald as he is.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Time for a Hotel Night

Signs you may need a night away from baby, a hotel night:
  • You pour your cereal into your water glass in the morning, not the bowl you set out
  • You open the car door to get out of the car into oncoming traffic
  • You keep replacing words in your sentences with completely unrelated words
  • You have not slept for 8 hours in a row for 4.5 months
  • You pumped at work with the blinds open to the outside world
  • You pumped at work without putting the bottle on the pump, only noticing when you tipped forward and got milk on your hand and clothes
  • You have since pumped at work and forgot to put the bottle on 3 more times - thankfully catching it before the tip forward
  • You can't spell you own last name when asked to spell it over the phone
  • You meet a Realtor to see a house and you are waiting at a different house on the same street
  • You keep telling everyone that you have a 4 month old who does not sleep through the night in hopes that they will excuse the confused look on your face
Yes, all these things happened to me in the span of two weeks. After hitting "bottom" on Thursday night, a hotel night gave me enough rest to slightly resemble a human again. No not 8 hours (I had to pump!) but enough for now. You better NOT tell me I look tired!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

There is no need to state the obvious

We know we look tired. WE ARE TIRED. If after knowing this, you still feel the need to tell us we look tired you run the risk of "accidentally" being poked in the eye with a binkie.

The only exception to this rule is the sentence "you look tired, let me take the baby so you can take a nap."

P.S I am the mother of a good sleeper and I have a helpful husband. if you tell the mother of a bad sleeper or colicky baby, the mother of multiples multiples, a single mother, or a mother who has more than one child under the age of 5 she looks tired you could be seriously injured.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Recovery is a bitch, part II

Following up on MamaMeg's post...

I debated about bringing this up, but honestly, this is one of the biggest "Things I Wish I'd Known" thus far, so if you're squeamish about blood and girl parts, just STOP READING NOW.

I was ready for the blood during delivery. I'd been in the delivery room a couple of times with family members, so I knew what to expect (although I still want to know how we ended up with blood on the chair behind my bed - can't figure out that trajectory). But I didn't realize that following the birth I'd have what is essentially a 5-6 week menstrual period. Yeesh. And every time you go to the bathroom there's a cleansing/pain relieving ritual you have to go through. Forget taking a quick pee. Those days are over for awhile.

And did I mention that you can't use tampons during this time? Yep, you're stuck with maxi pads, and at the beginning you need BIG ones. Not fun. You're already uncomfortable walking and sitting due to your downstairs trauma from the birth, and then you factor in the maxi pad and you develop this really attractive bow-legged waddle.

To top it all off, one of the signs that you're supposed to watch for so that you know if you're bleeding too much is, I kid you not, passing "blood clots bigger than a golf ball." Holy cow! 

If you can read this post and still want to have a baby, you're probably ready (or else completely warped, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt).

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Breastfeeding and Working

... can be a challenge.

I have been back to work full time for 3 weeks now. Thankfully, I have an office and some schedule flexibility because I am a supervisor. I pump three times a day.

First Lesson - Stress on the job makes pumping hard... it just doesn't go fast if you are stressed so grab a book and try to relax.

Second Lesson - EVERYONE knows what you are doing... it is a fact of life... oh well.

Third Lesson - Trying to do something away from work at a workshop or conference is trying. You need to call ahead and have them find you a place. It may be an awkward conversation but it worth it that day. You will already have enough issues getting yourself and all your parts out the door, you don't need to worry about where to hide. Breaks aren't going to line up so you will miss programs and networking but oh well. Don't forget your cooler.

Working and breastfeeding is hard, working full-time and breastfeeding is harder. You will want to give up and some point. Vent to someone, hey vent to us, so you can go a bit longer and when you can stand it no longer... don't beat yourself up. You can still try and do 4+ feedings at home. Goodness knows that it is going to be the cleaning of bottles after work that is going to be the end of me.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Recovery is a Bitch

I wish there was a nicer way to say this but there isn't. Recovery is a bitch. After I had my baby I wondered why no one told me and then I realized some of my friends had tried. They told me it was terrible and I remember thinking it can't be that bad. Plus when you are 8 months pregnant all you can think about is having your baby out of your body safe and sound so you are pretty much willing to endure anything to get to that point. Here are a few tips to make the recovery process a little easier.

  • Buy a donut/hemroid pillow. You can not imagine how uncomfortable it will be to sit

  • If you leave the house for any reason without your baby those first few weeks you should probably print up little cards to hand to people you may run in to that say "I just gave birth and have therefore donated what feels like half my brain and most of my blood to the good cause of bringing a precious little being in to this world so please be patient with me."

  • Have someone you know and love promise (before delivery) to bake your favorite treat after the baby arrives. Then ask them to repeat the favor about 25 more times.

  • Your stomach will look scary. My advise is don't look at it. Now I totally understand the whole Elizabethan Collar. It was invented by a woman who just gave birth and didn't want to look at her stomach. If you can find one I would suggest buying it. Also avoid full length mirrors. If you know you will encounter them often invest in one of those t-shirts with the perfect bikini body painted on it. It will go well with the collar.
The good news is your new baby will take up most of your time and occupy almost all of your thoughts so you won't have too much time to reflect on how hard recovery is until you are through the worst of it.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Amazing Milk Powers

No one told me that you can actually squirt breast milk a few feet by squeezing your boob when its full. I knew it had to come out somehow but I expected it to ooze or dribble (which it does too) but I never expected to be able to aim and shoot. Why aren't women taking more advantage of this fun and amazing talent. Men have pissing and spitting contests so why aren't women lining up to see who can shoot their breast milk the farthest?

A few other things my family has learned about breast milk, it keeps avocado (for the baby) greener longer and heals cuts remarkably fast. Its pretty much an amazing super serum.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Cute clothes are kind-of a pain

Before I became a mom I almost always bought cute outfits as baby shower gifts. I will never do that again! Seriously, most of the cute stuff is such a pain to get on and off that we don't bother with it unless we're taking photos or something. Calvin's been living in footed sleepers - the Circo ones with the zipper are our favorites and you can get a 3-pack for $10 - and now that the weather's getting warmer he's just wearing onesies during the day. Pants? Shoes? Forget it! Not worth the bother most of the time.

more about laundry

Tag-teaming off V's post below:

We also gave up on sorting the baby laundry - forget it! I use Shout Advanced Gel for our stain remover, but the best discovery I've made yet (thank you, Internet) is that the miracle stain remover for baby poop is...drumroll, please...sunlight!

Just wash your items as usual, but instead of putting them in the dryer lay them out in the sun for a couple of hours. Stains are completely erased. I've tried it on whites and colors and it works equally well. It also works on set-in stains, so don't despair if you've already washed and dried an item and it's still stained. I haven't tried this on stains other than baby poop, but have read some pretty impressive testimonials online. It works so well for us that we're thinking about hanging a clothesline in the back yard.

The downside to this option is that you can't use it if the weather is bad, but if you have a bad stain and would have to ditch the garment otherwise, it's worth hanging on to it and waiting for a clear day.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

... about laundry

I had everything ready to go when our son came home. You are already tired and learning how to take care of a new person and we were doing a load a day. It does get better as you learn what you really need to use but be prepared. (Watch out for the grandparents - they like to use lots of blankets! ;)) This is a great way visitors can help out. We are down to 3 loads a week but it seems endless. If you feel yourself stressing because you are out of burp clothes again, do yourself a favor and buy some more! My husband and I gave up sorting whites and colors a long time ago!
We use 7th Generation - cheaper at WF than BRU. For milk stains we soak in OXO Brite and then rewash with other clothes in 7th Gen. OXO helps with poop too but isn't perfect. I have no answers for that one! - V