Friday, April 22, 2011

It's humbling, really...

days like these, where you think you have everything together and then breastfeeding takes a temporary turn for the worse, you have an emotional breakdown, don't get a chance to shower or brush your hair (not the end of the world, really), end up an hour late for the one thing you were trying to get to, accidentally let baby pee hit the wall while he cries and have to start over again, forget to eat a meal...
Today was one of those days where I was overwhelmed with feelings of maternal incompetence. Those feelings battled with my better judgment where I know to not beat myself up for a rough night, or to take my little boy's cries personally. But today, when frustration has nearly peaked, my little H nurses perfectly, and falls asleep on my chest with his perfectly pouty lips gaping open letting out little sighs of relaxation. I decide to ignore the sweeping that needs to be done, the laundry that needs to be folded (what's one more day, right?) to enjoy the warmth of him against me, and to
drift of
f together into a much more peaceful, restful moment (or in our case, 2 hours). And on a day l
ike tod
ay, I'm comforted by a wonderful husband who comes home with arms full of groceries,
and knowing that it's Friday and we get to spend the next two days as a family.
He brought home w
ith him, a little box with beautiful earrings as an early Mother's Day/ Rough day gift, along with a big hug, and as I was rinsing dinner ingredients off of my hands I noticed that my fingers looked different. I ran upstairs immediately and.... BOTH OF MY RINGS SLID RIGHT ON. I haven't worn one of them since I was 6 months pregnant, and today they are back and making me smile. Hubby is home, the little boy who wouldn't poop all day is sound asleep next to me and just filled the diaper, dinner is nearly done, and I am a very lucky woman.
There will be more days like these, there will be worse days, but right now...
life is wonderful.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

If The Shoe Fits...

AND IT DOES!! Literally. Turns out I am not indefinitely stuck in a life where crocs are the only shoes that fit my enormously swollen feet. I am officially back in my very own shoes! Just had to start with that piece of excitement. Now this is not to say that all of my swelling is gone, but compared to what my ankles/feet looked like 3 weeks ago, I'd say they're looking pretty svelte. As I stood in the shower the other morning I actually thought to myself that they were looking pretty boney... But after a minute of thinking about that, turns out my version of bony is just being able to find that I do, in fact, have an ankle bone at all. No one could find it a few weeks ago. In high school someone told me that I had cankles... They obviously know nothing about cankles at all. I could have showed them cankles last month. In my defense, I was playing soccer at the time, and my terrible form apparently wreaked havoc on my poor legs. Anyway, that is neither here nor there.
The point is, I can wear shoes. It feels good. And I can feel my legs. Also good.
I cannot believe that 3 weeks has gone by (today!) since having our little Henry. He is a wonderful baby and time has absolutely escaped from my little world as I get completely wrapped up in each day of learning who this little person is. He changes daily, and he's such fun.
This is probably the point in my blog where if you don't want to read about poop and breasts, and anything relating to the two, you should probably just turn back now and not look back for months to come. Because currently my world revolves around those two very things. I'm sure eventually, some day, I'll have more to think about than nipples and nursing, and poop, and consistency and color of poop (let's just be clear I'm talking about Henry) but for now I really can't think of much else. It's amazing, really... I can think very clearly about nursing and when the next time will be that he'll want to eat, and how many diapers he's had yada yada, and when I get out of that circle of thoughts my brain goes back to the size of a pinhead where the end of pregnancy left it, and I can't think of what I'm doing or what I was trying to say etc. Fantastic.
I wouldn't change it though, because for now mine and Henry's days are filled with lots of fun and lots of love even though all we do is nurse and then change his diaper and do it all over again. Anyway, if these things don't interest you I apologize, but I will blog about them anyway because some day down the road I bet I'll want to read these posts and remember what the days were like when I spent them home with my tiny little boy. Soon he will be onto very different stages and I think I'll forget details quickly. In the past week he has been spending a lot more time awake and looking around with his big bright eyes, making such funny faces, and I love every minute of his quiet alert time. This morning he woke up at 6am to eat and usually he'll go back to sleep for a couple of hours after that. I was tired and hoping this would be the case but he was so wide awake and ready to take the world in that I didn't even try to get him ready for more sleep. I just popped up with him and we spent about an hour chatting and looking around. Then of course he drifted off into a peaceful 3 hour nap leaving me to sit there alone and sleepy :)
Eric and I have noticed he makes a lot more sounds now, and it's fun when something other than a grunt or a squeak pops out and we can hear a bit of his voice. It's very very sweet sounding. He also does lots of little sleepy smiles while he's napping that get us excited for when he can purposely smile at us in a few weeks.
So those are some of the ways life has changed for us, everything is so different and a big adjustment and we are loving it even through the difficult times, even in the middle of the night, all of the time. I like the way little mommy details have taken over. My bedside table is covered with things I need while nursing and changing in the middle of the night, the house is covered in random baby socks and carriers and pump parts, fleecy blankets, things that smell like our wonderful Henry. The one thing I'm not thrilled with, is the fact that I simply cannot keep up with the craziness that is the house. I have wanted to vacuum for the past 2 weeks, but it's a no go. I will do 2 loads of laundry, then not have time to put them away until the laundry piles up again. Such is life though, so much to be thankful for, I guess the vacuuming can wait another few days.

We have gotten out a bit more this week, and the weather has been beautiful. It has been sunny, bright blue skies, and upper 40 to 50 degrees-- which is great, and the air has felt so so fresh! I'm trying to find which carrier Henry likes to ride in and get him used to being carried, since we are back to work in just a week and half if all goes well. We are also working on accomplishing things out of the house with a little guy who isn't so sure about riding in the car. Today was PERFECT though as far as that goes. There was no screaming, no tears, just a quiet baby when he was both awake and asleep in the car. Ah, I love that! Hope it continues.
I think that's it for now :)

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Day of Firsts

Today was the first day that Eric went back to work while no one else was here with Henry and me. It was just the two of us on our own. I have to say, the day was a huge success! We woke up and I fed him, then got him ready, and he took his good 2 hour morning nap in his vibrating bouncer seat while I showered and got ready. I was able to eat breakfast (before 11am this time!) and we headed out to our friends' house. It was her first day alone with her newborn as well, so it was nice to spend time together. We went to a group called Cuddlers, which just involves moms and babies under a year hanging out chatting. I like babies, I like chatting... so this works well for me and is something to look forward to during the day. Afterward we hung out at her house for a bit and Henry and I made our way back home. He ate again, and helped me get some things done around the house while he drifted off to sleep. I was thinking I'd get nothing done, but I actually was able to do the dishes, sweep the floor, do some laundry, grab a snack/late lunch, and some other things that my recently peanut sized brain won't let me remember. Oh but I did have time to also glance in the mirror and notice that I have more stretch marks since having him than I had WHILE hugely pregnant. If someone would like to explain to me how that makes sense, please do. I didn't have any until 38 weeks, and then just a few on the belly... and now it's another story entirely.
The sun is shining here today and it was wonderful to get out and about for a drive (Henry didn't cry in the car!) and enjoy it. I hope he grows to enjoy errands and car rides, because I love his company while I do them!
Tomorrow we go for our 2 week check up at work, and I'm excited to see all of my friends.
The little one is napping on Dad right now, though this little one is growing fast-- today he weighed 8lbs 6 oz. I cannot believe how fast he's growing! So that's our update for today! Now for another first, I'm hoping today will be the first day I'm actually able to find the missing remote. Who knows where it could have disappeared in here...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Life's Changes

And it changes so quickly.
My last post was my last as a first-time pregnant woman... and this post is my first as a first time mama. I don't even know where to begin in writing about this last week and a half. Amazing, overwhelming, blissful, sleepy, nervewracking, exciting...
I'll start with my abbreviated version of the story of the day Henry decided to meet us.
Wednesday 3/30/11 I went to an appointment in the morning hoping we could get things moving along. I was 5cm dilated and almost completely effaced but still nothing very different going on. No real signs of labor being near. (Or near enough at least) After the appointment we decided to head out for a bit so my mom and Den could see a bit of Alaska outside of Anchorage. We drove out to Beluga Point, which is just a turn off alongside the road about 15 minutes South of Anchorage. We stopped there and looked at the ocean and mountains for a bit, taking pictures, enjoying the drive, when Mom decided we had better not go any further in case I did go into labor. I was essentially like a ticking time bomb. We went downtown to stroll around some galleries, grab lunch, and all the while I was having mild contractions just like I had been for previous weeks. Some of them were fairly predictable, 6 or so minutes apart, but nothing that really caught my attention. I decided that I had been giving labor and contractions so much attention and nothing was happening, that from that point on I was not going to pay attention to them anymore until they made me pay attention to them. So I don't really remember the rest of that day, all I know is I was still having them before bed. About 5 minutes apart but nothing strong, nothing that seemed to be growing more intense... so I wrote them off like all the other nights where I went to bed with contractions and woke up without. I was in bed finding it hard to sleep though. Just feeling a little uneasy, taking a lot of trips to the bathroom but unable to feel really comfortable and settled. I eventually fell asleep around 1:30, and at 4:23 I flung from our bed and let out an "ow" while holding my hard belly. I walked around for a few, and got back in bed. As soon as I was horizontal again, another came and I bounced right back out of bed just unable to lie down during it. I woke Eric up and told him, though I was still convinced this wasn't the real thing. I got in the shower, and as I sat in there moaning with contractions 2 and a half minutes apart I tried convincing myself this still wasn't it. Eric called one of our midwives, Barb, and she told us to come in. She had a feeling things would go fairly quickly and I was due for a round of antibiotics.
We got to the birth center around 5:15 and I had contractions the whole way there. I was warning Eric not to go over bumps too quickly, so at that point I understood I was actually in labor. We got there, got my antibiotics and I was 8cm dilated. I was so surprised that I was already 8, and feeling encouraged. While I can remember a lot of details of the next few hours, things like the order of events/moments, and what people around me were doing are all a little fuzzy. But essentially, I labored in bed for a bit, tried the bath which felt amazing... Henry wasn't low enough or in the right position though so I got out of the bath in order to help things along. I was 8-9 at that point, and after trying the bed for a while longer decided to get in the shower. I was kneeling in the shower leaning over a large exercise ball while Eric sprayed the water on my low back. Again, the water was SO helpful. I was moaning through contractions and in the shower started to feel a tiny bit pushy. No one else but Eric could hear that I was involuntarily pushing a little bit, but I had to get out anyway because I had used up all of the hot water. It didn't feel like I was in there for nearly long enough to use all the water, but who really knows. I got back to the bed, and they decided to break my water so that Henry would move down with it. And sure enough, he did. He made all the right turns and I started to push. I think I started pushing before I was completely dilated, but it was working and I could feel him moving down so we went with it. I pushed for under an hour, and there he was.
And he was perfect.
The feelings were incredibly intense, but they felt natural. I never did anything that my body wasn't trying to do on it's own, it was all very instinctual. Eric was completely vital to the whole process, quietly encouraging me the entire time. I don't remember him leaving my side for a second. He was wonderful.
We left the birth center 3 hours after he was born and came home, and our little world was never/never will be the same again.
This little man is amazing. He's more than we could have ever imagined and we are in love with his every expression and sound. Of course some of these sounds and expressions send Mama into a temporary panic wondering if he's ok, but in love with them nonetheless.
It was great having family around, and my Mom stayed until yesterday morning pretty much handling everything at home for us which was such a wonderful help. Her leaving was met with tears on my end, but everyone is doing wonderfully.
Henry is a pretty relaxed baby, until he's hungry. Then it's another story but we are getting better at the whole process every day. We have spent every day since then cuddling with him, feeding him, changing him, changing him more, changing him again after his precise timing hits and he pees all over as we are changing him... and just enjoying our time together. It still feels a bit surreal.
My mom tried to teach me lessons in taking care of baby while getting things done as well, so I will be working on that. I have already learned how difficult it is to get ready, get out of the house, get anything done. My life now revolves around the schedule of this precious person, but I love it.
We've taken pictures of our little man, but I've realized I haven't taken enough. He's changing so fast and I want to capture it all, but I forget when I'm also trying to just soak it up and live in the moment with him.
My new goal is to take more pictures (never been a problem for me before) and I also want to start taking real photos again, not just the random snapshots. Both are great, but it's my goal to work on better photos. There is no better model for me than our little Henry. He's so handsome!
I'll leave this post with a "Things I Like"... you'll all be glad to know that my habit of chocolate chips sprinkled on all of my food, my extremely strong dessert addiction, is all resolving a little bit... Sometimes because I don't have time to eat it, but mostly because I'm not pregnant. So that's good.

1.) Henry. His faces, his warm little body, his squirmyness, his big yawns, the way he stretches, his sweet baby breath, the list goes on.
2.) The feeling after he is finished eating, and I have a well fed baby boy who's happy and sleepy.
3.) Eric as a Dad. He's amazing, a natural, and so commited. He's up when I'm up, helping with everything.
3.) Still loving the orange juice.
4.) Sleep, any little moment I can get.
Well that about sums things up currently.