Friday, May 29, 2009

Too Many Hats

After a nearly two week hiatus I'm back. You'd think that I'd come back from a beautiful tropical place like Punta Cana all inspired... That's not the case. I'm tired. Being away from my baby for six days really takes a toll on the whole family.

Vacation was amazing. We didn't have the best weather but it was still the perfect opportunity for me to do absolutely nothing but lay around on the beach for six days. The only problem with vacation is coming back to reality. Not only did I leave my family for six days, but my cube at work was also lacking a Mad Mom.

This is where life gets a little tricky. As women, we feel responsible for everything. It's our nature. Our families, careers, education, community, church, schools, etc. Each of these institutions requires something a little different. As a mom I need to make sure I can use the booger-sucker extra quick so the little guy won't throw a tantrum. As a student I have responsibilities to my team mates to do group papers. And the selection of hats from small and cute, to large, heavy, and boring.

I came home from a long day at work this week with a folder full of work that I thought I'd be able to get done at home. Guess again. I put the baby on the floor next to my desk thinking "Ok, you play here and I'll work." Every time I looked away he'd scoot away (not quite crawling) and yell and beg for my attention. Perhaps this is what I get for being away from him for six days. I just can't play now. He needed to be quiet so I could get things done. If I didn't, my commission would be very tiny making life even more difficult. I shooshed him, and gave him toys but nothing worked. He just wanted me.

With all of the work I had to get done, and the schoolwork I needed to catch up on there was no time for the mommy hat. I just wanted to leave the house and get away from being constantly in demand. When I realized that is what I was thinking, that's when I stopped.

The mommy hat never comes off. This hat is permanently attached to our heads. Mommy's don't get vacation or sick days or peace and quiet. I started to feel guilty. I'm letting my other hats get all of my attention. All my baby wanted was to be with his mommy. How could I not love that?

I took a step back. Packed up my work. And sat on the floor next to the little one. His face lit up. That made it all disappear. All of that stress. All of my other hats were weighing me down. I needed to take them off and let the mommy hat take over for a while. I find that when I do this, I feel like a better mother. Of course there's always something else that we have going on whether it be college, work, or mounting bills, but taking a breath and thinking about how special that baby is turns it all around.

Put it all on the back burner for a minute. Just give your child(ren) the attention they demand and soak up each and every minute of it. They're not this young forever!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Good Read

YAY! Jenny McCarthy has a new blog. It's on and she's pushing for no sugar for the summer... yeah, right... I'll read the blog but still need some sweet sweet sugar! Check it out here.

Hopefully when this whole non-sugar thing is over she'll keep going!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Football Hold

Breastfeeding... what can I say about it?

Well, before I got pregnant my stance on breastfeeding was that I had to do it. There was no other way about it. The milk was free and it was the best thing for the baby. Not to mention the constant pressure from everyone, my mom, coworkers, friends, etc.

After I got pregnant and was actually going to have someone sucking on my boob every two hours, I began to reconsider. (After all, I didn't even want my husband doing that right now!) After the past nine months my boobs grew and grew and grew and couldn't imagine shoving some poor little baby's face into them. He might get lost or suffocate! Though its the most natural thing in the world, the idea was just weird.

The baby came and it was time to nurse. Let me tell you, it's REALLY hard to keep up with an 11 pound baby! Not only that, but he was big and hard to handle. You couldn't just scoop him up like a "normal" baby. But, when it came down to it, I felt I owed it to my baby to at least try breastfeeding.

The baby wouldn't latch on. My milk hadn't come in yet and he would get very upset after he couldn't get any food. I couldn't believe all the tricks the lactation nurse had to get the baby to breastfeed. Nipple shields, syringes, tubes, the list goes on.

We came home from the hospital and still no milk. I'd pump out a few squirts but it took a while for the mother load of milk to come in. Again, boobs were huge. I decided it was just easier to pump and bottle feed him since he was a little baby Hoover. The lactation nurse in the hospital said she'd never seen a baby suck that hard out of a 60cc syringe. Nice... Anyway, he slept pretty good as an infant. Slept through the night at 4 weeks. If he wasn't getting up, I was for sure not getting up! But my boobs would fill up with milk so fast! I'd roll over in bed onto my rock-hard, milk engorged breasts and just imagine them bursting like water balloons all over my good sheets. Eeww...

I'd wake up with him in the morning, give him his bottle, pump. Two hours later, give him his bottle, pump again. So on and so forth. By the end of the day... Really? Again? My boobs aren't really hurting from the incessant pumping but I'm just plain sick of pumping! After my first day-long outing without baby, the milk really built up. I didn't bring the pump with me because that was just weird. We were going shopping what was I going to do- sit in a bathroom stall and let everyone here the obvious sucking sound of the pump? Or sit in the car all exposed?? Even with a blanket over me I'd feel "out there."

That was the day I decided this just wasn't for me. I gave it a good long push as we always do in motherhood (no pun intended). My baby didn't care what he got as long as he was fed! So, should I feel guilty that my own discomfort and inconvenience ultimately pushed me to change my baby's food supply? Or that I'm too lazy to want to feed my baby? At first I did, but it's different for every mom.

New moms, here's my word of advice. I'm not going to tell you that you should breastfeed or that you shouldn't, but listen to your body, your heart, your mind, and your baby. I know it's a lot but get used to it - we don't have a choice anymore! I really do believe it's worth a shot, but it truly isn't for everyone. If you're like me and cringe at the thought of pumping again... don't feel guilty. Don't give up on breastfeeding too quickly, but don't feel guilty when it's time to move on.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Amazon Feet

Another weird thing... my feet were already huge- well i thought they were. 9 1/2 shoe size is about as big as it gets to me.

My feet swelled up REALLY bad during my pregnancy. I bought a couple new pairs of shoes so my feet wouln't hurt so bad. Size 10! I surely thought I would never need to wear these shoes again because my edema would go back down after the baby was born. Well the baby is about 6 months old now and my amazon feet are STILL too big for my cute black pumps!

Don't worry ladies... we're not alone with our ginormous feet.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Tid Bits About Moms

Here's a slightly dated Census report about Moms in the U.S. Even though its a couple years old, it's still interesting.

63% of women with their college education have infants at home.

The average number of children a woman will have in her lifetime is 2.

In 2005 there were 82.5 million moms.

Check out the Mom Report

Are You Satisfied?

A recent poll shows that 85% of us moms feel appreciated. That's whether it's Mother's Day or not. Read the full report here.

How do you feel?

If you are a mom, do you feel like your family shows their appreciation 365? Mine does :)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

For You Mom

Sometime's it's not until you're all grown up and have a child of you're own how much your mother has done for you. Now that I myself am a mother I appreciate all of the things that my mom's done. Especially the things that I wasn't too happy about at the time.

She sacrificed so much to be my mom. Getting up in the middle of the night, cleaning up my puke on Thanksgiving morning after I got sick all over my bed and the floor. Always trying to get us what we wanted for birthdays and Christmas. Putting up with our shinanigans throughout the teen years.

I was a pretty good kid, but I did take a lot for granted because it was "expected" that I would have these things. As I've grown up and now know the value of a dollar, I know how hard it must have been to pay for all that stuff I wanted or needed. When it was time for braces, I was not a cheap date. I had a narrow upper jaw that needed an appliance to widen it. It really sucked. I felt like such a loser. As if being an awkward 12 year old weren't enough, now they were going to put this big metal thing in my mouth that woul give me a lisp and make me drool till I got used to it.

Then a couple months after the appliance was in, I got braces. I had them for two years. It was so happy the day they came off, I felt like a new person! You know, after that $2,000 braces cost, you have retainers. Well after all that inconvenience with the appliance and braces, why the hell would I want to have the retainer? I only had to have the appliance for six months. For the past year and a half I'd been living drool and lisp free. I wasn't going to give that up NOW! I was going to be in high school after all.

Slowly but surely my teeth started shifting back. I still have a nice smile but my bottom teeth are a little smooshed back together. After all that work- leaving work early for appointments, paying all that money for my braces- I threw it out in just a couple months. I'd say my teeth only hold about 75% of the value my mom invested in them. I always look in the mirror and think about how I should have just worn that stupid retainer! My mom reminds me too. Not so much anymore, but I used to get it everytime I smiled!

Every time I see someone with jacked up teeth, I send my mom a little message of appreciation telling her thank you for my braces. I hated them and thought I was such a huge dork because of them, but in the long run, I have a beautiful smile and no more buck teeth!

For all the times you made me ride my bike to work, wear last year's clothes to school, fried fish so I would smell like perch for a week, I thank you mom. Everything you have done for me made me who I am today.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Sagging Belly Blues

Trying on bathing suits for vacation just isn't what it used to be. This is the first year that I feel I have to wear a one piece. It's not a big deal since they're finally making some cute one piece suits so use girls don't have to look like we borrowed Aunt Doris' bathing suit. The most depressing part of this swim suit season is what I call my "mommy flap."

Look, even super models like Cindy Crawford experience the mommy flap! Given the fact that I'm not a super model, I'll stick with the one piece. Thanks anyway, Cindy.

The "mommy flap" is a wrinkly flap of skin that just hangs off your abdomen. That's exactly what it looks like. After all those months of growing and stretching, your belly can't just snap back into shape. I have a line where my belly button used to be. The skin around it is so saggy and stretched out that you can't see what used to be my cute little navel. It's a few extra pounds of skin that doesn't even feel like part of my body. Like I could just take it off and throw it away. It's very weird. I am stubborn and broke so I was making it my goal to fit into all of my summer clothes (namely shorts) for my vacation to Punta Cana coming up in a couple weeks.

In addition to diet and exercise I started tanning. Tanning just makes me feel good. I just get a little summer glow- I'm not tannorexic! After a few sessions, I noticed that the line where my skin smooshes together over my belly button has a tan line! If I pull my belly button "open" I can see the perfect tan line where my mommy flap hides my navel.

Don't worry ladies, this is normal. From what I read, it takes a while for it to go away so there is hope! Sure I might have a muffin top overflowing my summer shorts while my legs are looking awesome, but by next year, maybe that muffin top will have disappeared.

Monday, May 4, 2009

My Baby is a Freak: A Birth Story

41 and a half weeks into my pregnancy, I finally went into the hospital to be induced. One of the first things they do when you go in is weigh you. I reluctantly stepped on the scale and waited to hear the nurse gasp... 231.

231??!? I was ALL belly. Yes, my hips, boobs, and arms filled in quite nicely too, but it was nothing compared to the gigantic watermelon of a belly that my son was living in! People at my work would tell me that they missed a heart beat because I looked like I was carrying twins.

I gained a TON of weight during my pregnancy. I was doing everything I was supposed to. I didn't have diabetes or anything else wrong with me medically. I increased my water intake, took the vitamins, exercised, ate pretty healthy. Nope, every month, I'd go in and have gained another 9 pounds. It was useless so I just stopped caring. If I was going to gain tons of weight and do everything the right way so be it. My baby will just have a nice cushion-y palace to live in!

The labor pains started at about 10 in the evening, two hours after they gave me the petocin. I layed there and talked with my friends. It was not as bad as a thought it would be. My water didn't want to break. They had to help with that. Gross... it feels like you just keep peeing your pants... After my water was broken it was a different story. The pains were MUCH more intense, but I can honestly still say - not as bad as I thought it woul be. I was trying to go natural but nope- GIVE ME THE DRUGS!!

After 18 hours of labor and 1 hour and 45 minutes of pushing, out popped our beautiful baby boy! That rush of emotion you feel when you feel the baby slip out and hear that first cry is undescribable. It's the most wonderful rush of adrenaline and happiness that could never be matched. There's nothing that could even come close. After I let out my final "AHHHHHHH" and the tears of accomplishment/joy/relief poured out of my eyes, I heard "5,000 GRAMS!"

What does that mean? 5,000 grams? What is that in English? The way the nurses were shouting I knew he was big. My doctor and I thought he'd weigh about 9 - 9 1/2 lbs at birth. So I thought "ok, he's 9 1/2. Health baby boy."

No. 5,000 grams in English is 11 POUNDS!!!! WHAT??!

My first thought after they said those two words "Eleven Pounds" was "MY BABY'S A FREAK!" I was so sad for him already. He was just born and already he's got some physical abnomality that other kids don't have. Poor guy. He'll be a big boy all his life and get picked on. He'll have to go to fat camp and play the tuba in the marching band. Oh no!!

They handed me my little sack of joy and he was so cute! He looked like a very well-fed eskimo since his cheeks were all puffy from the journey through the birth canal. He didn't look so big to me. This was normal- Not extraordinarily large. The hospital didn't have diapers big enough for our little tank so they had to get some from pediatrics. Size 3. He didn't fit the little t-shirts they give the babies so we brought him something from home.

I didn't realize how big he actually was until I went to the nursery and saw all the "normal" size babies. He was a monster compared to them! All the other babies were all wrinkled and new looking. My baby had filled in everywhere. Full head of hair and all.

Turns out there's a medical term for this. Macrosomia is a baby that is large for it's gestational age. It's usually caused by mothers having diabetes and not following the diet correctly. But I just gained excessive weight during my pregnancy.

My "little" guy is 5 months now. The doctors say he's advanced. Those few extra pounds at birth must be in his brain :) As for me. I had a very easy delivery and easy recovery. My experience was SO much better than I thought it could ever be. Pain wasn't too bad, healing "down there" wasn't too bad either. And best of all, I get to be the mommy of this big beautiful boy!

What's your birth story?