Thursday, July 17, 2008

Very Important Tip...

In my last entry, I completely forgot to add something that I know now and wish I knew last week when Parker came home.
If you plan on breastfeeding I have a few things to say about that. First off all it is a personal choice whether you do or do not breastfeed. Don't let anyone bully you into doing or not doing something you want to do, either way.
Second, after my first three weeks of pumping and breastfeeding, I was ready to throw in the towel. Not because it was hard or hurt, which I hear it is/does for some ladies. Parker took right to it and has not looked back since. But one night/morning...3a.m.-ish...I was feeding him and realized that for as long as I plan on doing this breastfeeding thing, I am the food machine to him. Every time he eats I will need to be there or have pumped to provide the food for him. I became very overwhelmed and was ready to quit right there.
I only plan on doing this for 3 or 4 months. I do love the closeness, but jeezey peezey sometimes it's enough already!
Anyway, that has nothing to do with my tip, it is just a rant.

My tip is, if you do plan on breastfeeding invest in at least 2 very comfortable nursing bras that you can sleep in. Also invest in some great nursing pads (or nipple pads as I have started calling them). I have disposable ones from Medela that are great, but I have big plans to go buy some cloth washable ones. The bra I wear 100% of the time is a racerback sports nursing bra that I got from Motherhood for less than $20...I have 3 of them. Way comfy!

Anyway, no one told me to wear a bra and nipple pads to bed when you are nursing. DO IT!

Here's why:
Mind you I pumped every 3 hours or so when Parker was in the NICU, so I was up at 3a.m. pumping. I did not wear a bra to bed at this point. I'm not sure why, but I did not have a problem at all with leaking. I pumped my nearly 3 oz. and rolled over and went back to sleep. However, when that baby was home and my boobs could hear (I swear they can hear now!) him cry the second he opened his mouth, liquid was coming out me me and Parker! The first night I changed my shirt 4 times and I could have easily done it 8 times, but after several failed attempts at routing around in both my drawers and Josh's in the middle of the night/morning I just gave up. Each time I changed my shirt it was a matter of mere seconds before the shirt was drenched as if I had just stepped off the Whitewater Rapids ride at Hershey Park.

That- my friends- is mommyhood. Sleeping in milk drenched shirts because you were just to tired to realize if you put on a bra and nipple pads, this problem would easily be solved.

Go forth and nurse or go forth and bottle feed, either way, I have found a full baby is a happy long as the diaper is clean

P.S. I am told by a veteran mom and generally knowledgeable lady that cabbage leaves also help leaking in a pinch, but I am fresh out of cabbage leaves!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I'm back....I think

Parker is officially 3 weeks old today! We gave him a bath and took him for a walk to celebrate.

I guess since I gave you the titillating teaser of the pending grocery shopping trip that did occur this weekend, I will fill you in on how his first trip to Safeway went down.
Josh and I discussed our plan of attack before we left for the store. We had several possible options and routes we could have gone. Below are some of the top options we came up with:

-Every man for him/herself. This would mean we each would race through the store, grabbing what we needed in a mad dash then throwing the items on the belt and racing out of the store all before Parker had a chance to even think about crying or pooping. The problem here aside from the obvious ridiculousness of it, is that all Parker really does is cry and poop (and eat) and he is very good at all of those things. The chances of two rookie parents beating him at that game are slim to none and we realized that very quickly. See how well Parker has us trained?!

-Man on man offensive approach. In this game plan, Josh would take the coupons and get all those items and I would get the produce, lunch meat and other non-coupon items and we would eventually meet at checkout stand 10 and pray we did not duplicate any items, which enviably we would. Aside from the multiples of the same item, we also realized that if Parker did have a crying fit and I need to go change or feed him, I would be slowing the team down because I would not be pulling my weight, clearly not the goal here.

-Finally, we decided on a 2 on 1 defensive approach. I put Parker in the baby holster (which he LOVES!! Proof itself there is a God and he is smiling on me.) We moved quickly, but not panicky through the store together getting the appropriate amount of each item. The trip was free of crying fits and poopy diapers...Parker did well too.

I have come to realize a few things in the week that Parker has been home. Some of you are veterans at the mom game and will probably laugh at how "normal" these realizations are and some of you are son to be moms who think you have heard these things 100 times before and therefore may skip over this portion of the blog (big mistake!) and there is another group of you who are not moms yet, but will be in the future. To the last two groups mentions- read what I am about to say. Take it in. Do not over look it. I would not lie to you. No matter how much you think you know about what it is to be a mom and take care of a baby, you know nothing.

Babies are the most overwhelming challenge you will encounter. It is a strange feeling of loving this baby more than you can even imagine right now, but also, some how being terrified of it. I know babies are resourceful and amazing beings, but they are scary as hell. You are responsible for everything they do, everything they eat, everything they don't do, how they sleep. You. Are. Responsible. For. EVERYTHING. And they do not give you a damn clue on how to handle it.

Breastfeeding is great for weight loss, but it is also stressful and draining (at least for now.) I have lost 25 pounds since Parker was born and if you read the beginning of this entry you know that it's been 3 weeks. I still have about 10 to 15 more before I am at my pre-baby weight and about 30 to 40 more after that before I am Hollywood thin. I love being able to nurse Parker, but there is a small sense of confinement to it. However, I would still recommend it to anyone who is interested. It is very cool to be able to give your baby the food he needs to thrive and growth, its very cycle of life- mother earth kinda stuff.

You will be more excited about another person's poop than you ever thought possible. I love it when Parker poops because it means everything is working and he eating enough. There is just nothing really more to say about that, just get ready to excited about shit.

Time is merely a suggestion on how to organize your day. If you let the clock tell you when to eat, when to change the baby, when to put the baby to bed, when to give the baby a bath, you will drive yourself nuts. Just go with the flow and only look at the clock to see if it is too early in the day to eat the ice cream that is still hanging out in the freezer from when you were pregnant. Even then, to hell with it, eat the ice cream, the baby needs calcium! Bottom line, do what feels right when it feels right.

Baby blues are totally normal and ok and they seem to come and go with the breeze. Yesterday I had a really hard day. Parker has not been sleeping so well. Wait, what I mean is he sleeps fine, but getting him to sleep, only at night is damn near impossible. UNTIL...Grandma came and suggested we get him a mobile and put him in his crib at night. I was totally against this at first. Paker's "room" is on the second floor of our house. Our room is on the third. I was having serious abandonment issues. However, after a lot of tears (totally on my part) we decided to try out the crib on Monday night. He slept better than he has since he came home.

Babies can tell you what they want, you just have to listen to them and not put your own insecurities in the way. Parker wanted the crib. We listened and he did great in there.

In the end, no matter how ready you think you are to be a parent, you aren't. What is really happening when you think you are ready is that your heart finally convinced your head that is was going to be a doable thing. That you will be able to overcome this challenge. But you have no idea.
I do not say this to discourage anyone, but think about it, especially you first timers. We have no idea what we are doing. Other than younger siblings and summer babysitting gigs, we have had no training in this field. How could we possibly be ready? I am 3 weeks into mommyhood and I'm told it gets easier. The thing is which each new stage comes new challenges, but I think I am ready to take them on.

(P.S. sorry if there are a ton of typos, I have a Parker to tend to!)