Monday, February 28, 2011

Getting it all over with at one time

It's been a rather eventful few days around here. We introduced formula into Addison's diet, we solidified a bedtime routine, and we are letting her cry it out. I suppose it's more appropriate to say making her cry it out, as I gather from the crying that she doesn't exactly feel happy about doing it.  The bad news is that night 3 lasted twice as long as night 2, but the good news is that for three nights in a row, she's slept solidly. She has still woken up for a middle of the night feeding, but she seems to be doing very well at getting herself back to sleep when she wakes up for other reasons. We are going to continue the program for at least a week, and then reevaluate if necessary.

Introducing formula had a rather bumpy start. We decided to do one bottle every day, at bedtime. On the first night, all was good until she realized it was different, at which point she refused to open her mouth. On the second night, she gave it four decent tries, then completely protested. On the third night, she ate two ounces somewhat easily, but protested after that. So on night four, we mixed two ounces of breastmilk with two ounces of formula, and she ate like a champ. In a few days we'll change up the ratio and slowly increase the formula amount. So far, her digestive system seems to be handling it rather well, maybe even better than breastmilk, which is completely ass backwards. We're using Enfamil Gentilese - it's supposed to help ease the fussiness and gas. We have 11 cans of it that was gifted to us by a relative with leftovers. I'm really glad it seems to be working out because that's a lot of money we'll save!

And even more exciting than all of the above (NOT) is that Aunt Flo has returned from her extended vacation. She showed up at my doorstep last night completely unannounced (what a bitch, right?). I tried to politely tell her she wasn't missed, but she doesn't seem to care.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hi mom, it's nice to meet you

Addy and I walked around the track at the Natatorium today. Okay, well, I walked and she stared blankly at me from the stroller until she could no longer keep her eyes open. And even though I've taken her out in the stroller before, this was the first time I actually felt like a mom. This was the first time I felt like all the pieces fit together. This is my life now. I'm the stay-at-home mom at the gym at 3:00 in the afternoon, fitting my baby into real life . And you know what, it kinda felt amazing.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I swear I got an A in Biology

Why oh why oh why oh why do my armpits itch when I'm nursing? It drives me bat crazy. It's the most intense, gotta-scratch-right-this-second kind of itch. And I have to scratch with such force that poor Addy loses her suction. She looks up at me like "WTF mom? I'm trying to eat here." To which I reply "Well sorry honey, you're just gonna have to wait. It feels like a family of ants just hatched in my armpit (although I'm not really sure on this one, ants do hatch, don't they?)* According to Dr. Google, this is a fairly common experience for women who are nursing. There are tons of moms out there posting on forums about their itchy armpits, but no one seems to know why this happens. So I guess it's just gonna remain a great mystery of my mommyhood experience.

* Upon checking with Professor Google, ants, in fact, do hatch.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Totally Cute Tuesday

Thanks for getting me in the tub mom, but I'll take it from here.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Break time!

For the very first time since Addison was born, I am home completely alone. Matt is visiting his Grandma in Massillon and took Addy with him. What do I do in my own house with no distractions? You guessed it, I'm cleaning. So I'm downstairs trying to get the kitchen cleaned up a little, and I realize that I'm moving slowly, trying to be quiet, like I do when she's napping. By the time I get used to the fact that she's not here right now, they are going to be home! So pardon the short blog post, I'm going to stretch out on the couch with my book club book and get some reading done.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Relief is spelled P-E-P-C-I-D

I took Addy to the pediatrician on Tuesday because of her reflux and gas issues, which are getting progressively worse as she gets older. Overall, the visit went well. She is otherwise healthy, growing normally, and she's in the 90th percentile for her weight - so basically, her digestive issues aren't causing her damage. There's nothing we can do for the gas since Mylicon drops are ineffective, but the doctor prescribed Pepcid for the acid reflux. We go back in 2 weeks for her four month well visit, and if her gas hasn't improved by then, she wants to run tests on her stool to detect any food allergies.

I felt a little uneasy about giving my daughter prescription medication at such a young age. If she has a reaction to it, she can't tell me what's wrong - it could be a headache, she could be dizzy, she might itch everywhere - and how am I supposed to know? I'm kind of against medication to begin with, I mean, I've battled depression for over 14 years and I'm just now trying medication myself. But, as a good friend put it, science is our friend. And I gotta say, three days into the Pepcid treatment, Addison is a totally different baby. Her feedings are going much better. She actually stops sucking to look up at me and smile. It's as if she's saying 'Thanks mom, this is soooooooo much better!" Her burps are nice and big and dry, and they come up much more easily. She burped all throughout the day yesterday, which in turn led to less air going into her intestines, and that resulted in a better nights sleep. Today she's as happy as can be. She's currently napping and really hasn't fussed all day - at least not because of gas pains.

I'm really happy that we seem to have gotten some relief for her and she's smiling more. I have a feeling that over the course of the next week or so, we're going to be experiencing a much better nighttime pattern than we have been for the past month. Halle-freakin-lujah.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A status update too long for facebook

I've been having trouble finding inspiration for blog posts lately, hence my absence. I've also been trying to make sleep a priority - you know, actually listen to the common advice to sleep when the baby sleeps. She's sleeping right now, at least I think she is. After 45 minutes of trying to get her down for a nap, I gave up. I set her in the crib, shoved the pacifier in her mouth and decided we'd cry it out. But she hasn't cried yet. And I'm filled with too much anxiety to sleep, so I'm gonna try to bust out a blog post.

Addison is more fussy than I ever imagined a baby could be. I knew having a newborn was going to be hard, but I never thought it would be this hard. Her gas and her stomach pains absolutely rule this household. It's impossible to establish a bedtime routine because we spend four hours or more each night trying to help her relieve the pain. She rarely gets to sleep before midnight. Each day that goes by that we can't start sleep training, the more my anxiety builds, dreading how difficult it's going to be when the time comes. We rock her to sleep and I nurse her back to sleep because those are the only things that work, and I have no idea how to break away from those habits. I cannot sit by and let her cry it out when I know she's crying because of gas pains.

Each night when we get her down to sleep, I lay awake on the verge of a panic attack because I know she's just going to wake up in half an hour. If the monitor is on, I listen and wait for her cries, and I can't fall asleep. If the monitor is off, I think every noise I hear is her cry, so I can't fall asleep. This is resulting in me getting around three to four hours of sleep a night, regardless of how much she sleeps. Matt keeps pushing me to let someone watch her overnight, but I simply cannot pass that burden on to someone else.

In response to my building anxiety, I activated my depression cycle, which goes a little something like this: cover up the anxiety with emotional binge eating, feel sluggish and bloated, get upset about how I can't control my eating, withdraw from life because I feel the ugliest I've ever felt and don't want anyone to see me, get depressed because I have withdrawn from life even though I know what the problem is and how to fix it, get more depressed every day that goes by that I don't stop the cycle because I feel more and more worthless. I think these cycles usually last a couple of months. But this time, I knew I needed to reach out for help, because I can't fight depression while taking care of Addison. There's just not enough energy to go around. I started taking an anti-depressant five days ago. It takes a couple of weeks to begin to feel the effects, so I can't report any changes yet. Here's to hoping it will help me better cope with the stress, because Addison deserves better than a basketcase for a mother.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Totally Cute Tuesday

"I don't need no stinkin' safety straps!"

Friday, February 11, 2011

Oh, hello there Rock Bottom

I realize a lot of people have it way worse than I do. For instance, I don't have two kids with fevers, I'm not juggling a one year old and a two year old while six months pregnant, and I'm not grieving the loss of one baby while waiting for the other to recover from surgery. To all of you, I'd like to apologize in advance for complaining about my healthy baby. That being said, I CANNOT EFFING HANDLE THIS JOB! I want to call off sick today and cry until there are no tears left.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Why my boobs hurt today

Dear Addison,

Good girl! Gooooooooood girl! Do it again! Do it again!

Your mommy who slept nine hours

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Totally Cute Tuesday

Yeah, I know I'm biased, but I think my baby is totally cute. And since I currently am experiencing a little bit of writer's block, courtesy of good ole' depression, I've decided Tuesdays will be Totally Cute Tuesday blogs featuring what else but a totally cute picture of my totally cute baby. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Product Review: Diapers - Newborn & Size 1

We have contributed approximately 252 newborn diapers and 396 size 1 diapers to the local landfill. That's roughly 8 diapers a day for her first three months of life (minus this last week, as we've moved on to size 2 diapers). You can take my following review with a grain of salt, because no baby on the planet is shaped exactly like Addison, so no diaper will fit exactly the same. But, diapers are a big part of mommyhood, so I felt a review should be included.

Brand: Pampers
My Thoughts: These diapers hold a ton of shit, literally. Okay, maybe not a full ton, but they hold a lot of shit. And pee. They fit her very nicely, until they didn't, and that's when we had to move up a size. No complaints.

Brand: Huggies
My Thoughts: Well, we had to do a lot more laundry when using the Huggies. These things leaked like an old faucet. Pee and poo, it didn't matter. We couldn't get them snug enough around her legs to keep everything in.

Brand: Luvs
My Thoughts: We actually really liked these diapers. They never leaked, and are sleeker than other brands (read: not so bunchy in the crotch). However, they can only handle small loads. We had to change her a lot more often - which isn't necessarily a bad thing, it leads to less diaper rash I suppose.

Brand: Huggies
My Thoughts: These fared much better in this size than the newborn size. We had a couple of minor leaks but nothing like before. These don't seem to hold as much as Pampers do.

Brand: Pampers
My Thoughts: Just as good as the newborn size. We liked the Pampers so much that we bought a mega box of them.

Because we have such wonderful friends and family members, we haven't needed to spend any out-of-pocket money on diapers yet. We purchased two small packages of newborn size, and the mega box of size 1, all with gift cards. Yay for awesome generosity! Also, we got different brands as gifts, so that gave us the opportunity to try them all before buying the mega box. I have heard lots of people say they prefer the Target brand over others, so when it's time to replenish size 2, I'll be picking up a package of those to try.

On a side note, have you seen the new commercial for Luvs with the babies in the Heavy Dooty Contest? It's hilarious. And I love their new tagline: "Because what happens in diapers should stay in diapers". The whole thing is very clever marketing in my opinion.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Words of advice

When Stephanie and I made my baby shower invitations, we included a card for people to write words of advice on for Matt and me. My intent was to include the cards we received in Addison's baby scrapbook, which I'm currently working on. Here are the wonderful words of advice from our family and friends:

  • Always take time to listen to her. Never be too busy to really listen.
  • Rest when the baby sleeps! Enjoy every aspect of being a new parent. Children grow up so fast. Enjoy every new development and phase of your precious child's life. Give your child 2 great gifts: Roots and Wings.
  • Enjoy every day. Be Patient. Laugh. Know that your child is the most wonderful gift.
  • Always keep in mind that every stage of baby's life will be your favorite.
  • Be kind, be patient with one another. No one is a perfect father or mother. Embrace the moment and count yourself blessed. And take time for a break when you're feeling too stressed.
  • Everything is temporary. That goes for both the good stuff and the bad. When you're having a hard time, remember -it wont last forever. And when you're having a wonderful time, make yourself slow down and really savor the special moments (and record them!) because it goes by so fast. Also, don't be afraid to ask for help! People love to help new mommies, but they wont know what you need unless you tell them - be specific & delegate!
  • Have a sense of humor and patience.
  • Be prepared for a lot of crying...but don't let any day go by for granted!
  • Listen to the advice the everyone gives, but in the end always go with your gut feeling. Pack extra everything!
  • Always take a nap when the baby does, you need it. Try to stay calm - babies and children sense your stress, then they become stressed. Tell them you love them every day and night. Pray for them every day.
  • Trust yourself and remember: "Children are a gift from the Lord", and "I can do everything through Him who gives me strength."
  • Get plenty of rest now! Good luck!
  • Remember, hair grows back, makeup washes off, and fashions change. Don't panic!
  • Don't get wrapped up in all the baby books that can sometimes overwhelm you and brainwash you too! Relax and enjoy the journey of mother & fatherhood slowly. It is all trial and error, and you'll find what works best for you both and the baby!
  • Learn to be patient! Very...Very...PATIENT!
  • Love them with all your hearts and that's the single most important thing a parent can do.
  • Just relax, have fun and enjoy every moment!
  • The best advice is to listen to your own instincts. As you get to know your child, the advice of others isn't always what will work for you and your baby. The words & books are helpful at times. Trust yourself as a mother. As she grows, remind yourself to see the world through her eyes - it's so much more fun that way!
  • Don't be prideful. If help is offered, take it. If help is needed, do not hesitate to ask for it.
  • Listen to all advice and suggestions...make your own decisions!
  • Don't take parenting so seriously that you forget to laugh. A sense of humor is the best defense against going crazy. Remember that your child is going to do some really stupid things. You did, we all did. Finding humor in those moments can ease frustrations. Don't be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help and advice. Parenting is 'on the job' training and, at times, very tough. Pick up the phone and call someone who has been there. Time goes by so quickly. Take the time to view the world through your child's eyes, you'll never regret it. Thank God every day.
  • You cannot love, hug, cuddle, or kiss your little girl too much!
  • Drop the baby at your sister's house and get some sleep! (Hehe, this is the one I filled out!)
  • As soon as the doctor says it's okay, start working on making a baby sister. I cannot fathom my life without my own baby sister in it, so I can't imagine robbing that from anyone... (Hehe, this is the one my sister Stephanie filled out!)
I've looked back on these a couple of times since she was born to help get me through the toughest times. That doesn't mean I've followed all the advice (for example, I simply can't enjoy EVERY minute, but I do try to enjoy most of them). My favorite piece of advice is to give your child two things - Roots and Wings. I think that's our ultimate job as parents, to give them a solid foundation they can always rely on, but to provide them the tools to safely explore the world on their own. I can say one thing for sure - that last piece of advice about making a sister is going to have to wait a while (-:

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Say (hold the) Cheese!

If you know me, you probably know how much I enjoy cheese. And if you know how much I enjoy cheese, you'll understand just how bad Addy's intestinal problems are when I tell you that I've reached the point of giving up consumption of cheese to see if milk is the cause of her problems. Is it horrible that I've waited three months to give up something I love to try and help my daughter? Yeah, I thought so. I guess I wont be winning a 'Mother of the Year' award anytime soon.

Last night, Addy was fighting the gas pain until 3:30am. Then she was back up less than three hours later. Her problems have gotten progressively worse in the past two weeks. Though her poop for the past three days has seemed diarrhea-ish to me, she shows no signs of dehydration. She's happy and minimally fussy during the day, but explodes at night starting at about 7pm. Her fussy period has been lasting anywhere from 4 to 7 hours for the past couple weeks. She is otherwise healthy. After googling infant gas and abdominal problems, it seems I can now classify Addy as having colic. And lots of colic resources suggest cutting out anything with milk , as an allergy to the sugars in cow's milk seems to be a common underlying cause for colic.

So right now is the best time for me to cut out the milk - with my current work schedule, we should be able to use only fresh breastmilk through next Thursday, and wont have to rely on the frozen supply which could contain loads of cow's milk sugars. Is it horrible that I hope her problems don't get better, so I can continue to enjoy cheese, and the many other products containing milk that I love? Yeah, I thought so.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I've got your back, Jack

I honestly have no idea how single mothers get through this. Every person has a breaking point, and I reached mine pretty quickly last night. I can see how people can snap and shake a baby. At some point, all reason leaves your head, all control is lost, and the frustration takes over. I had to walk away from her last night because I felt myself getting dangerously close to that point.

I was trying not to ask Matt for help because he's been fighting a nasty cold for three days and he really needed his rest. After five rotations of falling asleep in my arms only to wake up wailing as soon as she was put in the crib, Matt came in to help. And when she awoke screaming at 5am , Matt again came in to help. For whatever reason, I had zero tolerance and patience for her last night, and he knew it. Feeling as shitty as he did, he came to the rescue without me having to ask.

Last night left me feeling like a massive failure, like everything positive I've accomplished in the last three months was thrown right out the window. If I didn't have a pair of fresh arms to hand her over to when things get so rough, I'm not sure either of us would make it through this.

When I thanked Matt for his help, he said, "I've got your back, Jack." And boy am I glad he does. Addison and I are very blessed.