Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Tonight, the Easter Bunny picked up something called a "Rolling Giggle Pal" from Toys 'r' Us. It is a little round stuffed toy that giggles, barks, and makes other odd noises. It's one of those toys that makes a ton of noise with hardly any effort at all. (T. will not be impressed, but Miss M. Found it hilarious in the store, and she was fussy.). Anyway, the label sternly warns of the following:

"U.S. FCC Warning: Changes or modifications not expressly approved by the party responsible for compliance could void the user's authority to operate the equipment."

Intended age, per the label: 0+ months.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Then It Happened

You may recall that a few posts ago, I lamented the fact that the wait to hear about The Job was slowly making me mad (not the least because it had appeared for a bit like it was definitely not going to happen, then appeared that it would, then appeared that it wouldn't), and I wondered if there was a patron saint of job seekers. I did a little research, and discovered that there is indeed a patron saint of job seekers--Saint Cajetan. I located a picture of him on the internet, printed it out, folded it up, and put him upside down in my pocket. I've been carrying him around with me for days.

This morning T. spent some time with Miss M., as he usually does in the morning, and I caught a little more sleep. She is absolutely lovely in the morning. She talks and laughs and is just so much fun (as opposed to when he gets home from work, when she is cranky and fussy every night as she fights sleep). He brought her back up to me just before he had to leave for work, as is our habit now. We chatted for a bit, and he reluctantly left as I began to nurse her.

A few minutes later, I heard T. pull back into the driveway and come back into the house. He came upstairs and into the bedroom with a slightly perplexed look on his face. One look at his hand told me why: He carried a slightly damp envelope. I didn't get the mail yesterday, and he'd checked the mailbox when he left. His immediate return to the house could mean only one thing, and sure enough, the envelope clearly bore the return address of an employer that I've anxiously been waiting to hear from. It was a letter about The Job.

I could see that T. was tense as he waited for me to open the envelope, but I already knew. I have heard that rejection letters come from this employer via FedEx. . .offer letters come via snail mail. This letter wasn't in a FedEx envelope. As I held my gorgeous baby this morning in one arm, I read aloud the first line of the letter to my husband, which said in part "I am pleased to inform you. . ."

I am in. I don't have a start date yet, and I suppose budget cuts, etc. could still derail things, but based on what I know right now about the employer, I don't expect that. I expect that I will probably start sometime in June. Egads, there is a lot to do before then! I have wanted to do this for at least seven years, and my day is finally here. This is huge. I can hardly believe it.

I am shocked, thrilled, scared to death.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Things I Am Totally At A Loss About

There are several things vexing me this week.

The first is vaccinations. Miss M. has her "two month" appointment on Friday. When we originally scheduled it when she was two weeks old, I was so distracted that I didn't notice that it somehow got scheduled closer to three months than two. I'm not at all concerned about the timing, but the issue of whether to stick to the AAP timeline for vaccinations has me tied in knots.

No one can definitively tell me if my child will be okay no matter what option I choose. There are no firm statistics to base my decision on. Let's face it--the decision of whether to vaccinate or not all comes down to statistics. What are the chances my child will get rotovirus? If my child gets it, what is the chance it will be serious? What is the chance there will be some sort of life-threatening complication? If I DO vaccinate, what are the chance of a side effect? What is the side effect? What are the chances the side effect will be permanent? If I vaccinate, should I vaccinate for all seven diseases , as recommended by the AAP? Should we do combo vaccines to minimize shots? Or does that up the ante that something will go wrong?

It's all about playing the odds, really, and I've never been all that hot in Vegas.

Currently, I'm pro-vaccine for seven vaccines recommended at the two month visit. It's HOW to give them that is troubling me. I don't want to do seven vaccines at once. That seems like too much. But I'm leaning toward Pentacel, which automatically combines five of them. Is it worth it to just delay two? If I'm going to delay two, shouldn't I really delay three, so that they're broken out four and three (I plan to do some shots every month for the first seven months, alternating shots every other month). The problem is that if we go with Pentacel, we end up with just one shot at every visit. If we DON'T go with Pentacel, we end up with one shot one month and three shots the next month. That sounds miserable. And is any of this more or less safe for my child? No one can really tell me. (And if you are one of those people who fervently believes that vaccinations are the work of the devil, please understand that while I respect your opinion, I think that given my own personal circumstances, my child's risk of getting one of these diseases warrants getting vaccinated). I'm just not sure what to do. I've read The Vaccine Book , and the updates on Dr. Sears' website, but I still can't make up my mind.

The next thing bugging me? My bras. My boobs are a lot larger than they've ever been (I'm probably a full B or maybe a small C now--none of my work shirts fit. . .not sure what to do about that other than buy new ones, but that's a whole other problem). I've loved my nursing bras for lounging around the house (I have the Japanese Weekend Hugs bra, a nursing tank by Bravado, two nursing tanks by Medela, and another bra by Majamas). But as I've gotten out and about more, I've realized that what works well for lounging around the house and nursing a baby doesn't necessarily provide the support necessary for being a working woman. Plus, it still has to work for pumping three times a day in my office. I don't want to have to entirely disrobe to pump. The tanks provide more support, but they aren't the right style/fit to wear alone under my suits. Suggestions welcome!

The final thing that's causing me angst? My MIL. She did the usual New England retiree thing and headed for a warmer client for part of the winter, but she's back now. The last interaction we had before she left ended with me chastising her for having her mouth on the baby's hands. She clearly recalls this, because she mentioned it on the telephone recently. I haven't had to deal with her recently, though, because she's been gone. She returned a week or so ago, and came by to visit a few days ago. And guess what she did immediately upon arrival? Yeah, really. She doesn't really seem to give a damn that Miss M. is too young to be vaccinated against things like Rotovirus, or that nasty bugs like Rotovirus aren't killed by handwashing. I am at the point where I simply want to limit her access to Miss M. If she can't be respectful of our choices, then she doesn't get to see her. T. agrees with me in theory on the fact that his mother is utterly disrespectful when it comes to our parenting choices, and he agrees that she should not be allowed to be alone with Miss M. I'm not sure that he's going to agree about limiting his mother's access to Miss M. with one of us present, though. I don't know any other way to get through to her, though.

Monday, March 22, 2010

10 Weeks & 2nd Blogoversary!

As I sit here typing this, Miss M. is laying on her play mat next to me, smiling and talking to the toys hanging above her. Her friendship continues to progreess with the purple hippopotamus with the orange-spotted belly. He is called a "jitter" toy, and has a little thing you pull down on, and he gets closer to her, then jitters back up as his string shortens. She will talk away at him, and then start to get annoyed if I go too long between episodes of pulling the string down. She gets pretty excited about him, kicking away, moving her arms, mouth open. It is adorable.

We do tummy time toward the end of her playtime on the mat, because she still doesn't like it. She licks the mat below her when she's on her tummy, struggles mightily to get off her belly, and begins crying after just a short time. A few days ago, she rolled over when up in a mini pushup, but I think it was an accident.

Her arms and legs are getting stronger every day. If you hold her so that her feet touch anything, she pushes down as if she's standing. She keeps creeping up toward the top of her bassinet when I set her down in it to sleep. When I wake up, her head is always near the top. It will soon be time to move her into her crib, in her own room. That will be a sad day, as I love having her in the bassinet next to me at night. I love waking to her talking to herself. She no longer wakes crying, but rather talks to herself. It is like lovely little music in the morning.

Miss M. continues to sleep for longer periods of time. Last night she slept for about six hours or so. She slept seven straight hours on Wednesday night! I feel really good. It is nice to get sleep again. One of the misconceptions that I had was that babies didn't sleep in long chunks for months and months and months. It's been a relief to see how mercifully short those sleepless days were. I'm sure we'll have nights like that from time to time, but overall, those days are long behind us.

She is smiling, laughing and talking more and more. We have "conversations," where she coos at me, and then I talk back, and then she coos some more, and so on. It's amazing. One of my baby books says that this is early language. It is amazing to behold. She is doing it to visitors like Auntie C., too, and everyone who experiences it gets a kick out of it.

She still enjoys the crib cards, and talks to them. She will laugh and smile at them for long stretches at a time. I try to leave one tucked into the edge of the bassinet bedding so she has something to look at in the morning when she awakes.

Her head control continues to be phenomenal. She loves to look around. When she is crying, she immediately stops if you pick her up and stand holding her so that she is looking over your shoulder. I am thinking about buying a high chair now, not because we need it to feed her in, but because she likes to be up high looking around. She LOVES to look around, and is still really attracted to things that are red. We went to an early dinner last night at a local restaurant that has a very colorful (and very red) decor, and she was in heaven looking around. I think the people at other tables got a kick at watching a little baby be so entranced with her surroundings.

Miss M. has also gotten more active with her hands. She is grabbing things constantly--my hair, my bra as I feed her, my shirt as I hold her. She has very long fingers. In fact, she is very long overall. We have our "two month" appointment on Friday (ugh, shots), and I can't wait to see where she falls on the length and weight charts. I think she is a pretty thin baby, but very long. I'll bet she is in a low percentile on weight, but a much higher one for height.

I continue to feel so blessed to be her mother. She is a joy.

And, today is my two year blogoversary. I can't believe I've been blogging for two years. I started blogging about a year into our TTC journey. This blog, and the ALI community, has gotten me through some tough times, and I am so grateful. I can't believe this is my life now. I can't believe how far we've come in the last three years. I am beyond thrilled that this is all mine. I am content, for the first time in a very long time.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Plan B

I have been checking my email a billion times a day, hoping against hope for some good news about The Job. Yesterday, I sat pondering whether it might help to invoke the power of St. Patrick in my quest. With the baby outfitted in her St. Patrick's Day finest, and with green beer and corned beef and cabbage flowing all around the planet, the goodwill of this day could surely extend a bit to my situation, or perhaps the Lucky Charms guy could just grant me my wish, and I'd be on with it. Then I remembered that my MIL once had friends bury a statute of St. Joseph upside down in their yard when they were having trouble selling their house. That made me wonder whether there was a patron saint of acquiring new jobs. According to, there are patron saints of things like earthquakes and laboring women and waitresses, but the closest I could find for a patron saint of employment was the patron saint of "Workers," which is. . .St. Joseph. I wonder where you bury him when you want a job? Which is all a very long way of saying that I am slowly going mad over this whole thing.

I haven't yet sorted out a way to deal with this. It could be a short time before I hear anything, or it could be a long time, I fear. I also worry that my file has slipped behind someone's desk, and that they've completely forgotten about me. As soon as I finish worrying about that, I am back to being convinced my rejection letter will arrive any minute now, of course.

Yesterday I left the house to run some errands, and realized after I'd left that I forgot my Black.berry at home. I decided not to go back for it, and it was incredibly freeing. I took Miss M. for a long walk, and then picked up some groceries, all the while completely unable to obsessively check my email. It was a huge relief. I am thinking of ditching the phone again today, but that leaves me without telephone communication, which isn't ideal.

I am a big fan of working out prizes for myself for after something momentous. After the Big Project, we went to Borneo (well, actually Honduras, but euphamistically Borneo). I've been trying to figure out what my Borneo will be if The Job doesn't work out. I'm going to need a Borneo, a silver lining, something to cheer me up and keep me moving (other than Miss M, of course). It needs to be something that I wouldn't be able to do if I got The Job. What to do, what to do. . .

I think I'm going to build an elaborate raised bed garden for myself this year if I don't get The Job, and I'm going to completely redecorate the house. I've always wanted raised beds. I am an avid gardener, but my soil is complete crap--heavy clay, which has loads of nutrition, but it's damn near impossible to get anything to put its roots down throuh it (except for coneflowers, which have a root system that LOVES our clay). I want to do pretty raised beds with good soil, with brick pathways and a picket fence around it all to keep the local wildlife at bay.

The garden will be a bit of work, but since we've just finished renovating the house, the redecorating isn't as elaborate as it sounds. It really just means a few new rugs, curtains, and a few pieces of furniture. I made a preemptive strike on the redecorating front this past weekend, so sure am I that The Job is not going to work out. I found a mint condition, brand new Crat.e & Barr.el dresser marked down from $1000 to $300, and just couldn't pass it up. I've been looking for a dresser for the nursery, but hated the quality (and price) of the ones from the baby furniture store that matched our crib. The best part is that the dresser I found on sale matches the crib perfectly! It makes me happy to get a deal, especially when it looks so good in my house.

I may not be able to buy happiness, but I can sure try.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

9 Weeks

Miss M. is sleeping peacefully in her swing. She doesn't sleep well when it storms, and last night as the wind and rain lashed the house, she tossed fitfully and cried every time her pacifier slipped from her lips.* Needless to say, from about midnight until I finally gave up at around 6am and got up with her, I slept in 30 minute increments, punctuated by pacifier-reinsertion.

She was adorable this morning, though. After eating breakfast, she nodded off again, and I went to have a half a cup of coffee in the living room with T. while she snoozed in her bassinet. It was only my second time drinking coffee in about a year. I really do miss the ritual of morning coffee, although not the effects of caffeine. I am toying with never going back to it now that I've kicked the addiction, but I do so enjoy savoring a cup while chatting with T., particularly on blustery mornings like this one. Anyway, I thought I heard Miss M. after a bit, and padded back into my bedroom to check on her. She was laying in her bassinet quietly amusing herself. Usually she screams her head off when she wakes because she wants to be picked up, but not this morning. Since she was content in her bassinet, I decided to leave her there for a bit.

A few days ago, I found these really cool farm animal crib cards. They are printed on board book-type material, and feature black and white graphics. Each card is about 4 x 6 in size, and has one large graphic of a different animal on it. I've noticed that Miss M. is still quite attracted to our sheets, which have a red flowers set on a cream background, so I thought she might like the crib cards. They're meant to be placed at the edge of the crib so the baby can look at them. They are the kind of thing you might see for sale and think was a waste of money, but I suspected they might be a hit in my house. Sure enough, this morning I placed one of the cards inside the top edge of the bassinet, just up above her. She immediately fell in love with the little graphic sheep. She stared and stared and stared, giggling and talking to it. And I stared and stared and stared at her, watching her interact with a piece of cardboard. It is so fun to watch her start to interact with the world around her.

She continues to hold her head up, and is very inquisitive about the world around her. She likes to turn her head and look around, especially while being held up over our shoulders. She is particularly fascinated by our fireplace surround right now, which is made of stone. She also loves the pattern on the glider, which has multicolored brown circles on a cream background.

Miss M. is also exploring much more with her hands. She likes to rub the sides of the bassinet bumper, which is quilted and therefore a bit textured. She still has poor hand coordination, but she repeatedly struck one of the toys hanging from her exercise mat this week, and seemed delighted when music tinkled out of it each time she hit it. She gets quite excited under the mat and also in her vibrating chair, and will vigorously move her arms and legs while making tons of noise, all the while staring at the various animals on both. Her hands are frequently rubbing at her eyes, in her mouth, yanking at my hair while I'm holding her at my shoulder, or pinching my breasts as she eats. Her grip is incredibly strong. It makes me happy to watch her (although I could do without the pinching or hair pulling).

She is also excellent in both the car and the stroller. I had thought that she went to sleep every time I put her in the car, because she is so quiet. Yesterday, however, I rode in the backseat with her, as we were in the car with T. and a friend. I discovered that although she becomes quiet in the car, she doesn't actually go to sleep all the time--sometimes she is simply watching out the window. I just love how inquisitive and engaged she is with the world around her now.

She is now into the 0-3 months and 3 months sized clothing. They looked enormous to me, but my mother assured me that once we washed the clothing, it would all shrink a bit and fit. Sure enough, it all fits just fine now that it's washed. One of my projects for today is to pack up the newborn clothing, and put away all of the freshly washed larger sized clothing. It's sad in a way, but also exciting to see her grow.

We had a very funny incident this week while out and about. I've been trying to walk with her every day. I really need to build up some stamina before I got back to work. A few months of being very pregnant followed by a few months of lazing about with a new babe has done little for my cardiovascular system, to say nothing of my muscles, or lack thereof. We walked outside while it was warm earlier in the week. However, it got colder toward the end of the week, so we were relegated to walking the mall.

While at the mall, I needed to feed Miss M. I had previously fed her in a dressing room at Koh.l's, in the bra section, and found it to be the perfect location. No one even came into the dressing room while we were in there. So, this time I decided to use the dressing room at's. It was the middle of a work day, so I figured it would be dead. Um, wrong.

Right after we started nursing, a woman came into the dressing room and of course set herself up in the stall right next to us. (When there are ten empty stalls, don't you go into one that ISN'T next to the other occupied stall? Isn't that like, a rule?) We were nursing away quietly at that point, my back against the wall and my feet up on the stroller. It is worth mentioning here that Miss M., delicate flower though she is, has a digestive system that quite routinely rivals in both quantity and volume the flatulence of a teenage boy after a pot of chili. Sometimes she emits mere farts. Sometimes, however, we are treated to rolling, gurgling volcanic eruptions that we have come to call pooplosions. As the name suggests, these are PRODUCTIVE emissions. During our dressing room feedig, Miss M. treated me to a ROARING pooplosion just after the woman entered the stall next to us, in a moment when the woman was standing still and everything was perfectly quiet.

This, of course, struck me as hilarious. The woman couldn't have had any idea at that point that I was in there with a baby, and must've been completely horrified by the juicy noises coming from my side of the partition. I didn't want to laugh out loud, but found it so funny that my shoulders were shaking with silent laughter. Upon seeing me laughing, Miss M. immediately pulled off my boob and began smiling beautifically at me, which only made me laugh harder, which made her smile more. . .and then burp quite loudly. Oh, how I laughed, imagining the horror of the woman in the next booth. I finally broke down and made a big production of burping the baby, so she didn't think there was some digestively challenged adult pawing through clean merchandise in the next booth.

I so enjoy having a baby. . .even when she is whimpering because she's ejected the pacifier for the 47th time today. Time to go!

*The Great Pacifier Experiment ultimately succeeded. She has a tremendous need to self-soothe through sucking, and we've found it particularly useful at night and when she needs to nap.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Where Did The Time Go?

When I first planned my maternity leave, 12 weeks seemed like an eternity. Those first days home with a new baby, I couldn't imagine how I was going to get through all of that time, as it all seemed so scary to me. But Miss M. and I quickly settled into a routine, and I came to love every minute I've spent with her (even while she's screaming!). And it struck me yesterday that my maternity leave is now almost over! Technically, I can take five more weeks, but that would leave me with no sick or vacation time, and I don't get any more until next fall. If I am going to continue to work at my current job, I want/need to save a week of vacation time and a week of sick leave, just in case.

I have to say, for months now when I have thought about my future, I have been banking on that other job working out. My head has been completely organized around getting the job, from the logistics of my (brief) return to my current job and giving my notice, to daycare arrangements. I had created an entire imaginary world around what I had hoped would happen. And while the door isn't completely shut on that job, it's also far from open. I haven't blogged about the status of The Job I So Desperately want since I posted that I didn't think it was going to work out, because it's been a giant rollercoaster since then and it didn't make me feel better to talk about it. First, it seemed like it was definitely a no-go (that was when I posted about it). After that, much to my utter shock, I learned I had made it to the final round, and it seemed like it was going to all work out. Now, it is back to looking like a no-go. It's exhausting and frustrating to be on this rollercoaster, and I feel like I cannot move on while there is this scrap of hope to cling to that it might still come through (does that feeling sound familiar to anyone???)

The problem with being unable to move on is that I'm still living in that imaginary world I created. The one where I moved from my current job to this new one I want so badly, where T. and I moved to another city, where T. became Miss M's care provider during the day while I was at work. See the problem? I have not made any daycare arrangements for Miss M. The thought has always been that if the new job did not work out, T. would rearrange his schedule and he would be with T. during the day. The problem with that little plan is that his business is booming and he is in the thick of a project that very much requires his presence. When I mentioned it to him last night that I have only three weeks left, he seemed shocked. We didn't quite get around to discussing the actual issue of what we will do, but a big discussion is going to have to take place this weekend.

There is a daycare near our house that is supposed to be decent. They had a sign up that said they had newborn care available, but both that sign and the nameplate for the daycare are now missing. The signpost is broken in half and on the ground, though, so I can't tell if they closed, or if the sign simply broke. The problem is I don't know the name of the daycare so I can do more research. I am going to have to swing by, I think, and check it out.

Also, the last time I checked, T. was adamantly opposed to daycare for Miss M. Regardless of how he feels, however, we have a practical reality to contend with. We are very quickly reaching a point where we need a better plan than the imaginary world that I've constructed in my head and whatever he's constructed in his, so I am going to start to lay the foundation for a Plan B to T. being with her during the day. I am not really looking forward to it. I had really, really hoped this job would pan out, so that we could always be the ones caring for her. Oh, let's face it, I'm still really, really hoping for that, no matter how unlikely or unrealistic that possibility may be.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Valentine's Surprise

Some weeks ago, T. told me that he had a big surprise planned for me for Valentine's Day. We have never been really into celebrating Valentine's Day, and T. has never managed to pull off a surprise without breaking down and telling me about it first. He always gets too excited about it, and just has to share it with me. Hence, I didn't get too fired up about his alleged Valentine's surprise.

Valentine's Day came and went, and no surprise. He told me that it had come, but it was the wrong one, and so he had to exchange it. I still didn't think much about it. I mentioned it to my mother, but she said she had no idea what the surprise was. Weeks went by.

On Wednesday night, T. mentioned to me that he was planning on cooking a nice dinner for me the next night, and asked if I could tidy up the table a bit (our dining table has become a catch-all for assorted baby gear, since sit-down meals have become something near non-existent in our house). Then Thursday morning just before he left for work, T. casually mentioned that two of his clients were going to stop by the house that night. He told me the clients had wanted to see the baby, and he'd invited them to stop by. I surmised that he'd invited them to dinner, but hadn't told me sooner because he'd forgotten our rule to never make plans without checking with the other first, and he knew I'd be annoyed. And let me tell you, I WAS in fact annoyed!

Now, it's one thing for family or close friends to stop by right now. I don't mind them seeing that I haven't vacuumed in a few days or that there are dishes in the sink. But it's another thing entirely for T's clients to stop by. I wouldn't be comfortable with them seeing things a bit messy, even with a newish baby in the house. I spent all day Friday trying to tend to the baby in between cleaning the house from top to bottom. I was afraid that they'd want a tour of the house due to our recent renovations, so no room was left untouched. I was completely furious that T. would invite them over without consulting with me first. Worse, he seemed to have avoided telling me until the last minute.

A half hour before they were set to arrive on Thursday night, my house was clean but I was not. I was sweaty and gross, my tank top partially soaked in milk. I buckled the baby into her vibrating seat and jumped into the shower. I was clean and dressed, finally, but still trying to get ready for company when the phone rang. It was T., telling me he had good news and bad news. The good news? The clients were no longer stopping by. The bad news? He was running late and wasn't planning on cooking me dinner, but was going to stop and pick something up. I was FURIOUS with him that he hadn't called sooner to let me know they weren't coming. I was short with him on the phone. I had really run myself ragged trying to tend to the baby while getting everything else done. I did call him back a few minutes later to tell him that I wasn't mad--just tired, after all that I'd done to get the house together. After all, he was still brining me dinner, and I wanted us to have a nice night. I didn't want him to think I was at home stewing!

An hour or so later when he got home, the baby and I were lounging in bed. I'd just fed her, and she was dozing. He came and greeted us, then told me to come down for dinner. I brought the baby down, and just after I handed him to her, he told me that my Valentine's surprise had arrived, and he gestured toward the darkened entryway to the house.

I took a step forward, expecting to see a package. Instead, a person stepped from the shadows! It scared the crap out of me, and I literally screamed. It was my mother. T. flew her up for the weekend to surprise me! I was so thrilled. I wasn't expecting that we'd be able to see her again for another month or so. As it turned out, he had planned to fly her up for Valentine's Day weekend and was going to take me out to dinner, but the giant snowstorm had ruined that plan.

It is the only surprise he's ever been able to keep, and by far the best Valentine's present he's ever given me. It was wonderful to be able to spend the weekend with M. and grandma. Have I mentioned how much I love good surprises?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Partly Cloudy

The tough days have been blessedly few and far between with Miss M., but yesterday was hard. She cried all day on Tuesday, unless I walked around with her and held her straight up, so she could look over my shoulder. Every time I put her down, she would have an absolute meltdown. It was okay for one day, but when it started back up at 5am on Wednesday morning, it started to wear on me. I laid her down to change her diaper at one point, and she broken down into horrible sobs and piercing screams, and threw her arms up at me. It was just terrible. Thankfully, the crying lessened as the day went on yesterday, but it just broke my heart and made me feel like crap. I just didn't know what to do with her. My house isn't big enough to do laps all day, the weather is too cold to take her outside. . .thank god for the car. I actually started to worry that there was something seriously wrong with her. But, she quieted down as we drove around doing errands, and was quite smiley and calm when we stopped to visit with family in the afternoon. I may have to spend today driving to Florida, if she's like that again. I have no clue what brought it on, but I hope it resolves in short order.

I also busted out the breat pump yesterday (pun intended), which was also really hard for me. I have been putting off pumping. It's such an emotional thing for me. I can't explain it entirely, but I think it's that for the last year, since her conception, I have been the one who has sheltered and nurtured Miss M. My body has literally harbored her and provided 100% of her nutrition. She's never gotten a drop of sustenance from anyone but me. For these many monnths, it's been just her and I, as I obsessed over gaining enough weight and eating all the right foods. I guess I feel like I'm giving up a little bit of our connection by pumping. It feels cold and sterile and foreign and horrible to me. It is utterly unlike our warm, connected moments together as I feed her from my body.

I have thoroughly enjoyed breastfeeding. Everyone I know told me how hard they found it, and gave up on it almost immediatley. I have exactly one friend who stuck with breastfeeding. It was quite a surprise for me to see how easily it went for us from the very beginning, and how much I love it. I treasure our time together, and it makes me so sad to lose even a bit of that. I had to break down and pump, though, because we have theater tickets for this weekend, and we will be leaving Miss M. with a sitter for 4-5 hours. And really, it was just time. I've barely left the house since she was born, and it will be healthy for me to get out more, and for T. to have some bonding time alone with his daughter.

The silver lining, of course, is that this means that daddy was finally able to feed the baby. I cried as I took photos of the two of them, both because I was so sad to see her eat from a bottle, and because it really was beautiful to see him feed his daughter for the first time. She took to the bottle immediately and sucked the whole thing down very quickly (it was just an ounce), which was a relief. It seems that bottle feeding will go okay.

Pumping itself was eh. I'm not going to like it much. My milk doesn't seem to come particularly easily. I pumped one breast for 10 minutes twice today, and got an ounce each time. I was disappointed that it was so little, but given how big she is at this point, and the fact today was my first day pumping, my breastfeeding book suggests that isn't so bad. I was sort of expecting that I'd pump for 10 minutes and end up with five ounces or something, but apparently that was naive of me to think that. I don't really like how it feels, but I supposed I'll get used to it. I can't imagine using a manual pump to express. It would take me forever. I unfortunately don't have those breasts that spray breastmilk. I'm envious of those women, as I imagine that pumping is easy and fast for them. I'm hoping that pumping frequently will build my supply a little, and make things flow a little more freely and easily.

I splurged and bought the Medela Freestyle Pump. It weighs nothing and lets you pump both sides at once hands-free. It's super easy to use, and if I have to have a pump, I think this is the one to have. It came with a little insulated pack, ice pack and bottles to use, as well as a decent tote bag for all of it, so it will be handy when I have to go back to work.

Hopefully, today will be sunnier.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

7 Weeks

It's amazing to think it's been seven weeks already. Miss M. Is developing more and more with every passing day, and it is a joy to watch.

She had a growth spurt over the last week, and all of a sudden, her newborn clothes are almost too small. She doesn't fill them out, but rather she is very long. We think she is going to be long and lean like her mommy. I talked to my mother, lamenting the fact that she is right at the end of the newborn sleepers, yet would swim in the 0-3 months clothing. My mother said that I was a very long and lean baby, too.

All of a sudden, Miss M. can also hold her head up all by herself. Not only can she hold it up, but she WANTS to hold it up and look around. She no longer wants to be cradled when she's held. She has a very firm preference for wanting to be held upright so that she can look over your shoulder. She also holds onto your clothing while she is upright.

When she's awake, she vigorously kicks her legs and pumps her arms. As I type this, she is leaning against my bent knees in our bed, kicking my chest so hard that it actually kind of hurts! Soon, I will move her exercise mat next to me on the bed, and put her under it. She is particularly enamored with the giraffe these days, and will lay and talk to him. While I shower, I often put her in her vibrating seat, which has a little mini-aquarium that lights up and has moving fish. I peak out of the shower periodically to make sure she is okay, and the other day I caught her smiling up at the fish. Another day, she started fussing when the timer went off and the fish stopped moving. She was quite indignant about it, but a press of the button made her happy again. It makes me laugh to watch her.

We lost power for two days this week in a big wind and rain storm that hit New England. Since we have no heat when we have no power, we stayed with my aunt. Miss M. Was completely spoiled by my many aunts while we were there, and was rarely put down. Now, she only wants to be held, upright against my chest of course. She cries when I try to put her down. Spoiled baby! It's lovely to have her fall asleep on me, but a bit of a problem when trying to get things done. The Baby B.jorn worked well yesterday, thankfully. Hopefully, this needs-to-be-held-all-the-time phase will be short-lived! She's still just fabulous, even when demanding.

The pacifier attempts continue. She's taken it here and there, but mostly refuses it. She clearly prefers her mama. As for the bottle. . .well, I haven't been able to bring myself to pump yet, but I'm set to make my first attempt today. I sterilized everything yesterday, charged the pump, and read the directions. I am prepared to start, although not emotionally ready, but that's the subject of another post.

I still have weeks left before I return to work, but had to take care of something, so I took the baby in on Monday. She was a big hit, and got one offer to babysit and one arranged marriage proposal from the father of a two year old.